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The Mathesons? closeness and absolute trust in God drew Lisa like a blazing fire on a cold winter? s night. A tower of ...
The Mathesons’ closeness and absolute trust in God drew Lisa like a blazing fire on a cold winter’ s night. A tower of strength, Dylan was a man she could love unfailingly. But as their attraction blossomed, she feared her secret would jeopardize everything. Unless God made Dylan see that love is all things, including forgiveness.…
And if Dylan Matheson knew the real reason she was applying for the job he advertised, Lisa Sterling suspected his gray-blue eyes could become as cold as arctic ice.
Lisa followed Dylan into his office. Another man stood as they entered. He looked older than Dylan and a little thicker around the middle.
"Lisa, this is Perry Hatcher. Perry, Lisa. He'll be sitting in on the interview, as well." Dylan performed the introduction as he strode around his large desk to his leather chair.
Lisa shook Perry's hand, feeling more comfortable with him than she had with her potential boss.
"Sit down, please," Dylan said, indicating the chair in front of the desk. The floor-to-ceiling windows behind him put him in shadow, giving her a tactical disadvantage.
He sat and hitched his chair forward in one smooth motion. Controlled and in charge. "So, Lisa Sterling. Tell me why you want to work for Matheson Telecom," Dylan said.
Lisa had memorized her spiel and practiced it in front of the mirror. It was positive. Confident.
But laying her reasons out in front of this very self-possessed man on his territory was a different proposition. She had expected an older man, not someone with thick brown hair that waved over his forehead, softening the harsh planes of his face.
Help me out here, Lord. I absolutely have to get this job. I promise ... I'll go to church if I get it.
The prayer was automatic, and harkened back to when she and her stepbrother, Gabe, had their parents and they were a family that attended church regularly. The bargaining, however, was a new touch her stepfather would have disapproved of.
She overrode her second thoughts, took a deep breath and started.
"I know that you're a nationally known company that's expanding rapidly and that you have vision for the future direction of telecommunications." She kept her smile in place, held the cool gray-blue of his eyes and kept her hands held loosely in her lap to remind her to relax. "Your head office is in Vancouver, and was started by your father, and you started this branch office only a few years ago, but it's already growing." She glanced sidelong at Perry to include him in the conversation, but mostly to slow herself down.
Don't talk too much. Don't let Dylan Matheson guess your information comes from inside. "This company is going places. I'd like to be a part of that."
But mostly I want to find out why your company fired my stepbrother after falsely accusing him of theft.
Wisely she kept the previous thought unvoiced.
Dylan Matheson nodded, apparently satisfied with her explanation. He handed Perry a copy of her résumé, then Dylan leaned back in his chair, his thumb stroking his chin as he read.
Lisa concentrated on slowing her racing heart, willing herself to be quiet.
When Matheson Telecom had first hired him, Gabe Haskell had spoken in glowing terms about the company and how pleased he was to get an accounting job with them right out of college. Lisa never had any hint that he was unhappy with his work or that they were unhappy with him.
This job was her best opportunity to find out what had really happened.
"When would you be free to begin?" Dylan asked, his voice quiet. Even. Controlled.
Lisa stifled the swift surge of hope. "I can start next week." She would need to give notice, but Tony knew she was looking for another job and he knew why.
"This job might require some travel," Dylan continued, folding his hands on the desk. "Would you be able to accompany me on business trips? Or is there a boyfriend who might object?"
Though she had learned valuable lessons in the wrong kind of men from her mother's life, Lisa still managed to make her own mistakes in the boyfriend department.
Single life was less complicated, and practically heartbreak-free.
"Why do you want to leave your current job?" Dylan continued, glancing at her résumé. "Legal secretary at Mercurio, Donnelly and Abrams. Quite a reputable firm."
Lisa's heart flipped over.
This would be the trickiest part of the interview. She would have preferred not to use Tony as a reference. Explaining a gap of three years in a résumé, however, was harder than edging around the real reason she wanted to quit.
"I need a challenge and a change," she said, choosing her words with care. "I feel I've gone as far up professionally as I can reasonably hope."
And my married boss keeps coming on to me.
Dylan's gaze zeroed in on hers as if questioning her reply, but she didn't look away. Tony was the one at fault, not her.
"I was wondering if I might ask a few questions myself, Mr. Matheson, Mr. Hatcher?" Lisa asked, moving the interview onto territory she could control.
Dylan leaned back, rocking lightly. For a moment Lisa thought he was going to object.
"Go ahead, Miss Sterling," Dylan replied. Perry just nodded.
Lisa glanced down at the paper she'd brought to help keep her on track. "Why did your current secretary leave?"
"She was going on maternity leave and then decided she wanted to stay home with her new baby instead of coming back to work."
That sounded reassuring. "You talked about trips. How often would you expect me to accompany you?"
"As long as I'm around, once a month to our Vancouver office. There might even be a couple of times Perry will need you to accompany him on overseas trips."
Excerpted from Love Is Patient by Carolyne Aarsen Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd. . Excerpted by permission.
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Posted June 18, 2011
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Posted July 17, 2011
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