Oui(The French Connection Book 1)(10)

By: Brooklyn Knight

“You want one?” I asked holding up a crystal tumbler.

“Why not,” he said, falling onto the chaise. “I’m meeting the wife for dinner in an hour and a drink should get me in the right frame of mind.”

We both laughed knowing that it was best for an individual to be intoxicated when dealing with his wife. She was a nice lady, just not the easiest person to socialize with – even if she was your life-partner.

I handed Max the drink and walked back over to the window, clutching my own glass. “The view is amazing this time of day,” I muttered. “I’ve been here for almost ten years, and it still gets me every time.”

“You always say that when you’re stressed,” Max said, putting the glass against his mouth. “Talk to me. What’s on your mind?”

I grunted but didn’t say anything.

Max peered at me over the edge of the glass. “How are things going with Emily?”

I scoffed and rolled my eyes. “They’re not, Max,” I said shaking my head. “Things are not going with Emily. In fact, I’m thinking about ending it.”

“I think you’re overreacting,” he said. “You’ve been with her for years.”

“And I’m thirty-seven, Max.”

“Precisely why you should be speeding things along. You’re not getting any younger and you do want kids, don’t you?”

“That’s not what I meant,” I argued. “I’m thirty-seven and I don’t have time to waste on a relationship that’s not going anywhere. I’d much rather be single.”

“Dylan, you need to give the girl a fair shot,” Max advised leaning forward. “You should take her out sometimes. Spend a night on the town. It might remind you of why you’re in the relationship if you actually spend time with her.”

I let his words roll around in my mind. “Maybe,” I considered. “It’s just...” I exhaled. “I feel differently about her, Max. We’re not prom queen and king anymore. It’s not college, either. We have nothing in common. She’s overbearing, she nags, and all she wants to do is spend money.”

“All women want to spend money.”

“My money, Max. It’s not hers, it’s mine.” I sounded like a two-year-old.

We were silent, each of us lost in our own thoughts. The topic of my relationship status was depressing, and there were other things I wanted to focus on. My mind drifted to Laila Renaud...

“Anyway, enough about Emily,” I asserted pulling myself away from the window and walking back over to the bar. “What did you think about the students today?”

Max stood to his feet. “Brilliant,” he said, “especially that Ryder fellow. I must say, I believe we’ve made a good selection of an intern this year.”

“I agree.” I refilled my tumbler. “I look forward to using him and his ideas around the office.”

“His proposal was very impressive – and viable.”

“It’s something that we need to start looking at immediately. In fact, have Mandy call him on Monday and offer an early start. Normally, he wouldn’t have started for another month, but I want to put him to work. We don’t need to waste time on this.”

Max sat back down and pulled out his iPad.

I rubbed the back of my neck walking away from the bar and over to where he was sitting.

“What about Miss Renaud?” he asked without looking up.

I gulped down the beverage that was in my mouth and cringed at the heat burning my chest. “What about her?”

His head jerked up. “What do you mean, what about her? Dylan, the girl was spectacular.”

She was stunning.

“She’s hardly a girl, Max. She’s twenty-six.”

“You’re right,” he agreed, “but you’re both whippersnappers compared to my fifty.”

“You still haven’t answered the question,” I said redirecting the conversation. “What about her?”

“Didn’t you hear what Hanson said?” Max pressed me. “She was a crucial factor in the synthesis of the e-Insurance concept. Hell, Dylan, you could hear the hunger and passion in her voice; how articulately she verbalized the concept!”