Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Only a Kiss ~ Part 3
Tilde gestured around the room. “This room is filled with eligible, rich, men for you and your sister. I’m here to find you a husband.”
“Please don’t,” begged Ana.
“Don’t what?” Tilde cocked her head. “Find suitable spouses for my daughters I love dearly, insuring they have a financial security for life?”
Before Ana could respond the sound of silver tapping crystal echoed through the room bringing it to silence. Everyone looked up to see Charles’ mother, Elizabeth, tapping her wine goblet. “Please, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to take your designated seats so we can dine.”
Ana felt a wave of relief flood over her as she excused herself from her mother to take her seat next to Cindy at a large wedding party table in front of the dance floor. As she walked across the room, she said a little prayer that by some miracle she would be spared of her mother’s matchmaking skills.
She shivered as she thought of the last date her mother had set up. He had been the definition of a stereotypical stock broker with slicked back hair and greedy green eyes. During their entire dinner date, he spoke of nothing but how much money he had made. Ana guessed by his tone and his occasional creepy winks that most of his money was not made by legal means.
As Ana tried to shake the hibbie jibbies away she had contracted just by thinking of the stock sleaze ball her foot caught something hard. Ana flung her hands out as her balance gave way and waited to hit the floor. This one small move would make her the laughing stock of the wedding of the year.
She was surprised as two strong arms locked around her waist and brought her upright before a scene could be made. Ana looked up and felt her heart swoon as two soft brown eyes looked back at her. They reminded her a brown sugar and as she let her gaze over the rest of the gentleman’s face she felt it was just as sweet.
“Are you okay?” asked the man, keeping his firm embrace around her waist until he was sure Ana had her footing.
She delicately touched his upper arms and gave him a warm smile. “Thanks to you, I am.”
He returned her smile, sending warmth sailing through her body. I could stare at that smile for a lifetime, she thought.
The gentleman let out an uneasy chuckle as he released his hands from her waist. “I guess I should unhand you now.”
“Oh, you don’t have to,” said Ana, then felt her cheeks rise with color. “I mean, would you mind escorting me to my seat? Seems I can’t trust my own feet to get me there. Would you mind Mr. …” She paused and waited for him to fill in the blank.
“Mr. Morrow,” said the man, “but please call me Brett. And you are?”
Ana extended her hand, which Brett shook gently and didn’t release. Ana loved the way her hand felt in his. It was if her right hand had suddenly found its soul mate. “Anastasia Durrant, but please call me Ana.”
“But Anastasia is such a beautiful name.” He bent slightly giving Ana a soft peck on the back of her hand. “Would it be too forward for me to call you by your given name?”
“I would like that,” said Ana, trying to keep herself from giggling like a little school girl as he tucked her hand in the crook of his arm and walked her toward her seat.
Brett let go of her hand momentarily as he pulled out her chair and then helped her in it. “I do hope you’ll save me a dance later,” he said as he slid her chair into place.
“Absolutely,” said Ana.
Brett gave her a wink as he walked to his table and Ana let out a low, happy sigh.
“What was that all about?” asked Cindy, as the wait staff started to serve the first course.
“He was just helping me to my seat,” said Ana. “I tripped as I was walking over here and he caught me before I could fall.”
Cindy giggled. “Did he? Seems like you’ve fallen pretty hard.”