"So this good-looking man walks in needing a place to stay," Janey said as she poured water into the coffeemaker, "and you invited him here without thinking twice about it?"
Claire had her head in the refrigerator, going through the vegetable bin for salad makings, precious commodities in February. Janey had spared no expense. "That's what I said."
"And you asked him if he was married?"
The disbelief in her friend's voice was understandable. Claire had a little trouble believing it herself. She pushed the refrigerator door shut with her hip and deposited an armload of produce on the kitchen counter. "I knew if I didn't, you would," she stated in her own defense.
"A knockout like that, you bet I would." Janey flipped the coffeemaker on and moved to the oven. "You know what this is, don't you?"
"A pot roast?"
Claire sighed. So much for avoiding the inevitable. "It's a coincidence. Nothing more." Although it hadn't felt that way at the time.
Janey leaned against the counter, arms folded in silent observation. Claire's jaw tightened. She'd just about had all the scrutiny she could stomach for one day. "Please don't make a big deal out of this, Janey. You know how I feel about – "
"Alaskan men. I know. Are you sure it's just Alaskan men you're shy of?"
Claire stared at her. "I am not shy."
"Bad choice of words." Janey gave a dismissing flick of her hand. "I meant to say you're disinclined to have a relationship with any man, Alaskan or otherwise."
Claire scowled and took a peeler to the carrots. "There's nothing wrong with being cautious."
"Call it what you want," her friend remarked. "And I'm sorry I brought it up." She pushed away from the counter. "I'd better make sure we've got enough towels in the bathroom. Our guest looks like he might need an extra one for those broad shoulders."
Claire could only sigh as Janey waggled her eyebrows at her and headed down the hall.
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