He arrived back at the hotel, dressed, two hours and forty-five minutes later. Though he always tried to be punctual, he had another reason for not being late that night: he wanted to watch Julie make her entrance.
When he reached the hotel, he saw a few early guests had arrived. They lingered in the lobby, making small talk before wandering to the ballroom. Daniel waved at a few people, but his gaze kept returning to the elevator doors. They finally opened and she stepped out.
His breath caught.
Ninety-nine percent of the women attending the fund-raiser would dress in black. Julie Masterson was not ninety- nine percent of women.
Gone was the harried and stained florist from earlier in the day. In her place was a siren. Her gown was white and fit close to her skin, showing off the curves he imagined buried beneath her standard pink polo. Sheer beading draped itself over one shoulder, allowing just a peek of skin. Her hair was twisted up, leaving her neck long and bare. She looked even better than his fantasy.
She looked around the lobby for him and once her gaze settled on his, her mouth formed an O of recognition. She walked toward him, her hips swaying ever so slightly. Every step she took gained her more and more attention from the lobby crowd.
“Let me assure you,” he said when she finally stood before him, “that no one is looking at your fingers. You are stunning.”
“Thank you. My sister’s a buyer up in New York. She got this for me and tonight’s the first chance I’ve had to wear it.”
“You’ll have to give me her address.”
“You’re into clothes?”
“No. I want to send her a thank-you note.”
Her laugh was low, throaty, and the most seductive sound he’d heard in years. Once again, he was sure the intense sexuality he sensed in her was there.
He held out his arm. “Shall we?”