Oui (The French Connection Book 1)(10)

By: Brooklyn Knight

“I think you’re overreacting,” he said. “You’ve been with her for years.”

“And I’m thirty-seven, Max.”

“Precisely why you should be speeding things along. You’re not getting any younger and you do want kids, don’t you?”

“That’s not what I meant,” I argued. “I’m thirty-seven and I don’t have time to waste on a relationship that’s not going anywhere. I’d much rather be single.”

“Dylan, you need to give the girl a fair shot,” Max advised leaning forward. “You should take her out sometimes. Spend a night on the town. It might remind you of why you’re in the relationship if you actually spend time with her.”

I let his words roll around in my mind. “Maybe,” I considered. “It’s just...” I exhaled. “I feel differently about her, Max. We’re not prom queen and king anymore. It’s not college, either. We have nothing in common. She’s overbearing, she nags, and all she wants to do is spend money.”

“All women want to spend money.”

“My money, Max. It’s not hers, it’s mine.” I sounded like a two-year-old.

We were silent, each of us lost in our own thoughts. The topic of my relationship status was depressing, and there were other things I wanted to focus on. My mind drifted to Laila Renaud...

“Anyway, enough about Emily,” I asserted pulling myself away from the window and walking back over to the bar. “What did you think about the students today?”

Max stood to his feet. “Brilliant,” he said, “especially that Ryder fellow. I must say, I believe we’ve made a good selection of an intern this year.”

“I agree.” I refilled my tumbler. “I look forward to using him and his ideas around the office.”

“His proposal was very impressive – and viable.”

“It’s something that we need to start looking at immediately. In fact, have Mandy call him on Monday and offer an early start. Normally, he wouldn’t have started for another month, but I want to put him to work. We don’t need to waste time on this.”

Max sat back down and pulled out his iPad.

I rubbed the back of my neck walking away from the bar and over to where he was sitting.

“What about Miss Renaud?” he asked without looking up.

I gulped down the beverage that was in my mouth and cringed at the heat burning my chest. “What about her?”

His head jerked up. “What do you mean, what about her? Dylan, the girl was spectacular.”

She was stunning.

“She’s hardly a girl, Max. She’s twenty-six.”

“You’re right,” he agreed, “but you’re both whippersnappers compared to my fifty.”

“You still haven’t answered the question,” I said redirecting the conversation. “What about her?”

“Didn’t you hear what Hanson said?” Max pressed me. “She was a crucial factor in the synthesis of the e-Insurance concept. Hell, Dylan, you could hear the hunger and passion in her voice; how articulately she verbalized the concept!”

I gnawed at the inside of my lip, trying to find an appropriate next sentence.

Max beat me to it. “Come on, Dylan. You were totally intrigued by her.”

My head jerked up. “What do you mean?”

“I saw it in your eyes,” he said. “As she was speaking you couldn’t take your eyes off her – nobody could.”

I cleared my throat and poured myself another drink. “She was definitely phenomenal,” I murmured. Then I sighed. “So, she was talented. What difference does that make? We’ve already chosen the intern.”

Max exhaled and set his iPad on the table. “How about we bring her on?”

“Bring her on?”

“Why not? Think of the possibilities. The two of them are driven and fresh. They have original ideas.”

“Typically, we only take on one intern,” I reminded him. “That’s the way it’s been for years. We’re very cautious about who we invite behind the scenes. You know this, Max. You’ve been on the Board for years.”

“Typically, we do only take on one,” he agreed, “but this is different, Dylan. Laila Renaud could make significant contributions to the team. We could put her and Hanson together and task them with research.”