Hugs & Kisses xoxo

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Summary

Everly Sophia Nightingale keeps to herself she's special and not everyone gets her. Growing up with Aspergers she can come across unreadable...unapproachable...not right...explosive...OCD...different. She lives with her parents still at the age of 22. She's on the lower end of the spectrum. She wants to fit in she wants to experience things but no one sees her. They only see her qualms, her uneasiness, clumsiness, and nervousness. Her days are the same she doesn't like to be out of her routine but what happens when someone interrupts her routine? Will she panic or actually let it happen? Erik Carrington is a hard-working businessman who owns a chain of coffee shops and clubs. He bumps into a beautiful woman who makes his heart flutter.

Genre:
Romance / Thriller
Author:
Katy Coombs
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
17
Rating:
4.8 12 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1

A/N:

Not sure what happened to Chapter one, but it seems to have disappeared.

Hopefully, this will work. xo Katy

..............

Introduction

Everly, Sophia keeps to herself, she's unique, and not everyone gets her. Growing up with Aspergers, she can come across as unreadable...unapproachable...not right...explosive...OCD...

She lives with her parents at the age of 22. She's on the lower end of the spectrum for having Asperger's. She wants to fit in; she wants to experience things, but no one sees her. They only see her qualms, her uneasiness, clumsiness, and nervousness.

Her days are the same. She doesn't like to be out of her routine, but what happens when someone interrupts her routine? Will she panic or let it happen?

Erik Carrington is a hard-working businessman who owns a chain of coffee shops and clubs. He bumps into a beautiful woman who makes his heart flutter and causes him to take notice.

She runs away. He takes it upon himself to see her again. There's something about this barista; their first meeting makes him want to chase her to get to know her. She's different,t but he can't help but want to get to know her.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

::::Character Introduction::::

Everly, Sophia Nightingale, who is 22, works at a coffee shop. Single, never had a boyfriend, never attended public school. She's been sheltered her whole life until now when she gets her first job as a barista.

She has Asperger's and sees people and the world differently.

Erik Carrington, 28, CEO of Carrington Coffee shop chain and club chain.

Hard worker, ladies man always on the go. Single, and he likes it that way.

.....................


Chapter 1


"Everly, are you ready to go?" My mom's whimsical voice calls up from downstairs.

I have work today at my job; it's at a local coffee shop called Sip. I have been there for one month, two weeks, and three days. My mom and dad said it's time I grow up and start having a real substantial adult life. It scares me, and it's new and not my usual routine but adding it into the mix is something I am trying to do.

I tend to like things a certain way.

I go to bed every night at 9 pm and wake up every day at 7 am. That's 10 hours of sleep. I walk around a beautiful park nearby every day and feed the birds and ducks. Lovely colorful flowers surround it. It's a favorite place of mine—that and home, oh and the animal shelter. I love animals. My favorite show is Planet Earth. I watch it every day for 1 hour. Then I take pictures and do my stretches. They keep my mind busy and offer me comfort and solace.

I tied my laces left shoe then the right shoe. 'Bunny ear around the bend slide through the hole and pull real tight.' I say out loud as I do this simple task. 'Perfect.' I admire my laces, making sure they are tired, just right.

"Coming, mom," I answered back; I stand up and tap the heels of my canvas shoes together and tuck my hair behind my ears. I grabbed my black suede cowgirl hat and placed it on my head. It made me feel pretty, and I love it. I always wear it. Well, almost always, not when I am sleeping.

I grab the gold rings I wear; I have four of them, one star, one moon, one heart, and one key.

They all mean something to me. The star because I love to look up at the stars, there are millions, but each one is special and unique. Not one is the same, the moon. I liked it because I have read about couples who walk hand in hand under moonlight. It sounds so romantic. The heart is because I want to fall in love one day, just like in the movies. I know it probably doesn't happen like that, but it would be cool.

Then my key ring because I love mysteries and solving problems or clues. I love board games and puzzles.

I walk over to my messenger bag that hung off my hook by my door and place it over my shoulder; it had everything I need in it. My pink sketchbook, my pink sparkly nail polish in case my nails get chipped or need a new coat. I also have my pencil case and sharpener so I can do my drawings on my break.

Drawing is one of my favorite things to do and take pictures. People fascinate me. I like to watch people. How everyone is different and how they interact with people around them. A quick wave to a stranger or a smile to a small child. Or the look in the eyes of a couple when they are together.

Some give me weird looks or send me a slight smile or even ones who wave or say hi to me. I usually look away shyly at the ground, not knowing what to say. I'm just awkward and weird. It's what I have heard all my life.

'Look at her. She's so weird; awe poor girl must suck to be her. What's wrong with her? She's stupid. She's cray-cray. She's so dumb.' These are just a few of what I have heard. I have listened to tons. Mostly hurtful cause they don't understand me. But no one cares to get to know me.

It's a lonely world to feel alone. I felt like I was walking around like I didn't exist in this world. In a world where everyone wants to connect or feel something. I feel nothing.

I exited my room and closed my door behind myself. I count the stairs in my head as I walk downstairs. There are ten steps. I don't know why I do this; it's just mindless, like something I only did one day and has always done it since.

It's like how I count to 100 when I brush my teeth. Or I hum when I am in the shower. My favorite song is 'over the rainbow.'

As I walk into the kitchen, my mom has my breakfast already set out at the table. One slice of turkey bacon, egg white scrambled eggs and an English muffin with a thin piece of cheese.

I am very picky when it comes to food. Everything has to be the right way that I like it. If things change, I become agitated or anxious. Then I have to leave that place or moment and calm myself down.

My psychologist calls it to fight or flight pattern that I have, where I get into a situation that scares me or can't control or relate to or understand. I run away, feeling my body respond by shaking, breathing fast, counting really fast or just saying gibberish, pacing in a tight circle, or crying out loud, which can cause people to stare.

"So, are you excited about work? My mom asked as she took a seat beside me.

I took my bag off and hung it on my chair, then take a seat.

"Yes and no." I take a few bites of my food before I continue.

"Yes, because I want to have money for more photography stuff, but now, because I hate people starring at me or laughing."

"Oh, honey, they're not staring at you. Some people are just curious about what is different." She talks in her sweet motherly upbeat voice where she tries to make things sound better.

"I know. But it can hurt when I feel them judging me or rolling their eyes at me when I talk loudly or do some weird quirks that cause them to laugh or point."

"Just focus on your work and your tasks that should keep your mind busy, and yes, it will be nice for you to have your own money." My mom pats my hand before she gets up.

"I think so too." I agree about having my own money. I am 22. After all, I should be working and making money.

"So I was thinking we should start looking for a place of your own?"

I dropped my fork. It made a loud clank sound against the glass plate, shocked by what my mom said. My mind heard you must leave the house, and it's time for you to be on your own. Be all alone. My mind goes into overdrive and thinks of everything that could happen, or what if this or that happens?

"But mom, that's not in my plans right now. I can't do that."

"You can, and I think it would be good for you." She poured hot water from the tea kettle and filled her mug.

"Mom, I've barely worked that long, and now you want me to move out? I fidget with my fork running it through my eggs. My feet started bouncing off the floor. Nervous System going into overload.

This isn't good. What if there's a fire, or I forget to buy food, or my bed doesn't look right in the new place, or I fall? I fall a lot. Some would call me clumsy my doctor's diagnosis would say I have imbalance issues.

"Think about it doesn't have to be soon. It was just an idea." She speaks calmly to make light of this topic.

"You know I don't do good with change. Even working was a stretch."

"I know it was. But you are doing well, sweetheart." She walked behind me and kissed the top of my head.

My dad walked in from outside; the screen door closed with a bang.

"Hey, daddy."

"Hey, sweet pea. You look lovely today. A new hat?"

"Hahaha. Nice joke, dad." I know he's just joking with me.

He leaned in and kissed my cheek as he took a seat beside me.

"I love your hat."

"I love it too. Cause you gave it to me."

"Glad you still like it."

"I will always like it."

"Can we go to the stables this weekend?"

"We will see. I have to go out of town for a few days."

My heart raced. I wouldn't say I liked it when my dad left. He's always been a big supporter of mine; both my parent have, but my dad and I have a very close relationship.

"How long will you be gone precisely?" I bite on my thumbs, my hand's sweat; I rubbed my left ear.

"Just two days."

"Just two?

"Yes!" He nodded his head.

My mind quickly calculates how many hours, minutes, and seconds that is.

"Okay, so that 48 hours, 2880 minutes, and 172800 seconds."

"Hahaha, that's right." He smiled.

"Okay. But can we go to the stables when you get back?" I asked.

"I promise we will." He replied with a sincere smile.

"Okay, good."

"Luanna, you call me if you need anything?" He looked over at my mom.

"Of course." She smiled at him.

He walked over to my mom and leaned in close to her, and kissed her. He leaned against her body and ran his hands through her long white hair.

The door swung open, and my brother walked in.

"Hey, Luke?"

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