was no reason to worry just because her mother hadnât answered her messages; sooner or later her mom would call back. The lack of response meant, though, that Kelly was still dead broke, still financially dependent on him.
And that was killing her. Will tried to keep up a hustling pace to get her mind off it, but initially they only ran into more frustration instead of less. Their first stop was the specific commissariatâthe police station. There, of course, the bureaucratic bullshit began. In order to obtain the required rÃ©cÃ©pissÃ© de dÃ©claration de perte ou de vol âproof sheâd been through a theftâshe had to get two separate sets of receipts. One was for the passport papers, and one for any other type of stolen valuables. Everywhere there were lines.
Because Will knew the system, he figured heâd stay cool, but by noon he was coming apart at the seams, like Kelly was. The solution was obvious. Get the hell out of Dodge. By midday Saturday, there was no real chance of getting business done anyway, so there was no reason not to aim for some fun.
He picked Ãle de la CitÃ© first. The island, located in the middle of the Seine, was sardine packed with history and monuments, a guaranteed attraction for tourists. Hell, even the locals loved it. So did he.
It seemed the ideal place to get her out in the fresh air, removed from everything to do with the trauma of the muggerâand whatever else was haunting those wet-velvet brown eyes.
That was the theory.
The reality turned into something else. Getting her out in the fresh air pepped her up just fine. Only then she opened her mouth and never shut it again.
âIâm sick of thinking about me, talking about me. God knows, itâs your turn. Whatâs your job, Will? Whyâd you end up in Paris? Youâre not planning on living here forever, are you?â
That nasty line of conversation started when they were in sight of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Heâd figured it was the one place guaranteed to brighten up her moodâ¦and it did. Only after thirty seconds of awed, respectful silence, she turned her attention right back to him, waiting for a barrage of answers to her endless questions.
He could only duck so far. âFromage,â he said finally.
âFromage?â From the depths of her schoolgirl French, she suddenly remembered the word. âCheese? Your job here is about cheese? Are you kidding?â
He sighed. âItâs hard to explain.â
âWhy? Whatâs hard to explain about cheese?â
The drizzling rain had stopped. A watery sun poked through the tufty clouds. Tourists, as always, were out in droves. It was spring, after all. Paris. And Ãle de la CitÃ© had more old stone and romantic history than anyplace in the universe. She should have been entranced. They should not have been talking about cheese.
âI came here originally toâ¦well, to loll around. Play. Live my life. The idea was to take any job I could find that would support me, but otherwise, I wasnât looking for career work. Thereâs no way Iâll ever be driven the way my father is. Iâm not about to be chained to an office or living just for money.â
She stopped dead, as if a lightbulb suddenly dawned in those far-too-smart brown eyes. âOh my God, oh my God. Willâ¦I know you said your last name was Maguire, but youâre notâ¦â She gulped. âYouâre not one of those Maguires, are you?â
âDonât go there,â he warned her.
âHoly mackerel. Youâre Aaron Maguireâs son? Good grief. Good heavens. Your familyâs practically a dynasty in South Bend. Everybody knows theyâre wallowing in money. Practically drowning in it.â She hustled in front of him on the sidewalk, walking backward to look into his face. âIâll be darned. Iâve seen his picture a zillion times in the paper. You look just like him,