Home > The MacGregor Brides (The MacGregors #6)(6)

The MacGregor Brides (The MacGregors #6)(6)
Author: Nora Roberts

She heard the front door buzzer, sniffed. She took her time putting on her shoes. Then, to prove to herself that she didn't care how she looked to Royce or any other man that morning, deliberately turned away from the mirror before heading downstairs. He was in the foyer. A scarred leather jacket, faded jeans, dark, tousled hair. He was talking to Julia and Gwen, and he laughed at something Julia said. Laura made it halfway down the stairs before he turned his head, before those oddly intense blue eyes, with their dark fringe of lashes, met hers. Before that slow, dangerous smile curved his mouth.

Before her heart gave one jerky kick that warned her she might be in trouble after all.

"Morning, Slim," he said, giving her a very slow once-over. "Nice shirt."

Chapter 3

Royce didn't pursue women. He particularly didn't pursue a woman who indicated a lack of interest—or one who was sending out mixed signals. When he met a woman who attracted him, he let her know it. Straight out, no games, no pretenses. He figured it was up to the woman in question to pick up the ball from there.

Since Laura MacGregor wasn't picking up the ball, hadn't even acknowledged that he'd tossed one in her direction, he should have shrugged it off, forgotten her and gone about his business.

But he wasn't having any luck in doing that.

It had been nearly three weeks since he first saw her, four days since he last saw her. And she was still on his mind. Not just the picture of her in that sexy little outfit she'd worn in the kitchen—though that image certainly popped into his mind with annoying regularity. It was her face that hounded him, he thought, the cold courage in it when she'd whipped up that knife and faced him down. It was the intelligence and determination in her eyes when she'd spoken of law and justice. It was the cocky smile curving that incredibly tempting mouth as she'd walked down the stairs the day he began the installation of her security system. It was, he was forced to admit, the whole damn package.

In his small, crowded office off Boylston, he rubbed his tired eyes, ran his hands through hair badly in need of a trim. She was keeping him up at night, and it was ticking him off. What he needed to do was pull out his address book and find a companionable woman to spend an evening with. Someone uncomplicated and undemanding.

Why in the hell didn't he want someone uncomplicated and undemanding?

He'd be damned if he was going to pick up the phone and call Laura. He'd asked her out, she'd refused. He'd told her he'd be available if she changed her mind. She hadn't changed it. He hadn't made a fool of himself over a female since he was twelve and fell madly in love with his best friend's older sister, the sixteen-year-old goddess Marsha Bartlett. He'd mooned over her for two months, followed her around like a slavish puppy and suffered the taunts of the entire seventh grade of Saint Anne's Elementary. Marsha Bartlett had never paid any attention to him, and had gone on to marry an oral surgeon. And Royce didn't moon after females anymore. "Grow up, Cameron," he ordered himself, and turned back to his computer screen to fiddle with the proposed security system on an office building in South Boston.

When the phone shrilled, he ignored it until the fourth ring. Swearing, he snatched it up. Obviously his secretary was off powdering her nose again. "Cameron Security."

"And this would be Cameron himself?" Royce recognized the voice. There was no mistaking that full-blooded Scot. "It would be, Mr. MacGregor."

"Good, just the man I'm after. You've seen to my granddaughters."

"The system's up and operative." And the bill, he thought—the hefty bill—was in the mail. "It's the best money can buy."

"I'm counting on that, boy. I want my wife's mind at rest. She frets."

"So you said."

"And you tested the system personally?"

"As you requested. Any attempt to break in or undermine the system sends an alarm straight to the nearest cop shop and my own personal beeper."

"Good, good. But those girls have to use it to be protected. They're young, you know, and busy with their interests. My wife's worried that they may be careless and forget to turn it on altogether."

"Mr. MacGregor, I can only guarantee the system if it's in use."

"Exactly, exactly. Why, I was telling Anna just this morning that you've done everything you could do. But she's got this in her mind now, and is worrying on it. I was thinking, just to soothe her, we could do a test. If you'd go by sometime—tonight's as good a time as any—and just see if you can get inside…"

"Hold it. Let me get this straight. You want me to break into your granddaughters' house?"

"Well, you see, if you manage to do it, then we'll know we need to adjust the matter a bit. And if you can't… well, then, I can ease my wife's mind. She's old," Daniel added in a low voice, keeping an eagle eye on the doorway. "I worry about her health. We're more than happy to pay you for your time and trouble."

"Do you know what the cage time is for nighttime breaking and entering, Mr. MacGregor?" Daniel laughed heartily. Indeed, he'd picked a rare one for his Laura. "Now, Royce, as a former officer of the law, I'm sure you'd know that well enough. And you'd know how to be sure you weren't caught at it. I meant to tell you that I'm considering having a new security system installed here, at my home. It's a large house, and I'd want only the best. Cost would be no object." Royce leaned back in his chair and stared, meditatively, at the ceiling. "Are you bribing me, Mr. MacGregor?"

"Indeed I am, Mr. Cameron. Are you an enterprising young man?"

"Indeed I am. And this is going to cost you."

"What's money compared to the peace of mind and safety of those we love?"

Royce tipped back in his chair, waited a beat. "I've met a lot of demons and clever people in my life, Mr. MacGregor. You could give lessons."

Daniel's roar of laughter had Royce's ears ringing.

"I like you, lad, damned if I don't. Camerons, strong stock. You get back to me when you've checked this matter out. And we'll arrange for a time for you to come up here and modernize my security."

It was going to earn him big bucks, Royce calculated the zeros as he slipped out of the moonlight and into the shadows of the grand old trees that guarded the house.

Hot Series
» Vampire Academy Series read online
» Crossfire Series read online
» Fifty Shades trilogy read online
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
Most Popular
» Drawn into Love (Fluke My Life #4)
» Nightchaser (Endeavor #1)
» Right Where I Want You
» Tangled Like Us (Like Us #4)
» Be the Girl
» Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay #7)
» If I Only Knew
» Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2)
» 99 Percent Mine
» Free (Chaos #6)
» Work in Progress (Red Lipstick Coalition #3
» Moonlight Scandals (de Vincent #3)