a big gulp of coffee. And nearly gagged trying to swallow it.
“What in the h—world did you do to this coffee?”
“Nothing. I did just like you told me.”
Cautiously she tried another sip. Oh, good Lord . “Did you use a filter?”
“You didn’t tell me to. I did just like you said,” Carmen repeated smugly. “You never said anything about a filter.”
Technically, she hadn’t. She still wanted to bang her head against the steering wheel, but since her head already ached, she refrained.
“What are you doing?” Carmen asked a couple of minutes later. “This isn’t the way to school.”
“It is if you go to the Java Cafe first.”
“Don’t even. I. Am. Getting. Coffee. Period.”
“You don’t have to be mean,” Carmen said, and her voice wavered.
Maya felt like a worm. As she should. She reached over and patted her daughter’s knee. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I’m tired and I really do need coffee, but I shouldn’t have been short with you.”
Carmen shrugged. “That’s okay. I guess it’s kinda sorta my fault, since you said I forgot to tell you.” She shot Maya a mischievous glance. “Except, I did tell you,” she added, sotto voce.
Maya laughed. “Whatever you say, honey.”
The day could only get better, right?
“A ll right, everybody. Listen up,” Tamara Casey said.
They had gathered in the gym, but the custodian had forgotten, or never known, to pull out any stands to sit on, so everyone at the meeting was standing around. By the time it occurred to anyone that they could pull out the bleachers themselves, the meeting was halfway over.
At least, Maya hoped it was.
“There are still donuts and coffee,” Tamara continued, waving a hand at a table set up along the wall. “Be sure to get all you want before you leave. We still don’t have a firm date for the sale, since we want to collect as much inventory as possible to make as much money as possible. As you know, this money will have a dual purpose. It’s earmarked in part for sports uniforms. Not football uniforms, but uniforms for some of the other sports.” She smiled. “Yes, we do play other sports at Marietta High.” Everyone laughed and she went on. “The other part of the money will be used to start a fund to help critically ill Marietta High School students and their families. It will be an emergency fund to be accessed according to need and how much we have in it, of course. It’s going to take several weekends to organize it for maximum benefit.”
A woman raised her hand. “Where are we keeping all this stuff?”
“The sale will be in the gym and the high school has given us a couple of empty rooms to utilize.”
Tamara was good at this sort of thing, Maya thought. Now she was glad Carmen had volunteered her services, since it was for such a good cause. Someone else asked another question and Maya allowed her mind to wander.
Not for long, though. Her gaze settled on Jack, who she thought looked ridiculously good for this early on a Saturday morning. But he was used to early rising. When he had patients in the hospital, he made rounds daily and from what she gathered, they were often early. He wore a dark tan and brown plaid shirt, along with jeans and running shoes. He should have just looked like a normal guy. Unfortunately, he looked good enough to eat.
But that was sure as shooting not in her plans.
Thinking about those plans, Maya only half heard the rest of Tamara’s spiel about how to categorize the donations. She started paying attention again just in time to hear hers and Jack’s names read off, as one of the pairs picking up items. Anxious to see how he was taking it, she glanced at him to see him giving her that damn sexy smile she kept dreaming about.
Remember the plan , she told herself. Throwing yourself at him is not part of it.
Jack glanced at Maya, sitting beside him on the passenger side of his SUV. While she wasn’t hugging the