Romance

Meeting Him in Between

Cristina Cools

A year after her dad’s death, Laurie is feeling stuck in life. When her best friend Mace takes a job in New York, she convinces Laurie to join her. Laurie has always wanted to work in publishing, and she decides to seek out her dream job in the big city. At a party she winds up having a sexy encounter with a man, only to meet him again at a job interview—where he’s the one hiring. She’s determined not to work for him, but he arrogantly assures her, “You will work for me, little kitten.”

Age Rating 18+

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Meeting Him in Between - Book cover
Romance

Meeting Him in Between

Cristina Cools

A year after her dad’s death, Laurie is feeling stuck in life. When her best friend Mace takes a job in New York, she convinces Laurie to join her. Laurie has always wanted to work in publishing, and she decides to seek out her dream job in the big city. At a party she winds up having a sexy encounter with a man, only to meet him again at a job interview—where he’s the one hiring. She’s determined not to work for him, but he arrogantly assures her, “You will work for me, little kitten.”

Age Rating 18+

1: Chapter 1

LAURIE

“Do something with your life,” my dad had said to me. What was the meaning of that? How could I live without him? So many questions with no answers. I couldn’t live like this anymore.

Waking up, washing, and dressing. Opening my dad’s small bookstore to greet the regular customers. Sounded like heaven for some people, but this wasn’t the life I wanted to live anymore.

I was unhappy with my life. So many dreams washed away when my dad passed away a year ago.

“I’m so proud of the woman you have become, Laurie. You are strong and passionate. Don’t let anyone take that strength away. I’m dying. That’s my path, but it isn’t yours, sweetheart.

“You don’t have to stop living because of me. I want you to sell my bookstore and follow your dreams. You will be unhappy if you stay here.

“It’s going to be hard to let you go, but I will always stay by your side every step you make in life. That’s a promise, my sweet girl. Come and give me a big hug. I will love you forever.”

These were his last words before he silently passed away in his sleep, right in my arms. I cried for months. Didn’t know how to live my life without him.

Now, my life was an automatic impulse. I did everything because I must, not because I liked it or wanted it. I just did it without complaining, because that’s how my dad raised me.

I was a strong and independent woman.

I was looking through the large window of the bookstore when somebody walked in. A big smile appeared on my face. Yes, she was my sun for sure.

“Hi, Mace,” I greeted her from behind my desk.

“Hi, girl. Oh, what are you wearing?” she complained.

“Leggings and a sweater; what’s wrong with that, anyway?” I asked her with a frown.

“The leggings are great; you have the ass for those, but the sweater is way too large for you,” Mace informed me with a smirk on her face.

“You are a bitch. You know that, right?” I laughed.

“Yes, I am,” she laughed at my response. “So, I have some good news and some bad news,” she said, excited.

“Okay, give me the good news first.”

“You know I had a lot of interviews the past few weeks, and I got a response from my first choice, actually.” I nodded so she could continue talking.

“Well, they want me as their new employee,” she said with a wide grin.

“Wow, that’s awesome babe. Congratulations!” I squealed while hugging her. “So what’s the bad news then?” I questioned her quietly.

“The company wants me to move to New York. They have opened a new business there, and they want me to work there,” Macy murmured.

“Oh, okay, yeah. I don’t know what to say.” I was silent for a moment. New York was so far away. But she needed to follow her dreams. “I’m happy for you, Mace, but I’m going to miss you.”

“I have been thinking a lot lately, and I know you aren’t happy here. Why don’t you come with me? We can live together, you know. You can get interviews there.

“I’m pretty sure you will get a job there, with your degree.”

“I don’t know, Mace. I can’t leave the store behind. Dad worked so hard to build it up from scratch. Isn’t it selfish to sell the last thing I have from him?”

“Of course not, Laurie. How can you even think that way about yourself? You are the most genuine, caring, and hard-working girl I’ve ever met. I just want you to be happy.

“You gave up so much when you took care of your dad. And even now he’s gone, you are still caring for his store. This isn’t what he had wanted for you,” she explained to me carefully.

“I don’t know what to do, Macy. I miss him so much,” I said while my tears made their way down.

“I know girl, I know, but eventually you will be feeling better. Just come with me. At least think about it, okay?” She caressed my arm gently.

“Okay, I will. Thanks for being my best friend. I love you so much,” I said with a small smile. I hugged her one last time, and Macy left, leaving me alone with my thoughts.

What should I do now? She’s everything I have here. My mother passed away when I was two years old. She had had a heart attack. My dad had raised me on his own, so I’d only had him and Macy.

I hadn’t had other friends back at school. Macy was the only one who truly knew me and accepted me for who I was.

Macy was very tall and slim. With her long blonde hair, men were regularly falling at her feet. But she didn’t want a relationship.

Why have a commitment when every weekend you can have a new, hot guy in your bed, she had said to me with a wide grin.

I had been such a prude. Instead of partying on the weekends, I worked in a small bakery and worked for school. After a few years of hard work, I received my degree.

I always loved writing, reading, exploring unfamiliar words. I was very good at finding new authors with promising stories. I always helped a few classmates with their tasks when they needed help.

That was just me, always seeking the good in people. Always wanting to help where I could.

My teachers had told me I should work for a publisher, because I could recognize talent early. I was even a very talented writer, but I never had enough time to write my book.

Maybe someday I could try it again, but for now, I needed to make a choice.

This wasn’t what I wanted for my life. I’d studied so hard because I wanted a career of my own. Working hard for what I wanted to be had always been my goal.

Macy was right. My dad wouldn’t have been happy to see me this way. Maybe I had to find someone for my dad’s bookstore who would care for it, just like I always had.

Maybe then I could start my life over. I was twenty-eight years old, but I often felt a lot older. Before you know, life will be over, my dad had always told me.

I had to listen to my dad’s wishes. He knew me better than I knew myself. It would be scary as hell, but I would take the step and move on with my life.

It was time to think about my happiness now.

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