"That," said Brett Rutland in a quietly appreciative voice, "should be illegal."
Evan Brady had been watching the young woman who had just walked past them, too, and he could only agree. He'd already been in the Los Angeles office for a week, and he'd seen her several times. "You'll have to get in line, along with the rest of us," he advised Brett dryly. "Her social life would make a Philadelphia debutante green with envy."
A cool, hard smile touched Brett's lips. "Sorry; I think I'll cut in and go to the head of the line."
Evan was a little startled, for he'd never known Brett to become involved with anyone in the company before, and he'd really only been teasing. Still, when a man looked at Teresa Conway, other considerations tended to fly right out of his mind. Then he shrugged. "She doesn't look like the general idea of a bookkeeper, does she?"
Brett's dark blue eyes cut sharply to him. "Bookkeeper?"
"And damned good at what she does, too. She has to automatically be considered a suspect."
Brett nodded, turning his gaze once again to the slim back of the woman and watching until she entered the elevator and he was no longer able to see her.
He and Evan were in Los Angeles to quietly investigate the mysterious discrepancy that an internal audit had turned up in the Los Angeles office of Carter Engineering, which was under the corporate umbrella of the Carter-Marshall Group. When Joshua Carter had heard of the possible embezzlement in his base company, he'd been livid, and Joshua Carter in a rage was something to behold, even though he was now pushing seventy. He'd called in his prize troubleshooter to investigate and handle the problem, and he'd instructed Brett to prosecute to the full extent of the law. Nobody stole from Joshua Carter and got away with only dismissal and a slap on the wrist! Bad publicity could go hang, for all he cared.
Brett shared with Joshua Carter the same cold distrust for a thief; he'd worked too hard to achieve his success to feel anything but contempt for anyone who tried to do it the easy way, by stealing the fruit of someone else's labors. It might take a while, but he and Evan would find the thief, and their handling of the situation would make everyone else in Carter Engineering think twice before they took so much as a pencil home.
Computer theft, by someone who really knew computers, could be a real bitch to track down, but Brett had full confidence in Evan's skills. There were few other people in the United States who could match Evan's expertise with a computer. With Evan working on the technical end, and Brett investigating the people, they'd have this wrapped up before the thief even knew they were coming. The cover story that had been given out was that they were in Los Angeles to investigate the feasibility of a new computer system that was being considered. Evan could make that look legitimate for an indefinite length of time.
Brett rubbed his jaw consideringly. "Do you know her name?" he asked Evan in an almost absent manner.
"Every man in this building knows her name," Evan replied, grinning. "Teresa Conway, but everyone calls her Tessa. She isn't married; I
uh, pulled her personnel file."