Along Came Pauly by Chris Redding
There isn’t enough L’Oreal on the planet to cover my white trash roots, Daria Jacks thought this as her black pump went tripping down the long, elegant staircase. Without her. The shoe clicked and clacked against the marble steps.
Her date, Samuel Lafayette, stiffened next to her.
The old adage about being able to dress her up but not take her anywhere came to Daria’s mind. Outclassed once again, her gaze swept over a ballroom filled with people who’d been born into money.
She’d been the kid with skinned knees for every major event in her life, except her birth. Each school picture sported a bandage on some part of her face.
At least there were no reporters at this event. No one to record her gaffe for posterity. More importantly, no one to ask her about her new-found father.
Opting for a more demure stance, she didn’t chase after the footwear. Instead, she held her head high and her arms relaxed at her side as if nothing happened. As if no one could clearly see she wore just one shoe.
The errant shoe would’ve gone farther afield if a hunky man in a tuxedo hadn’t caught it. The catcher had the blackest hair she’d ever seen. And the bearing of a Jersey Italian guy, sure of himself but probably had a heart of gold. That type always did.
A lopsided grin broke out on his face as he glanced up at her. He cocked his head, motioning to the shoe. She nodded and shrugged.
Her heart skipped a beat before she remembered her dilemma. His attendance at this ball meant he was rich. She’d sworn off rich, hunky men.
Samuel groaned next to her. “I’ll get it.”
No one in the expansive, chandeliered ballroom looked in their direction, so why was her gaffe such a big deal? She didn’t make a scene on purpose. Besides, he should be used to her by now. They’d been friends for years.
While waiting for Samuel to retrieve her footwear, she smiled at a passersby, not acknowledging her lack of a shoe. Not backing down. Not showing her fear of not fitting in.
Along Came Pauly will be out August 19 for the Kindle.
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