, everyone.' Replacing the telephone receiver, Liz glaredthreateningly around the crowded lounge of her apartment. 'Ssh. That wasthe porter. Tom is on his way up.' Her glance rested on the attractiveblonde standing by the door. 'Dim the lights, quick,' she commanded,pushing her way through the crush of people to join her friend. Jacy switched off the light and glanced down at her hostess for theevening. 'Stand by for action,' she prompted reassuringly. Liz was petite,with short black curly hair and sparkling blue eyes, but tonight she lookeddecidedly nervous.'Do you think he will be pleased at a surprise fortieth birthday party?''Liz, your husband worships you and the terrible twins; anything youdo is great with him and you know it!''Yes, you're right
I hope... But what about our bet are you still game?' Jacy glanced around the crowd of partygoers assembled in the large,comfortable room, all friends of Liz and Tom. 'Of course I am.' She grinned.'But in all fairness to you I should point out that, as all the guests havearrived and all the single men here are my friends, it's no contest. The firstone to walk through this door will be the one I date for a month. I'm boundto win.'Liz smiled mischievously. 'I don't mind. I'll take the chance if you will.''Shake on it, partner.' Jacy grasped her friend's hand, shaking itvigorously, and couldn't resist adding, smugly, 'The
is as good asmine.'The door swung open and Tom, a tall blond-haired man, strode into theroom. 'What the hell-
The room erupted to the strains of 'Happy Birthday to You' as Jacyclicked the light back on, and she stopped singing in mid-note, her eyeswidening in horror at the black-haired, dark-eyed man who walked inbehind Tom. Oh, no, she groaned inwardly, it couldn't be... She tried tosidle backwards into the crush of people surrounding the birthday-boy, butin the enthusiasm of the moment, to her horror, she was pushed slap-upagainst the tall dark man she was hoping to avoid.