For the first time since we’d walked through the door, her gaze landed on me. Given her perusal of Miller so far I expected to see annoyance or jealousy, but neither of the two emotions were there in her eyes. Instead I saw pity.
Why would she pity me? There was no way she could know about what had happened at the bar. There had to be another reason. Curiosity won out over annoyance, but I just wasn’t rude enough to ask about it. Not that she would tell me, anyway.
“Of course. Let me see what I can find.” She glanced over her board and finally picked up two menus. “I have the perfect spot.”
She led us to a table in the corner: quiet, semi-private, and hidden by a half wall. Once we were seated, she handed us the menus and gave me one more brief glance before walking back to her post, but not before making sure to slide her hand all the way down Miller’s bicep. What the hell was wrong with some people? This woman had no idea that we weren’t dating. I was about to say something, but then I reminded myself that I wasn’t his date, either, and I had no right to confront her.
Frustrated by my idiocy and feeling stupid over almost embarrassing myself, I focused on the menu in front of me; at least, until a man stepped up to the table. He had honey blond hair, and behind his glasses were the most brilliant green eyes I’d ever seen.
“Miller, I didn’t expect to see you tonight,” the man said, smirking down at us.
“Slow night. I figured we’d get something to eat.”
The man glanced in my direction and held out his hand. “Hi, I’m Ashton. Miller’s brother. And you are?”
I smiled and took his hand. It was hard not to—the man’s personality was infectious. I did notice that Miller never mentioned why we were together. “I’m Tess.”
“Tess?” Miller asked. “I thought your name was Theresa?”
“My friends call me Tess.”
Ashton let out a small chuckle before composing himself. “It’s nice to meet you, Tess. I apologize for my brother. His manners aren’t always the best.”
Miller’s eyes narrowed, but they were still focused on me. “Nice, asshole.”
“It’s nice to meet you, too.”
For a moment, Ashton’s eyes focused solely on me. Then he glanced once at his brother and back at me again. It was like he was trying to figure out a puzzle of some kind. After a moment, he cleared his throat.
“Miller, could I have a word?”
Miller nodded and stood, following his brother over to the bar.
So there I was, stuck in a restaurant I could barely afford an appetizer in, much less a whole meal, by myself, with a man who’d won me in a poker game.
Instead of focusing on the mess I was in, I decided to watch the brothers. So different, yet so alike. Both tall with lean muscular frames, that’s where the similarities ended. Ashton was as light as Miller was dark. Even their eyes contrasted: Miller’s chocolate brown to Ashton’s green. I wondered if their personalities were just as different.
The longer I watched, the more heated the discussion became. Hands were flying, mouths turned down at the corners. Time seemed to pass rather slowly while they argued. It felt like all eyes were on me; like I didn’t belong.
And they were right. I didn’t.
None of that helped me feel any more comfortable than I had since we’d left the bar. Tearing my eyes away, I picked at the corner of the menu, my eyes not focusing on the words that swam in front of them.
Finally, Miller returned to the table, his jaw clenched. I was afraid of the answer, but I couldn’t stop myself from asking. “Is everything okay?”