But in all other ways, it would be a horrible match.
She’d simply have to disabuse her brother about the possibility. It wouldn’t work. Not in any way.
Shantra dressed carefully for dinner that evening. She wanted to look nice and was ridiculously concerned with her appearance. Although even after all of her primping, she didn’t want to give the man the wrong impression. She was simply having dinner tonight with the man to help her brother. Nothing more. This was not a set-up.
In fact, she should talk to Ramzi and make sure that he knew that.
Glancing at her clock, she realized that she was already running late. If she hadn’t spent so much time changing clothes, she might have the time to visit her brother before dinner.
Ugh! Now she was late, she was almost hyperventilating at the idea of meeting the man and she was…good grief, she was tingling all over in anticipation.
She stood outside the living room where the family and important guests gathered before dinner for drinks. She shook her hands, trying to calm herself down.
“You’re being silly,” she told herself, then wished she’d worn something other than the black sheath dress in silk satin. She looked too…desperate, she thought. She should have worn the green dress. The green would have looked more conservative, maybe a little bit less like she was trying. Smoothing the black material down over her hips, she half turned around, ready to hurry back to her apartment to change. But she couldn’t do that! She was already late and her makeup would have to change!
Darn it! Why had she chosen this dress? It was all wrong! The man would think…he would think she was trying to impress him. And that definitely wasn’t the case tonight!
No, she’d just have to be late, she thought. She’d have to run back and change into the green dress. Five minutes! She wouldn’t change her makeup, she’d just switch dresses. And shoes! Yes, she’d have to change shoes as well because these shoes didn’t go well with the green dress.
“You look lovely,” a deep voice said from behind her.
Shantra spun around then looked up into the eyes of the very man she’d been wishing to avoid.
Pressing her palms against the wood of the door, she looked up at him, startled by his presence and hoping he couldn’t see how nervous she was.
Goodness, he looked magnificent, she thought. His broad shoulders and those dark eyes made her heart speed up and her stomach flip over several times. Her hand flew to her stomach, trying to stop the crazy fluttering, but it wasn’t working too well.
Pulling herself together, or at least, trying to appear as if she were more pulled together, she straightened her shoulders and took a deep breath. She was cool and in control, she mentally reminded herself. This was just a simple dinner, nothing more.
“Thank you,” she finally said, although it sounded way too breathy for her peace of mind.
His eyes smiled down at her as he moved slightly closer to her. “You’re nervous.” It was a statement, not a question. He took her hand and led her into the living room. “Why?”
He moved over to the bar and dismissed the waiter with a curt nod. The man immediately disappeared, leaving them alone.
“I’m fine,” she asserted. Shantra shivered, realizing how intimate this room could feel all of a sudden. She looked at the man who was smoothly pouring wine into two glasses, then walking over to her, handing her one.
He was too close, she thought.
And he didn’t say a word. He simply stood there, waiting. He sipped the wine, looking at her over the rim of the crystal glass.