Jason Block met the woman of his dreams in a store window. Little did he know he'd soon have to bail her out of jail on an antiquated ordinance. Carli Jenkins was busy dressing the mannequin in her store window when the new football coach walked in. He was a hunk. He bought a gift for his sister and left with Carli's heart. She couldn't know she'd soon be doing him a return favor by bailing him out of jail at the local 'Jail & Bail Charity.' Could there be a romantic future for these two 'Jailbirds'?
I turned, nearly knocking over my beer, and saw her… an absolute vision in tight jeans and a turtleneck sweater. Good golly, he thought, that law ought to be against her, not her dressing some damn mannequin.
“Hey, how are you?” I said, pushing back my chair and standing.
“Great. You here for dinner or the game?” she asked, rocking back on her western boots.
“Both, I guess. I just got in from my parent’s and didn’t have much to cook at home.” Then I looked down, finally getting all the way down to her feet. “Pretty fancy boots you got there. Been riding today?”
“Nah,” she smiled, shrugging. “I just like boots.”
“I see,” I said, nodding my head. I shifted my stance, took a deep breath and asked, “Are you alone?”
“No,” she said, thinking she saw disappointment cross his face. “I’m with a couple of girlfriends, but they won’t mind if you’re inviting me to join you.” She smiled that million -dollar smile and I felt like I’d just won the lotto.
“That would be nice.” I pulled out a chair for her and asked what she’d like to drink or eat.
She leaned her elbow on the table and looked directly at me. “What are you having?”
“Pasta with garlic, mushrooms, and broccoli. Very healthy and very strong. Oh, and of course a beer to even things out,” I said, laughing.
“My kinda guy,” she said. She couldn’t believe she’d just said that. “I’ll have the exact same thing.”
While eating, we talked and laughed and watched a little of the game. She understood the plays and even yelled a time or two. Before we knew it, the evening had passed and it was after eleven.
“I’d better get going,” Carli said, looking at her watch. “I’ve got a salesman coming early in the morning. I’ll need my power sleep.”
“I thought buyers went to markets and that sort of thing,” I said.
She grimaced. “Believe me, I do enough of that. But this guy comes by the shop between markets, in case I’m running short. It really helps me a lot.”
“Sounds like you like your work. That’s good.”
“Yeah, I do. But you know what, it seems like we talked a lot about me tonight. Maybe next time you can fill me in on what makes you tick,” she said with a grin.
“I’m on.” What really sounded good was the fact that there could actually be another time.
“Tell you what,” she said, with that hand on the hip pose again. “Now that I know you’re a pasta man, maybe I’ll whip you up one of my fabulous dishes. Do you have the nerve to try my cooking?”
Do I ever, I thought. I’d try anything she cooked. “Sure. If you’re willing to slave away in the kitchen, I’m sure game,” I said, grinning from ear to ear.
I swear, I didn’t remember feeling this deliriously happy in high school lust. Could this possibly be love? I’d always been deathly afraid of the “L” word, but if this was a sample, man was I ready to tackle it.
I walked Carli to her car and then drove to my condo. I had a hard time falling to sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, her face appeared.