“She works in politics, so she’s good at stuff like that.”
She’d been good at a lot of things. Pretending to be his girlfriend, striking back at Amy, that little thing she did with her hips . . .
“Stop it,” Carlos said. “You keep getting this ‘thinking about the sex you just had’ look on your face, and I’m sick of that look from you.”
Drew shook his head to clear it. He had a feeling he’d be thinking about the sex he’d had with Alexa for at least a few days.
“Sorry, but you asked about her. One thought led to another, and . . .” He shrugged. “I’m only human.”
Carlos stood up and opened Drew’s top desk drawer to grab some of the candy out of it.
“Well, at least you had an ironclad excuse for getting out of there early yesterday. I know how you are with women. Good thing you had to get back here for that golf thing.”
Oh shit, the golf tournament.
Carlos laughed at the look on Drew’s face.
“What, did you get home and then bail on the golf tournament? Too tired from elevator girl?”
“See, what had happened was . . .”
Carlos laughed. “Oh shit, now this is getting good. Go on.” Carlos leaned back and propped his feet up on Drew’s desk.
He was going to get so much shit for this, but now he’d said too much to not tell the whole story. Carlos would get it out of him eventually anyway.
“I kind of changed my flight to last night. And I forgot all about the golf tournament . . . so, that’s what happened. More or less.”
Carlos took his feet down and stared at Drew.
“You changed your flight? To hang out with elevator girl?”
Drew shrugged and leaned back in his chair, trying to play it off.
“You know I hate golf. The tournament was just an excuse to get out of there, but once I had Alexa, I didn’t need an excuse anymore.”
He twitched under Carlos’s gaze. His phone buzzed, and he glanced over at it—just an update on a patient. Carlos snatched his phone before he could pull it away.
“Ooh, her name was Alexa, huh? Is that Alexa texting you?”
Drew stood up and reached over the desk for his phone.
“Alexa Monroe. And no, as you can see, it wasn’t her.” Carlos handed him back the phone with a wide grin on his face. “What?”
“Alexa Monroe. You like this girl.”
Drew shrugged again, pretending that he didn’t know what Carlos meant.
“Sure, of course I liked her. We had a great time this weekend.”
Carlos shook his head, still grinning.
“No, you like her like her. You wanted that to be a text from her—you know you did. You should have heard your voice when you said her name and said it wasn’t from her. You wanted her to text you!”
Drew shook his head then gave up. Carlos would just keep pushing until he admitted it, anyway.
“I wouldn’t be mad or anything if she texted me. But she lives in Berkeley, remember? And I live here? In Santa Monica?”
Carlos reached for Drew’s coffee, took a sip, and grimaced.
“So, let me get this straight. You met a great girl this weekend. You had fun with her, you liked her . . . Is she ugly? Was the sex bad?”
Drew smirked again. He didn’t mean to. But hell no to both of those things.
“I can see your answer. To recap: you met a great girl, you had fun with her, you liked her, she’s cute, the sex was good.”
“And . . . you’re just never going to see her again?”
Hmmm. When you put it that way, it didn’t make much sense.
“That was the plan, I guess so, yeah.”
Carlos stood up.
“You’re such an asshole. I know you’re weird about commitment and all, but this is taking it a little far. Text Alexa Monroe. Figure out when you’re going to see her again. Don’t be an idiot. I mean even more of one than you already are.” Carlos left his office and then ruined his exit by poking his head back in. “Hoops at six?”
Drew nodded as Carlos walked out, glad he’d remembered to throw his gym bag in the car this morning. Their Monday basketball game would be a good way to get out some of his aggressions from this conversation, where Carlos had somehow gotten the best of him without even trying.
It wasn’t like he hadn’t thought about texting her again. He had wanted to text her when he’d gotten in bed when he got home, when he stopped on the way to work this morning to pick up coffee and was sure she’d already had some, when he saw a billboard for some new fast-food breakfast sandwich and laughed. But he’d held off, because he figured they’d tacitly agreed that this weekend, as great as it was, was all they’d have. But Carlos had a point.
He reached for his phone. Oh, the hell with it. They could at least have another weekend.
Maybe this is crazy, but I have lots of frequent flier miles. Feel like a trip to LA this weekend?
He didn’t let himself think about it and pressed send.
By the time she got off the phone with Maddie, the mayor was in, and she only had time for a brief check-in with Theo before he pulled all of the senior staff into their Monday morning meeting.
After they finished regular business, the mayor looked at her.
“Alexa, you’re going to get me a memo on our plan forward with that delinquent teen project. End of the week?”
She locked eyes with Theo across the table from her. He wanted a memo. That was way more than she’d anticipated from his brush-off at their meeting on Friday.
“Absolutely,” she said to her boss.
“Great.” The mayor stood up, and the rest of the room did, too. “Good work, people. Theo, one more question for you . . .”
He and Theo walked out of the room, deep in conversation about a reporter that the mayor was trying to get on their side, while Alexa stood there stunned.
She was halfway there. Sure, she would have to write the best memo she’d ever written, but she didn’t even think he would want that. Granted, just because he was ready to read another memo didn’t mean he was ready to throw his weight behind the idea, but it meant he was close.
And she really needed to get him to stop calling it a “delinquent teen project.” She’d thought she’d made it clear when they met that the correct terminology was “at-risk youth.” But in the grand scheme of things, that was not a big deal.
She walked back to her office, glad she’d made a quick outline of her arguments on her phone in the middle of the night once when she couldn’t sleep. She reached for her phone to read it over. And that’s when she saw the text from Drew.
She looked over her shoulder. Was she being filmed? Was this a dream? Was this some kind of “This is Alexa’s lucky day!” fake reality TV show? Her boss was in on her pet project, a hot guy wanted to fly her to L.A.—was she going to get an email with a $1,000 gift card to Sephora next?
He’d sent it two hours ago. Right when she was telling Maddie that she was sure she’d never hear from him again.
Shit, what should she say? YES, OF COURSE was what she wanted to say, but that would be kind of desperate and needy, right? She checked her boss’s calendar: he was at his niece’s wedding in Tahoe that weekend. And he’d wanted her memo by Friday anyway, so work shouldn’t be in her way. But still, shouldn’t she . . .
She heard Maddie’s voice in her head telling her not to overthink it.
She texted him back.
Sure, why not?
She wanted to take it back almost immediately. What the hell was she doing? Wasting another weekend on this guy? Just because she’d be done with the—damn it, now she could only think of it as the “delinquent teens” memo—by Friday didn’t mean that she wouldn’t have a ton of other work to do. She’d have to do all the work that she wouldn’t get to bring home every night this week because she’d be working on the memo.
And when was she going to find time to pack? For a weekend in L.A.? Oh God, she was going to have to go shopping again. She didn’t have time to go shopping again! And what if he wanted to go to the beach? Would she have to wear a swimming suit? Didn’t he know what she looked like in a swimming suit? Maybe this was all a joke and she’d never hear from him again.