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Starting Over at 55 (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 30

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DW is a veteran, a father, a husband, and a teacher. He's published 9 YA/NA novels thus far. The story you're reading might be next.

starting-over-at-55-a-buzby-beach-novel-chapter-30

Kevin moved close to Georgia to accept the hug she was holding her arms out in expectation of. Before she closed her arms around him, she gave him a firm kiss on the cheek.

Jack, watching, thought to himself, I guess that answers the question about whether those kisses on the cheek meant anything or not.

Spying Jack watching them, Kevin pulled back but didn’t wholly release his hold and said to Georgia. “I came here hoping to see you. I’m hoping to talk you into giving me at least a job and maybe letting me take you to dinner. Mostly in letting me take you to dinner.”

Georgia’s eyes narrowed. “What are you talking about, Kevin? What about your job with that firm up in Massachusetts, Greenblatt and them?”

Kevin shook his head, and his lips curled into an amused grin. “Greenblatt and them, as you call it, no longer employs one Kevin P. Driscoll, JD, CPA, MBA. Despite the healthy quantity of letters following his name, the fact that he’s not a Greenblatt - by blood or marriage - effectively meant that Mr. Driscoll would never be offered the opportunity to become a partner, i.e., one of them.”

starting-over-at-55-a-buzby-beach-novel-chapter-30

Jack rolled his eyes and chuckled at the way Kevin referred to himself in the third person. Kevin doing so would have been annoying rather than amusing if it wasn’t so apparent that Kevin was doing it sarcastically.

Georgia heard Jack chuckle and, being caught in Kevin’s arms, feigned embarrassment and distress.

“Oh, my. To be discovered in such a compromising position, whatever am I to do? How am I to explain myself?”

Kevin and Jack both laughed. Kevin relinquished his hold on Georgia and held a hand out to Jack.

“Hi, Kevin Driscoll. Georgia and I are old friends.”

Jack shook Kevin’s hand. Kevin had a firm handshake, nothing like Denny’s limp noodle grip. Jack was impressed.

“Jack Callaghan,” he said. “Georgia and I are new friends.”

Kevin tilted his head slightly and raised one brow. Jack answered the unspoken question with a slight shake of his head. Kevin acknowledged with a nod.

Georgia watched them and, consternated by their blatant non-verbal exchange, said, “Just what was all that shaking and nodding about, gentlemen?”

Kevin looked at Jack and shrugged, indicating that it was up to Jack to decide what to tell her.

“Your old friend Kevin here - who, by the way, is still waiting for your answer regarding dinner-”

“You heard that?” Kevin asked Jack.

“I did,” Jack replied.

Georgia was tapping her foot impatiently.

“Ah, yes,” Jack continued. “Your old friend Kevin here asked me if you and I were romantically involved. I told him that we were not.”

Georgia turned to Kevin, her lips pressed into a thin line, and pointed a finger at him. “What gave you the idea that Jack and I were a couple?”

Then she pointed her finger at Jack. “And where do you get off telling him we’re not involved? We’re here on what, by my accounting - if it’s correct, which it always is, I’m an excellent accountant - is our fourth date.”

Jack knew Georgia’s iced tea was, in fact, a Long Island Iced Tea. I wonder if that’s still her first one.

“If you count having coffee that morning before your meeting as a date…” Jack began.

“Which I do,” Georgia interrupted.

“Which you do,” Jack continued. “Then, yes, this is our fourth date.”

“Fine,” Georgia said, placated, for the moment. “Now, as to your question, Kevin.”

“What question was that?” Kevin asked.

“About dinner,” Georgia said. She put her hand on her hip and stuck her chin toward Kevin. “You did ask me to dinner, didn’t you?”

“Guilty,” Kevin said with a smile, holding his hands up in a gesture of surrender.

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“Indeed you are,” Georgia said. “I’m sure you will understand, now that Jack and I have agreed that we are indeed dating, dinner must be with the two of us, wouldn’t you agree, Jack?”

Jack had a hard time keeping a straight face as he answered, “I’d very much enjoy a chance to hear stories of what Georgia was like in her hey-day, Kevin. Dinner sounds like a great idea.”

Kevin’s smile faltered. “Uhm … that would be fine. I, uhm, yes, okay. We should do that, have dinner sometime.”

“We’re free tomorrow night, Kevin,” Georgia said. “Aren’t we, Jack?”

Jack, still trying to process the idea that Georgia considered them a couple, merely nodded and smiled.

“Then it’s a date,” Georgia said, slipping her arm around Jack’s waist.

Jack slid his arm possessively around Georgia’s shoulders and said, “There are lots of great places to eat here on the island.”

Kevin stepped back, a disappointed frown now on his face. “I’ll call you at the office tomorrow, Georgia. We can talk about me going to work for your firm, maybe, and decide where to go for dinner.”

To Jack, Kevin said, as he held out his hand, “It was nice meeting you, Jack. You’ve got an extraordinary lady here. I hope you know that.”

Jack turned and smiled at Georgia. “I’m coming to realize that, Kevin.” He reached out and shook Kevin’s hand.

Georgia looked from Jack to Kevin and took a deep breath. Kevin didn’t come here about a job. Why would he suddenly show up here after all these years like this? He’s got to know any feelings I had for him have long since grown cold and died. And I have Jack now.

The weight of Jack’s arm on her shoulders was reassuring.

“Why don’t you two boys escort me into the dining room for dinner?” Georgia said, gesturing toward the dining room with her glass. “I think they’re about ready to serve.”

© 2021 DW Davis

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