Business Among Friends - Book cover

Business Among Friends

J.A. White

Age Rating


A Roommate FWB Spin-Off

Katie manages a very popular restaurant. After three failed marriages, she’s done with dating—until her assistant puts her back in the game. She agrees to a date with Justin and is caught off guard by their explosive chemistry. She’s terrified of being hurt again, but can they be satisfied being friends with benefits?

Age Rating: 18+

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Chapter 1

A Roommate FWB Spin-Off


Most mornings I wake up around 5 a.m. On Sundays, I may sleep in until 7 a.m.

I get up and take a shower. I usually make a pot of coffee. I drink one cup, two if I want a little pep in my step, while going over my day planner and getting ready for work.

I guess it became a habit to make a whole pot every day when Robert was alive. That man could drink coffee like water, and it was always black.

I’ve been working as a restaurant manager for almost six years. The restaurant is located a couple miles south from the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Whenever there is a race in town, you can count on us being slammed all weekend long. Sometimes we stay open longer for the race crowd.

We’ve seen a couple famous drivers come in. I think their names were Tony Stewart and Clint Boyer. We get some of the basketball and hockey crowd in there too.

Ever since Robert died about a year ago, I’ve been working almost every day. The restaurant is my second home. My employees are like my children, so in a sense this is my second family.

I pull into my parking spot at the restaurant around 7 a.m. and see Christine is already there. She is my right hand for everything as my assistant.

I can guarantee, as soon as I walk into the back door and she sees me, she’s going to say, “You know, you don’t have to be here this early. I know everything you do.”

I put the key in the door and open it, and there she is standing there with her hands on her hips.

“You know, you don’t have to be here this early,” she says.

“I know, but this is my routine. I like my routine,” I tell her as I walk into my office. I put down my bag and pull out my computer, bending over to plug it in.

“I got a call from Patty this morning. She said she wouldn’t be in today. She thinks she has the clap,” Christine says, laughing.

“I don’t think she knows what the clap is. She’s a virgin and probably has a cold sore on her lip.” I call out my office door.

“Well, if she would stop kissing the dishwasher, maybe she won’t get lip clap.” Christine chuckles. “Have you checked your email today?”

“I checked it this morning. Bobby is going to be late today. He says he needs a two-week order, so I guess we need to double our grocery order.”

“No, I meant your personal email,” she says.

“No, why?” I ask, and don’t hear an answer. I pull up my personal email, and the first thing that pops up says, “Date confirmed. Thank you, Katie.”

“CHRISTINE! What the hell did you do?” I scream.

She slowly slinks her way into my office with a big smile on her face. “You got a hit on your profile last night,” she says.

“I told you I wasn’t ready to date anyone yet. I’m perfectly happy the way my life is right now. I don’t need to worry about if he’s happy or I’m happy.

“I don’t want to tip toe through a relationship,” I say with my arms crossed.

“I know, but you need to get back on the horse. It’s been almost a year since Robert died,” she says.

“Don’t you lecture me about when I should get back on the horse.”

“Come on, KD. It wasn’t your fault he died fucking you. He had a bad heart that he forgot to tell you about,” she says, laughing.

At the time it wasn’t funny. It scared me. But listening to her makes me laugh about the whole thing.

“Yeah, I know. But I’m still not ready to date yet.”

“Just take a look at his profile,” Christine says as she walks over to me and clicks the email. “Let’s take a look.” She right clicks his profile.

“Justin M. 44, divorced, with one girl, 19, in college. He likes traveling, hiking, and long walks on the beach,” Christine says with a grin, pointing at the screen.

“Do you know that every profile I looked at said long walks on the beach?” I grumble as I point to the screen.

“I don’t like sand. It goes in places it should never go, especially in places where the sun don’t shine.”

“Just give it a try,” she says.

“Fine. When are we meeting?”

“Tomorrow at eight,” she says as she runs out of my office.

“Tomorrow? Where are we meeting, Cupid?”

“Here,” she says as she pops her head back in my door.

“You’re fired.”

“Love you too,” she says.


I’m in my office working on the schedule for next week when the phone on my desk beeps. “Yes?”

“Bobby from Meadows Food Service is here,” Christine says.

“Thanks, put him at the back table and see if he wants anything to eat.”

“Will do.” I hear the line click.

I grab my clipboards and calculator and head out to the dining room. Bobby’s there, pulling out his computer loading the program for the restaurant.

“Bobby. Good to see you. You about ready?” I ask.

“I’m always ready for you,” he says.

“No, you idiot. The wedding! You’re getting married this weekend, right?”

“Oh yeah, the wedding. I thought you meant something else,” he says.

“I bet. Is this why you need a two-week order?” I ask.

“It is. My boss got Donna and I a room for a whole week in the Virgin Islands as a wedding gift,” he says.

“Well that was generous of him,” I tell him.

Bobby goes into his computer and starts rattling off specials and promotions. I begin to give him my order, and right away I start to daydream.

“KD, are you okay?” he asks.

“Huh? Yeah, I’m fine. I got something on my mind.”

“Care to share?” he says as he closes his laptop.

“Christine thinks I need to get out and start dating again. So she put me in this dating app a while back, like six months ago. I totally forgot about the app. It got a hit last night.

“So Christine thought it would be funny and confirmed the date for a meet and greet here tomorrow night at eight.

“I just don’t know if I want to do it. I don’t think I’m ready to date. I know it’s been over a year since he passed, but this is my house.”

“Okay, what’s the worst thing that could happen? If he does anything you don’t like, call it off. Send him on his way. This is your house. Delete his name or take yourself off the market.

“I’ve known you for a couple of years now, and I remember what you went through. But you do pretty much live here, and these are your children. Getting out every once in a while isn’t a bad idea.

“I’m with Christine on this one. Don’t be mad at her, she’s trying to look out for you,” he says with a caring expression.

“You know she’s old enough to be my daughter, but I guess you’re right. What could it hurt?”

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