BWWM Books: Rock Hard Alpha Male | An Interracial Romance Novel

Rock Hard Alpha Male is a super hot republish of a sweet and steamy interracial romance. This book is a bit slower burn but when it gets hot it gets HOT. Gym buddies turn into true lovers as this story increases in speed throughout the interracial romance story.

What do you think? Comment down below what you think.


Done With Boring Guys

Chapter One

Kayla’s search for Mr. Right was failing miserably. One third into the way of her date with Frank McIntire she already knew that it was a failure. This guy had so many flaws that she could fill an entire journal. He ate with the wrong fork, his tie had a terribly done knot in it. He didn’t even work in an interesting industry -- he was a financial analyst for some corporation and Kayla couldn’t make heads or tails of anything he said related to his job.

Some date. She’d been set up on his unfortunate affair by using this paid dating app. Kayla couldn’t believe that she’d paid money to get a chance to meet guys like this. Stanford was right about online dating being a waste of time. 

“So Kayla… It must be cool being a therapist.” 

Kayla tried to hide the bored look on her face.

“It’s riveting.”

“So, tell me more about what it’s like having your own private practice and all.”

Kayla knew she should at least try.

“Well I started my private practice when I was twenty-eight. So it’s been steady sailing for the past nine years.”

“Putting you at… thirty-six?”

“Don’t you know it’s rude to ask a lady about her age?” Kayla replied with a smile.

Frank blushed.

“Sorry, it’s just that you don’t look a day over twenty-seven.”

Kayla couldn’t help but smile back. Maybe Frank did have some redeeming qualities. At least he was trying his hardest to compliment her. After a few more minutes of forced conversation, Kayla excused herself from the table to go to the bathroom. She needed a break from all of this. She couldn’t stop herself from noticing all the things wrong about Frank. 

Her best friend Joanna had warned her that this over-critical tendency of hers would force her to end up single. Kayla disagreed. She was a strong, independent woman of thirty-six who was at the top of her career. She didn’t need to settle for a man just to feel validated. And sure, Frank had money too but he was just missing a special something.

In the bathroom, Kayla adjusted her updo. Her thick, natural 4c hair was braided in a halo around her head. After her big chop six years prior, Kayla had been growing out her long thick hair and trying to love her natural strands just the way they were. She fussed with her hair in the mirror for a while, unsure if she was being a perfectionist or just doing everything in her power to get time away from Frank.

Kayla pulled out her phone and considered texting her best friend Joanna. However, what Joanna would say was almost too predictable for her to even bother. Joanna would urge her to stop being so judgmental and to give this guy a chance. A chance for what?  

Instead, Kayla chose to reapply her lipstick. She wore a deep oxblood shade that looked phenomenal on her dark, mahogany colored skin. The lipstick also highlighted the dark brown — almost black — color of her eyes. Kayla’s round face and apple cheeks glistened in the fluorescent light of the restaurant bathroom.

“I look fine. I look great,” Kayla affirmed herself in the mirror.

She sighed before leaving the bathroom, knowing that she was about to face the rest of her terrible date with Frank The Analyst.

When she returned Frank greeted her with a smile. Kayla couldn’t ignore his crooked bottom teeth that made his otherwise appealing face unattractive in her eyes.

“I went ahead and ordered dessert. Chocolate for my sweet dark chocolate.”

Kayla resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Didn’t white guys get tired of always comparing black women to chocolate? Kayla really didn’t think it was too much to ask for more from a man. All she wanted was a nice, rich man who could live up to her standards. Kayla didn’t want a “fixer-upper” in the least. She could tell just from looking at Frank that’s exactly what he would be.

“Well, it just so happens I love chocolate.”

Frank grinned, “So do I.”

Kayla cringed internally. She hoped that Frank didn’t think his corny and borderline offensive lines were actually working on her. Dating in this city was an absolute nightmare. As Kayla got closer and closer to forty, things got even worse. Even men ten years her senior assumed there was something “wrong” with her for not being married. Kayla could barely begin to wrap her mind around the hypocrisy.

“So… Kayla Williams… Tell me more about your family.”

“What do you want to know Frank.”

Frank shrugged, “What’s your ethnicity?”


“African American?”

“Sure. But my dad’s Jamaican. He died when I was twenty-seven.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“He was a good man but… it’s all in the past now.”

Frank reached his hand across the table and rested it on Kayla’s arm.

“You don’t have to have so many walls up,” He said.

Kayla raised her eyebrows in surprise. Who was Frank to tell her how guarded she should be after almost twenty years of dating in a harsh city like this one?

Kayla replied in a snarky tone, “Well thanks for your permission Frank.”

“No problem,” He responded with not a hint of irony.

At this point, Kayla was forcing herself to feel some sort of chemistry with Frank. She tried to empty her mind of the hundreds of criticisms of him that had run through it and see the positives. He had a good job. He came from money — even if it was inherited. He could afford fancy restaurants. He had nice, gray eyes.

As much as she tried to fixate on the positives, Kayla couldn’t let go of the fact that Frank just wasn’t her type. The chemistry between them was forced at best and entirely non-existent at worst. How could her dating site have been so wrong? 

Dessert came and Kayla found herself half-listening to Frank explain the entire recent recession and its impact on small business owners on the East Coast. He didn’t seem to care about whether or not Kayla found the whole thing interesting. And to be sure — she didn’t.

Instead, Kayla was thinking about her patients and how she would spend the next week. She had a twenty-year-old NYU student who was suffering from depression because her forty-year-old boyfriend and professor dumped her to go back to his wife. She had an executive with over sixty people underneath her suffering from alcohol abuse and unmanageable anxiety. Kayla also had an interracial gay couple who needed her help navigating their new marriage. 

There was a lot to keep Kayla’s mind occupied. There always was. It was one of the reasons she’d always found dating so hard. How could a man keep her titillated constantly when her job was such a source of stimulation and energy for her? It was almost an impossible task. 

Frank was still talking. Kayla was almost finished her her chocolate mousse. As Frank had promised, it was divine. She supposed that his taste in food was another positive trait of his.

“Kayla, is all of this going over your head?” Frank finally stopped to check in with her.

Kayla shrugged, “It’s all very fascinating Frank. Can’t say I’ve heard such an in depth take before.”

“I’m boring you, aren’t I?”

Kayla just shook her head. She knew it was rude to tell a man that he was boring on a date. 

Frank answered, “Alright then. Well Kayla, I’m curious about your experience with painting. It’s certainly a common hobby in a city like this.”

“Well, I picked up oil painting in college and I’ve been painting ever since really. Before my dad died we went to Jamaica together and I spent a lot of time painting the mountains, the beach and the waterfalls near our place.”

“Wow. Jamaica must be incredible. So there’s a different language there, isn’t there?”

Kayla knew Frank’s ignorance wasn’t his own fault.

“Patwa,” Kayla said.

Frank nodded, even if it was clear he still had no idea what that meant.

“And what about reggae? Is anyone in your family a singer?”

Kayla chuckled — she was more laughing at Frank than with him.

“Does anyone in your family sing Country music?”


Kayla continued, “Well, that’s pretty much what you’re asking me. Jamaica might be a small country but there’s more to it than reggae music.”


“Anyways, my father was Jamaican, not my mother. I grew up here. I only feel Jamaican sometimes…”

Kayla’s disconnect with one of her homelands was a sore subject for her. With her father’s passing, she felt like her chances of getting to know Jamaica were even slimmer. Of course, Frank would more than kill his chances with her by bringing up the painful subject of her estranged homeland.

“How did you know you wanted to be a therapist?” Frank asked again.

Kayla answered, “They say that it’s always the most screwed up people who take an interest in psychology. What do you think of that?”

“I think there’s no way in hell you’re as screwy as some of the people in this city.”

Kayla laughed.

“Good answer.”

Again, she was hot and cold with Frank. The chemistry was nonexistent but he had his moments too.

With dessert finished, the waitress brought the bill.

“Half-half?” Kayla asked.

“No,” Frank said insistently, “I know these are modern times but a man must still have some sense of chivalry.”

“Thanks for dinner.” 

Frank slipped his card into the leather book and Kayla waited impatiently for the date to be over.

“Any chance we could cap it off with a drink at your place?”

Now came the uncomfortable part. Kayla knew this time she was doing a terrible job at hiding her grimace.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea Frank. I’ve got patients first thing tomorrow morning.”

“Right. Sorry. Well maybe I could see you again.”

Kayla smiled, knowing that she would be screening Frank’s calls like it was her day job.

“Of course Frank. Call me at the office tomorrow because I need to see how my schedule will work out this week.”

“God, it’s so sexy to meet a woman who can fend for themselves.”

“Are most women you meet helpless?”



“What, did something I say bother you?”

Kayla didn’t know where to begin.

“I guess it’s a big assumption that most women you meet are helpless. Kind of judgmental, don’t you think?”

Frank shrugged, “Not really. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that a woman have an established career and apartment once she’s in her thirties.”

“I see.”

“Hey listen Kayla, let me walk you to your car.”

“I took a cab.”

“I’ll hail one for you then.”

Frank insisted upon linking his arm in Kayla’s as he walked her to the street. The meal had been delicious but the date had been lukewarm. Frank’s judgmental little comment hadn’t gone unnoticed either.

He hailed a cab and then turned Kayla’s body towards his. Frank’s grey eyes stared into hers. Kayla was too intimidated to make eye contact.

“I know you’re playing hard to get but damn it Kayla, you’re irresistible,” Frank muttered.

He pulled Kayla close and shocked her with a deep, wet kiss on the lips. Kayla pulled away and Frank dragged her close, kissing her again. Kayla let him kiss her and she let his hands wander over her wide hips and grope her ass. 

When Frank pulled away from her finally, he was grinning like an idiot.

“I’ll see you again soon.”

Kayla got into her cab and breathed a sigh of relief. At least her date was finally over. She couldn’t believe that Joanna had convinced her this website would be worth it when it absolutely wasn’t! All she’d done was waste her time with yet another judgmental New York City freak with nothing to offer her besides free food and boring conversation about their menial jobs.

Kayla called Joanna, begging her to come over to her place and have a margarita. She needed to discuss everything that had gone down with Frank. 

By the time Kayla got to her apartment, Joanna was already hovering around outside. Kayla and Joanna looked similar enough to be sisters. They were both short and incredibly thick with wide bulging hips and large bums and breasts. Kayla had natural hair but Joanna wore her hair in long Senegalese twists or thick braids like the dancehall artist Patra. While Kayla was half Jamaican, Joanna’s parents were both immigrants straight from Portmore and Joanna had inherited all of their island flare. 

“Girl! I want to get a drink and find out more about your worst date ever!” Joanna said loudly. 

Everything Joanna said was loud; her personality contrasted Kayla’s more soft spoken demeanor. Kayla rode the elevator up to the 50th floor with Joanna and unlocked the front door to her apartment. Inside, Kayla’s apartment was anally neat. She believed that everything had a place and living alone, she was able to maintain her high standards.

“It always smells so sterile in here…” Joanna commented.

“The moscato’s in the fridge, I’ve gotta change out of this dress!” Kayla called to her best friend.

“I thought you said margaritas!” Joanna yelled.

Kayla didn’t say anything back. She knew that the promise of tequila was the one thing that could get Joanna out of bed after 8 p.m.

Kayla went into her bedroom and undressed before the mirror. Nope, there was no way in hell Frank could handle all of this as well as he thought he could. He was fishing way out of his league and Kayla wasn’t foolish enough to settle for him.

Kayla slipped into a pair of black leggings that hugged her figure tightly and a loose athletic tank top. Kayla appreciated the shift in outfit; she hated nothing more than wearing an uncomfortable sexy dress on a date with a guy she didn’t even like.

Joanna had poured the moscato and Kayla joined her on the couch.

“So… What was wrong with Frank? He looked fine as hell in his profile pictures!” 

Kayla sighed and downed half her glass of moscato, “He looked fine but looks aren’t everything. Plus, two of his bottom teeth were crooked.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me Kayla.”

“I’m not!” Kayla exclaimed, “And he used his dessert fork to eat dinner.”

“Girl, you trippin’,” Joanna laughed.

Kayla replied, “I’m not. I don’t see why people always think black women have to settle.”

Joanna rolled her eyes, “Here we go again. Who said anything about black women?” 

“I’m just making a point Joanna. People always want me to settle.”

“It’s not about settling Kayla. It’s about accepting people for who they are and not being so critical!”

“Critical? Who’s critical?” Kayla interjected, “Frank’s the guy at the end of the date who said I was sexy because other women were so helpless!”

“You’re a hypocrite Kayla.”

“No, I’m not. He’s an asshole.”

Joanna poured herself a second glass of moscato.

“Whatever helps you sleep at night, Kayla.” 

Kayla clicked her teeth, “Listen Joanna… You don’t have a man either so stop criticizing me!”

“I’m also six years younger than you. And Pierre counts, even if he’s in France.”

Kayla shot her friend a glare. She didn’t appreciate reminders that she was approaching forty and even if she’d done so much with her life, her family wouldn’t leave her alone. They always introduced her as “single Aunty Kayla” or “unmarried Aunty Kayla” at every family event. When Kayla’s brother had married a financial manager named Milan, that officially left Kayla as the only one of her siblings who was unmarried. 

It wasn’t a position that she relished. 

“Listen, I want to get married but it has to be to the right guy. There’s no point in trying to make things work when I know that isn’t going to end badly!”

“But you won’t give any guy a chance!”

Kayla sighed, “Frank was boring Joanna. How many more lukewarm dates can a girl sit through?”

“Well, what did you do to make the date less boring?”

Kayla scoffed. 

“Like that’s my job. I’m attractive, own my own business and I have a huge apartment all to myself. It’s a guy’s job to see how he can impress me.”

Joanna rolled her eyes again, “I don’t know what on earth I’m going to do with you. Anyways, I’m still sort of dating Pierre. Our relationship is long distance.” 

“Another French man?” 

It was Joanna’s turn to shoot Kayla a glare this time.

“Don’t you judge him already!”

“The last guy you dated from outside of the country abandoned your ass in the Turks & Caicos.” 

“It was a misunderstanding,” Joanna said sheepishly.

Kayla chuckled, “If that’s what you want to call it. You’re the most optimistic person that I know.” 

“When it comes to love, the only thing that pays off is optimism.”

“No way. The only thing that pays off is sticking to your values.”

“You have too many values.”

Kayla shook her head, “Hell no I don’t. I just know what I’m worth and I don’t want to waste my time.”

“You know what Kayla, I have a challenge for you.”

“What’s that?”

“I want you to ask a guy out for a change. Since all the guys who approach you can’t seem to meet your lofty standards, maybe you should go up to the ones who do.”

“Come on Joanna! I can’t do that!”

“Why not?”

“It’s the modern age girl. You need to get out of that old mindset. If you want something, what’s so wrong with going after it?”

“Fine. I’ll take you up on that. I’ll ask a guy out. I’ll prove to you that it’s the men in this city keeping me single, not me.”

Armed with motivation from Joanna, Kayla determined to find a man suitable enough to ask out. Maybe Joanna did have a point: she needed to pursue a man that she saw worthy instead of sifting through the deluge of unsuitable men that insisted on wasting her time. 

Kayla didn’t know where smart, professional women over thirty-five went to meet men. She didn’t want to visit the same places that were overcrowded with younger women who didn’t share her same career status and romantic goals. Kayla was looking for more than a “bit of fun”; she’d stopped looking for “fun” years ago and she craved something far more.

After closing down her office for the day, Kayla had given up on ever mustering up the courage to go to a bar to pick up men. She knew that she just didn’t have it in her. Bars were uncomfortable places with too much drinking and too many men who felt entitled to every woman in the place.

Kayla knew that it was unlikely she would meet someone at her next destination but she needed to clear her head anyways. Kayla had a stash of gym clothing in her office so she changed before heading out. Her curves were hugged by her black spandex pants. Her breasts fit tightly into her neon peach sports bra and loose black tank. Kayla added a headband to keep her hair out of her face. By the end of the work day, her strands were already craving moisture. 

Kayla drove to the gym. For over ten years of membership, Kayla was a platinum VIP at her gym and she had an amazing reserved parking spot in the gym’s garage. Kayla felt self-conscious entering the gym. For the first time ever, she was paying attention to the people around her. There were all shapes and sizes of members: skinny Zumba lovers, chubby yoga enthusiasts, beefy weightlifters and all other body types. This time, Kayla also noticed the sheer number of attractive men. 

Usually, Kayla was so focused at the gym that she barely noticed men. Now, the gym practically looked like a buffet. Kayla felt embarrassed for even noticing the men there. 

Kayla had a challenging post-workday exercise routine that was always guaranteed to keep her heart rate up. She started off by doing a tough uphill thirty minute jog on the treadmill. Kayla huffed and puffed throughout the first ten minutes, wondering if she even had the gusto to continue. Besides her recent frustrations with dating, Kayla had a lot of other things on her mind. She was always looking to grow and expand her private practice. Kayla had all the success in the world depending on your perspective. But Kayla had always wanted more. Her incredible drive for everything she wanted was propelling her to find some way to take things to the next level.

As she toyed with idea after idea on how to grow her therapy practice, Kayla came upon the end of her thirty minutes. Sweat ran rivulets down her back and chest. Kayla could feel her headband hanging heavy with sweat on her head. She wasn’t through with her workout yet.

Kayla made her way to the gym mats to prepare for the core strength segment of her workout. Kayla knew she’d neglected core strength after giving up on her tummy ever being flat. Today, her mindset was different; the endorphins from the run had given her the boost she needed. Core strength wasn’t about achieving some media ideal or a specific look. It was just about strength and confidence in her abilities. 

Kayla took a deep breath as she started off on her first minute of planking. She felt her abs tighten and again, she was drawn into the zone. Kayla was soon drawn into her workout again. By the time she was finished with her core workout, she couldn’t find the energy to do another plank.

For the final part of her circuit, Kayla usually did a hard and fast thirty minutes on a stationary bike. At this point in her workout, she’d lost the energy to do much else. With the back support provided by an exercise bike, all of a sudden she felt like she could push out those final thirty minutes with ease. 

Kayla hoisted herself onto the stationary bike, her eyes glazed over with raw determination and she began to push herself as hard as she could go to the end of the workout. She could see the sun setting outside. The city was bustling beneath her, imbuing Kayla with the energy she needed to finish strong. Now, she was too tired to indulge her stress about work, dating or anything else. 

Stress was out of the question.

When Kayla finished, she could have collapsed. That was one of the things she liked about her routine. The exhaustion was different from the kind she felt after an arduous day at work. Kayla was running on a pure exercise high.

“You’re really pushing it today, aren’t you?”

Kayla turned around in surprise, expecting the man standing behind her to be some twenty-something guy who was way out of his depth with her.

“Excuse me?”

The man standing behind her was easily over 6’4” and he was far from being a loserish twenty something. 

“Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you. I just notice you coming here all the time. I’m impressed.”

“Thanks,” Kayla replied; she couldn’t help but smile.

“I’m Grant by the way, Grant Middleton.”

“Kayla, Kayla Williams,” She answered, sticking out her hand to shake his. Grant’s handshake was strong and secure. Kayla could already tell he was a confident man; just her luck, he was far from being in his twenties too.

“I’ve never seen you around here, how long have you been going to the gym?” Kayla asked.

It was out of character for her to make conversation with a man in public, especially at the gym but Grant was far more attractive than most and he’s already passed Kayla’s first test of worthiness. 

Grant grinned, “About five years.”

Kayla shook her head, “No way. I’ve been a member for ten years and I’ve never noticed you around!”

“I’ve noticed you.” 

As Grant said that, he held Kayla’s eye contact. Kayla was already shocked by how bold he was but Grant looking directly into her eyes was almost enough to make her melt. He was devastatingly tall and handsome to boot. He had an incredible angular face with sharp cheekbones and a stunning smile with deep smile lines running through his face. Already, Kayla could tell he was the type of guy who spent a lot of time in the throes of deep laughter.

Grant had piercing icy blue eyes and chestnut colored hair that was slicked back. Kayla had never seen anyone with such incredibly blue eyes before. Kayla had never found herself so instantly stunned by a man’s physical appearance before. Grant’s muscled bulged through his black tank top and his black shorts hugged his strong thighs perfectly. Kayla found her eyes wandering down to his crotch as she unconsciously checked out his package. 

Grant continued, “You know I recognize you from around town… Do you have that private practice midtown?” 

Kayla smiled and nodded. It was rare that someone actually recognized her from work.

“Yes, that’s where my office is. I do a mix of psychotherapy and behavioral counseling.” 

“Wow, that’s incredible. I’m in real estate actually so I walk past your place all the time.”

“Real estate? With which agency?” Kayla asked; she had many friends in the real estate game and she was hoping she could figure out some way she was connected to Grant. 

Grant blushed and looked down sheepishly instead. 

“I’m not with an agency,” He replied shyly.

Kayla couldn’t figure out what he was being so coy about. She knew being pushy could have been a turn off but she was desperately curious to find out what Grant did for a living.

“Then how are you involved with real estate?”

Grant said, “Well I own a couple brownstones near your office.”

Kayla tried to hold back her surprise. Owning a couple places in New York City would have made Grant more than wealthy.

“Wow. Well, maybe you should stop by my office sometime and say hi.” 

“Maybe I should…” 

Kayla knew that she was going to miss her chance if she didn’t act quickly and seize her chance to ask Grant out. She was getting the perfect opportunity to act on the deal she’d made with Joanna earlier. Grant was an incredible candidate to date so far. Within a few seconds, Kayla had ascertained more about his personality than he’d even realized.

Grant was tall, attractive, athletic and he had an amazing source of income. Kayla couldn’t believe her luck that she’d met him. She wasn’t fully convinced that he didn’t have some skeletons in his closet but at least she could ask him out and get the pressure of doing so out of the way.

“So Grant, why don’t you forget stopping by and we’ll go out sometime. I’d love to hear more about… real estate,” Kayla said, flashing him a smile.

Grant smiled back; Kayla could have swooned at how beautiful his eyes looked when he smiled at her. 

“Sure thing.”

“I’ll put my number in your phone if you don’t mind,” She grinned. 

Grant pulled out the latest Samsung smartphone and again, Kayla tried not to be too visibly impressed. She typed in her number 212-555-0205. She saved her number under the name “Gym Cutie”. Kayla hoped that the flirty and playful move would land her a date with the gym hottie.

“I’ll call you as soon as I can. See you around Kayla.”

“Absolutely,” Kayla replied.

She watched as Grant walked towards the lockers. His ass was so tight you could bounce a quarter off of it. Kayla tried to hold herself together. She was long done with her workout but she was hot and bothered as if she’d done the entire circuit again twice. Kayla herself made her way to the locker room of the gym which wasn’t terribly crowded that day.

Kayla stripped down to nothing and got into one of the available shower stalls. At a gym this nice, showing was more of an experience than not. She let the water pour down her back and she got her thick hair nice and wet. Kayla pumped her sulfate-free conditioner into her strands, massaging it in to ensure her coils were nice and moisturized. Natural hair and the gym sometimes seemed incompatible but Kayla loved the evening routine of self love.

Kayla lathered up and then rinsed her body off, finger detangling her hair once she was done. After a nice long shower, she emerged with a sense of accomplishment about her. She’d skipped Joanna’s pleas to take herself to a bar or another dating hotspot and instead she’d met one of the most attractive guys she’d ever seen right here at her gym. He was a man who had been going to this gym for years too, just like she had. It was just her luck that he would pop up the exact moment she was supposed to ask someone out. 

She couldn’t wait to tell Joanna about this. Kayla got dressed in a relaxed pair of yoga pants and a grad school t-shirt and then drove home. The drive home was stressful — as it usually was — but it gave her time to think and clear her head. 

Kayla had a love-hate relationship with the waiting game that was a big part of dating. She couldn’t be sure when Grant would call her but she was desperately hoping it would be prior to the upcoming weekend. A booked Friday night at least guaranteed her weekend entertainment besides hanging out with her girlfriends — not like there was anything wrong with a good girls’ night.

Not to mention Kayla was almost 100% sure that a date with Grant would surpass anything that she could have possibly had with Frank. Kayla was just glad he hadn’t called her back.

Once at home, Kayla cooked herself a delicious but simply dinner. At the end of the day she was too tired to do anything more complicated, even if her mother often commented on how her “healthy food would never land her a decent man.”

Kayla rolled her eyes as she thought about what her mom would say about her mushroom sauté and Cobb salad. Her mother always wondered if Kayla was going on a diet. The sly dig at Kayla’s weight didn’t go unnoticed. But Kayla had just always been a little chubby — regardless of what she ate. In her adulthood, she’d managed to shake off the negative comments from her friends and family and just live life for herself. When she wanted soda, she drank soda. When she wanted a mushroom sauté, that’s what she ate. Life was much happier and freer that way.

As Kayla sat down to eat, a ringing cellphone threatened her freedom. At first, she’d hoped it was Grant. It was the furthest person in her life from Grant.

“Hi Stanford,” Kayla mumbled.

Stanford was Kayla’s “safe bet”. They’d dated occasionally over the past few years but things had never gone anywhere. Stanford was good on paper, but Kayla just couldn’t see herself having a long term relationship with him. Nevertheless, he was content to float in and out of Kayla’s life without bothering her much or expecting much out of her. Sometimes Stanford would joke that they would get married when she finally gave up on the bastards of New York. Kayla disagreed ardently. 

“How’s your night gorgeous.”

“Fine. I’m just sitting down to dinner. Are you okay?”

Stanford sighed and then replied, “I’m fine. I just miss you.”

Kayla rolled her eyes; she felt lucky that Stanford couldn’t actually see her doing that. She was flattered by some of Stanford’s attention but his sweetness had the potential to be sickening too.

“Well, I don’t know if I’m free this week.”

“New guy in your life?”

Kayla hesitated to answer him. She knew that Stanford was always sniffing around for a boyfriend to edge out of Kayla’s life. As far as he was concerned, he was the only man good enough for her. Kayla knew that she found plenty of flaws in the guys she dated but Stanford went into overdrive whenever he sniffed out Kayla had a new man in her life.

“No new guy.”

“I can always tell when you’re lying Kayla.”

“I’m not lying okay! I might have met someone but we don’t even have a date yet. I’m just… busy this weekend.”

“Well I’ll have to take your word for it that you aren’t lying.”

“When have I ever lied to you Stanford?” Kayla said impishly.

Stanford grumbled, “Never. I just really want to be with you Kayla. You’re so damned elusive and hard to get.”

“Makes you want me more, doesn’t it?” Kayla said.

“Goodnight Dr. Williams.”

“Goodnight Stan.”

“I’ve told you a thousand times Kayla, it’s Stanford, not Stan.”

“Sleep tight, Stanford.” 

Kayla hung up before Stanford could find another way to hook her into another conversation or worse, tell her that he loved her. That was his new favorite way to sink his claws into Kayla.

She finished up her meal and settled into bed with a new novel which carried her off to sleep.

The next day on her way to work, Kayla was fixated on the clients she’d be taking that day. As usual, her Wednesday’s were packed to capacity. Kayla usually loved a busy schedule but her muscles were sore from her workout the day prior.

As Kayla waited in traffic, her phone rang. She pressed answer on her car’s bluetooth setup.


“Is now a bad time?” 

Kayla recognized the voice instantly.

“No, I’m just stuck in traffic. You’re on speaker phone.”

“No kids in the car?”

Grant was just as funny as Kayla had hoped. She chuckled in response to his not-so-subtle attempt to figure out whether or not she had children.

“No kids, Grant. What’s up?”

“Dinner, Friday night?”

“I’m totally free! I’m surprised you called back so soon.”

Grant laughed.

“How could I resist calling up the ‘gym cutie’ and seeing what she had in store for me.”

“Very funny.”

“Well I’d love to pick you up from your apartment. Can I come by around eight?”

“Sure, I can message you my address.”

“Perfect. I can’t wait to see you Kayla.”


The way Grant had said “I can’t wait to see you Kayla” played over and over again in her head. She’d only had two short conversations with the man but Kayla already felt smitten. He had a sonorous deep voice that hypnotized Kayla every time she heard it. Grant fit all her up front requirements and everything he said forced her to smile from ear to ear. Kayla had never felt such positivity towards anyone in a long, long time. 

Kayla had already determined that a first date with Grant would be one of the best nights for her life. Sitting through traffic seemed to go much faster with Grant on her mind. By the time Kayla arrived at her office, she had a smile on her face. She was having a better day than any she’d had in months. The back to back client meetings were starting to feel less like a burden and more like the beginning of a count down to an amazing first date. She couldn’t wait to tell Joanna all about Grant Middleton.

* * *