They are two strangers, struggling from day to day—one trying to overcome the past, while the other hides behind it.
Just when Tripp Alexander thinks he has everything figured out and nothing can stop him, a swift dose of reality plants his feet firmly on the ground. Maybe a little too close to six feet under.
Loren Jenson knows heartache. Circumstances from her past have tarnished her outlook on life, making her feel like her future has been pulled out from under her. That is, until a boy with deep green eyes and a shy smile falls into her life, bringing with him a connection she can't deny.
Will they be able to trust enough to share their secrets and accept one another, despite what they've been through? Or will the truth about their pasts derail the chance fate has handed them?
How do you allow yourself to live out the life set before you when you are the other one?
From the belly of the kitchen, the chime on the front door can be heard, signaling a customer’s arrival. It’s then I realize I’m still standing in the spot Wyatt left me. Everyone else is busy with their jobs, zipping around, oblivious to my presence. So, I turn my gaze to my feet and walk back through the swinging doors.
As I pass through to the dining area, movement catches my attention. Wanting a glimpse at what my job will be like, I pause; thinking a waiter or waitress will be coming any second. Turning my head just a little, I watch as a young woman slides into a booth, all the way to the inside as if she’s making room for someone to sit next to her. Her eyes are focused on the window, never looking down or at a menu, and I can’t help but stand there and stare at her.
A throat clears, making me jump, and I don’t know if I should feel relieved or embarrassed to see Wyatt standing behind me.
“She’s a regular,” he tells me, looking over at the same girl. “She comes in every Thursday and sits in that same booth, but she doesn’t order or say much. We just leave her be.”
“Okay,” I say as Wyatt leaves me standing. For some reason, my eyes are still on the girl. It seems like a strange thing for someone to do—come and sit at a café, but never order anything—but I’m sure she has her reasons, and to be honest, I’m happy to know I’ll have at least one easy customer.
I can do this.
As I head for the front door, I give my future non-customer one last glance. I expect her to continue staring out the window, so when she turns around and our eyes meet, it catches me off guard. My body freezes—not just because she makes eye contact or for the fact that she’s beautiful, but also because I don’t think I’ve ever seen eyes quite as sad as hers. They’re dark and deep and full of unshed emotion. Something about them—her—makes my heart clench. I haven’t had a reaction like this to a girl in a long time. The feeling practically levels me.
Quickly, I turn away, averting my gaze back to the floor and forcing my feet forward. The second my hand is on the doorknob, my pulse begins to race, and beads of sweat break out on my forehead, sure signs of a panic attack looming over me like a ticking time bomb.
About the Author
Jiffy Kate is the joint pen name for Jiff Simpson and Jenny Kate Altman.
Jiff was born and raised in Louisiana. She’s now living in Texas with her two teenagers and two bulldogs, Georgia Rose and Jake. She loves purple, 80’s movies, and geeking out at Comic Cons.
Jenny Kate was born and raised in Oklahoma. She’s the mom of a twelve-year-old and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Wrigley and Oliver. She loves Kris Bryant, the Chicago Cubs, and coffee.
Some people think they’ve been friends forever, but in reality, they’ve only known each other for five years. Four of those years, they’ve spent spinning tales and writing words. Their first published book, Finding Focus, was released in November 2015, and the second book of the series, Chasing Castles, was released in August 2016.
If you like a romance set in the south, then you’ll love their southern fried fiction with heart and soul.