Courtship of the Recluse (Chapter Two, page 1 of 16)


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Russell Cade was a meticulous driver. He drove the speed limit...no more; no less. He maneuvered each turn with precision. The dim instrument panel light revealed a strong profile with an aquiline nose and prominent cheekbones. He was by no means a handsome man but his facial features did suggest a stolid character. The years had not been kind to him. He looked closer to forty than thirty. That might be the result of too much exposure to the elements. Apparently he spent a lot of time on the back of a horse, riding his range in all kinds of weather - a fact that prompted more than one comment by townsfolk that he had wasted a good college education. Considering his comment about ambition, he probably didn't consider the education wasted. Obviously he liked ranch work better than anything he had studied.

She shifted in the seat and peered into the night. They must be nearing their destination. Her gaze tried to outrun the headlights and gave up, following the broken line on the highway as it leaped from the dark and shot forward, disappearing under the truck. She rubbed her eyes and tilted her watch crystal around until the light reflected enough to read the dial...ten-thirty. She yawned. This would be one Saturday she wouldn't have to crawl out of bed and get ready to go to the diner. From now on it would be crawl out of bed and cook, clean and then maybe rest a little. What was the house like? Even Mr. Cade had hinted that it was unusually large. Again she wondered if she had bitten off more than she could chew.

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