The sound of voices caused her to plaster a smile on her face before she entered the room.
“Hey Marc, hope you made me one of your special drinks.” She grinned in her host’s direction hoping her smile didn’t look too manic.
Marc winked. “Got something new. I bet you’re going to like it. All the women at the restaurant do. It’s called The Milky Way Martini.”
“Sounds good.” She tried to put the right amount of enthusiasm in her voice, while trying not to stare at Will. “What’s in it?”
“It has vanilla vodka, chocolate liqueur, and Irish cream.” He poured the shot glasses into the shaker with a flourish.
“Whoa.” Will’s remark, forced her to look in his direction. Not looking at him would be strange. It’d make him matter more than he did.
Marc offered her the brimming martini glass with an eyebrow wiggle. She took it gratefully, and took a sip of the sweet, potent drink. Fortified, she directed a cool stare at her almost date. “Whoa what?”
The man shrugged. “That’s pure alcohol. Despite the name, it’s not a girly drink.”
What was he trying to say? She couldn’t hold her alcohol or what? “Don’t let the ponytail fool you. I am plenty old enough and can hold my liquor.” She leaned toward Will enunciating her words similar to a belligerent drunk determined to prove sobriety. The man’s face flushed as he put up his hands to protest.
“That’s not what I meant. Really, it was just a random comment.” He put out his hands as if pleading. “About the drink, I mean, not you.”
Tonya watched the man flounder knowing his comment wasn’t half as bad as hers. She sipped her cocktail feeling the burn through the sweetness. It was probably her turn to say something, but she had nothing. Damn, somehow, she’d ruined the evening and they hadn’t even gotten to eat yet. Could it get any worse?
Lynne came up behind her and plucked the empty glass from her hand, placing it on the counter. “Oh you have to excuse my friend. Tensions are high at work with looming budget cuts.”
Good thing she never mentioned her problems with Clint to her friend. She edged the glass toward Marc and held up two fingers. The first drink just took the edge off. Besides, she could use a second after the day she’d endured. Work was normally demanding, but more so when she did the work for two in tension so thick she could wrap it around her and use it for a blanket.
Marc nodded and poured the ingredients for the second drink into the shaker. He slid the finished product across the bar without glancing at his wife.
Lynne would probably be pantomiming behind her back. Staggering around or holding her arms in front of her like a mummy to indicate her friend didn’t need a second drink. It might make Will think Lynne had drinking issues.
The man in question moved closer and sat on the next bar stool looking Tonya in the eye as she tilted her second martini up. “I realize job security can be tricky. I never meant you couldn’t hold your liquor. Want me to write you a letter of recommendation as far as your liquor holding abilities go?”
“I’ll pass.” She waved her hand in the air dismissing the matter. His tendency to keep apologizing struck her as odd. Most men she’d encountered never apologized even if they were in the wrong. Jerks. Will was an entirely different type. One she’d never encountered before.