I smiled over the room at my fiancé as I applied a final coat of gloss over my lipstick. I was excited – I was about to go to the launch party of a new line of perfume, completely free of charge, dress paid for, drinks free, and my complimentary bottle of perfume sitting in front of me on my dressing table. I loved my job. Events planning sounded glamorous – and it was. But it was hard work. I’d been organizing this event for weeks, and finally, I was going to sit back and enjoy it.
“Have fun tonight, darling. Don’t forget to wear your ring – I’m sure there’ll be a lot of attractive young men there, and I want them to know that you’re taken,” Finn teased me.
“Silly – like I’m interested in any other men. Of course I’m wearing my ring.” I held up my left hand, displaying the glittering diamond on my fourth finger – proof of yet another event I would be planning in the near future – my wedding! I wanted to say I love my fiancé more than anything, and I did, but what I was feeling right now was, I love my job. And I couldn’t wait for my wedding! I already had a color theme picked out, and was deciding between coconut and raspberry cream or rum and vanilla for the wedding cake.
There was just one fly in my ointment, and I knew he was going to be there tonight: Max Adler. He was a new guy, who had sauntered into the office with confidence and charisma, devastatingly attractive and, I had been informed by the grapevine within hours of his arrival, he was single.
If I had been single too I’d have snapped him up the second our paths crossed. As it was, avoiding his flirtations was the most painful thing I had ever experienced. The first time I met him, I knew there was a spark between us.
“You’re looking cute today,” he’d drawled in his delicious Boston accent as we had been introduced. “That dress suits your figure perfectly.”
“I’m going to report you for sexual harassment,” I quipped at him, sending him a charming smile.
“Mmm, I like a woman who knows her own mind,” he smiled back. “I’m going to enjoy working with you.”
Things had got more dangerous, though, as the weeks had passed. Alone in the lift together, it was all I could do not to at least give him my trademark beaming smile. I tried to stay cool and distant, because what I really wanted to do was unzip his trousers and give my lips something better to do – and that was unacceptable for an engaged woman.
Still, even if I was never going to let anything happen between us, it did not stop me from dressing extra-carefully for the perfume launch in a perfectly-fitting sea blue cocktail dress, which sloped down in a gentle V to accentuate the line of my breasts, whilst sporting a slightly naughty slit up to mid-thigh. I knew that, paired with strappy silver stilettos, I looked stunning. And it was not flirting if I avoided him the entire night. Even if our eyes occasionally met across the room.
“I love you,” I told my fiancé as I went downstairs to get into the private limo the company had sent.
That was the last I thought of him that night.
The champagne flowed, the dance floor was always buzzing with activity, the canapés were delicious and the company was entertaining. It wasn’t until the night was getting on that Max and I crossed paths, my boss picking him out of the crowd as we chatted about the success of the launch.
“I’ve decided to put you together for the next project,” he smiled at us. “It’s a wedding – right up your street, Laura.”
“But-” I didn’t know what I was going to say, only I knew it was dangerous to be on a project with Max. “I already have a wedding to plan.”
“Two birds with one stone,” my boss smiled. “And I daresay Max will do a lot more to help you out than your fiancé will.”
I really hoped he wasn’t right. But the smile on Max’s face and the way his eyes slid appreciatively over my figure told me that I was being pretty optimistic in my hopes. I should have worn a less sexy outfit – what was it that made me so weak when it came to Max?
From the beginning, the sexual tension between us was excessively high.
“Right here,” Max indicated a gorgeous promenade in the latest venue we were scouting out. “We’d have the band. And over there,” he indicated a wide area girdled with roses, “the dance floor. The couple can have their first dance here,” he gestured to the small plinth we were standing on.
“I’m not sure there’s room to dance up here,” I said doubtfully.
“Of course there is. Here.” Max gently took my hands and placed one on his shoulder, one on his waist, and began rotating me slowly on the spot in a perfect waltz.