Overtime for Love(7)

By: Synithia Williams

Angela stood, which prompted Ms. Parker to do so, as well. Ms. Parker liked to talk and she would easily go on for another thirty minutes about her dog and husband if Angela didn’t end the conversation. “Thanks again for your service, Ms. Parker. We can’t look out for the kids without the dedication of volunteers like you.”

Ms. Parker blushed and nodded and said again how sorry she was as Angela ushered her out of the office. Why people like Ms. Parker would go through the rigorous training and background checks necessary to volunteer with the child advocacy office only to flake out on responsibilities every other month didn’t make much sense to Angela. It was a constant source of frustration. The kids were the ones who suffered; things were missed when there wasn’t consistent contact with them. Angela knew because she’d lived it. If she’d had someone looking out for her after her parents died, maybe her aunt wouldn’t have found it so easy to steal her inheritance. That was the reason she’d gone into social work. She wanted to make sure no other kid was taken advantage of by the people who were supposed to protect them.

She poked her head into Jerry’s office, which was next to hers, but he wasn’t there. A quick check with the admin assistant and she learned Jerry was gone for the day.

“He did tell me to thank you for handling Ms. Parker,” Martha said.

Angela bit back her annoyance and took a deep breath. At least Ms. Parker had been reprimanded, and hopefully wouldn’t neglect her duties next month. Angela went back to her office, powered down her computer and scooped up her purse. Ten after five. Maybe enough time to hit the road and get to Cory before the activity center charged her for being late picking him up. It was his first week of basketball camp. She didn’t want to be late the first day and start off as “that parent.”

Somebody in heaven liked her because Angela arrived at the activity center at exactly five-twenty-nine. She jumped out of the car and raced into the building. The young guy working the front desk smiled and didn’t charge her for being two minutes late by their clock, then directed her to the gym, where Cory was waiting. She thanked the guy, glanced at her watch and hurried to the gym. Okay, pick up Cory, drive like a maniac back home, thank Nate again for being an awesome neighbor and get to second job.

Angela grabbed the door to the gym and pulled. Someone shoved the door from the other side and she stumbled back. Her heels slipped on the floor. A large hand wrapped around her wrist and prevented her from impersonating a flipped pancake.

Awareness prickled up her arm from the strong hand around her wrist. Her gaze lifted all the way up to a pair of dark, sexy eyes. Her heart stumbled worse than her feet and air sprinted from her lungs like an Olympic runner. Isaiah Reynolds.

He was wearing a sleeveless red athletic shirt, so the lean muscles of his arms were bared. Basketball shorts partially covered sculpted legs long enough to make a redwood jealous. If a tree could get jealous. The spice of sweat and his own masculine scent swirled through her senses and made her knees wobbly. Recognition brightened his warm brown eyes. For a split second, he seemed happy and surprised, then his brow furrowed and his lips, the lower one fuller and so damn kissable, twisted into a frown.

“Angel?” he said in a tone that was as smooth as silk and ran over her just as seductively.

Angela swallowed hard and tried to ignore the heat spreading through her body. She wanted him, which meant she had to avoid him at all costs for the remainder of the camp. Otherwise he’d have her with a crook of his finger and a smile.

* * *

Isaiah’s fingers tightened around Angel’s small wrist. He’d recognized her instantly. Gone were the sparkly white angel wings she wore behind the bar at Sweethearts. A tasteful gray button-up shirt replaced the white tank top he’d last seen her in, although the garment still hugged her perfectly rounded breasts. A fitted black pencil skirt silhouetted full hips instead of tight black pants. No glittery makeup enhanced her eyes, which were so brown and deep he could forget the world while holding her gaze. Perfect lips parted and the sweet scent of flowers surrounded him.

He wanted to draw her closer. He’d thought of her constantly after their conversation at the bar that night. The excitement of literally bumping into her again nearly made him step closer, breathe in her soft perfume, get lost in her eyes. Why was she here?

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