Jared's Counterfeit Fiancee(4)

By: Brenda Jackson


Dana turned her attention back to her friend. “I told you that I’d be fine. It won’t be the first or the last holiday that I spend alone.”

“I know but I wish that—”

“Cybil, let it go. You need to get out of here if you’re meeting Ben for lunch,” she said, trying to propel her out the door.

“Okay, but call me soon?”

As soon as Cybil left, Dana released a huge sigh.

Since her breakup with Luther, Dana put all of her time and energy into her job. Work wasn’t a substitute for having a family and a personal life, but it did take her mind off her loneliness.

She glanced at the calendar on her desk. It was hard to believe next week was Easter already. Her parents would make every holiday special and even while in college she enjoyed going home during spring break to spend Easter with them. She remembered their last Easter together. They had gone to sunrise church service and later they had feasted on the delicious dinner her mother had prepared, not knowing it would be the last holiday meal they would share together.

She sighed deeply, not wanting to relinquish the memories just yet but knowing that she had to. Somehow she would get through another holiday without her parents. She had no other choice.



“What would you like to order, sir?”

Jared studied the huge menu posted on the wall behind the counter and made his decision. “Umm, give me a ham and cheese all the way on whole wheat, an order of French fries and a glass of sweetened tea.”

“All right. Your order will be ready in a minute.”

Jared nodded then glanced around. Usually he met clients for lunch at restaurants that served the finest cuisine; and at other times he would order in and eat lunch at his office. But he had decided to take advantage of how beautiful a day it was and walk the block from his office to the deli.

The place was crowded and he hoped that he would be able to find a seat by the time his lunch was ready. He was even willing to share a table or booth with someone if the person didn’t have a problem with it.

As his eyes scanned the crowded restaurant, he tried to find someone sitting alone. Abruptly his gaze stopped on a familiar-looking woman at a booth, who was reading a book while leisurely munching on a French fry. A memory suddenly flared in his mind, jump-started his senses and instantly stirred heat within him.

Dana Rollins.



It had been a month since she had stormed into his office, but he vividly recalled the impact she’d made on his male senses when she’d barged in that day. He felt blood race through his veins, reminding him that he’d been so busy at work, he hadn’t been with a woman in over eight months.

He was accustomed to beautiful, gorgeous women, but there was something intrinsically special about Dana Rollins. He hadn’t been this attracted to a woman since heaven knows when. Now it seemed he was making up for lost time.

“Sir, your order is ready.”

Jared turned and took the tray loaded with his food from the man behind the counter. “Thanks.” He then glanced back over at Dana Rollins and after making a quick decision, he crossed the room to where she sat.

She was so absorbed in her book that she didn’t notice him standing next to her. She was leaning forward with both her elbows on the table while holding the book in front of her, so that the neckline of her blouse gapped open enough for him to get a generous glimpse of her cleavage. He liked what he saw—firm, full breasts.

Knowing he couldn’t stand there and continue to ogle her, he cleared his throat. “Miss Rollins?”

She quickly glanced up and recognized him. He watched her shimmering bronze lips tilt into a smile guaranteed to turn him on. “Mr. Westmoreland, it’s good to see you again.”

Her dimpled smile made him acutely aware of just how beautiful she was. “It’s good seeing you again, too. It’s rather crowded in here and I saw you sitting alone and wondered if perhaps I could join you?”



Her smile widened into a grin. “Yes, of course,” she said, placing her book down on the table, making sure not to lose her spot.

“Thanks,” he said, sliding into the seat across from her in the booth. “How have you been?”

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