Gorgeous: Book One (Gorgeous #1) - Lisa Shelby
I can’t escape it.
It usually sets in earlier in the evening, but tonight’s event is less painful than usual.
But, the boredom has set in.
It's no one's fault.
You've been to one charity gala...you've been to them all.
This one is better than most. Elegant and classy yet somehow different than the norm. The band is pretty good, and the silent auction, surprisingly, has some unique and impressive items up for bid. My assistant can throw a mean gala, but whoever is in charge tonight, isn't too bad either. With Evelyn's impending retirement hanging over my head, maybe I should inquire to see just who is running the show here tonight.
As fine as the event may be, it's still the same old stuffed shirts and money men I see every time I attend one of these events.
This is my life.
The same meetings I attend at work each week. The same workout routine day in and day out. The same vapid women who only care about my name and my money. I seem to be stuck on the treadmill of life, and tonight doesn't appear to be changing my routine. This may be Portland and not San Francisco, but old men with money are the same no matter the city. At least Portland is a bit less stuffed shirt and a little more casual.
With the usual after-dinner monotony setting in and my donation made, it's time to find Dr. Evers, give him my best, and take my leave.
I join the good doctor and some of his colleagues, whom I met earlier in the evening, and clasp him on the shoulder. “Leo, you throw a great…”
My words are cut short by the sudden static in the atmosphere. When I move my line of sight ever so slightly to the left, I see the cause of the storm taking place in my chest at the same time my breath seems to falter. Across the room is a sight unlike anything I have ever seen.
Her chestnut hair is up, exposing the olive skin of her exquisite neck. She's too far away for me to see her eye color, but they're dark. Mysterious. Her smile...her smile is life-altering. She has the adorable elegance of Audrey Hepburn while being sexy and alluring at the same time.
Dr. Evers snaps me back to reality, although I’m not sure my reality will ever be the same. "Ronan, thank you for coming tonight. You were more than generous with your donation, and it's much appreciated. I hope you weren't coming over to say your goodbyes. The night is still young."
Seconds ago, saying good night had been my plan, but there is no way I'm leaving this ballroom without meeting her. I'm distracted and I know it's rude not to look Dr. Evers in the eye, but my actions are out of my control. I can't take my eyes off her.
"Not just yet. I think I need to take another trip around the silent auction and make sure I didn't miss anything. Thanks again for having me. You and your wife throw a great party."
Not waiting for his reply, I slowly make my way around the edge of the ballroom shadowing her as she works her way around the other side of the room. Watching her move is like watching a fine wine swirl around a glass. She is graceful and smooth, and damn, does she have legs. We both reach our opposite ends of the silent auction, and I watch her as she checks each table and makes notes on her tablet.
"Ronan, there you are!" Mrs. Evers sings as she approaches me. "What's tickling your fancy here, Mr. McKinley? You looking to bid on the trip to St. Barts?"
I didn't even realize there was a trip to St. Barts up for bid on the table in front of me. "Still deciding, Sheila. A man can't rush a decision this important. It's quite an impressive collection of items up for bid tonight. You've outdone yourself, as usual." I may be talking to Sheila, but every bit of my attention is focused solely on the woman now only one table over from where I stand.
"Ah, a very wise and decisive man. If I didn't know how focused you were with your work, I would wonder why you were still single. You really should make the time to meet someone and settle down."
"Maybe that wisdom and decisiveness is the exact reason I'm still single, Sheila." I don't continue because she's here. My mystery woman is now only