'Hold the lift! Shoot, shoot, sh-ooot! Aargh!'Her mad dash to get in the staff lift before the doors closed failing miserably, Juliette came to a frustrated stop. Except that she didn't. Stop, that was.The three-inch stiletto heels on her knee-high boots, wet from the snow falling heavily outside, found no traction on the marble floor whatsoever, so that instead of stopping Juliette skidded unsteadily along the floor, an expression of complete panic on her face as she slid towards the closing metal doors of the lift, seeming to gain speed as she went.In those brief few seconds--and she really couldn't have said how many--everything was happening in slow motion, her whole life flashing before her. And what a complete and utter disaster that was...But at the very last second the lift doors miraculously stopped closing and began to open again-- slowly, painfully slowly, but enough that she didn't hit solid metal after all, just fell into the lift instead.Or at least she would have done, if one of the stiletto heels on her boots hadn't caught and stuck in the gap between the lift shaft and the lift itself, holding her foot immobile but hurling her torso forward.The whole thing might--only might--have been funny.If she hadn't had an audience to her comic turn. But the man who seconds ago had stepped into the lift, and had obviously pressed the button to ascend, had unfortunately witnessed the whole incident.And so it was, as Juliette hurtled into the lift head-first, strong arms reached out to catch her. Which was very unfortunate for the man, because Juliette had instinctively thrust her umbrella out in front of her in an effort to regain her balance as she began to slide. Luckily for him, it had one of those stubby ends, rather than a pointy one, otherwise she would have skewered him with it.'Are you okay?' he asked with concern, even as he steadied her into an upright position.Did she look okay?She had just hurtled across ten feet of marble at what had felt like the speed of sound--only to come to a bone-wrenching halt as the heel of her boot became stuck.To make matters worse, she'd probably ruined her boots, and she'd only had them a week--a present to herself for having successfully completed a month of working at the job from hell. Because the lingerie department in this prestigious store, in the run-up to Christmas, certainly qualified as that! And, with 'just five more shopping days till Christmas', it only promised to get worse...'Let's have a look at your boot,'the man murmured as he released her and bent down to inspect the damage, giving Juliette an uninterrupted view of the top of his head.She hadn't been able to look at him before--at first because she'd been travelling too fast to focus on anything, and then because her embarrassment at having literally thrown herself into his arms had been too acute.She didn't recognise the top of that dark head, the hair thick and ebony, but nevertheless she knew the man had to work at Romeo's, too. Otherwise he wouldn't have been getting into the staff lift in the first place. Probably one of the office bods from the sixth floor; they didn't socialise with the sales staff.'It--seems--to--be--stuck,' the man muttered, his words interspersed with efforts to release the stiletto heel--and Juliette with it--from the hole it was trapped in.Well, whoever he was, he certainly wasn't any rocket scientist, Juliette thought disgustedly as she glared down at him. She could have told him that much herself.This had not been a good day so far, and it certainly wasn't getting any better.And this man's fingers, as they encircled the slenderness of her ankle, weren't helping, either. His ringless hands were long and tapered, artistically so--not the sort of hands any red-blooded woman could ignore whiMortimer, Carole is the author of 'Christmas Proposals', published 2007 under ISBN 9780373837199 and ISBN 0373837194.