Between You and Me(9)

By: Jennifer Gracen

“No problem at all.” Logan waved a dismissive hand. “More bags than usual, I noticed. How long are you staying?”

“Actually, I’m not sure.” She shifted the dog in her arms for a better hold. “Definitely until the end of February, possibly longer. I’ll see. For once in my life, I’m playing it by ear.”

“Really.” Logan’s eyes widened a bit and his brows lifted. The longest any of the Harrisons had stayed for a visit had been for two weeks. Curiosity pricked him.

“Mm-hmm.” She grinned and added, “So you’ll be seeing more of me, I suppose.”

“I have no problem with that,” Logan said. “C’mon, let’s get you both inside, it’s cold out.” Shoving his hands into the pockets of his ski jacket, he stepped aside to let her walk before him. He couldn’t help but admire the sway of her hips and her long, long hair as she moved. His eyes ran up and down those long, gorgeous legs. She’d be in Aspen for two months, maybe longer? That bit of interesting news had brightened his day. Maybe his whole week. In spite of how he had his guard up around her, there were few women he enjoyed looking at more than Tess Harrison.

Chapter Three

Tess set Bubbles down as soon as they stepped through the door. The dog took off, skittering across the polished hardwood floor and barking happily. The warmth of the house was a wonderful contrast to the cold outdoors; Tess pulled off her leather gloves and opened her coat. She hadn’t been there since last March, and she looked around with a smile as she took it in, the familiar space a comfort. The door closed behind her and she turned to gaze at her house manager, who flashed an amiable grin as he stepped toward her.

From the first time she’d met him, she’d thought Logan Carter was a seriously striking man. Incredibly big and tall—tall enough for her to think him tall—broad and muscled, with shaggy blond hair and pale green eyes, he was ruggedly handsome, a quietly powerful presence. He reminded her of a Viking; picturing him in that garb with a heavy sword in his hand wasn’t too far a stretch.

But his beard, a shade darker than his hair, was neatly kept. His gorgeous eyes twinkled with geniality, not bloodlust. His large hands were calloused from hard work, and his cheeks were often ruddy from working outdoors. Standing in her elegant foyer in his worn jeans and work boots, navy hoodie under a royal-blue ski jacket, he looked a little out of place, but his presence was both commanding and reassuring. She’d always liked him, and yes, liked looking at him too.

But his powerful stance and chiseled good looks weren’t the only reason she found him striking. It was the way he carried himself. This strong, very physical man was quiet, somber, and intelligent, which to her made him only more potent. He was attentive to details, clever, and was a born leader—he radiated natural command. Quick to grin, but not to talk; unlike most handsome men she’d met, this guy wasn’t in love with himself or the sound of his own voice. He thought before he spoke; she loved those pauses because they held weight. She loved to coax big smiles from him, because she sensed he didn’t do it often enough. A gentle giant. She’d wondered more than once how a man like him had gotten into the house-managing business. There was a story there, she was sure of it.

“The place looks great,” she said brightly. “Didn’t realize how much I’d missed it until just now. Thank you so much for being willing to get it ready for me on such short notice.”

“Like I said before, not a problem.” His deep voice was resonant, utterly masculine. “I’m glad I was able to do it.”

She’d called him early the day before, the morning after Christmas, to ask him to have the house ready for her arrival in twenty-four hours. He hadn’t given her an ounce of attitude. “Well, I really appreciate it.” She pulled off her parka and set it on one of the three rust-colored couches in the living room. “Today, you’re my knight in shining armor.”

He snorted out a dismissive laugh and stuffed his hands in his coat pockets. “Nah. A woman like you doesn’t need a knight.” But his green eyes sparkled as he smiled.