Excerpt: The Maid’s Daughter By Janice Maynard

 
Gillian Carlyle.  Why did that sound so familiar?  He didn’t know this woman, did he?

While the medical exam continued, Devlyn analyzed the puzzle.  Gillian’s looks were unexceptional.  Medium brown hair, darker brown eyes, pale skin, an angular figure.  The cream angora sweater she wore along with a brown corduroy skirt and knee length boots were not in any way provocative. 

She wasn’t his type, not at all.  So he knew they hadn’t dated in some far distant adolescent past.  Yet for some reason, he was intrigued.

          Finally, she was allowed to sit up.  “Thank you,” she said quietly.  “I’m feeling much better now.” 

The ambulance driver began putting away all the equipment, addressing Devlyn over Gillian’s head.  “She told me you were the Good Samaritan who stopped to help her.  Can you drive her home?  She’s gonna be okay.  Lots of bumps and bruises, though. Make sure she’s not alone tonight in case anything crops up that we missed.  She should see her doctor for a follow up visit tomorrow.”

Devlyn groaned inwardly.  Even if he dashed back up the mountain and took the chopper, he’d never make it now.  “Sure,” he said, with a smile that felt like a grimace.  “I’d be glad to.”  In the boardroom, he had no trouble acting like a bastard.  Not so much in real life.

He watched Gillian deal with the necessary evil of insurance info. Then he shepherded her back to the car, his arm around her narrow waist.  Her bone structure was slender, though she was fairly tall.  She fit against his shoulder as if she had been created for just that spot.  In the flashing lights from the ambulance he could see that she was dangerously near the point of exhaustion.

How in God’s name could he simply drop her off at a deserted house in her condition?  “Is there anyone you can call to stay with you tonight?  A friend?  A neighbor?” 

“No.  But I’ll be fine.”  She turned her head away from him. 

He kicked the heat on full blast.  If his big body was chilled, she must be freezing.  Consigning his last hope of making the business meeting to hell, he sighed.  “I’m taking you to Wolff Mountain.  We have enough guest rooms for a small army.  No one will bother you, but you’ll have help close by if you need it.  I’ll call a tow truck in the morning and we’ll see about your car.”

She half turned to face him, her body visibly shaking.  Moisture glittered in her eyes.  “You don’t even remember who I am, do you?  Even after you heard me say my name.  Take me home, Devlyn.  I don’t belong on your mountain.”

And just like that, a memory clicked…
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