Housekeeper to the Millionaire(4)

By: Lucy Monroe

“You mean you warn all your dates and hands the same way?”

“Yes. I don’t have any women working the Bar G right now, but the female vet got her warning the first time she came out to check the horses.”

“It’s like a religion with you,” she said, a little awed by his vehemence.

He sat up, planting his booted feet securely under him. “You could see it that way. You sure talk fancy for a housekeeper.”

But not for a high school English teacher with a degree in French literature, she thought. “Is that a strike against me?”

“I don’t know. Why don’t you sit down and we’ll discuss it?”

She acquiesced.

He smiled again and she decided that she preferred it when he frowned. His smile was entirely too sexy and the last thing she needed was to think of her employer, particularly this one, as sexy in any way. He wasn’t interested in marriage and she wasn’t interested in an affair.

That left sexy out of their equation.

“What kind of experience do you have?” he asked.

“Not a lot,” she admitted. “Not any paid, but I can cook and I’ve been keeping house for myself since I went away to college.”

Of course, keeping up with her dorm room and then small apartments was nothing on the scale of his three-story mansion, but she would cope.

“If you can cook as well as you talk, the hands are going to love you.” He gave her another once-over, this time, instead of chills, his gaze making her go hot in places an employer should not affect. “Then again, once they get a look at you, they’ll think they’ve gone to heaven even if your food tastes like cow pies.”

This she was used to. This she could handle. At least that was what she tried to convince herself. Men had been making comments about her figure for years. She had learned long ago that the best way to deal with the comments was to ignore them. “Ever eaten any?”

“Any what?”

“Cow pies?”

“No,” he said, with a hint of smile in his voice.

“Then I guess you won’t know if my cooking falls under that category, now, will you?”

The smile became a full-blown chuckle. “Guess not. You start tomorrow morning, Tex.”

“My name is Carlene.”

“But you talk like a Texan.”

“I’ll have to work harder on that. I’ll never live there again.” Too much pain she never wanted to revisit.

Relaxing against the brown leather couch in his living room, Win swirled the whiskey in his glass before taking a swallow. It had been several hours since Carlene Daniels had left. His new housekeeper. He grinned.

She had a body that would make most men uncomfortable in their jeans and talked like a prissy little schoolmarm. Remembering the curves her loose top had been unable to hide, he amended his thoughts. The lady wasn’t exactly little, at least not in some places. She wasn’t too big either. She was a perfect pocket Venus, with womanly curves that led to a naturally small waist. She was the stuff of most adolescent male dreams, maybe most adult ones as well.

She’d certainly been the subject of too many of his waking thoughts today. He still couldn’t figure out what gremlin had gotten into him and prompted him to offer her the job. She had no experience. He sure as hell hoped she could cook. His hands might like looking at a sexy woman like her, but that would grow old pretty darn quick if she didn’t feed them right. He sighed.

Maybe he should assign Shorty to help her until she got used to the routine. The diminutive man made lousy biscuits, but he knew the quantities and types of food horsemen ate.

She’d probably talk Shorty’s ears off. The woman had a mouth on her and it was plain as the day was long that she was used to being in charge. So long as she limited that bossy streak to the house, they wouldn’t have any problems. He didn’t want to have to worry about anything but running the Bar G and Garrison Stables. With mares ready to foal he didn’t have time to concern himself with stuff like meals and cleaning house.

He wondered where she’d gotten such a bossy streak. If she didn’t have any experience as a housekeeper and cook, what types of jobs had she held before? He couldn’t believe he hadn’t asked her. He hadn’t even asked her to fill out an employment application. He had hired her based on sheer instinct and that wasn’t like him. He was a careful man.

He hated admitting it, but his hormones had played their part too. It was disconcerting to realize that he’d reached the age of thirty and he could still be swayed so strongly by the sight of a beautiful woman. He’d just gone too long without. He hadn’t had a date in months and hadn’t slept with a woman in even longer. He’d gotten tired of the games. Tired of empty sex. Both things seemed to come along with the territory for a man uninterested in marriage.

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