Husband Wanted: Will Train (Chapter Two - It's Me or the French Chef, page 1 of 11)

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Ross climbed the stairs to Charity Ames's second-story apartment, feeling very much as he often did when playing racquetball, at the point when he began to note his opponent tiring. The exhilaration of victory hadn't started to sink in, but it was definitely in the offing.

Miss Charity Ames needed a service. He was about to provide that service and have a chance to soften up his subject at the same time. The combination of his charm and her gratitude would surely do the trick. The addition of La Mer to the consortium he'd organized was as good as in the bag.

The apartment building was of quality construction, but it had the long, low, anonymous look of so many modern buildings. Ross took the stairs instead of the elevator, enjoying the exercise it gave his long, powerful legs.

He was an hour early, but once he'd made up his mind, he'd wanted to get going with his plan. At the top of the stairs, he located apartment 20 and was just about to reach for the buzzer when the door flew open.

Ross stepped back to avoid the feminine body that came bounding out into the hallway. His first impression was of a mass of golden hair flying about and a pair of very dark eyes peering at him questioningly. In her hand was a measuring tape already extended and ready for action.

"Charity Ames?" he asked.

Without any hesitation the woman stuck out her hand and took Ross's for a vigorous shake.

"Hi," she said brightly. "You must be Paul, Mason's friend." She waved him in. "Mason went out to get some last-minute supplies, but he'll be right back. Come on in. I'm just in the middle of taking some measurements of my living room."

Caught off guard, it took a moment for Ross to take in what she'd said.

"No, actually..." he started, trying to correct her, let her know he wasn't this Paul person, but she wasn't listening. She'd already gone on to another subject.

"Could you hold this for me for a minute?" she asked, handing him the end of the tape measure. "Put it right here on the jamb. I'm trying to get accurate room dimensions." She watched as he did what she'd asked, nodded approvingly and began to pull out the tape, backing toward the far wall.

"Okay, let me stretch it out. I'm doing some fast remodeling-or at least I'm hoping to do some. As usual, I've waited until the last minute, so it's probably too late."

She took her end of the tape measure to the windows at the opposite side of the apartment living room, measuring the width of the room.

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