To Marry McKenzie

By: Carole Mortimer

everything into the baskets she had brought up with her, even the broken

glass was swept up and wrapped in newspaper for her to take away with her.

It was just her luck to find Logan McKenzie waiting for the ascending lift

when she struggled down the corridor with the two laden baskets!

He turned to glance at her. doing a double take as he obviously recognised

her, a frown instantly darkening his brow.

Not surprising really. Darcy acknowledged with an inward wince: the poor

man was probably wondering whether it would be safe io get into the lift

with her, or if there was a chance it would break down the moment the doors

closed behind the two of them!

'Hello,' she greeted inanely.

'Darcy.' He nodded tersely, glancing impatiently at the lights indicating the

slow ascent of the lift.

Couldn't wait to get away from her, Darcy realised self- derisively, knowing

he would probably make a point of asking Daniel Simon for her not to wait

on one of his business lunches ever again! Well, he needn't worry on that

score; she was only here today because they were short-staffed.

The restaurant, Chef Simon, opened in London by Daniel Simon five years

ago, had become such a success that the customers often asked him if he

was able to cater for dinner and luncheon parties in their own homes. The



outside catering company of Chef Simon was a direct result of those

requests. With numerous pre-bookings, already six months ahead in some

cases, this secondary business was obviously doing very nicely, thank you!

Unfortunately several of the staff were off with flu at the moment, which

was the reason Darcy had been roped in to help today. After the last

disastrous half-hour, she wished she could have claimed a previous

engagement!

'Here, let me.' An impatient Logan McKenzie reached out and relieved her

of one of the heavy baskets.

Darcy blinked her surprise, having been taken unawares, lost in thought as

she was. 'Thank you,' she murmured dazedly. 'But there's really no need,'

she added awkwardly, moving to take the basket back out of his grasp.

Something he obviously had no intention of letting her do as his long,

tapered fingers tightened about the wicker handle. 'Leave it,' he snapped

impatiently as the lift finally arrived, standing back to allow her to enter

first.

Darcy looked at him beneath lowered lashes as hepressed the lift button for

the ground floor. Aged about thirty-five, he was incredibly

good-looking—in an arrogantly austere way, she decided slowly. His short

dark hair was straight and silky, blue eyes the colour of the clear

Mediterranean Sea, his nose slightly long, sculptured mouth unsmiling now,

although Darcy had witnessed several charming smiles during the serving of

lunch, his chin squarely firm. Tall and ruggedly muscular, he looked as if he

would be more at home on a farm, than in an office wearing tailored suits

and silk shirts.

Silk shirts...she remembered with an inward groan, the marks of her crying

earlier clearly showing on the now- dried material. She really doubted that

the traces of blood on the white silk would come off during dry-cleaning,

either.



Darcy was relieved when the lift reached the ground floor, having found the

silence between them uncomfortable, to say the least. 'Thanks.' She reached

to take the basket from him, making no effort to follow him out of the lift.

Logan McKenzie stood in the doorway to stop the doors closing behind him,

frowning again. 'Where are you going?'

'To the basement,' she told him lightly. 'I have the van parked down there.'

'In that case...' He stepped back into the lift, the doors instantly -'closing

behind him as he pressed the button marked 'basement'.

'There's really no need,' she told him once again, completely flustered at

having the owner of this world- renowned company helping her in this way.

'There's every need,' he rasped grimly. 'A little thing like you shouldn't be

carrying these heavy baskets. And correct me if I'm mistaken, but was there

only you dealing with the preparation and serving of lunch today?' Logan

continued firmly, completely ignoring the fact that she had been about to

protest at being called a 'little thing', blue eyes narrowed questioningly.

'Yes.' Darcy shifted the heavy basket to her other hand. 'We're short-staffed

today, you see and—'

'No, I don't see,' Logan interrupted shortly, stepping out into the darkened

basement that acted as a car park for the office staff of McKenzie Industries.

'Short-staffed or not, you shouldn't have been expected to deal with it all

alone. A fact I will be passing on to Daniel Simon at the earliest

opportunity,' he added grimly.

'Oh, don't do that!' Darcy turned from loading the van to protest, two wings

of embarrassed colour in her cheeks. I managed just fine. You had no

complaints about lunch, did you?' she pressed determinedly as Logan

McKenzie still looked grim.

'No...' he answered slowly.

'Then there's no problem, is there?' she assured him brightly.



He looked at her consideringly. 'You know, Darcy,' he began slowly, 'you

might find Daniel Simon less of a— bully, if you weren't so eager to please.'

Darcy looked up at him, but the subdued lighting in the car park made it

impossible to read his expression clearly. Which was a pity—because she