By: Emma Scott

“You know I came from work,” I answered Rashida, and mustered a coy smile. “The passion was this morning.”

“Sex on the kitchen floor?” Antoinette smirked. “So cliché.”

“Can we please not speak of such private things at the lunch table?” Minnie Pitman beseeched, her delicate, birdlike hands clasped together. “It’s gauche.”

“Only to you,” Antoinette said. “Don’t tell me you still make poor Roger do it with the lights out?”

“You’re incorrigible.” Minnie bristled, smoothing down the front of her Athleta yoga blouse. “I just think it takes the romance out of it to kiss and tell.”

“Let me see the ring again.” Rashida leaned over from my left and inspected the square-cut solitaire. “Stunning.”

“Stunningly huge,” Lilah said with a laugh. “I was about to request we move to a more shaded table. I fear for my eyesight.”

I rolled my eyes. “It’s not that big…”

Rashida snorted, released my hand from her dusky one, which bore its own sparkling gems. “Impressive, but I’d think twice before wearing it out at night. I’m assuming Drew’s had it insured…”

Minnie rested her chin on her hand, a dreamy expression on her narrow features. “Tell me again how he proposed?”

“I’ll bet it was ever so romantic,” Antoinette said, sighing dramatically. “He got down on one knee, held out the pre-nup for you to sign, and a pen…”

Everyone laughed, including me, though Antoinette had no idea how close to truth she’d been. “We’ve been together for six years,” I said. “It wasn’t exactly a surprise or an event. It was just…”

“Meant to be,” Minnie said with a sigh.

“A good match,” Rashida said with sage nod of her head.

Inevitable, I supplied silently and caught another gentle smile from Lilah. I answered with a smile of my own. It likely wasn’t easy for her to listen to all this marriage talk. My best friend had found her husband cheating with an intern and promptly divorced him, much to nearly everyone’s dismay. “They all think he deserved a second chance,” Lilah had told me then. “We’d been married for two months. Fifty-two days, to be exact, and I was supposed to let it go?” She’d shaken her long, silky black hair and dried her eyes. “I will not settle.”

I wondered why I recalled that particular conversation. I’m not settling for Drew, I thought now. My fiancé was handsome, kind, mild-tempered, and industrious. No woman in her right mind would consider a marriage proposal from him as anything but gift to be cherished. True, our relationship could use a little spark. A little fire…

“You-plus-Drew makes sense on every level,” Rashida said in that cool, practical manner of hers. “Last I read, EllisIntel is up fifteen more points since Drew handled that Mendón brouhaha.”

“Oh?” Minnie asked. “What’s that? I hadn’t heard…”

“It turns out that one of EllisIntel’s big investors was the novelist, Rafael Mendón,” I told her. “He came out of hiding so to speak, and dumped his stock like a bad habit.”

“Over two million dollars’ worth,” Rashida nodded knowingly.

“Yes, and it made the shareholders nervous since Mendón is something of a celebrity in the literary world. But Drew was able to smooth things over, drummed up some positive PR for the company to counteract the bad, and…” I shrugged. “All’s well that ends well.”

“And lucky for us,” Antoinette said. “Poor Paul. His ulcer was spewing fire for a week.” She wrinkled her nose and speared a beet from her salad. Her husband worked at EllisIntel as well, in the vast financial divisions of the sprawling company.

Rashida patted my hand. “It will escape no one’s notice over there how valuable Drew is to their bottom line.”

I waited as the server set a Cobb salad with a side of balsamic vinaigrette in front of me. “You’re right about that,” I said, with a swell of pride for my fiancé. “It’s looking more and more like he’ll be made chief counsel, if not this year, then the next.”