Hot Westmoreland Nights(6)

By: Brenda Jackson


“This is Marie Dodson at the employment agency. May I speak with Mr. Ramsey Westmoreland, please?”

“He isn’t here.”

“Oh. Then please let him know there was a mix-up and the woman who was supposed to show up at his place this morning as a live-in cook for two weeks was sent somewhere else.”

Chloe nodded and tapped her perfectly painted nail against the pad beside the phone. “All right, I’ll be sure to tell him.”

“He told me that his regular cook had to leave town unexpectedly due to a family emergency. I do hate leaving him in a bind like this with so many men to feed,” the woman said with regret in her voice.

“I’m sure he will understand,” was the only response Chloe felt she could make. “As a matter of fact, I think he’s made other arrangements,” Chloe added.

Moments later she was hanging up the phone, hoping that Ramsey Westmoreland would understand. But with what she guessed would be twenty hungry men come lunchtime, she wasn’t so sure.

At that moment an idea flowed through her mind. Although her father had spoiled her rotten, he was a person who never forgot where he came from and believed in helping those less fortunate. That had been the main reason why she had spent her summers while home from college working at the homeless shelters. And since she enjoyed cooking, for three full summers while all her friends had spent time on the Florida beaches, she had volunteered her time helping out in the shelter’s kitchens where large amounts of foods had to be cooked and served.

Mama Francine, who had worked as a cook at the shelter for years, had taught her all she needed to know, regardless of whether Chloe had wanted the education. Now it seemed all Mama Francine’s cooking instructions about how to prepare food for a large group hadn’t gone to waste.

Chloe tapped her finger to her chin. Maybe if she helped Ramsey Westmoreland out of this bind with lunch today, he just might be grateful enough to return the favor by doing her cover story. Especially if she made sure he felt he owed her big time. She smiled, liking the thought of that.

After glancing at her watch she took off her jacket and rolled up her sleeves as she headed toward the kitchen. One good favor deserved another and she was counting on Ramsey Westmoreland seeing things that way.


Ramsey’s jaw tightened as he slowed his truck to a stop. He had been in such a hurry to get out of the woman’s presence that he hadn’t taken time to even ask for her name. All he could think about was how his testosterone level had suddenly kicked into gear and that a sexual hunger, unlike any he’d ever experienced before, had begun sliding up his spine.

And the woman was his cook? A live-in cook for two weeks? How in the hell was he supposed to handle something like that? He couldn’t imagine sharing space of any kind with her. There was something about her that drew him, made him think of things he hadn’t thought of in a long time, had no business thinking about now. Lustful things.


He slid the truck into gear to start moving again. What he should do is to turn around, go back and tell her as nicely as he could that she wouldn’t work out. Then he’d call the employment agency and request that they send out a replacement.

He checked his watch, wondering how much time it would take to get another cook out to his place. Would the agency be able to find someone else right away? At least in time for lunch? Probably not, which meant he was stuck with the woman at least through today. But what if the agency couldn’t find anyone else by tomorrow? What then?

He brought the truck to another stop and rubbed his hand down his face. This wasn’t good. The shearers had been at it since six that morning after eating the pitiful breakfast that he had prepared. And he of all people knew his men worked hard and expected a good meal at lunch to keep going until the end of the day. And as their employer it was his job to make sure they got it.

As he turned his truck toward the area where the shearing plant was located he set his jaw in determination as he thought about the challenges that lay ahead with his new cook. He grabbed his cell phone off the seat beside him and figured that maybe he should call the house and check on her, make sure things were running smoothly, and then he quickly decided against it. Although he hadn’t given the woman time to say much of anything, he had liked the sound that had flowed from her lips with the few words that she’d spoken.