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Authors: Scarlett Dawn

Just One Sip

BOOK: Just One Sip
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Just One Sip
Copyright 2015 Scarlett Dawn
First Edition
All rights reserved as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. No part of these publications may be reproduced, distributed, transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior permission of the Author. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the publisher.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Cover by
ShoutLines Design
and Jennifer Stevens
Formatting by
ShoutLines Design
Edit:
Rogena Mitchell-Jones Manuscript Services

To Aunt Debbie,

Thank you so much for opening your home to me when I needed it the most.

And to all the times you did when I was a child.

Just One Family,

S.D.

T
ABLE OF
C
ONTENTS

Copyright

Dedication

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

 

About The Club

 

Preview of Fall

Preview of the Obsidian Liquor

 

About the Author

January 10, 2015 – Present Day – Age 24

Jet Mak stood on my
welcome
mat. The one man I could never say no to. He appeared a few years older than when I had last seen him—when I had left for college. But at twenty-four years old, he was still as strikingly handsome as I remembered.

Staring at him, I wondered if he would say the same about me.

His expression remained impassive while he leaned against the doorframe to my small apartment, his hands buried deep in his pants pockets. He hadn’t said a word yet. The only indication he was here to see me had been his rough knock on my front door. His ice blue gaze ran over my features as I self-consciously patted at my shoulder length blonde hair. I knew it was a mess, having just woke from an afternoon nap.

Still, he said nothing. Just waited.

I cleared my throat and nudged a moving box to the side with my foot, allowing him room to come inside. “The place is a disaster right now.” He had found me. I had only been back in Karim, Texas for two days…and he had already tracked me down. It scared me. And thrilled me. “You can come in if you want, though.”

He hummed quietly, keeping eye contact as he stepped inside. It was difficult to breathe when he looked at me like that. He
hadn’t
forgotten about me in the six years I had been gone.

With only our phone calls to hold us over, I had feared he would.

This man…he was it for me. I knew that now.

Shutting the door behind him, I rubbed at the back of my neck. “How have you been?”

He deigned to speak. “Fine.”

I stared. It was my turn to wait. He had come here after all. He could give me more than a one-word answer. I even crossed my arms and raised a blonde brow.

He snorted, taking the hint. “My people said they’d spotted you.” Ice blues, so cold and analytical, gauged me. “If you were back in town, why didn’t you call?”

I sighed and waved my hands around my small apartment. “I’ve been busy unpacking.” My brows slowly furrowed as I brought my gaze back to his. “Your
people
?”

His attention altered from mine to the many boxes lying around my living room. He began walking the room, eyeing items I had unpacked and peering into open boxes that I had yet to find a home for on an empty shelf. “You know my father died last year. Things have changed. Shifted.”

My lips pinched. “You’ve taken over the family business?”

He did glance at me then. “You knew I would.” He shrugged a shoulder under his pristine suit jacket, his blue tie gently swaying across his crisp white shirt. “I’ve started a few of my own companies, too—expanding on the Mak legacy.”

I barely kept from rolling my eyes. “Only you would say
legacy
as if it were a prize.”

No reaction. “It is what it is.”

I inhaled slowly and quickly pulled the hair tie from around my wrist and dragged my hair up into a short ponytail. I realized what I had said was rude too late. “I am sorry about your father passing.” Of course, I was. Jet had loved his father.

So emotionless. “Thank you.” He glanced at my hair now sitting high on my head, then slowly down to my neck. His first reaction…his black brows puckered. “And I’m sorry that your grandmother died.”

No, he wasn’t. I knew that. He knew that I knew that.

Her death had brought me home to Karim—where he was.

I still managed to say, “Thank you. I’m gonna miss her.” I would. Terribly.

Before my grandma had become sick with cancer, she had been a bright beacon of light. She had offered me her home to stay in while I went to college out of state in Kansas.

I had graduated…and she had taken a turn for the worse.

I stayed to take care of her until her last breath. It hadn’t been easy. No one should see their loved one’s body break down like her’s had. It wasn’t an experience I wanted to repeat anytime soon.

His eyes tracked over my features. “Hmm.”

The quiet that descended upon us wasn’t uncomfortable. It never had been. He was content with it, as was I. One of the reasons why we had always…clicked.

My head tilted the barest bit in question while he continued peeking in boxes. “Did you come by to see me or to check out my goods?” As meager as they were.

He opened a small trinket box on top of the fireplace, evaluating the inside. “Both.”

I blinked. “Oh.” My gut churned, making me nauseous. I kept my voice from wavering at the slight hurt his answer had caused. “What are you looking for?”

His gaze slammed to mine. He had always been able to read me. “I wanted to see you.”

My lips tugged up at the edges, a small smile. “Good.”

Again, his brows puckered as he glanced at my neck. “But I do need something back I gave you a long time ago,” he pointed at his neck, and then to mine, “although you don’t seem to be wearing it any longer.”

I lifted a hand to my neck…feeling where the necklace no longer lay. My jaw dropped, and I hurriedly peered around the living room floor. “The clasp has been slipping on it. It must have come off when I was sleeping. I’ll be back in a second.” I walked quickly to my bedroom, holding my stomach the whole way. He wanted it back. He had
never
asked for it back.

I stalled in my actions to search my bed sheets when he came into my bedroom. He surveyed my room, the one area I had actually been able to unpack. His gaze caught on the prescription bottle on my dresser, but he swiftly looked away to find my gaze. “I recently found out it was a gift from my father to my mother. I had no clue when I gave it to you.”

My eyes widened. “She told you about it?”

“In one of her lucid moments.”

I went back to searching. “Jesus, I’m sorry.”

He was quiet, and when he spoke, his words were soft. “I’ll buy you another.”

My hands faltered just as I found the necklace under my pillow. I couldn’t look at him, not yet. I might be testing him. His feelings. “You don’t have to, Jet. You gave this to me when we were just kids.”

“Lucy, it’s always been you. And when you’re ready, I’ll buy you one ten times more grand.”

Gradually, I lifted. My hands shook so badly that it was embarrassing as I pulled the ring off the chain. Silently, I gave the blue sapphire ring to him. The hue of the ring matched his hair color. With his dark Italian ancestry, his constant change of hair color—the one outrageous action he allowed himself—was vivid against his bronze complexion. His fingers were warm as they curled around mine, gently accepting the ring from me.

And there it was. The break in his stony countenance. One of the reasons why I would never be able to say no to him. He only gifted me his smile. Small it might be at times, but his lips would curl up on one side, flashing his white teeth…and the dimples he had. Sweet, so sweet. His tone was tender as he murmured quietly, “I’ve missed you, Lucy Plume.”

I pulled my hand back to the safety of my pants pockets. “I’ve missed you too, Jet Mak.”

December 20, 2005 - Age 15

“What?” Jet asked as his cheeks flushed a deep crimson. “You aren’t coming with me
again
?”

Ice pricked between my shoulder blades. I would much rather be holed up under my blankets than have this conversation. My voice was small, just like I felt at this moment. “No, I can’t.”

“Give me a goddamn explanation, Lucy! For once, just give me an answer!”

I didn’t have one to give him. I was at a loss. I
felt
lost. “I just…can’t.”

He ran his hands through his pink hair in frustration. “I don’t understand.” He paced the living room, my mom in the kitchen trying to give us privacy. Though, if Jet became any louder, I feared she would come in to intervene. He shook his hands at me, showing the most expression I think I had ever seen from him. “It’s just my family and their friends.” He pointed a sharp finger at our tree decorated with homemade ornaments. “It’s a Christmas party, for fucks sake!”

I closed my eyes, trying to keep the tears at bay. “Jet, it’s not you. Or your family.” I held a hand to my head that was screaming at me to run up to my room. To hide. To be
alone
. “I just can’t be around so many people right now. I need my space.”

He growled under his breath. “My family will start to take offense to this, Lucy.”

His family was frightening, their ties to this city strung so tight even the Mayor was sitting nice and pretty in the Mak’s back pocket. That was what money and long-standing Karim heritage will do. The Mak’s owned damn near half the city. Too bad it was my own fears that took precedent, even over the fact that I would piss off his family. I whispered, “I’m sorry, Jet. I just can’t go tonight.”

Rubbing his hands over his face, he stared, his ice blue gaze tracking over my upset features. Then his feet were moving, stalking toward me. I held still as he stopped right before me. In a sweet and tender motion, his hands cupped my cheeks like I would break. His thumb brushed away a tear that had escaped. Quietly, he pleaded, “Lucy, my mom… She’s been acting different lately. I don’t know what’s wrong with her. She’s been forgetting things.” His ice blues beseeched me to give in. “I need you there with me tonight. I don’t know what to do when she’s like that.”

BOOK: Just One Sip
3.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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