All the Possibilities
and time. No free rides, no sting of
    —
    —
    charity.
    But he needed funds
    and just as important
    he needed volunteers. He'd put things in
    —
    —
    motion in Boston after a long, at times frustrating, battle, but it was too soon to show substantial results. He was going to have to depend on the information compiled by his staff and his own powers of persuasion. If he could add the mayor's influence, Alan thought he might just be able to wrangle the federal funds he wanted. Eventually. Stacking the papers, Alan slipped them inside his briefcase. There was nothing more he could do until the following day. And he was expecting a visitor he checked his
    —
    watch
    in ten minutes. Alan leaned back in the comfortably worn leather chair and
    —
    allowed his mind to empty.
    He'd always been able to relax in this room. The paneling was dark and gleaming, the ceiling high. In the winter, he kept a low fire going in the rosy marble fireplace. Lining the mantel were pictures in the odd-shaped antique frames he collected. His family
    —
    from tintypes of his great-grandparents who'd never stepped off Scottish soil, to snapshots of his brother and sister. He'd be adding one of his niece or nephew when his sister, Rena, had the baby.
    Alan glanced up at the picture of an elegant fair-haired woman with laughing eyes and a stubborn mouth. Strange how many shades hair came in, he mused. Rena's hair was nothing like Shelby's. Shelby's was all undisciplined curls of fire and flame. Undisciplined. The word suited her
    and attracted him despite his better judgment.
    —
    Handling her would be a lifelong challenge. Having her would be a constant surprise. Strange that a man who'd always preferred the well-ordered and logical would now know his life wouldn't be complete without disruption.
    He glanced around the room
    walls of books, meticulously filed and stacked, a pale—
    gray carpet that showed signs of wear but no dirt, the prim Victorian sofa in deep burgundy. The room was organized and neat
    like his life. He was asking for a
    —
    whirlwind. Alan had no interest in subduing it, just in experiencing it. When the doorbell rang, he glanced at his watch again. Myra was right on time.
    "Good morning, McGee." Myra breezed in with a smile for Alan's sturdy Scottish butler.
    "Good morning, Mrs. Ditmeyer." McGee was six-two, solid as a brick wall, and closing in on seventy. He'd been Alan's family butler for thirty years before leaving Hyannis Port for Georgetown at his own insistence. Mister Alan would need him, he'd said in his gravel-edged burr. That, as far as McGee was concerned, had been that.
    "I don't suppose you made any of those marvelous . scones?"
    "With clotted cream," McGee told her, coming as close as he ever did to cracking a smile.
    "Ah, McGee, I adore you. Alan

    .
    l
    l
    a
    h

    e
    h
    t

    n
    w
    o
    d

    e
    m
    a
    c

    e
    h

    s
    a

    d
    n
    a
    h

    r
    e
    h

    t
    u
    o

    d
    l
    e
    h

    a
    r
    y
    M

    "
    …
    "So sweet of you to let me bother you on a Sunday."
    "It's never a bother, Myra." He kissed her cheek before leading her into the parlor. This room was done in quiet, masculine colors
    ecrus and creams with an occasional
    —
    touch of deep green. The furniture was mostly Chippendale, the carpet a faded Oriental. It was a calm, comfortable room with the surprise of a large oil painting depicting a storm-tossed landscape
    all jagged mountains, boiling clouds, and threatening
    —
    lightning
    on the south wall. Myra had always considered it an interesting, and telling,
    —
    addition.
    With a sigh, she sat in a high-back chair and slipped out of her shoes skinny heels in
    —
    the same shocking pink as her bag. "What a relief," she murmured. "I simply can't convince myself to buy the right size. What a price we pay for vanity." Her toes wriggled comfortably. "I got the sweetest note from Rena," she continued, rubbing one foot over the other to restore circulation as she smiled at Alan. "She wanted to know when Herbert and I are coming

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