Thomas Remington Endicott Younger, the fourth, or Trey to everyone except his mother and grandfather, wondered if life really did begin at thirty. He had just announced his retirement from professional football due to a knee injury in the Super Bowl and now his life was one big blank calendar. Then he wondered if he’d be able to get out of the ballroom alive if someone yelled fire. Probably not. He’d be trampled under the dozen pair of designer shoes worn by the women who surrounded him.
Between his sister, his teammates and his former assistant, every over processed, over made up gold digger in the state had been assembled to vie for his attention. Too bad he had already bedded and rejected nearly all of them. The ones he hadn’t tasted already were cut of the same cloth. Cloth he didn’t want to be wrapped in.
Unfortunately he’d brought it on himself. He’d been making noises about settling down, wanting to meet someone special. But no woman would do. A tomboy had claimed his heart and these interchangeable pieces of arm candy could never match up.
Looking past the women toward the door with the idle wish he could make a break for it, he saw Joan step into the room. “Excuse me, ladies. My sister just came in and I need to speak with her.”
A look toward the open bar caught the attention of his single friends who watched him with amusement and a touch of jealousy. At his raised hand and desperate look three men approached. They were able to distract maybe half of the women crowding around him.
He eased his way toward the edge of the remaining crowd, holding his breath to keep from choking on the cloying, overpowering scents of clashing celebrity perfumes. Good thing no one could smoke in the building or the place would explode in a perfumed fireball.
He jumped when Ashley Banks patted the front of his tuxedo slacks then cupped his bored and flaccid cock as she purred in his ear. “Find me later, lover. I have a special gift for you, but you’ll have to open it in private.”
“Uh, sure, Ashley.” Trey walked away, her suggestive tone and promise of sex forgotten before he’d taken three steps.
Once he’d free himself of the bimbo brigade he saw that Joan had not come to his birthday party alone. He couldn’t see the woman’s face, but the raven tresses that fell past her shoulders brought to mind his dream woman. He hadn’t seen her in years, though he thought of her often, usually at the most inopportune times.
Dropping his gaze from her dark hair to the lush curves covered with black denim and leather, Trey felt his cock twitch with interest. None of the other females in the room had affected his pleasure center like this and he had yet to see this woman’s face. Whoever she was, he vowed not to let her escape without learning everything he could about her. Maybe he could talk her into visiting his suite upstairs.
When she turned slightly and he saw her profile for the first time, his heart clenched and blood surged to his cock. He shifted from mildly interested to hard as steel in two heartbeats. Picking up his pace, he brushed past two more women who looked predatory.
“Joan, you’re late.” Though his eyes never left the woman by her side, he brushed a kiss on his sister’s cheek. “We’ll talk later about your cute idea of appropriate guests for my party.”
“Hello to you, too. Happy birthday.” Joan kissed his cheek.
Trey turned to face the woman. His woman. The woman he would spend the rest of his life proving his love. She would never get away from him again.
Wide amber eyes met his. Scarlet tinted lips smiled as she extended her right hand. “Happy birthday, Trey.”
Her breathy contralto voice wrapped around his heart. Memories and fantasies he’d been trying to forget since Joan had introduced him to the angel faced tomboy in a too big T-shirt and too short jeans flooded back.
“Where the hell have you been, Molly? Fuck I’ve missed you, angel.” Ignoring her hand he wrapped both arms around her and pulled her tight to his chest. Lowering his head, he kissed her.