The small man’s eyes widened and he looked over at Harper. “You are the famous Doctor Harper?” he asked warily.
Harper sighed as she turned back to the man who was fidgeting nervously. Why he would be nervous was still a mystery…and the reason for the other two men’s humor, she suspected.
“I wouldn’t say I’m famous, but yes,” she confirmed for the third time. “I’m truly Doctor Ross,” she replied. “I don’t understand why this is such a shock to all of you.”
Rashid blinked, then tried unsuccessfully to suppress a smile. He gestured towards the door. “Please, go right in.”
Harper stared at the man for a moment, then looked at the door that Number Three had just closed. Then back at the small man. “Go in? In there?” she asked. Her voice squeaked, nervous at the thought of entering the area where Number Three had disappeared.
“Yes. Please!” he replied, gesturing to the doorway as if he wanted to sweep her into the room.
This whole situation seemed odd and weird and just…she hadn’t slept in too long and she was overwhelmed. She’d accepted a grant from the government of Izara to study grief in small children with the stipulation that she assist some guy’s family. She’d been so excited about the offer’s possibilities, as well as the outrageous grant amount, to focus on the details since several others had vouched for the grant’s authenticity, but perhaps she should have asked more questions. Unfortunately, Harper suspected that it was too late to read through the fine print, suspecting that the details might have given her some clue as to what was happening here.
Taking a deep breath, she squared her shoulders and turned towards the mysterious door. “Fine,” she muttered and pushed the heavy door open, almost stomping into the office. Furious, and perhaps covering a bit of nervous tension, she walked through the door muttering, “Don’t tell me what’s going on. I love being in the dark. It’s always exciting to figure things out when I stumble over some cultural faux pas!”
By the time she was finished muttering, she was standing in a huge office. To one side was a massive desk with a huge leather chair behind it. Both of which were sitting in front of tall, arched windows. No, not windows. They looked like windows, but they were actually doors that opened into a lush courtyard filled with sunshine and flowers, even a bubbling fountain. “Oh my!” she whispered, stunned by the beauty in front of her.
“Who are you and how did you get in here?” the deep voice of Number Three interrupted her admiration of that beautiful, enticing fountain. This voice wasn’t angry or amused. This voice was…controlled. Emotionless.
Harper swung around, her temper still on edge and she took in the huge man who was…oh yes…the giant who liked to glare! How special! And how in the world could a human body grow that big? What in the world did they feed these people?
Her exhaustion allowed her to ignore the warning bells as she glared up at the huge man with intriguing, hazel eyes. She also ignored the flutter of warning in her stomach.
Straightening her spine, she bristled with irritation. “I’m Doctor Harper Ross! And before you tell me that I’m not, let me assure you that I am, in fact, exactly who I think I am. Furthermore, I’m tired. I’m hot. I haven’t showered in too long and you are the third person who has confronted me rudely!” she growled, walking towards the man with her finger pointed directly at his chest. “You might be big and scary, but I’m sick and tired of being told that I’m not me! I’m Doctor Harper Ross. But if you don’t believe me, then let me get back on that plane and I’ll go home! Because I have lots of things to do back home that don’t include giant, disbelieving, rude men who keep challenging my identity for some stupid, unexplained reason!”
By the end of her tirade, she was poking Giant Number Three in the middle of his chest and glaring up at him. Not to mention, her voice had risen with every word until she was literally yelling at him.
Taking a deep breath, she tried to calm down, but…it was quite an effort. “Why is it so hard to believe that I’m Harper Ross?” she demanded.
The man’s features didn’t move, but his oddly hazel eyes seemed to smile down at her. Smile? She’d just insulted the man, demanded to be flown home, and he was laughing at her?
“Doctor Ross,” Giant Number Three replied and his voice changed. No longer was he expressionless. Instead, his voice had gone all silky and sexy, sending shivers of awareness throughout her body, all the while, his eyes stayed…blank. Carefully blank, she thought. How could his voice infuse such a wealth of awareness while his handsome features looked…blank.
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