Katelin Zeal, owner of a bar and grill, is growing weary from the incessant demands of her business. Forced to wait tables to cover a shift for a no-show employee one evening, Katie is focused on taking care of her tables-until she notices a handsome male customer. Unnervingly, Rich seems to know what she is thinking even before she opens her mouth. But as they begin to act on their undeniable attraction to each other, neither has any idea that less than twenty-four hours later, Katie will be the victim of a car accident that leaves her with a traumatic brain injury.
Now in critical condition and fighting for her life, Katie must rely on Rich to be her advocate. But as Katie slowly begins to rejoin the world she left behind, she must face the reality that she has no idea who Rich is or what her future holds. But as long-held secrets bubble to the surface, Rich unveils his vampire abilities and Katie divulges her gifts as a shape shifter, setting off a chain of events that change everything.
In this romantic fantasy, a young woman whose life is forever altered by a car accident must learn to follow her heart after her path changes direction.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)|
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By Katina Zollman
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2013 Katina Zollman
All rights reserved.
Katelin Zeal was sitting at her kitchen table having her morning coffee, thinking how worn out she was getting. She was getting so tired of people calling in sick at her bar and grill, when her cell phone rang, she flipped it open, hi Mary. Hi Katelin I need to stay home today my son has a fever. Katie looked down at her coffee and took a breath, ok Mary I'll get your shift covered, I hope your son gets better bye. She closed her phone and leaned back in the chair, she had no one to cover the shift "shit" she would have to work tonight.
Katie went to the bathroom, took a quick shower, got dressed in the waitress uniform, grabbed her keys, locked the door and went out to her car. She drove to work thinking how she was going to hire someone else soon. Katie needed to get to her books so people can get paid. She pulled into the parking lot, got out of her car, she walked in Jess her bartender was getting ready to open. Jess looked over at her, working again boss? Yep Mary called in sick. Is Mark here yet she asked? Mark was her cook she hoped he was there she didn't want to close the kitchen tonight. Yep Katie he's back there in the kitchen. OK good I'm going back to my office till we get busy Katie said.
As she walked to her office she was thinking, what a good employee Jess was. She had been friends with him since grade school Jess and Tayia have always been her best friends. Tayia is a little wild Jess and Katie had to watch her pretty close. Katie sat down behind her desk, got out the books, it looked like she was going to have to pull an all nighter, she didn't realize how far behind she was. Jess had to come back to get her when the bar and grill started to get busy. It looks like we are gonna have a busy night Katie Jess said. She looked at him, be right out. Katie pushed her books aside and stood up. Jess had let her work on the books till just about dark 'bless his heart'.
Katie walked out to the bar, where Jess was making drinks, thanks Jess you're the best she told him. He smiled at her and they just got busy. Katie looked over at the stage where the band was sitting up and started to wait tables. She really missed singing. She looked at the band again it was Char. Katie used to sing with them, she thought they saw her. She took an order up to the bar. What's Char doing here she asked Jess? You've been so busy and I knew you didn't get a band so I asked them to play tonight, Jess said. That's great you just couldn't find anyone else. She thought hopefully they don't ask her to sing she was too busy. She went to another table there was five men and a woman sitting at the table. Katie took their orders and looked at the man setting in the corner he looked up at her, he had the most beautiful green eyes then he smiled and the cutest dimples in both cheeks.
The lead singer Ray came up behind Katie wrapped his arms around her and kissed her cheek he said we missed you Katie. She got red and turned around to face him, I missed you guys too. Can you sing with us tonight pretty, pretty please he said? I have a couple more tables to get as long as we don't get too busy. Katie turned back around to the man sitting in the corner he placed his order, she walked back to the bar to get their drinks. Thanks a lot Jess, I haven't sung for a long time. He smiled at her, you'll do fine. Ya I really hope so. She went to the last tables to get their orders when she took the drinks to the table in the corner, she put their drinks in front of each person. When Katie put the drink in front of the man in the corner he put his hand on hers. She got a sudden warm feeling and pulled her hand back. They just stared at each other until she heard we have a special treat for everyone tonight, Katelin Zeal hasn't sang with us for a long time but I think if we all put our hands together she will come up on stage. Everyone clapped but the man in the corner, he was still looking at Katie. She took her tray up to the bar and walked up on stage.
She turned to the band you guys are in such trouble they all smiled at her, she smiled back. We missed you too Katie and Ray leaned over and kissed her cheek. Katie looked at the guy sitting at the table in the corner he was still looking at her with a frown on his face. She looked at everyone and smiled, started to sing and move to the music.
Rich watched Katie walk up on stage she turned around and said something to the band. The man that kissed her cheek before gave her another kiss. Katie looked at him then looked at everyone else smiled then started to sing country music, she was so beautiful long brown hair, long legs and dark brown eyes she had the perfect body.
Rich sat back in his chair took a drink he was thinking how he wanted to punch that guy that kept touching Katie. Rich looked around the bar, it was pretty big all the tables were full with the dance floor full of people dancing and staring at the band. He kept his eyes on Katie she had the most amazing voice and the way she moved her body she was so hot. He was thinking how he would love to run his hands all over that perfect body while she was kissing him.
Matt brought him out of his thoughts she's really good isn't she? Yes, but everyone is staring at her and I don't like it. Matt, Cole, Mick, and Dan looked at Rich and smiled. You like her don't you? I didn't say that it's just all the men in this bar are watching her and I don't like it. Then Katie looked at Rich she smiled, moving that beautiful body. She kept staring at him like he was the only man in the room Rich licked his lips, Katie looked away. I have to have her He said out loud. Rich looked at everyone at the table they were looking at him 'shit' he thought, I must have said that out loud. You better move fast boss everyone in this bar wants her, Mick said.
Katie got done singing she gave the band members a hug she got off the stage walked to the bar, turned started to wait tables. She came to the table they were sitting at, Rich couldn't take his eyes off her she walked around the table to stand in front of him his eyes followed her the whole time. A man came up behind her, got to close he put his hand out to touch her she turned and grabbed his hand so fast it wasn't human. Rich put his hands out to catch her before his hands could touch her she walked to the other side of the table, took their orders. After Rich placed his order he got Katie's attention, before you leave tonight can I see you? She looked at him I'll be here all night. So maybe next time, she flashed him a smile she walked up to the bar. Rich watched her move to the bar and was thinking he finally found the woman God made for him to bond with after one hundred and fifty years. Rich looked over at Cole, he was smiling at him. Rich looked back over at Katie standing at the bar talking to the bar tender. He was wondering why she said she had to stay all night. Was she just telling him that? He didn't since a lie, but he didn't see another man. Rich felt Katie craved him as bad as he craved her. Rich told everyone they were staying till just before close.
Katie walked back up to the bar after leaving the table where that totally gorgeous, sexy guy had almost put his hands on her. She wanted him to catch her when she just about fell into him but she wasn't a kind of girl to do one night stands. When Katie got up to the bar, Jess was smiling at her, I think that guy wants to have sex Katie, he hasn't taken his eyes of you all night. Knock it off Jess, how many years have you known me? By the way you looked great on stage, Jess said. Katie's mind was only thinking about that guy in the corner, she didn't even know his name. (My name is Rich) she looked at Jess, did you say something? Nope Katie, what are you talking about? Katie thought she was going crazy. She heard that so loud, it was Rich's voice like he was right by her ear. His voice was the sexiest she'd ever heard.
Katie rushed back over to the table walked over to the man she couldn't get out of her head. What is your name she asked him? Rich looked at her and smiled, my name is Rich this is my family, he looked right this is Cole, Mick and Dan then he looked left this is Matt and his wife Beth. Beth came over to Katie she gave her a hug, we are going to be good friends Katie, Beth said. She was in shock they all acted like Rich and her were already dating. Katie couldn't quit looking at Rich, she was thinking how she wanted to kiss him and touch him. Even though she hadn't seen him stand up Katie wanted to see him standing in front of her kissing her. He smiled at her like he knew what she was thinking. (I want you to kiss me and I want to have you in my arms, Kate).
Katie shook her head she just walked around the table, her feet were just moving. She put her hand out and touched his lips with her fingers Rich lifted his hand up to her hand, kissed each finger Katie shivered. When he released her hand, she looked around the table everyone was looking at them except for Cole he was looking behind her.
Katie turned around Tayia was right behind her staring at Cole. Katie turned back to the table this is my friend Tayia, Katie said. Cole got up walked in front of Tayia, took her hand, Tayia my name is Cole, then he kissed her hand. Tayia took her hand back, that was so old fashioned but cute, she smiled at him turned to Katie I need to talk to you. Right we'll go to my office, Katie turned to go with Tayia behind her, when Katie walked by Jess, I'll be right back she said.
They got back to her office, Tayia sat in the chair across from her, Josh and me are fighting again that jerk thinks I'm cheating on him. I'm going to break up with him, he's always drunk. Can you come with me I'm scared to go alone and if you come maybe he won't hit me she said. Sorry Tay, I can't go with you tonight, maybe tomorrow night Katie said. I have to pull an all nighter. I have too much work to do here.
Katie and Tayia left her office when they got out to the bar the tables were empty, Katie looked over at the table in the corner, they were all still there. Tayia went over to talk too Jess. When the band was all packed up they walked over to Katie they all gave her a hug, Ray gave her a hug and a kiss. (Kate I'm a very jealous man). She looked over at Rich, and pulled away from Ray, so I probably can't talk you into coming with us, Ray said. Sorry Ray I have too much here to take care of. Goodbye Ray, call me when you come back to town. Ray tried to give her a hug again, she pulled back she looked at Rich was he smiling (that's my girl). Katie went to stand by Jess and Tayia, she felt Rich's eyes on her the whole way when she turned around Rich and his family were all standing up, the men were all so tall they were all 6'4 and then some. They were all walking toward Tayia and her.
Beth got to them first gave Katie a hug, said she would see her later. Cole went too Tayia and kissed her hand, while Rich walked over to stand in front of Katie after Beth walked over to Matt. Rich was so tall. (Kiss me Katie) Katie got up on her tip toes she put her mouth on Rich's, she didn't know why she just did she was lost. Rich put his hands on Katie's waist, pulled her close, so close she could fell his hard body on her stomach. (Cole and I will be back tomorrow night) she stared at his eyes, he winked. She looked at his family they smiled at her then walked out. As Katie watched them walk out, she was thinking, why she wanted to follow Rich? She said goodnight to Tayia, went back to her office.
Katie worked for an hour Jess came back, with a drink and sat in the chair on the other side of the desk. He was looking at her smiling, you have it so bad girl. She started to turn red, looked up at Jess, I'm staying here tonight when you go out could you lock up? Jess got up k boss see you tomorrow. Jess don't call me boss, we've been friends forever she said. He smiled at her k Katie see ya, Jess walked out of her office. She finished the drink got up to take the glass out to the bar, started some coffee. It was really dark outside her office, Katie was really jumpy tonight. She really wished she could go running under the stars, they were so buitiful.
When the coffee maker started Katie jumped. (You will never be alone again, sweetheart). Katie looked around the room 'how' she asked herself? Where are you Rich? (Why are you scared Kate?) Then Katie thought, yes she was going crazy. Your not crazy she heard Where are you Rich? How can I hear you? We have a special connection I want you to be my girlfriend? I don't know I only meet you tonight Katie thought. I'll let you think about it but you won't get rid of me. Just get out of my head now! She walked over to get some coffee, went back to her office, Katie couldn't concentrate on the books. But she couldn't quit thinking about Rich, the way he made her feel, she wanted to kiss him over and over. Then she started to think about how she wanted to run she wished she could have gone home tonight. (I really hope you don't run at night it's not safe she heard). She was excited he was back even though she didn't want him in her head. I can take care of myself she thought. Then Katie didn't hear him anymore maybe she was to mean, maybe she made him mad at her.
She walked over to her couch and laid down, closed her eyes all Katie could see is Rich's eyes and those cute dimples. Then she saw his muscular sexy body. She woke up when she heard her phone ring. She looked up at her clock, she only had an hour before the bar and grill opened, she flipped the phone open it was Jess. Good morning Katie, I'm your wake up call. Thanks Jess, see ya in an hour bye. Katie was sure glad she left clothes here for nights like this. She took a quick shower in her small bathroom got dressed, brushed her hair, she wasn't putting it up tonight, she hoped Rich would like it down. She put on some makeup, couldn't wait for Rich to come tonight. She looked in the mirror and smiled.
By the time Katie was ready to make coffee, she went out, Jess came in the door. She turned to him, looks like no one's calling in sick so I can finish my work today, I can go with Tayia to break up with her boyfriend tonight she said. I think she has the hot's for Cole, Jess said. Mary walked in the door, I'm really sorry about yesterday Katelin. That's ok Mary, it happens now I need to go to my office, she took her coffee back, sat behind her desk, got out the books. Katie left her door open for when Rich come's, Katie kept looking at the door expecting him there any minute. She wondered why she didn't hear Rich all day, Katie really missed him. She looked out the window it was almost dark, she was just finishing up.
Katie got up to stretch. I'm here Katie where are you? In my office, I'll be right out she thought. When she looked up, he was leaning on the door frame, smiling at her. He looked sexier than last night. Come over here and show me how sexy you think I am, Rich said. Katie walked over, stood in front of him he lowered his head, put his lips on hers and he moved her back to the chair. He turned her around to sit on his lap, he was kissing her neck Katie looked up as Tayia and Cole walked in, Tayia moved in front of Cole are you ready to go Katie, she got off Richs lap. We'll be right back we have something to take care of, Katie told Rich.
Rich grabbed her around the waist pulled her against him put his lips on her he said to Kate don't be long I've waited all day to see you. Rich and Cole followed them out of Katie's office, Tayia drug Katie to the door she looked back over her shoulder Rich went to sit with his family. She wanted to stay with him she didn't get to see him enough before they had to leave. They got out to Tayia's car and drove to Josh's house really fast.
Excerpted from Life Changes by Katina Zollman. Copyright © 2013 Katina Zollman. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc..
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