She didn't know why she disliked him so much. He just seemed to rub her the wrong way. No matter what was said. No matter what was done.
Or it could be the way he made her feel. It was an awareness that he was there. Just there. And she didn't like it.
Claire Lawson was driving down Salisbury Avenue, mumbling to herself, on her way to lunch with a close friend, finally able to take a breath.
She glanced at her ring finger. It had been empty for two weeks now since she’d returned the engagement ring to her ex-fiance.
She'd been granted a reprieve from a lifetime of misery by doing so, she was sure of it.
She lifted her hand in full view, surprised that she didn't miss the heaviness of it. To her way of thinking, the diamond had been too large for her small hands. Not that they were dainty but it just didn't fit her style. She preferred the more modest look.
Just thinking about Kenley Parsons brought on another face of a man she'd met at her dad's horse ranch a week before she'd returned the ring. It was this man that set her off. This man that she was too aware of no matter where he was in a room.
It had been the cold assessment in Brigman Crosse's eyes. The icy condemnation that he found her lacking that was disturbing.
Her insides trembled at just the thought of meeting him again. Her father had interviewed Crosse for the breeding program he intended to develop for the thoroughbreds that were past winners of major races.
Her decision had been an emphatic no when asked later what she felt about hiring him for the position. There was no other reason than the fact she just didn't like him.
When asked for a reason by her father, though, all she said was she didn't think he fit, that she felt the rest of the employees would resent him simply because of his superior attitude.
"What attitude?" her father asked, of which she had no answer for.
Then there was her ex-fiance who, in a round-about way, would still be at the ranch more often than she would've preferred. He was a veterinarian, a good one, and one who saw to it that the thoroughbreds were in good health at all times.
If she put the two men side by side, her ex would come up the loser. All he had going for him was... At the moment, she couldn't think of a thing either man had going for them.
As far as Brig Crosse was concerned, in Claire's estimation, he was too perfect, too put together, whatever that meant. She couldn't define him in any other way. It was like trying to put a round peg in a square hole.
One look at him and Claire wondered if he came by that physique naturally or did he work out at a gym. At the time, she hadn't a clue where that thought came from. She was certain she didn't want to know. What she did know was she didn't want to be anywhere near him. The farther away he was, the better she felt about it.
How she was going to accomplish that, she hadn't a clue. As a new hire and the position he was going to be in, more than likely, she'd be running into him every time she turned a corner.
She even went so far as to tell her father, she might be taking a long vacation. She wasn't going to tell him it was because of the close proximity of Brig Crosse she would find herself in since she worked with the horses as well.