“Joshua is our charity outreach and public relations chair,” Daniel said.
“And what does that entail?” Angela inquired.
“Are you familiar with Prescott George?” Joshua asked.
“Every year we support a deserving foundation or charity, and they benefit from our fund-raising proceeds.”
“That’s wonderful,” Angela responded. “Do you already have this year’s recipient in mind?”
Her enthusiastic response to the project caused Joshua to smile. “Sure do. Ever heard of The Aunt Penny Foundation?”
“No, tell me about it.”
“The Aunt Penny Foundation provides mentoring and counseling to high school seniors who are in need of assistance. I’ll be meeting with their representative shortly to go over the details.”
“Sounds like an excellent organization to support,” Angela said.
Joshua jabbed his thumb in Daniel’s direction. “I like this girl. She’s a keeper.”
* * *
That’s exactly how Daniel felt. Even more so as the evening progressed. Since Angela had been at the firm, they’d rarely discussed anything personal. And with his laser focus on work, he hadn’t given her much thought other than recognizing she was a beautiful woman.
But tonight, it was like he was seeing her for the first time.
Throughout the four-course dinner, Daniel and Angela had their heads together in private conversation.
“So you’re from here?”
“No,” Angela replied, “my folks live here. My father, Eric Trainor, is a professor at University of Miami.”
“And your mother?”
“Ella, she’s a high school principal. And my sister, Denise, is in graduate school studying for her PhD in education. So as you can see, all the members of my family are academics. My parents wish I’d be more like my sister. They find it hard to believe that I can make a living being a real estate agent given my history.”
“Do tell,” Daniel said, leaning in closer.
Angela turned to face him. Sitting so close to Daniel, she could smell just a hint of his aftershave and it filled her senses. Daniel was impossible to ignore. He was the kind of man who drew attention, and that’s exactly what he was doing to her this very moment. She normally didn’t speak about her family to anyone, but tonight she was being more open than she had been in a long time.
“I’m sure I’m not the first teenager to want to take off for parts unknown, see the world.” She shrugged and reached for her wineglass, which somehow was refilled every time she sat it down.
She took a sip.
“Your parents didn’t approve?”
She shook her head. “No, they thought I should stay in college, but I wanted to live a little, see the world. And I did. I ended up bumming around Europe for a couple of years, working odd jobs, until finally coming back to the States.”
“But you didn’t ever go back to school?”
“No. I’d already seen what it was like to live on my own and didn’t want the regimented lifestyle that being in college required. And so I went from one job to the next, until I worked as a receptionist at a real estate agency.”
“Same as Myrna.”
“Indeed. I learned a lot and realized that I had what it took and I could make the same sort of commissions I helped the broker and agents make. So I signed up for real estate class immediately. Passed the state test on my first try because I think I was finally passionate about something other than men, clothes and shoes.”
A smile creased his face. “Are you a shopaholic?”
Angela held up her hand. “Guilty as charged, and I have the closet bursting at the seams to prove it. But I’ve since calmed down because there are some goals I want to achieve.”
Daniel leaned back. “Talk to me about them. What are your long-term plans?”
Angela beamed. “To not only become a successful agent, but to one day open my own agency, same as you.”
“Quite lofty goals.”
“But not impossible ones,” Angela responded quickly.
“You’re stuck in the twentieth century!” A loud voice boomed through the room, interrupting their conversation.