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Falling For The Plumber

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Zusammenfassung

A fake relationship, holiday romance. Milly: My life was quiet and uncomplicated. I had everything I needed in Key West. Family, my best friend, and a job at a high-end spa. Until a waxing mishap with an attention-seeking social media influencer turned my life upside down. Now I have to leave town. I barely know the sexy plumber sleeping in my sunroom, but I’m headed to Canada to spend Christmas with him and his family. Levi: I haven’t been home in three years. The wounds of betrayal run deep. My family is hoping my visit will turn into a permanent stay. I’m not looking for a relationship, but my matchmaker sisters think if they set me up with a local girl, I will move back home. My best friend asked me to take his little sister to Canada to hide her from the paparazzi. It’s a mutually beneficial situation. I have a fake girlfriend, whose presence will put an end to the matchmaking. And Milly gets to escape the media circus.

Genre:
Romance
Autor:
S.L. Adams
Status:
Abgeschlossen
Kapitel:
30
Rating:
4.9 28 Bewertungen
Altersfreigabe
18+

Chapter 1


© 2023 by Sara Leanne Adams

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This 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.

Warning: this book contains sexual content not suitable for persons under 18 years of age.


Milly

I glanced down at the fresh blood on my white capris. It belonged to me. I fell off my bike during my hasty getaway from the spa. There was no way it came from anyone else. My lab coat protected my clothes from that.

My heart hammered against my ribs, the erratic bounding rhythm making me dizzy. Sweat poured down my back, soaking my white t-shirt, and turning it into a clingy, transparent cloak.

I always went out of my way to hide my boobs, choosing clothing that didn’t draw attention to the oversized mountains that didn’t belong on my skinny body. But they were on display for the world on that horrifying afternoon.

Christmas music spilled from the bars. Tourists clogged the sidewalks, taking in the festive glow of red and green. Duval Street was all decked out for the holidays.

I steered my bike onto a side street, dodging cars and pedestrians as I pedalled toward my house in Bahama Village. A few of my neighbours waved from their porches. I pulled out around the garbage truck and just missed a head-on collision with another cyclist.

“Watch where you’re going!” the guy yelled when he flew past me.

I came to a stop in front of my house, gasping for air as I stumbled from my bike.

The front of our house had a white picket fence. I reached over the tall gate, feeling around for the latch. It swung open forcefully, sending my body flying backwards. I landed in the pile of trash bags at the edge of the road.

“Oh, Lord,” Brenda sighed, shaking her head. “I’ve never met a kid as clumsy as you before, Molly.”

“It’s Milly,” I growled. “I’m not a kid. I’m twenty-three. And that was your fault. How did you not see me on the other side of the gate?”

“Is that some kind of dig at my lack of height?” she huffed. “I’d rather be a little on the short side than too tall. Good luck getting a man. Most guys won’t look twice at a woman who towers over them.”

I sat up, wiping a mystery liquid from my arm before I pushed to my feet. “The reason I don’t have a boyfriend is because I don’t want or need one.”

“Sure, honey,” she said with a condescending snort. “You’re an esthetician, but you don’t use any of your skills on your own appearance. It makes no sense to me.”

“If you’re done insulting me, you’re free to go.”

She wrinkled her nose, cringing when I pulled a chicken bone from my hair. “Oh, that’s so gross,” she said before turning to head down the sidewalk.

“I’m okay!” I called out. “Thanks for your concern!”

I picked garbage from my clothes while I watched the snooty bitch climb into her orange convertible.

Brenda was dating our boarder, Levi. She was the third girlfriend he’d had since moving in with us six months before.

My older brother worked as a chef on a cruise ship for a couple of years to gain experience and save money. Greg met Levi, who was working onboard as a plumber on the same ship, and they became best friends. We didn’t have an extra bedroom, so Levi was sleeping in the sun porch that used to be my craft room.

I grabbed my bike and wheeled it into the yard, closing the gate behind me. After the mishap at work, and my unfortunate fall into the trash, a shower was definitely in order.

The events of the day were on constant replay in my mind as I headed for the bathroom.

What if I got fired?

It was an accident, but my boss was kind of mean. The client was a very famous loudmouth. Inez Ingerson was a former reality television star, with her own fashion line and podcast, and millions of followers on social media. She was all about garnering attention and staying relevant. But even Inez had to have some limits to what she was willing to share for the sake of publicity. She probably wanted to forget what happened just as much as I did.

We always kept the bathroom door closed. After our cat fell in the toilet, we implemented that household rule.

I turned the handle and pushed the door open.

I was on autopilot.

My brain was busy trying to manage the brewing storm of anxiety and panic.

I didn’t notice the steam.

Didn’t hear the water running.

I pulled back the shower curtain.

“What the fuck?!” Levi hollered.

I screamed and yanked the curtain closed. But not before I got a glimpse of a wet, naked man.

I’d seen his chest before. He walked around shirtless all the time. It wasn’t his pecks that shocked me.

Nope.

The startling part was quite a bit lower than his chest.

I’d seen lots of dicks in the course of my job. And none compared to the girthy snake hanging down to Levi’s knees.

Fine.

That was a slight exaggeration.

I did only see it for a split second.

But it was definitely not a cocktail wiener.

And it wasn’t erect.

I couldn’t even imagine what that thing would be like if it was aroused.

The water shut off.

I scrambled to grab my robe from the hook on the back of the door.

“Are you still in here?” he asked.

“I’m leaving,” I said. “Just give me two seconds.”

“How did you not notice the shower was occupied?”

“Why wasn’t the door locked?”

“I wasn’t expecting you to come home for two more hours.”

“I got off early.”

“You don’t say.”

“How did you not hear me?”

“I had headphones on.”

“Who wears headphones in the shower?”

“I do.”

“That doesn’t seem very smart.”

“Unless you want another glimpse of this sexy bod, I suggest you take your sweet rack and get the heck out of here, because I’m opening this curtain in about two seconds.”

I opened the door, stumbling down the hall to my bedroom.

Thank God it was Tuesday, and my father wasn’t home. He played shuffleboard on Tuesday afternoons.

Levi saw me naked!

I was so busy thinking about his body, that I forgot he also saw mine.

I waited until I heard him walk through the house to the sun porch. When I felt confident it was safe to come out, I peeked into the hall. The coast was clear. I made a beeline for the bathroom, locking the door behind me.

He thinks I have a sweet rack.

I smiled to myself while I massaged the shampoo into my scalp. No man had ever said anything complimentary to me about my body before.

Except Corgi.

He doesn’t count.

Corgi is a heterosexual male.

He most certainly does count.

He’s your best friend.

He does not count.


My stomach growled impatiently, reminding me that I would have to leave my bedroom to get food at some point.

How was I supposed to face Levi?

He saw me naked!

I peeked out the window for the gazillionth time. His work van was still in the driveway.

Wasn’t there someone in Key West who needed the services of a plumber?

I opened my door and made my way to the kitchen as silently as I could manage. The house was quiet. Maybe he was outside.

I rounded the corner into the kitchen.

No sign of Levi.

So far, so good.

I opened the fridge and grabbed a plate of leftovers. When your brother was a chef, there was always something yummy in the fridge. I didn’t even care what it was.

“There’s the most popular girl in Key West!”

Shit.

I popped my plate into the microwave before turning to greet my father. “How was shuffleboard, Dad?”

“Same as always, but the coffee after was very interesting.”

“What was so interesting about your coffee?”

“It was the coffee shop that was interesting,” he clarified.

“Why’s that?” I asked, glancing nervously toward the sun porch.

“I got a joke for you, Milly.”

I removed my plate from the microwave and edged my way toward the hall. The thing about my dad was that he was a talker and a jokester. If I didn’t get out of there immediately, I would never escape. His birth certificate may have said he was sixty-five, but his behaviour most days was more in line with a sixteen-year-old boy.

“What did one tampon say to the other when they met on the street?”

I froze.

There was no way he heard what happened at the spa. It wasn’t possible.

Levi emerged from the porch, winking at me before I had a chance to look away. I stared at the floor while I waited for Dad to finish his joke.

“Well, Milly?” he laughed. “Do you have an answer?”

“No, Dad. Why don’t you just tell me?”

“What did one tampon say to the other when they met on the street?”

“You already told me that part of the joke, Dad.”

“Levi didn’t hear it.”

“Why don’t you tell him?” I suggested. “I’m not really in the mood for jokes.”

“Nothing! They were both stuck up cunts!”

“Dad, that’s not a nice word.”

“I heard you had a bit of a run-in with a stuck up cunt today,” he said.

I set my plate on the kitchen island and braced my hands on the counter.

There was no way that got out.

Unless Inez herself authorized it.

I licked my lips, praying she didn’t go public. Levi leaned against the doorway, his eyes pinned on me. I refused to make eye contact, but I could feel him staring. Our shower incident was suddenly the least of my worries.

“What are you talking about, Dad?”

“That Inez Ingerson woman posted what happened online.”

“What?” I gasped. “Why would she do that?”

“Well, for attention, I reckon.”

“But that’s really embarrassing for her,” I squeaked. “Why would she want people to know?”

“I guess it doesn’t really bother her,” he said with a shrug. “It’s a natural body function. No reason to be embarrassed about something that happens to all women.”

“What happened?” Levi asked.

“I can’t believe this,” I whispered.

Levi pulled his phone from his pocket, wincing when he found the answer to his question online. He glanced up at me with a sympathetic frown. “She’s playing the victim card.”

“That doesn’t surprise me.”

“I’m sure this will all blow over,” Dad said, patting me on the shoulder. “Sticky situations tend to do that.”

“Dad!”

“What?”

“You know what.”

“It’s an expression, Milly.”

“You used it as a play on words.”

“Yeah,” he chuckled. “You gotta learn to laugh at yourself, honey. Stop taking life so seriously.”

I pulled my vibrating phone from my back pocket, gulping when I saw my boss’s name on the screen. My hands trembled as I swiped my sweaty digit across to answer.

“Hello?” I said in a shaky voice.

“Good evening, Mildred.”

I resisted the urge to remind her I went by Milly. It wasn’t the time.

“Hi, Larissa.”

“Mildred, as you know, I’m not one to mince words. As I’m sure you are aware, Inez Ingerson has posted on social media about the unfortunate incident this afternoon at the spa. And the post went viral. People are calling for a boycott of my spa, unless I terminate you immediately.”

“But it was an accident,” I protested.

“Yes, I know, but I’ve already had several cancellations. I’m sorry, Mildred.”

“Do you want me to take a leave of absence?”

“No. Your position has been terminated, effective immediately.”

I ended the call and placed my phone on the counter. “Well, Dad,” I said quietly. “I got fired. I guess I should just laugh at myself, though, right?”

“Oh Milly,” he sighed, pulling me in for a hug. “I’m so sorry, baby.”

“I’m gonna go to my room. I’m not hungry anymore.”


I buried my head under my pillow when my dad knocked on my bedroom door. Greg was still at work, and Levi would never come to my room, so by process of elimination, I knew it had to be my father.

When I heard the door knob turning, I sat up, preparing to rip into my dad for invading my privacy.

“I don’t wanna talk, Dad!”

The door opened further. “It’s not your dad.”

My best friend lingered in the doorway, scratching at his beard. Corgi never had facial hair until he met her.

We’d been best friends since the first day of kindergarten. Inseparable. Shared everything. Until the night that changed our friendship forever. The same night he met the love of his life. I didn’t think it would last. Kimmy was a needy, clingy girl. But Corgi was blinded by love. Three years later, and they were still going strong.

“What are you doing here, Corgi?”

“I wanted to make sure you were okay.”

“I got fired.”

“That doesn’t surprise me.”

“Are you coming in, or are you just gonna stand there in the doorway?” I snapped.

He closed the door quietly before crossing the room to the chair in the corner.

“Really?” I whined. “I need a Corgi hug.”

“I promised Kimmy I would keep a respectable distance between us.”

“Fuck Kimmy.”

“She has a valid reason for not wanting us to be alone.”

“No, she doesn’t,” I said. “It’s been three years. She can’t just go around telling you who you can and can’t be friends with.”

“I need to know that you’re okay, Milly.”

“Spill it,” I ordered.

“I don’t want to add to your distress in any way. You know I love you, in a platonic way, of course. And I care about you very much.”

“You didn’t come here to comfort me,” I concluded.

“Yes, I did.”

“If that were true, you’d be sitting on my bed, holding me while I cry on your shoulder.”

“We aren’t kids anymore, Milly.”

“Can you just drop your bomb?” I sighed. “I’m really not in the mood for games.”

“Kimmy is pregnant.”

“Really, Corgi?”

“What?”

“You should’ve wrapped it better.”

“She was on the pill.”

“Sure, she was.”

“What’s done is done,” he said. “We’re having this baby.”

“Do you even want a kid?”

“I want a family someday.”

“But not right now.”

“Life is full of surprises, Milly. Things don’t always happen when we expect them to.”

“Congratulations,” I muttered.

“I expected a bit more enthusiasm from my best friend.”

I climbed off the bed and crossed the room, leaning down to give him a hug. “I’m sorry. That was really crappy of me. Congratulations.”

“There’s more,” he said quietly, refusing to make eye contact.

I stepped back, folding my arms under my breasts as I braced for more bad news. He was going to marry that dingbat.

He sucked in a gulp of air, blowing it out slowly. “Babies are expensive. I don’t make a lot of money as a hotel concierge. Kimmy wants to be a stay-at-home mom, and she would rather not work while she’s pregnant.”

Kimmy needs a kick in the butt.

“I guess Kimmy is in for a rude awakening,” I said.

“Her parents are well-off. They want us to come live with them.”

My gut tightened, dread settling in like a slab of concrete. “Where do they live?”

“Pensacola.”

“Pensacola, Florida?”

“Is there another Pensacola?”

“I don’t know, Corgi! How far away is that?”

“It’s only a three-hour flight.”

“You don’t like to fly,” I pointed out. “I guess you can’t go.”

“We’re going to drive there.”

“How long of a drive is it?”

“Twelve hours or so.”

“I guess you aren’t coming home very often.”

“Probably not. Mom likes to fly. She’ll probably come up there to visit most of the time.”

“I can’t believe this, Corgi.”

“We can still be best friends, Milly.”

“No, we can’t. Our friendship has never been the same since you met her, and now with a baby, and you not living in Key West, we’ll definitely drift apart.”

“It doesn’t have to be that way.”

“Are you proposing a long distance friendship?”

“Yes. And there’s no reason you can’t fly up and visit.”

“Um, yeah there is.”

“You can’t spend your entire life on this island, Milly.”

“It’s my home.”

“Don’t you want to venture out into the world?”

“Nope.”

“That’s not healthy.”

“You don’t get to tell me how to live my life.”

“I’m not telling you how to live your life,” he sighed. “I’m trying to help you.”

I walked over to the door and yanked it open. “You should go.”

“Milly, don’t do this.”

“Good-bye, Corgi. Congratulations on the new baby. I wish you well in your new life in Pensacola.”

“We aren’t leaving until the weekend.”

“I’ll come say bye to you before you go.”

“I’m not gonna be able to help you with the Christmas market this year.”

“I’m going to cancel my table anyway.”

“Why?”

“How am I supposed to show my face in public?”

“I’m sure this will all blow over by next week.”

“Maybe.”

“I’ll call you tomorrow.”


I reached Higgs Beach just before dawn, the first hints of yellow and orange on the horizon. The palm trees swayed in the warm breeze as I sailed down the concrete bike path.

My dad and brother would have a fit if they knew I was alone on a deserted beach. It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but Key West was fairly safe. I’d lived in Bahama Beach my entire life. It wasn’t the safest neighbourhood, but somehow, I’d managed to survive twenty-three years there without any issues.

We couldn’t afford to move, and Dad wouldn’t leave anyway. He was convinced Greg’s mother would come back one day. She ran off to her native Bahamas when he was a baby, and never returned.

My mother died when I was five. Dad never pined for her the way he did for his beloved Coral. How could he care more about a woman who left him by choice? I could only hope my mom never knew she wasn’t the love of his life.

I dismounted my bike, kicking off my sneakers before I sunk my feet into the cool sand. When I found the perfect spot, I spread out my blanket and settled in to watch the sunrise.

The pier was still shrouded in darkness, stretching out across the water. It wasn’t long before the sun appeared, rising above the ocean as another day dawned in paradise.

I was a local, but I never stopped appreciating the gorgeous beauty of the tropical island I called home. As far as I was concerned, there was no better place on earth.

You can’t spend your entire life on this island, Milly.

Don’t you want to venture out into the world?

Corgi was full of crap. He never had any desire to leave Key West until Kimmy Kellar got her hooks into him. She was a tourist when he met her. I never thought she would stay as long as she did.

I closed my eyes, losing myself in the familiar sounds and smells of the only home I’d ever known.

Salty air mixed with the sweet aroma of tropical vegetation.

Gentle waves lapping against the shore.

The shrill trumpet of seagulls, hovering impatiently while they waited for the beachgoers to arrive with food.

I opened my eyes with a frustrated sigh when a car engine disrupted the quiet moment.

“Really?” I grumbled, squinting in the sunlight when I turned around to see what annoying tourist decided to come to the beach at dawn.

The shy, socially awkward Milly wanted to hop on her bike and high-tail it out of there.

My body wasn’t listening to her.

My breath came out in short, harsh gasps.

My brain screamed at me to run.

But I just sat there.

















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Weitere Empfehlungen

Anna: This book was amazing. The mother is a nut

Jennie: Spelling and Grammer, yes, needs fixed, but I understand it, and I am so into it. You said it wasn't perfect, but I'm hoping for more!!! I love it and can't stop reading it!!!!

doreenL: Einfach schön. Ich konnte garnicht aufhören.

gruenwedelchristin: This is one good story . One of the best that I have read in a long time … the cast of characters are love able, fun, and well rounded … the story lines moves along well and it captivates the audience .

Stephanie: Sehr schön geschrieben

Shakeicha Young: Omg what a story!!

Molly: I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start this one as the characters are a bit younger but I wanted to see if this poor girl would finally be able to be free of abuse and open to accept love (family) and be able to heal. It’s is great so far, minimal spelling errors, I think the Spanish isn’t necessary ...

Amy: The plot, as usual, is excellent.Author still needs to work on describing people, scenes, buildings, etc (fuller if you will)…. In order to slow down the fast pace & provide a backdrop for the action.For example, the first time she walks around Blake’s pack- her impressions… big, small, beautiful...

Valentina: - me ha gustado como lleva la historia es rápido pero a la vez lento, y en si no encuentro fallas graves solo leves como a veces (yo creo por error del autorrector)las palabras no coinciden con lo que están contando. - se las recomendaría a mis amigas más cercanas porque son las únicas que conoce...

Weitere Empfehlungen

DonnaRaw: I've really enjoyed reading these books and can't wait to read more. Thank you :))

Amy: Die beiden sind sooo süß zusammen.... und der Humor gefällt mir auch gut 😉 selbst Rita ist lustig 😂

Saloni Acharya: The whole series is so good. It’s like you can’t keep it down without reading it the whole way and then start the next one. Time flies and you don’t realise it’s late night and you have to go to sleep 😂. The characters are awesome with strong plots and love every couple. 😍🥰

Beatriz Selene: I like the way the writer wrote the novel, it keeps you want to read more and more.

Mharms: It is nice that it is a serial of stories, book to book. The storyline is fast moving through history.

marilyn: It's awesome to hear about all these shifters finding their fated mates. I can't wait to hear more about them. I also want to hear about the cubs. And for Daryl to find his mate.

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