8 - Alex and Kate

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Alex was working when Sydney Thompson arrived. Behind her was Ms. Dixon and he did a double take. She was dressed in business clothes unlike any he'd seen in Maine. She was wearing makeup and her hair was pinned up. Every time he'd seen her, she had her hair in a ponytail. Her eyes stood out and again he noticed their unique mocha color. Maybe Tom was right, she could turn heads when she walked in a room. She turned a few of his workers' heads.

Hell, she turned mine.

Sydney greeted him warmly. He liked her in spite of the fact she ruined this land. She looked around wide-eyed. The last time she saw the house the inside walls weren't up. She walked through pointing out different things. He went back to work as the two women talked design.

He suspected that the last phase of this house was going to be long and miserable dealing with this designer. He was beginning to feel like he needed a vacation, which was something that he had never had before. A night out might work, so he called Julia.

He had talked to her once since she returned from New York. When she answered her phone, he greeted her and said, "I was wondering if you were free to grab a bite tonight."

She said she was and they made plans. He noticed that the women were waiting for him to get off the phone and he added, "I missed you last weekend."

He didn't know why, but somehow he didn't want Jennifer Dixon thinking he was single. She was scrutinizing him enough and she certainly didn't need to know that his social life was pathetic.

Was it pathetic?

It was not as fulfilling as he wanted. Both he and Julia approached their relationship casually. He considered if she would be interested in becoming more serious, but truthfully he wasn't. He liked her and was physically attracted to her, but he wasn't in love with her. He wondered if he would ever feel that way for anyone again.

His evening with Julia was nice. Because it was a work night for both of them, they said good night at the restaurant. He asked her out for Saturday night and promised that he'd take Sunday morning off. "I'll take you over for the best coffee and muffins you've ever had."

He liked waking up to a warm soft body next to him. He pulled her close and held her until she stirred. He definitely liked not waking up alone. As a result, it was mid-morning when they showered and headed out together.

Rick greeted him and Alex introduced him to Julia. Rick said, "Any friend of Alex is a friend of ours."

He saw Jen in the corner reading and looking carefully he saw it was the New York Times. She seemed engrossed and he couldn't help but noticed that she looked younger than when he last saw her with Sydney looking very much like a New Yorker.

He sat at a table with Julia. They shared the Portland Sunday Telegram and quietly talked about the contents, as they read. He liked relaxing a bit on Sundays. The quiet was disrupted as Peter, Dan and their five kids came in. They both waved to him and he commented, "Dads are in charge!"

Dan said, "The girls are walking the beach."

He noticed Jen look up a bit forlorn and wondered what she thought of her old friend with a new best friend. Her look didn't last, because Sophie went over to talk to her with, of course, Dan and Kristi's littlest Ivy following right behind. She smiled. Had he ever seen her smile? She carried on a conversation for quite some time.

"Do you know everyone?" Julia asked.

"Almost, but I put a second story on both Dan and Peter's houses. Dan's was back when I was still started out on my own. Do you want to see the house I'm working on?" he asked.

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