Restless in Carolina

Restless in Carolina by Tamara Leigh Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Restless in Carolina by Tamara Leigh Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tamara Leigh
Tags: Christian fiction
continues along the corridor.
    No! I did not suffer this getup to have him walk away. I don’t care to attract the eligible bachelor, but a slightly closer look would have been all right if it allowed me to present my proposal.
    I reach for a dread, but the blond hair slides through my fingers, reminding me of what I gave up for J. C. Dirk before I was truly ready. And that makes me plain mad.
    Feeling the receptionist’s gaze, I turn back to the photo. Five minutes later, the elevator pings and a man and two women exit.
    I return to my chair as the women are directed to the waiting area with the promise that a Mr. Strom will be with them soon. Next, the receptionist addresses the man. “The meeting has just started. Let me take you back.”
    I stick my nose in a magazine in hopes of appearing oblivious to the door that is opening to me. A moment later, the receptionist leads the man away. Once they’re out of sight, I grab the briefcase and hurry to the door.
    My trek down the corridor is uneventful, but the next corridor is lined with offices. “Act like you belong,” I mutter as I scan the plaques that identify the occupants of each office. Most of those whose doors are open don’t glance up, but the ones who do are given a smile I wish I felt.
    As I approach the next corridor, I hear the tinkle of what can only be the coin belt. Deciding on the plaque that reads Lunchroom, I push open the door. Thankfully, the room is empty. When the tinkle fades, I return to the corridor. Rounding the next corner, I see J. C. Dirk behind a bank of windows in a fancy conference room that boasts a view of the murky Atlanta skyline. Not my kind of view. I’ll take clear and Carolina green any day.
    The man I’m here to see is at the head of a table that seats his visitors and Ms. Wiley, who has her back to me. He’s expressive, hands gesturing, lightly stubbled face shifting from serious to excited to something that makes him smile and laugh.
    I have the feeling I’m staring at a fountain of energy that the magazine article hinted at with phrases like
go-getter
and
adventurous
, but I can handle him. Though I’d prefer to locate his office and wait there, I risk being intercepted and forcibly removed. Thus, I’ll have to interrupt his meeting. The end will likely be the same, but at least I’ll get my face-to-face, even if only thirty seconds’ worth.
    “May I help you?”
    I jump at the appearance of a slender, spectacled man at my elbow. “Just headin’ into the meeting.” I cover my surprise with a smile.
    He frowns, causing a crescent-shaped scar above his right eyebrow to pucker. “J.C.’s meeting?”
    “That’s right.” I check my nonexistent watch—nonexistent because Piper insisted my Velcro-banded water-resistant watch didn’t go with the outfit. “Looks like I’m runnin’ late.” I step forward with such haste my right ankle nearly goes out from under me. I hate heels.
    “Since I’m going your way”—he touches my arm—“we can go in together.”
    Well, open me a jar of peaches and call me a pie. Is this my lucky day or what? “Certainly.” As he opens the door, the voices within trail off and all eyes turn to me, most heavily those of J. C. Dirk—a brighter green than they appeared on the magazine cover; however, they quickly transition from enthusiasm to questioning to annoyance.
    “Ms. Buchanan!” his assistant exclaims from the far end of the table.
    I don’t correct the flubbed “Mrs.” Progress.
    She rises from the chair. “This is a closed meeting.” She glances at the four men and two women around the table that could accommodate a dozen more, then frowns at my escort whose confusion I feel. “I have to ask you to—”
    “Make an appointment. I know, but that hasn’t worked. So here I am.” As my escort lowers into a chair, I shift my regard to J. C. Dirk. “I understand you’re a busy man, but all I need is ten minutes.”
    He picks up a pen between both hands and twists

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