The following is excerpted from the romantic comedy NOBODY’S FOOL by Barbara Meyers, release date 1/6/15 from Samhain Publishing
Two hours later, Court wondered what had he gotten himself into. What had he been thinking? That he could prove to himself he was immune to Jolie? Ha! He was about as immune to her as he was to a bee sting. All she had to do was touch him and he reacted. It was a full-time job pretending not to.
Because he and Jolie seemed to be categorized as a couple—and why wouldn’t they be when he’d insisted on escorting her everywhere—they were now in the process of being tied together for the three-legged race.
Jolie was doing the tying, and Court swore if her fingertips brushed the inside of his thigh one more time, he was going to toss her down in the grass and show her just how much he wasn’t over her. He wished he’d worn jeans instead of cargo shorts. He needed all the protection from Jolie he could get. He looked down as she adjusted the tie around their ankles. The soft curve of her spine, the glimpse of skin where her T-shirt and jeans didn’t quite meet at the waist, the silk of her hair that brushed against his knee.
Note to self: Reunion picnic and related activities? Bad idea.
“Okay! Everybody ready?” Erin Miller called through her blow horn. As former student body president, she had put herself in charge of the reunion from start to finish.
Twenty or so teams lined up on the line she’d created using Caution Wet Paint tape. A similar tape marked the finish.
Jolie slid her arm around Court’s waist and flashed him a quick smile. He drew his arm around her back. Why had he said yes to this game? The last thing he needed or wanted was to be this close to her. Bound to her.
Liar, his subconscious argued. You’re enjoying every minute of it. He was. Too much. He wanted to be close to Jolie almost as much as he wanted to prove that he didn’t. Maybe he could just split himself in half. That worked out in Solomon’s court, didn’t it?
“Ready!” Erin called. “Set! Go!”
He and Jolie set off as planned, steadily moving in sync. He shortened his strides to match hers. They weren’t the fastest team, but they weren’t falling down, either. Several teams who had started off stronger had already tumbled to the ground together, disqualified.
Erin, in her usual nitpicking style, had laid down hard and fast rules. If even a knee touched the ground, they were out. Both partners had to remain upright from start to finish.
The competition literally fell away as they got closer to their goal. “Almost there,” Court encouraged. Somehow, they’d been thrown off their rhythm. The binding was chafing his calf. He tried to make an adjustment, but didn’t do it in time.
As they reached the goal line he felt Jolie’s balance go. Tied together as they were, with her weight pulling at him, the fastening bit into the skin of his leg. He took one last stumbling step before he went down on the far side of the line. Without even trying he broke Jolie’s fall. She ended up on top of him, laughing. She glanced down the length of the track. “It wasn’t pretty. But I think we won.”
Speech escaped him so he just nodded while he absorbed the sensation of Jolie atop him. Without thinking, he curled his fingers in her hair, pushing it back away from her face, memorizing the texture of it, his mind a million miles away. “Great,” he finally answered.
“Our winners are Court Harrison and Jolie Kramer,” Erin blow-horned from about three feet away. “Let’s give them a big round of applause.” Half-hearted hand clapping was offered from the other competitors. Those not involved clapped slightly louder.
“You two can get up now,” Erin said, not bothering to lower the blow horn. “Game’s over.”
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