Jared's Counterfeit Fiancee(6)

By: Brenda Jackson

Jared nodded as he continued to smile. “Yes, but if I take any of them they might get the wrong impression and think that I’m actually interested in a serious relationship. Besides, my mother and aunt are good cooks. All you’ll have to do is show up with me, endure the likes of my family and join in with the birthday festivities. I understand it’s a lot to ask, but I’d really appreciate it if you’d come. It will definitely get Mom off my back.”

Jared watched as she nervously gnawed her bottom lip. He had presented the situation just as it was.

Dana met his gaze. She had felt that pull between them, that physical attraction, so to consider being in Jared’s company for any reason wasn’t a good idea. But, she did owe him a favor and she’d always been taught to keep her word. “And it’s just this one time?”

“Yes, just this one time,” he assured her. “But to pull this off, we’ll need a convincing story. I think it would be a good idea if I called you one day this week to discuss answers to the questions I have a feeling my family will ask.”

Dana frowned. “What kind of questions?”

Jared grinned. “Oh, the usual, like how long have we known each other? When and how we met? How serious are things between us? And there’s a strong chance my mother might get downright personal and want to know if you’ve moved in with me yet, whether you’re capable of producing babies and if so, how many you’re willing to have.”

Dana blinked, then laughed out loud. Jared thought it was a beautiful sound; and in all honesty, the deep rumble in her throat was a blatant turn-on.

“You aren’t serious, are you?” she asked, bringing her laughter under control.

He chuckled. “Unfortunately, I am. Just wait until you meet my mother for yourself. Marrying off one of her sons seems to be her number-one priority.”

Dana raised an arched brow. “And marriage is something you have an aversion to?”

“Yes. I handle enough divorce cases to know that most marriages don’t last.”

He watched as she sat back in her chair with a thoughtful expression on her face. “So will you be my date that day?”

Dana considered Jared’s invitation. After a few moments she nodded her agreement.

Jared smiled, pleased with the turn of events. “Thanks, Dana. I appreciate you helping me out of this jam. You don’t know how much it means to be able to get my mother off my back.”


D ana glanced down at her watch. Jared was coming to pick her up at any moment and she was a nervous wreck.

They had talked on the phone earlier in the week to get prepared for his family’s inquisition. Just hearing his voice had sent sensuous chills all through her body and reminded her that she was definitely a woman, something she had forgotten since her breakup with Luther.

That reminder came with a mixture of empowerment and restraint. The last thing she needed was to test emotional waters that were best left uncharted. All she had to do was remember what had happened with Luther to know that, woman or not, the last thing she wanted was to become vulnerable to any man again.

Dana almost jumped when she heard the sound of her doorbell. She inhaled deeply and reminded herself that she probably wouldn’t see Jared again after today so there was no reason for her to come unglued. She released a sigh of relief and opened the door.

Jared gazed at Dana and quickly pulled in a deep breath. If he thought that she was gorgeous before, today she had surpassed his memories. He’d always had a healthy sex drive, but seeing her standing in the doorway with all that glorious hair spread over her shoulders and wearing a pair of jeans that hugged her curvy figure and a pretty knit top, had him wondering how he would get through the day.

“Hi, Jared, please come in.”

“Thanks. You look nice.”

She smiled and stepped back as he entered and closed the door behind him. “Thank you. I just need to grab my purse,” she said, walking off toward a room he assumed was her bedroom.

He was glad for the extra time to pull himself together. The woman was sexy and feminine all rolled into one.

Trying to distract himself, he glanced around her living room. It was nicely decorated in bright colors and with upscale furnishings. He felt something rubbing against his leg and looked down and smiled. “Hey, where did you come from?” he asked, leaning down and picking up a beautiful black cat.