Greer studied her skimpy flapper costume and decided that tonight was the night that Asher Sutton would notice her.
She was nervous, of course. Crazy nervous. Greer was more of a cardigan-and-flats kind of girl. A blend-with-the-wallpaper kind of girl. She was the one that was always the designated driver, the one with the notes for the test, and the one that everyone counted on. Studious, reliable Greer.
And where had that gotten her? Abso-fricking-nowhere. So tonight? Tonight, Greer Chadha-Janssen was going to be someone else entirely.
She peered into the mirror, leaning close enough for her breath to fog. She kind of had to, because otherwise she couldn’t see a thing. But she was not about to wear her nerdy glasses tonight. Not when she needed to be her sexiest. She’d had her makeup professionally done, and with an airbrush. It felt thick, but in the brief moment she’d allowed herself to peer through her glasses, she looked awesome. The eyelash extensions were kind of annoying; she kept seeing something out of the corner of her eye and turning, only to realize it was an eyelash. But it was either that or fake ones again, and they had a terrible time of staying put.
The costumer she’d hired had selected a flapper dress for Greer because Greer was tiny. The woman at the shop had called it petite and ethereal. Greer was pretty sure those were code words for flat-chested and scrawny. The dress was tiny, though, the fringe of the skirt barely reaching mid-thigh, and the top was little more than a vee held up by two spaghetti straps. It was cut incredibly low, but the costumer was right—in this, she didn’t look flat as much as she looked dainty. So, flapper it was. Paired up with her long black hair curled into a million ringlets and a shiny sequined headband, shoes with a tall stiletto heel, and Greer felt like a new woman. A confident woman. A sexy woman.
And tonight? She was going to get her man.
She popped her glasses back on her face, headed out to the waiting sedan, and ignored the surprised look her driver gave her. It was nobody’s business if she wanted to dress out of character. She was a woman on a mission, and her mission was getting Asher to notice her.
As the sedan drove out of the city, Greer stared out the window and thought about Asher. Asher’s smiling face. The teasing look in his eyes when he was up to no good. The roguish grin when he’d been caught.
The cold, dead look that had been in his eyes for the last two years. Ever since his fiancée, Donna, had betrayed him and nearly torpedoed his business overnight. Ex-fiancée, she amended to herself.
He was single now, for the first time ever. He’d been with Donna since high school, before she’d ever known him. And then when he’d ended things with Donna, it had been too new, too raw. Asher was in a bad place. She’d left things alone. They had lunch like they always did every Monday, and Greer was supportive and friendly and never ventured into topics that might be awkward. She was the best friend she could possibly be.
And he still never noticed her. Month after month went by, and they continued to have lunch and continued to be friends. She’d started wearing lipstick and lower-cut blouses. She’d hinted that she wasn’t dating anyone.
She’d made a “big” move a few weeks ago at Gretchen’s bridal party dinner. She’d skipped her glasses, worn makeup, and dressed a little sexier. And what had that gotten her?
A smile and a brief hug, and that was it.
Okay, so she needed to be more aggressive. She’d make him notice tonight. Tonight, everything started over.
When the sedan pulled up to the driveway, the butterflies started in her stomach. Cars lined the front of the house, and she could see people spilling out onto the lawn. Festive lights decorated the front of the grand manor house, and everywhere she looked, there were couples, arm in arm. And here she was, solo.
She told herself she wouldn’t be solo for long. Hopefully.
It took a bit of courage to walk up to the front door, announce herself to the man checking the list, but once she was inside, the party was in full swing and she was just another person. Greer slipped her glasses off her face and tucked them into her clutch purse. She wanted to look as awesome as possible for when she ran into Asher.
Of course, there was a minor problem: Without her glasses, she couldn’t see Asher. She frowned into the sea of blurry faces, randomly following someone who looked like they knew where they were going. She was familiar with Buchanan Manor to a certain extent—she’d been there several times over the last few weeks to discuss wedding stuff with Gretchen—but tonight? It was a mess of color and people. Having her glasses off helped her shyness, though. If she couldn’t see people giving her judgy looks, she didn’t feel weird or nervous.
Maybe she could find the party planner she’d hired. As Gretchen’s wedding planner, she was theoretically in charge of all wedding activities. But since she planned to be, well, occupied during this particular party, she’d hired an outside planner on her own dime so she’d have more time to focus on Mission: Seduce Asher.
The person she was following went into the kitchen. Rats. She’d been following a waiter. Frowning to herself, Greer pushed her heavy black curls off her shoulders and turned around.
“Hey there,” said an unfamiliar male voice at her side.
“Hi,” she said absently, trying to peer around him.
“You here alone? Can I get you a drink?”
Oh. Was he hitting on her? She squinted up at him, not that that did much good. He was a blob with very dark hair and glasses, which meant he wasn’t Asher. “Actually, I’m looking for a friend.”
“Well, if you get tired of him and want to party, come find me.”
“Right, I’ll do that.” She steered away from the black-clothed blob into the midst of the mingling people, trying not to feel weird about the fact that a guy just hit on her. That never happened. She must look smoking-hot tonight. Well, that was nice.
“Greer?” A person in a dark outfit and a colorful scarf approached her from out of the crowd. “Wow, I hardly recognized you!”
That made two of them. Squinting hard, she leaned forward, peering. The woman’s hair was a brownish-blonde and pulled into braids and there was no telling what she was dressed as. But the voice was vaguely familiar. “Taylor?”
“It’s me! You like my costume?” She twirled, which looked like a blur, of course, and nearly crashed into a person walking past. “Sorry,” Taylor mumbled before moving back toward Greer.