Bee could hardly believe her eyes when she saw the man standing by the bus stop. Danny had warned her that his dad possessed movie-star looks, but she had honestly thought he was only joking.
Obviously, Bee thought dazedly, he was not.
If Danny hadn’t taken great pains to explain exactly why his dad had a need for a mail-order bride, she would be calling 911 right this moment to report a scam and have Nicholas arrested as a con artist.
Even the words ‘tall, dark, and handsome’ didn’t do him justice. With his honey-blond hair streaked with gold and his long, lean build clad in a plaid shirt and tight-fitting jeans, He looked more like a ruggedly sexy cowboy angel, Bee decided, and instead of halo and wings, he had a roughed-up Stetson and leather boots to complete his look.
It was altogether too much, really, and Bee’s throat went dry as she watched him stride towards her, his every movement graceful and strong.
A burst of wind as the city bus sped off diverted Bee from her gawking, and she hurriedly pushed her skirt down before it could reveal the color of her underwear. When she looked up, he was already in front of her, and up close he appeared even larger than life, and so breathtakingly handsome it had her gulping.
His voice was deep and velvety – the sexiest sound in the world to her ears – but it was the way he said her name that had Bee choking back a giggle. Traveling from her home in Georgia all the way to Evergreen had involved a two-hour flight and a two-hour bus ride, and she had spent most of the journey trying to picture how their first meeting would play.
Never, however, had she imagined that it would come down to this, with her brand-new husband checking her identity like a police detective.
Others might’ve found this insulting or disconcerting, but humor came to her rescue like it always did, and Bee was unable to keep her lips from twitching as she lifted her gaze to his. “Hello, and, umm, that was my name, yes.”
Was? Nicholas couldn’t even fathom what that was supposed to mean. This girl was a kooky little thing, and maybe that was why Daniel had acted out of character. His son had never been the type to ask a favor. That he would do so now, and it had to be the kind of favor any one of the ranch hands could’ve easily done in Nicholas’ stead…
Daniel had probably thought there was a chance his friend’s eccentric way of talking would have her end up in the nearest hospital with a psych ward. And he was right to be worried, Nicholas thought. His son had mentioned that she would be staying with them for the month, and yet the girl only had a single duffel bag with her.
Bee noticed Nicholas’ gaze falling on her bag, and she said hesitantly, “I didn’t have much else to bring.”
“I see.” But he didn’t, not really. “We should get going,” he said finally.
Seeing him reach for her bag, Bee shook her head, stammering, “It’s fine—”
Nicholas only gave her a look, and Bee found herself meekly letting go of the bag’s worn handles.
Nicholas’ truck was a dusty silver beast with cream leather interior. It was easily the most luxurious vehicle Bee had ever experienced riding, and it showed in the way her wide-eyed gaze took in the massive touchscreen display on the dashboard and the way she reverently ran her fingers over the wood finish of the door’s handles.
Her reaction had Nicholas wondering how Tabitha and his son had even met in the first place, and as he started the engine, he deliberately adopted a casual tone as he asked her about this.
“After the emails, you mean?” Bee was too busy admiring the way Nicholas drove to dwell over the oddness of his question. “It was just once, during the ceremony.” A thought occurred to her then, and she quicky turned to look at him, saying in a rush, “I’m not saying that to make you feel guilty. Danny explained how busy you were, so I totally understand why you couldn’t make it.”
Emails? Ceremony? Guilty? What the hell was she talking about? He had half a mind to demand that she make even just a tiny bit of sense but managed to clamp his mouth shut at the last minute. It didn’t matter either way, Nicholas reminded himself broodingly. She was Daniel’s friend, not his. It was only right to let his son handle her.
Turning back to her, he noticed Tabitha rummaging through her purse and felt obliged to ask, “Is anything wrong?”
“I have something for you…”
Nicholas’ eyebrow arched. For him?
“Aha!” She flashed him an adorable smile of victory, like a five-year-old who had gotten her first star from school. “Here you go.”