Now that you’ve met Tasha I’m introducing you to my hero, Jared Patterson. If you read, You Can’t Plan Love, then you got a glimpse of this handsome playboy, and you know he’s not ready to settle down. In this scene, he is arriving at Central Midlands Recreation Commission’s annual Senior Olympics to help as a celebrity judge; something Tasha talked him into doing. He’s never paid much attention to Tasha sexually before, but that quickly changes. Enjoy!
Jared smiled and nodded at the group of people who’d stopped when they recognized his car before approaching a young man directing traffic in the parking area. He asked the guy where the judges were supposed to register and was directed to the stage set up on the old playground.
People repeatedly stopped him along the way. He appreciated that people who purchased his fitness DVDs and followed his nutrition regimen saw results. Sometimes the best feedback he received came from impromptu testimonials when he was out and about. He answered questions and signed a few autographs, taking extra time to appreciate the ladies who happily flaunted new and improved figures.
Breaking away from the crowd he strode to the stage. The area was bustling with Rec Commission staff, volunteers, and seniors arriving for the games. He stopped mid-step to watch Tasha Smith tottering on a stepladder trying to hang a banner along the back of the stage, and changed direction to help her.
Back when he was starting his personal training career, he’d worked part-time at the Rec Commission while Tasha was in charge of afterschool programs. She’d never ratted him out to the administration when he sold his homemade protein bars to clients and he’d always appreciated that. Years later, after he’d returned to South Carolina, it was a shock to learn she had become the deputy director—not because she didn’t work hard, but because he’d assumed she would have already been married with dozens of babies. She had never made it a secret that she wanted a family and word on the street was she was saving herself for marriage; it was precisely how she had wound up in his “run far, far away from this chick” category in the first place.
He still couldn’t understand why some fool hadn’t married her yet. She wasn’t his type—not enough height or breasts in his opinion—but she wasn’t hard on the eyes. The Rec Commission polo shirts and khaki shorts she always wore didn’t hide her nicely shaped figure. Her hair wasn’t relaxed; instead, she pulled the curly, light brown tresses into a ponytail at the base of her neck. If she wore something other than a ponytail and showed off her figure, someone at her dad’s church was bound to take notice.
He sprinted up the few stairs onto the stage and sauntered over. Her back was to him and he smiled when she cursed after one side of the banner fell. Who’d have thought Tasha had a potty mouth? She stood on her tiptoes and the edges of her khaki shorts rose up to reveal a smooth expanse of toned, caramel thighs. He whistled in his head. Tasha did have some nice legs.
Shaking that thought out of his head, he reached around her to help with the banner. “It looks as if you could use a hand.”
She squealed before falling. Jared easily caught her in his arms. As a man used to holding women, he couldn’t help but notice she weighed next to nothing. He also realized he’d never been so close to her before. She smelled good. Not like flowers or perfume, but a clean, soapy smell. Her honey-colored eyes were wide with surprise, and her lips formed a delicate “O.” Just the perfect shape to wrap around his… Damn, where the hell did that come from?
Annoyed that she’d enticed him, even if unwittingly, he lashed out, “Tasha, what the hell are you doing?”
She scowled. “Why are you yelling at me? If you wouldn’t have scared the crap out of me I wouldn’t have tripped.”
“I didn’t mean to scare you, I only wanted to help.”
“Well, announce yourself the next time.” There was a breathless quality to her voice. It would sound delicious after a round of sex.
He cleared his throat. “Get someone else to hang the banners next time.”
“I’m sorry, in the future I’ll put you on the banner hanging committee. Then maybe you’d show up at the same time as the other judges instead of waltzing in late.” He raised a brow. “Are you trying to be funny?”
She tilted her head to the side. “Did I say something funny?”
He considered his response before glaring at her. She glared back, before smiling. Damn, she was beautiful when she smiled. Why hadn’t he noticed that before? His gaze fell to her mouth. Maybe he’d overlooked a lot of good things about Tasha. Like how juicy her lower lip was. She gasped once again, her lips parting to reveal the pink tip of her tongue. His eyes met hers and damn if she didn’t have the “kiss me” look. His lips curled into a smile as he wondered what kissing her might be like.
Her eyes widened as if she’d read his thoughts. “Are you going to hold me all day?” Her voice trembled.