Sun God Seeks...surrogate?(6)

By: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff


The baby opened her mouth and leaned forward. I could swear I saw a full set of gleaming, white teeth.

The man swept my hand away and moved the baby to his other hip. “No, no, Matty,” he said lovingly. “No biting.”

I gasped as I noticed little red puncture marks all over his hand.

Yikes!

He must have read my thoughts because he shrugged. “She’s teething.”

I made an uncomfortable little laugh and refrained from cracking any Addams Family jokes. Instead, I unzipped my coat and wiped my damp feet once more on the thick snow-trap rug.

“Wait here,” he said and then headed to the end of the opulent foyer, disappearing through a large doorway.

I scanned the room quickly and noticed an ornate crystal chandelier overhead, decorated with streamers—pink, of course—hanging down in uneven strips. Two shimmering suits of armor were situated on each side of the entryway, and the high-polish white marble floor displayed weird little circular mats that ran down the middle of the floor like steppingstones. Each mat had a large word printed on it. “Just. Say. No. . .” I frowned. “To. Naked. Clowns?”

Beyond a doubt, these were the worst holiday decorations I’d ever seen and this was one of the strangest women I’d ever met.

I stood there for several minutes listening to cheers and the clinking of glasses coming from the other room. I was dying to see inside. Was her entire house pink, too? I moved a few steps closer to what I assumed was the living room doorway, wondering if the man had forgotten about me.

I paced a few times before deciding how ridiculous I was behaving. I didn’t want to make a scene in front of her guests, but I wasn’t going to wait around all night. I wanted answers. Like, how she knew so much about me. Or how she’d managed to put a check in my pocket. And where she’d learned that Vulcan paralysis trick.

I took a deep breath and approached the end of the foyer. The crowded room with gold-leafed moldings and vaulted ceilings was in fact decorated in pink, including a hot-pink Steinway in the corner next to the extra-large fireplace.

And…clowns.

Really, really unhappy looking clowns.

Was it because Cimil had made them wear clothes?

Then I noticed everyone else. They were dressed to the hilt in tuxes and ball gowns.

Was this a party for the obscenely rich and gorgeous? I could swear every man measured at least seven feet tall and every woman had fallen out of the Victoria’s Secret catalog.

With friends like these, why in the world would Cimil’s brother want me? Couldn’t he find a better surrogate within this gene pool?

I suddenly felt like a skuzzy, little bug, the kind you might find living beneath your refrigerator stuck inside a cluster of dust bunnies. I’d come directly from work, so I still had on my white, button-down shirt (complete with spaghetti stains) and black slacks, with a giant black parka to complete my ensemble. My long, dark hair was pulled back into a tight bun at the nape of my neck. Though I didn’t consider myself a slight woman, at five foot six, I felt two feet tall in comparison to the stylish crowd.

I started to back away from the room, thankful no one had taken notice of me. My fury and I would come back in the morning when all of the Greek gods were gone. I know—a totally spineless move.

I was almost home free when a man, who stood with his back to me and was talking to a leggy blond, turned around. We locked eyes, and the air whooshed from my lungs. I’d never seen anyone like him. Pure male magnificence.

Like the other men in the room, he wore a tux and was close to seven feet tall, but his eyes…they were a mesmerizing turquoise green. His skin was smooth and deeply tanned, like he’d just flown in from the Bahamas. And his shoulder-length hair resembled silky caramel ribbons streaked with rays of sunshine.

Images suddenly flashed in my mind like an erotic slideshow of sweat-slicked skin, of steel-cut muscles intertwining with the soft limbs of my eager body, of flesh on flesh writhing in a primal rhythm under moonlit shadows. With one simple glance, he’d made me feel empty inside. Deprived. Hungry. And the look in his eyes promised salvation from the burning hole deep within my clenching stomach.

I swallowed hard, feeling my mouth go dry while every other nook and cranny of my body turned into a hot syrupy mess.

At first he studied me, narrowing his eyes, but then a quick smile flashed across his full, delicious lips.

My knees began to wobble, and I was about to tip over when Cimil came from behind and spun me.

“Penelope! What are doing you here?” she hissed.

“I…I…um.” Why the hell was I there? I could no longer remember.

“Dammit, girl! You’ll ruin everything!” She yanked me in the opposite direction of the gawking crowd back through the foyer toward another doorway. She dragged me down a long hallway with blond hardwood floors and several life-sized portraits of…well, they looked like—Pirates holding small jars?—before she shoved me inside a room and slammed the door behind us.

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