He stood and turned to face her, and Katherine hurriedly erased her smile and shifted her gaze to one of the framed watercolors that hung on the wall, pretending to be completely absorbed in the shades of blue used in the ocean scene.
Trey Sutherland didn’t know where Bill Lewis was. But he believed it likely that Mr. Lewis could “drop in” at any time. If Katherine truly wanted to find Mr. Lewis, and she did, then—
He was looking at her. He was making noises of agreement into the telephone and, while he thought she wasn’t paying him any mind, he was sneaking a look at…her legs?
That was absurd. If anyone was going to dare to look at a princess’s legs, he would look at Alexandra’s or Elizabeth’s legs, not Katherine’s. While her legs weren’t precisely unattractive, she simply didn’t dress in a manner to draw a man’s eyes in that direction. That is, assuming the man was bold enough to check out a princess in the first place. Most men weren’t.
But, of course, Trey Sutherland had no idea that Katherine was a princess. Trey Sutherland thought that Katherine was in his office to apply for a job as a nanny.
He hung up the phone. “Sorry.”
“It’s all right.”
In the brighter light of his office, she saw that there was a trace of silver at his temples. And his eyes really were a quite disarming shade of blue. His gaze swept over her again in a most disconcerting way. This time, it wasn’t so much checking her out as assessing. Taking stock. Studying. There was nothing disrespectful about it—he was simply doing it in an extremely male way.
“You’re younger than I’d hoped you’d be,” he said bluntly, coming around to sit in the other leather armchair in front of his desk.
Katherine blinked at him. “Younger…?”
“This is a live-in position,” he explained. “If you’ve got a husband and family—”
“I don’t. Have a husband, I mean.”
She felt herself blush. “No.”
“How old are you?”
“Twenty-five.” This was absurd. This man’s questions were so direct as to be rude. And she wasn’t even here to be hired on as a nanny. “How old are you?” Oh dear, where had that come from?
But he answered her. “Thirty-five. At least until the beginning of January, and then I’ll be thirty-six.”
“I’m sorry, I—”
“No, that’s fair. You’ve got every right to ask as many questions as you want. This interview is a two-way street. Do you like kids?”
She was blinking at him again. “Do I…?”
“Yeah, I know. It seems like a stupid question considering the job you’re applying for, but I’ve run across more than my share of people claiming to be nannies who don’t particularly like the children they’ve been hired to care for. They don’t particularly like children at all.” His eyes were hot with intensity as he leaned toward her. “My kids need to be respected and liked at the very least. And you better believe if I could pay you to love them, I would.”
He stood up suddenly, as if he’d given too much away, or if there was a limit to how long he could contain his sheer energy and stay seated in a chair.
“My turn to apologize,” he said, as he moved behind his desk. “Our last nanny left without even saying goodbye to Stacy and Doug. It’s important to me that I find someone who fully understands the extent of the burden I’m placing upon them. These are kids who know too damn well what it means to be deserted, and—I’m getting way ahead of myself. I haven’t even asked you your name.”
“I do like kids,” Katherine said softly. She liked kids, Trey Sutherland seemed in rather desperate need of a nanny, and, if she kept up this insane subterfuge and moved into the Sutherland estate, she’d be here when and if William Lewis turned up.
She’d also be here to watch Trey Sutherland’s amazingly beautiful eyes blaze with intensity and passion. She imagined his eyes lit up that way at least several dozen times a day.
He smiled only very slightly, yet it was enough to soften the somewhat harsh lines of his face. “That’s good to know, Miss…?”
She tucked her hand behind her back, crossed her fingers, and for the first time in her life, acted on complete impulse.
“Wind,” Princess Katherine of Wynborough said in her very best Sean Connery. “Kathy Wind.”
It was funny, but as Trey reached to shake Kathy Wind’s hand, it was almost—at first—as if she were extending her knuckles to be kissed, as if she were the Royal Queen of England.
But although her hand was soft, her nails were short, some of them bitten. Whoever heard of a queen who bit her fingernails?
She had a solid, warm handshake, and although it was absurd to base such things on gut reactions, he liked her even more for it.
“Where are you from?” he asked, releasing her hand.
She had to crane her neck to look up at him, and he sat down on the edge of his desk to put them slightly more on the same level.
She had a very direct way of looking steadily into his eyes, and he liked that about her, too.
“I’m from the country of Wynborough,” she told him in her Mary Poppins accent. “It’s a small island not far from England.”
“So what brings you all the way out here to the American Southwest?”
“I have…family…in Aspen. Colorado,” she added in that earnest way she had, as if he might not know where Aspen was.
Yeah, Trey liked her. And that was a damn good thing, because, as Anita had let him know, Kathy Wind was the only surviving candidate for the position of nanny. The others had either been scared off by the size of the estate, or by the dark rumors that surrounded both this place and its master.
He gazed into Kathy’s wide gray eyes, wondering what she’d heard about him, and wondering, if she had heard something, why it didn’t matter to her. Of course, this interview was only just starting. She still had time to bring the subject up.
“Ever been arrested?” he asked. It was amazing the variety of answers he’d received to that question when interviewing potential child care providers for his two kids.
Kathy laughed, a sudden burst of startled surprise. “I should hope not!”
“I should, too,” Trey said dryly. “But have you?”
She flushed slightly. That was the second time she’d done that. The effect was completely sweet and totally charming. “No!”
“Good. Neither have I,” he told her.
Something nearly imperceptible shifted СКАЧАТЬ