Mr. Wrong (A Homespun Romance)

BOOK: Mr. Wrong (A Homespun Romance)
13.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub








Geeta Kakade






Books We Love Ltd.

Chestermere, AB



Copyright 2013 by Geeta Kakade

Cover Art Copyright 2013 by Michelle Lee












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All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.






Brady switched off most of the lights and went over his mother’s checklist.  Lock double doors first, put security bar in place, set alarm system, leave through side door, lock it.  Eyes fixed on the keys in his hand he tried to figure out which one he needed for the front door and shrugged.  Trial and error would supply the information just as well. 

Agreeing to watch Bernie’s Gifts and Luggage hadn’t been such a mistake after all.  As his mother had reiterated a dozen times, since she had talked him into it that morning, anyone could do it.  Even an up and coming lawyer on a rare visit home.

The Sunday afternoon shoppers in Jacaranda Meadows hadn’t given him a hard time but he would be glad when he was nursing a cold beer in his parent’s spa.  A couple of women had almost made him nervous by hanging around for longer than necessary.  Their body movements had informed him that either of them would be glad to get to know him better.  His instinct for
self-preservation had propelled him into a long conversation with a man who had picked up a duck decoy.  By the time he knew everything there was to know on the subject of duck hunting, the pair had left. 

Brady swung the double doors to close them.  And found he couldn’t.  There was a foot in the doorway, encased in a light blue summer shoe of the canvas variety.  Slowly his gray, charcoal rimmed, eyes traced a path up slim ankles, long lovely legs, heart stopping knees and slender thighs.  He couldn’t remember ever thinking of knees as sexy but hers were just that.  Beautifully, gloriously sexy. 

Reluctantly his eyes continued their journey north.  The satisfyingly, miniscule blue shorts she wore were the kind that ought to be given away free to those who qualified for it.  The elastic waistband defined a waist that he could span with his hands.  Perky breasts lifted the checked shirt above it.

Finally he lifted his gaze to her face.  Brady’s breath left his body in a small surprised whoosh.  As forest green eyes met his, Brady heard a distinct cymbal clash of emotion in the far reaches of his brain. 

"Ma'am we’re closed,” he said politely. 

Could she hear him above the drumroll of his heart? 

"Please,” her voice silvery, perturbed, pleaded, "You can’t be.  It’s still one minute to five and it says here,” she pointed to the card in the window, `Sundays:  12 - 5'.  I fell asleep otherwise I would have been here much earlier.  I must have a present for tonight.  I really must or I wouldn’t bother you like this.”

Experience had taught Brady that it was hard to find everything one liked in one woman.  With legs like hers, he was prepared for the rest of her to be average.  But the woman in front of him seemed to have been created by a consistently diligent artiste intent on achieving all round perfection. 

The voice put the seal on the matter.  It’s chimes winged straight to his heart with arrow like precision staking claim on it, for all eternity.  Brady stared at her, bemused. 

Here, before him, was the missing piece of his personal jigsaw puzzle, the woman he had waited for all his life, his other half.  How he could be so positive, he didn’t know.  But he was. 

Which was strange, because the only clairvoyance he had ever been attributed with was in his childhood, on the occasions he had known he was going to be spanked.  That hadn’t needed any great foresight, just a look at his mother’s face.  But now even without any leads, he was absolutely, irrevocably sure. 

This luscious vision was his.

The deduction, for a man of thirty two, who never jumped to any conclusion, preferring to arrive there after a logical summation of facts, was incredible, but for the moment it didn’t even occur to him that there was anything unusual about his instant premise. 

Stunned by the force of his conviction he said blankly, "Come in.”

Could she feel this tumult that coursed through his veins, this emphatic emotion that declared they belonged together, had always done so?  Later, his legal brain would examine and analyze, but for now this heady tingling certainty was enough.

She smiled at him uncertainly, revealing deep dimples placed unusually high on the inverted crescent of her cheeks and a tiny gap between her two front teeth that enchanted him. 

Brady’s hands clenched at his sides in an effort not to reach out and pull her into his arms where she belonged.  What a delicious smile.

"Thank you.”

Brady stepped back, still holding the door.  As she passed him, a whiff of a maddeningly, elusive, floral talc tantalized his tense nostrils.  Like a wild stallion, he lifted his head and breathed deeply.



Kate hurried past the key chains, the handbags and luggage, heading straight for the glass case at the back where the more expensive items were kept under lock and key.  Pointing to the most expensive, hand-tooled, leather wallet she said, "May I have that one, please.”

Harold had been so obvious about it, she couldn’t possibly get him anything else.  Personally, she thought it too showy.  And far too expensive.

The man seemed to take a long time finding the key to fit the case.  Kate watched as he went through the bunch.

"Nice,” had been her first thought.  Something flexed in the pit of her stomach.  She amended that.  Very, very nice. 

He was taller than her by a head, well built, the curve of biceps in the tee shirt pleasing without being overly muscular.  His black hair was thick, wavy and well cut, the gray eyes she had looked into earlier, magnificent.  Strength plus kindness was a formidable force in a man.  His looks jogged her senses but it was his niceness that wrapped her heart in a swathe of crushed velvet.

Lying down for a few minutes had been a terrible mistake.  But cleaning her apartment, on top of a fast paced three mile walk, had worn her out.  Bolting awake at four forty five she’d catapulted out of the apartment.  Her foot in the doorway had been a last ditch attempt to get in.  Luckily for her, it had worked.

His quick survey had made Kate very conscious of the five year old shorts she had donned that morning to do her chores in.  At eighteen, there had been more of the shorts and less of her, but there was nothing she could do about that now.  She was lucky just to be here.

"He’s new here.”  Katie watched as he systematically went through the bunch of keys, trying to find the one that would open this particular glass case.

Earlier when those gorgeous gray eyes had laser beamed their way to her soul, the distinct responsive surge of feeling in her body confounded Kate. 

She wanted to know this man better.

"No,” warned her brain, "NO!”

"Yes,” thumped her wayward heart, "Yes, please!”

Raising a hand, she raked the tightly clustered auburn curls on the top of her head, nervously. 

Kate hadn’t seen him before in the store.  Not that she came in here very often.  Bernie’s gifts and luggage carried things above and beyond her carefully controlled budget.  She had come in with Harold the first time and then once after that.  Both times this man hadn’t been here.  She didn’t think she could have forgotten him, despite her preoccupation with Harold. 

"Here, it is,” Brady put the wallet into her hands.

Kate glanced at it to check it was the one Harold wanted before announcing, "I’ll take it.”

As he rang up the sale Kate wandered around the store, finally coming to a stop at the counter closest to the cash register. 

In front of her was a glass paperweight.  Inside it were tiny pressed blue and purple wildflowers, their delicacy a direct contrast to the thick glass they were encased in.  Kate touched the flat surface with a finger, wondering how the flowers had been imprisoned in the glass without being destroyed.

Now this, she thought, this is what I would have liked to have given Harold.  Reversing it she noticed the price and the orange sticker.  Clearance.  Under three dollars.  It would never do. 

Looking up, she saw the man watching her.  Her flesh goosed over as she realized he knew what was passing through her mind.  Their gazes caught and tangled and Kate felt some unknown emotion weave a tenuous web around them, as fragile as the flowers in the glass paperweight. 

"With those eyes,” thought Kate, "he’ll never need words to make love with.  Those eyes say it all.  If only Harold was more like him.”

Now where on earth had that thought come from, for Heaven’s sake?  Harold was her future, this man only a passing, extra fluffy cloud on the day’s horizon.

"Will that be all?”  he asked, and for a mad moment Kate wondered what he would say if she asked to have him as well. 

Weakly she nodded.  The nap had definitely addled her brain.  She’d better get a grip on herself.  Her plans were already made and no one was going to change them.

"Thank you so much for letting me in.”

Words were better than this silence that seemed to breed tantalizing impossible pictures, coloring them with the breath of wickedness. 

"I’m usually more organized.  In my line of work I have to be,” the rueful note in her voice drew an answering smile that had Kate feeling like a hummingbird had been released in her throat.  The tiny creature’s wings were beating up a miniature tempest in that region.

"It's no problem,” the words skipped over his kindness, hurried on to his next question, "What do you do?”

"I teach preschool here in Jacaranda Meadows now,” she said, and he was aware of the pride in her voice, "but I’m taking classes at Cal Poly and I’m going to be a
fully-fledged teacher one day.”

"Do you like children?” 

But Brady knew the answer to that already, before she nodded.  She would want at least half a dozen of her own. 

She looked at her watch and the gesture prodded him back to the matter at hand. 

"That comes to a hundred and twenty five dollars and sixty five cents,” he said, reluctant to let her go, so soon after he had just found her.

"It can’t be.” 

Brady looked up to see the disbelief in her eyes.  The silvery voice sounded staccato, desperate.  "I was here last week and they told me it was ninety five dollars including tax.”

She’d had to know to bring in the exact amount.

"We have some others at that price.” 

He had seen a burgundy one in the case, by another manufacturer that might work out to the amount she mentioned.

"I specifically asked about this one,” her chin supported her statement with its defiant tilt. 

Kate knew she wasn’t making a mistake.  Harold had pointed out the exact one and she’d returned later in the week to find out the price. 

"There was this girl here, blonde with shoulder length hair and lots of makeup,” Kate said desperately, "She told me it was ninety five dollars, including tax.”

She’d had to know exactly to be able to save up the amount.  She didn’t have any extra cash with her.  Or anywhere else for that matter.

"I’m sorry.” Brady said.  "The information wasn’t correct.”  Extracting the second price tag inside the case, he held it out to her as confirmation.

The girl she mentioned must be the one fired yesterday.  According to what he’d been told, she’d been a cross between a professional gum chewer and a punk devotee.  In the time she’d been here, she’d made enough mistakes to turn his mother’s hair white. 

"It’s not fair....,”  Kate’s voice trailed away.  She swallowed hard. “It’s for a friend’s birthday.”

“Must be a very important friend.”

Kate nodded “Harold is important.”

What was the point of arguing about an absent salesperson’s mistakes?  It wasn’t this man’s fault she didn’t have the cash to make up the difference.  He had been kind enough to let her in and giving him a hard time now wouldn’t achieve anything.  After all he was only an employee here. 

Putting the sales tag down with a hand that trembled, she lifted her eyes to him, staring somewhere past his shoulder, unwilling to let him see the full extent of her disappointment, "I’m sorry, I won’t be able to take it now.  Thank you for your help.”

She was almost at the door before Brady could marshal his wits.  The sight of those eyes filled with dejection had startled and unnerved him.  Damn Harold and double damn his birthday.  What kind of a swine was the man anyway to make her feel his birthday gift was so almighty important?

`Wait a minute,” he called out, "Maybe I can help you.”

"How?”  Turning she stood by the door and he knew he’d have to think fast to come up with something that sounded plausible.

"I get an employee discount,” Brady began, blessing his grandfather for kissing the original blarney stone in his homeland so thoroughly and for passing the gift of the gab down to his descendants. 

Rapidly punching some buttons at random in the cash register he said, "With a forty percent discount, it comes to seventy five dollars and thirty five cents.”

He could see the battle raging within her.

"I couldn’t let you do that,” she said reluctantly.

Was letting a man she barely knew give her something on his employee discount the same as taking candy from a stranger, Kate wondered?  Her reaction to this man told her it might well be.

BOOK: Mr. Wrong (A Homespun Romance)
13.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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