“Who the hell are you?”
Exhausted and confused, not to mention, taken aback by the harsh demand, Harper jerked to a halt at the end of the stairway and blinked owlishly up at the giant man glaring down at her. “Um…” she was groggy after traveling for the past twenty four hours, so it took her several tries to understand his question. “I’m Dr. Harper Ross,” she said, extending her hand in greeting. “I’m here to work with…”
“No, you’re not!” he snapped as his eyes narrowed.
Okay, Harper was exhausted, but she still knew her own name. Didn’t she? “I’m not?” she asked, rubbing her temples hoping to alleviate the headache that had formed somewhere over France and had intensified with each passing mile.
The giant’s glare turned into an expression of shock. “You are?” His sharp eyes moved over her blond hair that yesterday had looked smooth and professional, but now probably looked bedraggled. She’d carefully applied makeup, but suspected most of it had rubbed off by now…she didn’t want to even think about how pale and sickly she looked without makeup.
Harper blinked. Was this a test? If it was, she suspected that she was failing miserably. “Yes?” she replied, still confused. Who did this behemoth think she was? And why was the sun so painfully hot?! She looked around, but the tarmac on the private airfield shimmered silently. She’d never experienced heat like this before! Was the world on fire?
“Oh, this is going to be great!” the giant announced gleefully, his features almost handsome as his scowl shifted into a wide smile.
Was this “Crazy Land”? Had the mind-numbing heat cooked this man’s brain?
He was a lunatic. That was the only possible explanation. That, or she was completely misunderstanding what was going on. Which was entirely possible. She’d been on that damn plane forever, or so it felt, and all she wanted now was a cool shower, a glass of wine, and a bed that wasn’t flying thirty thousand feet in the air.
“Right. Great.” She blinked again, wondering if the soles of her shoes has melted into the tarmac yet. “Um…well, it was very nice meeting you, but I really need to…”
“This way,” the giant replied, interrupting her again as he turned, pointing the way.
Harper gritted her teeth and watched as the irritating giant moved towards a line of waiting SUVs. Surely he didn’t expect her to actually move in this heat? She had sunglasses…somewhere. Maybe. Had she packed her sunglasses? She’d been in such a rush to pack and meet that damn plane on time. Had that only been yesterday?
“Are you coming?” the giant asked, standing by the door of one of the SUVs, as if he were trying to be polite and allow her to enter the vehicle first. But that was impossible. The man had interrupted her several times already. He clearly had no manners. So, the only reason he could be waiting for her to get in first was because the SUV contained a trap. Perhaps he was kidnapping her? Maybe there was a monster inside that big, black vehicle?
“Is that thing air conditioned?” she asked, her voice sounding weaker than she would have preferred, but…seriously, this heat was overwhelming!
“Of course,” the giant replied.
She might have smiled. Or it might have been a grimace. Anything was possible at this point. “Excellent!” she sighed. “I don’t care about monsters or kidnappers, as long as that thing has relatively cool air in it,” she muttered.
Had that giant man laughed? Harper ducked into the backseat and… “Dear heaven that cold air feels good!” she sighed, dumping her heavy tote bag on the floor and leaning to the closest air vent.
Doors were slammed and the driver drove away from the airport, but Harper was too exhausted and overwhelmed to pay much attention. If she was being kidnapped, then she only hoped that her kidnappers were taking her to an air conditioned space. And if that space had a chilled glass of white wine, she’d probably kiss her kidnapper!
An hour later, the SUV pulled up to a security gate that was guarded by six men with machine guns. “Oh my!” she gasped, leaning away from the window as the guards surrounded the vehicle. “This is bad,” she whispered. “Very bad!”
The guards looked around at the vehicle, and used a mirror to check underneath. Looked around some more. One of the guards opened the door and peered in at her. He had sunglasses, the lucky bastard! But moments later, the guards pulled back and the vehicle was waved through the gates. They drove into an underground parking lot. When she looked around, there were about fifty other dark vehicles parked there. Some were SUVs, others were beautiful limousines, and still others were fabulously luxurious sports cars that probably cost more than she’d ever earn in her entire life!
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