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Home > Avoiding Decisions (Avoiding #1.5)

Avoiding Decisions (Avoiding #1.5)
Author: K.A. Linde

CHAPTER 1

CORNER CAFE

Jack sat in the coffee shop, drumming his fingers against the counter. His coffee rested half-empty next to him, a vestige of the mad after-class rush that wore on his nerves.

He was thankful for the reprieve, so he could chill and listen to the underground Seattle rock music he favored. There was a pretty new band that he liked even if they were small and local and no one else had heard of them before. Maybe one day, they would get picked up and be popular, but he kind of hoped not. He’d prefer to keep their sound original and not have them sell out

He was just ready to get off work. He had a few more hours left to deal with customers, and then he was planning to grab a beer and watch last weekend’s college football games with Seth. He had some intro accounting homework to wrestle with, but after the day he’d had, that was the last thing on his mind.

“Large coffee, please,” someone said, breaking him out of his thoughts.

“Yeah, coming right up,” he said, turning around to complete the order. “Cream or sugar?”

“No, thank you,” she said, her voice tentative.

Jack glanced over his shoulder, a smirk crossing his face. He quickly tried to school his features into order as he turned around. It was that girl again. Almost every day he’d worked recently, she had been here, studying at a table adjacent to the counter.

He didn’t know who she was. It didn’t seem right to ask while he was working, and he hadn’t found a way to bring it up during the short conversations they had when she ordered her coffee—always a large, always black. She might actually drink more coffee than him, which was a feat, considering he worked here.

“Here you go,” Jack said, setting the steaming cup on the counter.

The girl was wearing soft pink lip gloss, accentuating her full lips, as she smiled up at him beneath thick black lashes. Under those lashes were deep, dark chocolate brown eyes as big as saucers that made him feel like he was sinking through quicksand. Her curly brown hair cascaded out around her shoulders and over the curves of her br**sts, giving her a wild look.

He felt his c*ck twitch and leaned forward on the counter. He sure as hell didn’t want anyone to notice his reaction. Christ, he was at work!

“Thanks,” she said, handing him her credit card.

He promptly swiped it and handed it back to her along with a receipt.

She smiled up at him once more, a big grin showing all her teeth, like she had remembered her confidence after all. She quickly turned around and headed to her table where she immediately removed stacks and stacks of papers.

Blowing out a breath, Jack straightened and adjusted himself. Maybe he shouldn’t get her name.

He fished his phone out of his pocket and hid it behind the register. His manager didn’t like employees to be on their phones, but she wasn’t in today. If he didn’t have any customers, then he didn’t see why it was a big deal.

He sighed when he saw that he had missed a text message from his girlfriend, Danielle.

Hey! Really missing you right now. Ugh, I wish I would have transferred in, but now, it’s too late…

Ugh was right. He was really glad she hadn’t transferred.

Since school had started a couple weeks ago, Danielle was hovering even more than normal. Somehow, they had survived freshman year with her attending community college in Savannah while he was in Athens. He knew he had kind of been an ass to her lately, but they had been dating forever, so Danielle was used to it.

Then came the summer. This summer had been brutal. He wasn’t used to her being around all the time anymore. He wasn’t used to her being in his space, taking up all his time, and forcing herself into everything he did. He had just forgotten what it was like to have a girlfriend around.

Seth had made fun of him all summer about it. Seth’s affectionate term for him was p**sy-whipped. He could take Seth’s jokes when they were alone, but when Seth would say it around Danielle, Jack would get in a few good punches. Danielle thought it was cute and funny, and Jack thought it sounded like a slow, painful death.

After a summer of agonizing torture, he had really thought it was over. He couldn’t take it anymore. Two weeks before school started, he had tried to break up with her, but she had looked at him with her coy smile and determined gaze right before she dropped down to her knees. How could he even argue with that?

Since then, that had pretty much been the staple of their relationship—Jack thinking he wanted to break up with her, and Danielle convincing him rather thoroughly that he didn’t.

Still, he had moved back to Athens with Seth the first weekend he could. He was ready to have his own life back. Yeah, he probably should have manned up and just told her to f**k off, but it wasn’t like he was getting it from anywhere else right now. Plus, he had the benefit of being four hours away from her. Maybe he would do it over fall break…or sometime when he knew he wouldn’t be going home for a long time.

He ignored the message from Danielle. He might call her later or something—if he remembered.

As Jack rang up the next customer, he found his eyes drifting to that girl again. She had a friend with her, which was new. With a bleached out pixie cut and tight-ass pants, she was cute, but not hot like her friend. The new girl kept looking up in his direction, her br**sts falling out of her low-cut top. Jack quickly turned away, not wanting to draw unnecessary attention, but he could still feel her eyes on him.

His phone beeped again, and he groaned, wondering when the messages would ever stop.

Can we Skype tonight? I’m really missing you. ;)

Oh, how the wink face wasn’t necessary.

“You busy there?” someone chirped happily.

Jack hastily put his phone away and stared up at the blonde girl with the big tits. Seriously, if her shirt were any lower, he would be able to see her n**ples. Did she expect him to look at her face?

“How can I help you?” Jack asked.

The girl leaned forward on the counter as if he couldn’t already see straight down her shirt.

“I’d like a caramel macchiato with a double shot of espresso and lots of whipped cream,” she said in a seductive tone.

“Sure thing,” Jack replied, turning away from the overly flirtatious girl to make her drink.

“So…what are you doing tonight?” the girl asked.

Jack sighed. In a way, he had expected it. Before this job, he hadn’t known girls could actually be assertive enough to ask him out point-blank like that. He had always been polite about it, but they had never been his type, not that he really had a type. Blonde, blue eyes, nice ass, put together—that was Danielle. He didn’t know if it was a type, but none of the girls who had approached him were ever it.

“Ah, you know, just hanging out with friends,” Jack said with a shrug, trying for nonchalance.

He placed the drink on the counter in front of her as she slid a purple slip of paper toward him.

“Do you see my friend over there?” she asked, nodding her head in the girl’s direction.

Jack glanced over at the girl. Her head was buried in her books like she might never look up again. She was chewing on her bottom lip and pushing a lock of hair behind her ear reflexively before it fell back into her face again.

“She’s coming to this concert tonight.” The blonde pushed the paper into his hands.

Glancing down at it, Jack saw that it was an advertisement for a show at the Theatre. He had never heard of the group, but they were described as an original DJ-rap duo. Not really his thing.

“And?” He was waiting for the kicker.

“You should be there,” the girl said, raising her eyebrows.

He folded the paper. “I’ll think about it.”

“If you’re smart, you’ll show.” She straightened abruptly and took her drink. “Thanks for the coffee.” The girl winked at him before she departed.

That hadn’t gone as expected. Jack was surprised that he had been wrong. Nonetheless, he was glad he didn’t have to turn the blonde girl down. It tended to hurt business.

Jack’s eyes fell to the purple flyer in his hand. He knew he was a sucker for even contemplating the possibility of meeting her. Really, what could he accomplish by following those big brown eyes anywhere? He had been dating Danielle for three years now, and though he kept saying he was going to break up with her, he didn’t really even believe himself.

He took one last look at the girl seated at the table across from him. When he stared her, he felt that same stirring in his body that he’d had when she had been at the counter. He didn’t know what it was. She was hot, but it was more than that. It was just something about her.

Fuck. He was going to that concert.

CHAPTER 2

THAT GIRL

“You want us to go to what?” Seth asked, leaning back in the dingy brown recliner and reaching out for his beer.

“There’s a concert at the Theatre tonight.” Jack ran his hand back through his dark hair as he waited for some smartass comment from his best friend. He knew it was coming.

“Dude, no one goes to the Theatre in the middle of the week unless they’re chasing townie p**sy. I don’t recommend it,” Seth said, wrinkling his nose.

“You’re such an a**hole.” Jack shook his head and plopped down on the couch. “You know that, right?”

“That’s why the ladies love me.” Seth raised his eyebrows suggestively.

“You’re delusional.”

Seth chugged the rest of his beer, set the empty aluminum can on the table, and belched. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and smiled at Jack.

“Seriously, how do the girls resist you?” Jack asked sarcastically.

“Can’t keep them off me.”

Jack hated to admit how true that was. His friend had the weirdest game Jack had ever seen. It was like the less Seth tried, the more girls threw themselves at him. Since they had started college together, Jack couldn’t remember a single time when Seth didn’t have at least two or three girls around the apartment, vying for his attention.

“So, why do you really want to go to the Theatre?” Seth asked, returning his attention to the football game on the screen.

Jack was silent for a minute. It wasn’t that he couldn’t tell Seth about the hot girl he had seen at work. He had told Seth about hundreds of hot girls he’d met while working. He didn’t know why he wanted to hide it, especially after just asking Seth to go to the concert with him. It just…something about this felt different. Why was he making a big deal out of this? After all, it was just a girl, and it was just a concert.

“I was invited.” Jack took out the purple piece of paper from his pocket and unfolded it before handing it to Seth.

He looked at it briefly and scoffed. “DJ-rap duo Nick and Neal? Dude, are you serious right now?”

“What the f**k else do you have better to do besides work on finishing off that case of beer?”

“Anything sounds better. I don’t have time for wannabe rappers when I have free booze sitting at home.”

“If it’s any consolation, a blonde with huge tits gave this to me,” Jack said.

Seth’s ears perked up. “Now I’m listening.”

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