“You may come in now, Ms. Halford.”
Claire gathered her papers and got to her feet. No time for one last peek in the mirror to make sure she’d tamed her hair and had no spinach stuck in her teeth. Not that she’d had spinach since brushing, but still.
She entered the temporary office in a back room of Galena Landing’s premiere hotel, The Landing Pad, and stilled. Who had she expected to see sitting behind the desk? A mature older man with graying hair? A plump woman like the one who’d been ushered out by the receptionist as Claire had come in?
Certainly not a guy of about thirty, his slightly messy brown hair a bit longer than her own, with a hint of stubble on his cheeks and chin.
Claire had dressed to the nines herself and even primped her hair. She’d picked all the garden dirt she could get out from under her short fingernails then covered them with rose-colored polish to hide the residue. After all, this was an interview, and she needed this contract. Her future at Green Acres Farm depended on pulling her share of the finances.
He looked up and his brown eyes widened.
He had no right to be this cute.
“Noel Kenzie.” He got to his feet behind the folding table and reached his hand across to shake hers, giving her a good view of a tan t-shirt stretched across a muscular chest and covering the top of a pair of faded blue jeans. A lethal combination.
Better keep some distance from this one. “Hello, Mr. Kenzie. I’m Claire Halford here about the contract for feeding your tree planting crew.” If only her sweaty hands weren’t leaving marks on the papers they clutched.
His examination took in the pink ruffly top and gray slacks her roommate had made her wear. “Just call me Noel.” He sat down and motioned her to the straight chair across from him.
Claire complied, laying her proposal on the edge of the table. Through her lashes she could see him watching her, a speculative gleam in his eye. A gleam that better be about the good food she could feed his employees, buster.
Copyright 2011 by Valerie Comer
This is the unedited first draft opening to the novel I’m currently writing, Check Mate, book 2 of Green Acres series (uncontracted). This snippet may or may not appear in the completed book, which may or may not ever be in print. Still, please do not copy or use without my permission.