Title: "Something Special"
A One-Shot
Written by: Shawn

Summary: A evening accounting class reunites two former lovers. But will unexpected secrets, relationship issue, and the 'other girl' in Tommy's life derail their new beginning?

Category: Drama/Romance/Humor
Rating: Rated M
Ship: Tommy/Kim, mentions of others.

Timeline/Spoilers: Everything up to and Including Dino Thunder is canon- Everything after is my own AU

Authors Notes 1: This will be a funny, sexy, romantic journey for our fav two Rangers. Other former Rangers will appear as well.

Authors Notes 2: I'm fudging the canon time-line a little bit with respect to the characters ages. Let's just fan-wink that they're all in that 28-32 range, ok *wink*

"There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer, no disease that enough love will not heal, no door that enough love will not bridge, no wall that enough love will not throw down, no sin that enough love will not redeem... It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, how hopeless the outlook, how muddled the tangle, how great the mistake. A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all. If only you could love enough, you could be the happiest and most powerful being in the world..."
~~ Emmet Fox

Trinity Community College
3rd Floor - Room 227
"Accounting 101"
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 7:45 PM
Los Angeles, Ca

As each new arrival marched toward her dark brown desk, Kimberly Hart peeked out over the top of her Mac-Book Pro at the newcomers and smiled brightly. After brief introductions, she took all of their names, marking them off her attendance sheet while noting with no small amount of pride that it appeared she was going to have quite a full class.

Her very first teaching assignment in accounting, she privately beamed as the room began to fill almost to capacity. Her heart raced a little as she finished her pre-class preparations, the heel of her shoe tapping anxiously beneath her desk.

After a quick glance at the wall clock showing it was nearly time to begin, the amazingly quirky journey of a former superhero/gymnast/professional shopper turned accounting whiz came back to her in a blur of mental images as she sought to calm her nerves.

Having won three medals at the Pan Globals, one of each rank, Kimberly knew she needed a new career when she realized that one in professional gymnastics just wasn't for her in the long-term. Her love of the sport never waned, but her absolute passion for it did. The non-stop rigors of the intense training, dealing with the relentless press, the stress of maintaining her weight minus anything resembling a social life, and the steady stream of younger girls coming after her spot left her cold going forward. And after the end of her two-year Post-Tommy Letter Guy relationship she was ready to focus on her life and where she was going, not where she'd been.

To that end she considered that long summer after the games just what did she want to do next. Where was she going and how in the hell was she going to get there? Without a relationship in her life, things weren't so complex. She felt relieved for a time in her life where she only had to worry and think about herself.

So she decided to try her hand at interior design. She always had a eye for fashion and style. A real interest in making things over, indulging in her creativity. Turning something bland into something beautiful appealed to her greatly.

Alas, the zany and strange aspects of life once again shifted the course of her life. Only this time it wasn't a formless alien being and a robot.

A brilliant computer hacker's bold prank attacked her universities network and screwed up tons of students schedules, enrolling them in classes they never applied for.

So when Kim arrived for her first day she walked into a course that had nothing at all to do with style and everything with her absolute worse subject in high school.

Math!

Though she never failed a class at Angel Grove High, if it weren't for Billy's constant tutoring and a lot of studying she might have failed some of the more advanced math courses she took.

So as she stood speechless at the front of the class, Grey-bearded Professor Durbin's sarcastic take on her unexpected arrival in his intermediate accounting class raised her ire. He was out of line and a bit of a jerk, joking that maybe she was another privileged student-athlete searching for 'Advanced Introduction to Addition and Subtraction' as the class snickered loudly.

Celebrated on campus as a star athlete, the outlet for her creativity that she craved was instantly trampled by the mocking challenge of this asshole teacher. But Kimberly wasn't one to back down from a challenge ever, and if he thought she was just going to walk out of his class with her tail between her legs, then he had another thing coming.

After the laughter died down, Kim simply took a seat in the back of the room. And from that day forward she switched all her classes back to what she originally signed up for except Professor Durbins.

The course was immensely difficult for her, and required her to work harder than she ever had before. Social life be damned. Nonetheless, she passed the course with a 'B' grade, and then proceeded to add more business accounting courses and less in design as the second semester started. Suddenly, without any real planning, her major changed. Her direction became crystal
clear.

The more difficult the path, the more rewarding she found her success.

Not to mention upon graduation the money she was offered for her first job was pretty damn amazing. She found herself so far left of where she thought she'd be, and yet felt so proud of herself for having the courage to take toughest path she could of. The passion came not in the skill of accounting, but in pushing herself past her limits and mastering something she once struggled in. She found the most unexpected career was the one she sank her teeth into the deepest.
Even "Professor Jerkface" otherwise known as Professor Durbin gave her a glowing job recommendation. Go figure.

Now her road to teaching was another story entirely... as was last years last minute, final journey into outer space during a secret female-only Ranger mission that left behind a certain side-effect... well, those were closely guarded secrets for reasons all her own.

A delicious sip of her cold Diet Pepsi roused her from memory lane as she stole another glance at the wall clock. She quickly typed a reply email to Trini, agreeing that the movie 'Magic Mike' should be re-released in IMAX 3-D for the sake of artistic integrity.

Alas, it was three minutes to the start of her class as she surveyed the room. There were already two guys in the first row who were staring a little to hard at her, no doubt wanting to be 'Teacher's Pet' in a way that wasn't so innocent. The slacker was in the third row, already typing away on Facebook. Another girl looked as if she wanted to be anywhere but here, while two older women were chatting in the second row about their grandchildren which made the former Pink Ranger smile. The rest of the class was made up of a pretty typical bunch of 30'somethings, which was fine
by her.

All except that one empty chair all the way in the back.

Kim caught the time, now a few minutes after the start of her class. "Where are you Mr. or Ms. Mystery Person?" she noted quietly, flipping the page on her attendance sheet to a page-two entry she hadn't noticed. Her eyes suddenly widened with alarm, and then she gasped when she saw the name Thomas Oliver. "It couldn't be," she muttered quietly to herself, standing to her feet to round her desk, facing the class now.

A second startling gasp came when her ex-boyfriend entered the classroom the very moment she looked up. She blinked hard...

Intending to enjoy her obvious surprise, Tommy Oliver felt every nerve cell in his body respond when he saw her. Lavender business casual ensemble, heels, and a aura of sexy-class he couldn't resist. To say the years were kind to her was a understatement as she was even more beautiful than he remembered the last time he saw her in person, six years ago. He'd planned a witty line the moment he saw her when he realized she was teaching here and signed up for her class on purpose.

But gazing at her now, she was unquestionably attractive. And startled. His smile stretched across the room, so a match for her own. "Sorry I'm late."

With a tiny sarcastic tilt of her head, Kim coolly replied, "And your name is?"

His lips twitched slightly. "Tommy Oliver." He watched her reach for her attendance sheet, trying not to gaze at her smooth, toned legs. She actually pretended to search for his name, ever the showman.

Playing the part of the unsuspecting teacher, Kim gave a nod as she checked him off her attendance sheet. Evoking a mildly irritated tone, she noted, "Mr. Oliver, I do hope being late isn't going to be a problem for you."

She had some nerve, but he couldn't help but to love it. "Sorry, it's been a problem of mine since high school. I had a ex-girlfriend back then who wasn't a very good influence."

She instantly wanted to throw her heel at his head. Mindful she had a classroom full of students probably wondering about their exchange, Kim sneakily drank in just how good he looked in that black designer dress shirt, jeans and boots. Her twinkling, mischievous brown eyes met his and something warm shivered down her spine right down to her toes. "Oh, I bet that amazing ex-girlfriend of yours was a great influence, only you didn't listen to her," she smiled. "Now please take your seat Mr. Oliver. We were just getting started."

"Will do, Mrs?..."

"Ms... Ms. Hart." She caught him steal a glance at her ring finger. She kinda liked that.

Thoroughly surprised and kinda flushed, Kim knew she needed to shove that aside to begin her class. "Good evening, everyone. My name is Ms. Kimberly Hart. Welcome to Intermediate Accounting 101. I'll be your instructor for this nine-week course that will take you..."

Tommy listened intently from the back of the class, watching Kimberly address the class for the first time. He was more than a little impressed with her skill, though not surprised that she was as charming as she was immensely talented and prepared.

Weeks ago when he applied to take this accounting class and saw three teachers teaching it at different times, to see Kim's name pop up was a shock on many levels. He'd heard she was relocating to the West Coast, but assumed it would be next year. Apparently she'd been here for at least a couple of months now.

But why teach accounting at a community college when last he heard she was well into a six-figure income with a banking firm in Miami? Didn't make sense to him, but he was sure she had her reasons.

After the class he hoped to catch her alone for a bit, maybe learn the hows and whys of her re-appearance in California... at least her left hand was missing jewelry, though he grinned at even looking to see.

Nonetheless, she was here and he was overwhelmingly happy to see her.

"... chapters one, two, and three with a brief summary of each on Thursday. And be prepared for our first test on those chapters. Class dismissed. Goodnight," Kimberly smiled amidst a small groundswell of groans as her students slowly departed into the night. A couple of people hung ?around to discuss with her their issues with babysitting and that they could be a few minutes late on occasion, but would always call beforehand and alert her. She made arrangements with them and thanked them for attending.

All the while her heart was racing and she didn't even know why.

Just now switching off his Dell laptop, Tommy patiently waited in the back of the classroom, talking to someone on his cell phone. A girlfriend perhaps, Kim wondered as the last two people that needed to speak with her left. Maybe he had someone special in his life. After all, how could a man that handsome, sexy, and all-around wonderful still be single?

The door shut with a mild click, audible enough that they both noticed.

Finally, they were alone.

Despite warding off a volatile mix of emotions, Kim walked two steps toward him, and then it seemed all of a sudden he was just there, his strong arms wrapped tightly around her, clutching her to his chest as closely as her arms curled around his neck. The warmth of his breath fanned over her cheek. Her nails dug into his shirt. His right hand gently cupped the back of her head, holding her to his shoulder. A breathless, charged moment... as electric as a live wire sparking wildly!

Her heels gave her a wee bit of extra height, but he still had to bend down just a little. He deeply inhaled the softly fragrant scent of her hair, sighing softly. Having lived and loved and enjoyed his fair share of women, it was undeniable this one still moved through his
bloodstream. Still meant more no matter the years.

Words didn't come to either of them right away, both mindful that the last time they were together their lovemaking nearly broke Jason's guest-room bed.

It seemed like a lifetime ago... and yesterday.

Despite the irresistible desire to hold on longer, Tommy let her gently slip from his arms, though he remained oh so close. He noted how she wore her hair a little longer, a little darker shade of brown than he remembered. But no less gorgeous. She was as remarkable as ever, her smile shining so bright. "Why didn't you tell me?"

There was a lot she hadn't told anyone in the last two years for reasons all her own, though she knew exactly what he was asking. Her voice resonated with her heart. "When I moved here I wasn't sure how long I was going to stay, so I laid low. But circumstances... and a job offer not long ago have me staying for at least a year now," she explained as he looked on. "I'm doing some consulting work remotely, and teaching part-time. I didn't tell anyone other than Trini and Aisha. And they were sworn to secrecy." The way his gaze feasted on her left her a pit of swirling emotions. She resisted a blush tooth and nail, all the while trying not to remember the last time they were alone together. Where had the years gone? She then turned cheeky. "When you saw my name as the teacher of this class you could have reached out to me like a normal person."

He made a show of pretending to be offended. "I wanted it to be a surprise."

"That it was..." her voice trailed off as their gazes held on. They were still standing far to close, and she loved the way he smelled and the way that dress shirt dripped off his muscular
physique. That spiky hair of his would take some getting used to... looked like a girl could still run her fingers through it. "So, accounting?" she tossed him a sly grin, stepping free of his body to lean against one of the student desks. Her arms crossed her chest. "Saving the world, educating teens on dinosaurs, and race car driving no longer providing your thrills?"

"I tried sewing too. Kept sticking my finger." Her expression might as well have been the middle finger. Damn how she stroked his baser instincts. Tommy sighed, and then came clean. "Long story short, my schools got screwed over by a bad accountant and almost closed down before I caught onto what was happening and sued him. After a year long trial I was able to recover some of the money lost and keep my schools open, but now I really want to be able to handle the financial side of things myself. I need the skills to be able to do my own accounting, or at least be able to understand whoever I'm hiring next and what he's doing. That's why I signed up for a accounting class." He then smiled widely. "Finding you was a bonus."

Kim nodded, understanding all to well what it was like to get duped. She quickly shoved that bit of information aside. "I'm surprised anyone had the balls to cheat you."

"I couldn't exactly break his legs. Wouldn't look good to the judge and the adoption agency. It's not just me I have to think about anymore."

The loving expression he wore made her long to meet Casey, his ten year old adopted daughter. Kim was on the other side of the country when word came of the little orphan girl enrolled in one of his Reefside classes four years ago. Through a series of events she had only vague details of, and was still very surprised by, Tommy adopted her. She was sure he was a great father, giving back the gift of a home to a child who needed it just the same way his parents did to him. "How's Casey doing?"

"Feisty as ever," he smiled, shaking his head. Quickly entering his Android phone password, he showed Kim a recent picture of his daughter in a Karate pose. She was his phone's
wallpaper.

"She's so beautiful, Tommy."

"Thanks. She's a heck of a martial artist too, when she isn't giving me grief over my cooking or her homework," he revealed wearing a dear smile. "But I wouldn't trade being her dad for anything in the world. She's doing pretty great, all things being equal."

There was more to the story of her adoption as Kim had only heard bits and pieces. After their one and only time together, intimately, they parted to their respective sides of the world having indulged in a decade plus long curiosity. Fiery passion had been thoroughly enjoyed, but real life was what it was and they didn't begin a long distance relationship. If anything they gently, quietly kind of grew apart. Both were so busy, on great terms, but on opposite sides of the nation living their own lives.

"So..." Tommy paused, doing his best to phrase this in his most nonchalant tone of voice. "Seeing anyone?"

"Oh yeah, I've been fine. My family's doing well. I caught up with all the girls for a little shopping excursion two weeks ago." Pretending a little mental light-switch was flipped, she fixed him with a most sarcastic glare. "My bad, you wanted to know about my love life."

The sexy way she pulled the bottom of her lip between her teeth made him shift where
he stood. "Just asking. It's not like I'm flirting with you."

He was most definitely flirting with her and looking good enough to eat and she suddenly
wanted... "So how are you doing?"

"You're changing the subject."

Kim arched a brow at him. "This is my classroom. I make the rules," she declared defiantly, not caring how he towered over her. Or how her body responded to his close proximity. "Talk."

He'd come here looking for a playful reunion, and discovered that no matter the time or distance, Kimberly Hart still got to him. "I'm fine, really. The trial and everything is over with, the schools are running well, my parents are doing good, and hopefully by March the adoption will be final. So life's good."

"So... seeing someone?" Her smile matched his own.

"I asked you first."

Kimberly yawned, and then walked over to her desk and grabbed her Iphone out of her Prada
bag. "What's your new number?"

"Have lunch with me?"

She didn't beam or blush, but her body quivered just the same. "I can't do that if I can't reach you." He gave her the new number, and she made sure he had hers as well. "Since you own three schools, this better not be a cheap lunch. Don't go thinking we're gonna share the Number 7 Value Meal at McDonald's," she teased.

"I wouldn't think it. Nothing but the best for you," he reminded her, and then walked over for another big, warm hug. "I gotta get home and tuck Casey in, so I'm gonna hit the road. But I will call you tomorrow."

She gave a nod as if it wasn't a big deal, but it was in a way. And though she had her secrets, tonight felt fresh and exciting. Like the start of... well catching up with a good friend over lunch was pretty normal and tame.

Then again, there was nothing ever normal and tame about her and Tommy.

Tommy leaned in close to her ear, "Goodnight, former Pink Ranger."

She grabbed his collar, tugging him dangerously close. "Goodnight former Green, White, Red, and Black Ranger. And don't forget to read and summarize chapters 2, 3, and 4. You'll be taking a test on them next week."

He hated how his traitorous eyes grazed over that sexy mouth of hers, and how she caught him when he did it. "Anything I can do for extra-credit?"

A tense hush fell over them for a heartbeat.

"... not tonight." She playfully shoved him away, laughing as he did. She watched him grab his laptop and books. "Drive safe."

"You too."

Kim walked to the door just as soon as he walked out, turned and leaned against it, grinning wildly.

She never saw him doing the same as he strolled down the hall.

The home of Tommy Oliver
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 10:45 PM
Los Angeles, Ca

"She likes your cooking much better than mine," Tommy laughed as he escorted Pam to the front
door.

"I think she's just finicky like most kids. But you might wanna grab one of those cookbooks for the single fathers. And you might want to use a bit less salt in your Hamburger Helper," she offered kindly with a gentle pat on his shoulder.

"I'll stop by a book store after work tomorrow."

Pamela slipped her purse over her shoulder. "OK, so Casey finished all of her homework and we went over it. She's up to date." Though in her early sixties, she was still as lovely as she was gentle. Pam Givens was the grandmother of seven, and his friendly next neighbor-turned-babysitter. Though Tommy was new to the block in the last eight months, she quickly took to him and his young daughter. "All in all we had a good night. Casey and I watched some TV before she fell asleep playing her 3-DS." Pam continued, "She's a great kid, Tommy. You're doing a wonderful job with her."

Praise for his skills as a parent were always greatly appreciated. "Thanks, Mrs. Givens. Goodnight. Give my best to Will."

"I'm sure he's still up waiting for me, the old coot," she teased of her husband. "Night, dear."

Following her from his porch two houses down until she disappeared inside her home, Tommy shut his front door and locked it up. Billy had thoroughly checked out Pam's background, though the former White Ranger had a good feeling about her the first time he broached her about babysitting some evenings. She was wonderful and caring, but possessed a strong enough personality to be able to deal with someone like his daughter, who could be quite challenging when she wanted to be.

Having worked all day at his L.A. martial arts school, and then two more hours at tonight's first class, Tommy was mentally and physically exhausted. After checking the backdoor and hitting the lights, he only needed to look in on Casey before calling it a night.

Unfortunately, his rebellious ten year-old going on thirty was still up as evidenced by the light shining from under her bedroom door.

Frowning, Tommy walked over, gave two quick knocks before walking in. What he found was a blur of a kid doing full back flips on her bed, one after the other. "Casey, you're supposed to be sleep. You know the rules, and you have school tomorrow."

"But Dad," flip, "I'm practicing," flip, "So I can break the Guinness Book of World Records in bed back-flipping."

Tommy caught her in mid-air, and then firmly plopped her back down on the bed. She bounced and giggled, which made him smile. Mercy, this little girl just owned every little bit of his
heart. "Honey, enough. You have school tomorrow and if you keep flipping you'll make yourself
sick. Worry about breaking world records on the weekend, OK?"

With her brunette locks escaping a messy pony-tail, bright baby blues gazed up at him in
surrender. "OK, Daddy. But Saturday morning I resume my training. Deal?" She extended a closed fist.

He met her fist bump with his own. "Deal." Swooping in for a big, warm bear hug, he smooched her cheek until she caught a case of the giggles and began shoving him away. It was rare to have blue eyes and brown hair, giving his daughter a mildly exotic look. But she was all smiles and spirit, feisty and a bit to smart for her own good at times. "How was your day, honey?"

Sitting up with her legs crossed, Casey gave a big yawn before firing away. "Right after our English test Henry farted so loud in class today that the teacher sent him to the principles office." She made her most disgusted frown, shaking her head. "Why do boys think farting is funny? Its gross and it smelled like rotten macaroni and tuna." Then she shrugged, "Other than that school was fine, no big. My homework is all done and on the kitchen table." Then she recalled what she wanted to tell him. "Oh yeah, Uncle Jason called for you, but we talked for a while. He said Cadan is pooping every two hours and he is now a Poop Expert and a Poopologist," she chuckled.

"I bet he is," Tommy fondly thought of his best friend. Jason and Katherine had their first son just two weeks ago, little Cadan William Scott. As soon as he could, Tommy wanted to take Casey to New York to visit with them for a weekend. "Did you tell him where I was tonight?"

Grinning, Casey nodded. "He said he wanted you to call him tomorrow and catch up. He also said to remind you to not forget your books, cell phone, car keys, laptop, and book bag." Tommy could only roll his eyes. "Dad, you do forget stuff sometimes."

"Like when?"

"Like me. Two days ago when you forgot to pick me up from Jenny's house."

"Oh... that was a small thing," he pretended to laugh away until she fixed him with a kid-like glare. "Ok, alright," he laughed.

Crawling over toward him, she laid half over his lap, snuggling. He began stroking her hair. "So how was your class? Was your teacher mean and old and ugly?"

"No, she was... beautiful," he trailed off softly. "I was surprised to find out that a old girlfriend of mine from High School was teaching the class."

"You're kidding?" Casey gasped, beaming up at her Dad. "Tell me about her?"

Tommy brushed her soft hair while thinking of where to begin. "We were high school sweethearts and we dated for a couple of years before she moved to Florida to train for the Pan Global Games. Gymnastics was her sport and she won three medals in the Games. She almost made the Olympic team. She was amazing."

"So why did you guys break up?"

Tommy asked himself that question many times over the years. "Honey, relationships are one of those things you'll understand better when you get older. I guess we grew apart and things changed."

"Was it because she was in Florida and you were in California?"

"I think the distance was a small part of it, but we were so young at the time and she was working really hard preparing for the Pan Global Games. People change, honey. Sometimes its not fair, but they do. But we're still friends now. It was a long time ago."

There was something in the way her Dad talked about Kim and what happened that made her feel a little sad. Her Dad turned quiet all of a sudden. "Did you love her?"

"Yeah," he noted wistfully, and then sighed. "I really did. But it was a long time ago." He shook himself free of thinking of Kim anymore tonight. It was bad enough he thought of her the whole ride home. "Anyway, Kim and I caught up after class and exchanged phone numbers. Class is gonna be hard, and now I have homework just like you do," he tickled her sides, to which she fired back tickles of her own as they play-wrestled over her bed. "All in all I had a good night."

"Good..." Slowly, Casey rose by his side, sitting up next to him. Her hands sorta fumbled in her lap, but she wanted to tell him something she'd talked over with her grandmother. It was now or never so she dove right in. "Dad, you know its OK if you date, right? Like I won't mind or turn into one of those crazy kids from those Lifetime channel movies I'm not supposed to watch. I promise."

Tommy blinked hard. Where had this come from, he wondered? "What made you say that?"

Casey dipped her head a bit, unsure how to proceed. "Uhm, well, Jenny's dad is single and he started dating someone last year and he seems really happy and his girlfriend is really nice to Jenny. So I talked some stuff over with my Nana and she explained some stuff to me." Casey gave a shrug, and then poked him in the side. "I just want you to be happy and smile a lot."

"You make me happy and smile a lot."

That made Casey feel wonderful. "I know, I know," she mocked his praise. "But you can have a girlfriend too. I wouldn't be mad or mean or start stealing stuff outta stores or anything crazy at all." Then she looked him in the eyes and asked honestly, "You're a great guy, Daddy. Why don't you date?"

He hadn't really pondered the question until now, though he'd begun to feel lonely in the last six months or so. It has been a while since he had anyone special in his personal life. His very, very brief and secret liaison with a certain former Yellow Ranger aside, he hadn't been in love in a very long time. "Well, when that bad man almost messed up my schools it took up a lot of my free time. And there's nothing more important to me than making sure everything is in place to complete your adoption. So that's kept me busy too. I haven't really had time to date."

"Yeah, but that bad guy is gone now and the schools are doing better. And in less than a year the adoption will be done. So you have more free time now. You should find a nice girl and date her, Daddy."

"Do they grow on trees?" he joked.

"No, Daddy. Nice girls don't grow on trees." She playfully punched his arm. "I'm just saying if you met a nice girl, or wanted to, I would be OK with you dating her."

Tommy adored his daughter for her kind heart and caring, but he also knew she wanted a
Mother. A complete family, something she never had before. It was the one thing he couldn't give her, even as her own left behind such bad memories.

Madelyn Conner was a drug addict and absent parent. She lost custody of Casey when she was five years old, and without any other family whatsoever to be found, became a ward of the state. Offering a number of free martial arts classes to the orphanage for kids led to Tommy meeting the frail, scared, insecure little girl whose spunk captured his heart.

Tommy arranged Casey back in bed, tucking her in under the covers. He leaned down and brushed a kiss over her brow. "Honey, thank you so much for what you said. It means a lot to me to know you'd be alright if I met someone special. I haven't yet, but maybe... well, I'll keep my eyes open, OK?"

"OK Daddy." She gave him one final bear hug and then yawned.

"Bedtime for you." Tommy rose from the bed, and then walked over to turn off her light.

"Daddy?"

"Yes?"

"Didn't you tell me you went to High School in Angel Grove?"

"Yep."

"Were you a fan of the Power Rangers?"

"You could say that," he noted with a smile. "Yes. They were humble heroes."

"They were cool... except for the spandex. Way to much spandex." Her Dad agreed, shaking his
head. "My favorite was the Pink Ranger. I like how she shot her bow and arrows."

"Yeah, she was very special," Tommy thought back fondly good ole days when he was just a young man head over heels in love for the very first time. "Goodnight, honey."

"Night, Daddy."

La' Frenchesca's
Italian Cuisine Restaurant
Saturday, October 20, 2012 8:00 PM
West Hollywood, Ca

Kimberly pondered, amidst the many envious glares of the vast female population around her as she entered the expensive Italian restaurant with her date, just what was it about stylish high heels and a sexy little black dress that made her feel so decadent tonight?

Okay, so maybe it wasn't the Louis Vuitton heels as she was never really a fan of wearing them, but guys had often complimented how great her legs looked in them. And the added height never hurt either. Now her midnight Versace dress, tiny and snug as it was, that she did feel very sensual in. Alluring. Even naughty, especially after ten and a half months of self-imposed celibacy.

Sex... or the sheer possibility of it, maybe that was why she was beaming as Gabriel led her just behind the statuesque blonde hostess to their lovely candle-lit table. This was date number four after lunch number seven and likely two dozen or so phone calls. And for what Gabriel lacked in that sense of 'Mr. Forever', he was oozing with that 'Mr. Right Now' groove.

Gabriel Alero was a very successful San Diego real estate developer. At age thirty-four, never married, no children, his dark South American good looks were striking. Such a head turner, and he knew it. Enjoyed it even. At six foot two and a half, he was two hundred pounds of muscle wrapped inside a perfectly cut dark-blue Armani suit he wore so damn well. Athletic and competitive to a fault. Possessed a dry sense of humor, matched by some sincerely wicked charm. But there was more to him than just good looks.

There was a kindness in his expression, and he was punctual and always a gentleman. He wasn't the desperate type, but never failed to make it known she was his prey.

Kim liked that more than a little bit.

Gabriel was as confident as he was sophisticated. Speaks three languages, and has traveled the world with the massively inked Passport to show it. Damn sexy too. Moved with grace... And he gazed at her with such raw hunger, not ashamed in the least. Due to his fast-paced, never slow down for a second lifestyle, the long-term thinking woman in Kim couldn't see a home and kids with him, but the seductive side of her could imagine one hell of a midnight rendezvous to cure her of that certain urge a woman had every now and then.

Besides, she was sick and tired of being the good girl waiting for Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. She didn't want to sit alone in her apartment tonight brooding over a big bowl of French vanilla ice cream, five hundred cable channels, and a severe lack of anything resembling a love life. Nope, Bad Kim wanted out tonight. Wanted some excitement and passion and just to feel alive! The last two years of her life had been so challenging in every area that she found herself longing for some selfish, sultry fun.

Maybe tonight was the night.

Would certainly get her mind off a certain ex-boyfriend of hers... haunting her dreams at night... making her remember how they were once upon a...

"Thank you," Kimberly offered when Gabriel pulled out her chair for her. She loved the light piano music surrounding them, adding to the romantic atmosphere of the packed restaurant. Tonight was just what she needed.

"You are most welcome," Gabriel flashed a devastating smile her way before taking his seat across from her. The hostess told them their waitress would be with them in a moment. When he stared a bit to long at his date, she blushed from the attention. "Unfortunately, Ms. Hart. I feel you're being quite unfair this evening."

Head tilted ever so, Kim cheekily replied, "How so, Mr. Alero?"

He leaned forward, looking her directly in the eyes. "You're simply shaming every other woman in here with your irresistible beauty, my dear. You look absolutely ravishing tonight."

Cheesy, yeah. Really cheesy. But dammit, what girl didn't appreciate a little cheesy every now and then? Sure, he was a smooth talker, but sweet as well. Her bright smile approved of his cheesiness. "That's only the third time you've complimented how I look tonight."

"I meant it each time."

Such a sexy smile. And that accent... "Blah, blah, blah," Kim playfully blew him off. Their waitress soon arrived and introduced herself. Deciding to bypass the appetizers for a couple of glasses of white wine, they ordered dinner, and then settled in for what they both hoped would be a very memorable evening.

"So do I ask how your day was, or how your week was?" he pondered out loud, engaging her in conversation.

That he cared to ask at all scored him a couple of points. Especially when most guys wanted to only talk about themselves. Kim appreciated that he seemed to care. "How about I answer both?" she replied.

He gave a nod. "The floor is yours."

"OK," Kim began as their white wine arrived. "Uhm, outside of me stopping a bank robbery and putting out a forest fire, nothing of note really happened this week," she joked as he rolled his eyes at her outlandish claims. "Seriously though, I'm still working remotely for Vincent Holdings and they're keeping me very busy. Busier than I expected, to be honest. During the week I mostly live on my Mac." Gabriel listened intently. "As far as my teaching goes, week two of my accounting class is in the books, so that's a plus."

"You teach that course twice a week, right?"

"Yes."

"Enjoying it so far?"

"Teaching is something I've always enjoyed. Even back in high school I taught gymnastics, and some of that love just stuck with me even after all these years. Only now I'm doing it on my own terms. Its been fun and challenging." She thought of side-stepping this one bit of news, but considered what was the big deal. Maybe talking it out would help her deal a bit better. "Surprisingly enough, my ex-high school boyfriend is one of the students in my class. How's that for dramatic irony?"

"You're kidding?" she shook her head. "That had to be a shocker," Gabriel considered with no small amount of amusement. "So has he changed much? Lost his hair or gained a ton of weight? Still carrying a torch for you?"

Looking away briefly, Kim enjoyed a long drink from her wine glass. "His hair is different, but he's still in killer shape, and no... no torch holding for either of us." Maybe match holding, or something like that. But differently not a torch. That was her current mantra and she was gonna keep repeating it until she believed it, no matter how she felt every time Tommy came near her. "He's changed a lot, but then so have I. Deep down at the core, he's still that same guy I used to," she swiftly caught herself. "He's nice and we're fine."

"That's good to hear." Having done his part of being the 'guy who cares' about her work week, Gabriel smoothly transitioned to his real intention for tonight's dinner date. "So have you heard those wild rumors about Titan Capitol? Pretty wild, huh?"

Blinking, Kim's gaze and stomach fell at the mention of her former banking firm employer. She swallowed deeply, and then gave a non-caring shrug. "They're in my rear view mirror. I try to avoid news of them," she said while trying to shove aside her fear of those rumors and the dire implications they could have for her professional and personal life.

Refusing to scowl, Gabriel realized Kimberly wasn't being very forthcoming about discussing Titan Capitol or her past there. At least as of yet. He was sure that she probably didn't trust him enough yet to go into it. She truly didn't seem to grasp her part in what was to come. His patience was being tested, but he'd have to wait a bit longer. In the end he intended to get what he was ultimately after. She could be the key to millions of dollars if he played his cards right. He just had to get her to let her guard down. And bedding her tonight would go along way in
that regard.

Favoring her with a understanding expression, he replied, "Fair enough."

Kimberly moved right along. "So how was your week?"

"The ups and downs of..."

Kim paid attention as he talked about a huge deal he was working on with a major investor out of Atlanta. The art of the deal and the big payoff were a part of who he was, as he expressed that clearly. The plotting and planning behind it all drew him in, and he was damn good at what he did. She found his confident drive appealing. He didn't indulge in drugs as far as she could tell, and she did ask him. He drank socially, and barely at that. He was exactly who he presented to the world, and the hot times his hungry gaze promised intrigued her.

She might just take him home tonight.

Gabriel swore softly under his breath when his cell phone suddenly buzzed. Apologizing to Kim, he quickly checked the Caller-ID. Sighing, he favored her with a apologetic expression. "I am so, so sorry for what I am about to ask you, but this is my Atlanta investor and he's in a crisis situation. He is asking for ten minutes of my time. Would I be the worst date ever if I called him? I swear he gets ten minutes and not a second more. But if you say no, I'm shutting this phone down for the rest of the evening+. My priority tonight is you, Kim."

Waving off his concern, Kim gave it no second thought. "I know this deal is huge for you, and I appreciate your offer. But I think I can survive for ten minutes while you tend to your career. I know what its like to be on call irregardless of your personal life. But you got ten minutes only, got it?" she playfully warned him.

"Duly noted. I won't be long." Gabriel excused himself from the table as Kim looked on. Sipping her white wine, she didn't mind a free moment to ponder where she wanted this evening to go. But just as she was about to think of Gabriel, a blast from her past text her on her Iphone.

'How's your date going?'

Why oh why was Tommy bothering her during her tonight? She both smiled that he did, wondered why, and was annoyed by the interruption. Most curious indeed. Her fingers typed quickly. 'Fine, now what do you want?'

Seconds later. 'He doesn't mind you texting with another man while out on your date?'

Kim grumbled, wondering the nerve of him. Her fingers typed furiously. 'He stepped away for a business call. Now what do you want?'

A moment later.

'You.'

Kim blinked hard! Oh boy, not what she was expecting. And she didn't like that little hot flash that just flowed over her either. Nope, not one bit. 'Been there, done that, got the Boned Tommy t-shirt :)'

She didn't have to wait long for a reply to that one.

'Mmm... you in just a t-shirt ;)'

Kim snorted. 'Dickhead.'

'Having fun with what's his name?'

Kim hated the smile that curled her lips. He could always engage her. 'Jealous?' She knew she was playing with fire here, but couldn't resist.

'Concerned.'

'I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself. I have for years.'

'I'll always be protective of you. I can't turn that part of me off.'

She stared at the words, searching their meaning and how deeply they affected her. Craning her neck, she wished she knew what was happening with them. 'What are you doing tonight?'

'I'm bored and you're in town. We could have some fun...'

Fun with Tommy meant so much more than just fucking each others brains out. He came with a hurricane's worth of emotions that she still was trying to figure out. Flirting was easy and playful for them. Always had been, and probably always would be. But the other side of the coin... that unspoken link between them... they could never seem to find the right time or place to make it work. And each time it didn't, it hurt a little more. 'Why now' she typed, and then finished off her wine glass.

'I miss you. And I could be a tiny, small, wee bit jealous.'

Wow, she hadn't expected that. Or the way she was grinning wildly. Dammit, she did miss him. But he had to be wrong for her, or at least just a piece of the past she needed to let go of in order to move on. And yet it was his gaze that warmed her all over. His voice that still drew her in like a moth to a flame. The memory of his touch that erased any other man she'd ever been with. He was probably her soul-mate, though she loathed the title because it made no sense to her to have one and not be with him. 'Why don't you work on all that homework I gave you in class.'

Not even a minute later. 'Why don't I stop by your place for a late night study session?'

Her legs crossed at that option, and she hoped she wasn't blushing as badly as she probably was. Why was playfulness so easy with him? Why was the sex so damn good? Why did he still have a piece of her heart? 'What would it mean?'

'Maybe its time we found out.'

Kimberly stared at his message, and then swiftly put her phone away, her heart racing. Such savage emotion lived between them. Every since they saw each other that first night in class she felt something growing between them. But they shared so much history, and she now came with secrets he knew nothing about. Add to that he was now a father and she just wasn't sure...

"I'm sorry, dear," Gabriel broke through her intense train of thought as he returned to the table. "I promise there won't be any more interruptions tonight."

Kim gave a quick shake of her head, as if to free her mind of Tommy and all her unanswered questions. He was a door she needed to shut, lock, and throw away the key somewhere deep in the ocean. Maybe one day she could. For now though, she forced all her focus to turn back
to Gabriel. "No worries."

Their dinner arrived as their date continued.

Evolution Theater
A two-level upscale movie theater chain
100 Valens
Saturday, October 27, 2012 6:00 PM
Santa Monica, Ca

"Thanks, Handsome." Gliding past two teenage boys who argued over who would hold the door for her, Kim entered the popular theater feeling amazingly carefree for her movie date with Gabriel. With him flying back to L.A.X not that long ago from a business trip to Miami, she agreed to meet him at the theater rather than have him pick her up. Though he protested, she didn't mind in the least, looking forward to enjoying her evening after an extremely long work-week.

Slinky, yet comfortable, Kim felt oh so sexy in her sleeveless pink and white dress. A new pick-up from her trip to the mall earlier today. Walking by the concession stand, the young guy making the popcorn with the very nice smile even winked at her. If he was a day over sixteen she'd be shocked, but she returned his sentiment. He'd probably upgrade her popcorn at no additional price just because, and while she wasn't vain, it never hurt to use a little feminine charm.

The Evolution Theater was barely two years of age, and already was the toast of the downtown area of Santa Monica. A huge digital theater complete with several IMAX screens, it catered to the families and teens on the first floor with all the expected arcade games, concession stands, and two casual restaurants. But the upper floor was for the twenty-one and older crowd only. Love seats replaced stadium seating, while adult drinks and food were delivered during the film right to you. Fun for grown-ups minus the giggling kids and loud teenagers made for one hell of a peaceful date night.

Now standing in front of the movie theater's electronic listing screen, she had two choices in mind for tonight, but both fled her thoughts when she caught sight of Tommy casually leaning against a wall just outside the theater's Arcade Palace. Moving to one side of a ceiling-high white pillar, she considered her ex-boyfriend/current-student/pain-in-her-ass while he chatted away on his cell phone.

Two weeks ago they were reunited in her accounting class, and there hasn't gone a day since that she hadn't thought about it. About him and how he can still after all these years dominate her quiet time. Sure, they had chemistry since day one. But when teenage love was in the air and her heart was innocent, he was the sum of all she wanted to fill it. Sweet, kinda shy, and a terrible memory having Tommy was also courageous, gorgeous, and a patient gentleman.

OK, so she had to make every first move from their first meeting to their first kiss. He was sweet in how scared of her he truly was. Big, bad Ranger Tommy could battle Lord Zedd one-on-one without batting a eye lash. But asking out the girl he liked, he needed coaching from Zack, a pep talk from Jason, a quiet assurance from Trini that she would say yes, and then only asked her out after she sought him out.

Still, he was her first sweetheart. Her very first love.

Watching him now, the boy grew into manhood deliciously. Yes, Tommy Oliver was gorgeous, but she'd dated gorgeous men before. She ended their romance for more reasons than that she had feelings for Michael. There was the long-distance thing she wasn't prepared for, the stress of her gymnastics training, and blah blah blah. Years ago, talked over, and forgiven. But still he remained, dormant somehow, in her heart. And every so often the memory of him would arise and remind her that it was his love that was still the sweetest.

Of course when the whole sexathon between them happened five years ago, Kim was sure they'd finally gotten 'it' out of their system. They were single, still found each other attractive, and just went for it... all damn day long until they almost broke the bed in Jason's guest room. Friendship aside, their passion burned like the sun itself.

Even now in the shadows she shivered in remembrance of his embrace. Of his kiss and the way he held her and the way he filled her until she couldn't think of a single thing that wasn't about him.

Exhaling deeply, they never dated after that day. Never got back together or even discussed it. She was sure that was a sign and she was fine with it. They'd always desired each other and finally indulged to their hearts content. They were single at the time, so it was no big deal just giving into pure lust.

Only now it felt like a big deal. Now when he gazed at her, she gazed back and felt that indescribable pull propelling her toward him. There was something about the way they talked and flirted that it scared her emotionally. They were supposed to be so done, and yet her heart still used him as the model of what she wanted. He could make her laugh, or want to strangle him, or climb him like a jungle gym all in the same breath.

Whenever he was close, she wanted him closer.

Still, their chance had passed a long time ago. Five years in fact. If there was to be a beginning for them, then why not after that amazing day of rocking each others socks off? Why not after that long, lazy morning of cuddling and watching bad reality TV shows and eating pancakes in bed? Why did she still carry a wee bit of heartache when she thought of them?

Suddenly, Kimberly realized Tommy was staring directly at her. It tore her from her inner thoughts, forcing her to face the present. The dark button down shirt he wore that clung to his hard frame, complemented by faded jeans and boots. He was sex on two legs, grinning at her with his arms crossed his chest.

Oh well, it wouldn't be polite if she didn't go over and say hi, now would it?

To be blunt, Tommy's heart and cock throbbed in tandem as he watched her move toward him. Graceful in stride, lethal in the way she forced her way into his every thought recently. But what was she doing here alone? "If I didn't know any better I'd say you were stalking me."

He was wearing the cockiest grin she'd ever seen. "I'm meeting my date here, thank you very
much," Kim replied cheekily. "Its coincidence..."

"Fate?"

"Coincidence..."

"Destiny?" he smiled at her.

"Oh shut up!" she laughed at his counter assertions. "Its a coincidence we're here at the same time. Gabriel should be here in fifteen minutes or so. We have a date this evening." She mildly enjoyed his eye-roll at the mention of her date's name. The former Green Ranger seemed to be battling the green-eyed monster. Sneakily, she encouraged the conflict. "Why are you here?"

"Me and the kiddo," he nodded toward the arcade, "Are going to the movies."

He sounded less than pleased, and then she noted the huge advertising on the wall above him. "She wants to see the last Twilight movie, doesn't she?" Tommy looked away, grunting a swear she snickered at. "Ha ha, you gotta watch Twilight."

She was totally making fun of him. "Not a fan?"

"Not even if you paid me to go in and watch it, followed by paying me when I walked out." Shivering, Kim didn't envy him sitting through that movie. "So Casey is in there gaming?"

"Yep. Spending all my hard earned money blasting zombies into smithereens." Tommy pointed his daughter out at the House of the Dead arcade machine. "I had to take a call from my mom, so I was hanging out here for a bit."

"Is that just your alibi for stalking me?"

Her devilish smile made his heartbeat kick up. "I'm in your class twice a week. Why would I need to stalk you?"

"So you don't want me?" Daring him, Kim felt his gaze fall over and around her, warm and seductive. She liked it, that he liked what he saw. Of course, so did she. A dangerous combination indeed.

Tommy flashed her a predatory smirk. And then offered in a low tone, "You know I do."

Hating how her body responded to him closing the short space between them, she calmly side-stepped his advance. Gabriel couldn't stir her with a mere look, but Tommy could. "Must suck that you don't get what you want," she fired back.

Her charm was as undeniable as his attraction to her. That she was so damn sexy, and smart, and a smart-ass, and seemed to possesses every single little thing he loved in a woman drove him crazy. Why now all of a sudden he felt like they had to... to... something seemed to scream to him 'NOW!' in regards to Kim. He just had to figure out why.

"Dad, I'm outta cash and I think its popcorn and Slurpee time," Casey said when she reached her dad, and then picked up a strange vibe going on between him and this girl she didn't know. But she did kinda look familiar. "Hello?" she gave a little polite wave.

"Casey, this is Kimberly Hart. My accounting teacher," Tommy introduced.

"And your ex-girlfriend, right?" Casey recalled out-loud. Her dad gave a nod, while Casey watched Kim smile. "You're not old or ugly or pudgy like most teachers."

"I drink a lot of milk," Kim quipped, extending her hand to the girl. "Nice to meet you, Casey."

"Nice to meet you too, Ms. Hart." And then it dawned on her. "Hey, Auntie Sha showed me YouTube videos of your gymnastics routines. You're awesome!"

"Why thank you." Aisha had met Casey already? Kim hadn't known that. "Your dad talks about you all the time. He thinks you're awesome."

"Yeah, well, sometimes even he's right," Casey snickered, leaning against her Dad now. "He says you give him to much homework."

Playfully punching Tommy, Kim shook her head. "Your dad, wonderful guy that he is most of the time, forgets to do all of his homework."

Casey laughed in agreement, already liking Kim. "Daddy forgets everything. I leave Post-Its all over the house and even on the dashboard of his car to remind him of things. I used to think he faked not remembering, but he really doesn't."

"I used to leave him little notes in his locker in high school to remind him of stuff," Kim recalled. "He even forgot his own birthday one year."

"Really?"

"Yeah, but I reminded him." Oh yeah, Tommy recalled that with a blush. Her first hand-job, which was such a hilarious story all by itself. But he really loved that birthday gift. So much better than a sweater. "So I hear you guys are going to see the new Twilight movie?"

"Nah, I was just messing with Dad about that," Casey revealed, giggling. Her dad looked so relieved. "I want to see the new Paranormal Activity movie. It looks awesomely scary."

Casey's infectious personality now had Kim in the mood for a scary movie. "That sounds like so much fun."

"Then you should join us." Looking up at her father, the young girl asked, "Is that OK, Dad?"

Tommy looked to his ex-girlfriend, and then back to his daughter. "Honey, Kim is waiting for her date to arrive."

Blinking, Kim had forgotten all about Gabriel. She almost felt embarrassed about that. "Yeah... sorry." Casey looked disappointed, and Kim felt that way as well. She wanted to get to know Tommy's daughter better, and the idea of watching a scary movie with them suddenly sounded great.

Tommy's daughter... wow. She could see and feel the love between them.

"Sorry, Kim. I was held up in traffic. You look amazing, by the way." All eyes quickly turned to Gabriel as he walked up to the trio. Having seen an old picture of Tommy in Kim's apartment, he instantly recognized her ex-boyfriend. His gaze narrowed ever so. "I didn't mean to interrupt. I'm Gabriel."

Painting on her best smile, Kim walked into Gabriel's embrace, and then stepped away. She caught him and Tommy eying each other like the Alpha Males they were. It was both stupid and amusing and kind, sorta politically incorrect fun for her. "Gabriel, this is Tommy and his daughter,
Casey."

Sizing up the competition, Tommy thought Gabriel reminded him of a younger version of the Dos Equis 'Most Interesting Man in the World'. He almost laughed to himself. "Nice to meet you."

Gabriel gave a nod. "Likewise." When he extended his hand to Tommy, they shook with a firm grip, neither man giving an inch. Kim's date winced ever so, and was the one to give his wrist a little twist when it was done. Immediately he didn't like Tommy or the way he looked at Kim. And the brat didn't seem to enjoy his presence either. Still, neither of them mattered. "Kim, we have two movie choices starting soon. I think we better pick something."

Though she was looking forward to a nice movie night and dinner afterward, her run-in with Tommy and Casey left her wishing she was in jeans and sneakers with a big tub of popcorn and a scary movie to enjoy. And even though they just met, Casey really looked disappointed she wouldn't be coming with them. Kim had to admit she felt a bit of that herself. "Uhm, yeah. Lets go."

Turning to Tommy and Casey, Kim gave a little wave. "It was so nice to meet you, Casey. You guys enjoy your movie. Good evening, Tommy."

Tommy's throat constricted when Gabriel too her hand. Still, he held his peace. "Night, Kim."

"Bye," Casey waved, and then caught her dad's somewhat somber, somewhat mad expression. It was normally reserved for either talking about her mom or the evil lawyer that messed with his
schools. But even at the tender age of ten, she could tell her dad really liked Kim. So she took his hand and began leading him over to the concession stands. "He's a dick, Dad."

"Hey! Language, young lady."

"Sorry." she replied apologetically. "I still get the jerk vibe from him."

Tommy couldn't help but to chuckle. "That's better."

"And I bet you could kick his butt."

"Totally," he smiled down at his precious daughter. With his Visa credit card in hand, he was about to grossly overpay for everything she wanted. After all, she was the light of his life.

He'd think about the love of it, later.

Two and a half hours later

Back outside the arcade after the movie, Tommy waited while Casey went back to blasting more zombies all the way back to hell. Only now with a twenty dollar bill in her back pocket, she was ready to lay waste to the undead for a while before they headed for home.

The movie was scary as the others in the series, and Casey had a ball shrieking at the terror onscreen. Now that two of her pals from grade school were in the arcade with their Mom, she was really having a ball. Such a great kid despite all the bad that had happened to her in her young life, Tommy knew he was so lucky. Loved her more than anything in the world. And to be able to give to another child what his parents gave to him, that was truly a blessing. One he never took for granted.

While Tommy the parent was doing very well, Tommy the man was still fuming over Mr. Jerk-Face being out with Kim yet again. It was bad enough he had no clue just how 'close' they were, intimately speaking. Though it wasn't his business, the mere thought of them together made him want to slam his fist into something. But for the life of him he just picked up a bad vibe from Gabriel. Maybe it was just jealousy, but then again, maybe not.

Tommy knew one thing for certain. If Gabriel hurt Kim he'd be as dead as those zombies Casey was slaughtering in her video game.

But yeah, he was jealous.

Kim was always the one that got away. Always the one that he just couldn't get completely over. Always the one that his heart longed for. No other woman could stir him with a mere look the way she could. No one could make him laugh louder, or put him in his place, or make him crave her the way Kimberly did effortlessly.

She was a remarkable woman, and maybe just maybe, now was the right time. Maybe he felt so drawn to her, and could sense her interest in him, that this was exactly where they needed to be. Sure, she was going out with Gabriel. But Kim never once called him her boyfriend. Never once alluded that her feelings ran any deeper for him than letting him pay for dinner. And for that, Tommy was grateful Gabriel seemed to be no more than a glorified dinner companion.

And as long as he stayed that way, he could live. The thought of which brought a smile to the ex Ranger's face.

Speak of the devil, when Tommy glanced up from his deep inner thoughts he caught sight of Kim and Gabriel exiting Theater 7 as the movie let out. Peering up at the sign above the entrance door, apparently Gabriel took her to see some foreign romance movie with subtitles. Tommy shook his head, and couldn't help enjoying a smile at the less than enthusiastic expression the former Pink Ranger wore.

That was when it hit him!

They say a blinding burst of pure inspiration can build good out of nothing at all, and bad out of everything. But the powerful inspiration that swept over Tommy when Gabriel seemed to step away for a moment to make a phone call was purely the instinct to prove a point to Ms. Hart. Sure, it might get him slapped, but at least she'd be touching him. She might kick him too, but oh well. Even a punch would be worth it.

Wishing she'd seen any movie other than that long, boring one that required her to read onscreen for nearly two full hours; Kim was so freaking glad when he closing credits rolled she nearly knocked a little old man down trying to get out the theater. Perhaps Gabriel's heart was in the right place, but his choice of movie had much to be desired. Maybe he just didn't know her well enough. Maybe she just didn't feel enough for him. Even a hot make-out session on her living couch after dinner the other night still didn't lead to any other room in her apartment. The only man in her bed that night was her cat, Alpha.

Suddenly, a warm hand clasped her wrist, and in a flash she knew who it was before she even saw him. She was pulled away in a rush, swept behind a new fixture being built out of the theater hall, and pressed against a hard wall by an even harder man.

And then Tommy kissed her...

Just like that, devouring her mouth with hungry little suckles, lapping his tongue around hers - consuming her as if he'd been starved of her forever. Damn all reason, her arms curled round his neck as she held on tight, crushed to his chest, her toes curled in her heeled sandals. The feel of his hard body, his strong arms wrapped around her destroyed her ability to think straight. Her heart stampeded in her chest. Her fingernails bit into his shoulders. Her pulse thundered. Her breath rasped. The throaty sounds he was making made her want to fuck him right here and now and get them thrown out of this theater and arrested and she'd pay his bail and take him home and fuck him again!

Tommy made love to her mouth, quenching his thirst for the sweet taste of her. In his arms he held her so close, loving the feel of her body pressed tightly to his. He wanted her, God he wanted her so bad! Every little sound she made left his cock throbbing. He ached for this woman, and nothing felt more right than holding her in his arms.

Gently, tenderly, his lips parted from hers. The warmth of their breath fanning each others face as he stared into her eyes and found his voice at last. "Ask yourself, does he make you feel like that?"

Cold shivered through her the moment Tommy released her, turned, and walked away. Her gaze followed him until he disappeared out of sight. And then she breathed again, feeling oh so flushed. Her whole body tingled as her tongue lapped over her bottom lip. The remnant of his taste... She swallowed hard, knowing he just proved one hell of a point to her.

Now, what to do about it?

Having slaughtered thousands of zombies with Kellie and Emma, Casey was ready for that giant ice cream sundae her Dad promised her when they left the theater. She was literally hopping up and down by her Dad's Jeep while he helped the older woman next to them who had a flat tire. Her Dad was a Knight In Shining Armor as far as she was concerned, and always willing to help anyone.

Rounding the back of her Dad's Jeep, she saw Kimberly wave goodbye at Gabriel, who drove off and out of the parking lot. Casey wanted to yell and see if she maybe wanted to go for ice cream with them. She really liked Kim, and could tell her Dad did too.

But before she could shout at her, Casey witnessed a event that, in her barely ten years of life, was as shocking as if a UFO landed in the front-yard of her house.

Kimberly walked around to the driver's side door of her car. Fumbling for her keys, her Iphone fell out of her purse and under her car. Casey was about to tell her Dad Kim needed a hand with something when she saw Kim look around as if she was making sure no one was looking, and then with one hand she lifted the entire front end of her car off the ground. Like completely off the ground. She then reached under and grabbed her cell phone, the whole time holding the full weight of the front of her car with one arm. And she wasn't even struggling or straining or even batting a eye-lash.

Just like that, Kim quickly lowered her car, hopped inside, and then drove off.

Casey stood there, stunned, mouth open, shocked at the awesome display she just witnessed. "What kind of milk is she drinking?!"

The End of Chapter 1

Chapter 2: After her next class, Kim makes her point to Tommy... Casey takes a special interest in Kim. Aisha visits town, leaving a impact on both Tommy and Kim.