“How long are you here?” Stephanie asked, watching Devon watch their waitress.
The fact that it mirrored their first fake date amused her. To be fair, both waitresses were very cute and both had great asses.
She was woman enough to admit that – attractive is attractive no matter who you are.
“Just today.” His eyes were still on Shannon’s tiny but firm backside.
“That’s not a vacation, Devon. That’s a day off.”
He shrugged, that eternal playful grin on his lips as he finally brought his eyes to hers.
“I’m apparently no good at vacation, either.”
Shannon dropped off Stephanie’s regular order – a Blue Moon with a slice of orange on the rim of the glass. Devon’s Guinness looked positively black in contrast.
Devon’s tone went a bit serious.
“So. Where have you been, Steph? I haven’t seen you around town.”
Stephanie debated how open she wanted to be.
“I haven’t been in the city much,” she replied, taking a deep drink of her beer, eyes watching people on the street for a moment before returning to Devon’s face, which was entirely too genuinely interested in what she was saying. “Lying low. Doing vacation properly.”
He laughed and nodded. “Fair enough.”
There was a companionable silence as they both did a little people watching.
“This is nice,” Devon said earnestly, relaxing into the patio chair. “No cameras, no pressure, no need to put on the game face. I see why you excel at doing vacation right.”
Stephanie nodded, toying with some condensation on her glass with a fingertip. She offhandedly noticed a smear of canary paint near her cuticle.
“Going back to the city seemed like a very wrong choice after doing this for a while.”
After finishing their first beers, they ordered dinner and had another round of drinks.
“I’m sorry.” Devon said, all of a sudden and with a very serious expression on his face.
“What for?” Stephanie asked, eyebrows drawn together in confusion.
“Not calling. Texting. Saying hello or really anything after that day.” He shook his head and pushed some shepherd’s pie around in the dish. “That wasn’t right. We were… friends. Or something like it.”
Stephanie smiled and nodded. “Yes, we were. I’m glad you felt like we were too. It’s okay. And really, you didn’t have a choice. If our phone records had been pulled, or if you had been spotted texting me, there would have been media speculation about why. I didn’t reach out either, for all the same reasons.” Stephanie’s brow creased. “You were paying me to act like I was your girlfriend. We completed the contract. I got paid, you moved on with your life. That’s how it’s supposed to go, honestly.”
They sat there for a moment, regarding one another. Stephanie felt as though his sharp blue stare was peering into her darkest thoughts.
Finally, he broke the stare and gave a short, unenthusiastic nod.
“I guess.” He pushed his plate aside and smiled. “Well, at least we got to have today, right?”
Stephanie agreed. “Absolutely.”