"Eva, that dress was made for you.” Cate, my best friend and roommate said as we stepped out of the cab and made our way into the converted warehouse.
"Thanks, it's not too much?" We took the stairs up to the third floor rooftop deck overlooking Boston harbor.
"Definitely not too much. It's perfect. I'm sort of jealous.” Cate giggled. The dress was a bright white Carolina Herrera with peach and lavender Aztec accents down the center. It hit right at the knee and had a high neckline, which gave the dress a classy feel, but the fit was just snug enough to be sexy. My dark hair pulled back in a messy chignon, vintage chandelier earrings and a pair of nude Louboutin pumps completed the look.
We stepped onto the enclosed rooftop with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the water. Cate was a Boston-based fashion designer with a popular boutique on Newbury Street, so she had gotten us the exclusive invite to celebrate the opening of a new store on her block.
Cate swiped two glasses of champagne from a waiter that was passing by and our eyes scanned the room assessing the crowd. I'd just taken my first sip of champagne when I noticed a guy across the room who seemed to command the attention of everyone around him. He had a statuesque model on his arm with long, blonde hair and eyes that I'm sure could shoot daggers. She had a protective hand on his forearm while he seemed to be ignoring her.
"Carter Morgan, 28-year-old sexy CEO, named youngest billionaire by Forbes, and a diehard modelizer,” Cate scoffed.
"Modelizer?" I laughed.
"He only dates models. That's Nikki Vilanova with him, model du jour.” Cate rolled her eyes. “She's always hanging on his arm."
I took another sip of my champagne and pondered him thoughtfully.
He had a defined jaw line and fine features with a hint of a five o’clock shadow. His hair was the color of toffee and tousled in that just-had-sex sort of way. He was without a doubt sexy, but when he turned his head and his eyes met mine, the air left my lungs. He had striking steel blue eyes that peered through dark eyelashes. His eyes had an air of danger that made him irresistible. After a few beats one thick eyebrow arched perfectly at me as if in question. With that I turned back to Cate and drank the rest of my champagne in one drink, pretending that Carter Morgan hadn't just swept the air from my lungs.
The night was winding down as I stood by the windows overlooking the harbor. Cate was off knocking elbows and networking with other people in the industry, and I was waiting for her to find her way back to me so we could head home. I'd only been in town a few days and had been killing myself trying to get unpacked. Staying out late on a Monday night didn't sound like a great way to start a busy week.
"Great view,” a deep voice murmured next to me. I jumped in shock and some champagne splashed over the side of my glass and landed on the stranger's gray herringbone suit. My eyes followed the lapel up to that ruggedly handsome face I had locked eyes with earlier.
"Oh my God, I am so sorry.” I put my glass down on the floor and fumbled with the clutch I had brought looking for a tissue to clean the mess. Carter Morgan looked down at his jacket and irritation flashed across his face before he put his hand on my arm.
"It's alright.” Carter's gaze met mine.
"I’m sorry, I'll pay to have it cleaned. If you send the bill to me. Here…" I bent to fumble in my clutch for something to write on. Carter Morgan had me flustered, and mortified, and rambling.
"I’ve got it. Really.” He squeezed my arm and his eyes flashed with an intensity I'd never seen before. My heart quickened and my palms tingled. He looked down and back up again, as if to inspect me with a critical eye.
"Carter Morgan.” He held out his hand.
"Evangeline Austin.” I took his hand in mine. He held it tightly, for a few extra beats than necessary, while his eyes seemed to penetrate to my soul. The air crackled with energy between us and I wondered if he felt it too. I didn't want to let go of his hand. I wanted to run my fingers through his perfectly tousled hair. I wanted to place my other hand along the sharp angle of his jaw and feel the stubble beneath my fingertips.
"Hey Eva, are you ready? Everyone who's anyone has come and gone.” Cate bounced up to me and then froze in her tracks when she spotted Carter and my hands locked. "Uh… hi, I'm Cate Evans.” She stretched her hand out to Carter. His eyes flicked away from mine and he nodded in her direction.
"Well Evangeline, despite that fact that you may have ruined my favorite suit, I hope to see you again.” Carter flashed me a half smile. “Ms. Evans.” He nodded at Cate and then he dropped my hand and with that Carter Morgan was gone. I was left standing dumbstruck, my heart pounding furiously in my chest.
"Well, that was intense.” Cate turned to follow him with her eyes.
"Yeah.” the breath I was holding whooshed out of my chest. I felt part relief that he was gone and I could breathe again, and a yearning for him to return and live inside the sparks of energy that bounced between us.
"So what did he say?" Cate looked at me.
"Nothing.” I frowned, trying to discern what had just happened.
"Nothing?" Cate raised an eyebrow at me as if I were withholding information.
"Really, nothing. His name. He said that it was a great view. Really, nothing.” My eyes shifted to the path he'd taken in retreat.
"Well, he is something isn't he?" Cate said wistfully.
"That he is.” I shook off the intense energy he seemed to leave behind. "Ready?" I looped my arm in Cate's and we headed for the door and the cool New England night beyond.