His E-Mail Order Wife(6)

By: Kristi Gold

“Would you like to have a seat?” He indicated the formal furniture in the adjacent living room. It looked nice, but not all that comfortable.

“I’m fine, really.”

“Okay. I’m sure he’ll be here in a minute.”

Another minute might not be enough time for Kristina to prepare, especially for a bear.

Tobias sent her a questioning look as if trying to read her thoughts, uncover her secrets. “I should’ve known you weren’t from the agency,” he said. “You’re not at all what they sent the last time, some skinny young thing with barely a brain in her head.”

Kristina was definitely not skinny, and not brainless under normal circumstances, though at the moment she questioned her wisdom. Obviously Drew Connelly was without a nanny. Could this be the reason behind his request for her to move in? “Then I assume he’s looking for someone to take care of Amanda.”

“As of early this morning. He had to fire the latest one because she wasn’t doing her job. Another reason why he’s in such a foul mood.”

That relieved Kristina somewhat. At least it appeared he hadn’t brought her here solely to replace his nanny.

Tobias grinned. “I’m sure he’ll be much better now that you’re here. Nothing like a pretty girl to brighten a young man’s morning.”

A pretty girl? “Thanks,” she muttered, realizing he was probably only being polite, a good trait, one she hoped he’d instilled in his grandson.

Tobias glanced at his watch then regarded her with kind eyes. “I hate to have to part good company, but I was just on my way out. Every now and then I need to check on the boy, make sure he’s staying in line.” He opened the front door and sent her another cheery smile. “Take care, Miss Simmons. I hope we see each other again soon. Have Drew bring you around some time. I know his grandmother would love to meet you.”

With that he was out the door, leaving Kristina alone to wait for the mysterious Drew Connelly.

On wobbly knees, she turned to one of the windows framing the front door and surveyed the surroundings outside. Drenched in the mid-August sun, a beautiful parkway sporting benches and lush lawns split the street, a lovely place for kids to play under the watchful eyes of their parents. Kristina wished she could abandon her shoes and play at the moment, but no matter how tempting that thought, she couldn’t run away now.

She kneaded her clammy hands, wondering what Drew Connelly was really like. A younger version of his grandfather, maybe. Kind and considerate, once he had his caffeine. But what would he think of her? Drew had said in his e-mails that appearance didn’t matter. Still, after he saw all of her, not just a head-shot photo, he could very well change his mind.

The sound of footsteps on tiled floor echoed behind her, signaling that the moment of truth had arrived.

Straightening her shoulders, Kristina turned and stifled a gasp at the man coming toward her—a gorgeous man wearing a gaping navy robe that revealed a spattering of dark hair on a well-defined chest and a pair of low-riding pajama bottoms that showcased his board-flat belly. He stopped for a minute then continued on more slowly before halting a scant few feet away.

Kristina actually had to look up at him, an uncommon occurrence considering her height. His narrowed eyes were shockingly blue, his mussed wavy hair raven black. He looked entirely too sexy, as if he’d just crawled out of bed.

Just crawled out of bed?

Heavens, had he forgotten she was coming? Had she got the time wrong? Was this really him?


His gaze roamed lazily over her, from forehead to feet, then settled on her eyes. “You must be Kristina,” he said in a low, husky voice.

At the moment she wasn’t sure who she was, or if she could clear away the shock, both from his appearance and his steady perusal, in order to speak. “Yes, I’m Kristina. Am I early?” Am I crazy?

“It’s barely 8:00 a.m. I think that would qualify as early, especially on a Saturday.”

“That’s what time you told me to be here.”

He frowned. “I did?”

“Yes. I have it right here.” She rummaged through the nylon tote thrown over her shoulder to retrieve the final e-mail. “It says, ‘Come at 8:00 a.m. We can talk before Amanda wakes up.”’ She shoved the paper back into her bag and when he didn’t respond, she added, “Do you want me to come back later?” Or maybe never?

“Kristina! You came!”

Kristina turned to find a flaxen-haired little girl wearing a pink satin nightgown, bounding down the stairs as fast as her tiny feet would allow. Once she reached the bottom, she kept going and hurled herself at Kristina’s legs, nearly knocking Kristina backward in the process.

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