Husband Wanted: Will Train (Chapter One - Hiring a Husband, page 1 of 9)

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"I... I need a man."

Ross Carrington's eyebrows rose. The woman on the other end of the line sounded strangely furtive. But considering her request, maybe that was to be expected. He gritted his teeth, wishing he hadn't taken the call.

He'd come into his sister Marlena's modern, colorfully decorated office only minutes before. She was out. Her secretary had gone to lunch. So he'd thrown himself down behind the desk to wait. And when the telephone had chimed, he'd answered automatically.

"Could you speak a little louder?" he asked, leaning back in the swivel chair and propping his soft Italian-leather shoes up on the desk. "I'm not sure I understand what you want."

"This is the Destiny Bay Temporary Employment Agency, isn't it?" Her voice was stronger now, as though by stating her needs so boldly she'd gotten over the worst part.

Ross glanced at the letterhead on the stationery of Marlena's company piled up alongside the computer keyboard, just checking. "Yes, you've reached the right number."

The woman on the line sighed.

"This is so embarrassing. You probably think I'm crazy. But I really do need a man for a very special, very delicate job. Do you have any available?"

Ross hesitated. The long, slender fingers of one hand curled around the receiver while those of the other combed through his thick, jet-black hair. It was on the tip of his tongue to tell her that he didn't think Destiny Bay Employment was in the business of hiring out men for lonely women, but something in her voice stopped him.

Low and husky, it had an oddly appealing quality-and a lilt of humor. She sounded like a woman who knew how to laugh at herself. Maybe this was really a joke. If so, he might as well string along for the punch line.

"What type of man did you have in mind?" he asked instead of putting her off.

"Good question."

She laughed shortly.

"I wish I knew. I've never had much luck judging men."

She thought for a few seconds.

"He should be tall, I guess, since I'm not exactly the china-doll type. Good looks would be nice." She laughed again, and then her voice softened as she went on.

"But you know what? I think intelligence is more important. Yes, definitely, intelligent eyes. That's what I want. Do you have anyone like that?"


Ross gazed, bemused, into the mirror on the other side of the office. His own sea-blue eyes were filled with amusement, and a reluctant grin played on his wide mouth. He stopped that quickly enough, frowning instead.

Why was he leading her on this way? The woman was an obvious head case. He should refer her to the psycho ward at Destiny Bay Hospital. He hesitated, but for some reason he went on with the charade instead.

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