Vic and Ramona Stafford have been together for fifteen years and married for twelve. To the outside world they have everything most people dream of – an attractive spouse, a beautiful home, two smart, good looking sons, and a half-million dollar annual income. But no one knows what’s really going on between them. Do they have what it takes to keep professional pressure, loneliness and outside temptations from destroying their seemingly perfect marriage?
Just then one of the photographers Mona had hired to record the event stopped them and began snapping a succession of shots. Since the two of them were used to posing for the camera, they immediately assumed the position to make sure they wouldn’t come out looking crazy. Rayvon slipped his arm around her waist and flashed his dazzling grin. A minute later, another photographer Mona didn’t recognize positioned himself in front of them and did the same. Once the picture-taking was done, Rayvon signaled a roving waiter and took two glasses of champagne from his tray.
“Is your husband here tonight?” he asked nonchalantly as they sat at an unoccupied table.
“No. He’s out of town attending a conference.”
“Does he usually let you come to these things alone?” Rayvon asked with curious squint.
“He’s extremely busy,” Mona said as casually as she could manage.
He smiled. “He must be to leave a fine woman like you all by herself. Does he travel a lot?”
Goose bumps popped up on her arms at the way his gaze ran over her body. “Too much for my taste,” Mona replied, realizing she sounded snippier than she’d intended. “He’s the chief of surgery of the largest hospital in Atlanta. It comes with the job.”
“You don’t sound too pleased, though.” It was obvious he was fishing for information, but she didn’t take it as being nosy. As a matter of fact, she kind of liked the expedition.
“I’m not, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Rayvon angled his body closer and zeroed his rich umber gaze on her face. “If I had a woman like you, I’d never leave her all by herself.” His voice, deep and sensual, sent a ripple of awareness through her.
“And how would you imagine doing that?”
“I’d make sure she was so content, she wouldn’t want to go anywhere without me.” Mona shivered when he ran the back of his index finger over her cheek, down her neck to her bare shoulder. It seemed like ages since Vic had touched her like that. She took a deep breath in an effort to slow the pounding of her heart against her rib cage.
Well, he’d left no doubt in her mind about his intentions, but she wasn’t sure how to respond. It had been more than fifteen years since she’d had any romantic or sexual contact with a man other than Vic. She didn’t want to give Rayvon the wrong idea, but she felt as though she was floating on a cloud from the attention and compliments he lavished on her.
“Let’s dance,” he suggested, pulling her up by the hand after they’d sat silently for a little while watching the action on the dance floor.
Visions of the last time she’d danced before a crowd instantly rushed to her mind. The July Fourth barbeque was the last time she tried to get Vic’s attention, and she had gone about it the wrong way. All she wanted was to tempt her husband into joining her, only it backfired on her. Instead, Vic watched her from the sidelines until he exploded from embarrassment over the sexy twerk she’d done with his baby brother. He’d bellowed at her and stormed out of the yard. Her mother-in-law had quickly intervened and taken her inside for a probing heart-to-heart chat. This time she kept it as sedate as possible yet allowed Rayvon to see that she could move.
The photographers appeared to be intent on documenting Rayvon’s every move. Mona assumed their interest was because he was the new face of the Hawks. And a beautiful face it was. She watched him work his impressive body to the music then shook the thought out of her head when the song ended. She had no business entertaining sensual thoughts about this young man.
“I think I should get back to my duties. I am the hostess, you know.” She stood and smoothed the skirt of her gown with moist palms.
“I understand. I’ll let you get back to your responsibilities.”
When she turned to head toward the podium, he took her hand. “I’ll be calling you this week.”
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