Texas Fandango – Chapter One
For the fourth time, KC Montgomery reread the paragraph in the trust she was preparing for her client. And for the fourth time, her mind—followed by her gaze—rolled to the late afternoon sun outside her window. The clock in the corner of her computer monitor read three p.m. As far as she was concerned, it had to be five o’clock somewhere. Friday was done, which meant the work week was finally over. She flipped off her computer, slid it into a red leather laptop case, grabbed her purse and headed for the door.
“I’m out of here,” she said to her receptionist.
“Okay. Have a nice weekend.” Margaret looked at her watch and smiled. “Starting a little early, are you?”
“Advantage of being my own boss.” KC hitched a thumb toward her law partner’s office door. “Jason already gone?”
“Got a client with him.”
“Ah. Our little rainmaker at work.”
“You did your share this week with that case you settled.”
KC smiled. “True, therefore, this rainmaker is calling it a week.”
KC exited through the rear door of the Montgomery and Montgomery, Attorneys at Law building. August in Texas was usually a scorcher, and today was no exception. A bead of sweat rolled behind her ear and down her neck before she reached her 1965 Pontiac GTO.
The engine roared when she turned the key. As usual, her heart raced with the sound. Man, she loved this car. Every time she climbed in, she thought of her parents. If this car could talk, she was sure she could collect valuable blackmail stories from her parents’ dating days when her dad was the coolest guy in town and this was his chick-magnet car.
She wheeled out of the lot and pointed the hood toward Leo’s Bar and Grill. She wanted a Thank-God-It’s-Friday beer in the worst way.
The minute her gaze fell on the forest-green Range Rover parked in Leo’s lot, her gut churned. She rubbed her stomach, trying to ease the whirling. She pulled next to the SUV and sat there for a minute trying to decide if she wanted to go in or not. She’d recognize that Range Rover anywhere. Sad to admit, she knew the license plate number on the back too. She sucked in a deep breath and let it out slowly.
Drake Gentry was here.
She’d been close to eleven-years-old when she’d first laid eyes on Drake Gentry, an older man of seventeen. He’d been tall and lean with surfer-boy blond hair and emerald-green eyes that sparkled when he laughed. She’d fallen in love on the spot.
As the years passed, he’d crossed KC’s mind with more regularity than she would have liked and certainly more than she would admit. KC doubted anyone, particularly her cousin Olivia Montgomery—Drake’s ex-wife—was aware of her fascination with Drake. KC had perfected the art of emotional concealment, an almost impossible feat for someone who felt the way she did toward another person.
On the day Olivia and Drake had married—the day KC had to stand with Olivia as her maid of honor—KC had been sure she would die from the pain inside her chest. The seventh circle of hell didn’t begin to describe that day for her.
But Drake and Olivia’s marriage had ended quickly, only lasting a couple of years. Even back then, Olivia had been in love with Mitch Landry. Now that Olivia had reunited with the love of her life, she wanted the whole world to be as happy as she was. Actually, KC doubted there was a man alive who could compete with Mitch for Olivia’s affections.
So, go in or not? KC had wanted a shot with Drake forever. Even if she got a chance with him, there was no guarantee it’d go anywhere, but what’d she have to lose? Did she really have it in her to act on age-old feelings?
The timing was great. He wasn’t dating anyone else right now, as far as she knew. Whispering Springs, Texas was a small community, so gossip traveled like a brush fire in high winds. If he had a new love in his life, she’d have heard. That meant only one thing…he was single and available.
Rapping her nails on her steering wheel, she regretted not having a large stable of girlfriends at the ready. She needed a trusted woman to call, someone who could talk her through the pros and cons of trying to make something happen with Drake, or maybe just talk her out it. But Dr. Caroline Graham was in Arkansas for her grandmother’s funeral and her other closest friend was her cousin Olivia. Somehow, it seemed tacky to call her cousin to discuss her ex-husband, even if Olivia had suggested to KC that Drake would be perfect for her. The memory of that conversation still made KC’s cheeks flush.
KC had gone to Olivia’s gym to talk with her about taking Adam to the movies. It’d been an animated film that KC had wanted to see but hadn’t wanted to go without a child as cover. Olivia had been more than willing to lend her son as a movie date, but then she’d suggested KC should really consider a more mature date, like Drake Gentry. When KC had fumbled for a response, concerned that Olivia was aware of her infatuation with Olivia’s ex-husband, Olivia had added that in her opinion, KC and Drake were a perfect match. Olivia had confessed she didn’t know if KC was interested in Drake or not—KC had almost melted in relief at that comment—but if KC was, Olivia offered to help any way she could.
KC had never come clean with Olivia about Drake, and her cousin had let the topic drop. However, there was never any doubt in KC’s mind that Olivia was sincere. She loved Drake like a friend and wanted him to be as happy as she was with Mitch.
The problem as KC saw it wasn’t Olivia. It was Drake. She wasn’t sure her interest was reciprocated. Oh, he’d given her hugs and kisses when they met, but try as she might to find something special in the way he treated her, she never could. Damn man was sweet and loving to everybody.
KC’s quandary of pursuing Drake stemmed from her own emotional insecurity.
Drake was the one man she would love to drag to a bed and keep there for a month or so and the only man she felt like she couldn’t.
After analyzing the situation for too many years, KC had come to the decision that the biggest obstacle to grabbing a chance at a torrid affair, outside her own insecurity, was Drake’s lack of physical availability. He’d been living in Wyoming for the past four years, making the physical distance an impossible hurdle. Now, however, he worked and lived in Dallas, closer than Wyoming but still over an hour away.
His parents and siblings lived in WhisperingSpringsCounty, so she knew he came to town occasionally. She’d looked for him during the Fourth of July celebration that the Whispering Springs Chamber of Commerce had sponsored, but if he’d been there, their paths had never crossed. Whispering Springs was a small, tight community. If Drake had been in town any time over the past six weeks, she’d have heard about it…and she hadn’t.
Well, he was here now. Unattached and available for the taking. No time like the present. Gripping her steering wheel tightly, she summoned up all the confidence she could. After freshening her lipstick, she snatched up her purse and headed for the bar entrance.
This early in the afternoon, the bar was fairly empty, which fit KC’s femme fatale plans nicely. It took a couple of moments for her eyes to adjust to the dimness of the bar after being outside in the bright Texas sun. As soon as her vision cleared, her gaze fell on a tall, handsome blond at the bar nursing a beer. Dressed in a yellow polo shirt and blue shorts, he still looked like a surfer dude who’d just come in from the beach. His tanned legs were propped on the brass foot rail and she could imagine sand beneath his sandal-encased feet. She smiled and made her way over.
“Hey, sailor. New in town?” She slid onto the stool next to him.