The Best Next Thing - Natasha Anders Page 0,1

he had faith that Mrs. Cole wouldn’t miss a step. The house would be fully stocked and operational in no time at all.

God, he was exhausted.

His arrival to the house was quiet and there was no sign of Mrs. Cole when he disabled the alarm and stepped into the dark kitchen from the basement garage. While Miles thought nothing of waking her, he didn’t feel like interacting with anyone at the moment and wanted to avoid her till morning.

He allowed George to carry his bags to his room before dismissing the man for the rest of the night. He needed a hot shower, some food in his belly, and sleep. Lots of it. Years of it.

About five minutes after George left, Miles made his way down the long passageway from his suite to the huge rustic, country kitchen. He needed a sandwich or something before showering and crawling into bed. He hoped Mrs. Cole had stocked some of the basics. She had her own private wing, complete with a kitchen, a sitting room and study, so her personal grocery supply likely wouldn’t be stocked in this kitchen. Still, he hoped there was something edible at least.

He stopped dead in his tracks when he got to the kitchen and blinked at the sight that met his eyes.

The previously dark room he had walked through a few moments before was now brightly lit. A tall, shapely, unmistakably feminine figure stood framed—with her back to him—in the door of the large refrigerator. The mystery woman was wearing a pair of loose exercise shorts and a long-sleeved T-shirt. She had strong, lean legs, leading to gorgeous firm thighs, and a round shapely bum, the lush fullness of which tapered into a tiny waist, slender back, and narrow shoulders. Her long, long hair cascaded almost to her waist and rippled with every move she made. She hummed softly to herself as she rummaged around in his fridge.

Miles had no idea who this trespasser was or what she was doing there, but she gave him an instant, aching hard-on even before he saw her face, and he didn’t like it. Not one bit. This was not conducive to a peaceful holiday. He didn’t need the distraction of an unwelcome attraction to some intrusive stranger who had no business being in his house. At best, she was related to one of the staff—Mrs. Cole’s daughter, perhaps?—at worst, she was a trespasser. Either way, she was not welcome.

She turned, her slender arms full of ingredients, and shut the fridge door behind her with a cheeky hip thrust. She lifted her head and hissed in shock when she saw him, and he took petty satisfaction in startling her as much as she had stunned him.

She had brown eyes, he noted grimly, so dark and intense it was hard to differentiate between iris and pupil. Those disturbing eyes were set beneath lovely, perfectly arched dark brows and between thick, long lashes. Her face was a delicate oval, with lush, pink lips, a slightly dented chin, and high, perfect cheekbones. The only things marring all that perfection was the slightly crooked nose—but it gave her an appealing approachability—and an oddly shaped scar on her left temple, just beneath her hairline. Her hair tumbled over her shoulders, past her breasts, wrapping around her like a cloak, and he marveled at the silken stuff. He’d known a lot of gorgeous women in his lifetime, but he couldn’t remember one ever having hair like hers. It was lovely. A sleek, black cascade that he wanted to wrap his fist in.

There was a lovely dusky brown tone to her velvety looking skin, giving her a Middle Eastern or North African—possibly both? —appearance. She was singularly beautiful.

And familiar. Very familiar. She had to be related to Mrs. Cole. He didn’t usually pay too much attention to his housekeeper. Not enough to notice details about her appearance…but her eyes were unmistakable. This woman had the same striking eyes.

“Who the hell are you?” He finally found his voice, and was pleased to note that it didn’t betray an ounce of his fascination with her. He sounded cold and in control. “Why are you here? What are you doing in my house?”

Charity blinked at the man glowering at her. Why was she here? Why was he here? She had received no word of his arrival. Why had nobody notified her? Warned her that he was coming?

Gosh, he looked awful. He was a trim figure of a man, but had