Read Man at Work Online

Authors: Chanta Jefferson Rand

Tags: #romance, #erotica, #african american, #erotic romance, #construction, #muliticultural, #handyman erotica, #interracial adult romance

Man at Work

Man at Work

Love Under Construction
Series: Book 1

By Chanta Rand

Copyright 2014 Chanta
Jefferson Rand

Smashwords Edition

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Real Estate Agent, Candace
Jones is looking for man who can work it in the boardroom as well
as the bedroom. What she's not looking for is a man with paint on
his jeans and sawdust under his nails. That's why when she meets
handsome Gabe Hunt at a local hardware store, she doesn't give him
the time of day.

 

Millionaire, Gabe Hunt is
captivated by Candace's full curves and sassy attitude. He wishes
she would look beyond his beat up truck and rough exterior. He's
more than just a fix-it man, but he keeps his true identity a
secret from Candace, hoping she's not just another gold
digger.

 

When Candace finds herself
in need of Gabe's help to secure a lucrative contract, she learns
he's not the average man at work.

ONE

Candace Jones
was aware of the other customers in line rolling
their eyes and blowing out deep breaths of frustration. She hated
when people got to the front of the line with more groceries than
money. They acted like they didn’t know they couldn’t pay for what
they had. Yet, she was doing that very thing, holding up the line
at Sampson’s Home Improvement, a mega warehouse for
do-it-yourselfers.

To her credit, the cashier
(whom she’d affectionately named
Nose
Ring
because of the delicate chain
connecting the girl’s nose piercing to her earring) waited calmly,
wearing a patient smile
. As the faint
sounds of The Temptations’
Silent
Night
crooned through the store’s overhead
speakers, Candace
frantically rummaged
through her oversized handbag. Thirteen dollars short. The last
time she’d seen her debit card was last night. She’d been too
busy
stylin’ and profilin’ in her
skin-tight jeans and gold sequined top to carry a purse.
S
he’d slipped
the
precious plastic into her back pocket before stepping into
a holiday party at a club
with her cousin,
Toye.
Too bad some drunken fool had spilled beer on
her. So, the jeans were at home right now in the dirty clothes
hamper—along with her debit card.

Damn!

She’d have to put something back. But what?
She needed the nails, the leveler, and the three dozen chrome
cabinet handles. She had a kitchen full of refinished cabinets
waiting for an extreme makeover.

Just as she was debating whether or not to
keep the circular saw, a deep baritone sounded behind her. “Allow
me to help, pretty lady.”

When Candace turned toward the source of the
voice, her expression of gratitude died in her throat. Dark brows
and lashes as thick as fringe framed a sexy pair of chestnut
colored eyes that boldly scanned her from the toes of her fresh
pedicure to the tops of her threaded eyebrows. The fact that they
were attached to the most devastatingly handsome face she’d seen in
a long time didn’t hurt. Her benefactor had a smooth bald head and
full lips that she imagined were well-versed in providing hours of
unbridled pleasure.

Unfortunately, the five star review ended
there. Not even the man’s square jaw and bulging biceps could
detract from his disheveled appearance. Splatters of white paint
liberally dotted his clothing from the collar of his well-worn
black t-shirt to the tips of his dingy steel-toed boots. Maybe she
could have appreciated his chiseled physique if not for the ripped
and dusty jeans encasing his muscular thighs.

She was not being rescued by Prince
Charming, but by the enchanted frog instead.


No thanks,” she declined
his offer. “I can’t allow you to pay for me.”


You can pay me back when
you have dinner with me tonight.”

Her eyes locked with his.

No, he didn’t have the nerve to step to me.
Especially looking like he was just dragged off a construction
site!

She was not looking for a man with sawdust
under his fingernails. Been there. Done that. She would be
thirty-five next month, and she’d promised herself no more losers.
She’d been trapped in the vicious cycle of the dick-whipped
merry-go-round. She kept falling for men who could rock her world
physically, but had nothing other than empty promises to offer.
From now on, she wanted someone with the money to go along with the
ambition: a star in the boardroom and the bedroom.


Kitchen remodels don’t
come cheap, and neither do I,” she told the handsome
stranger.

The man’s clothes might be sewer-worthy, but
the smile he flashed was priceless. His deep chuckle wrapped around
her like an electric blanket in a snowstorm.


Spunky. I like
that.”


I bet you do.” Her eyes
raked over him. This man was the definition of virile. Each time he
licked his full lips, her heart stuttered. But he was a common
laborer. The last blue collar guy she dated kept asking for her
help paying his rent. Hell no. She was not setting herself up for
failure again.


Hey dude,” a burly man
standing further back in line with an artificial Christmas tree
tucked under his arm called out, “you can pay for my stuff if she
don’t want your help.”

Candace shot the ogre a dirty look, her eyes
resting on the coarse hairs sprouting from his bare shoulders. That
was one of the hazards of celebrating Christmas in Miami–tank tops
had a never-ending season. She turned back to her benefactor. “I
appreciate your offer. I’ll accept your cash, but I can’t do
dinner. I…uh, have other plans.” The lie slipped easily from her
glossed lips. She had plenty of experience thwarting the efforts of
slick come-ons from men who thought they had a chance of hooking up
with her.


Some other lucky guy beat
me to the punch, huh?”

The flirtatious wink
he
gave C
andace
sent shivers down her spine.
Good looking with a playful side. She could only imagine what
freaky shenanigans he had up his dirty sleeves. She could get
caught up in those playful games if she let her guard down. For one
insane moment, she was tempted to tell him the truth: there was no
other man. There was just an empty house
that she desperately needed to flip before she found herself
in breach of contract. Bu
t she didn’t want
to give him false hope.


Yep, and he’s very
jealous,” she lied. “He doesn’t want me out of his sight for more
than a minute.”

Instead of backing off, the man boldly
appraised her, his eyes slowly sliding over her from head to toe,
and then back again to lock gazes with her. “Can’t say I blame him.
If I had a woman like you waiting at home, I’d never step foot out
my front door.”

She flushed at his cocky
words. This handsome stranger might be rough on the exterior,
but
his rap
was
smooth as butter. She glanced at his hands. Even the thumbs
casually hooked through the belt loops of his jeans hadn’t escaped
the curse of the white paint. She didn’t give herself a chance to
wonder what he did for a living. It wasn’t her business. He wasn’t
her man, and had no chance of becoming so.

After he was done with what Candace
considered a visual undressing, he withdrew his wallet from his
back pocket and passed the cashier a twenty dollar bill. As the
cashier made change, the hunk addressed Candace one last time.
“Enjoy your uh, other plans.”

She didn’t care whether he believed her or
not. Men lied to unsuspecting women all the time. Now, he was
getting a taste of his gender’s medicine. “Thanks.” She flashed him
a brief smile before pushing her cart toward the front door. She
made haste, walking fast toward the parking lot. She hoped she
didn’t fall flat on her ass in her four-inch heels. That would be
one spill that couldn’t be cleaned up.

 

Gabe Hunt stared
at the sexy woman’s retreating figure. Her
shapely backside was almost as appealing as her front. Earlier,
he’d seen her pushing her cart along the aisles of the highly
polished floors of Sampson’s. Her asymmetrical sand-colored bob
wasn’t the only thing that caught his attention. Creamy, long legs
high-stepping in a pair of stilettos were a rare sight he didn’t
see every day. He wasn’t sure which was hotter—the balmy Florida
temperature, or the pink halter top and classic white shorts she
wore. The woman was the total package, and he wasn’t ashamed to
admit she had him salivating like one of Pavlov’s dogs.


Sorry, I just ran out of
receipt paper,” the cashier said, pulling him from his erotic
trance. “I’ll have your receipt as soon as I get this roll
changed.”


No problem.”

It suddenly occurred to
him that the mystery woman might need the receipt. She’d had a lot
of items in her basket. If she needed to return anything, she might
have a hard time. The moment the cashier was done,
Gabe
dashed outside to
find the woman. He scanned the vast parking lot and finally noticed
the top of her short bob near the back end of the lot. Damn, she
walked fast and in heels too! Instead of running after her, he
jumped into his work truck, parked in the loading zone in front of
the store’s
wire reindeer
displays
. The old, faded red truck wasn’t
pretty on the eyes, but it served his needs, hauling everything
from asphalt to z-bars.

He drove up as the woman was loading her
purchases in the tiny trunk of her shiny, black sports car. Shapely
thighs supported her curvy backside as she bent over. Sunlight
glistened on her smooth skin as she worked. All that stuff wasn’t
gonna fit in the trunk. He wondered if he should offer his help or
if she was one of those independent women who would take offense at
his chivalry.


Excuse me, Miss?” he
called through the truck’s open window.

She jumped at the sound of his voice. Her
pretty onyx eyes widened in alarm when she saw him parked
there.

Shit! She probably thinks I’m stalking
her.

His thoughts were confirmed when she
scrambled for her purse and pulled out what looked like a pez
dispenser. “Back off, buddy,” she warned. “I’ve got mace!”

Gabe frowned. “I didn’t come out here to
assault you.” He dangled a white slip of paper out of the window.
“You forgot your receipt. Thought you might need it.”

Her face flushed red with embarrassment. Her
mouth dropped open, and then snapped shut just as quickly. “You
keep it,” she offered. “You paid.”

He shrugged. “Fine with
me.” He watched her struggle with her purchases for a moment,
forcing them into the cramped trunk. He should have left well
enough alone, but he wasn’t the type of man to leave a
female
stranded
.
“Need some help?” he asked.


No!” she practically
screeched. “I got this.”

He hated the way she glanced back over her
shoulder at him as if he were some annoying pest, like the guy who
bought a woman a drink at the club then followed her around the
entire night thinking she owed him. “You really need to chill out,”
he told her. “You’re too high strung.”

She pinned him with a narrowed gaze. “What
are you, a psychiatrist or something?” Before he could answer, her
eyes swept from his face, down the length of his truck, and back to
his face again. “Hah!” she scoffed. “I think not.”

She slammed the trunk shut, and then jumped
into the driver’s seat and pulled forward out of her parking spot.
He watched the taillights of her car until she exited the lot and
merged with the busy traffic on Main Street.

Gabe smirked. This wasn’t
the first time a woman had judged him by his appearance. He looked
down at his paint-speckled jeans and shoes. He’d just finished
painting the fences at Golden Gables Senior Community Home. He was
good friends with the director there. The place needed more than
just a fresh coat of paint. He’d volunteered to help out, along
with a crew of other men. Unfortunately, the paint sprayer had
malfunctioned. Maybe that’s what had turned her off. Or maybe it
was his beat-up pickup.
He knew his game
was smooth, but the woman hadn’t given him the time of day. He
shook his head. He hadn’t gotten where he was in life by dwelling
on his failures.
Something told him he
would see the sassy woman again. And when he did, he would ask her
out once more. He was nothing if not tenacious.

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