A Match Made in Mistletoe(59)

By: Anna Campbell



His thoughts focused on chasing a prize much more interesting than a cantankerous donkey. His gaze settled on Miss Farrar.

Elizabeth.

Bess.

No great chore. She was lovely in her odd assortment of clothing and her muddy boots. Running around the field, she’d lost her scarf. The exercise had loosened her hair and curling blond tendrils framed her vivid face.

Rory opened the gate and stood back to let Bess and Daisy go through ahead of him. “Although I don’t believe we’ve settled terms for her use.”

Bess fixed startled dark blue eyes on him. “What do you mean? We always use Daisy. It’s tradition.”

A rascally smile stretched his lips as he shut the gate. “Aye, but now there’s a new hand on the tiller at Penton Abbey—or had you forgotten?”

“But…you helped to catch her. And if you don’t let us have her, everyone will be so disappointed.” Her voice firmed. “It will make a bad impression.”

“I wanted to see her to work out what she’s worth.”

Bess brightened. “Are you offering to sell her? I’m sure we can set a price.”

He propped his back against the fence and folded his arms. “Not sell, rent.”

She frowned. “How much?”

Without shifting his attention from Bess, he hooked the heel of his boot on the fence’s lowest rail. “Not how much, what.”

She looked distinctly uneasy. Again he applauded her instincts. “You’re being cursed enigmatic, my lord.”

“I’m merely negotiating fair hire for this magnificent animal, Miss Farrar.”

Bess looked doubtfully at the small donkey, muddy and unkempt after living outside all summer. “And what might that be?”

“Nothing too ruinous.” Wicked triumph flooded him as he stared unblinkingly at Bess. “One wee kiss, and Daisy is yours for the play.”


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