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Just One Kiss

A Black Alcove Novel

Jami Wagner

Also by Jami Wagner

Date in the Dark (A Novella)

Just One Kiss

Copyright © 2015 by Jami Wagner

Distributed by Smashwords

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a review.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Cover: Christa Holland, Paper and Sage Design, paperandsage.com

Editor: Julie Sturgeon, CEO Editor, ceoeditor.com

Formatting: Jesse Gordon, a Darned Good Book, adarnedgoodbook.com

Visit my website: jami-wagner.com

ISBN -13: 978-1515037651

About Just One Kiss

A first kiss is hard to forget—and Kelsey Brian’s just walked into the bar where she works and isn’t planning to leave anytime soon. It figures. With her last semester of college finally here, Kelsey can’t wait to finish the year smoothly and start a new chapter. She doesn’t need to drive over yet another bump in the road.

Ethan Connelly has spent most of his adult life trying to be accepted by his father, and now he has the chance to make him proud. He’s also just stepped into another chance with the girl who got away. Deciding who matters most to him isn’t an easy choice. If he picks his father, he’ll lose her again—if he picks her, everything he’s worked for will be for nothing.

Can Kelsey learn to trust him, or will Ethan’s secret of why he’s really back in town tear them apart?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page

More Books by Jami Wagner

Copyright Page

About the book

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Epilogue

Thank You

Acknowledgements

First Chapter of Date in the Dark

About the Author

Chapter One

Kelsey

There’s no point in making a plan because somehow it always manages to fall apart.

“I’m sorry, could you please repeat that?” I ask, even though I heard her loud and clear the first time.

Sara Connelly did not just tell me that in less than thirty days she’ll be leaving on some “extended” vacation to finally travel the world — those are the exact words she used. Throw in the fact that she isn’t sure when she’ll be back, she isn’t leaving me in charge of the bar while she’s away, and someone else will be making my schedule, this doesn’t look good for me. I can’t decide whether to be relieved that she isn’t adding to my newfound stress or hurt by her choice, seeing as a huge piece of my plan just went to shit.

“Any particular reason you made this choice?” I ask.

She just shakes her head.

After Sara graduated college at twenty-one—thanks to early college classes she took while still in high school—her father gave her The Bar. Sara hated that name, so she had a reopening and renamed it The Black Alcove. Except everyone refers to it as the BA, which is fitting because it’s been a year since she took over and the entire place is pretty badass.

That also means I’ve been the bar manager for the last year. I know my way around this place better than I do our apartment. I can do anything she can do, and sometimes better. A new boss could and more than likely will ruin my already polished class schedule.

I stop slicing the lime in my hand, set the knife calmly on the bar top in front of me, and focus on her. Sara hasn’t made eye contact with me once since she shared her announcement. She’s not telling me something. She’s sitting on one of the high-top stools at the other side of the bar, planning the next week’s work schedule. She looks up from her papers and her long, blonde curls fall around her guilty face. Big, blue eyes look everywhere but at me before returning to the calendar lying in front of her. She clicks her pen twice before she says anything.

“Come on, Kelsey, this is your final semester of college. Do you really want to be running a bar and going to class?” She glances up. “Besides, we both know you hate working in general, and if I can’t rely on you to show up on time to bartend the 3:00 p.m. shift, there’s no way you can manage this place for a whole a year while I’m gone.”

A whole year! I thought she didn’t know how long she was going to be gone.

I let out a small huff, grabbing the knife and cutting into the green ball in front of me a bit more harshly than I should, all while cursing at how well she knows me. It’s true. I hate being told what to do and when and where I need to be somewhere. I hate working. Correction – I hate working on a schedule someone else has made for me – even if it works around my classes –

and rules are my enemy.

Yet here I am, about to graduate with a degree in accounting, which has nothing to with writing, my dream job. Writing would let me be anywhere at any time and be happy. Accounting will do nothing but give me a job where I’ll have to work eight to five behind a desk. I’ll probably work harder than I do as a bartender while making half the money. And that says something, because life as a bartender can be pretty intense work. What was I thinking?

Make Daddy proud. Maybe an accounting degree will get him to notice you. That’s what I was thinking.

“I’m only late because I get lost in my studies.” My voice is cheery and exaggerated.

“Ha, yeah okay, studies. I wasn’t aware you were majoring in how to take the longest naps ever,” she says, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

I give her my best sad face, bottom lip out and all. I can’t help it when I fall asleep from a boring textbook. Hand me a romance novel or some suspense, and I’ll pull an all-nighter.

“But the main reason I’m not leaving you in charge is because you stress easily. I don’t want you becoming too overwhelmed this semester. It’s your last one. Enjoy it.”

That’s sweet of her. But I still think she’s holding back information.

The idea of new management terrifies me. I admit I need someone who can cut me some slack— college isn’t as easy as some people make it look.

“Who is your replacement, and what if they fire me while you’re gone because they don’t know how I work? They don’t know me like you, and they won’t ‘let it slide’ on account of the best friend rule.”

It’s quite simple: We always forgive each other no matter what and we don’t judge each other or do anything that would cause the other to fail in life. Hence, if she fired me, I would fail in helping pay our rent.

     

 

2011 - 2018