Home > The Expert's Guide to Driving a Man Wild (Bluebonnet #3)(3)

The Expert's Guide to Driving a Man Wild (Bluebonnet #3)(3)
Author: Jessica Clare

Brenna grinned to herself. Whistling, she skipped over to Pop’s cabin.

• • •

Later that afternoon, she found herself working alone in the main cabin with Grant. This was normally enough to make Brenna want to run screaming for the hills. Or better yet, to find a task—any task—that would get her out of the building and away from his nitpicking. You’re doing this all wrong, Brenna, he would say. You need to catalog the receipts in date order, and then alphabetically. You can’t just throw them all into a big pile.

She made a face just thinking about that. Nothing she ever did pleased him and his anal-retentive ways.

“Do you have the flight info?” he asked her for the third time that day.

Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, Brenna glanced over at him and kept her voice neatly controlled. “For the third time, yes. I printed them out and put the arrival and gate information on your desk.”

“Thank you.”

“Do you want me to print it out again?” She gave him an innocent look. “You know, just in case one copy isn’t enough?”

Behind his designer glasses, Grant gave her a sharp, narrow-eyed look. “One is fine. Thank you.”

She nodded and went back to emailing one of her friends. Email was really her best friend when she was at work. It made it look like she was busy and if she was busy, then Grant would leave her alone. Theoretically.

He sighed heavily. “I’m sorry, Brenna.”

She froze. That did not sound like Grant. Glancing over, Brenna kept the frown off her face and managed to look only mildly concerned. “Sorry?”

Grant took off his glasses and ran a hand down his face. “I know I keep asking you for the same information over and over again. I’m just a little . . . out of sorts with family coming in to town.”

“Oh,” she said, and then added, “no sweat.”

Okay, he was officially weirding her out. Grant never apologized to her. Like, ever. She typed a moment longer, then fired off the email.

“You put in the ad for the new instructor?”

She nodded and lifted a piece of paper without looking over at him. “Do you want to review it again?”

“Huh? Oh. No, that’s okay.” He lifted the picture on the corner of his desk and then sighed heavily. “Are you going to get dressed at any point today?”

This was more like Grant. She felt a little better. Brenna glanced down at her T-shirt and SpongeBob boxers. “I’m pretty sure all my body parts are covered. Did we get a dress code that I didn’t know about?”

“No. It’s just that my family’s coming in.”

“Should I hide under my desk so I don’t appall them with my hideousness?”

“Very funny. No, just straighten up while I’m gone, please.” He grabbed a stack of envelopes and began to arrange them into a neat pile. “Make sure the magazines are all lined up and if you could dust, that would be terrific.”

“Oh wow.” Brenna mockingly touched her shirt. “I didn’t realize I dressed up as the maid today.”

“Ha, ha, Brenna. You’re an assistant. You occasionally will have to do some sort of work. Today it just means cleaning up.” He ran a finger along the fireplace mantel. “And dusting.”

She saluted him. “Whatever you say, boss.”

He gave her an exasperated look as he headed back to his desk. Grant picked up his keys and paused, glancing around the main lodge. “You think they’ll be proud of what we’ve accomplished here?”

“Why are you asking me?”

A wry expression twisted Grant’s mouth. “Good point. Like I said, it’s just nerves.”

She stared at him. He’d almost just smiled at her. “You feeling okay?”

“Yeah.” He ran a hand down his face again and tugged at his collar once more. He was clearly nervous. “Just a bit distracted.”

“You’ll be fine once you see them,” Brenna said, and then almost bit her tongue. Why was she trying to soothe him? “Shouldn’t you be going soon?”

He nodded and turned to the door, then turned back to her again. “I don’t suppose you can get rid of the purple in your bangs?”

Her purple Bettie Page bangs? She loved them. Brenna glared and pointed at the door. “Go.”

Grant nodded. “Sorry. I shouldn’t have asked. They look nice.”

As she sat there at her desk, mouth hanging open, Grant turned and headed outside just as Dane bounded through the door, coming inside. The big athlete shook rain from his hair, grinning cheerfully. “Looks like it’s going to be a downpour soon.”

Brenna ran to him, dragging him away from the front door and to the back of the main office. “What’s up with Grant?”

Dane looked confused. “What do you mean?”

“He’s being weird,” she hissed. “He apologized to me earlier. Twice. And he seemed nervous. And when he was leaving, he complimented me on my hair.”

“Huh.” Dane looked just as surprised as she was for a moment there. “Your hair’s cute, Bren. In a Suicide Girls sort of way, that is. Kinda not Grant’s thing, though.”

Well, that stung, and she didn’t even know why it bothered her. “I could care less if I’m Grant’s kind of thing,” she said, irritated. “What’s eating him?”

Dane shrugged, then moved to the swag counter, pulling one of the complimentary shirts off a stack and switching it out with his damp one. “Oh, that. He probably just has his feathers ruffled because of his parents visiting. He hasn’t seen them in two years.”

“Aren’t they rich? What’s the matter with them? They don’t like flying or something?”

“Yeah, but it’s more like Grant avoids them. They always ask him about the wife.”

“The wife?” Brenna thought for a moment. “You mean, his dead wife?”

“Yeah.” Dane ripped the tags off the new shirt and tugged it down over his muscular chest. “His dad’s convinced he’s wasting away from missing her, and his mom’s convinced that all he needs is someone new in his life to make him forget her. When Mama Markham shows up to visit, she constantly throws women in his direction, trying to set him up. It drives Grant crazy.”

Brenna thought for a moment. She’d been working with the Expeditions group ever since they opened, and though it had only been a few months, she couldn’t think of a single, solitary time that Grant had gone out on a date. For that matter, he never seemed to get many personal calls, either. It was all work for him.

For some reason, that made her sad, and she felt a twinge of pity. “How long ago did his wife die?”

“Five years ago.”

“Five years!” That was a really long mourning period. He must have been positively flattened by her death. Poor guy.

“Yeah.” Dane’s face was grim. “I wasn’t here at the time but I knew Heather. She and Grant were high school sweethearts. From what I heard, it was pretty bad and Grant was devastated as hell. He’s probably not ready to move on, but his mom won’t let up. She thinks he’ll never jump back into the waters unless she gives him a little push.”

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