Authors: Keary Taylor
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #keary taylor, #New Adult
Copyright © 2014 Keary Taylor
EVER AFTER DRAKE
Published by Keary Taylor at
Copyright 2014 Keary Taylor
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ALSO BY KEARY
THE McCAIN SAGA
Moments of Julian
What I Didn’t
FALL OF ANGELS
Afterlife: the novelette
companion to Vindicated
THE EDEN TRILOGY
The Raid: an Eden short
The Ashes: an Eden
CONNECT WITH KEARY ONLINE
I believe in fairy tales. I believe in
happily ever after and having a true love’s first kiss after
knowing someone for only three days.
Life is depressing and boring if you
can’t open up your heart and fall fast and hard. If you can’t love
furiously, what’s the point of living? You might as well slowly
freeze to death.
Princesses never get their hearts
broken. They get the beautiful gown and the cake as big as they
are. They get glitter and sparkly shoes. But in the end, none of
that stuff matters, because they’re marrying the love of their
All my life I’ve wanted to be a
princess. I’ve fallen, I’ve loved, I’ve laughed.
This just isn’t working
out. I think we should break up. Sorry, babe.
But in the end, I always wind up with
this dead, black hole in the pit of my stomach.
This is the first time it’s come in
the form of a text message though.
My fingers hover over my phone and a
million nasty words are racing through my head. Words like telling
him what he ought to do go to himself. Things like “what the
bleepety bleep is wrong with you?!” are on the tips of my
But I can’t make those vile things
come out of my head and onto the screen.
Have a nice life,
is what I reply.
It’s my curse. I’m always too nice.
And sometimes I hate myself for that.
Because Alan deserves far worse for
breaking up with me. Via text. After being together for four weeks.
After I took him on that fantastic vacation to the
After dropping this on me the morning
of my first day at my new job.
Crap!” I hiss, looking
over at the clock and realizing I’ve got exactly forty-one minutes
until my first class starts.
I scramble for the edge of my bed,
only to have the sheets tangle around my feet. This is unfortunate
since I’m trying to stand up and cross the room. My upper half
leaves the comfort of my bed, and my lower stays put.
I crash to the ground and the wood
floor gives the back of my head a wicked
Ow,” I wince, tears
springing to my eyes.
I try very hard to convince myself
that the tears are only because my head hurts. They have nothing to
do with Alan.
No time for a shower, I slap some
deodorant on, spritz myself with some citrus body spray, and pull
on some fresh underwear. Thankfully, I set my clothes out the
previous night and pull on some dress pants and a summery
sleeveless shirt. I squint at myself in the mirror for a minute,
pulling a brush through my blond hair, wishing I had time to do
something more with it than just let it fall in soft waves. I dab
on a fresh coat of mascara; and that is all I have time
It is exactly seven paces from my
bathroom to the few cupboards and sink that make up my kitchen. The
studio apartment I moved into two weeks ago is tiny, but it’s all I
can afford for the moment. I grab a bagel from the fridge, wedge a
tube of cream cheese in it, and grab the box of stuff I put by the
front door last night.
I feel frazzled and exhausted and
slightly emotional, but at least I am out the door.
Grace, however, is not my middle name,
and I nearly trip and stumble down the two flights of stairs and
finally make it out the front doors.
I scored the best parking spot last
night and my aged red Mini Cooper is right in front of the door. At
least one thing is going right.
And leaning against my car is the one
man in the world I know will never break my heart or disappoint
Something told me this
morning that you were going to have a rough start,” Armando Riche
says with a smile. He opens the back hatch for me and I trip as I
step off the curb and the box tumbles into the back of the
You are an angel,” I say
as I right myself and accept the coffee he’s holding out. I kiss
his cheek as he does mine and he hugs me briefly. “It’s been…an
What happened?” he asks.
His eyes seem so bright and alert on this cursed morning compared
to his dark skin. Flawless skin that looks like the smooth side of
a Hershey bar. “You seem upset.”
Alan broke up with me,” I
say with a sigh as I open the passenger door and fling my purse
inside. I then turn back to Armando and cross my arms over my
chest. “Via text.”
No,” Armando says in
horror. His eyes grow wide and his mouth opens in a gigantic O of
disbelief. Classic drama queen. “That repulsive hetero
Tell me about it,” I say,
my eyes stinging again. My throat feels tight and my insides
quiver. “Ah, crap. You’ve made me cry Armie!” I wipe at my eyes
just as one tear works its way onto my cheek. “I’ve been doing so
good up to this point.”
You’re only crying
because you know I care,” he says as he pulls me into a hug. He
puts a hand on the back of my head and holds me close into his
chest. As always, he smells amazing.
Armando not only smells nice, he
dresses fantastically, has money, a pretty nice car. He is the well
paid assistant to some state senator I can never remember the name
of. His work keeps him crazy busy, but the times that I really need
him, he’s there. He listens, is always on time, never forgets my
birthday, and always offers to pay for dinner.
He’d be perfect prince material if he
I know,” I huff. He
releases me and I wipe at my cheeks again. “K, I am seriously going
to be late if I don’t leave now. Thanks for this,” I say as I lift
You’re welcome,” he says
with a smile, flashing blinding white teeth. “Now, go knock some
annoying teenagers dead. Or smart. Cause what I just said sounded
I give something that sounds like both
a sob and a laugh and walk around to the driver’s side. “Thanks
again. I love you, Armie.”
Love you too, Ray of
Kaylee.” He winks at me as I slip into the driver’s seat and start
I blow him a kiss and pull out onto
My name is Kaylee Ray. I’m
twenty-three, a recent graduate of Western Washington University,
and am scared to death for my first day as a high school history
It’s not a good sign that the halls
are already crowded and crazy when I get to the school. Students
eager and anxious for the first day of school? What are they? Over
I have to push and shove my way
through the crowd to get to my classroom. This isn’t easy to do
when you’re only one inch taller than five feet and look like you
could pass for a freshman, not a teacher.
Thankfully with the three weeks from
the time they hired me to when school started, I had enough days to
get my room set up. I got out of my apartment in Bellingham, moved
down, and started getting familiar with Woodinville High School.
Unfortunately, my room is at the far back of the building, in the
part that has yet to be remodeled.
I finally break through the crowd of
students into my classroom and nearly stumble through the
I’ll be lucky if I make it through
this day alive.
There are thirty desks in my room, all
perfectly lined up in neat rows, just as I left them last night. My
ancient metal desk sits to one side of the front of the room, all
my things neatly lined up and in their places. Ancient green and
white cabinets line the back wall, their linoleum peeling and
flaking. And at the front of the classroom is a thankfully fairly
Unthankfully, it is so high on the
wall I can only reach the lower two-thirds of the board.
Short people problems.
My heart breaks into a full on panic
sprint when the five minute warning bell sounds.
I scurry across the room and set my
box on the floor behind my desk and pull out its contents. A stack
of syllabi a mile high.
It’s something that I always remember
my teachers doing in high school, so I start writing my name out on
It’s one thing to be a student
teacher. Not that that hadn’t been terrifying. But this is all on
me. There isn’t someone more experienced that can come swoop in and
save me from destruction and humiliation at any moment.
There isn’t anyone coming to my
I set the marker down and turn around
as the first two students drift through the door.
I know I’m really freaking out when I
notice some kind of crumb on the floor toward the back of the room
and it starts driving me so crazy I have to pick it up.