The Delacourt Scandal

The Delacourt Scandal by Sherryl Woods

Book: The Delacourt Scandal by Sherryl Woods Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sherryl Woods
gets it.”
    Maddie accepted the paper, jotted down a phony telephone number, then signed it Mary Claire. Daniel Corrigan looked it over, then reached for his phone. Her stomach plummeted.
    “What are you doing?”
    “Calling Tyler.”
    “Now?”
    “I figure if you went to all this trouble, it must be important, right?”
    “It’s not that important,” she stressed. “It can wait till he gets back from wherever he is.”
    “Will you still be in town then?”
    “Probably not.”
    He smiled. “Then there’s no time like the present.”
    As he began to dial, Maddie silently called herself a series of nonflattering names, beginning with fool and ending with idiot.
    “Tyler,” Corrigan said, his voice booming. “I’ve got a pretty little lady sitting right here in my office who says she’s looking for you.”
    Maddie cringed.
    “Her name? She says it’s Mary Claire,” he said ina way that clearly conveyed his doubts. He handed the phone to Maddie. “He’s all yours.”
    “Thank you,” she mouthed silently, then said a cheery hello.
    “Maddie?”
    There was no mistaking the shock in Tyler’s voice or the fact that he’d recognized hers. Why bother denying it? “That’s right,” she admitted reluctantly.
    “What the hell are you doing in Baton Rouge? And why did you tell Daniel you were Mary Claire?”
    She sighed. “It’s a long story.”
    “Well, why don’t you sit tight?” he said, making it an order, not a suggestion. “I’ll be there in a few hours, and you can explain it to me.”
    “There’s no need for you to go to all that trouble.”
    “Oh, yes, there is,” he said fiercely. “Let me talk to Daniel again.”
    Reluctantly she passed the phone back to the man whose gaze had never once left her face. He listened to whatever Tyler had to say, then nodded.
    “Not a problem,” he said eventually. “She’ll be right here when you get here.” His gaze locked with hers. “You can count on that.”

Chapter Seven
    T yler fought to control his temper all the way to Baton Rouge, then finally gave up and allowed it full rein.
    What the devil was Maddie up to? Why was she poking around in his life, pretending to be someone else? Was this feminine interest in him that had run amok? A fatal attraction, as it were? Or something far more sinister, some sort of tangled plot she’d dreamed up to get to his parents through him? All of his early suspicions returned in spades, but none of the scenarios he came up with fit what he knew about Maddie.
    Then, again, what did he really know about her? Not much, except that she was all but impossible to resist. She was sexy and smart and mysterious.
    And devious, he reminded himself. Best not to forget that.
    He sighed heavily. Why was it that the first woman to get to him since Jen had to be up to something? Why couldn’t she have been exactly what she appeared to be—friendly, sweet and innocent?
    Maybe she was. Maybe this was all some huge misunderstanding. Maybe she’d asked perfectly innocuous questions and the highly protective Daniel had overreacted. Which, of course, didn’t explain what the heck she was doing in Baton Rouge in the first place or why she had flat-out lied about her identity.
    Whatever the truth, Tyler was in a rotten mood by the time he finally stormed into the Delacourt Oil suite of offices long past closing hour.
    “Where is she?” he demanded, cutting off the receptionist in midgreeting. “And what are you doing here so late?”
    “Daniel asked me to stay. And your friend is in Daniel’s office.”
    “He’s with her?”
    She nodded. “You know Daniel. Where you’re concerned, he gets his back up if he thinks for a second that someone’s out to hurt you. He hasn’t let her out of his sight. Except when she went to the ladies’ room, of course. He sent me with her then. I imagine that was why he wanted me around, in case something of a delicate nature came up.”
    She regarded him worriedly. “Should I call the

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