TRAINING THE COUGAR *warning explicit content*

**Love Story with explicit content **
Shy thirty-something, Fifty Shades obsessive and One Direction fan Alexa, was hiding a traumatic secret from her past. As a result, she'd put up personal barriers and kept friends, colleagues and men at arm's length. Then one summer, Jake Martin appeared all too briefly in her life. He was handsome, clever, kind...and only eighteen! Nothing happened during that Summer, but now five years on, fate had ensured their paths crossed again. Could this traumatised Cougar put the past behind her and could Jake be the one who finally teaches her how to love?


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3. CHAPTER TWO


 

Oh God this is happening. This really is happening.

Alexa had spent the past three days in a trance, mainly due to not sleeping at night, thinking about Jake. They'd been texting each other quite a lot and Alexa had loved that he was still full of playful banter. It was almost like time had stood still and he'd just turned back around from walking off into the September sunshine that day. Somehow they just seemed to pick up from where they'd left off. She'd filled him in about what had been happening at the Playscheme and his ribbing of her had reassumed as soon as he had found out she was now a One Direction fan! Today was the first time they would meet again after literally running into each other at the hospital, so they had arranged to meet at a local pub for lunch. She hadn't told her work colleagues about him - well, it was only Sue that was still there, from that summer five years ago. Besides - this was just a lunch between friends.

A long overdue catch-up.

Oh who am I trying to kid?

The fact that she was nervous and excited in equal measure wasn't helping her disposition, as she shakily drove into the pub car-park. She was running late, having changed umpteen times and finally decided on black jeggings, boots and a green jumper she'd bought in the Christmas sales. She parked up and checked her reflection in the car mirror.

Crap!

Her dark wavy hair was sticking up, no doubt from the build up of static from all the jumpers and shirts she'd tried on. Her make up was a bit smeared too. She shut her eyes wearily remembering the mess she had left her bedroom in; clothes and shoes scattered all over it, whilst she tried to find the perfect outfit. The rest of her make up must have come off on most of the various garments she had strewn all over her bed. She opened her eyes and used her fingers to smooth over what make-up was left on her face.

Fab! I look like I've just woken up!

She flipped the mirror back into position in frustration and took a deep, calming breath.

Do not fuck this up Alexa. And for pity's sake - DO NOT FALL OVER!

She'd texted him to apologise she was running late and he'd text back not to worry and asked her what she wanted to drink. What she really wanted a large glass of wine to steady her nerves, but that was out of the question as she had to drive. Plus, something told her she'd best keep a clear head. Added to that, she would now have to spend the rest of the day tiding up her damned bedroom. So a large diet cola would have to do...

Entering the pub, she walked up to the bar. She looked left and right, but there was no sign of him. She took her iPhone out to text him, and it shook in her hands with an incoming text.

*Turn around - not too fast. Gotta watch that Dyspraxia of yours! :) *

She turned slowly and realised Jake had been sitting at a table by the door and she'd just breezed straight past him! He gave her a beaming dimpled smile that made her knees weaken.

What's different about him today?

She carefully made her way to him, willing that just this once, her feet obeyed her brain.

"YOU'VE SHAVED!" She squealed as the realisation hit her.

Okay - that possibly came out a bit too loud - and rather inappropriately in a pub full of people!

Out of the corner of her eye she could see people nearby had turned towards them as she started to turn puce.

Oh dear God...

"You're the only person I've heard of whose Dyspraxia also affects their speech!" Jake laughed standing up, seemingly taking it all in his stride. He came and stood in front of her and brushed the back of his hand over her flaming cheek. "Do you want some help with taking off your coat before you really do fall down?" His soft voice and even softer touch were undoing her from the inside. She fumbled with her buttons, but Jake moved her hands away, deftly undid them himself and then gently pushed her coat off her shoulders - all the while not taking his dark eyes off hers. Alexa felt like she was having some kind of out of body experience. All she could see was his face and all she could hear was her too-loud breathing and pounding heartbeat. Finally freeing her of her coat, Jake hung it on the back of a chair and then gestured to her to sit down. Alexa gladly sat. She grasped the cola that was waiting for her with both hands and took a few cold welcome gulps. Jake sat down in the opposite chair and frowned at her.

"You okay?" He asked, his voice laced with concern. "You seem...distracted."

Yes - thanks to you!

She shook her head. "No, no I'm fine. I just had a bit of a mad morning. Sorry I told all the pub you'd shaved." She managed a weak smile.

Jake returned her smile. "That's okay. Just as long as I don't say it to YOU in a pub full of people!"

"JAKE!" She couldn't help but smile.

How does he always manage to do that?

"Do you know what you want?"

Oh yes...wait..what?

"Sorry?"

"To eat? What do you fancy?"

He handed her a Menu and she was pleased she could hide her flushed face behind it.

What do I fancy! Get a grip, Alexa!

"Mmm... I like the look of the steak and chips. Not had a decent steak in ages. You decided yet, Alexa?"

"Umm, Chicken Caesar Salad looks nice..."

"You still on a healthy eating kick? Have a pie!"

"I'm not on a healthy eating kick! I actually like Chicken Caesar Salad! Besides if I have a pie, I won't have space for dessert!"

"Girl after my own heart," he grinned and Alexa felt her insides melt a little more.

The waitress came up, took their orders and Alexa reluctantly gave her the Menu. She had quite liked hiding herself and her wayward thoughts behind it. She now had no option but to face him and try not to stare...or blush...or drool...

Does he have to be quite so attractive?

He raised his beer bottle to her. "Here's to your new promotion. I'm delighted you're the new Assistant Manageress. Bet that went down well with Vicki!" He smirked.

Alexa smiled. "Thank you. Yeah, with the Playscheme expansion and all these new OFSTED legislations, Sue really needed to delegate some responsibility, as she couldn't do it all on her own."

"Do you still see Vicki since she left to have a baby?"

Alexa rolled her eyes and took another sip of cola. "Oh God, yes unfortunately. She still pops in from time to time with the brat and just lets him run riot."

"Jesus. So she's still a Perra then?" He grimaced.

"Oh God yes. A leopard can't change its spots."

"Or a Dalmatian in her case."

Alexa choked on her drink.

Jake grinned. "Did she get married?"

"No."

"Figures."

"JAKE!"

"What? Seriously - who the hell would want to marry her? Which dopey bastard got her pregnant?"

Alexa tried to stifle a smile. "Do you remember Dave the Caretaker?"

Jake's mouth gaped open.

"It wasn't him! Jesus!" Alexa said in alarm. She grinned as relief flooded Jake's face. "Dave broke his arm and his son came to cover his job. He and Victoria hit it off. One minute they started going out, the next thing, she was pregnant."

"So what does this loser do?"

"He took over Dave's job about eighteen months ago, when he retired."

"Bloody match made in heaven." Jake shuddered. "What's the brat called?"

"Brayden."

"BRAYDEN? Christ! What are they - the Chav family?"

Alexa beamed. "I like to think so!"

"What about the others?" Jake asked, swigging a mouthful of beer.

"Well Sue's still Sue - still bossy, still scary and still eating men for breakfast. Kerry never returned the Christmas after you left. No warning, no explanation, nothing. Left us right in the shit. Sue finally tracked her down, working at Aldi in Shoreheath. She said childcare 'just wasn't for her.'"

Jake laughed. "She always was dense. What about the moaner? Christ - I don't remember her name. Just her incessant whining!"

"Rosie. She had a baby girl called Lily in the summer, so she left too."

"Please God, don't tell me she got married. Oh - unless he's deaf!"

Alexa shook her head and giggled. "No, it was a one night stand."

"Brilliant! That was probably all the moaning the poor bastard could stand!"

"JAKE!" Alexa was laughing now. He had perfectly voiced everything that had been in her head.

"So... how come no one snapped you up? You were far too cagey in your texts. I would have thought at the very least you'd have had one kid by now."

Alexa didn't know where to start about what had happened in her life, in the time before and since they'd last met. Luckily the waitress then arrived with their food, saving Alexa from responding.

 

"Are you in any rush to go home?" Jake asked her.

They'd had a really nice lunch and were now debating whether to have coffee. Alexa had eaten slowly, wanting to extend the lunch and her time with him, for as long as possible.

"I took the afternoon off. I was due to take it or I'd lose it. Why?"

"Well, I don't live far from here. Do you fancy coming to mine for the coffee? I'd like to talk to you a lot more and these chairs are hardly comfortable."

Oh God, go back to his? Be alone just with him in his house?

WHAT THE HELL AM I HESITATING FOR!

"Alexa?"

"Umm...y-yeah okay. I'd like that."

Jake beamed. "Great! Do you need help with your coat or can you manage it this time?"

"SO not funny!"

"Well you get organised. I'll go pay."

Alexa fished in her bag. "Oh, let me get you my half."

"This is my treat."

"But Jake..."

"My treat, Alexa." He reiterated firmly.

Alexa nodded and smiled weakly at him as he headed off and tried to give herself a pep talk.

Do not fuck this up, Alexa and let your emotions, hormones or whatever it is that is making you quiver, get the better of you. It's just coffee at Jake's house.

Just a coffee between friends.

Just the two of us having coffee...

Alone...

"You ready?"

Alexa jumped as she was dragged out of her thoughts and nodded hurriedly. Jake took her elbow and led her out into the car park. He took his key fob out of his pocket and pointed it. A small, black Mercedes beeped in response. Alexa's mouth dropped open.

"Is..is that your car?" She asked in wonder.

"Yep, that's my baby. Mercedes SLK 220. She's ten years old, but handles like a dream. I've always wanted one."

"So have I...that's why I'm driving a bloody Peugeot 207!"

Jake grinned. "So you think you can follow me to my house, in your Peugeot?"

"You're going to bomb it aren't you?" Alexa groaned.

"I would ordinarily, but not with you trying to follow me! You have enough problems with direction!"

Alexa elbowed him in the ribs and he laughed.

"I will drive slowly Alexa and keep you in my rear view mirror at all times. If we get separated, I'll pull over and wait for you. Don't worry. I'm not going anywhere."

Alexa nodded.

Oh please, please let that be true...

 

 

 

 

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