Authors: Taige Crenshaw
A Total-E-Bound Publication
ISBN # 978-1-78184-081-8
©Copyright Taige Crenshaw 2012
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright August 2012
Edited by Rebecca Douglas
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Total-E-Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Total-E-Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2012 by Total-E-Bound Publishing, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, United Kingdom.
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
This story contains 148 pages, additionally there is also a
at the end of the book containing 10 pages.
When life gives you a second chance how do you decide what to do?
Julianne Locke knows the pain of loss and what it can do to a soul. She has refused to let any man close…until an accident puts a man in her path who will change her life forever. Keenan is the one man she cannot seem to keep at a distance. Whether it’s fate or coincidence that brings them together, Julianne cannot walk away from this man who pushes all her buttons and makes her want to believe in hope once again.
Keenan Callaghan’s first look at Julianne makes him forget that he’s supposed to be all about business. The instant attraction and connection he feels for her leaves him unsettled. He quickly comes to the realisation that he wants to know more about the woman who not only tempts him, but makes him forget all else but her. Julianne might be trying to keep him at arm’s length, but he’s a patient man. He knows the best way to weather a hurricane is to hold on and ride out the storm together…forever.
To my mother, who has always been my number one fan. Although you are no longer with me, I know you are smiling down at me getting published. To Marilyn, my sister and second mother who has always believed in me.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Espresso Black Nissan Armada Platinum: Nissan Motor Company Ltd Chevy Durango Crew Lux: Chevrolet, General Motors Company Charger: Chrysler Group LLC
Dodge Dakota Laramie Crew Cab: Chrysler Group LLC
Milk Duds: The Hershey Company
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
: DreamWorks Studios Optimus Prime: Hasbro, Inc
Guinness: Diageo plc
Sequoia: Toyota Motor Corporation Bluetooth: The Bluetooth Special Interest Group Rollerblade: Nordica, Tecnica Group S.p.A
Julianne Locke shrugged her shoulders, trying to ease the tension in her muscles. It didn’t work. The trip that should have lasted two weeks had dragged on for over a month. It was a rarity for her company to take an event outside of Singleton but they had as a special request from one of their most frequent clients. The stressful combination of dealing with a hyperactive bride and working remotely had worn on her. Earlier today, when she’d finally got everything under control and the wedding planning on track, she had booked her flight back home to Singleton. Of course, there were flight delays too, which meant she’d got in much later than planned. She was supposed to have been in by three o’clock, which would have left enough time for her to stop in at the office and make it home at a decent hour. At least that had been the plan. Instead, night had already fallen by the time she’d left the airport.
Blowing out a breath, Julianne made the turn from Woodbury Avenue, past the sign that read ‘Kindred Place’, onto the road leading to Moments, the event planning company she co-owned. As usual, her breath caught at the first sight of the open stretch of two-lane road that made up the area they had named Kindred Place.
Since it was night, the recessed lighting along the area lit everything so visitors could see clearly. It created an almost surreal atmosphere.
In the middle of the two lanes, a profusion of flowers circled the beautiful trees. Periodically, there were breaks that enabled a driver to turn into one of the businesses that shared the roadway. Along her side, there were also trees and flowers, and additional driveways led to more businesses.
“One brief stop for the Gary file and then home.” Julianne picked up her cell and entered her code to alert security that she was on the premises.
Replacing the cell in the drinks holder, she drummed her fingers on the wheel of her SUV. She really wanted to head home, but needed the paperwork to make sure she was ready for her meeting tomorrow.
Absently, she glanced out of the window at the various signs directing drivers as to the location of surrounding businesses. At the head of several roadways stood even more elaborate signs, showcasing the logos of several places.
Within moments she was at the last turn-off before her destination, which was over the slight incline. Although there was no sign yet to announce their business, it had already been custom ordered. Once the sign was in place, it would say ‘Moments Deuce’ with the address—number eight-one-seven-nine Kindred Place. Since it had been built last, the numbering would be inconsistent with the rest of the businesses. Julianne debated between continuing on or checking out the almost complete, more modern building she and her partners were having constructed.
“A quick look.” Julianne made the turn.
Although the land belonged to them, getting the permits and approvals to build had taken a lot of time. Clearing the area then paving it for their needs had taken even more manoeuvring. After almost two years of getting everything worked out, the construction was almost finished. In approximately three weeks, around the beginning of May, they would be able to get in their interior decorator to put their plans in place. It should take no more than two months to get everything finished. Then they would have their staff—that had been hired specifically to handle any events for the building—set up their own offices and various other things, giving them about two weeks of intense readying.
Once complete, Moments Deuce would be a place to hold events for their clients who wanted a more modern feel to their celebrations. They already had lots of events booked, starting in mid-July. They would be cutting it close, but she expected everything would be finished in time.
Julianne noted the landscaping was coming along well. When the building came into view, she smiled. She stopped along the drive to get a feel for how it looked at a distance. Exiting her Espresso Black Nissan Armada Platinum, Julianne stretched, then brushed her hands over her burnt orange skirt and smoothed her pale orange shirt.
She reached into the vehicle to grab her cell, notebook and spring jacket, but returned that to the seat, deciding that the night was warm enough and she could go without it. Slamming the door, she turned to look at the building once again.
The large, six-floor structure looked beautiful in the night. The stone face gave it an edgy yet comfortable feel. An arched entrance spread mid-way on either side along the first floor and front of the building was made of natural stone mixed with pieces of coloured, cut glass. They’d designed the entryway so that it would be large enough for the flow of traffic in and out of the building. Although a different set-up than the main building for their company, everything in this new, spacious and modern, state-of-the-art building of Moments Deuce was made to give the same feeling of effortlessness when any event was held there.
Julianne clipped her cell to the waistband of her skirt and glanced around. They had finished up the parking areas. On each side of the building a road led to the lots, which weren’t close to the main structure, yet not too far away. The parking attendants would know where to place each car based on the event the person was attending.
With sure strides, she went towards the left of the building, pulling out her keys. In moments, she’d opened the area they had for people who were waiting for the valet to bring them their cars. She could envision how it would look once furnished with comfortable couches and seating areas. Walking around the room, she noted it was slightly larger than they’d expected. Opening her notepad, she made a note to have them put in additional seating. She left the room, locking the door behind her, and headed to the main entrance.
She stayed close to the windows, occasionally peeking inside. Her heels echoed on the cobblestone as she walked. With three steps, she stood in front of the large stained-glass doors that would open automatically during events. For now, she unlocked the door and pushed it open. With just enough space, she went in. The ring of her cell made her pause. Glancing at the display, she accepted the call and put the phone to her ear.
“When you punched you were on site, we had a bet if you would go to the Moments Deuce.” Harmon Selleck’s deep baritone came over the line.
“Which way did you bet? What are you doing here so late, anyway?” Julianne touched the light switch, illuminating the lobby.
“Need you ask, Jules? And I had some paperwork to do,” Harmon sounded smug.
“You know me too well. I can’t believe that you got someone to take that sucker bet. Who was it?” Julianne laughed.
“Anthony.” A voice too low for her to hear was grumbling behind Harmon.
“Anthony should be ashamed of himself.” Julianne couldn’t keep the smile off her face.
“He should. I’ll be coming out to join you in a moment.”
“That’s not necessary. I’m not going to be here that long,” she protested. She wasn’t a child.
“That’s our job, Jules. And Jordan would have my ass if anything happened on my watch. Now, would you want me to be
Julianne snorted. “That’s something I really don’t want to think about.”
“See you in a bit.” Harmon disconnected.
Julianne put her phone back at her waist, knowing it was useless to call back. Harmon was right—Jordan Locke, her cousin, would have his ass. She was co-owner of HJC Security Specialists along with Harmon and Carlton Bunnell. It was Harmon’s job, as part of the security firm that was headquartered on their land, to protect all the businesses in Kindred Place. It was the arrangement they had made when she and her partners, along with the other five businesses, had built their companies. Julianne, as well as some of her siblings and cousins, co-owned the land itself, while each business along Kindred Place was owned by one of them along with their own set of business partners.
Julianne decided to leave the door unlocked for Harmon and continued on. In quick strides, she headed right towards the set of offices. At the door leading to them, she noted the palm plates were in place. That meant the security firm was already working on securing the building. Testing it, she tapped in her code, smiling when the lock clicked open. Pushing through the doorway, Julianne left the door open behind her as she went down the short hall. Exiting into the main area, she was pleased to note the set-up was similar to the one at the main Moments office.
She checked out a few of the various offices and conference rooms. At one of them, she stepped back, then walked past the conference room and into what would be the manager’s office. She could see that they were still working on it—there were tools and other things littering the ground. Going to the wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and a mosaic glass door, she glanced outside—she knew, at least in this area, that the glass was actually one-way—for you to see out, but no one to see in. The starry, balmy night was beautiful and the pathways outside the new building were subtly lit. With a turn, she studied the room, imagining how it would look once the interior designs had done as they had planned.