A Quick Bite



November 2000

"It's just a little dinner party."

"Uh-huh." Standing, Greg Hewitt caught the phone receiver in the crook between his shoulder and neck, holding it in place with his chin as he began to clean up his desk in preparation for leaving the office.

Anne's voice had taken on a wheedling tone, which was always a bad sign. Sighing inwardly, he shook his head as his sister rattled on, telling him what she had planned for the meal and so on, all in an effort to convince him to attend. He noticed she wasn't mentioning who eise was to be at this little dinner, but suspected he already knew. Greg had no doubt it would be Anne, her husband John, and yet another single female friend she hoped to hook up with her still-single older brother.


Greg paused and caught the phone in hand. He'd obviously missed something. "I'm sorry, what was that?"

"So, what time can you get here tomorrow?"

"I won't be coming." Before she could whine, he quickly added, "I can't. I'll be out of the country tomorrow."

"What?" There was a pause, then a suspicious, "Why? Where are you going?"

"Mexico. I'm going on vacation. That's why I called you in the first place. I fly out first thing in the morning for Cancun." Knowing he'd just set her aback, Greg allowed a smile to tug at his lips as he juggled the phone around to don the suit jacket he'd discarded earlier in the day. "Mexico?" Anne said after a long pause. "A vacation?" Greg couldn't decide if her bewilderment was amusing or just a sad commentary on his life to date. This was the first vacation he'd taken since starting his psychology practice eight years ago. Actually, he hadn't gone on vacation since starting university. He was a typical workaholic, driven to succeed and willing to put in the hours to do so. It didn't leave much time for a social life. This vacation was long overdue.

"Listen, I have to get going. I'll send you a postcard from Mexico. Bye." Greg hung up before she could say anything to stop him, then grabbed his briefcase and quickly escaped the office. He wasn't surprised to hear the phone start ringing as he locked the office door, Anne was the persistent sort. Smiling faintly, he ignored it and pocketed his keys as he started down the hall to the elevator.

Dr. Gregory Hewitt was now officially on vacation, and the knowledge made him relax more with every step away from his office. He was actually whistling softly as he boarded the elevator and turned to push the button marked P3. The whistle died, however, and Greg reached instinctively toward the panel, his eyes searching for the hold button to keep the doors open when he realized a woman was hurrying toward the closing doors. He needn't have bothered; she was quick on her feet and managed to slip through just before the doors closed.

Greg let his hand drop away from the panel and stepped politely out of the way so she could select the floor she wanted. He gave her a curious once-over as she moved in front of him, idly wondering where the woman had come from. The hall had been empty when he'd traversed it, and he hadn't heard a door open or close, but then he'd been distracted with thoughts of his coming vacation. There were several offices on the floor besides his own, and she could be from any of them; but he was sure he'd never seen her before.

Greg had barely glimpsed her face as she'd boarded the elevator, and most of her features were a vague blur in his memory, but her eyes had been an attention-grabbing silver-blue. Unusual and beautiful, they were probably the result of colored contacts, he thought, and immediately lost any interest in her. Greg could appreciate beautiful women, and had no problem with them making the best of their appearance, but when they moved on to this level of artifice to try to attract attention, he tended to be turned off.

Shrugging her out of his thoughts, he relaxed back against the elevator wall, his mind immediately turning to his corning trip. Greg had planned a lot of outings; he'd never been anywhere like Mexico before and wanted to enjoy all there was to do. Along with the usual lounging on the beach, he hoped to get in some parasailing, snor-keling, and maybe go on one of those boat rides where you got to