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In His Sights
By Justine Davis
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Chapter One"You'll just love him. He's the sweetest man. Absolutely charming."
Kate Crawford gaped at her grandmother. "You rented out a room? What room? To what man? Why?"
"My goodness, do you think you could string a few more questions together?"
Kate sat down, certain she wasn't understanding something. Her plans to make a grocery run for her grandparents were obviously going to have to wait.
"Gram," she said slowly, "what have you and Gramps done?"
"I told you," Dorothy Crawford said patiently, "we rented out our room."
"It's the only one that made sense, since it has the private bath and sitting area. We're thinking of using some of the income to add an outside stairway to the upper deck, then it will have its own private entrance as well."
"We're not using it, after all. The stairs are just too much for your grandfather's knees."
"I know that," Kate said.
And she did; she'd been the one to help them move into the one downstairs bedroom in the house. She hadn't liked the idea - the room was too small and the bathroom was way down the hall - but it had seemed the best temporary solution they could manage until they could afford to do a remodel. Or talk her grandfather into the knee replacement surgery he insisted he didn't want, a decision Kate suspected was also based on finances.
"If you needed money," Kate began, but stopped when her grandmother gave her the look she knew too well.
"We won't keep taking from you, Kate. You've done so much, too much, for us already."
"I could never do too much."
"And that's why your grandfather and I have to step in now and then, or you'd spend all your time and money on us, instead of having a life of your own."
"No buts. Besides, it's done. We have a renter. We can't back out now."
And that brought Kate back to one of her initial questions. "Who is this person you've rented a room to? There's no one in town looking for a place that I know of."
In any place but Summer Harbor that might be a ridiculous statement, but here it was quite reasonable that if someone was looking for a place to live, everybody in town would know it. It was easy to keep track of such things when you only had a couple of thousand people to deal with.
"Oh, he's not from here."
That alone was enough for Kate, and her voice was rather sharp when she demanded, "Where is he from, and what's he doing here?"
"I believe he's a photographer," her grandmother said.
"And I can do without that tone, young lady."
Chastened, Kate reached out and put a hand over Dorothy's. "I'm sorry, Gram. You know I just worry."
"You worry too much," Dorothy said, but the stern tone had been replaced by a lovingly gentle one. "This is Summer Harbor, you know. Bad things don't happen here."
Tell that to Joshua Redstone, Kate thought.
The thievery at Redstone Northwest had already come to the attention of the multibillionaire entrepreneur who owned the business, and while she doubted there was another boss of his stature who would care, she knew Josh Redstone was different. Very different. It was one of the many reasons she loved her job there.
"Ah, good," her grandmother said at the sound of a tap on the door, "here he is now, so you'll get to meet him. Then you'll see there's no problem."
Kate turned, expecting the man to walk right in. But he politely waited for her grandmother to call out to him.
"Come on in, Rand."
Since Dorothy Crawford was hardly one to call a man by his last name unless it was preceded by a Mister, Kate had to assume Rand was his first name. She turned to look at the door as it swung open.
She wasn't sure what she'd been expecting, but this wasn't it. The man who came in was, in a word, beautiful. Young, but beautiful. Six feet or better, with hair a shade of platinum blond she'd only seen on children until now. It was thick and a bit unruly, falling forward over his forehead in the same way a child's silky hair did.
But while young, he was anything but a child. He moved with a very male kind of grace that told her he was probably an athlete of some kind, or at least in good shape.
Very good shape, she amended wryly as she got a better look.
"No point in you knocking if you're going to be living here," her grandmother was saying. "Just come on in."
The man glanced at Kate before he answered her grandmother, and Kate felt an odd little jolt at the sight of vivid, cobalt-blue eyes.
Oh, now that really wasn't fair. Not fair at all.
Then he smiled, not at her but at her grandmother, and Kate instantly went on guard.
"I stopped at the market for some things," he said, "so I picked up the sugar you said you'd forgotten."
"Well, wasn't that sweet of you?" Dorothy cooed.
Her grandmother actually cooed, Kate thought, barely managing to resist shaking her head in shock. That sort of reaction was usually limited to babies and puppies. Certainly not grown men. And for all his boyish looks, there was no mistaking this Rand was just that. He looked to only be in his twenties, but he was still all man.
"Gram," she began, unable to stop the urge to caution that rose in her.
"Ah. You must be Kate," the man said. "I should have guessed."
Instantly provoked, and not quite sure why, Kate went on the offensive. "And why is that, Mr. ...?"
"Singleton," he supplied politely. "Rand Singleton, Miss Crawford."
He made her feel like a schoolteacher, with that very proper "miss." An old schoolteacher. But if he thought that would distract her, he was mistaken.
"Why would you assume I'm Kate?" she persisted.
"Because," he said with a smile at her grandmother, "beauty seems to run in the family."
Oh, good grief, Kate thought. He can't think anybody's buying this!
Then she caught a glimpse of her grandmother's face and, astonishingly, the spots of color rising in her cheeks. Her jaw dropped. Her grandmother, it seemed, was buying it by the bagful.
Her eyes narrowed as she turned them on the newcomer. He met her gaze steadily, with one brow lifted as if he knew exactly what she was thinking.
Excerpted from In His Sights by Justine Davis Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
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