This night was turning out to be very interesting; many of her male colleagues were tripping over themselves, bombarding her with a flood of compliments, many which were often very short with Rusty, not bothering to even give her the time of day and, those that did excluded her from out of office gatherings. She didn’t have to say anything just nodding and pretend to drink her champagne while they spoke only to themselves and over one another. As they did the auction continued on. Knowing she would be up soon Rusty excused herself to the powder room to freshen up.
Max watched his lady leave the cluster of salivating men and walk toward the powder room. Excusing himself from the group he was standing with he followed in her direction and was stopped short by Dr. Cade and a passel of provocatively dressed women. Not wanting to be disrespectful Max allowed himself to be absorbed into another conversation about how great Boston General was. It seemed like he was working his way up to offering him a job. Max wouldn’t leave Angel Pass for anything. Not after he finally found the place.
Sera knew that Rusty’s knew identity was going to make this masked auction ball the most successful of all of her auctions. She had to suppress a giggle as she walked up to the podium to introduce her secret weapon.
“All right everyone, I have surprise entry. Russet Foster everyone” Sara exclaimed , She made a hood with her hand over her eyes to take down the glare of the spotlight looking for Russet out in the sea of people in the ball room. Suddenly she spotted her coming toward the podium from the direction of powder room. Motioning to the man behind the spotlight, pointing in the direction of the woman approaching, the spotlight swung in her direction and the crowd began to murmur with anticipation.
When the spotlight landed on Rusty, she almost lost her courage to go through with her plan. She could hear ‘who is she’ whispers of the crowd and that brought back her gumption. ‘These people didn’t know her’ she thought. ‘They would never see her again after tonight’. This was her one night of absolute freedom, consequence free because Russet only existed in her mind and on her birth certificate. After tonight she would pack Russet up along with the rest of her Boston gear and store them somewhere safe in a closet in Angel Pass, Montana.
Rusty tossed her head over her shoulders and caught the eye of the closes man to her left giving him a wink she put on the greatest cat walk performance of her life. She walked to the front of the podium gave herself a spin and walked back toward the center of the stage and struck the most fierce pose she could think of while she was being auctioned off.
Before Sera could give the crowd information on what they would be winning if they’d won her, bids were being shouted out. It was just as she suspected. She smiled and the auctioneer began her duty.
Max was not going to let his mystery lady walk away in the arms of another man. Not today. The bid was already up to five thousand dollars and he knew that at the rate that it was climbing he was tired of waiting.
“Ten thousand dollars” he yelled out. Interrupting the chattering women clustered around him. Jaws dropped and heads turned and a buzz of excitement ricocheted through the crowd.
“Alright” Sera said “I have ten thousand dollars, do I hear twelve thousand.
“Fifteen” said a voice in the corner
“Twenty-five” called out Max and there was a hush that was broken by the auctioneer. This was a room full of doctors but not many have seen bank accounts like his. It was time to separate the men from the boys.
“Twenty-five going once… twice… sold to the tall sexy man standing next to Dr. Cade for twenty five thousand dollars. Sera yelled,” Come claim your prize. With that the crowd exploded into applause as Cade made his way through the crowd amidst the congratulations and shoulder pats.
Cade felt like he won the lotto…