âWhat made you change your mind about going out with me?â he asked as they crossed the parking lot. âNot that Iâm complaining. But youâve been saying no for almost a year.â
âYou always seem so predictable, but you doing this . . .â She shook her head. âI guess it made me see you in a different light.â
He held her car door open for her as she tucked the canvas facedown in the backseat and then got in the car. âIâm glad it took me completely humiliating myself to get you to go out with me. Maybe I wonât kill your brother for this ridiculous bet, after all,â he said. âIâll make reservations at the Tackle Box and pick you up at eight tomorrow.â When she looked at him for a moment too long, he said, âYou donât like the Tackle Box?â
âDo you work tomorrow?â she asked as she got back out of the car.
âThat was a dumb question. Youâre always working. Let me rephrase the question. Can you take the day off tomorrow?â
Enzo quickly thought about all the teleconferences he had scheduled and all the reports he had to do. âI can.â
âOkay, so Iâll pick you up at eight.â
âUh . . . I donât understand.â
âEight in the morning,â she clarified. âI asked you out, so I pick. Thatâs the deal, okay? Itâs my treat. I pick where we go and what we do.â
âI donât thinkââ
âYou hate giving up control, donât you?â she asked wryly, already knowing the answer. âDonât worry so much. Just be ready. Itâll be funâspontaneous. Youâll like it. I promise.â
He let out a breath. âFun and spontaneous isnât something Iâm very comfortable with,â he admitted. But then he decided, What the hell? Heâd already survived taking the biggest leap of faith of his life by moving from Brazil to Florida, something that was so completely out of character his parents thought he was still mourning the end of his marriage. So, going on a date with a beautiful woman and letting her take the lead . . . what could possibly go wrong?
âOkay, fine. Iâll text you my address,â he said as he leaned in and kissed her cheek. She folded herself into her crappy fifteen-year-old Honda Civic, which was mostly red, except for some patches where the paint had chipped off. The bumper was held together with a hot-pink bungee cord, and there were bumper stickers plastered everywhere. He couldnât picture her with any other car but this one; somehow it suited her perfectly. But she was absolutely out of her mind if she thought heâd be going anywhere with her in that clunker tomorrow.