Tempting Mr. Perfect

By: Rebecca Rose


I need to say a big thank you to my brother Dave for being… well, my brother. You can make the most serious person laugh and would give anything to anyone if it meant brightening their day and therefore, enriching their lives. You have done that for me on so many occasions. I love you.

I’m also giving a big shout out to my fellow author and friend Melanie Meadors who super read this story in one night. You’re the best critique partner ever!

To Emma, the sweetest baby girl in the world. You’re blessed with wonderful parents and many aunts and uncles. May you always know how loved you are.

Chapter One

Kathy Smith walked out of the door without even a good-bye. Dave Sanders’s heart sank to his feet while his stomach churned and his mind tried to think of any way to make her stay. Never a man to beg, Dave realized that might be exactly what he would have to do in order for Kathy to open her eyes and see how he felt about her.

Coming around the bar he began closing up the Hungry Lion Bar-n-Grill for the night. Money in the safe, chairs up on the tables, bathrooms empty, all doors locked, lights off. Every night Dave wondered if this routine would get tiring, and to his surprise it never did. He knew where he wanted to be, and every day he came to work was another dream come true—another day that he wasn’t using drugs or becoming a statistic for dead drug dealers. Things were perfect for the first time in his life, except for the fact that the woman he wanted walked out after every shift and never went home with him.

The night air hung heavy with the promise that the following day would be stifling. The humidity, thick with dew, left a sheen of sparkling moisture on every surface. Dave swiped his arm across his forehead as he sauntered to the old beat-up truck that he just couldn’t part with. The paint had faded, and the body was slightly rusted but the engine purred with awesome power.

Hearing her laugh, Dave turned to see Kathy chatting with the evening waitress, Sue. They were standing next to Kathy’s car engrossed in conversation. His heart skipped a beat yet his mind split with opposing opinions. One said to walk over there, grab the chick, and kiss her. The other pushed for him to jump in his car and escape as fast as he could, ensuring his dignity. The meddlesome, internal argument came to a halt when Kathy spotted him. He’d been standing there like a fool, keys dangling from his fingers, staring at the two women. Sue waved him over with a smile.

God, I’m such a dingbat, Dave scolded himself then dragged his feet to join them.

“Dave,” Sue said. “You work too much. We were talkin’ about going out tomorrow night for a male strip review. Wanna come and perform for us?” she teased.

“Umm… not really my thing, Sue. But you could always try my brother. Jake seems to like taking his clothes off. Remember Sophie finding him in only boxers on the Lion’s office couch, Kathy?” He winked at her and from under the streetlight he saw color rush to her cheeks. Gosh, she’s so cute.

“I might just do that,” Sue answered. “You think Sophie would mind? She is his woman now, after all.”

Kathy gave a sweet little laugh. “To see Jake naked? No, I don’t think Sophie would mind.”

Dave shifted on his feet, awkward and wondering what else he should say. Kathy wrung her hands while Sue kept smiling at them both.

“You know, kiddos, I’m gonna run. The husband is waiting and the curtain climbers will be up in six hours.”

Dave nodded. “Okay, Sue. See you later.”

“Bye, Sue.” Kathy waved.

Together they watched her leave, the last lifeline to easy conversation between the two of them. They stood in the parking lot and stared at each other as if their very next words would determine if the sky would cave in and death would be imminent. Nervous tension prickled the air. Hypersensitive hormones made his body aware that a beautiful woman stood in front of him and mating was imminent. Yet something else besides hormones pulled at Dave. An urgency to have her in his arms, a yearning to be so close their bodies and minds would merge into one and drown in the abyss of pleasure, fulfillment, and understanding for what the other needed. His rapidly beating heart clenched from anxiety, as the roaring in his ears submerged the world around them to silence. The thick, suffocating air compressed his lungs, while one single thought repeated in his mind: Just friggin’ kiss her! They were so close their bodies brushed and she didn’t back up or try to avoid his touch when he reached out to her.

“You should go,” he told her while his eyes held hers. “It’s late.”

“You’re right.”

But she didn’t move. No, actually, she quirked her lips in the slightest way, casting a bewitching spell of lust over him. Dave could neither move nor think. A voice echoed in his head: Kiss me, Dave. Do it now! With the world around them diminished, Dave brought his lips to hers. Testing, tasting, and cautious. This one kiss was a risk and would open a new chapter in his life. She was the woman he had been waiting to meet for years. Her laugh, smile, understanding eyes, and quick humor were things he longed to see and hear.