My ire turned to horror when Candy fixed her predatory gaze in my direction. Her voice echoed off the ballroom’s high ceiling. “David, look who came home! We haven’t seen you in years!”
I could hardly refuse her beckoning claw. Everyone was watching. I rose, painfully aware that my clothes were wrinkled from travel, and that I had just fallen out of my car, with no chance to brush my hair or check my makeup. Was I even wearing makeup? I approached them feigning delight.
“Oh, aren’t you a sight?” cried Candy, clutching one of David’s impressively firm-looking biceps as she eyed me. “I admire women with the courage to completely ignore how they look. That takes such confidence! Didn’t I always say I admired her confidence?” The breathtaking David looked apologetic, but I hated the thought that he might say something sympathetic.
I plastered a beaming smile on my face. “Isn’t this fun? I never imagined I’d be surrounded by romantic heroes.”
“Makes me want to be a damsel in distress,” purred Candy, glancing at David. To ensure he couldn’t get a word in edgewise, she blurted at me, “But you would never bid.”
On impulse I said, “Of course I would. It’s for a good cause. I had my eye on. . .” I looked wildly around, seizing the hand of the fantasy bachelor unluckily gliding past. I saw only a black cape, so he must be Zorro, or a vampire. “This one!”
The caped man turned, and I found myself blinking into the surprised face of Calvin Seersucker.