SEAL ALL EXITS By Jade C. Jamison
Heather Morrow has been fighting demons all her life, but the past two years have likely been her darkest. So when her friend Katie invites her to a reunion of sorts, Heather jumps at the chance, because Katie, one of the most down-to-earth people Heather has ever called friend, is the only person she has ever felt like herself around, and Heather realizes that she needs an ally to help her out of the shadows.
Kiefer Steele, vocalist for Shock Treatment, has been battling some demons of his own. He’s been a nothing most of his life, but world-famous J.C. Gibson took him from his beach-combing, weed-smoking ways and helped him make something of himself…except life on the road has taken its toll. The only ray of hope in his life has been his continuing online friendship with Heather. The two met in person once, backstage at a concert, and their friendship has grown stronger.
They haven’t seen each other in three years, though, and both have changed immensely.
When they discover each other’s darkest secrets, will their friendship—and budding romance—survive, or are they destined to spend their lives apart…and alone?
They walked off the deck and Kiefer said, “So what did you want to talk about?”
“Hmm. I’m not even sure where to start.”
“No pressure.” Kiefer looked up toward the mountain across the road. It was covered in evergreen trees and the sky above was a light blue, clean and clear. He could see why Johnny wanted to live here. Regular worries were gone, far and away, and it was like regular shit just didn’t matter.
Heather stopped walking, so Kiefer slowed and turned to face her. “Um...I have a proposal for you.”
He raised his eyebrow. “Yeah?”
“Yeah.” She drew in a deep breath and looked in his eyes, but he could tell it was hard for her. “I, uh...I don’t want or need a relationship. But I’m so glad you’re my friend.”
Kiefer smiled. “Ditto.”
“So...just so we can get it out of our systems...why don’t we, uh, explore our attraction, but...when we leave here, things go back to the way they were.” Kiefer drew in a long, slow breath. Was she saying what he thought she was? “That sound okay?”
Honestly, no, it sounded like a copout. He thought some of telling her that, but he wanted her. He wanted her to continue to be a part of her life and he also wanted to step it up a notch after what they had experienced last night. This might be his only chance to convince her that a more intense relationship could be a good thing. So he nodded. “Yeah.” On impulse, he took her hand in his. He wanted to start now.
Heather had other ideas, though. “Not here.” Kiefer couldn’t help the look of confusion that he knew appeared on his face. She let go of his hand but got a little closer, almost as though she were afraid someone would be able to hear her. “If we’re going to go back to the way things were after this week, then I don’t want to give anybody here any bright ideas, and I don’t want to answer any questions or deal with any looks.”
He nodded, saying nothing. He could live with that. And that also gave him several days to see what he could do to change her mind.
Jade C. Jamison was born and raised in Colorado, moved from one city/town to the next, and she’s decided she likes it so much she wants to stay…although travel is not out of the question. She lives in a big town in Colorado (not unlike the fictional Winchester she writes so much about) with her husband and four children. She is working on becoming a crazy cat lady. Okay, so maybe not.
Still want more? Jade has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Theater, a master’s degree in English, and a master of fine arts in Creative Writing. Obviously, she loves school and the student loan folks love her. She works in human services by day, teaches English and creative writing at night, and—in between playing soccer mom and community leader—writes like a fiend. Someday soon, she’ll narrow it down to just writing, but let’s get all those kids off to college first.