Just act casual. Just act casual.
“Hey!” I called out, my voice falsely bright as I walked up to Dawn and Donovan, looking rather… cozy outside the entrance to The Creamery. It was a place Dawn frequented, according to her Instagram, and Donovan – Donnie – was frequently her date at the ice cream/smoothie shop.
Brit – my handler, for lack of a better term – put a hand on my arm. In censure, warning, or something, but it wasn’t necessary. I really was just saying hello.
It was summer, and Dawn was taking full advantage. Cut off shorts, midriff top, strappy sandals… I swallowed hard as I took in her appearance – lots of creamy caramel skin and big natural hair – then looked at Donnie, who was, I was sure, enjoying it.
He was casual, in cargo shorts and a fresh white tee and sneakers, with a hat pulled backwards on his head. The white popped against his dark mahogany skin, and a little shiver ran over me as he looked up from Dawn, and in my direction.
“Pixie, hey!” Dawn said, with what seemed like genuine enthusiasm, distracting me from being able to see Donnie’s reaction to my presence. She stepped away from him, toward me, pulling me into a hug that was surprisingly tight. “Are you okay?” she asked quietly, looking me right in the eyes. Hers were glossy with concern, and I averted my gaze.
“Yeah. I’m fine. Thank you for asking.”
She smiled that perfect smile, the one she’d been aiming at Donnie since they worked together on that play, then turned to him, glancing between us. “No problem, not at all. I’m gonna… let you two talk.”
Dawn gave me a little nod, then walked away, leaving me standing there with Donnie and Britt, neither of whom had said anything yet. I gazed up at Donnie, looking for… something, but I was met with the pleasantly neutral expression he seemed to have mastered dealing with me.
I glanced over to Britt, widening my eyes. “Give us a second,” I said, with a subtle tip of my head, trying to get her to go away. She let out a deep breath, her face stern as she gave me a curt nod.
I rolled my eyes. “Yeah. Okay.”