Elizabeth sat in the easy chair reading. Unobserved, he studied her. Her hair was up, pinned in a loose knot, some tendrils escaping and caressing her face. Tortoise-rimmed glasses perched on the edge of her nose, a slight frown betraying her concentration.
She looked adorable and Quentin was unprepared for the tenderness he felt. He stuffed his hands in his pockets. “Don’t you know that frowning causes lines?”
She glanced up. “You startled me!”
"Sorry.” He made his way into the room. “I just came to find the report I’m missing.”
Remembering the glasses, Liz quickly took them off. She hardly ever got caught wearing them. It helped that she was only slightly farsighted.
“Don’t take them off on my account,” Quentin said in an amused voice.
She reached for her eyeglass case, embarrassed he’d read her actions. “I guess you’ve discovered my dark secret. Are you going to tell your brothers that Liz Donovan is the mousy librarian sort that you took her for all along?”
He glanced back at her and stopped rifling through the papers on his desk. “It’s a good thing you took them off--”
She knew how she looked, but did he have to spell it out for her?
“--because I think women in glasses are very sexy.”
Her eyes shot to his face.
“I see I’ve surprised you. Again.”
She thought about what her reaction had been to seeing his bedroom for the first time and felt heat rise on her face.
He removed a stapled-together set of papers from a pile. “Finally.”
“I’m glad you found the report.”
He walked over and sat himself in an armchair nearby. “Aren’t you going to ask me why?”
She pretended to pick a piece of lint off her khaki shorts. “Why what?”
“Why I think women in glasses are sexy.”
“I’m sure you have your reasons,” she said politely. She waved a hand. “After all, ah, men seem to discover their ‘type’ early on.”
He leaned forward and braced his arms on his haunches. “I’ve given this some thought.” He turned his head toward her and Liz raised her brows inquiringly. “It’s the intelligence that glasses signal.”
“Also, they kind of make a man itch to peel away the layers. What’s she hiding? Can she be wild and uninhibited as well as prim and proper? That’s the mystery.”
She folded her arms. “I see.”
“The library was one of my favorite hangouts.” He grinned. “All those sexy librarian types hitting the books.”
“Sort of like the fox in the hen house, hmm?”
He sat back and laughed. “Sort of,” he said, still grinning.
“What about those women you’re always pictured with in the papers? Bambi or whatever?”
“Bambi?” he spluttered, laughing again.
She nodded seriously.
“All right.” He held up his hands in mock defeat. “I’ll admit I haven’t been picky when it comes to my Friday night dates.” He shrugged. “I’ve taken out whoever is around and willing to go to these boring social functions I always seem obligated to attend.”
“And ‘whoever is around’ is the sleek high-society type.”
He sighed. “Whether the woman is my type or not is often beside the point.” He nodded to the papers she’d set aside. “Work?”
She felt herself smile. “Yes. We bespectacled librarian types spend a lot of Saturday nights alone working.”
The corner of his mouth curled up. “So do we dashing playboy types,” he admitted. “I’m camped out with my files in front of the TV in the other room.”