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.Crystal had barely pulled herself out of her reverie when the door opened and Mr.Groman swept through on short, pudgy legs, followed by a much taller blond man whom Crystal did not know."Crystal!" Mr.Groman seemed surprised to see her."Oh, I am sorry.I forgot all about you!" He glanced at the tall man leaning against the doorjamb."Mr.Garrett Dean, allow me to introduce a very special client, Miss Crystal Gentry."Mr.Dean came forward with athletic ease and offered a very large callused hand.Her own was dwarfed in it, and she marveled at it for sheer size.Her gaze traveled slowly up the long arm and came to rest upon his face.It was a decidedly masculine face, square-jawed with sharply chiseled features, slightly jutting brow, and deeply set eyes of the most startling blue.His sun-bleached hair fell across a high, tanned forehead, providing sharp contrast with the dark lashes and brows that framed those vivid eyes."How do you do, Mr.Dean," she greeted brightly, and was puzzled by the silent nod and frankly appraising look she got in return.Feeling a bit unnerved, Crystal removed her hand from his giant paw and turned her attention to Mr.Groman, who had left them to take his seat behind his desk."I can come back later," she offered, almost hoping that this meeting could be delayed, but the bald head was already shaking negatively."No, no.Just have a seat.I'll be through with Mr.Dean momentarily."She crossed the floor reluctantly, feeling blue eyes upon her, and took a seat in the burgundy leather chair, her chair, crossing her diminutive feet primly at the ankles."I'm sorry to impinge upon your time, ma'am," the tall man drawled.Crystal turned jerkily, surprised by the very deep, resonant voice, and nodded politely.He had spoken quietly, yet his words seemed to rumble with a force held tightly in check, as if he could create enough volume to halt traffic swarming busily on the street fifteen stories below them.He was a very big man, powerfully built, though slender and wiry.The snug fit of his tan doeskin western-cut suit attested to that.The contrasting top stitching across the shoulders accentuated their width exactly in the same manner as the cut of his slacks accentuated the corded muscles of his thighs and the wide silver buckle of his belt gave witness to his narrow waist and hard stomach.He cut a swashbuckling figure, complete with brown alligator cowboy boots and brushed suede Stetson, which he carried gingerly in one large-boned hand.He was taller than Jerry, she mused; then winced inwardly, chastising herself for comparing every man with that cad.Yet, she had to admit that next to this man, Jerry would look like a schoolboy, and it was not just a matter of height and build.Garrett Dean wore an indefinable air of authority and assurance and… what? Sexuality?She realized that the blue eyes were fixed upon her with something closely akin to amusement, and she swallowed a tiny bead of embarrassment, wondering if he could have possibly read her thoughts."Um, don't think a thing of it, Mr.Dean.I know how it is when you have pressing business matters," she belatedly answered his polite apology, then turned away quickly as he strode toward the desk, where Mr.Groman had laid out some papers for him to sign."If you will just pen your John Henry on these," Mr.Groman was saying, "the presentation will be ready, and I'll get them over to Longhorn Oil this afternoon."Crystal felt most uncomfortable.She had no business being here while these two finished up their meeting, and besides, there was something unsettling about the way Mr.Dean looked at her, as if he were trying to decide something about her.She made as if to rise, mumbling that she would move out of their way, but he stopped her."No need," he rumbled, indicating with a nod of his sun-streaked head that she should stay where she was; and then, incredibly, he handed her his hat.Crystal sat there, mouth slightly ajar, holding his hat as if it were the crown jewels, while he bent low over the desk and scrawled his name upon several important looking papers."I think that about does it," announced the lawyer with a satisfied smile.He bounced to his feet and grasped the big hand of his client.They made a comical picture, the tiny lawyer and the big cowboy.Mr.Groman looked like a stuffed toy next to this lean, hard man, but if he was aware of it, his manner certainly did not indicate it."I'll call you tonight and let you know Longhorn's reaction to our offer," he said."Fine.You know where to reach me," the rich voice boomed; then he was turning to Crystal, flashing a dazzling white smile and reclaiming his hat with a flourishing bow."Miss Gentry." He raised the hat in a parting salute and backed away.She watched silently as his long strides carried him to the door and through it until it closed against his broad back."My goodness!" she commented."That certainly is a big man!""Oh, yes, indeed." Groman plopped down into his chair."Very big man.Got a big spread down in central Texas, his own oil company, few thousand head of cattle, lot of political influence.Very big man indeed."Crystal found all of this very interesting.So he fulfilled not only one of the great Texas legends, but two—oil man and rancher.Interesting, but not what she had meant to comment upon."I was talking about his size," she laughed, "not his holdings."A vapor seemed to form upon the lenses of the lawyer's pale eyes."Oh, yes, I suppose he is rather tall," he mused."Guess that is one reason he won all those rodeos.""Rodeos?" Crystal wondered if the vapor were not inside her own head.She did not know what he was talking about or how they had gotten on this subject.She had only commented upon the man's size for lack of anything else appropriate to say.Mr.Groman leaned forward and wagged his stubby finger up and down."And you call yourself a Texan," he admonished with a grin."That, my dear, was the Garrett Dean.""The Garrett Dean?""Four times champion rodeo cowboy.Didn't you notice the belt buckle?""Well, yes, but what's that got to do with it?" She wondered for a moment if he were putting her on.It would not be the first time."That's the championship buckle, girl.Oh, well, I suppose it was a little before your time.The last time he competed was about ten years ago, when he was about your age, I'd say.The man's a legend."Well, chalk up another one, she thought.Oil man, rancher, and champion rodeo cowboy [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]