Her Kind of Cowboy (Tying the Knot in Texas #2) - Dylann Crush
“Why me?” Alex Sanders crossed his arms over his chest as he eyed the older man behind the desk. He hadn’t known what to think when he’d been summoned from the cozy lounge to trek across the ice and snow of the South Pole for a meeting with his boss. A lead on a job back on the mainland was the last thing he’d expected.
“I suggested you because of your experience. You worked with penguins at that marine theme park, and your file is full of glowing recommendations from the scientists here.” The chair creaked as his boss leaned back. “You mentioned you aren’t interested in staying over the winter, so I thought you might be in need of gainful employment. Didn’t you say you’re from Texas?”
Alex nodded. He’d been working at the remote research station on the coast of Antarctica for the past six months, but with the summer season drawing to a close, he planned on hopping one of the remaining February flights and getting the hell out of there. One summer at the South Pole had been enough for a homegrown Texas boy who hadn’t even owned a winter coat before setting foot on the frozen continent. His only hesitation had been not knowing where to go next.
“We’ve enjoyed having you as part of the team. If you want to take a season off and help my colleague out, we’ll hold a spot for you, and you can come back next spring.” His boss leaned forward and scribbled something down on a piece of paper. “Here’s the number. Give him a call if you’re interested, but I’d do it fast. He wants to get this lined up as soon as possible, and if you want to get out of here before they stop running flights, you’ll need to make a decision soon.”
Alex took the slip of paper, recognizing the Houston area code. “Thanks. I’ll think about it.”
“Think fast. I’d make the call today.” He checked his watch. “You’ve got about a half hour left of satellite time before you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.”
Alex shook his boss’s hand as he got up to leave. He’d lucked into this gig last year when he met a fellow rock climber in Australia. The guy had taken some time off to travel before heading back to his post at a station in Antarctica. His team was short a research assistant for their study on penguin breeding, and Alex was always up for another adventure, so he’d signed on for a six-month stint. He’d never spent that much time in one place and as the shortened days turned into long periods of darkness, he told himself he’d get out the first chance he got.
The job offer might be his lucky break. But could he really go back to the one place on earth he never wanted to see again? His sister Charlene had been begging him to come home for months. Gramps was having trouble settling into the new assisted living facility she’d found for him, and with four girls at home and a husband who was deployed, she’d reached her wit’s end trying to hold it all together.
Alex wished his parents were still around to help out. But the duty had skipped an entire generation when his dad passed, and his mom didn’t feel any sense of obligation to the family she’d never wanted to be part of. What the hell. He didn’t have anything to lose. May as well make the call and see what might be in it for him.
Fifteen minutes later, he pulled the phone away from his ear and gave it a quick glance. The man on the other end was making such a ridiculous offer that for a moment Alex figured he might be getting pranked.
“I assure you, Mr. Sanders, this is a legitimate proposal. Our needs require someone with a specialized skill set, and my client is willing to pay generously for the assistance.”
“Penguins.” Alex rolled the word around on his tongue. “In Texas. For a wedding.” Yeah, still sounded just as ridiculous as the first time the attorney on the other end of the phone said it out loud.
“My client realizes the unique nature of his request, but we’re talking about his only daughter. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to make sure she gets the wedding of her dreams.”
Alex wondered what it would be like to afford to have his every wish granted. Even something so absolutely asinine as a winter wonderland