Why, oh why, had she ever let her aunt talk her into this blind date? Molly wondered wildly. Carefully hidden behind a towering plastic fern, she had a clear view of the man. Even though he was halfway across the crowded restaurant, Molly was certain it was him!
Groaning softly, she gratefully accepted a complimentary glass of champagne from a passing waiter before parting the plastic branches for another peek at her date.
Lord, on second glance, it was even worse than she had first thought! Molly desperately downed her champagne. The man was leaning against a far wall, twitching nervously. He was short and bald, with the droopiest eyes this side of a basset hound. His skin was milky white, and apparently he had misplaced his chin, since his fuzzy growth of beard appeared to sprout from somewhere in his neck. What little hair he did have was gray and worn long; it hung limply down the back of his egg-shaped head, grazing the collar of his plaid polyester sports coat.
Molly frowned. What the devil was the matter with his pants? She craned her neck for a better look, and her sapphire eyes widened in horror. Lord, the man had shrunk his pants! The trousers, which were a riotous shade of lime green, stopped just above his ankles to reveal a pair of faded yellow sports socks. At least both his shoes appeared to match, Molly thought, as she grabbed another glass of champagne.
She sighed deeply as her eyes took him in. At least her aunt had been right about one thing: Jonathan Kent, Molly's blind date, did look exactly like his eighty-five-year-old grandmother!
"Are you hiding, or are you the plant inspector?"
Molly froze. The rich masculine voice was just close enough and soft enough to skate along her nerve endings, jerking her to attention. With as much dignity as she could muster, she pulled her head from between the plastic branches and turned to face the man. Her eyes went directly to the shock of copper hair atop his head. He looks like a fire hydrant, she thought giddily. The fiery curls were combed neatly, but several strands fell across his forehead, giving him a somewhat boyish look.
But this was no boy, Molly realized with a jolt as her eyes traveled to his face. And what a face, she thought dizzily: deep aquamarine eyes, a straight proud nose and a full mouth that was just made for kissing. As her gaze toured the length of him, she became aware of the width of his shoulders and his long lean frame. He towered over her five-foot-three frame, and she wasn't at all certain the immaculate gray, pin-striped suit he wore wasn't painted on; it molded his sculptured body perfectly, outlining every muscle, every bulge.
Blushing, Molly pulled her eyes up to a more respectable level. She stiffened. His eyes were doing a little touring of their own. She suddenly wished she had taken her aunt's advice and left a few buttons open at the neck of her dress. And it certainly wouldn't have hurt to have let her dark brown hair fall loose to her shoulders. The crisp French braid was fine for work, but somehow, with this man's eyes on her, the last thing she wanted to look like was a prim and proper kindergarten teacher. Why, oh why, hadn't she listened to her aunt and advertised her "wares" a little more?
"Are you hiding?" he repeated with a lopsided grin.
"Of course, I'm hiding," she whispered, lost in his eyes. They were fabulous--tiny flecks of green amid a sea of rich, deep blue.
"Who are you hiding from?" His easy tone was laced with humor.
"Not who," she corrected. "Whom."
"Whom are you hiding from?"
He chuckled softly, then threw up his hands. "I give up. Whom are you hiding from?"
Molly smiled weakly. "I don't know."