Her Perfect Candidate

By: Candace Shaw

Chapter 1

“Great!”

Megan Chase plopped her forehead on the steering wheel. It was early evening in rush hour traffic, and her SUV had just gotten a flat tire on Interstate 85 in Atlanta. Luckily, she was in the far right lane and was able to inch the vehicle over to the shoulder. She lifted her head, breathed deeply and eased open the door to survey the damage. But before her 4-inch heel could hit the pavement, she quickly drew it back in observing the cars zooming by at high speeds.

Shutting the door, she moved her laptop bag and purse from the passenger seat into the back, before climbing over the gearshift. The flat was on the back passenger side. She figured she could change it and then be on her way to meet her twin sister and her best friend at a scholarship fund-raiser event one of her clients had invited them to.

She hopped out of the SUV and walked carefully along the rocky pavement.

“Of all the days to dress up,” she said, pulling her short black dress down to barely touch her knees. She stooped down to look at the damaged tire. The tires were new, so she wasn’t quite sure why she had a flat. A nail, probably, she thought.

Earlier that day, she’d put the finishing touches on decorating a model home in a new subdivision outside of Atlanta. Houses were in the process of being built, and Megan had toured the subdivision to see the homes. She figured she’d run over a nail in the process.

As she popped the trunk to retrieve the tire, she heard her cell phone blaring from her purse in the backseat. Climbing through the trunk of her SUV to reach the phone, she knew who was calling before she even looked at the display. Now, glancing down at the caller ID to confirm her suspicion, she saw Sydney Chase’s name flash on the screen. Megan knew if she didn’t answer the phone, Sydney the worrier, would probably have the FBI, CIA and the SWAT team scouring the city for her within the hour.

The sound of a horn and tires on the gravel behind Megan stopped her from answering the call. She grabbed the mace she always carried in her purse and began to climb backward out of the SUV. Her finger placed firmly on the spray button.

As she turned around to step down, a fine-looking tall man was standing in front of her opened trunk, with his hand out to assist her. She blinked twice and stifled a “Goodness he’s gorgeous” with a slight gulp. The sun was going down behind him radiating an aura of bright yellow and orange.

“Need some assistance, pretty lady?” the sexy, baritone voice offered.

Megan tossed the mace spray over the backseat and placed her empty hand in his. His touch on her skin, although brief, sent a warm shiver through her veins. Once settled onto the pavement, she squinted her eyes and placed her right hand straight across her forehead to see him better without being blinded by what was left of the sun.

She looked up in amazement at the most handsome man she had ever laid her eyes upon. He was quite tall, at least a few inches over six feet. His hair was neatly trimmed with black wavy ripples. The evening sun was bringing out the color of his smooth, milk chocolate skin, and she fought back the urge to run a hand over his hairless, chiseled face. He had thick eyelashes that supermodels would give up purging their dinner for. His charming smile displayed pearl-colored teeth between his inviting lips. While he had let go of her hand, she could still feel the warmth of it on her skin. She wondered how his strong hands would feel on the rest of her body.

For a moment time stood still. She didn’t notice the cars zooming by them or the April sun bearing down on her. Instead, she thought about how he reminded her of the man she always dreamed about. The man who would one day rescue her on his white horse and love her forever.

Suddenly remembering that he’d asked her a question, she blinked several times before coming down from cloud nine.

“Do I know you?” she asked, studying his captivating face.

A delicious grin crossed his mouth causing her to almost sigh out loud. Stay composed, girl. You see handsome men all the time.

“I don’t think so. I would definitely remember you if we knew each other,” the sinfully sexy gentleman stated in a tone that caused another wave of heat to rage through her.

What the heck is wrong with me?

“Oh, sorry for staring so hard, but you look familiar,” Megan replied, studying his face carefully. Megan wasn’t good with names, but she never forgot a face, especially one as intriguing as his. She couldn’t help but stare at the yummy dimple on his right cheek that appeared every time he smiled.

“What’s your name?” Megan asked.

“Steven.”

“Nice to meet you. I’m Megan.”

“Do you need some help changing that tire?” he asked, nodding his head in the direction of the flat. “It’s too dangerous for you to be out here alone.”

“Oh, yes. I...” she stuttered, glancing toward the tire. This man is making me forget why I’m standing out here in the hot sun in the first place. “I was just about to change it.”

His left eyebrow rose. “Really?” His gaze traveled the length of her body. “Wearing Louboutins and a very...um...sexy little freak’um dress. Are you trying to cause accidents? Seeing you bent over trying to change a flat tire will cause a ten car pileup,” he teased, taking off his blue suit jacket along with a red tie and handing them to her. “I’ll take care of it, while you call back whoever keeps calling you.” He nodded down to the cell phone in her hand that kept vibrating. “Your man is probably worried.”

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