I ACTUALLY HAD to stop beside the fainting couch just inside the room, because it looked like someone had planned the image. The bed was covered in blue dresses. In among the dresses were Jason and the women. They were all blond, blue-eyed, delicate, and looked like cousins or closer. They were all out of breath, and lying or sitting like theyd just finished doing something strenuous. The blue dresses near their faces made their eyes incredibly blue.

Trish stood to the side of the little party like shed fled the bed when the fun started. She stood behind a man in a suit who had to be Price, Sanchezs other half.

What did you guys do, I asked, have a dress fight?

Lisa pushed back a puffy blue slip and said, Yes. We are going to be in such trouble when the wedding coordinator sees the wrinkles, but it felt so good.

Trish bent over and picked up a dress that had fallen to the floor. If we hang them up now, they wont wrinkle.

Most of the women on the bed started picking things up and searching for hangers. But one of the women slid off the bed and came to me. She was taller than the others, taller than me by several inches, at least five foot eight, but still had that delicacy of bone that seemed par for the course.

She was wearing either a sheath dress or a slip with the thinnest of spaghetti straps that clung to her body to show every muscle, every curve. She didnt have enough body fat to really have curves. Her breasts were small and tight to her body. But she moved well, and the muscles that showed in her bare arms and the body of the dress were more than the muscles you get from working out to keep in shape. There was a physical potential to her that you didnt see in many women.

Jason bounced off the bed, literally, and caught her hand before she got to me. Anita, this is J. J.; she and I were in dance together all through school.

J. J. gave me an appraising look that I couldnt quite figure out. It wasnt just an old girlfriend looking at a new one, but that was in there. I couldnt read the look, and that bothered me a little.

I took her hand, carefully manicured but with nails short enough for function. She had a good grip. I take it youre still dancing.

She gave me a smile that was shy, eyes turned down, looking under her long lashes at me. The lashes were golden and very long, and the color had to be natural because mascara would have ruined it. Does it show that much?

The workout does, I said, and realized she seemed to have no intention of breaking the handshake. I had to draw my hand away from her. Her fingertips lingered on my wrist, and down my hand.

She was flirting with me. Great. I had no idea why, or what to do about it. Women always confused me when they hit on me. I kept forgetting that they could do that, or would want to. If it stayed this subtle I could ignore it, but for J. J. to be even this bold right out of the box made me pretty sure that it wouldnt stay subtle.

I gave Jason a look, as if to say, What have you told her about me?

He gave me a look back that said, Not my fault. I didnt believe the look. He moved between us and hugged me tight. He breathed against my ear, more than whispered, I did not tell her that you would be interested.

If he said it outright, I believed him, butI still didnt know what to do about it. I did what I always did when someone confused me: I tried to ignore her. The other women helped, by wanting to be introduced to Jasons girlfriend. First Jean-Claudes girlfriend, now Jasons. Sigh. You get a career, work your ass off for a reputation, and you still end up being introduced as someones girlfriend. Peachy.