Here's a short, short excerpt from AN AFFAIR IN APRIL - coming April 1, 2013
Remember, if you'd like to read the whole story before everyone else - you can stop by my contest post to find out how.
“Would you mind if I put my arms around you?”
The handsome stranger’s question took Evie by surprise. Her pen fell out of her hand and rolled across the scuffed linoleum floor. She looked up from her notes, momentarily tongue-tied. She’d been watching him from the moment he entered the recreation department classroom where this evening’s self-defense class was being held. Secretly she’d hoped the tall, muscular man in the Property of the Spring River Valley Athletic Department T-shirt would turn out to be the class instructor.
“Um…sure,” she replied instinctively before her muddled brain kicked into gear. “I mean no. I wouldn’t mind.”
He bent to retrieve her pen, his long, slender fingers brushing hers as he handed it back to her. “You don’t look old enough to be here.”
She laughed. At twenty-five, it had been a while since anyone had questioned her age. The flattery felt good. “You’re sweet. I am legal, I assure you.”
The mischievous sparkle in his warm brown eyes made her breath hitch. She clutched her pen tightly, afraid of dropping it again. Not that she hadn’t enjoyed watching him move to get it back for her.
“I just meant, this is the Senior Self-Defense Class.” He nodded toward the classroom entrance where half a dozen older women, most clearly over sixty-five, were arriving. The ladies each stopped to stare at Tall-Dark-and-Charming and began giggling like teenagers. So much for the dignity of maturity, but Evie certainly couldn’t blame them.
“I’m…covering the class.” She stuck out her hand, sans pen. “Evie Prentice. I write for the Lifestyle section of the Herald. I’m doing a piece on health and fitness, so I’m auditing classes at the rec this week.”
His smile widened as he shook her hand, his grip firm and confident. Her heart fluttered. “I’m Tanner Croft. That’s with a C, and I wasn’t being forward before. I just need a volunteer, and I usually ask the first student to arrive.”
Evie’s cheeks heated. She had to get a hold of herself. This was work, no time to fall for a pair of broad shoulders, soulful eyes, and a high voltage smile. “Oh, I…well, since technically I’m just an observer—”
“You’ll do fine.” He slipped her notebook off her lap, set it and her pen on the chair next to her, and tugged her to her feet as the rest of the students took their seats. With a glance at their growing audience, Evie followed him to the center of the room where several thick mats lay on the floor. “Don’t worry. You won’t get hurt. In fact, the object tonight is for you to hurt me.”
“Oh…” She envisioned taking a bite out of one of his bulging biceps. “Okay.”