Overtime for Love(6)

By: Synithia Williams

“Hell no. Chanel is only looking for a good time. That’s all I’m good for.” Before Isaiah could comment on the grim tone of his friend’s admission, Kevin got a knowing look in his gray eyes. “Are you going to the club?”

Isaiah grunted and shook his head. “Nah. What for?”

Kevin just grinned. He’d teased Isaiah about Angel for a week after the team celebrated at Sweethearts. Teased him and called him a damn fool for not getting her number. According to Will Hampton, another friend and teammate, her not giving him her number was unlikely. Perks of being a professional athlete, he’d said, but Will was the type of guy not many women said no to.

Isaiah wasn’t going to bring Angel back into the conversation. Bad enough her sexy laugh and beautiful smile still popped up in his dreams. “You’ll be back from Hawaii in time for camp?” He stood and looked at the pictures on the wall.

“Just going for a weekend. I’ll be back,” Kevin said.

One of the pictures on the wall caught Isaiah’s attention. He walked over for a closer look. The five curved lines arranged in a star shape reminded him of the tattoo Angel had on her wrist. The African symbol for strength.

A reminder that I can handle anything that comes my way. I’m strong enough to take care of me.

Her voice had held a trace of some lingering pain. He’d wanted to know what it was so he could wipe it clean away. But he’d changed the subject. Teased that he would get a shark tattoo because it was his favorite animal. She’d laughed and he’d fallen into her spell.

Too bad life wasn’t just about going with instinct, the way a shark did. Instinct would have him back at the club tonight. There were consequences to consider. Plans to be made. Plans that didn’t involve falling for a bartender with a beautiful smile after already asking the “perfect” woman to move to his town and talk about their future.


Angela fought to keep the professional smile on her face as she listened to the volunteer sitting across from her desk give another excuse for not visiting the child she was assigned to this month. Olivia Parker was a decent lady. She was retired from the school system, had friendly brown eyes and a matronly appearance. She’d heard about the need for advocates when Angela’s supervisor was interviewed by the local news six months ago and immediately came in to volunteer. Except she always had an excuse for why she couldn’t put in the time.

Everyone in the office was assigned a group of volunteers to organize and ensure the kids they represented had someone to check in on them. Angela’s volunteers rarely missed visits because she was constantly touching base with them. Ms. Parker was her coworker Jerry’s volunteer. He’d asked her to deal with Ms. Parker because he “couldn’t be mean to someone who reminded him of his grandmother.” The real excuse: he didn’t know how to manage his volunteers.

“You understand, Angela, why I didn’t make it this month. Between my husband getting sick, the drama with my sister and Pickle’s surgery, it just slipped my mind,” Olivia said in a pleading voice.

Angela took a deep breath. Pickle was Ms. Parker’s miniature schnauzer. “I do understand, but it is also very important that our volunteers personally see their assigned child every month. That’s the only way we can ensure they’re adapting to their new foster home and are making any scheduled court appearances or visits with their parents. I’ll work with Jerry to cover your visit tomorrow, but please let Jerry know ahead of time if you can’t make next month’s visit.”

Olivia bobbed her head up and down. “No. No. I’ll go first thing in the morning. I understand and I promise I won’t miss next month. I’ll be sure to visit not just once, but—”

“Twice.” Angela forced her smile to remain. “I know.” She glanced at the clock and stood. This meeting with Ms. Parker had gone past five o’clock. Angela needed to be out of the office and on the road right at five to dodge the worst of the traffic before picking up Cory and getting him back to her apartment, where her neighbor, Nate, watched him while she worked nights at Sweethearts.

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