She was a wallflower, good enough to plan the party but shunted aside when the time came to enjoy it. A little attention could go a long way with a woman like that. Women generally found him an acceptable escort. Not that he was trying to take advantage of her. They could help each other. Whatever she wanted, he would offer. Probably he should just offer her a job. It would be far simpler, less likely to create false expectations. He could create a position, say, in public relations. That was the ticket. A job. Then again, work seemed to be a four-letter word in Palm Beach.
No one worked if they could help it. They lived off their trust funds—the same trust funds his firm wanted to administer. A job might not appeal to Miss Nyland, but something had to. He just had to figure out what it might be. The hand belonged to Felicia Gunning, one of the women proving difficult to detach. One of the reasons. Perhaps bluntness would work. I did. And if she did, the scene she would inevitably create would take place in relative privacy. Kurt hid out for several minutes, expecting the door to fly open at any second and Felicia to appear. Discretion, he reminded himself, was not the same as cowardice, though at the moment it felt exactly the same.
Juliana Nyland appealed to him far more. Plain and mousy, his sources had called her. But from what he had seen in the blurred, obscured photographs, she was no worse than average in her looks. Pleasant, if not spectacular. Frankly, he was tired. Tired of playing one role after another depending on who he was with and what he was doing.
Once he had the time to do it. Once he had the new office established. In a year or two, maybe. With a last look in the mirror, Kurt settled into his game face. He squared his shoulders, brushed back his hair and ventured forth, ready for whatever awaited. The ballroom lobby was empty save for a few smokers heading out the door opposite, and the couple standing near the ballroom entrance. Nothing blocked his hearing. Flutter your eyelashes.
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Fluff your boobs. Whatever it is that girls do for flirting these days.
Kurt circled round trying to see the woman better, but the man was just too big and she was too small. Now he could see her back, but not much else.
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A tendril of fine brown hair slid out of its pin and fell to curve softly along the fair skin of her shoulders, somehow making her appear vulnerable. He moved a step closer, but forced himself to stop long before he wanted to. She murmured something, her voice too quiet for Kurt to hear. Not that it mattered. The man was already talking again, stomping her words flat.
Damn it, Juliana, this is important. Kurt winced. Not addressed to himself, of course. Kurt had done his best to protect Katherine, but it had never been enough. Kurt watched her until she vanished into the glittering throng, fighting the urge to follow. Was he crazy to think he sensed that kind of bedrock serenity in her just from those few moments?
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He had to be even crazier to think he could steal that calm certainty for himself. Who was she?
Kurt swung around to look at the man again. No wife, no fiancee or anything back in wherever? The other man took it as encouragement—which it was—and went on. Especially about Juliana. And yet…. As Nyland said, she did have those connections with the Palm Beach community. Kurt had already intended to seek her out just for that reason.
Maybe marriage was the solution to his problem. The business problem. That came first, always. Kurt knew there was nothing to see. Kurt knew Paxton Properties had been systematically stripped of all its value since Bebe Paxton Nyland had inherited it from her father a few years ago. He frowned without letting it show.
Good God. The man was auctioning off his daughter to the highest bidder. Could he? Could he let Juliana slip through his fingers without even speaking to her? Without discovering whether that apparent serenity was real? Her social skills were. But if that were so, how did she accomplish all she did? Who was the real Juliana?
He itched to know. Tug Nyland disappeared through the ballroom doors and merged with the rest of the sharks. Kurt shook his head.
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Poor girl. Having Tug Nyland for a father was more than anyone should have to endure. So what was he going to do about it? And what made him think it was his job to do something anyway? Juliana Nyland was not his responsibility. But was it absolutely out of the question? Kurt went back into the shark tank—the ballroom—and headed toward the buffet table, talking to those people he knew, meeting a few new ones, operating on autopilot. All the while, he watched for her. Women expected that. A respectable wife was always good for business, but getting one required time.
Too much time, more than he had. Yet here was a wife virtually dropped in his lap, all signed, sealed and delivered.
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Kurt would. He wanted to give her a choice. Value for value. Strictly business. Was this guy one of the others Nyland mentioned? She put space between them and the man closed in again. Kurt scanned the crowd and spotted Nyland on the fringes, beaming merrily at the dancers. He seemed to sense Kurt watching and met his gaze, his grin changing to a sharklike smirk.
Nyland lifted an eyebrow, tipped his head toward Juliana and Facelift, and touched the side of his nose with a forefinger. Night of the Living Dead Continental, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Bryanston, Folded, Very Fine-. French Grande 47" X Halloween Compass International, Bus Stop 20th Century Fox, Folded, Fine. Jailhouse Rock MGM, Go to accessibility notice. Keyword Search. There are currently no items available for purchase in this Department.
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LOT Make Offer: Make Offer to Owner. This item's Owner is proactively entertaining Offers. Share this lot. Sell One of These Currency Converter. Auction Info. Directed by Irving Cummings. Unrestored lobby cards and vintage color-glos, double weight, glossy photo with bright color and clean overall appearances.