So hey, I'm in Chicago, where all the Rule of Three books are set. I've been exploring places that are in the book. Saturday afternoon I was at the Oak Street Beach. Remember this scene from Rule of Three:
The next afternoon, Dag met Chris and Kassidy at the beach, lazing away a sunny June Sunday on the shore of Lake Michigan, people watching, but mostly watching each other, Kassidy in a tiny bikini that exposed maximum flesh to the sun for it to turn it a deep golden hue, gleaming with the sunscreen Dag and Chris helped her apply with tantalizing strokes of both their hands.
This is where that took place:
On Sunday, we went to a White Sox game. In Rule of Three, Chris and Dag go to a Cubs game (the Cubs are away while we're her) but here's a snippet from Rule of Three when Chris and Dag go to the Cubs game...
Chris and Dag walked in, bringing the smell of fresh air and sunshine with them. Their eyes sparkled, their faces were tanned from sitting in the sun all afternoon at Wrigley Field and they looked like they’d been laughing.
“Hey, sweetheart, sorry we’re late,” Chris said, hugging her and kissing her mouth. He smelled like beer. Not obnoxiously, like he was drunk, just as if he’d had a few.
“It’s my fault,” Dag said from behind him, and she met his sexy dark eyes. Once again that little current of electricity jolted her as their eyes met and held. “These are for you.”
He held out a cellophane cone full of pale pink and fuchsia gerbera daisies, all bright and cheery. She’d been ready to be annoyed, but the sweet gesture softened her up, even though she totally recognized it as sucking up.
“Thank you.” She moved to take them from him. He opened his arms for a hug. She hesitated. For some reason she did not want to touch him. But she moved toward him anyway and gave him one of those superficial, barely touching hugs you give a near-stranger or an uncle you haven’t seen for years.
But that wasn’t good enough for him, and he pulled her in and gave her a quick squeeze that pressed her breasts into his chest and sent fire licking over her. It was over in a second but she had to swallow and clasp her hands tightly around the flowers. She focused on them instead of Dag.
“They’re beautiful,” she said. “I love them.”
Dag smiled, his dark eyes crinkling and warm. Both he and Chris were bright-eyed and suntanned and happy, and her heart swelled at seeing Chris so relaxed and cheerful. A surge of gratitude toward Dag rose inside her, gratitude for coming back to see his old friend, for bringing such a smile to his face and a sparkle to his eyes. Not that Chris had been miserable. She just knew this meant a lot to him. So she sent a warm smile Dag’s way, and once again their gazes hooked together and hung there, suspended, as if she couldn’t look away.
And Monday all the pretty little patio restaurants reminded me of this scene from Rule of Three. This lunch that Dag and Kassidy had is the first time they spent alone together...Dag's talking about his idea for a new business venture and getting to know Kassidy,and we have a tiny foreshadowing of things to come in Reward of Three...
Their lunches arrived and they ate as they continued talking, asking each other questions and throwing out suggestions, and the interest and excitement built inside her as if she’d caught it from him like a virus. A good virus.
“So, that’s what you want to spend your money on?” she finally asked.
He smiled. “Well. I haven’t decided for sure. I didn’t plan to start off right on the ground floor with something, I was kind of looking for something already established that I could invest in. But man, I’m pumped about this.”
“It’s a lot of work.”
“Yeah. But I think I have enough connections that I can find the people I need.” He lifted a brow. “Wanna come work for me, Kassidy?”
Her mouth fell open and she stared across the table at him.
“Are you serious?” she asked, blinking rapidly at him.
He laughed. “Yes and no. I’d love to have you, but I’m nowhere near ready.”
“You don’t even know me,” she protested. “How do you know I’m any good at my job?”
“I know you’re good.” He winked at her and watched her cheeks bloom with color. Christ, she was gorgeous, all animated during their discussion. Once she’d gotten what he was talking about, her quick mind had thrown out things he hadn’t even thought of—good ideas, but also barriers he hadn’t anticipated. Problem solving with her was a rush.
“What made you go into training and development as a career?” he asked.
“Well, I actually thought of becoming a teacher. All through high school, that’s what I intended to do.”
“You like kids?”
She blinked at him, but smiled. “Yeah. I love kids.”
“Me too. Not that I’ll likely ever have any,” he added. “Anyway, go on.”
“I started working at my first part-time job in this office that had really horrible management, and I had all these ideas how they could improve the place. I got interested in how businesses work and making things better. So then I wanted to go into business, but since I like the aspect of teaching, I decided to specialize in training and development.”
“Cool.” He had a sense from those words “make things better” that she also liked to make people better. Maybe sometimes whether they wanted it or not. Which was admirable but could also be annoying. He smiled at her, liking her sense of purpose. “Anyway. You’re probably happy where you are. But you never know, one day if things work out…keep it in mind. Maybe in the meantime, though, you can be a sounding board for me. Hey, I know—I could pay you a consulting fee.”
She opened her mouth then closed it. Then opened it again. “Great,” she said, glancing at her watch. “You owe me…two hundred dollars for the last hour.”
Laughter burst from his lips and he shook his head. “Nice try.”