Juliet Blanchard adjusted the dress on the fidgety model, making sure all the angles and lines were shown to the best advantage before shooing the girl out onto the runway set up in the middle of the convention center. Thankfully, the mild Vermont fall weather was drawing in a big crowd for tonight's event. Blowing a wisp of blond hair out of her eyes and taking a place near the stage behind the curtain, Juliet watched the crowd's reaction with pleasure. This was her last show with the Vermont State University's Fashion Design program before graduation in January. Sitting among the crowd were design house representatives hoping to recruit the newest and brightest upcoming designers to their respective design houses. She would not be one of those recruits. Juliet tried to squelch the rising disappointment that threatened to choke her. She'd promised her family she'd come to work in the family business after graduation. But someday she would strike out on her own and make a name for herself as a fashion designer. Her attention snagged on a tall man standing at the back of the crowd. She guessed he was mid-to late twenties. His wavy, dark-blond hair was just long enough to be considered rebellious yet fash-ionable. And his dark eyes seemed to be staring straight at her. She knew there was no way he could see her through the glare of the hot spotlights aimed at the stage, but still, awareness sent tingles over her arms. She'd seen this man at the last four shows. Was he with a fashion house, or the friend of a classmate? The model returned and Juliet refocused her at-tention on the clothes. She couldn't afford to let her mind become distracted by anything or anyone. Too much work lay ahead of her before she made the move to Blanchard Fabrics and too many issues with her family remained unresolved. Backstage, she helped the model change and then carefully handed the clothing to her assistant to be put on a mannequin for the viewing after the show. "Juliet, come on," Giles Manfred called as he hustled his students out onstage for introductions. Juliet reluctantly went. She didn't have anyone in the crowd cheering for her. Her five sisters were all busy with their own lives and her father wouldn't have come, even if she'd asked. Onstage Juliet accepted the applause for what it was: an acknowledgement of her designs. She felt gratified to know her work was well received. A movement on the audience floor to her right caught her attention. Mr. Tall, Blond and Yummy had weaved his way through the crowd, halting at the foot of the stage steps. The cutting-edge styling of the olive-colored suit fit his broad shoulders and long, lean legs to perfection. Juliet tilted her head in silent question as his warm brown eyes studied her intently. The man inclined his head in acknowl-edgement. Intrigued, Juliet smiled. What was up with this guy? Shaking away the question, she moved down the steps. The man shifted forward. His warm hand cupped her elbow as she descended. She drew back slightly. "Do I know you?" she asked over the din of excited voices. With a slight pressure to her elbow, he propelled her through the throng of people to the back edge of the crowd where the noise level dropped signifi-cantly. "No, you don't know me. But I know who you are, Juliet. And I'm very impressed with your designs." The combination of his deep voice and his praise sent pleasure and pride sliding over her skin. "Thank you. Can I ask what brings you here?" He gave her a boyish grin that set her heart pounding. "You can. And I'd love to tell you about the connections I have in Paris. But I'd like to tell you over dinner." Dinner? With a stranger? She could just hear her eldest sister, Miranda's, shocked tsk echoing in her head. "I really don't think that would be appropriate, considering I don't even know your name," Juliet repliReed, Terri is the author of 'Beloved Enemy ', published 2007 under ISBN 9780373442348 and ISBN 0373442343.