Snippet of Jonathan and Claire’s first encounter:
“Need some help?” A deep voice said from behind.
“Sure.” I didn’t look up. I kept stacking the red boxes in between the yellow ones, making sure each box was perfectly aligned into the tacky half diamond formation.
As I stacked the last cereal box atop the display, I turned to look at the man who’d helped me out.
OH. MY. GOD…
He had one of those faces that belonged in a Ralph Lauren ad—stark blue eyes that gleamed with the faintest hint of light, a perfectly chiseled jaw line with a light sexy stubble, and full, well defined lips that looked inviting enough to kiss all day.
He was dressed in dark blue jeans and a black sweat shirt with “San Fran” in white letters. And for some odd reason, he was smiling at me.
He’s probably a student at the law school down the street….If only I could go back in time…Oh well…
“Umm…Thank you for your help.” I turned away and went back to my basket.
“Wait a minute,” he said as he walked over. “I didn’t catch your name.”
“Nice to meet you, Claire. I’m Jonathan.” He reached out to shake my hand. “I know this may seem forward, but I can’t leave the store without knowing if I can I take you out tonight.”
What? Did he just ask me out? For tonight?
“You can pick the place.” He smiled a perfect white smile and ran a hand through his jet black hair. “And we can meet there if you don’t want me to pick you up.”
Stop looking at his smile and avert your gaze somewhere lower…Not that lower!
“I would but…” I literally couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was the sexiest man I’d ever seen and I could feel this strange rush of warmth coursing through my veins. “I can’t.”
“Is it because you’re seeing someone else?” His eyes veered to my bare left hand. “Are you married?”
He has to be kidding me…“No. I’m not married or seeing anyone else. I’m—”
“So would eight o’ clock be fine? And where exactly do you want to meet?” He looked directly into my eyes and I almost collapsed onto the floor.
The look he was giving me should’ve been reserved for a seductive scene in a romance movie and his dreamy smile was lethal.
“Look, I’m completely flattered but you look kind of young.”
He furrowed his eyebrow. “That’s very nice of you to say, but that doesn’t answer my question. Where do you want to—”
“How old are you, Jonathan?”
“Twenty eight.” His beautiful eyes lit up.
Twenty eight?! Why am I still standing here entertaining him? He’s eleven years younger than me! No thanks…
“Well, that’s way too young for me. I have a little cousin that’s more in your age range. She’s currently studying law, but if you want I can call and ask her if—”
“You don’t want to go out with me?”
“No. I’m way too old for you, and I’m not a cougar or a cradle robber. I have two daughters and I would feel some type of way if they dated someone who had our age difference.”
“Our age difference?”
“Yes. I’m thirty nine, which means that when you were eight years old and learning how to build fires with the Boy Scouts, I was nineteen and in college. It means that when you were nineteen and trying to figure out what major you wanted to pick, I was thirty trying to build a career in marketing. And just in case you don’t realize how many years there are that separate us, there are eleven. Do you not see the problem with that?
“Not really.” He grinned. “But I can’t force someone to go out with me, can I?