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As Long As You Kiss Me

As Long As You Kiss Me

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Her abusive ex is making threats. But that just means she gets to finally date her long-time crush...even if it is just pretend.

Main Tropes

  • Ex-Military
  • RomCom Suspense
  • Fake Romance

Synopsis

Quirky ice cream shop owner Sully Roberts is determined to look on the bright side of life. Sure, her abusive ex just returned and keeps threatening her. But she's going to focus on the positives--like how her late brother's best friend is now posing as her boyfriend to keep her safe. The fact that she's had a massive crush on the former Marine for years is just a bonus.

Jackson isn't only attracted to Sully--he's keeping secrets from her, like the fact that he holds himself responsible for her brother's death. Pretending to be her boyfriend is nothing more than an opportunity to atone for some of his past mistakes. And if he has to kiss her as part of the ruse? Well, that's a price he's willing to pay.

As they prepare to run her ex out of town with a series of spooky pranks, like rattling chains outside his window and releasing a mouse and a spider into his home, it becomes harder to remember this is all an act. Can their relationship survive not only her crazy ex, but the truth about her brother? Or will it be another casualty of bad choices?

If you like sharp banter, swoony kisses, and small town sweet romcom edged with suspense, then you’ll love this witty romance! Binge the entire series today!

Intro into Chapter 1

Chapter 1

“Is that Jackson Carr?”
Aubrey leaned across Sully like she wanted to get a better look at the attractive man. He had dark hair and broad shoulders and was sitting at the bar,
ordering a drink from Dixie, the older woman who owned the tavern.

Dixie’s Tavern was the popular nightlife spot in Maple Creek and had karaoke, pool, darts, and drinks. It had that small town bar vibe with dark wood décor and a bit of a rustic feel to it. Everyone knew each other for the most part. That was why it was so
alarming to see Jackson there.

Sully’s cheeks warmed. She was probably blushing, and to keep her friend from noticing, she threw another dark at the board. It landed badly, and she blamed Jackson for it. How dare he sit there looking so amazing? He was messing up her game. “I think it is. I haven’t seen him in ages.” And with the body he’d gotten from years in the military, he was still just as magnetic as he had been the last time she’d seen
him. Apparently, he’d stayed in shape. Had he moved back into town, or was he just visiting?

Aubrey’s eyes lit up. “Ooh! You should go talk to him.” She threw a dart, hitting much closer to the
center than Sully’s dart had been. “I know you like him.” Clearly, she wasn’t as affected by Jackson as Sully was.

“I don’t think so.” Sully shook her head. Jackson had always kept her in the friend zone. But to be
fair, she hadn’t ever told him she was into him.

“Why not? You need to get out there more after what happened with Mason. You can’t hide from love forever.” Aubrey frowned in disappointment. But then her eyes brightened like a light bulb had blinked on in her brain. “You’re friends, right?”

“I guess you could say that. He was best friends with my brother.” But that had been a long time ago. “We haven’t really talked recently. So maybe you could say that we were friends
once.” Sully took her turn throwing a dart at the board. It hit a bit closer to the middle than her last one but still wasn’t great.

Aubrey grew even perkier at that news. “That’s good enough.” She took Sully’s shoulders and turned her to face Jackson. “Now, go talk to him. No more excuses.”

“What about our dart game?” Sully glanced over to where Jackson sat. He and Dixie were deep in conversation. Dixie had her graying wavy hair pulled back from her face. She was always one to lend a listening ear.

“Let’s just say you win, okay?”

“But I was doing awful.”

“I forgive you. You’re a winner. Yay.” She shook her hands up in the air like she was celebrating.

“You’re only saying that because the real win is getting me to talk to Jackson,” Sully complained.

Aubrey gave her a gigantic smile. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Sully rolled her eyes. “Fine,
I’ll say hi to him. But only because he was good friends with my brother. Not for any other reason.” Nerves bundled in Sully’s stomach at the thought of
talking to Jackson. He probably just thought of her as a little sister.

“Come on, you don’t think I’m blind, do you?” Aubrey twisted the dart between her fingers. “I’ve seen the way you look at Jackson.”

Her cheeks warmed again.
Was she really that obvious? “What way? I don’t look at him any kind of way.”

Aubrey snorted. “You look at him like you could eat him for dessert with a cherry on top.”

“You make him sound like an ice cream sundae.” That was just embarrassing.

“Just go talk to him.” Aubrey gave her an encouraging nudge in Jackson’s direction.

Giving in, she made her way over to the bar. Why did she let Aubrey talk her into these things? She was going to make a fool of herself. No. She shook her head to clear her mind. She was going to walk up to Jackson and converse with him like a normal human being. Because they were old friends. She’d give him a hug and ask him what he’s been up to.

As she crossed the room, a flash of movement caught her eye at the front door of the bar. She stopped cold in her tracks, her heart pounding. What was Mason doing here? He hadn’t
been back in Maple Creek for quite some time. Her no-good ex-husband was the last
person she wanted to see. They’d only been married for a year, but it had been the worst year of her life. She’d been young and stupid. Sully knew better now.
The best thing that had happened to her in years was the day he left town.

Mason must have felt her gaze on him, because he looked right at her. A smile spread across his face, and he started walking toward her.

“No, no, no,” Sully muttered low. She couldn’t face him again. Not after everything he’d done to
her. “Just walk,” she told herself. She put one foot in front of the other and continued her path to Jackson. He was still seated at the bar with his back to her. She flicked her gaze over to where Mason had been. Great. He was still heading her way, and it looked like he’d picked up the pace.

It was definitely time to panic. She got to Jackson’s back just as Mason got to her. Everything was
happening too quickly, and Sully didn’t know how to slow it down or stop it.

“Sully.” Mason’s triumphant
smile sent a chill down her spine.

A flash of him screaming at her went through her mind, and she shook off the horrible memory. Then he was punching the wall one awful day. She still relived those memories, often when she least expected.

She could do this. She forced a smile on her face and kept her voice as cordial as possible to hide her true feelings. “Mason. What brings you back to Maple Creek?” Jackson still had his back to them. He hadn’t seemed to notice what was going on in the noisy bar.

“I came to talk to you, actually.”

“Oh, really?” She kept the smile in place, but inside she was screaming. “What did you want to talk about?”

“You’re all I can think about anymore. I know I messed up big time when we were married, but I want to see if maybe we can patch things up again.”

Suddenly, Jackson turned
to her like he’d just noticed her there for the first time. “Hey, Sully.” He wrapped her in his arms and pulled her into a hug. “How’ve you been? I’ve really missed you.”

She didn’t give him a chance to keep talking. Without stopping to think it through, she grabbed
Jackson and planted a kiss right on his lips. She tasted sharp mint as she kissed him. His mouth was warm and soft and wonderful. Why hadn’t she ever tried this before? Kissing Jackson was the best idea she’d had in a long time. He didn’t seem to mind so much either. Still seated at the bar, kissed her back. She pulled away and looked into his bright blue eyes. She could see the
question in them.

“What’s going on, Sully?” Mason said. “Are you dating him?”

She turned her face sharply
to her ex. “Who I choose to date is none of your business, Mason.”

“I beg to differ. You can’t just throw away what we had. I was a big part of your life.” He put a
hand on her arm and gripped a little too tightly.

“Let go of me!” She ripped her arm away.

Jackson stepped off his bar stool and towered over the shorter guy. “If you ever touch her again when she doesn’t want you to, you’ll regret it.” His tone could have cut through stone. “So I suggest you take a hike before I throw you out myself.”

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