Strong and Sexy

She rushed into Shayne Mahoney’s party as if there was a firecracker on her ass; wobbling on heels she clearly wasn’t comfortable in, wearing a little black dress that revealed pale, porcelain curves most people found unfashionable these days.

Not Shayne. Nope, he loved curves.

The woman’s dark hair was piled haphazardly on top of her head, held there by two yellow pencils. Interesting choice for a formal cocktail party. So was the way she moved into the large reception lobby, her gait a little awkward, her smile broadcasting her nerves.

Very interesting.

She wasn’t his type. Not because she wasn’t tall, stacked and model-ready, but because she pretty much screamed fish out of water.

All of the women he’d dated lately – hell, ever – had been confident. Bold. Overtly sexy.

And, as Brody and Noah would tell him, none of the women he’d dated had managed to hold his interest.

There was a message there, he knew, but he didn’t care. He shifted to move away, but then something had him turning back, just as the woman tripped over her own feet. As he started toward her, she managed to catch herself, then furtively glanced around the crowd to see if anyone had noticed, a self-conscious gesture that made him smile.

Definitely not confident, bold, or overtly sexy.

And yet something about her seemed incredibly appealing, and not just because in a sea of pedigreed roses she stood out as the lone wildflower, but because she seemed familiar.

He hadn’t slept with her, he knew that much. He hadn’t flown her in one of his planes, or for Sky High Air, and he hadn’t worked with her.

So who was she?

A server passed her, and she took a flute of champagne, flashing the guy a quick smile that could break a heart at fifty paces because it was real, it made her more than just pretty, but someone he couldn’t take his eyes off of.

And yet the server didn’t smile back, which pissed Shayne off. Granted, she wasn’t fake-tanned or gym-toned like the other women here, and no, she wasn’t especially graceful, and clearly felt out of her element, but she was a guest, and as such, deserved the same respect the others received.

Shayne would talk to the server, that was for damn sure, though it would do little good. The people here tonight were shallow, all of them. Hell, Shayne himself had been hit on no less than three times before the party had even gotten started, including Michelle, a woman he’d stopped seeing when she’d gotten a little too possessive after two dates.

But this woman wasn’t hitting on anyone, she was trying to be invisible. Interest piqued for the first time in days, he kept his eye on her. She was attempting to tuck some of her wayward hair back into its constraints, not being successful in any way as the strands immediately slipped free again, brushing over her throat, her shoulders.

Yeah, she was a complete wreck.

An adorable, sexy, complete wreck.