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Frenemy Fixup

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Free-spirited yoga guru Shay Davis has only ninety days to get her workaholic former classmate Colin Anderson from work all day to namaste… All they need is a little common ground.

Accountant Colin Anderson is working himself into an early grave.

Shay Davis is finally living her dream of owning a yoga studio.

Sure, they went to high school together—but that’s where their similarities end. He’s Mr. Corporate, hustling late into the night so his firm can go public, while she flows through sun salutations and half-moon poses at her own pace.

So when a health scare pushes Colin to make a few life changes, he knows where to turn. If he’s going to get right with his career, he’ll need the right woman—and to get the right woman, he has to prioritize his health. Who better than Shay to help whip his butt into shape so he can win back his high school girlfriend?

The catch is, she only has ninety days to do it.

And they both really, really get on each other’s nerves.
Soon, though, their sessions are heating up the studio. But as Colin gets closer to achieving his goal, he and Shay both move further away from what they thought they wanted. Before they know it, they’ll have to step out of their comfort zones and rethink their own versions of “right”…before their time is up.


“At your beck and call? No way.”

I scoot past him to get some breathing room. The extra cash might help expand my yoga studio, but I won’t be beholden to anyone, especially Colin. During my marriage, Kevin was in charge and held the purse strings. Young and naive, I allowed him to take the lead. Why? Because I was looking for love and validation. Looking for someone to make me whole because my own father didn’t love me.

But I had to make myself whole. After the divorce, I did just that.

Now look at me. I know my purpose.

I have my own studio that helps others achieve a healthier, happier life.

I’m the boss.

This man, who for the last fifteen minutes has invaded my personal space and got so close I could see the flecks in his dark eyes, knows what he’s doing. He wants me on edge. For what purpose? Wasn’t I kind to him the other night after his health scare?

The attraction between us is borderline ridiculous, given I’m not exactly sure I like the guy.

He surprises me by not taking no for an answer. Instead, he charges for me like a predatory cat, and I hold my breath waiting for him to pounce. He doesn’t. He smiles.

“How about I sweeten the pot? I’ll give you fifty thousand dollars to fix me up in ninety days.”

Why did he have to go and say a thing like that? Fifty thousand dollars? Yes, he has money. I can tell from the expensive suits and shoes, the Rolex he wears and the Audi he drives, but I never imagined this much money in one go. The only time I’ve ever had that kind of cash was my inheritance from Aunt Helaine.

Think, Shay.

I spin away from him, desperate for a reason to say no. No, because Colin is only getting healthy so he can go back to work, which might ultimately kill him if he isn’t careful. No, because I’m not sure I can take being around him. He watches me as if he can see into my head. Read my mind. It’s unnerving.

Suddenly, his hands are on my shoulders turning me around to face him. Energized, my pulse races as I meet his gaze.

“Don’t tell me you’re afraid of a little challenge, Shay?”

Was he talking about fitness or something else? Because from the look in his eyes, I would bet my life he’s having indecent thoughts about me—the same ones I’m having about him.

“I’m not afraid of a challenge, Colin,” I respond, eager to wipe the smirk off his face. “I just don’t think you can handle everything I dish out.”

He laughs, releasing me. The rich, melodious sound sends illicit shivers down my spine. “Oh, I can take it, Shay.” His face moves closer to mine, and I can swear he’s going to kiss me, but instead, he says, “I won’t just take it, I’ll crush it.”

I know in my bones it’s a risk accepting his proposal, but fifty thousand dollars can do a lot. Allow me to take over next door and fold it into the studio without asking for a bank loan. Ensure the studio’s success and get me to the sustainable income I seek.

“C’mon, Shay. Are you really going to look a gift horse in the mouth?”

The word mouth causes me to stare at his. My heart thumps in my chest, and when I glance up at him, there’s something hot and intense shifting in the velvety darkness of his eyes.

“Don’t look at me like that, Shay,” he warns.

I blink rapidly. “Like what?”

“You know what.” His voice is deep and rougher than before. He moves closer to me.

I’m not imagining it. Something swirls between us. What if I take a step and stand on my tippy-toes and kiss him? What would he do then? Would I kiss away his carefully constructed plans? Would he grip my waist and pull me so close our bodies are perfectly aligned? Would he push his tongue into my mouth and kiss me hard? A part of me wants to explore the hunger that’s been building between us, even though we both act as if it isn’t there.

If I did, what would happen next?

“What’s it going to be?” Colin asks again, invading my daydream with his question.

This deal is a risk.

There’s no doubt about it. I’m attracted to Colin, and I suspect he’s attracted to me, but we’re both grown adults. Surely we can keep our hands to ourselves? It’s not like he’s my type, anyway. I don’t care for corporate, buttoned-down guys. At least not usually. I’ll keep the relationship strictly professional and only instruct him during the allotted time and stick to his health and wellness. And get fifty thousand dollars for my future.

I extend my hand. “I accept your deal.”

When his long, strong fingers close around mine, all the air in my lungs leaves. His skin is warm and his grip firm. Everything in me relaxes, even though my entire body hums with excitement. I stare up at him, searching his face, but Colin’s expression is neutral.

Embarrassed by the feelings he evokes, I pull my hand away. “Good. It’s settled, then. You can begin with today’s class at four. It’s a beginner’s introduction class and shouldn’t cause you too much anxiety. It’ll be a good breathing and stretching exercise for you. Help you relieve some of your tension.”

“I’m not tense.”

You might not be, but I am.

“You didn’t agree to being at my beck and call,” he says with a grin. “The more I think about it, maybe our lessons should be private. I don’t know the first thing—” he motions his hand around “—about all this yoga stuff. I would prefer you to teach me yourself.”

I can’t blame him. A lot of men are uneasy with learning something new, especially yoga, and he’s right. He’s forking out a lot of cash for my services. “I can arrange that. Let me check my schedule and get back to you.”

“There’s no time like the present,” he glances down at his watch. “It’s two o’clock. Didn’t you say your next class is at four?”

Why did I tell him my schedule? This unexpected turn of events has me off my game. “I have a few things to do…”

“My bank can have an earnest deposit of twenty-five thousand dollars sent to you today so can we get started.”

He is playing hardball. He wasn’t kidding when he said he wants me at his beck and call.

I let out an audible sigh. “All right, you’ll need to remove your shoes.” In the meantime, I drop my purse in my office and remind myself he’s just another client.

When I return, he’s already lowering himself to the ground and removing his sneakers, which look more expensive than my entire outfit.

My preference would be to relocate to the private room, but no matter, this can work for today. I mute the lighting, adjust the air-conditioning and light a few candles in the main studio.

“What are you doing?” he asks, his eyes following my every move.

“Setting the mood.”

“For what?” He laughs. “Isn’t this just exercise?”

I shake my head in exasperation. “Are you here to criticize or to learn yoga?”

“Yoga, I suppose.” Colin doesn’t say it very convincingly, and I wonder if he knows what he’s gotten himself into.

“Do you even have a yoga mat?” I inquire. “If not, I have one I can loan you, but you really should get one of your own. I can suggest some brands for you.”

“Do I look like I own a yoga mat?” he asks defensively.

Closing my eyes, I count from one to ten. When I open them, I find Colin smiling at me. “I’m sorry,” he says, “that was uncalled for. I would appreciate your help on a selection.”

“Thank you. I’ll be right back.” I need a moment’s reprieve to collect myself. He’s too much. Or maybe it’s been so long since I’ve been around a man I’m attracted to, I’m imagining scenarios.

He is being more than generous with the money he’s paying me to be his personal trainer. I’m good at what I do, but it’s not like I’m a celebrity or anything. He’s hired me to do a job, which requires I get him in tip-top shape in ninety days—and push down any attraction I’m feeling. Balance and Elevate comes first.

I return with my hair tie, two bottles of water from my fridge and a couple of yoga mats. I can’t help but notice how fit Colin appears, but I’ll know his true fitness level once the session begins. He walks around in his socks checking out the simple touches I’ve added to make the studio more inviting.

Connecting my iPhone to the speaker system, soft tunes drift through the air. I shake out the mats, placing one vertically at the front of the room and the other farther back so Colin can see me. I set a water bottle next to him.

“Are you ready?” I ask, standing a safe distance away.

He nods and smirks as if he knows I’m keeping much-needed space between us. He’s dangerous for my concentration.

“Why don’t you come down to the floor, and we’ll start in the cobbler’s pose?”

“The what?” He raises an eyebrow as I sit cross-legged on the floor, but he follows my actions, albeit clumsily.

“Sit up nice and tall with a long spine. Draw your feet in as close to your body as feels comfortable.” Colin does so easily. “Very good. Allow your shoulders to relax. Tuck your chin slightly to lengthen your neck. Close your eyes.”

Glancing over at him, his eyes aren’t closed. Instead, he’s watching me intently.

“Bring your hands to your chest. Palms together in prayer. Bow your head and take some deep breaths in and out. Nice and slow, exhaling for several breaths.” He executes the movements, so I continue. “Now place your palms faceup on your knees, lift your chest, open your eyes and open up your chest.”

I mirror the movements. “Okay, we’re going to move our hips in a circular motion, forward, backward and down.” I perform the actions and find Colin’s eyes glued to my hips. “Fingertips upward and take a big breath, exhale and relax when you’re done.”

He’s able to keep up with me, much to my surprise. It’s only when we come to the tabletop position, and I ask him to get on his toes, that he wobbles, but he doesn’t give up. He perseveres. “Take a breath, inhale up, exhale down.” After a few more movements, we drop onto our bellies, round our spines and thrust upward so we can go to the plank position.

When I ask Colin to get into the downward-facing dog position, he struggles. I move from the center of the room and rise to my feet to help. “May I touch you?”

He glances up at me with a grin. “Sure.”

Ignoring his pointed smile, from behind I pull his hips back and upward. “That’s right, your heels go all the way back. Spread your fingertips. Take a deep breath in and a long breath out. Breathe.”

Colin looks at me, causing him to lose focus and tumble to the ground. “Colin!” I yelp.

He turns to look at me on his side. “That’s not as easy as it looks on television.”

We both laugh as he sits upright. “It takes practice, but you can’t give up.”

“What is all this going to do for me?” Colin asks.

“It’s a scientific fact that yoga improves strength, balance and flexibility.”

“Did you read that in one of your fitness manuals?”

My eyes narrow. “No, Colin. I’m a certified fitness instructor and health coach, but if you’re not going to take me or this—” I point back and forth between us “—seriously, then we can stop right now. I’ve built a business on yoga because it’s proven to help with back pain, arthritis and heart health.”

“Really?” He sounds surprised.

“Regular yoga reduces stress levels and body inflammation, which includes high blood pressure. Are you listening, or do you still want to make fun of what I do?”

He lowers his head. “I’m sorry. I apologize for minimizing how you make your living. I wouldn’t want someone doing the same thing to me.”

“Good, let’s go.” I quickly hop to my feet and extend a hand to help him up. When he grasps my palm and stands, electricity shoots through me and I meet his eyes. He felt it too, because it was impossible to miss. Beneath his lashes, his gaze turns smoky. That fluttering excitement I felt earlier returns. Before I have a chance to move, he circles his arm around my waist, drawing me into the length of his hard, masculine body.

He towers over me with his wide shoulders and bulging biceps. I feel the heat of him and oddly I don’t pull away. I plant my palms against his chest and feel the hard planes of his pectorals. I suck in a deep breath, and when I do, I smell his exotic male scent. My mouth waters.

I blink up at him, and there’s a devilish glint in his eye. Like he knows he shouldn’t do what he’s about to do, but he’s going to anyway. And I’m not supposed to want him to do it, because the success of B&E is more important than anything else.

Yet I’ve fantasied about this man since I was a teenager. Would one kiss really be so bad? He could be a terrible kisser, and all this angst would have been for nothing.

His warm fingertips beneath my chin exert enough pressure, forcing me to lift my gaze to his.

Anticipation and excitement quiver inside me because he takes his time, toying with me until finally he lowers his head and presses his lips to mine.

Colin is kissing me.

We’re kissing.

I don’t push him away. Instead, when his lips part mine, deepening the kiss, every cell in my body goes on high alert. A needy moan escapes my lips.

Was that me?

Yes, it was. I’d forgotten how sexy kissing can be. How passionate. Because passion is exactly what this is. Colin’s five-o’clock shadow scratches me just before his cool tongue glides against the seam of my lips. My insides melt as he thrusts inside my mouth urgently, as if hunger has been building inside him too. When he finally makes contact with my tongue, he gently caresses it, back and forth. It’s heaven. He tastes spicy, with a hint of coffee, and I don’t want it to end. He doesn’t either, because I hear my mewls of pleasure along with his groans. I snake my arms around his back, and he levers me against him.

The tips of my breasts pucker from the contact with his hard chest and the unmistakable bulge against my pelvis. His kisses are so deep and hot, sparks sizzle inside me like a firecracker about to explode. He is a skillful kisser. He blots out the entire world, and I don’t care.

Colin devours me, and I welcome his aggressive ardor. It’s been too long since I’ve felt like this. Needed. Wanted. Desired. I love the taste of him. It’s minty, spicy—much like the man himself. Our tongues slide and mate as if we could go on and on…

But a loud cough sounds from behind us.

“Ahem!” It’s Maribeth, one of my instructors. “I’m sorry to interrupt. I came in early before class, but if now isn’t a good time…” A blush rises on her pink cheeks.

Colin moves away from me as if burned, as if he hadn’t thrust his tongue in my mouth. I’m disappointed, and I can’t say whether it’s because the kiss ended or he pulled away or I followed my urges in the first place.

“No, you didn’t interrupt,” I respond, lowering my head because I’m thoroughly embarrassed at being caught making out with Colin. “We were just finishing up, weren’t we?” I pray he agrees. We both need a moment to cool off.

“Yeah,” he nods. “We’re done.” He bends down to pick up his bottle of water. He screws off the top and drains it as if quenching an unquenchable thirst. Did I make him that way? He turns to me. “Walk me out?”

Maribeth smiles knowingly, and I follow Colin as he heads toward the door and picks up his sneakers. When we reach the exit, he says. “About that…”

I shake my head and shrug. “It was nothing.”

He shakes his head. “That wasn’t nothing. It—it was unexpected.”

Hell yes, it was. But I can’t mess this up. Colin wants to pay me a generous sum that will help my business. I remind myself—again—that B&E comes first. “Yes, it was, but it can’t happen again.”

“Agreed.” He nods, and I wonder if he’s feeling regret. “I need your help, and I wouldn’t want anything to complicate that.”

“I understand.” And I do. The kiss was a mistake, but damn if it didn’t feel good in the moment.

“Is two o’clock a good time for our sessions?”

“Yes, that’s fine.” There would be less chance of being interrupted. Is that why I’m allowing an early time? Because deep down I want to see what might happen next? “But first, I’d like to take a few days and come up with a fitness plan. Let’s officially start next Monday with sessions every other day.” It’s a cop-out, but I need time to evaluate how best to proceed.

“Should we exchange numbers in case you change your mind?” he asks.

“I won’t.”

“Just in case.”

Why is he so persistent about my number? I walk over to the counter and grab a business card from the holder. “My number’s on there. You can reach me any time.”

“Day or night?” he asks, with a smirk. “You are supposed to be at my beck and call.”

I can’t resist laughing out loud. “You’re incorrigible, Colin.”

“All right, I’ll see you then.” And within seconds, he’s gone, and I exhale. My mind rewinds to that incendiary kiss. Had it continued, it probably would have destroyed me in the best possible way.

“Who was that hunk?” Maribeth asks from behind me.

I spin around to face her. “That was trouble.”