Part 2 - Chapter 16 - The Sun Goddess

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While waiting for Hailee to come and get me, I sat in my room and fidgeted. The knot in my necktie was a little off. While fixing it, I heard a knock at the door.

Fearing that it might be Gerty returning, I wasted no time in opening it.

Not Gerty. Hailee stood in front of me, looking like a sun goddess. My heart double-timed it.

She wore a strapless yellow gown, hemmed at her ankles. The color was a perfect match to my necktie. From her breasts to her waist the gown's fabric was tightly woven, but ruffled accentuating her slender torso. Below her waist, the fabric loosened into multiple layers that made it look like she flowed instead of walked. Completing her look were matching purse, and long, dangling diamond earrings.

"Aren't you going to invite me in?"

I remembered to breathe. "Yeah, sure."

She walked into the room ahead of me and twirled. "What do you think?"

I'd never seen Hailee wear her hair in this way. Parted at the side, her long brown locks hung across her right shoulder exposing her left ear. She didn't appear to be wearing lipstick, maybe gloss. Her nails were French manicure perfect.

"I don't know what to say other than you are beautiful. Look at you." I extended my arms inviting an embrace.

She took a step back and raised a hand. "Tut, tut, mind the hair and dress. My team has spent hours on me. Let's save the hugs until afterwards."

"Sorry."

"The dress is Dior," she said as if that would mean something to me. "It's a ruffled bodice A-line ankle length chiffon. I'm not normally braggadocio, but I must say this gown looks fantastic on me."

"No, Hailee, it's you who makes the gown look good."

"Aww, don't you make me cry." She stepped forward and laid a palm against my chest. This close, her fragrance intoxicated me. She said, "Don't move. I'll be right back."

Moments later, she returned with the yellow carnation from the vase on the dinette. She pinned it to my lapel. "The color of the carnation and your necktie should have been a clue as to what color you'd see me in."

"I guess I'm clueless."

She giggled. "You haven't tried the strawberries or the champagne."

"I was hoping to share all that with you."

She considered. "Sure, later, but now we need to go."

I led the way to the door but stopped before touching the knob. I turned and studied my date. So breathtaking. So beautiful. "Hailee, I just want you to know that I'm honored. Billions of men on this planet want to be in my shoes right now."

It took a few moments before she spoke. "Your friendship means a lot to me. I'm the one who is honored."

When we reached the elevator, the two security guards stepped aside. Goatee said, "You look lovely tonight, Ms. Morgan."

"Thank you."

"Do you want one of us to ride down with you?" Mutton chops asked.

Hailee took my hand. "That won't be necessary. Sing will take good care of me."

After the elevator door closed, Hailee said, "People are bound to recognize me. I don't care if they want to engage in conversation, but don't let anyone touch me. Also, we have no time right now for autographs."

With that reminder, I shifted into bodyguard mode and released her hand. "Let me stand between you and the elevator door. Don't move in front of me."

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