~Chapter Eleven~

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Sabine

Skyler dropped me off at my apartment. I told him he didn't have to get out and open my door. I was fine opening it myself. . . I finally realized that, Skyler Pennington wasn't the man for me. I thanked him for my non-dinner, and headed inside.

I couldn't sleep. I got out of bed and sat with my feet curled under me, in an oversized chair in my bedroom. It's up against a window and it was a majestic starry night, with a beautiful glowing moon. I sat there snuggled with my cozy blanket draped around me.

Thoughts of the last two nights, and Shayne swirled around my brain. I wondered what lay beneath the surface of this man. I got a few unexpected glimpses, into the real him. I don't think the egotistical, self centered man, is who he really is.

My cellphone was on the arm rest of my chair, and scared me when it suddenly rang, "Hello? Shayne, is everything okay?" I couldn't imagine him calling me so late.

"I'm fine. I just wanted to make sure you got home safely." I heard a jittery sound, in his voice.

I had to gain my composure, "Yes, Skyler dropped me off. I'm sitting in my room enjoying the view of the star-filled night sky."

"Oh, I won't keep you. I just got home from the restaurant. Great margaritas, although it would have been better if I had one with you." He quickly cleared his throat, unsure of the comment he just made.

"Have a goodnight." He rushed off of the phone, before I could reply. A smile crossed my lips. Shayne sounded nervous and unsure of himself, hmmm.

What was that all about? Did I actually have that affect on him? This was a most interesting night! I got back in my bed, underneath the covers. I clutched my pillow extra securely, and let out a dreamy sigh.

*****

Shayne

I woke up early, again. This time it was to the sound of a crying and teething, Baby Colin. He is extra cranky these days. Aunt Ava went in the nursery to sooth him, and rock him back to sleep, "Shhh, it's okay. We don't want to wake everyone up."

I could picture her taking him out of his crib and gently rubbing his back, soothing him.

It was too late, I had already woken up. I got out of bed and wore a hole in my area rug, pacing back and forth thinking about Sabine. How do I deal with my growing attraction to her? I find her intriguing, and simply unrivaled by any other woman, I have ever known.

The birds were chirping in the Robin's nest right underneath my window, as the sun was rising. I couldn't wait to phone her any longer, "Good morning, Sabine. I hope that I didn't wake you. Do you have any plans today?"

She sounded unsure how to answer, "I was thinking of painting my living room. I need to go pick up the paint from Home Depot. I actually like that grey beige color you picked." She chuckled bashfully. I could picture her blushing.

"I was planning on going to Home Depot today, to pick up some paint for my office. Maybe, we could meet there and I could help you paint your living room. That is, if you'd like me to?" I mentioned nonchalantly, and braced myself for her response.

"What time did you plan to be there?" She caught me off guard. I had just made this plan up.

"Probably around 11 am." I had to think fast on my feet, to make it sound believable.

My heart thumped loudly in my chest, as she thought for what seemed like forever, "Okay, I'll meet you at Home Depot at 11 am. Wear clothes, that you don't mind getting paint on. Thank you for offering to help me."

I was astonished, that she agreed to meet me. And to let me help her paint. I quickly, jumped in the shower, got dressed, and ate breakfast.

"Good morning, Shayne, where are you off to?" Aunt Ava kissed my cheek, as she strode past the kitchen table, with her favorite grand nephew in her arms. He was soothing his gums on a teething ring.

"I'm headed to meet my assistant, Sabine, at Home Depot. We're going to paint her living room today." I flashed her a quick smile, trying to imagine what she was thinking.

She placed Baby Colin in his high chair, "Is this the same Sabine, who was Bianca's maid of honor, and who you don't get along with?" She voiced innocently, as she opened the cabinet door to reach for the box of Gerber oatmeal.

"It is in fact, the same Sabine. Only now, she has been my financial assistant at Carrington Enterprises for just about the past six weeks. I actually like her now, that I'm getting to know her. We've become friends." I shared with my perceptive aunt.

"Oh, so she is the reason for the change that I've noticed in you? Well, enjoy your day, darlin. Why don't you invite her to our Sunday breakfast tomorrow morning? I'll see you tonight, sweetheart." Then she turned, and gave Baby Colin all of her attention, on purpose. I felt a tug at my heart watching this woman, that has come to mean the world to me.

Aunt Ava isn't fooling me. She knew exactly who Sabine is. And now she's inviting her to The Carrington Family breakfast. She read me like a book. Mom, always saw right through me and so does Aunt Ava.

"I will invite her to breakfast tomorrow. You, Colin, and Bianca can eat dinner tonight, without me. I'll probably grab something to eat with, Sabine.  I love you." I hugged my aunts neck, and kissed her on the cheek. I kissed Baby Colin on the head.

Aunt Ava has truly become a mother to me and Colin. We both really needed her in our lives, since both of our parents are gone. Grey and Colton, were more than generous in sharing their mother with us!

I grabbed my car keys, and headed toward the door, "Hey big brother. I'll be out all day, I'll see you tonight."

"Oh? What have you got going on today?" Colin looked intrigued.

I opened the front door, "If you must know, I'm going to help Sabine paint her apartment. It's not what you think, so take that look off of your face."

"I'm not thinking anything. Is she coming to The Carrington Family Sunday breakfast, tomorrow?" He tried not to laugh, with his arms folded and his fingers covering his mouth, that was twitching.

"Aunt Ava asked me to invite her." I spoke through gritted teeth, with aggravation in my voice.

"It's that bad, huh? Just remember, that I asked you about Sabine, from day one! I know you little brother, and that you like feisty women." Colin had to remind me with amusement in his eyes.

Then, he patted me on the back, "I hate to tell you, but it's a done deal when Aunt Ava invites you to the traditional, Carrington Family Sunday Breakfast! Have a good day, bro."

"I'm still very much a happy bachelor. We are just friends." I tried to convince myself, more than Colin.

"Colin, please keep this under wraps. I'll get enough unsolicited teasing looks and comments from Grey, Colton, and Brody if Sabine accepts Aunt Ava's invitation." I gave him a pleading look, with my eyes and my hands clasped together.

"Whatever you say, we'll see how long that lasts." Colin made a zipping his lips gesture, as Bianca came down the stairs and gave him a peck on his lips.

I noticed the time on the clock in the foyer, "Good morning Bianca, I'm on my way out." I waved, and bolted out of the door before Bianca could asked me any questions.

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