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The next morning Virginia debated over phoning Spinelli and calling the whole thing off. She could feign sudden illness, but that would look cowardly. She could claim she had a prior commitment, but he'd know she was lying. She even called her parents, but they told her to go, offering to stay with Janine until Virginia got home. Thanks, Mom, Dad, so much for that excuse.

The deliberations continued until she finally decided it was only one evening, so she grabbed her purse, ignored her doubts, and headed to the address listed on the slip of paper.

She spent an hour in the store, finding a dress with the help of a very attentive salesman. Luckily, it didn't need any alterations. When she took a look at the price tag, she almost passed out. Noticing her reaction, the salesman was quick to reassure her that Mr. Spinelli would cover it.

Somehow, she didn't feel all that reassured.

Hair and makeup appointments were next. Then she added a nail appointment to the pampering. It was blowing her budget, but she wanted to do justice to the dress.

By five o'clock she was back in her room, standing in front of the mirror, marveling at the transformation. That salesman sure knew his stuff; the dress was incredible. It was sleeveless, skintight, and had side-slits that came all the way up her legs, almost to her hip bones. Small, white, star-shaped appliqués had been hand-sewn onto the skin-colored material, each one outlined—also by hand, the salesman had assured her—with tiny crystal beads. It gathered slightly at the shoulders, then flowed down into a plunging v-shaped neckline, showing off just enough cleavage to let everyone know she had it without throwing it in their faces. It drew in at the waist, hugging her body, flattering curves she didn't even know she had, before falling softly to the floor.

"Wow," Virginia muttered as she moved and watched her reflection, the overhead light catching the crystal beads so that they sparkled like diamonds. It was as if the stars were twinkling. With the color being so close to her skin tone, it looked like someone had come along and painted them onto her naked body.

She made her way to the living room and looked out the front window just in time to see the limo pull into the driveway. "Calm down," she whispered as her heart started to pound.

Louis got out of the car carrying a stuffed turtle. She laughed, but her mirth faded away when he opened the back door. Shiny black shoes were the first thing she saw before Spinelli stood tall in a black tuxedo. He smiled at his driver as he ran a hand through his hair.

She sucked in a breath. "Not fair. How can I compete with that," she moaned.

Both men approached the house.

She started to hyperventilate. "What the hell are you doing, Virginia? That man out there is Mark Spinelli," she muttered. For a moment she considered not answering the door but knew she couldn't do that if she wanted to keep her dignity. Hearing the tap, tap, she took a few deep breaths . . . then walked over and opened it.

There he was, Mr. Gorgeous, looking right at her.

She thought she heard a muffled "wow" come from Louis, but it was hard to tell who said what with all the "wowing" going on in her own head.

The two of them stood riveted, each concentrating on the other.

Louis was the one to break the spell by clearing his throat and holding up the turtle. "I'll just put this in here." He skirted past Spinelli and into the house.

Good manners prevailed when Virginia pulled her eyes from that blue stare to give Louis a smile. "You don't need to buy her something every time you come over, Louis."

The Dangerous Ones [✔️] (#1 in the Chilvati Series)Where stories live. Discover now