Authors: Jami Wagner
BLACK ALCOVE NOVEL
Date in the Dark (A Novella)
One Kiss (A Black Alcove Novel)
To my mom, dad, and sister.
I love you all more and more each
Just One Night
© 2015 by Jami Wagner
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is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events
and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination
or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons,
living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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Sara and Logan have
always known their relationship was different because they were never
very good at the “just friends” thing. They’re finally ready to
embrace a deeper side—but are they ready for big-time problems?
Sara Connelly has a
drive for success. She hasn’t made time for men because the way she
sees it, a career she can control but a relationship she can’t.
Just one night was all it took to send her running on a trip to
collect her thoughts and re-group back to her career-focused life.
But when she comes home, she quickly learns there might be more
important things in life than owning her own business, and that’s
Logan Parker coasts
through life day by day, and as long as Sara is a part of that life,
he’s happy. One night has left Logan with the impression that more
than friends is an option. But when Sara leaves without an
explanation, he vows to show her how important she is to him. When an
opportunity gives him the chance to be someone he thinks Sara would
be proud of, he doesn’t pass on the offer. Her moving across state
lines, however, wasn’t in his plans.
Living in two states is
going to be hard. Holding a long-distance relationship is going to be
harder. They’ve made it this far, but can they make it work or will
distance finally tear them apart?
I’m fully aware of my
own vulnerabilities. I know what I need to do to avoid them and yet,
I’m about to be alone in The Black Alcove, the bar I manage for my
father, with my number one weakness. Logan Parker.
The lock clicks under
Logan’s fingers after the last two customers are finally out the
door. Friday night of finals week is always the busiest night. What
better way to celebrate passing finals and the start to summer than
with a drink, right?
“I honestly thought
those last two guys were never going to leave,” Logan says,
sauntering behind the bar. He flicks the last of the lights on and we
both squint at the brightness.
“They had so many
drinks, I was beginning to think they were going to pass out here,”
It’s nearing two
thirty in the morning, and I can’t speak for Logan, but I’m
exhausted and can’t wait to crawl into my bed and fall asleep. This
was my final semester, too. I’m officially a college graduate—minus
knowing my official grades and the fact I’m choosing not to walk
with the rest of the class—and although I should be joining other
students my age, I’m working.
before play is the Connelly way.
My father taught me
this motto while he and my mother were splitting up when I was ten.
He told me I need to follow it so I don’t make the same mistakes he
did. Twelve years later, this motto follows me everywhere. The part
where my mother left and never came back proves his reasoning
accurate. I get the yearly birthday card from her, but that’s all
and I’m okay with it.
“Did you see the
shirt he was wearing?” Logan asks, chuckling as he drains the sinks
and begins to scrub them clean.
“Yes! Oh god. It
looked exactly like that blue button up you wore every day of junior
“I didn’t wear it
“Only the ones where
you were in class.” I laugh, pulling up a seat as he hands me the
cash drawer and turns the credit card machine toward me. I punch a
few numbers and the receipt of tonight’s numbers starts to print.
“Hey, that was a
classy shirt. It made me look good, and if I remember right, I was
wearing that shirt the day I asked you out.”
“Yep, that’s right,
and you wore it every day that we dated, too.”
“I wore different
shirts that year.”
“Not that I
Logan quickly sprays me
with the sink’s hose and I squeal when the cold water splashes
against my skin.
“Okay, okay, whatever
happened to that shirt anyway?” I ask when he tosses me a towel,
flashing the grin that tugs every emotion I’ve ever felt for him.
And it’s a lot. Especially when I know exactly where said shirt
is—in my closet. I was supposed to give it back to him but never
got around to it and now … well, it’d be creepy if I told him I
still had it.
“It was ripped and a
few of the buttons were torn off—”
“What? You loved that
shirt. How did you ruin it?” I ask. I’ve always been curious to
actually ripped it. The night we broke up, I went to a party out at
Wind River field after I left your house and started a fight. It came
off somehow during the brawl and I never saw it again.”
Those same emotions—joy
from what we had, fear of losing him again, and hope that we could
one day go back to that—flood back into my chest as I gaze up at
him from my seat. His eyes flash to mine briefly before he looks
“What do you think
would have happened if we hadn’t broken up?” he asks. There’s a
hesitation to his voice, but when his eyes land on me again, I see
fear. He’s nervous about my answer.
I can’t even finish
the sentence because although I’ve thought of this moment time
after time since high school, my heart couldn’t take it again. I’ll
never forget the day Logan told me he couldn’t have a girlfriend
because his life was just beginning. He would be going away for
college and didn’t want to continue something he couldn’t hold a
promise to. That he wouldn’t even try broke my heart the way any
seventeen-year-old’s heart would break. I thought my life was over.
It took almost our
entire senior year of high school for us to go back to the friends we
were before dating. I’ve imagined us starting a relationship again,
but I can’t lose him the way I did before. Not with the friendship
we have now.
“Wait, don’t answer
that. I just—I want you to know that breaking up with you was one
of the biggest mistakes I could have made and I’d do anything to
take it back.”
I blink, watching as
his eyes bore into my own, and my breathing gets faster. They never
break their hold as he quickly rounds the bar.
“I’m not asking you
to make a decision right now, or even tomorrow or the next day. But I
am asking you to think about it.”
“Logan, it’s been
five years. Where is this coming from?”
“Sara, come on, that
spark between us—it’s always been there. You’re the first
person I go to with good news and I know I’m that person for you,
too. We flirt more than your average friends should and that’s
because we’ve never been just friends. Never. I’m just finally
speaking up about it.”
words to disagree catch in my throat because he’s right.
“Just one night,
Sara. That’s all I’m asking. Nothing has to happen that you don’t
want to, but just spend one night with me.”
The fact he isn’t
asking for a commitment is comforting. The fact that this is
Logan—the guy who holds my first for every important moment in
life, the guy who has held my heart since high school—makes my
“Okay,” I answer,
not considering that he’s also the guy who could destroy me. His
lips are on mine before I can say anything else. Just one night,
that’s all I need, too.
Today I just wish I’d
known this one night would send me over the edge.
One year later…
There are only three
things in life that terrify me. The first is dying from a freak
accident—shark attack, tripping and cracking my head open, or
choking while I’m alone come to mind. The second is not being
successful. I took college classes in high school and doubled my
course load once I was actually attending the local campus just so I
could be ahead in my career. My father raised me well, and letting
all of that go to waste is a scary thought. And the last thing that
scares me, the thing that could ruin me, is committing to someone who
will leave me with a broken heart. Committing to Logan Parker to be
The last part was the
reason I decided to travel to all the fifty states and to Europe last
year. It was a last minute decision, but one night with Logan had me
rethinking the two things in life I thought I knew for sure—my
choice in career and rekindling a relationship with him. It was like
everything I’d worked for the past few years didn’t matter
anymore and I was about to make a huge commitment with someone. I
thought getting away, far away, would make us both forget what it
feels like to be together. Clearly, I was wrong.
My back rubs against
the tree, and when Logan pushes his body against mine, the bark digs
into my skin. In this moment, I don’t care. I will accept it. I’ll
even enjoy it. There’s zero amount of pain that could keep me from
kissing Logan Parker.
I run my hands through
his hair and pull him closer. I love the way his body feels against
mine. I dreamed of this moment almost every day that I was away.
His lips trail soft and
tender kisses from just below my ear down to my chest. Another moan
slips past my lips from his touch. The noises I make when I’m with
him are uncontrollable. Fighting it has always been pointless from
Logan pulls away,
leaving his hands to rest on my hips. He locks a dreamy gaze with
mine and my heart starts to race, the way it does every time his eyes
are on me. It makes me feel wanted, desired. I imagine I give him the
same exact look.
It doesn’t help that
he’s wearing a pair of khaki slacks with a pressed, white,
button-down shirt today. Or that his blonde hair is cut short and
shining lighter from the heat of the sun, or that no matter where we
are, he keeps those bluish gray eyes that sparkle focused on me. The
fact I know he has an amazing and almost unbelievably firm body
underneath all those clothes really tests the control I have over how
much I want him right now.
His pleased grin
reveals straight, white teeth.
“I don’t think we
should sneak around anymore, Sara,” Logan whispers, moving his hand
to mine and pulling me into his arms.
Since I’ve been back
from Europe, sneaking around has been our thing. I left with the idea
I wanted space, but I returned with the idea I need Logan. I even had
a weak moment and came home to see him for a few days. But when I
learned what my cousin had been doing to Kelsey, the idea of trust
overwhelmed me and I left again.