Anything You Can Do - By Sally Berneathy


"If you're determined to push down a tree, why don't you try that one over there? The scenery's better."

Leaning against a big oak tree, Bailey Russell paused in her efforts to stretch her hamstring muscles and followed the direction of Paula's gaze to the tall man on the other side of the trail. He leaned forward, both arms braced against a tree, muscular legs stretched behind him in the same pose she'd just been executing. His head bent forward in concentration, hiding his face, showing only a crop of thick, razor-cut black hair.

Bailey regarded her friend, shook her head and laughed. "You've been in Kansas City less than twenty-four hours, and you'll probably have half a dozen offers to go to dinner by tonight. Some things never change. As I recall, you were the only girl in Haywood High history to have three dates for the prom."

"It was only two, and I tried to give you one."

For an instant, the memory tugged Bailey back to the painful days of being a skinny, awkward adolescent, the butt of jokes about red hair and freckles and brainy women. But that was the past. She stretched again, savoring the present, her status as a successful attorney, the no longer awkward body, the smooth response of well-toned muscles.

Her gaze shifted involuntarily across the way, to the long legs stretched out behind the dark-haired man. A quick thrill shot through her at the sight, a thrill she immediately quelled. Of course it was only a thrill of admiration, she assured herself. Impersonal admiration of good musculature. She wasn't leering at him or anything silly like that.

Thus reassured, she allowed her gaze to travel up his body, past the flat stomach encased in silky running shorts that looked as if they'd never been worn, over the pectorals bulging under the thin material of his T-shirt. He lacked the lean, streamlined upper body of a serious runner, would be more at home in the gym, obviously worked with weights.

Then her eyes met his impossibly blue ones. He was watching her and smiling. Busted!

Abruptly ducking her head, she concentrated on her exercises, tried to tell herself she had no reason to be embarrassed. The man probably scarcely noticed her watching him since he was undoubtedly focusing on Paula. Men did that.

"Go get him, kiddo," she said brusquely. "You've got his attention now."

"I don't think—" Paula began.

''I've got to go find my spot," Bailey interrupted as the man pushed away from his tree and strode toward them. Jamming her sun visor over her cropped auburn hair, she turned to leave. There was no reason for her to hang around and watch him flirt with Paula when she'd just made a colossal fool of herself gawking at him. Studying his musculature, she corrected.

She did, however, pause long enough to turn back with a grin. "But take note, the man's wearing a green T-shirt. Only members of the Bar Association, our race sponsor, got green ones. And I do recall that you said you're allergic to lawyers." With a wave and a laugh, Bailey jogged away.

When the five-minute warning buzzer sounded, Bailey watched in surprise as the man she had not been ogling moved into the front ranks of the group of almost nine hundred runners. Since race etiquette dictated everyone line up according to speed, the man obviously thought he would finish in the first group. Bailey didn't think so. Not with all that weight in his chest and arms.

On a hunch, she looked down at his shoes. New, not a speck of dirt on them. Since no one could be stupid enough to come to a 10K race with shoes that hadn't been broken in, she could only assume he did his running indoors. She could imagine his surprise when he came to the first hill, a geographical feature noticeably absent from health clubs. He wouldn't be smiling so broadly then. That perfect hair might even get mussed.

The starter's gun sounded and the crowd plunged ahead.

Bailey forced herself to settle into an easy, loping gait. She yearned to stretch her long legs to their limit, pass everyone, and run straight up into the crystal blue prairie sky, but common sense tugged on the reins. Six and two-tenths miles was a long way to run. Pacing was important.

She soon found her stride and began to run effortlessly. As she moved from the shade of a tree into the sunlight, then back into the shade, as the cool morning breeze stroked