THE CEILING OF THE ballroom was adorned with diamond chandeliers as far as the eyes could see. Between the chandeliers hung white see through drapes in a loop on the ceiling. All the elements in the ballroom came together to make it feel like the were no longer on earth, but a faraway, fantasy land.
Men were dressed in tuxedos and women were dressed in floor length ball gowns of every color imaginable. Reds, blues, and greens flowed around Allison as she stared at the scene in awe. An orchestra was playing classical music about three hundred or so feet directly in front of her, and a hardwood dance floor was erected directly in front of the orchestra where couples waltzed and swirled to the music. A ten foot buffet table sat on the left wall of the ballroom, with shrimp, cheese, fruits, roast beef, lamb, and…
“Sam…Sam is that a pig with an apple in it’s mouth?”
Samantha turned to look where Allison was pointing.
“Huh, what, where….Oh my, that IS a pig with an apple in it’s mouth!”
“This is a little much,” said Allison.
An usher dressed in a black tuxedo with a white bow tie and white gloves like the ones positioned outside the door bowed slightly to Sam.
“Madame, what party are you with, I can help you find your table.”
“Oh, I’m just her friend along for the party, she’s the registered guest,” said Sam, pointing to Allison.”
Allison turned to the maitre d’, “I’m with Abbots, Glen and Notto, PC. “
“This way ladies,” said the maitre d’ as he ushered Allison and Sam to their table. Allison and Samantha followed the maitre d’ through the round tables in the ball room.
Some people were drinking coffee, while others drank colorful alcoholic concoctions in martini glasses, wine glasses, and some cocktail glasses. Light feminine perfumes mingled with husky masculine scents as they made their way to their seats. Everyone was dressed in their Sunday best. Rich reds and gold saris’ worn by the Indian heads of state, along with bold yellows and greens of the Nigerian royalty, mingled with Dior gowns and Armani suits.
Allison was overwhelmed with the amount of money in the room. She glanced down at her simple but elegant black strapless gown that she picked up on sale at Macy’s and wondered if she looked as out of place as she felt. Could they tell her diamond earrings, necklace and bracelet, were bought as a set in the accessories department at Macy’s’ for twenty four ninety nine? It seemed like not even a pair of socks for these folks cost that little.
Too late to worry about that now. Allison pushed the thought from her mind, straightened her posture, held her chin up a little higher, and followed the maitre d’.
The AG&N table was filled, except for two seats spaced about three people apart.
“Oh shucks, we’re not going to be able to sit together Sam. You’re okay with that, right?”
“I’m a big girl, I’ll be fine.”
As Mr. Osmund saw Allison approach the table, he put his Jack Daniels and coke down, got up and strode over to her. At five foot six, two hundred and twenty pounds with an advanced case of male pattern baldness, Mr. Osmund looked like a penguin in his black tuxedo and white shirt, as he waddled his way over to meet Allison. A cute, squish-able penguin, but a penguin none the less. Allison had to bite her bottom lip to stop herself from snickering as she saw her boss approach.
“Allison, good of you to join us.”
“I’m sorry Mr. Osmund. It won’t happen again.”
She gave him a sheepish grin that he didn’t return. She heard him, like she’d heard him the last few weeks lecturing her about her less than stellar work habits.
“You’re a great accountant Allison, but your tardiness and absence are unacceptable.” If Mr. Osmund and her father weren’t friends from college, she wondered if she would still have a job.
“Come, I want you to meet a few people.” He hoped the opportunity to audit such a big and important client like Anderson Properties, to possibly further her career, and for once everything to go well, would give her the motivation she needed to recommit herself.
He introduced her to several potential clients, and observed how she dealt with them. She was smart, diligent, and didn’t miss anything. That was one of the reasons she was valuable to the company. With his guidance, Allison had developed into a sharp CPA with a penchant for saving their clients money, streamlining their practices, and being a ruthless auditor. Until lately.
“Mr. Simmons, this is Allison Caine, our lead CPA on Anderson Properties.”
“How do you do, Ms. Caine. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ve heard much about you.”
“I hope all good things. I wouldn’t want to scare you away.” Allison smiled as she shook
Mr. Simmons hand and sat down at the seat with her name on the chair.
She’s a live wire Mr. Osmund. This should be an interesting week.” replied Mr. Simmons.
“Why is that?” asked Allison.
“Because I hear you will be working closely with Mr. Anderson, and he is, how do you say it… quite the character.”
Trying to hide her annoyance at even the mention of Bryson’s name, Allison nodded slightly and turned her attention to the striking woman to her right. That’s how it went for the next forty five minutes. Small talk was exchanged with everyone around the table.
Allison glanced over at Sam chatting with a woman in her late fifties. Catching small snippets of the conversation, Allison could have sworn she heard Sam discuss the merits of 1920s big band music versus todays popular music. Shaking her head, Allison excused herself and made her way to the buffet table.
How would Sam know about big band music. She was such a suck up.
Allison wanted meat, and lots of it. The thought of it made her mouth water. Allison made her way through throngs of dignitaries and reached the buffet table and went to work.
At least it’s not carbs, she thought.
Allison discreetly placed a respectable, at least to her, amount of sliced roast beef on her plate and proceeded to check out the lamb on the other side of the table. Not interested, she headed back to her table. Before she could get there, the back of a large tuxedo collided with her roast beef.
Allison watched as her beloved protein somersaulted it’s way to the marble floors. Slightly stunned that someone could be so clumsy and or careless she started to dread the walk back to the buffet table. Her feet were starting to swell in her four inch heels and she didn’t know what to do.
Frustration bubbled in her veins. She didn’t need this. All she wanted was her roast beef and come to think of it, a bed. Was that too much to ask?
“I’m sorry, I did not see you there. Don’t worry about the mess, I’ll have one of the matire d’ take care of it,” said Mr. can’t watch where he’s going.
With fire in her soul, Allison forced her eyes away from her beloved roast beef on the floor and searched for the deep husky voice of the culprit. If Allison wasn’t so annoyed and frustrated, she might have found the voice sexy. Now, she was ready to kill.
For a second Allison considered her strong emotional response to the accident. After all, she wasn’t a hot head. It was really no big deal. All she had to do was brush it off and either get more food, or move on. But a small beast stirred in Allison. She was hungry and wasn’t going to take it anymore.
She stood straight up and stared at the man in front of her. She drew in a sharp breath and touched her hand to her mouth.
OH MY GOD!
Stunned into silence, Allison tilted her head up to meet the eyes of the six foot, three inch height of the man in front of her. His broad shoulders filled his tuxedo and took up her vision. All sound and movement disappeared around her. They became the only two people in the massive room.
His eyes glowed and his golden skin sparkled under the chandeliers. His masculine, strong face stared back at her in awe. He was gorgeous. Greek God gorgeous. As gorgeous as she remembered him. Commanding eyes, and strong features. His beautiful face placed on top of his big strong body sent familiar electricity racing down her spine. Thoughts of his hard, naked, body stretched out above her , as he traced his big rough hands down her body to rest on her nipples sent shivers through her body and liquid heat to her core. Just like that, she remembered being in his arms again, being claimed by him, body and soul.
The force of the sensations made Allison’s knees weak. When she felt herself wobble, she reached back to hold onto the chair behind her.
That momentary distraction snapped her out of her flashback. She shook her head slightly to clear any remaining thoughts that threatened to creep back into her consciousness, and armed herself with a steely exterior.
Allison grabbed his hand. A charge of electric heat stung her fingers and left butterflies making a home in her stomach. The erotic memories threatened to enter her consciousness once again. Shaking it off, she dragged him to a deserted corner of the ballroom while one of the maitre d’ busied himself cleaning up the broken plate and roast beef.
He followed with no resistance.