~Chapter Eight~

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Shayne must think I've got issues. I know he didn't believe my excuse, as to canceling his invitation to take me to dinner tonight. I'm just depressed after getting a text from my almost boyfriend, that he was taking Astrid sight seeing, again for the tenth time this month.

I came home from work, put on a pair of ripped jeans, a tee-shirt, and put my
hair in a messy bun. No need to wash my makeup off. My cascading tears took
care of that, as I laid on my living room couch. I have no love life to speak of. I
thought Skyler and I were going to be a love match, and I would finally have a
love story of my very own.

Instead, I worked overtime with my boss, who I don't even like. Well, I do like him now, that I've gotten to know him better. I guess he's not that bad. . . Shy Astrid came along, and pushed me out of the picture.

I've been trying to take my mind off of Skyler. I walked over to my paint samples on my living room wall. The greige color that Shayne picked, is actually very nice. I must really be losing it! Maybe I'll start painting my apartment this weekend. That will keep me busy, and my mind occupied.

My doorbell buzzing, took me by surprise. I'm not expecting anyone. My face must look a mess from my torrential downpour of tears. I looked through the peephole, and got the shock of my life. I put my hand over my heart, as I quickly leaned my back against the door.

I started panicking, I can't answer the door for him, looking like this. But he already knows I'm here. Oh well, I'll have to get it over with!

I opened the door a crack, and peeked at him, "Shayne, what are you doing here?"

"I came to check on you, and I brought dinner." He made me want to burst into more tears, with his kind surprise gesture.

"I don't want you to catch whatever I'm coming down with." I did a fake cough.

He tried to keep a straight face, "Sabine, I know you're not sick. Will you just let me in, while the food is still hot?"

I opened the door all the way, and let him pass by me. He deposited the bags
of take out Mexican food onto my kitchen counter. The aroma smelled insanely
delicious, I didn't realize I was so hungry.

"That was very thoughtful of you to come by, and to bring dinner. I love Mexican food, how'd you know?" I was beyond curious.

He started taking the entrees out of the bag, "Bianca told me how much you love the Mexican food, from this particular restaurant."

I situated myself next to Shayne, and the chicken chimichangas, "Awww, you got my favorite meal. You even asked for black beans, instead of re-fried beans. I'm impressed." I studied him appreciatively.

"I ordered the same meal, to make it easier. The menu was endless, but I figured you had good taste." He teased me playfully.

I'm not used to seeing this side of Shayne Carrington.

"They also make the best margaritas." I added.

"Well, maybe we can have dinner at the restaurant, and I'll get to try these margaritas that you speak of." He used his best imitation Yoda voice.

Who is this man, and what did he do with Shayne?

"We can eat at the kitchen island, or in the living room, if you prefer?" I felt anxious in his presence. He looked so handsome, and I'm not used to just hanging out, with him.

He took off his suit jacket, with his tie, and laid them on the back of the sofa. He rolled up his sleeves that revealed a gorgeous watch, "The kitchen is fine with me."

I put my favorite Pandora music station on, before we sat down to eat, "So, tell me what happened at the Presentation, after I left."

Shayne took a bite of his food, "This is delicious by the way. After you left, we talked about some added strategies from Andrew's London team. Everyone was really excited about our Presentation, and what an asset you are to me." He winked.

"Really?!" I had to cover my mouth, as I was chewing. I was surprised and excited to hear that news.

Just then, my new favorite song, by Ed Sheeran came on Pandora radio. Perfect, came blaring out of the speakers. Ugh, I was just about to push fast forward. . .

Shayne put his hand over mine, "Don't turn the song, I like it. I heard it the other day. You do look perfect, tonight."

Tears instantly welled up in my eyes, "Thank you, but I know that I must look a sight. I cried a river of tears today. My eyes are puffy, and I have no makeup on. I don't usually let people see me like this. I prefer being presentable." I kept babbling on.

He very gently reached over, and turned my face to look at him, "I will repeat, you look perfect, tonight." His gaze overwhelmed me, and I felt shivers.

Never, had anyone ever told me that I looked, perfect. I recently fell in love with that song, and would imagine hearing those words from, Skyler. But to hear them from Shayne, was beyond believing!

"Thank you, Shayne," I replied in a barely audible voice. He had such an affect on me tonight, that is inexplicable.

"So, you're an Ed Sheeran fan? I actually like some of his songs too. I hear he's going to be performing in concert, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in October. Maybe we can go together. If you can handle me for company another night. That's three months away, so we should be fine." He laughed, and his steel grey blue eyes lit up his whole face.

I gave him a teasing grin, "I think I can handle your company for one more evening, by then."

He looked at me in a way he never had before, "Good!" He didn't elaborate.

I started to clean up, and throw away our empty food containers. Shayne got
out of his chair, and started helping me. His hand brushed against mine and
that's when I knew, something had definitely changed between us. There was a
new chemistry and spark that jolted, and scared me at the same time.

I wonder if he felt it too? He didn't appear to act any different. So, I tried my best to remain the same. I didn't know if I was feeling extra sensitive from my heart being crushed, and feeling vulnerable. I will give this some time, before I jump to conclusions, or make any rash decisions.

Surprisingly, I thoroughly enjoyed my unplanned, unofficial date with Shayne.

He looked at his watch, "I didn't realize it was so late. I had better go, and let you get some sleep. I hope I cheered you up somewhat? I'll see you tomorrow at work."

"Yes, you did cheer me up a lot. Thank you for dinner, and your thoughtfulness. I'll see you tomorrow." I turned the doorknob, and opened my door for him to leave. He waved, as he entered the elevator.

I closed the door, and leaned my back against it. I replayed in my mind tonight's
events. I floated on Cloud 9 to my bedroom, and put on my pajamas. I got in bed,
and couldn't stop thinking about Shayne, and him saying that I looked perfect, tonight. I couldn't help but, sigh. . . My emotions have been all over the place, in one single day. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

I think tonight I saw Shayne, for the first time. Not Mr. Arrogance, always confident, speaking in third person about himself. But a caring, vulnerable man. He needs to let that side of himself show more often. I think he's more like Colin, than I ever knew.

I really don't know where this unanticipated evening leaves us. . . I know one thing, it will be difficult to interact with, The Thatcher Family. Now that Astrid is becoming involved with Skyler. I don't know what to do, or how to be at work tomorrow.

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