“You’ve never brought a friend, male or female, to any of Mom’s parties,” he continued, obviously not ready to drop the matter. “Only guys you’re involved with. Something is up between you two.”
Ignoring Curt, Leah searched the gathering for Gavin and her cousins, because they weren’t standing where she left them. Had they walked down to the water? With lunch being served, the beach would be less crowded.
She headed for the stairs then stopped abruptly. “Seriously!”
Of all the men present, Tasha Marshall had to be talking to Gavin. Leah had known Tasha, the daughter of close family friends, forever. Despite the closeness of the two families, she’d never considered Tasha a friend. Rather she thought of her as an immature annoyance that showed up at a lot of family functions with one thing in mind: catching an unmarried Sherbrooke male. It didn’t really seem to matter which one either. For years she’d chased after Leah’s cousin Jake. When he got married, she proceeded to go after Trent, followed by first Gray and then Derek. Actually, she’d even tried to buy Derek at a bachelor auction the Helping Hands Foundation held as a fundraiser. With all three of them happily married now as well, Leah had assumed Tasha would turn her attention to either Curt or her cousin Alec, since Brett was rarely around. Judging by how close Tasha was standing to Gavin and the fact she kept touching his arm, she’d decided to branch out.
“What’s wrong?” Curt asked, dropping the subject of her and Gavin’s relationship for the moment.
“That,” she hissed and gestured in the general direction of Tasha and Gavin.
He patted her affectionately on the shoulder. “I’ll let you handle that one. I’ve managed to stay under her radar today, and I’d prefer to keep it that way.”
“Hey, if it keeps me from being her next prey, you better believe it. Have fun. I’ll talk to you later.”
Leah resisted the urge to stick her tongue out as she watched Curt walk away. They might both be adults, but sometimes her brother could still be as annoying as when they were children.
As she approached Gavin and Tasha, Leah considered the best way to extract him. Countless times in the past she’d thought it was a shame Gavin didn’t have a special person in his life. Once or twice she even considered setting him up with either Courtney or Juliette. And since he wasn’t trying to get away from Tasha, it was possible he wanted to get to know her better. If that was the case, she shouldn’t interfere. Instead she should go and visit with some of the other party guests and let things between Gavin and Tasha develop.
Unfortunately, the idea of them together had her mentally screaming. Leah didn’t know who the right woman for Gavin was, but she knew it certainly wasn’t Tasha Marshall. Since Gavin didn’t know Tasha, it was up to her to save him. After all, friends should look out for each other. If she found herself in a similar situation, she hoped Gavin would step in and help her out.
“Hey, Tasha,” Leah greeted, stopping next to Gavin. She didn’t pause to think before putting an arm around his waist. She felt Gavin’s back stiffen, but he didn’t pull away. “How have you been? I don’t think I’ve seen you since my uncle’s New Year’s Eve party.”
Tasha offered up a less than enthusiastic smile. “I’m well. I’m moving to Manhattan at the end of the summer. Until then I’m staying on Martha’s Vineyard.”
“Lucky you. I haven’t been to the island in ages.” Leah glanced in Gavin’s direction. His expression didn’t suggest he was annoyed by her sudden interruption. “We should try to get over there before it gets too cold. Sara will let us use her and Christopher’s house for a weekend. They hardly ever visit the island.”
Gavin didn’t hesitate to nod. Perhaps catching on to Leah’s plan, he put an arm around her, causing her heart to flutter wildly in her chest. “Sounds like an excellent idea. I’ve never been there.”
What the heck? This was Gavin. Her friend. Nothing more, nothing less. Her heart shouldn’t be doing a tap dance routine against her rib cage.
Leah cleared her throat and tried to think up an appropriate response. “Really? Never? You’ll love it. I’ll call Sara tomorrow and see when we can use the house.”
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