Hunter stared at her the whole way from his old Land Cruiser to the porch. He stopped, tipped his baseball cap back, and then put his hands on his hips. “You’re not who I expected to see.”
Well, no. “Yeah, I guess you’ll have to learn to live with the disappointment. I know I have.”
“Toni?” A look of relief flashed across his face then a smile ticked up the right side of his mouth as he made a slow perusal of her from head to feet and back again.
She waited, knowing it would take awhile. Ever since she’d landed in Boise, she’d experienced the same thing. No one quite knew what to make of her. Holding her clipboard to her chest, she wondered if it would have been better to have spent her time in Boise shopping for less interesting clothes. She mentally shook her head and knew it would never have worked. You could put her in a sack, and she’d do something to stand out. She’d long since given up trying to rein herself in. As Catherine Aird said, “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” So far, it had worked for her.
Blowing her bangs out of her eyes, Toni looked down at her outfit. The short, red plaid kilt wasn’t too offensive. She pulled her clipboard away to see she had on her Stay Away T-shirt. Maybe he had something against the collage of pistols, brass knuckles, knives, and bullets. But really, he didn’t look like a pacifist, not that she wasn’t—it was a T-shirt for goodness sake, not a personal manifesto. The kitty-face Mary Janes and red skull-and-crossbones knee-socks were a bit busy. Okay, Hunter’s thirty seconds were up. She fingered the D-ring on the studded collar around her neck and cleared her throat. “Do you mind?”
Hunter took a sip of whatever was in the travel cup he held. “Not at all—just wondering if you were going for that naughty-schoolgirl-fantasy look.”
“No, I was going for my not-quite-sure-what-to-wear-for-a-meeting-with-Davy-Crocket look. How’s it working for you?”
Hunter’s mouth worked its way into a full smile. Great teeth. She had a thing for nice teeth, and yeah, his mouth was full of them.
“Really well, thanks. Over the phone, it sounded as if you wouldn’t be caught dead out here. When Bianca came to scout for photo shoot locations, she said something about you having a phobia. What changed your mind?”
Toni took in the rustic porch wrapping around the log cabin lodge and decided to sit on a rocking chair. There was nothing else to sit on except the steps, and they needed a good sweeping. “You asked Bianca about me?”
“Bianca was involved in negotiating a big deal so she sent me.” Toni placed her clipboard on her lap and clicked her pen a few times in rapid succession. “I had no choice.”
Hunter’s big hiking boots filled her line of sight. Her gaze wandered up to where neatly rolled, rag-wool socks met hard, tanned calf muscle with just the right splattering of leg hair—not so much you’d be tempted to take a brush to it, and not so little you’d wonder if he routinely waxed. He wore khaki shorts low around the hips, his green River Runners T-shirt pulled tight against his chest and abs. She’d seen him without a shirt thanks to the picture on the website, so she knew if she poked him it would feel like poking a brick wall. She’d bet dollars to doughnuts he didn’t get that hard body in a gym.
The slap of an old-fashioned screen door broke the tension. “Sorry.” James, Bianca’s right-hand man, appeared with two cups of coffee. He handed Toni hers. “That’s decaf. Maybe you’ll be able to sleep tonight.”
Robin Kaye was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge next door to her Sicilian grandparents.
Living with an extended family that's a cross between Gilligan's Island and The Sopranos, minus the desert isle and illegal activities, explains both her comedic timing and the cast of quirky characters in her books.
She's lived in half a dozen states from Idaho to Florida, but the romance of Brooklyn has never left her heart.
She currently resides in Maryland with her husband, three children, two dogs, and a three-legged cat with attitude.
THE WILD SIDE OF ROBIN
ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
GOT A QUESTION FOR ROBIN?
Ask away...... or answer Robin's question for you:
What are some of the characteristics that make up a great heroine?