Hot Westmoreland Nights(10)

By: Brenda Jackson

Hell, such a thought no matter how tempting, didn’t sit well with him, mainly because he made the Double Creek Sheep Ranch one of the most successful in the United States. He’d done so by staying focused on what needed to be done and not by getting caught up in a woman. He didn’t intend to get caught up on one now.

He leaned against the counter, deciding not to interrupt what she was doing just yet. Not when he had her within his scope. Whether he liked it, he was enjoying the view.

The man was agitated about something, Chloe could sense it, but at the moment she refused to let him get on her last nerve. She had plenty of work to do and didn’t have time for a confrontation. After she was finished clearing the table she would break the news to Mr. Westmoreland that she was not his cook, that she had done him a favor and that she expected one in return.

The room was quiet, but she could hear his breathing, strong and steady. But even though she refused to look over at him, she was well aware he was looking at her, checking her out. And she knew he was paying a lot of attention to her backside, probably had his gaze locked on it real tight, which would account for the heat she actually felt on that part of her anatomy. She’d been told by more than one man that she had a nice derriere, curvy and shapely, just the way a man liked. Whoopie, she thought sarcastically.

But still, she would be the first to admit that just the thought that Ramsey Westmoreland’s gaze was on her bottom almost made her breath catch in her throat. His eyes, whenever she looked into them, were filled with intensity and she could actually feel that intensity now focused directly on her.

Not able to stand it a minute longer, she swung around and frowned deeply. “We can talk now.”

His dark eyes remained steady on her, even when he nodded and said, “All right. First I want to say you did a heck of a job with lunch today. The men were impressed and so was I.”

She blinked. A compliment hadn’t been what she’d been expecting. The man definitely had a way of delivering it with mixed emotions. His words were syrupy and sweet, while the texture of his voice was brooding. “Thank you, I’m glad everyone enjoyed it.”

“They also enjoyed you.” At the lift of her brow he clarified and said, “Enjoyed you being here I mean.”

She wondered where he was about to go with that comment and figured she would know soon enough. “I enjoyed being here as well,” she responded as she placed the dishes in the sink. It was time to come clean and let him know her real purpose for being there. “Mr. Westmoreland, I think that you—”

“Ramsey. I prefer you call me Ramsey. Everyone around here does. Some even call me Ram.”

She couldn’t help but smile at that.

“You find something amusing, Ms. Burton?”

She met his gaze and her smile widened even more. “You can call me Chloe, and what I find amusing is the fact that a ram is a male sheep and you are in the sheep business. Unique, don’t you think?”

He shrugged muscular shoulders. “Never gave it much thought.”

She lifted a brow. “Are you trying to tell me that no one has ever made the connection before?”

“If they did, they knew better than to mention it.”

Chloe wanted to just throw her hands up in the air and give up. It was quite evident that even when they were trying to hold a civil conversation they had the ability to rub each other the wrong way. That made her wonder about him, the man she wanted to be on the cover of Simply Irresistible. He looked better than chocolate cake oozing with deep, rich chocolate icing—her favorite—but it was becoming quite evident he was a complex man. She couldn’t help wonder what made Ramsey tick? What would it take to make him become relaxed, more laid-back? she wondered. Although she could see that around his men he was pretty mild-mannered and friendly. It was obvious they had a good working relationship while maintaining a degree of respect. That meant he was reserving his uptightness mainly for her. She wondered why.

The research she’d done indicated he dated when the mood or the urge probably hit him. Yet he didn’t have any steady woman in his life. His last serious relationship had been with the woman he’d become engaged to, a woman by the name of Danielle McKay. However, she had ruined what was to have been his wedding day by stopping the minister in the middle of the wedding and walking out. That had been over ten years ago. Surely he’d gotten over that incident by now.