they walked through the door and promptly led them to the living room, where Mike had been waiting. He greeted them and smiled at Whitt as she passed him a small, wrapped host gift but then pointedly approached Finley. He put his hand on Finley’s waist and led her into the room.
“You are looking exceptionally lovely tonight,” he said under his breath as they moved toward a large picture window that offered a spectacular view of the water. Finley demurred, nodding in reply.
“Do you mind if we head out to the landing? The night is so pretty, and I think we are going to have a colorful sunset.”
Mike’s prediction about the sunset proved true. Finley wished that she had her camera as the sun painted the sky a range of purples, pinks, and oranges before dipping into the sea.
“Simply stunning!” Mama said. She watched, amused, as Mike inched closer to Finley on the banquette. Finley bided her time before getting up to admire a large sculpture at the end of the deck.
“A Gestri?” Finley asked before moving away and taking a seat next to Mooney on the sofa. Leonard Gestri had been an up-and-coming sculptor artist who was cut down in his prime by cancer. His distinctive minimalist style was in high demand. Finley guessed that Mike had paid a pretty penny to acquire his work.
Mike seemingly got Finley’s message from her seating move. He was none too pleased but masked his disappointment well. He wasn’t used to women not being in awe of his wealth and apparent good taste. This one would just take longer to reel in.
“Yes. I got it a couple years ago at an auction downtown. Supposedly, when he died, he had quite a large debt to settle and so much of his work had to be sold off. I was lucky to have gotten that piece—and another small statue in the bedroom. I’ll show it to you later.”
The inference of the comment wasn’t lost on Finley or the others, but they ignored it.
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