Not bad, she thought as she turned to assess her ensemble. Her long, straight copper hair fell loose down her back and parted at the side in the front. The smoky eyeliner enhanced her almond‑shaped green eyes. Haphazard freckles on her nose and cheeks were well hidden by the primer and crème foundation she’d applied. She adjusted the pearl necklace to lay perfectly centered below the neckline of the black cashmere sweater dress that modestly hugged her curves. Her mother would have declared the outfit to be “simple elegance”.
“Hi! Is this one taken yet?”
“Nope. I guess you’re supposed to have it!” Devon said breathlessly.
“Great!” Brandon selected the speed on the treadmill’s panel and began his run.
They kept up a good pace and Devon found it easy to match his stride. She began to wonder if they would be as compatible off the treadmill and remembered how relaxed she felt sitting across the table from him at the deli. Every now and then, she caught a glimpse of him. His dark brown hair flowed thick to the nape of his neck. He’d grown a soft shadow of whiskers and his eyebrows were full, but not bushy. She remembered how animated his gray- blue eyes were when he looked at her and how she felt warmed by their interest. Even when he’d been wearing his heavy parka, she knew he’d be lean yet muscular. And now, wearing athletic shorts and a t‑shirt, her observation proved correct. She took a gulp of air, stumbled just a tad and prayed he wouldn’t notice.
She looked over at Megan and quickly pondered the fact that she really hadn’t changed much since their teenage years. Her shoulder length blond hair curled wildly to the point of being frizzy. The golden brown eyes mirrored whatever emotion she felt. She still retained some of her pudginess, but hid it well with the fashionable clothes she wore. Best of all, Megan knew all about her and still chose to be her best friend.
They laughed, then ate in companionable silence. Devon glanced over at her father. His white hair showed no yellow tinge as happens to some seniors; it was white as a new, starched napkin. His bushy eyebrows matched and caused his cobalt blue eyes to sparkle even more. Though not a tall man, his personality made him seem larger than life. He always flirted with words and could make people laugh, no matter how depressing the circumstances might be. And for not being born in Ireland, he exuded his Irish heritage in every way, especially in his stubbornness.
Two hours later, she heard Michael’s turbo sports car pull up in front of the house. Peeking through the bedroom curtains, she watched him climb out. The car sat so low to the ground, it seemed hard to believe someone over six feet could fit inside, yet he emerged as if stepping out of a stretch limo, with only a brief adjustment to his long overcoat. He walked smoothly up the short walkway and onto the porch. Devon snapped the curtains shut.