The Phone Call — an excerpt

 

PROLOGUE:

Luke opened the door. “Alex! Come on in.”

Alex handed him a bottle of wine and grinned, “Hey Luke. Peter has you serving as doorman?”

“I wasn’t supposed to be, but,” he gestured down the hallway, “Hear the music? They’re dancing in the living room.”

“Who?”

“Peter and his sister.” Alex looked blank, so Luke continued, “Pete invited his baby sister to fill out the dinner table after you called and said that Diana couldn’t make it. A few minutes ago, she went in to put on some music, and a polka came on. They both burst out laughing and the next thing I knew, they’d started polka-ing around the room.”

Alex tried to picture the drummer of his band dancing the polka with a little girl. He pictured his tall friend bending down to lead a child half his size. Why on earth would Peter invite a kid to a dinner party?

Luke continued, clearly amused, “You have to come see this.”

Alex shook off the awkward image as he followed Luke down the hall. All he could see when he walked into the living room was Peter’s back until the couple turned. Alex swallowed hard. This was no baby sister. This was a gorgeous woman wearing a simple dark green sweater with a scoop cowl neckline, and flowing black pants. Momentarily at a loss for words, Alex swallowed again.

Noticing the stranger in the room, the woman stopped dancing, her face darkening with a heated blush. She ducked quickly out of her brother’s arms to shut off the music. Looking around in surprise, Peter laughed out loud and casually draped an arm over his sister’s shoulders. “Alex! Glad you made it. Do you want to polka? I’m sure Kat would be grateful for a less clumsy partner.” Kissing the top of her head, Peter continued, “Alex, this is my baby sister Kat. Kat, this is Alex. I can’t believe the two of you haven’t met yet!”

Kat put out her hand, trying not to stare at the stunningly attractive man standing in front of her. “Nice to meet you. Sorry for the polka…”

Alex held out his hand and felt the warmth of her small one sliding into his. “I’m Alex.”

She grinned. “I gathered that.”

“Huh?”

Her tone was teasing. “Peter just said so.”

Alex pulled himself together and grinned back at her, “Nice to meet you too, Kat. Not to worry about the polka — I learned how as a kid.”

Just then the doorbell rang again. Luke adjusted the stereo while the rest of the group moved toward the brightly lit kitchen-and-dining area. Moving ahead of Alex, Kat tried not to think about how much she’d liked feeling her hand in his.