Full ShotBy: Madison Stevens
Jennifer has spent her entire life letting someone else tell her what to do: her wealthy parents, her bosses, and her boyfriends. When she finally puts her foot down at work, she gets fired. The same day her jerk lawyer boyfriend decides to break up with her, and she can’t figure out if that’s a blessing or a curse.
When the unemployed woman stumbles into a pub, Bad Omen, she sees an opportunity to start her life over with a new perspective as a waitress. It doesn’t hurt that Eric, her new boss, is drool-worthy.
A dark past haunts Eric, and he’s more interested in seeking comfort at the bottom of a bottle of whiskey than in a woman’s arms. Jennifer offers him a beacon that might help him pull himself out of the booze-filled cycle of despair he’s fallen into, but only if he can keep the truth from her.
Their burning attraction keeps pulling the two together, but their differences threaten to shatter any chance of happiness. Desire can light the flame of passion, but it might not be enough to keep it going.
Jennifer twisted the napkin between her fingers under the table. She tried to keep her hands in her lap because she knew how much the nervous habit bothered Charles. Bothering him just led to lecturing, something she wanted to avoid.
He was late.
Not that it was anything new to her, but of all the days for him to be late, today had to be the worst. Jennifer took a deep breath and let go of the fabric in her lap. Getting herself worked up wouldn’t do any good either.
A lock of brown hair slipped in front of her face, and she tucked it behind her ear. It was annoying to deal with, but Charles liked her hair down and curled, so that’s the way she wore it. In the end, it was sometimes just easier to do as he asked than listen to the needling comments that tended to come if she didn’t.
He was certainly good at those. It came as no surprise to most that he’d gone into business law. It suited him.
Jennifer picked up her glass of red wine and took a large drink. It wasn’t her favorite, but she figured if she had a bottle of his favorite wine to break the news, it wouldn’t be so bad.
It was unfortunate that a waiter picked that exact moment to hurry past and bumped her arm, spilling part of the wine down the front of her cream-colored patron dress.
She loved the dress. With the sleeveless arms, wide belt, and lace top that went to her neck, it reminded her of something out of the 1950s.
Jennifer glanced up to the stunned man and then back down to the growing stain, not quite certain what to say.
“Oh, I’m so sorry.” The waiter stumbled over his words, seemingly more startled than she had been. “I’ll get some club soda.”
She glanced up as he raced off. The damage was done, and she was fairly sure there would be no getting the stain out. And certainly not before Charles got there.
“Already getting tipsy?”
Jennifer glanced up and found Charles standing over the table. Of course he would pick that exact moment to come in. His suit was still in perfect order from when he’d put it on that morning, and even the blond hair on his head seemed perfectly in place.
That had been one of the things that had drawn her to him in the first place. He always seemed so calm and composed. Nothing rattled him like it did her. He was the rock in their relationship.
She gave a small smile, which was met with a scowl. He could look so handsome, but when he scrunched his face up like that, the lines on his face became more severe. There was a harshness to it, and she wondered if that was something he learned to do in business school or if it had always been his way.
“The waiter bumped me,” she said quietly, and looked for the club soda.
He frowned and sat across from her.
“I hope you called for management,” he said firmly.
Jennifer sighed. “Since it just happened, I thought I’d wait for the club soda.”
His face grew dark, and she knew she’d been a bit clipped with him, but now wasn’t the time. She was tired, and it had been a long day. Not to mention, it hadn’t even been her fault.
The waiter brought back a glass of club soda and napkin for her to dab out the spots.
“Again,” he said. “I’m very sorry.”
Jennifer nodded. Maybe if she had the dress dry cleaned, they would be able to get the stain out. It was likely going to be her only hope.
For the first time, she actually looked at the waiter. He was handsome. More so than she would have expected in a place like this. His dark hair matched his olive skin tone perfectly. Everything about him seemed chiseled to perfection.
“I’d expect that the wine is on the house,” Charles said. His voice cut into her thoughts, and she wondered what it mattered. She was the one wearing it, and he had more money than he knew what to do with.