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"Oh." Radinka adjusted her purse in the crook of her elbow and looked at Roman. "Was there anything else you needed?" "No. I'll see you tomorrow." He turned to go up the stairs. "Come, Shanna." Sit. Bark. Roll over. She glared at his back. Radinka chuckled, and even that sounded exotic and foreign. "Do not worry, dear. All will be fine. We will talk again soon." "Thanks. It was nice to meet you." Shanna went up a few steps. Where was Roman taking her? Hopefully, he was just showing her to a guest room. But if Laszlo had his tooth, she should try to implant it as soon as possible. "Roman?" He was too far ahead of her, already out of sight. At the first landing, between floors, Shanna paused to look down at the beautiful entryway. Radinka was headed for a pair of closed doors on the right of the foyer. Her gray leather pumps clicked on the polished marble floor. She seemed sort of odd, but then Shanna figured everyone in this house was a little on the strange side. Radinka opened the doors, and the faint sound of a television spilled into the entryway. "Radinka!" a female voice squealed. "Where is ze master? I zought he would be wiz you." As she continued to speak, her French accent became more apparent. Another accent? Good God, she was trapped inside the International House of Nutcakes. 'Tell him to come," the French accent continued. "We want to play." Other female voices joined in, all urging Radinka to fetch the master at once. Shanna snorted. The master. Who the hell was that? He sounded like a male Playmate of the Month. "Hush, Simone." Radinka sounded angry as she entered the room. "He is busy." "But I came all ze way from Paris - " The plaintive voice was cut off when Radinka shut the doors. Weird. Which guy were these ladies wanting? One of the Scotsmen? Yum. She wouldn't mind a peek under a kilt herself. "Are you coming?" Roman stood on the second floor, glowering down at her. "Yes." She ascended the stairs, taking her time. "You know, I really appreciate all you've done to ensure my safety." His frown cleared. "You are welcome." "So I hope you won't mind that I have a few concerns about your security team." His brows lifted. He glanced behind him, then gazed at her calmly. "They are the finest security force in the world." "Well, maybe so, but - " Shanna reached the second floor and there, on the landing behind Roman, was another kilted Highlander. The Scotsman folded his brawny arms across his broad chest and regarded her sternly. Behind him, on the wall, a series of oil paintings hung, all portraits of richly dressed people who appeared to be glaring at her. "Would you care to elaborate?" Roman asked quietly, a glint of amusement in his golden-brown eyes. Damn him. "Well." Shanna cleared her throat. It was a good thing she was a dentist. Every now and then, she had to extract her foot from her mouth. "I must admit that the Scotsmen are all extremely handsome men. Any woman would think so." She noted the Highlander's face softening a bit. "They're very sharp dressers. Gorgeous legs. And I just adore the way they talk." Now the Scotsman was starting to smile. "Good save, lass." "Thank you." She smiled back. Roman, however, was frowning once again. "Since you obviously consider the guards to be perfect specimens of manhood, then what, pray tell, is your objection?" Shanna leaned toward him. "It's the weapons. All they have is a little sword at their waist - " "A Highland dirk," Roman interrupted. "Yeah, that, and a knife in their sock." "The sgian dubh," he interrupted once again. "Whatever." She glared at him. "I mean, look at that little knife. It's made of wood! We're talking pre-Bronze Age here, and the Russians have freaking machine guns! Need I elaborate?" The Scotsman chuckled. "Ye have a clever one there, sir. Shall I give her a wee demonstration?" Roman sighed. "Fine." The Scotsman instantly spun about, opening a portrait on the wall to disclose a hidden compartment, while he kept turning till he was facing Shanna once again. It all happened so fast, she barely had time to admire the swirl of his kilt when she realized he was now pointing a machine gun at her. "Wow," she breathed. The Scotsman put the weapon back and shut the portrait that was hinged along one side. "Are ye happy now, lass?" "Oh yeah. You were magnificent." He grinned. "Anytime." "There are armaments stashed throughout the house," Roman growled. "When I say you are safe, I mean it. Need I elaborate?" She pursed her lips. "Nope." "Then come." He headed up another flight of stairs. Shanna heaved a sigh. There was no need to be rude. She turned once more to the Scotsman. "I love your plaid. It's different from the others." "Shanna!" Roman waited on the next landing. "I'm coming!" She stomped up the steps with the sound of the Scotsman chuckling behind her. Jeez, why was Roman in such a foul mood all of the sudden? "While we're on the subject of security, there's one more problem I'd like to discuss." He closed his eyes momentarily and took a deep breath. "And what would that be?" He ascended the next flight of steps. "It's about Ian. He's too young for such dangerous work." "He's older than he looks." "He's not a day over sixteen. The boy should be in school." "I assure you, Ian completed his schooling." Roman reached the third floor and nodded at the kilted guard posted there. Shanna waved at the guard and wondered if one of the paintings was hiding a thermonuclear device. Somehow she doubted that a house loaded with armaments was all that safe. "The point is, I object to a child being used to guard me." Roman continued up the next flight of stairs. "Your objection is noted." Was that it? Objection noted and dismissed? "I'm serious about this. You're the boss here, so I'm sure you can do something about it." Roman halted. "How did you find out I'm the owner of Romatech?" "I guessed it, but Connor confirmed it." Roman sighed, then resumed his climb up the stairs. "I need to have a little talk with Connor." Shanna followed him. "And if you won't do anything about Ian, I'll have to talk to his boss, Angus Mac Kay." "What?" Roman halted once again. He glanced back at her, his eyes wide with shock. "How did you hear about him?" "Connor told me he was the owner of MacKay Security and Investigation." "God's blood," Roman whispered. "I need to have a long talk with Connor." He trudged up more steps to the fourth floor. "Which floor are we going to?" "The fifth." Shanna kept climbing. "What's on the fifth floor?" "My private rooms." Her heart skipped a beat. Oh, Lordy. She reached the fourth floor and stopped to catch her breath. A kilted guard stood in the shadows. "Where are the guest rooms?" "Yours will be on the fourth floor. I'll take you there later." He continued up the stairs. "Come." "Why are we going to your office?" "We need to discuss something important." "We can't discuss it now?" "No." What a stubborn man. With a sigh, she tried to think of something he would discuss. "Have you ever considered installing an elevator?" "No." She tried another topic. "Where is Radinka from?" "I believe it is called the Czech Republic now." "What did she mean - 'at last, you have come.' " Shanna started up the last flight of stairs. Roman shrugged. "Radinka believes she has psychic powers." "Really? Do you think she does?" He reached the top of the stairs. "I don't care what she believes as long as she does her job." "Right." The man had obviously flunked sensitivity training. "So you trust her with your work, but you don't believe her when she says she's psychic." He frowned. "Some of her predictions are wrong." "How do you know?" Shanna hefted herself up the last step. His frown deepened. "She has predicted that I will find great joy in my life."
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