Lissa set the pack on the desk. “Why does Reggie ‘need’ me to do it? He’s the handyman. I’m the night clerk. Somehow, I don’t think attics and spiders are in my job description. Nor,” she added, “is toting around heavy packs in yours. You have to be on duty in less than five hours. You should be home in bed, Rosa.”

A scant short of retirement, Rosa was begin­ning to look her age. The job was too hard on her. Lissa wished her father would get his act together and marry Rosa.

Reg sprained his ankle,” Rosa explained. “Your dad’s upstairs right now making sure the springs and wires are all fixed right.”

You let my dad go up those stairs?” Lissa all but yelled. Her father should not, in her opinion, be climb­ing three flights of stairs.

Will you keep it down?” Rosa glanced around ner­vously again. “Besides, you know your father. How was I supposed to stop him? He was the first one Reg­gie phoned when he sprained his ankle. Just lucky I was with him at Chuckles when Reggie tracked him down there. I couldn’t keep him out of the inn or off the third floor, but I can keep him from traipsing around in the attic.”

She paused and pinned Lissa with a cast-iron stare from under her eyebrows. “With your help.”

Lissa nodded. “Sure. Okay.” She’d do a lot more than clamber around the attic to help her dad. Two years ago, she’d given up a job in a big city hotel to do just that, though it hadn’t been such a great sacrifice. This elaborate trick they were organizing might be though, what with the spiders she knew were up there... waiting for her.

I only wish you’d called me at home so I could have worn jeans and sneakers instead of this.” She flicked at the fullness of her calf-length cotton skirt. “And these!” She glanced down at her stylish, wedge-heeled thong sandals. Staff dress at Madrona Inn was generally casual, but Lissa felt more professional in a skirt, though she’d been glad to give up panty hose and spike heels except for special occasions. Living on a boat made high heels impractical.

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