Tackling Love - Kathleen Kelly


Against my better judgment, I’m in a sports bar, a freaking sports bar, with one of the fathers whose child goes to the school where I teach. It’s been so long since I’ve been on a date, but this guy, Derek Geyser, is a douche. He’s already halfway to drunk—okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but he’s had four beers, and somehow, on a date, it’s my turn to buy drinks. Go figure? I glance over my shoulder, and Derek’s eyes are firmly on my butt. I do a little wave, and he all but drools when he waves back. I spin around, trying desperately to get the bartender’s attention. The sooner I get him a beer, the sooner I can leave.

“Now, beautiful, you’re trying too damned hard. Let me help. Yo, Teddy! This little lady needs some service.”

I look up into deep brown eyes, a perfect smile, and biceps I could bounce pennies off. He’s also full of himself, and he’s grinning at me like I’m his next meal. Great.

“Sure, Colt. What can I get you, little lady?”

I plaster a big smile on my face. “Shinerbock and a Diet Coke, please.”

“Coming right up.”

Teddy puts them on the bar, and I begin to hand over money when Mr. Biceps grabs my hand. “That’s okay… this one’s on me.”

“No, I can’t let you do that.”

“I insist.” He smiles down at me.

There’s no point arguing, I can tell he’s used to getting his way.

“All right then, thank you.” Mr. Biceps licks his lips while I pick up the drinks. “Better be getting back to my date.” I flash a smile and leave him there with his mouth hanging wide open.

I weave in and out of people to get back to Derek as quickly as I can.

“You know that guy at the bar?” asks Derek.

“No, I don’t. You know, Derek, I should be getting home. It’s late.”

“It’s nine o’clock!”

“I know, but I have a big day tomorrow. You know… school stuff.” I’m trying desperately to give him the hint, and even give him a squeeze on his knee followed by a graceful smile.

Derek leans in. “Ahh… honey, you can’t go yet. We haven’t even had a dance.” He grabs my hand and puts it to his lips.

I swear to God my stomach just rolled in disgust. What was I thinking going on a date with this guy? Jesus, I must be more desperate than I realized.

Pulling my hand away from him, I pick up my bag. “Sorry, I’m not much of a dancer.”

“Nonsense! I’ll lead. You’ll be in safe hands.” Derek winks, then drags me toward the dance floor.

As soon as we step on, the freaking music turns to a slow song. Derek pulls me in close, beer and cheap cologne hit me like a brick to my senses. I try to step back, but he insists and pulls me in closer, then one of his hands goes straight to my ass.

Bringing up both hands, I place them on his chest and push him away. “I’m done. Thank you, Derek, for an interesting evening. I’m going home.” I turn, ready to stalk out, but his hand closes around my upper arm.

“Now, hang on a minute… I paid for dinner.”

“Let me go. And let me be clear, I had to endure dinner. Seriously, Derek. Let. Me. Go,” I hiss at him.

“Is there a problem here?”

I look up, and it’s Mr. Biceps from the bar. He’s a good four inches taller than Derek, and the man is a walking advertisement for sex.

“I was just leaving,” I say forcefully.

“You’re Colton Anders,” exclaims Derek as the douche lets me go, and I stumble, nearly falling over. Derek grabs Colt’s hand and is pumping it up and down. “I’m a huge fan.”

With Derek now enamored with Mr. Biceps, I make a run for the door. Thankfully, I drove my car. Somehow, I had a feeling Derek wasn’t going to be a fun date.

Why didn’t I listen to my inner voice? Because it’s been a long time since I’ve felt the touch of a man.

“Honestly, Skye, you have the worst, the absolute worst taste in men,” I say to myself as I search through my bag for my car keys. Upon finding them, I unsuccessfully attempt to open my car door. “Jesus! You can’t do anything right, can you? Just open the freaking door, Skye,” I berate myself.

“Are you okay?”

I twirl around to find Mr. Biceps grinning at me.

“How long have you been there?”

“Long enough to know your name is Skye, and