A red-haired woman hustled toward them, wearing a cheerful smile and an eye-popping outfit. For all appearances, she dressed in an assemblage of clothing appropriate for a belated Halloween party. The bright purple sweater, short blue plaid skirt, and yellow cable-knit tights with gray ankle boots weren’t an ensemble a normal adult would choose to wear on an average day.
Mike stiffened as she approached. He didn’t like redheads, bubbly personalities, or women with the fashion sense of an attention-seeking adolescent.
“That’s Miss Taggart,” Brock said quietly, tipping his head toward the woman.
“And you couldn’t have warned me sooner?” Mike growled in an angry whisper. “Tell Brenna she’ll have to find someone else to do the work.”
“Mike,” Brock placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed it. “Don’t be that way. Not ten minutes ago, you said it’s a good thing they asked you to come before they started plugging in dozens of strings of lights because the wiring might explode. Think of all the people this fundraiser will help. Focus on that, not the pretty woman in charge of it. You can’t hate every woman with red hair just because of…”
Mike didn’t let him finish before he snapped, “I don’t think she’s pretty. She looks like a flame-headed freak dressed for a frat house costume party.” Although he spoke in a low tone he assumed no one but Brock would hear, his voice carried in the cavernous building.
The woman stopped a few feet away and boldly stared at Mike. “Flame-headed freak?” Her left eyebrow crept upward as her gaze traveled from his scuffed work boots to the shaggy dark hair on his head. “Surely even a cavedweller like you can come up with something more creative than that.”