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Authors: Ms. Carla Krae

Kissed

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KISSED

 

One kiss ignites
chemistry and passion they can’t ignore, but is this only a summer fling?

Neighbors.
 
Best friends
.
 
It was only a crush Beth harbored for Jacob
until she was eighteen.
 
Until London.

Neighbors.
 
Best friends
.
 
That was all Jacob thought of her until London.
 
Until she kissed him and
stole his heart.

It's funny what
Geometry class and a shared backyard wall can bring about.
 
With a two-year age difference, Beth and
Jacob were firmly in the Friend Zone during high school, but a pre-college trip
to London will
change their lives forever.

Kissed
is the first of five books in the
My Once and Future Love Revisited
series exploring Beth and Jacob’s relationship with all its joys, flaws, and
heartache.
 
New Adult
Contemporary Romance saga.

 

By Carla Krae

Published by Willowick Publishing

Copyright 2013
Carla Krae

The right of Carla Krae to be identified as the
Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright,
Designs and Patents Act 1988.

This book is a
work of fiction.
 
The names, characters,
places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been
used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real.
 
Any resemblance to persons, living or dead,
actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

All Rights Are
Reserved.
 
No part of this book may be
used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except
in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

About This Edition

 

The new editing
and revision is part of a change to the whole
My Once and Future Love
series, now
My Once and Future Love Revisited
.
 
Willowick Publishing will be releasing this newly-edited series as four
novellas and one final novel.
 
New
content has also been added to the series.
 
These releases will debut in paperback form first, starting with
Kissed
.

 

My
Once and Future Love Revisited
series:

 

Paperback
release dates
:

Kissed
– Nov. 3, 2013

Betrayed
– Dec. 1, 2013

Forgiven
– Feb. 2, 2014

Loved
– April 6, 2014

Book
#5 – coming 2014

 

E-book
release dates
:

Kissed
– Dec. 1, 2013

Betrayed
– Jan. 5, 2014

Forgiven
– Feb. 2, 2014

Loved
– April 6, 2014

Book
#5 – coming 2014

 

Stand-alone
stories
:

Dylan
and Jen – Dec. 24, 2013

 

Prologue

Christmas Day 2011

There were voices
in the hall.
 

Beth ignored them.
 
It was only her sister-in-law Darcy, and
Dad.
 
Darcy got up with the baby, and
Daddy never slept past 6:00AM unless he was deathly ill.
 
She wished they’d move further away from her
room, though.
 
She wasn’t a deep sleeper.

Managing to drift
off again, she didn’t notice when someone opened the door a couple hours
later.
 
They crept in, leaving the door
ajar, and sat down by the side of the bed near her face, waiting for her to
sense their presence.

Patience must’ve
been short.
 

Buh
!
Buh
,
Buh
!”

Beth yawned.
 
“Hey, munchkin…how’d you get in here?”
 
Baby Sarah smiled a toothless grin and
gurgled happily.
 
“Hey,
somebody?
Escapee baby in here!”

She didn’t have
her glasses on and rolled over when a male figure came in to get Sarah.
 
The door closed a second later.
 
“Too early for Christmas,” she mumbled in the
darkness.

“It’s nearing
nine, lazy bones,” a voice softly said.

Can’t be

 
“I’m dreaming…”

“In
Rudolph
pajamas?” the voice countered.

Her eyes shot
open.
 
“It’s possible.”

“Is it possible to
dream with you, love?”


Ohmigod
.”
 

Beth rolled over
and came face-to-face with the source.
 
Only one person in the world called her “love” like that!
 
“Are you here?” she whispered, afraid she
really was dreaming.

“You tell me,” he
said, then kissed her.
 
A kiss of two months’ pent-up passion.

She felt tears
running down her face, but she wasn’t going to let him go for a second to wipe them
away.
 
He seemed to read her thought, his
hands coming up to her face, his thumbs brushing the tracks away under her
eyes.
 
She slid off the bed into his lap,
wrapping her body around his.
 
“How?” she
gasped into his mouth.

Jacob only pulled
back far enough to break the kiss.
 
“I had
to come. We’re on traveling days, and I finally said
screw it
—we’re going to see our families one damn bloody day out of
the year. You have me for twenty-four hours.”

“I’ll take it!
God, I’ve missed you!”

He kissed her
again.
 
“Missed you,
too…so much.
I love you.”

“I love you, too.”


Bethie
…”
 
He said her name with enough reverence to break her heart.
 
“Again?”

“I love you,
Jacob.”
 
Huh, not so scary the second time
.
 
“I have for so long. I just didn’t have the words.”

“Think your dad
would kill me if I shagged you right now?”

She giggled.
 
“Save it for later, big boy. I don’t want an
audience.”

He sighed,
then
she felt him smile as wide as his face would go.
 
“Happy Christmas,
sweetheart.”

“Mmm. Best
Christmas ever.”

They would’ve
stayed wrapped around each other on the guest bedroom floor indefinitely, but
it was only a few minutes later when someone coughed very loudly outside the
door.
 
Point taken, they reluctantly
parted.
 

Beth opened the
door to find her whole family eavesdropping in the hall.
 
“Something I can help you with?”

“Nope, just
passing by,” Darcy said,
then
winked.

Dad looked very
relieved to find them both still fully clothed.
 
Beth stifled a laugh as they went back to the living room.
 
Jacob glanced at her and snickered, just as
amused.

“Get
dressed, woman.
I have presents.”

She pouted.
 
“But yours is at home.”

“Correction, I
already got mine.”

She blushed.
 
“Oh. Yeah. Gee, if I’d known you
were
that
easy to
please…”

“Hush, vixen, or I
withhold your gifts until
next
Christmas.”

Miming zipping her
lips shut, she batted her eyelashes, trying to look innocent.
 
He rolled his eyes and wagged his finger at
her.
 
She stepped back in the bedroom and
closed the door before he could tickle her into submission.

Keeping their hands
off each other in front of her family proved difficult.
 
And
frustrating
.
 
The
normal holiday rituals of Christmas breakfast and Christmas dinner and
everything else in between seemed to take
forever.
 
And to top it off, Andrew and Darcy
apparently shared a tradition with their neighbors of having the whole town
stop by to say hello!

Well, it
felt
like the whole town.

Jacob settled into
the routine fairly quickly, though.
 
Ironically, it was Beth that sat there jittery and looking for the
quickest opportunity to pull him into a closet.
 
Couldn’t she get five minutes alone to grope her man?
 
It amused him greatly to see her so
frustrated.

That lasted until
they were left in the living room alone for a few minutes.
 
He motioned her over to the window seat, out
of direct line of sight, and kissed her breathless.

“What was that
for?” she asked happily.

“Opportunity.
Listen…”
 
He fidgeted with a small box he’d produced
from somewhere.
 
“I wanted to give you
this. We can exchange the rest at home, but I couldn’t wait.”
 
He handed over the box.

It was light blue,
and her eyes widened.
 
“Jacob, this is—

 
Tiffany
Co.

“Just open it.”

She slid the white
ribbon off and removed the lid.
 
Inside
was a silver fob with one key on the ring.
 
“A key?”

“My
key.
Don’t wig out—I’m not asking for anything, I… I want you to know
you’re welcome in my home just as much as before, only—”

She stopped his
rambling with her fingers on his lips, and smiled.
 
“I understand. Thank you.”

He let out a
relieved breath and drew her into a hug.
 
“Merry Christmas, Beth.”

“Merry
Christmas, Jacob.
I’m so glad you came.”

She laced fingers
with his and led him into the kitchen where her family was sneaking cookies.

Out of bedrooms,
Darcy put Jacob on the couch for the night.
 
Once the others were asleep, Beth snuck out to the living room and
snuggled up to him under the blanket.

“Mmm, my Bethie…”

“Didn’t mean to
wake you,” she whispered.

He yawned.
 
“Didn’t.
I’m still
on Russian time.”

She caressed his
face.
 
“Sleep if you want to. I just
wanted to be close while you’re here.”

“I love you.”
 
He raised his head up to kiss her.

“Love you, too.”

She laid her head
on his chest and slept better than she had in weeks.
 
He would have to leave in the morning, but it
was only for a week, and then…well, so started her life with a rock star.

 

Chapter One

1998

Mum’s
latest idea of punishment was public school.
 
The private academy asked him not to come back when the tenth grade term
ended and she wasn’t going to pay for him to “act like a hooligan” at another
school.

Didn’t
make him
miss
England less.
 
Why she moved them back to California and away from all his friends and
the familiar, he still didn’t know.
 
They
left Los Angeles when he was ten and after four years in London, he finally
felt at home, then yank—right back across the Atlantic and a whole ‘
nother
country again.
 
Felt like a bleedin’ yoyo.
 
So he
acted up a bit at school—what did she expect?

London gave him his
identity.
 
At twelve, he discovered punk
and metal and devoured every disc he could get his hands on, much to the Head
Boy’s chagrin.
 
What better appealed to a
teenager than loud music and authority-shunning lyrics?
 
These California
prep school brats didn’t understand.
 
They thought punk was
Green Day
.
 
Needed a bath just from
thinkin’ of it.

So,
anyway, here he was at a new school
again
with no friends or allies and
prob’ly
stickin

out like
a sore thumb.

Jacob
snuck in the house, trying to get to his room without being noticed.

“Jacob…how
was your first day?”

He
sighed and walked into his mother’s bedroom.
 
“Every teacher but one had me introduce myself.”

She
looked up from her needlepoint.
 
“Did you
make any friends? You’re welcome to have guests provided your homework is done
first.”

“I
had friends. You keep pulling me away from them.”

“Don’t
be melodramatic, Jacob. Your choices put you in your current situation.”

He
stood his ground.
 
“It wasn’t
my
choice to leave England.”

She
sighed.
 
“I know, dear. Some day you will
understand. Do you have homework tonight?”

“Little
bit.”

“Then
I won’t take up more of your time.”

“Yes,
Mum.”
 
He turned on his heel and went to
his room, shutting the door and cranking up the stereo.

****

Beth’s
mother gave her a journal today.
 
“Now
that you’re going to high school, there are going to be things you don’t want
to tell me or Daddy, or you’re going to want to think them out first.”

She
wasn’t going to use it.
 
Really, she
wasn’t…but there was Jake Lindsey and…

Most
kids in Geometry were sophomores, with a sprinkling of juniors.
 
Dreading the walk into a class of older kids,
she got there early and chose a desk in the back on the door side of the room,
hoping she could be invisible in the corner.
 
She was a freshman, and not
just
a freshman, but five feet tall, undeveloped, and stuck in glasses.

With
her first day over, she could say Geometry wasn’t her worst class of the day,
and part of the reason was the boy with the last name called after hers—Lindsey
comma Jake.
 
The teacher had Jake
introduce himself since he was new to their
SoCal
district, and that voice had been stuck in Beth’s head all day.
 

Jake
Lindsey had an English accent.

Jake
Lindsey wore a sleeveless shirt displaying arm definition she’d never seen on a
teenage boy before.

Jake
Lindsey was a junior, sixteen or seventeen, and
way
out of her league.

Still…that
buttery voice made Beth and every other girl in the room take notice.

She’d
been dwelling on this memory to avoid thinking about English class and the boy
assigned to the seat next to her—didn’t even know her and he already called her
names.

Two
weeks later, Beth put her pencil down and sighed.
 
Concentrating on homework was impossible with
that racket outside.
 
The noise of
wailing guitars and raucous drums came from the house behind theirs.
 
Rolling her eyes, she ground her teeth, and
stomped off around the corner to give some idiot a piece of her mind.
 
Just because it was September, it didn’t mean
she could slack on school work.

She
pounded on the neighbor’s front door, hoping to be heard.
 
After the second time banging her fist on
it—ow—the door finally opened.
 
The
hottest boy she’d ever seen stood in the doorway, looking at her like she was
the biggest inconvenience he’d ever experienced.
 
His brown hair was spiked straight up and was
that eyeliner around his baby blues?


What?

“Can
you turn the music down?”

“What
for?” he yelled back.

“I’m
trying
to do my math homework!”

Pretty
Boy in the Billy Idol t-shirt had the look of a light bulb moment.
 
“Hey! You’re in my class, aren’t you?”
 
He walked away for a moment and the volume of
the music decreased by half.

Class, class…oh God
…she knew that
voice…and they were having a conversation?
 
She wished she hadn’t come over in overalls cut off at the knees and
winced as her eyes fell onto her outfit.
 
It was geeky-farmer chic.
 
“Um, maybe?
Are you in Geometry?”
 
He could have transferred from her
class.
 
She wasn’t known for her powers
of observation and was there to learn.

“Yeah,
it’s bloody boring and I think the teacher’s a boozer. You know your stuff,
always raisin’ your hand. Those proofs don’ make a bit o’ sense to me.”

“I-I
could help…
i
-if you want. Just takes memorizing the
theorems.”

He
grinned at her and leaned against the door frame.
 
Oh my
god, Jacob Lindsey smiled at me!
 
Her
cheeks turned crimson.

“Cool.
What do they call you?”

“Beth.”

“Well,
Beth, your place or mine?”

Oh, God, don’t faint, don’t faint

 
“M-my book is still…”
 
She gestured around the corner.

He
shrugged, grabbed some books off the coffee table, and came outside.
 
“Lead the way.”

Beth
turned for home, palms sweating.
 
Oh God, oh God

 
What would Mom think when she walked in the
house with a
boy
?
 
With an
accent
?
 
She let him in and told him to wait in the
living room while she retrieved her text.

Neighbor
Boy—downgraded for touching things without asking—was rummaging in the fridge
when she came back.
 

What
are you doing?”

“I’m
thirsty.”
 
He grabbed one of
her
Snapple Iced Teas.

“You
could ask first. Sit.”

He
winked at her and sprawled in a chair, his tight jeans looking…well, it wasn’t
appropriate to think of it.
 

She
sighed and opened the book to today’s assignment.
 
“What are you having trouble with?”

“How
about I copy yours and get out of here?”

“Look…whatever-your-name-is,
I don’t cheat. I tutor. If you want to learn, great, but that’s all you’re
getting from me.”

He
clapped her on the shoulder and laughed.
 
“I like you, kid. Fair enough. If you can make this nonsense make sense,
I’ll owe ya one.”

She
smiled.
 
“Deal…”

“Jake.
Mum calls me Jacob, but it’s so stuffy.”

“Open
that book,
Jacob
.”

Beth
helped him all the way to dinner time.
 

Mom
came out of her darkroom to the kitchen and stopped with the weirdest look on
her face when she saw them.
 
Then, she
smiled.
 
“Elizabeth,
who’s your friend?”

“S-someone from Geometry class, Mom.
Jacob needed help.”

“It’s
nice to meet you, Jacob. You’re welcome to stay for dinner if it’s alright with
your parents.”

Mom!
 
What was she
doing
?
 
“I-I’m sure Jacob has to go, Mom.”

He
stuffed notebook paper in his book and stood from the table.
 
“I do.
Got a date now my
work’s done.”
 
He mussed Beth’s
hair.
 

Thanks,
squirt.”

“No
problem,” she said through clenched teeth.
 
Jerk
.

He
walked out of the house and she fled to her bedroom.
 
Squirt.
 
Squirt!
 
Might as well call me a ten-year-old.
 
Why couldn’t I be cool?

****

Wasn’t
so bad bein’ tutored by the kid.
 
Got his mother off his back, too.
 
The mums had met and seemed to approve of
each other, so he was free to go to
Bethie’s
or have
her in his living room.
 
No closed doors,
of course, blah, blah…like he’d be interested in a freshman.
 
Sure, she had
a certain
cuteness, but a kid was a kid.

Two
years in California
and he still wasn’t used to the lack of seasons.
 
He missed the chill in the air and leaves
changin
’ color.
 
Wasn’t lonely, though…always been a popular chap and this school was no
exception.
 
Girls flirted and the guys
wanted to be his friend.
 
Soon as Mum
stopped watchin’ his every move, he could have fun, too.

That
day finally came for Halloween week and his first party with the new
crowd.
 
He was over at
Bethie’s
to rush through homework so he could leave.

“It’s
the same time it was thirty seconds ago,” she said after he glanced at the
clock.
 
“Jacob, focus.”

“We’ve
been through the concept three times. I’ve got it.”
 
He stole a Tootsie Roll from her pile.

“Hey!”
 
She slapped his hand.
 
“Mine.”

“You
have more than me.”

“You’ve
eaten more. I counted out an equal amount, Jacob. I’m always fair.”

“Let
me leave and I’ll stop
eatin
’ all your candy.”
 
He gave her the grin that usually worked on
every female.

“Fine…
if
you come back tomorrow and prove you
retained what I said.”

He
smiled and gathered his books.
 
“Deal.
You’re the best, Bethie.”

Jacob
hurried around the corner to drop his books, change, and grab his guitar.
 
He wished he could drive to the house, but
Mum wouldn’t let him take the test, yet.
 
Luckily she was out at some thing tonight and couldn’t check his
work.
 
He checked the mirror, a truly
handsome bloke smiling back.

“Hell, yeah.
This is gonna rock.”
 
The bad-ass look and guitar were guaranteed
chick magnets and he’d have to totally put his foot in it to not get a good
snog tonight.
 
Maybe reach second base.

****

Nearing
Thanksgiving break, Beth finally had a handle on high school.
 
Jacob showed up at her house whenever they
had a test the next day.
 
Honestly, he
was smart enough to do the work.
 
He just
got bored, and then he got antsy.
 
If she
could keep him focused, he usually had the lesson mastered in under an hour.

Despite
liking her teacher, she dreaded going to English even more now than the second
day of school.
 
Chad
Cromlin
had been the bane of her existence for two months.

Mom
taught her to ignore bullies and they’d stop.
 
Not this jerk.
 
Today’s
stunt?
 
Poking
her with an extending pen wand.
 
She was trying to do the in-class reading and he kept tapping her ribs
with the stupid thing—always when the teacher’s back was turned, of course.
 
She didn’t want to be a tattle-tale, what
with her already minimal popularity, but how long would this go on?
 
He
had
to get bored soon, right?

She
stopped at her locker before her last class (Biology) to drop off the books she
didn’t need tonight.

“Hey,
Bethie, see you at Thanksgiving.”

She
turned to Jacob.
 
“Huh?”
 
He never talked to her at school.

“Your
mum invited my mum and me to the feast. Found out this morning.”

“Oh.
Uh, see you Thursday, then.”
 
A holiday with strangers at their table?
 
Well, not strangers, but definitely not
family.
 
Mom had never invited outside
people before.

The
warning bell rang.
 
“Later!” he said.

She
watched him jog off,
then
walked the twenty feet to
class.

BOOK: Kissed
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