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One Perfect Night

Written by Teresa Southwick

Chapter Six

Julie hadn't known about his childhood, that his parents got married because they'd had to, then ignored him. That's something he probably would have revealed if they'd had a chance to spend more time together. Now he was asking for that chance.

The way her legs were shaking, it was tempting to sit, but that would look like an invitation for him to stay. Now that she'd heard him out she wasn't sure what to do. The longer he was here, the more she wanted to say yes to anything and everything he asked. But that would risk being hurt again. And yet, what if her instincts from that one perfect night had been right?

She reminded herself of the last time he was here. She'd said yes to him without words. A kiss was all it had taken, and he'd swept her away, literally. He'd lifted her in his arms and carried her into the bedroom. Granted, it wasn't far, not up the staircase like in Gone With the Wind, but she'd fallen for him, for the romance. Then she'd crashed back to reality with a thud when he pushed the eject button on their relationship.

She lifted her chin a notch. "Thanks, but I don't think there's anything you could ask that I'd say yes to."

A smile curved up the corners of his mouth. "That's because you haven't heard the question yet." He cleared his throat the way he always did before beginning his remarks at hospital meetings. "Every year Mercy Medical Center holds a fundraising event to benefit medical services for children."

She knew before he said it. "The Mardi Gras ball."

It was a major social event in Las Vegas. Anyone who was anyone—including the governor, state politicians and hospital bigwigs—attended. The cost was somewhere in the neighborhood of a bazillion dollars a plate.

"Yes," he confirmed. "You told me that last year you won a ticket to the ball through an employee raffle."

It had been her Cinderella moment. She'd bought a fabulous dress and shoes, and had marked off the days on her calendar. Then she got the flu. And not the kind she could've taken decongestants and cough meds for. Fate was cruel that way. Her flu had been the stomach kind, and there was no way she was going to have her fairy-tale night.

"I wasn't able to attend," she said.

"So you mentioned." The grin he slid in her direction said he knew how disappointed she'd been at not being able to wear the dress and see all the other dresses, shoes and jewelry, and what it would mean to her to get another chance to go. "As the hospital's VP, I've been given two tickets to attend. The thing is, it's formal. Ball gowns."

"For the men," she teased.

"Great idea. People would pay a lot to see the senate majority leader in sequins and silk."

She laughed then forced a neutral tone. "I've heard it's quite the shindig."

He met her gaze and his own was serious. "I'd be honored if you'd let me escort you. It could be your second chance at a happy ending. Our second chance."

This was like being on a diet and working above a donut shop where just breathing added density to your thighs. It was too much of a temptation to resist. Apparently she had far too much of her mother's DNA to tell him no.

But this didn't count as waiting around for a man. This was about a second chance for the dress and shoes. To feel like a princess. It was a girl thing.

"I happen to have something to wear. I'd love to go to the ball." Though she didn't add the words with you.

"Thanks, Jules, for giving me a chance to show you we can have a perfect date and I won't disappear."

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About the author

I discovered my love for books through being lazy. In a high-school hi...

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Teresa Southwick

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