Excerpt from Restart
Missie was actually having a bit of trouble not letting her jaw drop. I didn't think they made men like him. Dear god. She swallowed and took a deep breath. I will not blow this. Some part of her mind snickered. Okay, I would totally.. No. That is not the mind set for this. This is a new life and a new start.
Lena stood as Peyton reached the table. “Felt a bit of the dare-devil tonight?”
Peyton grinned. “Didn't feel like a prat.”
Missie ducked her head and hid a laugh. Sexy and funny. Wow, I definitely didn't think they made men like him.
Lena rolled her eyes with a laugh. “You've been many things Dad, but never, ever a prat.” She stepped over and hugged him carefully. “Are you trying to be lethally sexy, or is it a side effect?” She'd never seen her father in this space, and it was a little unnerving.
Peyton returned the hug just as carefully. “Point.” He shifted his gaze to the young lady who was trying to not laugh. “Both. I've got it under control enough, or I wouldn't be here.”
“Dad, this is Missie Cooper,” Lena said, nodding in Missie's direction, “Missie, my Dad, Peyton DeLaChat.”
Missie looked up and met the most fascinating eyes she'd ever seen. She blinked, stood and held out her hand, with a smile. “Mr. DeLaChat.”
“Miss Cooper.” Peyton replied smoothly, taking the offered hand. For half a second he considered kissing it, but decided that would be too risky. Through the contact though, Peyton picked up a general impression of the young lady. He also studied her, taking in details. Hair held back in a conservative hair clip, light make-up, and is that Lena's dress?
Missie's knees went a bit wobbly as he took her hand. What am I getting into here? Can I actually work for a man who's eyes are something between bright hazel and gold, looks delectable dressed head to toe in black, and is charming as hell?
Peyton let go of Missie's hand as they all sat. “My apologies on running a little late,” he paused and looked at Lena with a grin, “Parking, traffic, pick one.”
Lena rolled her eyes and laughed. “I deserved that.”
Missie wasn't sure what to think. She'd taken her hand back and sat. She glanced around, trying to soak up the details of where she was. I'll never get this chance again. Ordering the meal though left her speechless and slightly wide eyed.
A young man, dressed smartly, approached the table and stopped to the left of Peyton. “Good to see you again, sir,” he spoke quietly.
“Ah, Thomas.” Peyton frowned and looked at the young man. “I thought Ellen was working tonight?”
Lena cleared her throat, and jumped in, “I called and asked for a change. I thought it might be, um, prudent, all things considered.”
“I see. Well then...”
Thomas smiled faintly and nodded. “I trust I'm acceptable?”
Peyton blinked and then laughed. “Oh hell.. sorry Thomas, of course. I just wasn't expecting you is all.” Peyton paused and sighed, “I'm just going to stop trying to extract my foot. So,” Peyton glanced around the table and a impish, almost little boy smile formed, “Let's use my standard dinner menu. I'll go with my usual.”
“Very good sir, and for Miss Lena?”
Lena smothered a laugh at the look on Missie's face. Oh god, he's going to try to make her blush or faint or something. She managed to compose herself enough to answer. “I think my usual as well Thomas, thank you.”
“Of course, and for the young lady?” Thomas asked, looking at Missie.
“Oh, I-” Missie stammered.
Peyton interrupted with a devastating smile, “The young lady will have soup de jour and the,” he paused and cocked his head at Missie. Nothing rich, or heavy. Something magical to her perspective. Poor thing is gob-smacked, “Wild salmon with the ginger-mint apricot chutney. Go with the lighter Carpathian white though.”
Missie's jaw dropped, and she stared at her prospective employer. Salmon, I get salmon. He couldn't possibly know it's my all time favorite, could he? No, there's no way. Even Lena doesn't know that. It's just a lucky guess, right?
“Excellent. The usual drinks?”
Peyton's eyes glittered, catching the look on Missie's face. Oh sweetheart, you'd better grab a hold of your senses. “Yes, and for the young lady,” again Peyton paused, regarding Missie for a long moment, before grinning and winking at her, “I think, perhaps,” Peyton paused as he caught the look in Lena's eye and raised a brow, “What?”
“Don't you dare! You have to rein it in Dad. She's been through some serious shit of late. Play nice!”
“I am Lena.. I am.” The last holding a slight warning growl. To anyone watching the pause was ever so slight before he finished the sentence, “Ménage a XXX.”