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Bonus Scenes: Just One Kiss

Bonus Scenes: Just One Kiss

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Want to see how Leah and Ben fell for each other? Check out the Bonus Scenes from Just One Kiss!

Intro into Chapter 1

Is it super petty to hold a grudge for a decade? 


Okay, probably.

But in my defense, I’m nothing if not constant. I can be depended on to hold a grudge—and to be on time for my shift.

I shield my eyes from the sun’s glare as I glance up at the giant clock hanging over the entrance to the Lakeview Country Club’s main office. 

He’s late. Again.

Just as the minute hand hits five after the hour, Ryan comes strolling out from the clubhouse wearing sunglasses, with his dark hair slightly mussed like he’s just rolled out of bed. I blow my whistle to get his attention and he smiles. The idiot smiles, like I’m greeting him with that whistle and not publicly reprimanding him for being late. 

He’s already in his swim trunks and ready to go, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s late. It also doesn’t change the fact that the mere sight of my lifelong nemesis automatically makes my blood pressure skyrocket. When he strides straight toward me with that cocky grin every muscle in my body tenses.

Ryan Hunter, ladies and gentlemen. The guy who’s been annoying the crap out of me since kindergarten. 

I point to an imaginary watch on my arm, but he doesn’t make a single attempt to pick up the pace. He’s ambling over toward me, taking the long way around the giant pool like he’s having a casual stroll on a Sunday afternoon.

I blow the whistle again, mainly because it’s stress relief. It’s the only outlet I have for this boiling rage that I’ve never been able to shake. 

He gives me a smile and a salute, and I wish I could give him the finger in response. But considering there are currently five children under the age of ten in my shallow area of the pool, I refrain.

“You’re late,” I say instead as he walks toward me.

“By five minutes,” he says.

“Late is late.”

He stops short when he reaches the lifeguard stand. “You’re so hot when you nag.”

“It’s not nagging if I’m your boss.” I climb down off the stand. “It’s your manager reminding you of the rules for the millionth time this summer.”

Before he can respond, the little girls in the pool are shouting for Ryan’s attention. “Watch me, Ryan, I can do a backflip!” That comes from Evie May, a girl whose mom is on the country club board.

“Nice work,” Ryan says, squatting down by the pool’s edge to give her a fist bump. 

Evie grins like she’s just won the lottery, because even grade school girls have a crush on Ryan. I can’t entirely blame them since they don’t know his personality. All they see is the tall, tanned lifeguard with a chiseled jaw, broad shoulders, a six-pack, and bright blue eyes. 

So you know, I get that they have a crush. It’s my fellow female staff members’ crushes that make me wonder about their sanity. Because they’ve met the guy.

I sigh, hands on hips as I wait for him to stand up, turn around, and at least acknowledge the fact that he’s wrong. Just once, I’d love to hear the words, you’re right, I’m wrong coming from his smug, smirky mouth. It’ll never happen. But a girl can dream, right? 

I’d sell my soul for an I’m sorry from this guy, but after ten years of waiting for an apology, I’m not holding my breath.

I tap my bare foot on the water-drenched edge of the pool. We have to do this whole lifeguard checklist routine when he takes over for his shift. I’m not off-duty entirely—I still have work to do in the office. Part of the glories of being assistant manager means I get to do loads of paperwork. But I’ve been out here baking in the sun for the past four hours. I’m hot and I’m hungry and...yeah, okay, maybe I’m a little hangry because my irritation is way more extreme than it should be. 

But still. Ryan knows I’ve been waiting for relief and he’s taking his sweet time about it on purpose just to annoy me, I know it.

My foot’s splashing in a little puddle, making an obnoxious slapping sound that he can’t miss. He knows I’m standing right there. He knows I’m waiting. He knows this, and yet he takes his sweet time talking to Evie and her friends like he’s got nothing better to do.

Which, by extension, is basically saying that I’ve got nothing better to do than wait around for him to pay attention to me. 

“How’s your backstroke coming along?” he asks Evie’s friend. “Have you been practicing?”

That’s it. I’m done playing nice. I lift the whistle that’s hanging around my neck and blow as hard as I can right behind him.


The girls in the pool wince at the loud, long whistle blast. But Ryan? He doesn’t even flinch.

He stands up slowly. Too slowly. And turns to face me with that smirk I despise. “If you want my attention, Sunshine, all you have to do is ask.”

The girls in the pool giggle at his low, too-cool-for-school drawl.

Me? I sneer at the mention of my childhood nickname. Not for the first time, I wish pink had been my favorite color as a kid. Or purple. Or blue. Basically, any other color of the rainbow because then I wouldn’t have gotten stuck with the Sunshine nickname.

Not that anyone calls me that anymore. I am so not a Sunshine kind of girl. I’m a whistle-blowing, clipboard-carrying, straight-A student, senior-class-president kind of girl.

But that’s why it’s even worse when Ryan calls me that. It’s clearly a joke at my expense.

Those are the only kinds of jokes Ryan knows how to make. 

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