Over The Coals by Laurean Brooks --Just Released!

One of 5 stories in a 5-author anthology titled, A Summer Collection. http://www.smashwords.com/books/14519

Setting: A Sunday School group holds a summer cookout in Rob Canter's back yard. Jill Landers is new in town and hasn't met anyone except Kim, the girl who shares her duplex. Jill's hobby is people-watching. It didn't take her long to figure out Rob Canter. But are her conclusions flawed?


"We're ready for buns!" Rob cupped his hands and yelled to no one in particular. "We can start eating while these last burgers cook."

The flirtatious blonde sprinted toward the house and brought out a loaded warmer. "Here you go, hon."

Jill's stomach lurched at the endearment. Why hadn't she stayed home? Rob was so much like her ex boyfriend, he scared her. Women hung all over him, too. But with Jill's trusting nature, she'd not questioned his fidelity. Naturally introverted, she had withdrawn from the public ey even more since his deception.

People-watching was Jill's favorite pastime. When Kim and she arrived, Jill placed hr chair a safe distance from the others to observe them and draw her own conclusions. She had been told she'd missed her calling. If Jill had the finances, she would work toward a psychology degree. She analyzed every person and situation.

Take Rob Canter, for instance. Jill had him pegged. Every word that spewed from his mouth confirmed her assessment. Doling out orders proved he was overbearing, pushy...a dictatior who thought females should swoon and fall at his feet. And calling women by endearments suggested he was a rake. Jill was fond of that British term used to describe men who worked their wiles on unsuspecting women. Men like her ex-boyfriend, and evidently Rob.

Yep! Jill could spot a rake by the way he carried himself, his boisterous personality.

Rob dropped the spatula on the grill. "Okay, gang!" He wiped his hands on his apron, then untied it.

Then he smiled at her. Jill averted her eyes. Save those charms for the blonde.

"Gather around the table." Rob's order interrupted her thoughts and caught the group's attention. Everyone surrounded the picnic table. Jill rose from her comfortable lawn chair to join them.

"Simon, will you ask the blessing? Everyone, join hands."

The group formed a circle around the table. Jill move in closer, bowed her head and closed her eyes. Someone grabbed her left hand. It felt like a woman's hand. Then someone to her right grasped her other hand. Butterflies swarmed in her stomach. She could tell by the firm grip the hand belonged to a man. Jill cracked one eye open enough to confirt it. Long, strong, neatly-manicured fingers enclosed her smaller ones. She dared not look up at his face. When he squeezed her fingers, a warm tingle spread up her arm, leaving her weak-kneed. She leaned against the table for support and caught only the last line of Simon's blessing.

"...and bless all who've gathered here for this cookout. In Jesus' blessed name I pray. Amen."

Jill tried to pul her right hand free. The grip tightened. Her heart caught in her throat whe she glanced up to see green eyes sparkling with mischief. Rob! Freckles glistened across a retrousse nose and a smirk pulled his full lips to one side. She frowned. Something akin to pain flickered across his countenance.

He released her hand. "Sorry about that. I didn't mean to sweat up your hand." Rob continued to smile at her as if waiting for her to introduce herself.

She broke eye contact to search for her friend. Where was Kim?

"There you are, Robbie."

Robbie? The blonde again. Jill groaned inwardly as the young woman circled Rob's arm and led him away. He whirled. "Nice to meet you, Jill."

Heat rushed to her face. The nerve of the man. The flirty blonde was obviously his latest love interest. And he had the audacity to come on to her!

Other stories by Laurean Brooks

Jonquils In The Snow: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/9341

Journey To Forgiveness (full length) historical inspirational (1938)www.whiterosepublishing.com Click on Authors name, then historical tab.