ALL NIGHT LONG
Hardcover - 416 pages
On Sale January 3, 2006
Putnam; ISBN: 0399153055
She lowered the window and looked at him through the shield of her dark glasses.
"Something wrong?" she asked politely.
"Where are you headed?"
She reached up and removed the glasses with a slow, thoughtful air.
"You know, I've stayed in a wide variety of lodging establishments in my life, but this is the first time I've had to account for my comings and goings to the proprietor."
"We do things a little differently here at the Sunrise on the Lake Lodge."
"I've noticed." She tapped the frames of the glasses against the steering wheel. "Would that be the military way, by any chance?"
"That would be the Marine way, Miss Stenson," Jason offered helpfully. "My brother just got out of the service a few months ago. You'll have to make allowances. He's still adjusting to civilian life."
She nodded once, very crisply, as though the information confirmed some private conclusion she had already reached.
"That explains a lot." She smiled at Jason and then gave Luke a considering look. "It crossed my mind that I owe you something for the considerable amount of inconvenience I caused you last night and this morning."
"That right?" Luke asked.
"I was thinking that maybe I could repay you with an offer of a home-cooked meal this evening."
That was the last thing he had been expecting.
"Boy howdy," Jason said enthusiastically. "Do you cook, Miss Stenson?"
"I'll have you know that you are looking at the reporter who is single-handedly responsible for selecting every recipe that runs in the Recipe Exchange column of the Glaston Cove Beacon."
Jason grinned. "Should I be impressed?"
"You would be more than impressed, you would be stunned speechless if you saw some of the recipes I've rejected. Trust me, you're better off going through life never knowing what some people can do with lime-flavored gelatin and red kidney beans."
"I'll take your word for it," Jason said.
"By the way, you're invited to dinner, too, of course, assuming you're staying overnight?"
"I am now," Jason assured her.
"Excellent. See you both at five-thirty. We'll have drinks before dinner." She turned back to Luke, politely challenging. "If that's okay with you, of course?"
"One of the things they taught us in the Corps was to take advantage of strategic opportunities when they are presented," he said. "We'll be on your doorstep at seventeen-thirty, ma'am."
"I assume that means five-thirty in real time," she said. "Now, if that's settled, I've got a few errands to run."
Luke did not take his hand off the car. "You haven't answered my question. Where are you headed?"
A glint of amusement danced in her amber eyes. "You know, that attitude might work very well in the military. But you may want to rethink it when you're dealing with a paying guest."
"Only two ways to do things, Miss Stenson, the Marine way or the other way."
"For the record, I choose option number two, the other way," she said. "However, in deference to the fact that you will be my guest at dinner tonight, I will be gracious and answer your question. I'm going shopping at the Dunsley Market."
"You know, for food and stuff to serve you and your brother?"
She smiled a little too sweetly. "Care to see my list?"
"Does it include lime gelatin and red kidney beans?"
"Guess I don't have to worry, in that case," he said.
"There's always room to worry, Mr. Danner."
She floored the accelerator. He jerked his fingers off the roof a split second before the compact shot away down the lane. There was a short silence.
"Boy, howdy," Jason said. "You know, you could lose a hand that way."
Excerpted from All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz. Copyright© 2006 by Jayne Ann Krentz. Excerpted by permission of G. P. Putnam's Sons, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.