A softploppulled me back into the moment, and I looked down to see that half of the jackfruit had fallen out of my taco and onto the platter.
“What’s up?” Haley asked. “You look like you just saw a headless guy walk down the street or something.”
I pursed my lips for a moment. “I’m going to check something really quick. Be right back!”
“Wait, what? Where are you going?”
I was already out of the seat and on my way off the patio as she spoke, her voice drifting into the distance with each step I took. I checked the traffic and hurried across the road toward the restaurant.
The place, called “The Drover” was one of those fancy joints where the wealthy businessmen and women of downtown Denver took clients to wine and dine them. As I approached, I could see through the glass windows that everyone there was in business attire, all taking small bites of the no-doubt insanely expensive meals in front of them. Light poured into the space through the glass walls.
I knew that I was doing something kind of crazy. There’s no way it could be him, after all.
I entered the place, the young, pretty hostess greeting me with a smile.
“Good afternoon! Do you have a reservation?”
“Just looking for someone.”
I flashed her a quick smile before scanning the place, looking at each and every guy there to see if he was the one I thought I’d seen.
“Ma’am?” asked the hostess.
I didn’t spot him. Just as I’d thought, I’d only been imagining things.
I shook my head, turning my attention back to the hostess. She regarded me with an expression of slight worry, as if she were wondering whether or not she’d need to call someone up front to escort me out.
“Sorry,” I said, offering her a reassuring smile. “I was sure I’d seen a friend of mine come in.”
I turned and hurried out of there. Once I was back outside, I spotted Haley across the street on the patio at the vegan taco place, an expression of worry on her face.
I felt a little silly, thinking I’d seen Alex. As I made my way back, part of me was glad that it hadn’t been him, as if it were confirmation that I was going to be going through this all on my own.
Istepped out of the washroom at The Drove and immediately someone caught my eye.
She was tall and blonde, with a gorgeous figure clad in a light sundress. While I couldn’t see her face, that didn’t stop me from staring like a horny teenager. I felt my mouth open slightly; my eyes go wide. I’d noticed since arriving in Denver that there was no shortage of beautiful women here. None of them had caught my eye like her, however.
She turned slightly as she looked both ways across the street. It wasn’t enough to see her face.
When the road was clear, she hurried across. Traffic picked up once she crossed the street, blocking me from seeing where she was going.
“You alright there, Alex?”
A hand came down on my shoulder, pulling me out of my trance.
“Huh?” I turned to see that the hand belonged to Dr. James Hunt, the CFO of Pitt Medical and the other doctor I was meeting with for lunch. He was tall and good looking, with close-cropped black hair and ice-blue eyes. “Sorry, just got distracted by the view. Denver’s a beautiful city.”
The glint in James’ eye suggested that he knew that my attention had been captured by something else.
“You’re right about that,” he said. “I never get tired of this place. But if you ask me, the real beauty’s outside of the city. You into hiking?”