“I think you two have already met.” Siobhan smiled and strolled off.
Just sitting next to him conjured up everything she felt for this man.
Brandon turned her way and scanned her from head to toe. “How’ve you been?”
“That makes one of us. I can’t sleep. I miss hearing your voice, seeing your smile. I just miss you, Faith.”
“I don’t know what to say. I…” The servers placed their plates in front of them before she could comment further. Faith thanked the server. They had spared no expense—beef tenderloin, chicken breast with a lemon caper sauce, herb roasted fingerling potatoes and steamed green beans.
Khalil Gray took the chair on the other side of her. “Well hello, Faith. You look absolutely gorgeous. I think I got the best seat in the house.”
Over the course of dinner, Faith found out that Khalil designed accessible equipment for his gym, had a great sense of humor and flirted as easily as he breathed.
“If you’re going to be in town for a while, maybe we can get together for dinner,” Khalil continued.
She shook her head. “I’m only here for the party tonight.”
Brandon leaned forward and directed a glare at his brother. Khalil just smiled and kept right on playing.
If that look was any indication, Faith sensed that Brandon wasn’t too thrilled with his brother’s antics. She just concentrated on her food.
At the conclusion of dinner, each sibling gave tributes to their father.
Mr. Gray spoke next, thanking all of the employees, children and his wife. He laughingly told her, “Anna, now we have plenty of time for that Caribbean cruise we’ve been putting off.”
She responded with a resounding, “Hallelujah!” eliciting laugher throughout the room.
Her father was next and echoed Mr. Gray’s sentiments. “I’m proud to be called Uncle, but tonight is very special because my daughter is here. Stand up, Faith.”
Heat stung Faith’s face. She wasn’t expecting to be singled out, but stood, did a quick wave and sat.
“She will be representing me on the board and I believe she will be a great asset to the company.” Thad concluded his speech and reclaimed his seat.
Mr. Gray rose again to pass the mantel. “It gives me great pleasure to pass the torch to my son Brandon Gray.” He directed his comments to Brandon. “Son, be a servant leader. Your job is to make those around you better.” Mr. Gray faced the audience. “I’m confident he will lead this company well and continue the great work we started. Brandon?”
Brandon stood and joined his father at the podium to thunderous applause. He shook his father’s hand and hugged him. “Thank you, Dad. I’m humbled by your faith in me and will try not to let you down. Most of you who know me know I like to work alone, but my dad reminded me that no one can do it alone.” He shifted his gaze to Faith. “You need great people by your side, ones who will make you better.”
Khalil whispered to Faith, “Guess this means we won’t get that date, beautiful.”
She shifted her confused gaze to Khalil. “What?”
He smiled knowingly. “Big brother just threw down the gauntlet.”
Turning back, Faith barely heard the rest of Brandon’s speech, wondering what he meant by needing great people by your side, ones who will make you better.
Shortly after Brandon finished his speech, the music started and people took to the dance floor. Many of the company employees came up to the table to welcome her. There were so many that, after a while, the names and faces started to blur.
Khalil his extended his hand. “Would you like to dance?”
She hesitated briefly, then placed her hand in his. “Um, sure.”
Out on the floor, they moved to the slow tune. When the song ended, he said, “Thanks for the dance. This may have been my only chance to dance with you…until the wedding, that is.” He chuckled, winked and took her back to the table.
Before she could ask him what he meant, he disappeared in the crowd. Faith danced with her stepfather next, then Brandon’s youngest brother, Malcolm, and finally, her father.
“I think Brandon is beginning to realize what’s important,” Thad said. “I told you that love would always find a way.”