Sweet ArrestBy: Jordyn Tracey
A bakery was the last establishment she should own. A'isha glowered at her panty line, clearly visible through her jogging pants. A thong might have worked out better, except she had no wish to give herself a wedgie and her giggly butt needed the extra covering to hide the dimples.
She slapped the offending round cheeks and drug in a resigned breath. The decision had been made months ago. With her new jogging outfit, designed in her favorite color—blue—she had no excuse not to get out on the trail through the park. Just after sunrise had to be early enough for no witnesses to her first lengthy exercise in three years.
Popping a stick of sugarless gum in her mouth, she tucked her phone in her pocket and bound down the stairs of her family home. On the front steps of the row house, she placed her head phones on her head and set out.
Twenty minutes into her walk-ten minutes, jog-for two, she was sweating, and her thigh muscles burned. At a curve in the trail, with a large bush obstructing the path ahead, she stopped. Her cell phone buzzed against her hip, and the vibration felt pretty good right about now. If only it were all over her stiff, painful muscles.
She flipped the phone open and bent to remove her shoe lace from inside her sneaker. “Hello?"
The hard body slammed into her, and her phone went flying. A'isha landed on her back with a man pinning her to the ground. She screamed, fighting for him to release her.
"Hey, easy. I'm not the one who was bent in the middle of a blind spot.” His deep voice and bright blue eyes sent chills along her arms. “Now, if you'll give me a sec I can haul myself and you up. Okay? Please, don't scratch my eyes out.” His charming smile disarmed her.
"Um, yes, of course. Sorry."
His tanned skin glistened from his run. His tussled brown curls were in wet ringlets on his forehead. He wore a sleeveless T-shirt and biker shorts. When he hefted his body up off her, she spotted the bulge at his crotch and blushed. He followed her line of vision, knowing what she was looking at, and he winked.
A'isha scooted away from him. He stood, reached down, and hooked his hands beneath her arms to hoist her to her feet. “There you go. Are you okay? No permanent damage?"
"No, thank you. I-I have to go.” Not wanting him to see her ass, she offered a half smile and faced him while she shuffled sideways pretending such a move was natural. The amusement in his eyes told her he wasn't fooled, and probably that he thought she was an idiot.
When Mr. Gorgeous was out of sight, A'isha straightened her walk, the jog dismissed. “How embarrassing.” He was probably bent over laughing his head off at her antics. She grunted, stomping along the path.
She stopped. Too late to turn now. She was facing away from him. On a tormented pivot, she glanced up to find his gaze where she least welcomed it. Her panties had ridden up despite being granny style, and her pants were too tight.
"Yes?” When he didn't look up, she cleared her throat.
"Oh, yeah.” He held up her cell phone. “You forgot this in the grass. It must have gone flying when we bumped, um...?"
He nodded. “Pretty. Very pretty.” To her surprise, he wasn't commenting on her name. The man must have had a screw shaken loose in the fall. “I'm Connor. Nice to meet you.” Sparks ignited at his touch. His palm was rough but warm, engulfing hers.
Their gazes locked. The park came to life around them—birds chirped, a dog barked, and someone's shoes slapped against the concrete.
"You know, I—"
"I have to go—” She was going to run away again, from a man, from an awkward situation, but she couldn't help herself. He was too sexy anyway. A man with a face like that and a body to match, wouldn't look at her twice. Except to return her cell phone. “Thank you. I have to go."
She spun away, and this time jogged in the opposite direction than what she intended. Her car was parked at the south end of the park. She would have to circle around a least a mile to avoid him and get back. If her thighs had to spontaneously combust, oh well.
* * * *
By the time she reached the bakery, A'isha realized Cammie had not opened when she was supposed to, and she hadn't started the donuts that needed to be fresh that morning. Groaning, she let herself in and flipped the card to open on the door. Mr. Stanton, the old man who lived at the end of the block would be in less than an hour expecting his usual to be ready.