Ten Seconds to Fall

Lucy doesn't know what to do with herself after graduation. That is, until she stumbles upon The 10 Second Fiesta.

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5. The Morning After

I will not lie to you.

The night I spent in Jude's bed garnered me the best sleep I've had in years. And, I slept in. And, I woke to a mug of coffee on the bedside table.

The frightening thing was finding a shirtless, grumpy Jude sitting on the edge of the mattress, staring at me with puffy eyes and half of his curly hair smushed up on the side of his head.

The more frightening thing was how adorable he looked.

"Get up," he whined and ripped the blanket off of me.

"You're such a big baby," I frowned and sat up, thankful I slept in my clothes.

"I have to get dressed," he said. "You're in wardrobe."

"What?" I asked.

"You're in my wardrobe," he repeated, clearing his throat.

I left and headed home, praying that neither of my parents were home. And, they weren't. They were probably at a doctor's office somewhere. I took a quick shower, changed into fresh clothes, braided my hair, then headed back to the cafe.

I felt awkward and strange around Jude all day, and he kept giving me funny looks.

When we closed up for the day, he gently grabbed my arm while I was on my way out.

"Is there something wrong?" he asked. "Do I make you uncomfortable?"

"Yes," I sighed, then caught my stupid, stupid mouth. "But, not for any wrong reasons."

I had felt an attraction to Jude from the moment I first saw him. It's the reason I backed out and landed on my butt. But, I still hadn't figured anything out about myself. And, he was my boss. And, he was four years older than me.

"Five, actually," he smiled. "I turned twenty-three last Friday. Just didn't want to make a big deal out of it."

My cheeks flared red. I had been thinking out loud. Oh god, what did I say? What did he hear?

"I just wanted to make sure we were okay before you left," he said. "I don't think I could run this place without you."

"Well, I am the manager," I said sternly. "It's kind of my job. By the way, I'm getting a raise, right?"

"Of course," he laughed. "Goodbye, Lucy."

"Goodbye, Jude," I smiled.

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The next morning, I put out an ad in the paper for hiring a new barista.

The girl we hired didn't last a week. She just stopped showing up. No call to quit or anything. I guess our little group kind of drove her crazy. And, by that, I mean Jude kind of drove her crazy and Lew scared her.

So, I put the ad out again.

This time, the girl who showed up was an adorable redhead named Jasey. She was only about five-foot-one-inch tall and her hair was cut in this perfectly straight bob. She had a petite frame and a feisty attitude. And, she was ready to work. And, she was surprisingly skilled at making the drinks tasty and beautiful.

There were two problems, though. She and Jude really got along well. And, she was twenty-one. Their opposite heights made them look so cute when they stood near each other, too. So, there were three problems.

Her first time working a concert night, she served drinks up like a champ.

But, to my pleasant surprise, Ian chose to saddle up beside me when the orders slowed down and poked my ribs.

"Hey!" I exclaimed.

"You look stressed," he said. "You've seriously had me worried lately. What's going on in your head?"

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I turned my head towards his and leaned in and kissed him. And he kissed me back. And it was the most wonderful feeling in the world.

"Do you think we'll have to report this to HR?" he asked, his face serious. "I mean, I am your boss. You're my subordinate."

"I think," I sighed. "That I am the boss."

"What?" he asked, laughing. "Don't be ridiculous. I'm totally the boss."

I shook my head. And he kissed me again.

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The End for now. I'm definitely including these characters in more stories. There might be a few sequels.

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