Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

That's a Relief is LIVE!!!

That's a Relief is LIVE!!

The wait is finally OVER!

It was supposed to be our happily-ever-after. We were supposed to look into the future and not worry about our past dragging us down anymore. I was supposed to marry the man of my dreams in a month, and now… Now, everything has changed. 

So when my nightmares become reality—when the world starts crashing down around me—what do I do? How do I save the one person who never gave up on me? 

Because, Seth? He is everything. 

"He loved me when I was a pile of broken pieces and refused to let me go when I never felt worthy of him. He never gave up and helped me to grow strong-- strong enough to be the one to help him now."


Everything was perfect. She said yes, she had the ring. Best of all, I had her heart. We were so close… so close to that future I had been dreaming about for years. Until suddenly it was ripped away from me.


I will stop at nothing to protect her. But how do I do that when I feel my sanity slipping with every blow sent our way? How do I save a girl who doesn’t want to be saved anymore?



Because Josie? She is everything.

Excerpt

Chapter 2


Every shot that rings out ricochets off the walls in the building, making the haunting clamor louder and more potent than it would be if it had been shot out in the open. Chambers click, bullets fly, and shells clack onto the floor, creating a symphony of noises that could provoke a racing heart or a sense of security. For me, it’s the latter. Every shot makes me more comfortable.
“Does Josie know you’re doing this?” Brandon asks as he leans against the wall in my booth, shaggy brown hair covering half his face.
“That’s a dumb question. Of course she doesn’t. She’d fucking kill me if she found out.”
I finish loading the last bullet into the magazine and click it into the Glock 22. Brandon puts on his noise cancelling headphones with a shrug. My body assumes the proper shooting stance, and I fire fifteen shots aimed at the target at the end of the range. Once the last shot fires, confidence surges in the pit of my stomach.
I place the gun down on the table and take off my headphones. Brandon steps up next to me and pushes the button to pull up the target.
“Damn. You’re getting good,” Brandon whistles when he looks at it. All fifteen shots are scattered across the chest of the person printed on the paper.
“It’s been a while, so I was rusty at first. You wanna try?”
He looks at the gun and cocks his head to the side, still unsure on how he feels about guns. Eventually, he shakes his head. “Not really my thing.”
 “Don’t say anything to Brooke. She’ll go blab her big mouth to Josie,” I grumble, packing up the bullets and gun into my bag.
Brandon places his safety glasses and headphones in the bin at the front, giving me an appalled look. “Glad you think so highly of me. I can keep a secret from my wife, you know.”
“No, I don’t know, actually,” I say, looking at him pointedly. “Josie knew about her surprise birthday party because of you and your wife.” We walk back out into the shop and I wave to the owner. “Thanks, Mr. Seymour.”
“Glad to see you back, Seth. Tell your dad to stop by soon.”
“Will do,” I lie.
Mom would kill me if I convinced my dad to go back to the shooting range with all his heart problems. Ever since Josie and I moved out, I haven’t been able to help out as much on the farm, and I worry what kind of extra work Dad’s doing to compensate for me not being there anymore. He swears he’s not taking on more work than he should, but let’s face it, he would lie about working hard if it meant keeping Mom’s and my mind at ease.
“You’ll never let me live that down, will you?” Brandon muses, hopping into the front seat of my blue Toyota Tundra.
“Nope.” I start the truck and head toward my photography warehouse to pick up a memory card that I left behind. Work has been steadily busy lately, so I’ve been needing to bring my work home with me on the weekends.
“Why are you into this all of a sudden?”
The answer is harder to get out than I thought it would be. This is Brandon, my best friend, but also someone who may not understand my reasons for brushing up on my shooting skills. I swallow the anger and keep my eyes straight ahead.
“It’s not all of a sudden,” I say eventually. “I used to come all the time with my dad.”
Josie has always hated guns. She hates the idea of someone being allowed to carry them, which I can because I have a permit. She also hates the violence they can bring, which I understand, but I also understand how it could be useful. Which is why I renewed my permit.
“Is it because my dad was released from prison?” Brandon asks, looking out the window. I whip my head in his direction and try again to figure out how to approach this subject with him.
“You know?” I shake my head. “Of course you know. He’s your dad.” There’s bitterness in my tone that wasn’t there earlier, and I feel bad that I’m directing it at Brandon when it’s not his fault.
He shoots me a sympathetic look. “Yeah. The bitch step-mom called last week and told us the news. You can tell me, you know. If that’s why.”
Brandon has never liked talking about his dad, but when he does, it’s always with a disgusted and angry edge in his voice. Despite this, I still feel a little guilty that I want to kill my best friend’s dad.
“I just want to make sure Josie is safe,” I explain. “Self-defense classes can only go so far, and let’s face it, Josie makes some stupid-ass decisions when she’s caught up in the moment.”
I worry so much that she’ll forget to bring her purse containing Taser and pepper spray or she’ll get so overwhelmed with fear that she’ll forget how to punch and kick her way out of a hold. I can’t risk it. It terrifies me—I’m talking sheet-clenching nightmares that wake me up with a racing heart, needing to reach out and frantically search for her in our bed.
“How’s Josie handling it?”
My jaw clenches and I keep my eyes trained on the road. My Josie, finally happy and gaining confidence—I just can’t bring myself to tell her. To explain that I was stupid enough not to switch her mail over to the new house so we could have been informed in time to stop him from getting out of prison. When Tony called me last week with the news, I knew everything in our life was about to change.
***
“Is Josie with you?” Tony asked when I answered the phone. I looked over to my right and smiled. Josie had her feet on the dashboard, singing at the top of her lungs to a crappy popular song on the radio. No matter how many times I tell her she sucks, she still sings loud and proud around me.
“Yeah … What’s up?” I answered, returning my attention back to the road. We were on our way to my parents’ house for dinner and a night at the lake, but Tony had declined the offer to join us.
“You can’t let Josie know something is wrong. I need you to come here as soon as you get a chance.”
I tensed, a burning sensation tightening inside my chest. Something was wrong.
“Okay.”
I hung up without waiting for another word. I swallowed hard and took a deep breath, reaching across the console to take Josie’s hand in mine. I rubbed my thumb against her soft skin as I waited for her to finish her song.
“I’m surprised a record label hasn’t picked you up yet, Pussycat.”
She grinned, oblivious to my unease, flicked her hair over her shoulder, and fluttered her eyelashes dramatically. “Little did you know, I have been picked up. I’m running off in a week to become a star.”
“You would run off without me?”
“Already promised Brody I’d run off with him,” she quipped.
I laughed loudly and squeezed her hand. “You and Brody are getting on my last nerve with that shit.”
She laughed and started singing again.
“So, I need to run back to the warehouse and grab a lens for the camera. I wanted to take some pictures tonight at the lake, but I need a special lens to get a good picture in the dark. I’ll drop you off at Mom and Dad’s and then I’ll be right back.”
The lie made me feel dirty—especially when we promised not to keep things from each other anymore.
“That’s fine. I think your mom wanted to teach me how to make fish the way she does, anyway. She said something about how no daughter-in-law of hers will marry her son without knowing how to fry fish.” She rolled her eyes, and I laughed.
“Well, I did warn you before you agreed to marry me.”
“That your mom is crazy?” she asked, shooting me a smile that both warmed my insides and made me feel guilty.
“That you better know how to cook trout.” I winked at her and she laughed.
I dropped her off and drove to Tony’s house with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was going to change everything.
I walked through the front door and leaned against the couch as Tony walked into the living room. The sickening feeling only got worse when I saw the look on his face. Shit.
“What’s going on?”
Instead of answering, he handed me a piece of paper. I was amazed how something that didn’t even weigh an ounce could feel so heavy in my hand. I took a shuddering breath in and looked at the letter, falling heavily onto the couch as I read the words.
It was worse than all the fears I thought up on my way over. Michael Kasey could be getting out of jail.
“No,” I breathed out. I stood up and shook the paper in front of Tony. “We have to do something. How the fuck could they release a rapist? We can fight it, right? It says we can bring Josie in to testify again before they grant it.”
“Look at the date, son.” I didn’t like his tone, and I was even more reluctant to look at the date.
It felt like a punch in the gut when I saw how much time had passed. “July?” I could barely breathe. “Are you fucking kidding me? How did we miss this?”
“Josie’s old landlord called and told me the new tenant was getting mail for Josie for the past few months, and this was in the pile I got when I went to pick it up for her. She never forwarded her mail, and the lawyer didn’t have the new address or her new phone number to contact her in time.”
This was my fault. How could have I been so careless? I didn’t push her to forward her mail, and because I threw her phone in the lake, she was forced to get a new number. I messed with her safety and now she’s in a position I swore she would never have to worry about ever again. “Did the hearing already happen?”
“I called as soon as I read the letter. Ms. Carmichael said the trial happened a couple weeks ago. He’s out, Seth. He’s been out for a little less than a week.”
The paper fell to the floor. Ice poured over me. “Fuck. Fuck! He almost killed her!” I wanted to hit something—someone. A part of me wanted to scream, and the other part wanted to cry. Cry for the girl I was madly in love with who would be devastated and terrified when she heard about her rapist’s newfound freedom.
“How are we going to get through this?” I asked, crestfallen. “Josie’s been doing so well, Tony. I can’t take away the little bit of happiness she’s had. How am I supposed to tell her about this?”
“I don’t have a good enough answer for you, Seth, but she needs to know. She needs to be alert.”
“Do you think he’ll come looking for her?” Waves of terror crashed into me.
Tony’s face remained solemn. “I’ve known guys like him. He’ll want to come after the person who put him in prison for the last seven years.”
“What do I do?” I asked hoarsely.
 “Do everything you can to keep her safe. Take her to more self-defense classes. Teach her how to shoot a gun. I don’t care. Keep her safe.
In that moment, I let the anger and fear take root. I made a promise to myself that I would do anything to keep Josie safe.
If that included killing her rapist, then I’d do it.
Because if I failed, I would rather be dead. 



Buy Links

Get That's a Relief (Promises, Promises 3) on Amazon, iTunes, and B&N for $2.99

Get That's a Promise (Promises, Promises 1) on Amazon, iTunes, and B&N 
(B&N) http://bit.ly/28ZvUFR 

Get That's a Lie(Promises, Promises 2) on Amazon, iTunes, and B&N 


GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015


Happy Re-Release Day to Victoria Klahr!
Find out if Seth will be able to show Josie the true meaning of love in,
That's a Lie
the sequel to That's a Promise.

TITLE: That’s a Lie (Promises, Promises #2)
AUTHOR: Victoria Klahr
GENRE: Contemporary Adult, New Adult
RE-RELEASED: February 27, 2015

SYNOPSIS:
Seth is back.


When he walked back into my life, it almost felt like the pieces of my broken heart could be fixed. I thought we could go back to being best friends, but then I started to feel what I had been blocking out for years. I tried. Boy, did I try! But once I started to let him in, I wanted nothing more than to cross that line from friendship into something more…


Just when I think I can move on and let myself be happy, an ugly reminder from my past comes storming in and threatens to destroy the sliver of hope that's been growing since Seth came back.


Do I even deserve to be loved?


“I’m not asking to fix your heart. I’m not asking to mend you. I love each and every shattered piece of you. I’m asking that you let me love you. Let me love each piece of your broken heart, and I swear to you I will make up for every heartache you have ever experienced.”


I came back for Josie.


I knew I'd have to fight for her, but with the loss of her dad and the truth about what happened with her and Blake, I quickly realized that making her mine was going to be a lot harder than I first thought. The problem is, I can’t pretend like she’s just my best friend. I can’t pretend I don’t want more.


I'm willing to do anything to get her to admit she has the same passionate feelings for me, because I know once she opens up and stops lying to herself, I can show her what it really means to be loved. It's a battle of wills, but my love for her is stronger than her will to stop me.


So I fight for her. I fight because I know she deserves it.

PURCHASE HERE:

TEASERS:



OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:
That’s a Promise (Promises, Promises #1)


SYNOPSIS:
Pain isn’t new to me.


I’ve been to hell only to find it never really leaves when you get back. It haunts me through nightmares, unrequited love, lies, broken hearts, and now death.


A monster almost took my life.
My best friend carries half my soul a world away.
My boyfriend broke my heart but refuses to let me go.
And my father is dead.


I don’t believe in fate and I don’t believe in happily-ever-afters, but for some reason, I still hope.


Live, even with a tainted spirit.
Long for my other half to come back to me.
Risk another broken heart, just to feel loved again.
And refuse to let another horror break me.


In the face of my most recent tragedy, I have to decide whether forgiveness is something I can give. But even if that’s an option, can I be forgiven?

PURCHASE HERE:





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Victoria Klahr (pronounced “Claire”) lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter, and furbaby, Stephen, Alexis, and Bandit. When she’s not daydreaming about book boyfriends and fantasizing about being a badass heroine, she’s busy writing the stories that keep popping into her head. She’s currently finishing the Promises, Promises series and plotting multiple spin-offs. 

CONNECT WITH VICTORIA:
https://www.facebook.com/fmrpromotions?fref=ts


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

That's a Promise is FREE



For the next FIVE days, That's a Promise will be FREE on Amazon. If you haven't already explored the tragic love story between Josie, Blake and Seth, then get your copy today! It's just in time for the re-release of That's a Lie! Make sure to let everyone know they can get it FREE until March 1st.

Buy Links: 

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/18llbp4

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1A6zfbu

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1BchKw1

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1DaRAWR 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

That's a Lie Cover Reveal


TITLE: That’s a Lie (Promises, Promises #2)
AUTHOR: Victoria Klahr
GENRE: Contemporary Adult, New Adult
RE-RELEASING: February 27, 2015


SYNOPSIS:
Seth is back.


When he walked back into my life, it almost felt like the pieces of my broken heart could be fixed. I thought we could go back to being best friends, but then I started to feel what I had been blocking out for years. I tried. Boy, did I try! But once I started to let him in, I wanted nothing more than to cross that line from friendship into something more…


Just when I think I can move on and let myself be happy, an ugly reminder from my past comes storming in and threatens to destroy the sliver of hope that's been growing since Seth came back.


Do I even deserve to be loved?


“I’m not asking to fix your heart. I’m not asking to mend you. I love each and every shattered piece of you. I’m asking that you let me love you. Let me love each piece of your broken heart, and I swear to you I will make up for every heartache you have ever experienced.”


I came back for Josie.


I knew I'd have to fight for her, but with the loss of her dad and the truth about what happened with her and Blake, I quickly realized that making her mine was going to be a lot harder than I first thought. The problem is, I can’t pretend like she’s just my best friend. I can’t pretend I don’t want more.


I'm willing to do anything to get her to admit she has the same passionate feelings for me, because I know once she opens up and stops lying to herself, I can show her what it really means to be loved. It's a battle of wills, but my love for her is stronger than her will to stop me.


So I fight for her. I fight because I know she deserves it.



OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:
That’s a Promise (Promises, Promises #1)

SYNOPSIS:
Pain isn’t new to me.


I’ve been to hell only to find it never really leaves when you get back. It haunts me through nightmares, unrequited love, lies, broken hearts, and now death.


A monster almost took my life.
My best friend carries half my soul a world away.
My boyfriend broke my heart but refuses to let me go.
And my father is dead.


I don’t believe in fate and I don’t believe in happily-ever-afters, but for some reason, I still hope.


Live, even with a tainted spirit.
Long for my other half to come back to me.
Risk another broken heart, just to feel loved again.
And refuse to let another horror break me.


In the face of my most recent tragedy, I have to decide whether forgiveness is something I can give. But even if that’s an option, can I be forgiven?

PURCHASE HERE:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Victoria Klahr (pronounced “Claire”) lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter, and furbaby, Stephen, Alexis, and Bandit. When she’s not daydreaming about book boyfriends and fantasizing about being a badass heroine, she’s busy writing the stories that keep popping into her head. She’s currently finishing the Promises, Promises series and plotting multiple spin-offs. 


CONNECT WITH VICTORIA:



Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday, February 02, 2015

That's a Relief-- First look

His hand touches my cheek and an instant betrayal crashes into my heart. “You look beautiful, Josie,” he says, voice low and thick. I close my eyes and turn away from his touch. Hot tears sting behind my eyes. I know better. How could I let him touch me? Sure it was only for two seconds, but that’s still way too long. When I look at him again, he gives me a reassuring smile. “You look happy,” he says, shoving his hand in his pocket. He nods his head as if agreeing with something he’s said in his head. “At peace. Something I couldn’t give you. I really am glad you’ve found that. You deserve that.”

“Thank you,” I say softly. He knows too. He knows Seth is right for me. He steps closer and shatters whatever respect I had for him for accepting my relationship with Seth.

“But if that ever changes. If you’re ever unhappy or feeling even a sliver of doubt or if he hurts you or keeps something from you, open that box. Follow it and you’ll know that despite everything we went through I truly loved you. I love you.”

Feeling the sting of his words like a slap on the face, I take a step back, appalled. “How dare you, Blake.” I give him a scathing look, heat pumping in my chest and throat. “Don’t say things like that. You will never get me to change my mind. Even if Seth and I go through a rough time, I will never choose you. I will never be with you. No matter what’s in the fucking box. I’ll never change my mind.”

Undeterred, but giving me the distance I need, he says, “Well then, I suppose you could still open it and follow it. Though I wouldn’t share it with Seth. It might bruise his ego—not being able to give you everything you ever wanted.”

I scrunch my face in disgust. “God, I can’t remember one reason why I ever even liked you, let alone thought I loved you.”

He runs his hand over his scruffy face, closing his eyes. “Dammit, Jo. I didn’t mean for this to turn into this. I guess I’m just a little jealous to see his ring your finger instead of mine.” He shakes his head and gives me a contrite look. “I’m sorry. Forget it.”

He walks away and I start toward the door to go back to Seth. My Seth. The one who makes my heart race with every touch. The one who has loved me for so long but always seems to have more to give. And I’m so fucking glad because out of all the stupid stupid fucking mistakes I’ve made in my life, Seth has never and will never be one of them.

Before I start to our car, Blake turns back around and shatters me once more.

“Oh! Josie. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you this, but be careful out there. My dad’s become relentless with his questions about you. Stay alert and safe.”

He opens his mouth to speak again, but shakes his head and gives me a sad smile, turning to go to his car. And he leaves me there, mouth slack, one hand moving to my stomach and the other to my racing heart.

And it clicks. The last two weeks finally make sense. The way Dad and Seth would stop talking as soon as I entered a room. The way Seth held me tight when we would walk outside in the dark. The moments I’d catch Seth looking in the distance, jaw set, grinding his teeth before he noticed me watching him, flashing a charming smile to negate any fears I may have had. The reluctance to let me go anywhere alone without him or Dad or Brooke or Bandon.

And I break. The. Fuck. Apart.
Michael.
Michael’s out.

I collapse to my knees and vomit in the middle of the parking lot. 
                                                         *      *      *

Stay tuned for a May release of That's a Relief. Comment away! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

That's a Promise Re-release




Today is a great day for me and my Booktrope team. After a lot of freaking hard work and a LOT of late night wine glasses, we have finally re-published That's a Promise. A lot of thought, heart, and soul has gone into this book, and I hope you all love it-- as much as the original or more!

Start the crazy roller coaster journey between Seth, Blake, and Josie, today! Also, make sure you enter my giveaway for the release!






Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday, August 01, 2014

Promise Me (Tony and Will)

(Remember: this is subject to change)

Chapter 1


  The day I met Will Reyes is the day my heart no longer belonged to me. It no longer mattered that my parents told me I was wrong and unnatural. It wasn’t important that my friends wouldn’t understand and would ridicule me. It wasn’t even disconcerting that the God I was brought up to fear and revere would send me to hell. All that mattered was the man who stepped out of his car in the pink shirt, golden brown skin, and eyes that took away my breath.
  The sun was starting to fall away from the sky, filling the hot eastern Virginia air with a slight breeze that cooled the garage a few degrees. Sweat dripped down the back of my neck and forehead, soaking the ball cap that was snug on my head. The Rolling Stones played on the radio, filling the local auto shop with something that I could actually work to.
  My boss had left early that day, as he usually did since I knew as much about fixing cars as the trained mechanic, and I was grateful for the solitude. I sang terribly to the words of “Start Me Up” as I worked under a beat up truck. Even better than not being under the boss’s scrutinizing eyes was being able to listen to something other than the country garbage he played all day.
  I grunted in frustration when the nut I had been trying to tighten kept slipping from my hand. I placed it on the concrete ground and wiped my oil slickened hand on my red dingy shirt. When I tried again, I was able to finish installing the new clutch. It also meant my work day was complete.
  I rolled out and grimaced when I heard the sound of crunching rocks. The approaching car meant I couldn’t go home. Mike would be pissed if he found out I turned away an opportunity for more money. I sighed and grabbed a rag from the work table.
  I squinted from the blinding sun as I walked to the edge of the garage and looked across the driveway. I leaned up against the wall and waited for him to come out and ruin my night.
  The car was a pristine dark blue Thunderbird. Cosmetically, I couldn’t see any damage, so I hoped he or she was coming by for an air freshener instead of work that needed to be done. However, the lurch and grind of the car during a downshift shot that dream down quickly.
  I turned my Chevrolet hat backwards and threw my wrench into the toolbox behind me as I waited for the person to hurry up and get out of the car. Because the driver was taking her sweet time getting out of the car, I could only assume it was a woman, and it wasn’t a good first impression. In my frustration, I started walking to the driver’s side door, surprised to see how wrong I was.
  When I was about a foot away, the door opened, and my throat seemed to close. The air in my lungs caught, and when my heart started beating again, it thumped roughly against my chest. I had never in my life seen anyone as handsome as this man.
  He had brown skin that glistened in the descending sun, even though there wasn’t a speck of water or sweat on him. He had the darkest brown eyes I had ever seen; it was like I was soul searching inside my coffee cup. His eyes had a slight slant to them, indicating some kind of Asian roots and making him even more attractive. His dark brown hair was parted to the side and glistened the same way his skin did. He looked like a god.
  But it wasn’t the fact that he was the most handsome person I had ever met, it was the smile that lit up his face when he looked back at me. It was the straight white teeth, the laugh lines around his eyes, the way his cheeks lifted, and most of all, it was the sincerity of his smile.
  “Hi, I’m Will Reyes.”
  That was the moment my heart was stolen.
  I swallowed back the confusing thoughts and feelings and put on my best scowl. I didn’t want to acknowledge the initial feelings this stranger aroused, so I hid it.
  “What can I help you with?” I asked, ignoring his introduction and trying to stop admiring his smile. My faux indifference didn’t seem to dim his genuinely sincere personality.
  “Don’t know much about cars, but there’s this loud grating sound it makes and it kind of shudders when I’m shifting.” He stood next to me to look at the car and I grew uneasy once again at his proximity and the way his gentle voice put my senses on high alert.
  I coughed once and moved subtly to examine the car. “Sounds like you might have transmission issues. It would take a few days to fix. If you bring it back tomorrow, I can give you a definite idea of what the issue is and we can talk about getting it fixed.”
  “Oh. Could I leave it here? I have someone picking me up, I just figured you’d have to keep it here while it’s getting fixed anyway.”
  It wasn’t customary for us to just keep a car in the garage overnight before there was any type of payment or clear work to be done, but I wasn’t about to tell him that. “Sure. Just come by tomorrow and I will let you know what’s going on.”
  I put my hands in my back pockets and looked everywhere but his eyes, until eventually there was no denying the magnetic pull. My chest tightened when I found his eyes looking straight at me without shame. Our eyes locked onto each other for a minute before either of us moved.
  He moved first. He took a step closer to me, and my heart sped up when he was only an inch away.
  “I suppose you’ll be needing these...?”
  In his hand, he held his keys. You can tell a lot about somebody through their key chains. I took a quick glance at his and saw a Madonna pendant on it. I smiled to myself and looked back at him.
  “These would help,” I sarcastically said in an attempt to lighten my shy and unapproachable character. “I’m Tony.” I stuck out my empty hand and he reached out at the same time. His dark tanned hands were soft and unmarred, unlike mine, which had seen too many scrapes and hard edges of car parts. I didn’t usually feel self-conscious because I never had anyone I really wanted to impress, but I felt it then- the clawing desire to make myself more presentable and worthy of this handsome man.
  “Nice to meet you.” His lips tilted upward as he held onto my hand. We touched for a few beats longer than necessary in an introductory handshake, but no one was around to witness the exchange so it didn’t matter.
  ‘You too.” I couldn’t stop the smile that formed on my face- completely opposite to the usual mien I had with customers.
  “So you the boss here?” he asked. He left little space between us and I inhaled a swift scent of burning fire. It was warm and inviting. I didn’t want to stop breathing him in. The opposite could be said for me. I was in dingy clothes that smelled like sweat and oil. He was probably repulsed.
  “Not technically. He leaves early and I do most of the work, but I’m still just a lowly mechanic.”
His dark eyes traveled the length of my over-six-feet-tall stature, lingering on my rounded biceps, smeared with grease, and finally landing on my olive green eyes.
  “There’s definitely nothing lowly about you, Tony. Me on the other hand…” He looked down at himself, about a foot shorter than me and very well groomed, then back up at me. “I could check under the hood and mess something up.”
  A swell of mirth swirled in my stomach, and I laughed at his response. He laughed with me, and I admired the harmony we made in our happiness. His laugh was more of a soft giggle, and mine was deep and short.
  “I’m sure you’re not lowly in anything else,” I reassured him. He bit his bottom lip and looked down at his white tennis shoes in a moment of shyness I wouldn’t have guessed could come out of him. A splash of red tinted his lovely skin along his cheekbone, and my hand itched to reach out and follow the color.
  I opened my mouth to ask what time I could see him the following day, but we both started when a car came rumbling down the driveway. I shook off whatever confidence had overcome me and stepped away. A slight crease formed in Will’s perfect features when he glanced back at me and observed the distance I put between us, but he smoothed it out quickly and I couldn’t tell if he was frustrated or hurt.
  When the silver car parked next to the Thunderbird, a pretty honey-brown haired girl stepped out the driver’s side. Her hair fell down to the middle of her back and she stood way below my height at about five feet tall. She was so thin I could barely see any of her curves in the yellow sundress she was wearing, but I was sure other guys would be attracted to her.
  She smiled brightly at Will and gave him a hug, making me realize that she was there for Will. I chastised myself for assuming he might be like me. Of course someone as handsome as him wouldn’t be gay. He could have any girl he wanted. I was just some mechanic boy who would never have a chance to be who I really am. I stepped back into the garage to turn away from the unexpected pain of being attracted to someone who was unattainable.
  “I’ll see you tomorrow and let you know what’s going on,” I said over my shoulder. I pretended to be busy with the tools on the workbench, and waited for them to leave.
  “Can’t wait, Tony.”
  I tried my hardest not to turn around. I really did. But I couldn’t. The way he said my name was like a caress of my soul, and I had to take one more selfish glance at the man who was changing me. His look was confident and his smile was sweet. He looked like he was trying to speak to me with his eyes, but I knew it was my obscene hopefulness.
  My jaw ticked as I watched the petite girl slide her arm through his. I was surprised when she spoke to me with a coquettish tone. “Yeah, I can’t wait either, Tony.”
She giggled and fluttered her eyelashes, similar to the other girls I paid no attention to when I would go out, and I turned my gaze back to Will’s to drown out the blatant flirting. His smile widened and without another word, he turned and walked to the girl’s car.
  After starting wide eyed between Will and me, I heard her whisper, “Oh my god, Will. He’s totally-.”
  “Stop it, Am,” he said, cutting her off and opening the passenger door. His tone was meant to be harsh, but even I could see the elated aura surrounding him and his wide smile. Lost in her own world, she jovially did a shake of her hips and a twirl before opening her door.

  I smirked at their comradery and went back to cleaning the garage so I could leave for the night. I didn’t know who this Will was, but I knew my mundane and monotonous life was about to change.