No matter how Maureen wanted to convince herself that the meeting she had called to help her neighborhood and the Sisterhood better protect themselves against burglaries, as she watched Simon stride up the sidewalk, her racing heart told her she'd lied to herself. Her breath fluttered over her slightly parted lips. My. My. What a man. Today he was dressed casually in a lightweight wheat-colored sports jacket, white shirt with an open collar, creased jeans that caressed his muscular thighs. His jet black hair gleamed in the afternoon sun. His skin was the color of rich chocolate. She couldn't see a spare ounce of fat on his muscular frame, and she was looking hard. Her hand fluttered to her stomach. She was in good shape herself. For a woman her age. Reality hit her just at the doorbell rang. She jumped away from the curtained window. Yesterday the spa had been invigorating, but she remained fifty-nine. The chine came again. Stop being silly, she admonished herself and started for the door. He's just a man. No big deal. She opened the door. Simon, who had been looking around, turned and smiled at her causing her body to throb, her throat to dry. He might be just a man, but what a man. "Good evening, Mrs. Gilmore." She felt old. "Lieutenant Dunlap, please come in and please call me Maureen." He entered and waited until she closed the door. "I guess Ashley is out." She flushed, then smiled because he was. "Thank you for not mentioning we'd met before Sunday night." His smile faded. "How have you been? Did you sleep all right? "I did. Ryan and I took your suggestion," she told him. "I'm glad." She caught herself smiling and gazing at him, the same way he was smiling and gazing at her. Perhaps Traci was right. Perhaps he would ask her out again. "This way to the terrace." She started though the foyer and great room. "You have a beautiful home," he said. "Thank you. My late husband and I moved in when Ryan was nine months old," she told him, a subtle reminder to both of them. "Then this house must hold a lot of fond memories for you," he said, stepping ahead of her to open the French doors leading to the terrace. Pleased that he understood and hadn't choked at the mention of her late husband, she stopped. "It does. Ryan and I made more after we changed the bedding. We looked at family films and pictures. Played cards. He let me win." "Your smile is as beautiful as you are," Simon said, still holding the latch. "To have stolen that would have been a travesty." Pleasure went through her before she could stop the reaction. She simply stared at him. "Simon, right on time." Ryan strode toward his frat brother, extending his hand. Simon turned to shake hands with Ryan when what he really wished was that he could send everyone away and be alone with Maureen. Soon, he promised himself. "I didn't expect you here." "Mother might not want to follow through on your suggestions." Ryan looked at his mother. "Ray, Francis is the author of 'Not Even If You Begged', published 2008 under ISBN 9780312948177 and ISBN 0312948174.