“Kylisha, is that you?” a familiar male voice said from behind her.
Kylisha’s head snapped around. Suddenly she was confronted with Gene Waldenhall as she’d never seen him before. Gone were the business suits and ties. The casual slacks and polo shirts. Now Gene had on a blue tank shirt and gyms shorts, showing muscular arms and legs and a hairy run-your-fingers-through chest of steel.
Wow! Kylisha thought as familiar tingles of desire ricocheted through her like a pinball machine, racking up all kinds of brownie points for Gene.
Rapidly blinking the desire out of her eyes, Kylisha quickly pulled herself together before meeting Gene’s gaze directly. “Hello, Gene. Skeet,” she said, speaking informally to the two men approaching her at a steady jog. Kylisha wasn’t composed enough to be formal right now.
“Morning, Kylisha,” Gene and Skeet replied simultaneously.
“What are you doing on this side of town? And so early in the morning, too?” Gene asked, coming to a stop in front of her. His gaze swept over Kylisha, getting a little heated when he noted her apple bottom in those formfitting blue jeans she wore. To Gene’s credit, he quickly got himself back in line.
“I’m over here salvage hunting,” Kylisha explained. “It’s my hobby, remember? And also my own special exercise program,” she added, trying to pretend she didn’t notice Gene’s appreciative stare. Trying just as hard not to admit how much she liked it, wanted more of it.
Needing something to do with her hands, Kylisha started to load two of the lamps onto the back of the truck. There was no time to waste. Other hunter/pickers could arrive at any moment.
“Right. I remember now.” Gene let out a relieved breath and moved to help her with the lamps. “For a minute there I thought this was a sign that we weren’t paying you enough.” He chuckled.
Kylisha laughed, amazed by how quickly he could get her to do so. Just the other night, she’d been furious with him. Now it was like none of that had ever happened…or rather the bad parts had never happened. Kylisha could never forget those kisses, the way his hard body felt up against her softness.
“Though I can always use more money, that last raise put me where I need to be financially right now,” Kylisha said, trying to keep her mind on the right things. She handed over the lamps. With her hands now free, she tentatively lifted the headboard on one side to see how heavy it was.
“That’s good to hear,” Skeet said, immediately pitching in to assist them. “Wouldn’t want you starving while Gene here lives in a big condo right around the corner.”
Kylisha paused and looked across the street at the elegant condominiums. “I knew you lived in a condo, but I didn’t know you lived around here.” she said, turning to face Gene with admiration in her eyes. “This is a nice neighborhood. Very nice.”
Gene grinned. “Yeah. No more matchboxes for me.”
Kylisha laughed. “I guess not.”
“Matchboxes?” Skeet looked from one to the other. “Am I missing something here?”
Kylisha and Gene laughed harder. Gene explained their little inside joke as they collectively loaded the heavy headboard onto the gray truck. By the time two more salvage hunters showed up, Kylisha had gotten her full pick of the litter.
“Thanks so much for taking time out of your schedules to help me,” Kylisha told Gene and Skeet as they prepared to go their separate ways a few minutes later.
“No problem,” Gene replied, speaking for him and Skeet. “We were glad to do it.”
Skeet nodded in agreement.
Kylisha started to offer to buy them breakfast for their service to her, but quickly thought better of it. Not only did she have to return the truck before 10am, Gene looked entirely too cute in his exercise gear to be around for very long. Instead Kylisha thanked them again and took her leave.
* * *
Watching Kylisha drive away, Skeet looked at Gene and said, “I wonder how she’s going to get that stuff off the truck by herself. That headboard was pretty heavy. Maybe we should go after her.”
Gene nodded. “You’re right. Why didn’t I think of that?” He smacked himself across the head.
Skeet grinned. “You were probably too busy staring at her behind.”
Gene laughed. “Whatever. Anyway, I know where she lives, so if we hurry, we could probably get there just in time to help her unload.” Gene had gotten Kylisha’s address from her personnel file during the time he was trying to court her and wanted to know more about her.
“Bet. I’ll race you to my car,” Skeet challenged and took off with lightning speed.
“Cheat!” Gene shouted and took off running behind him. Younger and faster, he still won despite Skeet’s head-start.
Gene and Skeet arrived at Kylisha’s apartment just as she was making her first trip in with the lamps. When they finished helping her this time, Gene suggested they all go out for breakfast. He and Skeet had had enough exercise today. They were ready to eat now.
Kylisha hesitated at first. But after silently appointing Skeet as chaperone, she smiled. “Okay. But only under two conditions.”
“What?” Gene and Skeet asked in unison.
“One, you let me drop off my grandfather’s truck first. Two, you let me pay for the meal,” Kylisha replied, counting on gloved fingers.
“Bet,” Gene and Skeet answered in unison.
“What are we, doublemint twins today?” Gene laughed, setting a lighthearted tone for the rest of their morning fellowship.
© 2006 by Suprina Frazier
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