I was eleven-years-old the first time I noticed—really noticed—Jasper Whitlock. A crush of immense proportions was born that very moment. By the time I was thirteen, that crush had morphed into the fascination and adoration of true puppy love. At sixteen, I knew I loved him.
I was eighteen when he broke my heart.
Six years later, I have a plan, a plan to save Jasper Whitlock from himself and maybe—just maybe—save the future I thought we would have together.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans … Yeah, well, what I didn't realize was that while I was saving Jasper Whitlock, I was also saving myself. Just not in the way I had planned.
Fore!: An exclamation called out as a warning to people in the path of a golf ball.
Foreplay: An action or behavior that precedes an event. In human sexual behavior, it's a set of emotional and physical intimate acts between two or more people meant to create sexual arousal and desire for sexual activity.
Turfman: Why did the golfer bring two pairs of socks to the golf course?
Me: Because his shoes were too big?
Turfman: No. In case he got a hole in one. Hahahaha
Turfman: Hey, boss lady, you still looking for Whitlock?
Me: Yes. Have you seen him?
Turfman: Yeah. Try the back corner of the cart barn.
Turfman: Uh, he's not alone.
"Shit," I mutter to myself as I slip my phone back into my pocket and head downstairs to the storage area. Jasper's thirty minutes late for his appointment, and I've been looking everywhere for him. I just never thought to look in the cart barn.
I finally find him, half hidden by boxes of holiday decorations and broken equipment, and just like Edward said, he's not alone. One of our cart girls is with him. I can hear some slurred mumbling and a lot of giggling. In the semi-darkness of the back corner, it's hard to tell if he's pressing her against the wall or just holding on to remain upright.
Creeping a little closer, I watch her hands reach around his waist and move up and down his back, pulling his shirt up to his shoulders and pushing his pants down around his hips.
Even through the sudden haze of red fury I feel at finding him here, I still have enough sense to appreciate the masculine beauty that is Jasper's back and ass. I watch, fascinated, as a cute little dimple appears and disappears each time his muscles flex and contract while he grinds against the squirming young woman.
From my vantage point and from the amount of ear-grating giggling and muttering I can hear, it doesn't appear that much more has happened—yet. But it's time to put an end to the groping and the grinding before it gets out of hand.
With a loud throat clearing and some heavy, authoritative clicking of my high-heeled shoes, I walk up behind the couple. It takes another throat clearing and a loud, "Excuse me!" to get Jasper's attention. He sways clumsily, catching himself with one hand on the wall before grumbling "go away" over his shoulder.
I ignore him, focusing instead on the cart girl who I can see clearly now. She appears to be fully dressed in her uniform, for which I'm grateful. Her eyes widen in surprise and guilt when she realizes who I am.
"Yes … ?"
"I believe you were present at the employees' orientation this morning, were you not?"
"Ahh … Yes, ma'am."
"And at that meeting, you were given a list of expectations and rules for your employment at this course, and they were explained to you, including the no fraternization clause. Is that correct?"
"Well, ahh …"
"And did you sign the employment contract with its rules, regulations, and list of behavior expectations?" I don't wait for the rest of her answer because I know she did.
"Since Mr. Whitlock isn't an official employee of this course yet, I'm willing to overlook this conduct, but I warn you that if anything like this happens again, I will terminate your employment with Swan Creek Golf Club, and I will explain to your father the reason for that termination. Do I make myself clear?"
Lauren blanches at the mention of her father, fear and panic crossing her face. I can understand her reaction. Mr. Mallory isn't an easy person to deal with. Physically imposing, he's also intelligent, a highly respected trial lawyer, and doesn't hesitate to use his training and skills to intimidate anyone he disagrees with. He serves on the advisory board I've created for the club, and we've had several—not always amenable—discussions about my plans for improving the facility.
I was surprised, however, when he asked me, as a personal favor, to hire his daughter. He was concerned about her lack of direction, goals, and ambition. He'd even described her as flaky and silly. A description I found hard to believe until I actually met Mrs. Mallory and Lauren. I understood his concerns then. They were two of the most superficial women I had ever met. Mr. Mallory and I both hope a part-time job with set hours and responsibilities will give Lauren the structure she so desperately needs.
So her reaction to the threat of her father doesn't surprise me, and I have to suppress the smile that threatens to destroy my stern lecture at the thought of that conversation. My next sentence, although directed to Lauren, is aimed squarely at Jasper.
"Also, Miss Mallory, I'd like you to bring me a copy of your high school class schedule as soon as possible so we can discuss how many hours you'll be available to work."
My deliberate emphasis on the words "high school" has its desired effect. Jasper freezes completely, then quickly steps away from Lauren before scrambling to pull up his pants and straighten his clothing. His back is still facing me, so I'm denied the panic on his face, but it's there in the set of his shoulders and his frantic movements.
Although Lauren is still in high school, I know she's actually eighteen and has only a few more months before graduation. That isn't something I'm going to be sharing with Jasper however. Better to let him think she's underage and completely off-limits. And better to keep her on the payroll so I can monitor her behavior.
"And as for you, Mr. Whitlock," I continue, still speaking to Jasper's back, still trying to keep my voice authoritative, and still trying to keep the laughter at bay. "The appointment to discuss your employment was thirty minutes ago. I'm sure your lawyer, Mr. McCarty, would appreciate your appearance sometime before the morning is over. I'll give you a few minutes to make yourself presentable before expecting you in the club office."
Then, I turn and stomp away, making sure they can hear me leave. As soon as I'm around the corner, I quietly sneak back, staying in the shadows so I can watch and listen to the rest of their encounter.
There is a rustling of clothing and more giggling on Lauren's part as she straightens her blouse. I'm relieved to see the groping hasn't gone any further than above the waist.
"Who the hell was that?" Jasper demands as he, too, works on tucking in his shirt.
"Miss Dwyer, the new club manager."
"Oh, hell! How long has she been here?"
"A couple of months, I think."
There's more murmuring and clothing straightening before I hear Lauren tentatively ask a question. "Ahh … Mr. Whitlock?"
"What does 'fraternization' mean?"
I have to cover my mouth to smother the guffaw threatening to erupt when I hear Jasper's gasp. Rolling his eyes, he bangs the back of his head against the cart barn wall.
"Oh, dear God, just end me now," I hear him moan.
Shaking my head in amusement, I silently make my way to the exit. "Oh my dear, dear Jasper," I smirk to myself. "By the time I'm finished with you, you're going to wish someone had put you out of your misery."
AN: The beginning of this story and the first couple chapters have been adopted with the permission and consent of the original author, who decided she couldn't deal with the hateful guest reviews she received. I kept the title, the golf terms at the beginning of each chapter, and the general plot of the story. Everything else has been rewritten, reedited, and undergone massive changes including the main male characters.
This is a work-in-progress. It is not finished, and I make no promises when it will be, nor can I promise a steady posting schedule. I'm putting it out there because I seem to work best with a bit of pressure and some feedback. Sally corrects my weird mistakes and odd comma use. My sweet daughter-in-law made the banner. Thanks for reading.