Boot Camp – Excerpt

"How are we doing?" Charlie, the helper instructor, pulled up alongside me, obviously having been cast with the job of staying at the back with the slow-poke.

I tried to quiet my breathing so he wouldn't realize I was about to keel over and die.

"Maybe just slow down a bit." Charlie's voice was deep and had a slight accent as though hanging onto a childhood spent in Ireland. "Take it easy, we've still got an hour to go. You don't want to wear yourself out in the warm up."

I ventured a sideways glance, momentarily blinded by the glory of his gorgeous face. Vivid green eyes were watching me, full of concern that I might fall over in a pathetic state of unfitness. But I ignored Charlie's worried expression and continued to run, buoyed somewhat by the positive energy that flowed from being next to someone so outrageously hot.

Charlie would have no trouble finding a job as a model. In fact, for all I knew, he was one already. His skin looked so smooth and soft that for one ridiculous second I almost reached over to touch his face. His mouth was the slightest fraction ajar and he took steady, even breaths the way fit people do when they jog. That square jaw, dusted with dark stubble, did him all sorts of favors. Hell, the testosterone practically oozed out of him.

I think his face must have stored magnets under the skin, because I found it all too difficult to turn away. Unfortunately, this meant that I now had to run using an awkward, sideways motion. Charlie smiled and nodded to something up ahead, but those pesky magnets were too strong and I stayed focused on the lovely view. That was until I hit something really hard.

"Jeez, are you okay?"

Oh God, what the hell just happened? I lay sprawled on the ground with pain shooting up the entire front of my body, as though I'd been in a hit-and-run with a truck. It took several long, slow blinks for my blurry vision to clear, and as the grim reality dawned on me, I wished it had stayed fuzzy. What I'd thought was a truck, was in fact the football goal post. That would teach me to watch where I was going.

I lay flat on my back, sucking in air as though recovering from an asthma attack. Despite being in embarrassed shock from the crash, it was pure heaven simply to have stopped running.

Charlie's face hovered over mine, searching for signs of injury. Maybe I should pretend to be unconscious and he'd have to give me CPR.

"That was quite a whack." His voice was soothing. Perhaps they teach calming skills at sports-trainer school. "Do you think you can get up?"

Get up? No. I really didn't want to. It was so nice lying down. When I didn't respond Charlie moved nearer to my face, investigating the situation further. He was so close I could smell minty toothpaste and the spice of his deodorant. Lynx Africa I think.

He gazed over my face, and his green eyes were so wide that I couldn't for the life of me work out what he was thinking. I sure as hell knew what I was thinking though, and it was extremely lustful. Maybe if I just shifted my head slightly upward…

Oh shit…I was kissing him.