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Cruising for Love--Part 1
A medley of lyres, mandolins and lutes intertwined in a pleasing melody as Tricia Ivy stepped into the cruise ship’s ballroom, wishing she had watched the New Year being rung in on television at home instead. She tugged at the bodice of her borrowed brocade gown, the cut appropriate for the century it represented, but totally too revealing as far as she was concerned. She touched the diamond necklace, dangling like a strip of sparkling lace at her throat.
Her brow wrinkled in annoyance. Why had she agreed to help Armand sell his creation and join him on this free excursion? Because, as usual, she needed the extra cash to pay the bills, and she’d wanted her girlfriends to know she could take a cruise trip just like them!
When lovers celebrated the coming of the New Year, what was she doing? Attempting to sell a piece of high-priced jewelry. And tomorrow? She was stuck sunbathing on the British Virgin Isles, wearing a pearl and shell necklace, earrings and bracelets to sell to the other passengers.
Tricia straightened her already stiff back, knowing that many of the attendees at the masquerade party had tons of ready cash. Any one of them surely would be interested in buying the diamond necklace she now wore for his ladylove. At least that’s what Armand told her. So where was he tonight of all nights? He was never late.
Perusing the crowded room where women flaunted floor-length gowns of taffeta, brocades and velvet, she noticed a few fastened their attention on the necklace. Good. Maybe a buyer would approach soon. Still, Armand was supposed to introduce her to the men who’d be willing to purchase such an item. No way was she going to waltz across the floor and hawk his wares without an introduction.
Then from across the room, she noticed a man watching her, dressed in a tux, one of society’s big players, wealthy, sure of himself, with old money and a totally hot bod. His intense stare dropped lower. Was he interested in the necklace? Or just the dip in her bodice?
The man’s dark eyes rose to meet her gaze, then his lips lifted in a slow, lazy smile. Her face heated with embarrassment.
Where in the world was Armand?
Heart of the Wolf, Destiny of the Wolf (Mar 1), The Bite of the Wolf (fall '09)