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Logan O'Brien had learned long ago the phone always rang at inopportune times. During a shower, which he'd already taken. During sex, which unfortunately wasn't an issue tonight. And in this case, during an extra–inning ball game, which ranked right up there as another worst–case scenario.
After pausing the game with the remote, he grabbed the phone and answered with an irritable, "Yeah."
"Sorry to bother you, boss, but we have a situation."
Good old Bob, Logan's right–hand man. Whenever a problem arose, the retired cop always sounded as if he worked for a Secret Service detail, not as a driver for well–heeled Houston society. "It's late, Bob. I've got the ball game on and I've only been home for an hour. So, unless you're going to tell me that every limo or sedan I own has simultaneously broken down, you handle it."
"We've got an alleged intoxicated female who needs a ride."
Not the first time one of his employees had faced that situation. "And this is supposed to impress me how?"
"It's Jenna Fordyce."
Great. The daughter of his VIP client, Avery Fordyce. Logan's company took care of all the billionaire's corporate and personal transportation needs, not to mention the other clients Fordyce had sent his way. "What about Calvin?"
"He's off tonight. I'd do it, but I'm waiting to take a wedding party to the airport. And I thought since old man Fordyce trusts you, and this is—" "I know, Bob. His kid." So much for a night of sitting around in his underwear, relaxing. "I'll take care of it. Where is she?"
"At a joint called La Danza. It's on—"
"I know the place." he'd beenthere before. Several times over the past year, but not in a few weeks. At least the nightclub was less than two miles from his downtown condo. But the Fordyce estate, where Jenna still resided, was located a good thirty minutes away, longer if the Saturday–night traffic happened to be heavy.
"The bouncer called dispatch about five minutes ago," Bob added. "He said he'd wait with her until someone got there. I'm thinking she's in pretty bad shape."
That didn't surprise Logan one bit. The club was known for its high–octane drinks. One or two martinis would do the trick for a lightweight socialite. "Fine. I'm on my way."
After hanging up the phone, Logan sprinted up the stairs to dress in a faded blue T–shirt, jeans and a pair of hiking boots, clothes he would never allow his employees to wear while conducting business. But if the heiress had tied one on, she probably wouldn't notice his attire. Even if she didn't approve, right now he only cared about getting this over with so he could get back to the game.
When he reached the parking garage, Logan opted to take his Hummer instead of the roadster, in case she happened to get sick. God, he hoped she didn't. That would pretty much ruin his night completely.
As he navigated the downtown streets, Logan realized he wasn't sure he'd be able to pick Jenna Fordyce out of a crowd, considering he'd never officially met her. But he had seen her framed high–school graduation photo on Avery's desk—a predictably beautiful, dark haired, dark eyed young woman. Daddy's little princess, just like Logan's ex–fiancée, who had played the pregnancy card until he'd called her bluff, fortunately before he'd been trumped into marriage.
Yeah, he'd had his fill of debutantes. Society babes who couldn't see beyond the fact he had the means and the money to keep them in the lifestyle to which they were accustomed. He doubted Jenna Fordyce was any different from the rest, particularly since she was the only child of a widowed business magnate.
A few minutes later, Logan pulled behind a stretch limo, the only space available beneath the portico of the five–star hotel that housed the popular nightclub. He stepped out into the warm June night and immediately caught sight of a no–neck guy with a clean–shaven head standing a few feet away, his arm around a woman.
The closer he came to the couple, the more certain he became that he'd found Jenna Fordyce—a few years older than depicted in the photo, but still as striking. She was conservatively dressed in a blue sleeveless blouse, a white skirt cut right above the knee and low heels. Her brown hair curled past her shoulders and a pair of sunshades covered her eyes, indicating she'd moved past three to at least four sheets in the wind. She was also pressing a white cloth over her right eyebrow, and Logan wondered if she'd engaged in a catfight. That would definitely make the society page tomorrow.
As he approached the unlikely pair, Logan nodded at the presumed bouncer and addressed the woman at his side. "Ms. Fordyce?"
She inclined her head toward him. "Yes?" "I'm Logan O'Brien, the owner of your father's transportation service."
When he offered his hand, she ignored the gesture, fumbled in the skirt's pocket and withdrew several bills that she pressed into the bouncer's palm. "This should take care of the bar tab, Johnny, with a little extra for your help. And, if you don't mind, could you tell my friend I'm leaving now? I wouldn't want her to worry."
"What does she look like?" Johnny asked.
"A pretty blonde," she said. "Her name is Candice and she's seated at the bar. I believe she's wearing pink. She always wears pink."
The bouncer regarded Logan, his arm still firmly around his charge. "Someone needs to check out the cut on her head. She had a pretty nasty fall, but she wouldn't let me call the paramedics."
Jenna waved her free hand in dismissal. "It's nothing."
When Logan noticed the red seeping through the cloth, he realized the injury could be serious. "Johnny's right. You're bleeding. You need a doctor."
"Can we discuss this in the car?" she asked.
No discussion required. She could argue all the way to the hospital, but he wasn't about to turn her loose without making sure she was okay. "Let's go."
The bouncer held out her arm to Logan. "She's kind of shaky, so you need to hang on to her."
Usually Logan wouldn't mind wrapping his arm around a sexy woman. But this blue–blooded babe didn't interest him—or shouldn't—for several reasons.
Logan circled his arm around her waist and braced her elbow with one hand. Slowly, he guided her to the SUV, noticing immediately that she was small, maybe five–two, a foot shorter than him. Definitely not his type. He preferred women with more substance, inside and out.
Once they reached the passenger side, Logan opened the door, helped her up into the seat and, in a show of benevolence, buckled her in. So far, so good. She hadn't taken another tumble on the way, even though he suspected she might have if he'd let her go, considering how carefully she'd measured her steps. Whatever she'd had to drink, he assumed it must have been fairly potent. But he didn't detect the smell of alcohol, only the scent of her perfume. Nothing overpowering, just a light fragrance that reminded him of his mother's favorite lavender soap. That was definitely a switch from the women he'd known who bathed in expensive concoctions designed to turn on a man, when it only served to turn him off.
Logan climbed into the driver's seat, flipped on the overhead light and pulled his cell phone from the holder attached to the dash. "Do you want to call your father and let him know what's going on, or should I?"
"Good luck," she said. "He's in Chicago on business until tomorrow. And I gave the staff the night off."
"Anyone else I can call?"
Figured. That meant she was his sole responsibility for the time being. He shoved the phone back in the holder and released a rough sigh. "Then I guess it's you and me and the E.R."
She frowned. "Just drive me home and I'll be fine."
Not until he had a better look at the cut. When he reached over to remove the cloth, she physically jumped, as if he'd scared her out of her skin with a simple touch. "Relax," he told her as he lifted the makeshift bandage away. "I'm only trying to see how bad this is."
"It's a minor scrape," she said. "I got up close and personal with a wall outside the ladies' room when I tripped."
Obviously she hadn't bothered to check it out in a mirror. "It looks like it might need stitches. The hospital's not that far."
"No hospital." Her voice held an edge of panic. "I don't care for emergency rooms, or doctors."
She could be concerned the medical staff would run a tox screen, and that could pose a problem if the press got wind of an off–the–chart blood–alcohol level. Still, her condition might warrant treatment beyond mending a superficial cut, and right now she was Logan's responsibility. He lifted her hand from her lap and pressed it against the cloth again. "You could have a concussion."
"I'm certain I don't."
"Are you a doctor, Ms. Fordyce?"
"Are you, Mr. O'Brien?" For the first time in his life, Logan wished he were. Then he could examine her, medically speaking, and take her home. Her home, not his. But medicine hadn't been his calling…and that gave him an idea. "Look, my brother is a doctor, and he only lives about ten minutes from here. He could probably check it out."