Chance pulled out a chair beside Sinclair and sat. He leaned back and rested his arm across the back of her chair. His thigh touched hers underneath the table. "Your presentation was really good. I think you were the only one who actually kept to the time limit." He ran a hand across his military hair cut. "How long was Raquel up there? Forty-five minutes."
She could feel her cheeks redden due to his nearness. "I think so."
Chance's look fixed on something across the room; he shifted in his seat. His body leaned closer to hers. "So, when are you leaving? I'll walk you to your car."
She followed his stare. Raquel Dickinson, Bakery Category Manager, stalked in their direction. Her broad, angry movements destroyed the effect of the body hugging dress she wore. Reddish blonde hair flowed like untamed fire over bare shoulders.
Sinclair searched the room for her boss, Daniel Houser. She caught a glimpse of his back as he and his wife slipped out of the dining hall. As the breath escaped her, her shoulders slumped. Not so much as a pat on the back or job well done. For some reason, he spent as little time as possible around her. He wasn't a bad guy, but he definitely was not the 'go to' guy in case of emergency. "It looks like I can leave at any time."
Chance stood, and pulled out Sinclair's chair. "Let's go."
Raquel reached their table before they could leave. "Calling it a night so early?"
He stood between the two women, and reached for Sinclair's hand to help her stand. "Yeah Raquel it's been a long night, and I've got a meeting in the morning."
Raquel leaned around Chance. "Sinclair, do you mind if I walk out with the two of you?"
"Of course not. Are you ready?"
Chance released Sinclair's hand, but walked closely behind. "Raquel, where did you park?"
She snaked her arm around his. "Next to your truck."
"And Sinclair what about you?"
"I am on the other side of the lot. You really don't have to walk me all of the way."
"Sinclair, Chance and I would not dream of letting you walk to your car alone." Raquel rubbed her hand up and down Chance's arm, and looked up into his eyes. "Would we Chance?"
Chance stopped underneath the awning in front of the banquet hall. "Sinclair, wait here. Come on Raquel." Chance and Raquel walked into the night toward their cars.
Sinclair didn't wait; she headed in the direction of her car. Footsteps behind her caught her attention.
"Sinclair. Stop." Chance's voice was stern. He blocked her path. "I asked you to wait."
"I know, but I didn't want to be any trouble. You and Raquel...you seemed--"
"We seemed what? If you have a question, ask it." His stare was amplified by his silence.
She had questions, but they didn't matter. She shook her head from side to side. "No. It's really none of my business."
"None of your business?" Chance walked slow and close.
"No. You and Raquel have your own thing."
"We do have a history, Sinclair, but--"
Sinclair stopped at her car door. "But it's none of my business."
Chance stepped in closer. "What if I want that to change?"
She took a step back. "It couldn't"
He stepped back, and stared. "It couldn't or you wouldn't let it?"
"Chance, I can't." She turned to open her car door. "Thanks for walking me to my car." She stepped back to open the door, for a moment her body fit into his. She slid into her car, and shut the door behind her.