Steve Tanner couldn't help but glance over at Chloe Kmetko every so often. It wasn't a bad thing to admit, but he had first taken note of how attractive she was when she started attending practices to watch her daughter at The Rock. It was hard not to, considering how outspoken and energetic Chloe was, often to the embarrassment of Emily. He would never admit it, or at least not openly, but he envied Chloe's lust for life. His life consisted of his business and helping Lauren to pursue her dream of being a medal-winning gymnast. A difficult thing to do when you were a single parent, yet Chloe did it with such passion and energy and she had two children, one of which was handicapped.
"Steve?" Chloe asked, breaking into his thoughts.
"Yeah?" he returned, focusing his attentions back on her. Why did he do this again?
"You seemed a million miles away," Chloe said. "I know you said you'd help me, but if you have somewhere else that--."
"No, no," Steve interrupted. "No, it's not that. I was just... thinking." He looked at the cars on the lot, wondering if she had found something she liked.
"Find anything you like?" he asked.
"Maybe," Chloe said, moving towards a more beat up car that was obviously better than hers, but still not the best choice.
"Chloe, I know that's better than yours, but don't you think something better would work?" Steve asked, arching a brow. He winced at how snobbish it sounded. In another time, he wouldn't have cared if she thought him arrogant and snobbish. When had that changed?
Chloe put her hand on her hip and looked at him. "Unlike you, Steve Tanner, I'm not exactly rolling in money," she said.
"Sorry," Steve said. "That's not what I meant. I just meant something more than this would save you money in the long run."
"I don't know..." Chloe said, obviously uncertain. She was in a world that she was so unaccustomed to right now.
"I said I would help, and I will," Steve said. "Let's just see what you like and we'll worry about crunching the numbers later. Okay?"
"Are you really sure?" Chloe asked, but her eyes were already drifting from Steve's face to one of the nearby crossover SUVs on the lot.
He couldn't help but grin a bit. "I'm really sure," he said. "Come on." Together the pair walked over to the vehicle she had her eye on.
"So..." Steve said as she looked over the vehicle and through the windows. "Want to test drive it?"
Chloe turned to him, a brilliant smile blossoming on her face. "Oh yeah," she said. He couldn't help but smile in return.
So this was why he agreed to it. There was just something in her smile.