Some lessons are harder to learn than others.
Jerry Jenkins is a player. He loves women. Curvy women. Soft women. He's unapologetically drawn to full-figured women. With all the beauties in the world, he has no intention of settling down with just one. Not until Rayne Ellison moves in next door. But the curvaceous beauty doesn’t fall for his charm. Still, she's the only woman who has him willing to shred his bachelor’s card.
If there’s one lesson single mom Rayne learned over the years, it’s to avoid players. Been there, done that. Barely survived. No way will she fall prey to another ladies’ man. She has one focus—raising her daughter, but there’s something so magnetic about Jerry. Rayne agrees to be friends, but nothing more. At least that’s what she tells herself.
When tragedy strikes, Rayne is ready to give up, but it’s Jerry who keeps her afloat. He breaks down her defenses and, in the process, gives her a lesson on love.
Grabbing the water pitcher from the refrigerator, Rayne poured them both a glass. “Tonight, was fun,” she said.
“I agree, and I’m glad you had a good time. Does that mean you’ll consider going out with me again…and again after that?” He flashed that sexy grin that sent heat rushing through her body.
Smiling, Rayne shook her head. She didn’t dare tell him that the thought had popped into her head on the way to his parents’ house. Even though she knew it was just fear keeping her from dating anyone, she still couldn’t seem to get past her experience with Kirk. But what she did know, was Jerry was nothing like him. He was a good man, and Rayne was lucky to have him in her life…even as a friend.
“I don’t think you should wait on me, Jerry. Find someone you can have a future with.”
“That someone is you.”
“That someone needs to be a person who wants to get married. Someone who can make you happy, because I already know you’re going to be a wonderful husband.” Those words left Rayne’s mouth dry. The thought of him with another woman made her stomach hurt, but she was still too damaged for a relationship…and scared.
Jerry gulped half the contents of his glass before setting it on the counter. “That someone could be you.”
“We’re not doing this back and forth dance tonight,” she said, a little disappointed in herself. Here she had this great guy who wanted to get to know her even better, and she was pushing him away, again.
Jerry brushed the back of his fingers down Rayne’s cheek, and her skin tingled from the contact. “I thought you wanted a family.”
“I do…I did,” she added quickly. “Actually, I have a family—Stormy.”
Rayne lowered her eyes and stared down at the floor, but felt the heat of his gaze. Her desire to have a big family hadn’t diminished. She just couldn’t see herself getting married again. Trusting had never come easy, and after Kirk’s deception, Rayne had vowed never to rely on a man again. But she’d be lying if she said that Jerry didn’t tempt her to do just that. Spending time with him, she’d felt special, treasured. Feelings she hadn’t experienced in years, if ever.
He tilted her chin, forcing her to look at him, and their eyes locked on each other. He really was a gorgeous man with smooth, dark skin and those penetrating eyes that Rayne could easily get lost in.
But then her eyes dropped to his full, kissable lips, and she swallowed hard. She had told herself that their outing tonight wasn’t a real date. It was just two friends hanging out and celebrating his birthday, but she really wouldn’t mind kissing her friend again.
Copyright © 2018 by Sharon C. Cooper