GENRE: LGBT Romantic Suspense
I was just your typical Starbucks barista without an interesting bone in my body. I liked to keep my head down and do my best to cruise through life uninterrupted, although my bright red hair made it almost impossible. Things took an interesting turn when I met Jimmy, an artist from the tattoo parlour down the street. Living and working in Hollywood, California, I met a lot of intriguing characters, but no one as intriguing as him. He brought a new light to my life that I didn't know I had, let alone one that I needed.
My past wasn't a great one, but I got out and made a new life for myself. And now, it felt like my future was looking better with Jimmy in it. I felt like life was finally worth living, until... everywhere you looked, something was on fire. The screaming was enough to make you go deaf and the scent of blood made you gag. My body was screaming in pain and I couldn't stop choking on all the smoke in the air. My lungs felt tight, and when I looked up, I couldn't decide if it was snowing or raining ashes. People were firing guns chaotically and I had never run so fast in my entire life. Jimmy jumped up to the roof of a parked car and I was quick to follow, bending over to catch my breath.
"Now where?" I panted.
Every day was kind of the same at Starbucks. We had a lot of the same recurring customers and the odd random that came in, but overall, it was just the same boring, fake smiling shit. I made fresh food every morning for the display up front and brewed almost five fresh pots of coffee, all before opening. I turned on all the machines so they could warm up, and then Angela walked in the back door, yawning.
“Morning!” I called out from up front.
“Yup . . .” she mumbled, dropping her purse and walking out to meet me. “How was your night?” she asked, leaning against the counter and rubbing her tired eyes.
“It was fine. Nothing special,” I mumbled.
“Jason had another detention yesterday . . .” she said in a very monotone voice. “The principal is talking about enrolling him in summer school,” she sighed.
I frowned, walking around her to the front door and flicking on the neon open sign.
“What’s up with him? What’s he doing?” I asked, walking back and sitting down in the kitchen.
She followed. “He’s being bullied by a bunch of other kids, so he gets physical. He punched this other kid in the stomach . . .” she explained, opening the fire exit door and lighting a cigarette. “I dunno. I don’t know what I’m going to do with him,” she added.
Just then, we both got distracted by the bell going off at the front door and we both exchanged looks.
“Wow. Someone’s early,” I said, laughing a bit, then standing to go greet them.
We’d only been open for a minute or two.
He looked my age, maybe a bit older, and had black messy hair. His shirt was black, his pants were black with holes in them, and he was wearing black and white converse. Both of his arms were covered in tattoos, as well as his hands and even one side of his neck. He also had a nose ring on the right side, and his left eyebrow was pierced. I was never one to judge a book by its cover because I’ve been judged my whole life because of my hair, but I was still intimidated. I arched a brow, staring at his tattooed body up and down, then made eye contact and forced a smile.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Monique lives in Southern Ontario with her high school sweetheart and her two lop eared rabbits. When she’s not writing, she’s getting tattoos, dyeing her hair, or travelling. She is an avid concert-goer and has way too many houseplants.
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