Little White Lies(3)

By: Kimberley Reeves




Once she had everything on, however, Miranda’s bravado began to slip. The dress conformed to her figure like a glove, exposing quite a bit more of her ample breasts than she was comfortable with and the stretchy material was clinging to her rear end for dear life. It fell mid-thigh, just three inches below where her nylons ended so any bending over at all would expose bare flesh.



The back of the dress dipped all the way to her waist so almost her entire back was showing, yet she wasn’t completely appalled by the way she looked. It made her feel sexy and gave her a little boost of confidence. Dolled up in Bri’s dress, Miranda wasn’t the plain Jane everyone thought she was.



An examination of the entire effect in the full length mirror brought a frown to her face. Something would definitely have to be done about her hair. It wouldn’t look right to have it pulled back, and she needed just a touch of mascara and lip gloss. Yanking out the clip and pins that made her look a bit like an uptight librarian, Miranda let it tumble free. It was long and straight so a few quick strokes of the brush was all it took to soften her features, and after applying the make-up, she was amazed at the difference in her appearance.



She wasn’t even sure anyone would recognize her and secretly hoped that was so. She’d worked very hard to maintain her prim and proper image and didn’t want it to fall to pieces over a skimpy dress and fancy high heels. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to show Holt there was a real woman beneath the dour office attire she always wore.



Miranda stuffed her things in the paper bag and hurried back to her desk. Since the party was in the Convention Hall on the ground floor of Devlin Shipping, she could leave everything here and come back for it later. At least she wouldn’t have to worry about where to put a key. As Holt’s personal assistant, she had the security code and could gain access to the Executive Suites anytime. Drawing in a deep breath, Miranda left the office and headed for the elevators. Less than five minutes later, she was standing in the kitchen talking to the caterers.



***



Holt stood in a corner close to the stage trying to make himself as invisible as possible. He gulped down the drink in his hand and snatched another from the tray of a passing caterer and downed half of it. Put him in a room full of high powered executives, politicians, or the rich and famous, and Holt was in his element. He understood power and arrogance and was comfortable with it, but here among his own employees he felt like an outcast. They had nothing in common, save Devlin Shipping, and he had no idea how to relate to them. Not that any of them made much of an attempt to carry on a conversation anyway, and that was just fine with him.



He scanned the room, impatient for Miranda to arrive. At least he was at ease with her and she’d run interference if any of the employees approached. He wondered what they would think if they knew how nervous it made him to be here. They’d never believe it, especially knowing what a hard-ass he was at the office, and that was the only thing that made being here tolerable.



He craned his neck, swearing under his breath. Where the hell was Miranda? She promised he would be in and out in no time and he’d already been here for a good twenty minutes. The room was filling up fast and the noise level was elevating by the minute as employees and their spouses, along with some of Devlin’s clients and vendors, got caught up in the celebration.



He was just thinking about the nice quiet evening he had planned for himself when he spotted the woman. Actually, her legs caught his attention first and his eyes worked their way up from there. Shapely and sexy, they led to a delightfully rounded bottom, tapered into a slender waist, and ended with a glorious mane of dark hair. He knew she wasn’t an employee or client, so it was possible she worked for one of his vendors. Which meant she wasn’t off limits.



One elegant hand snaked down her dress and tugged at the hem, and for one fleeting moment, Holt glimpsed bare skin. Heat pooled deep in his belly, and suddenly spending the night alone didn’t seem like such a great idea.



Setting his drink on the closest table, Holt confidently made his way across the room. Now this was something he was familiar with; seducing a woman into his bed. If she was married, he would do nothing more than introduce himself. If she was single, he intended to leave the party with her on his arm. He wasn’t more than three feet away from her when she moved off and wormed her way through the crowd.



Keeping his eyes glued to her backside, Holt had much less difficulty maneuvering around the guests; partly because they recognized him as the boss, but also because at six feet four, most people made it a point to move out of his way first. A few minutes into the hot pursuit, his intended prey stopped so abruptly he nearly ran her over.