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What happens when the five members of Mercury Folds, the most popular boy band from twenty years ago finally find the true meaning of a happily ever after with their soul mate….
Video yoga instructor, and owner of the popular Meow Mew Cat Café, Jenna Oakes is trying to make a name for herself as an on-line sensation. She gets more than she bargains for in the sensational department, when during a rain storm, a tall, dark and handsome man rushes into her café with a stray cat he found in his fancy Corvette. Before she can figure out who he is, he leaves behind the feline, and a very generous donation as a thank you. Her mysterious visitor doesn’t stay that for long because during an alumni career day at her old high school, she’s shocked to meet him again. This time she recognizes him as Keegan Knowles the mega star actor who was once a teen heartthrob member of the former, world-famous boy band Mercury Folds.
Keegan has made quite the impression on Jenna, which leads to what she believes is a quick fling. But when he asks her to come back with him to California for an amazing opportunity that could skyrocket her online career, she has to decide if she’s willing to accept the dream he’s offering. He tempts her in ways she has never imagined, even though their hot and heavy love affair could suddenly end once he returns to the celebrity world of Hollywood he’s so comfortable with, and one she may never fit into.
As co-owner of the Meow Mew Cat Café, I opened two Sundays a month and had since the café had launched. Using part of my inheritance from my parents who died in a plane crash when I was thirteen, I started the café with my best friend Dinah, who was a huge animal lover. I was a big cat aficionado even though I never had any pets—cats or otherwise—until I was on my own. But my real calling was yoga. Meow Mew was more of a hobby but a fulfilling one.
I wished I could say I was fulfilled now, but, from the moment I left my apartment, things had not gone my way. Because of the rain, my usual curly hair was a frizzy mess. I put it into a puffy bun, making my honey-brown eyes look too round, which they were, but at least when I kept my hair down, people’s attention strayed from my too-round and too-spaced-apart eyes that accentuated my “pert” nose. The pert description was from my older sister Bette who was being kind.
Skittles always joined me the days I worked at the café, and she was very whiny this morning, meowing nonstop on the ten-minute car ride. She was not a fan of the rain, either. Instead of baking and setting up the expresso machine, I cleaned out the litter boxes first. For some reason, the ten cats in the hygienic glass sanctuary had used the litter boxes more than usual during the night. Cleaning out litter boxes full of cat poop added to my frustration. And what was worse, I couldn’t even wake up properly because I didn’t drink coffee or espresso. The irony that I hated the taste of coffee but worked around it twenty-five hours a week wasn’t lost on me.
I finished scooping out the dirty litter from the boxes when there was a loud banging on the front door, causing me to drop the too-heavy garbage bag, which tore on the bottom. Clumps of shitty cat litter covered the entrance to the backroom where the cats had become very vocal for their breakfast.
I should have taken some deep breaths, but I cursed loudly. Skittles, lying on the counter where she shouldn’t be but I allowed, yawned in response.
There was more banging on the front door, from what looked to be a man in a hoodie covering his head, hunched under the awning, holding something to his chest. His head was down, so I couldn’t get a good look at his face, either.
If this guy thought I was going to open the door for him, he was in for a big surprise.
“We don’t open for another forty-five minutes!” I shouted, surrounded by shitty spilled cat litter.
“It’s an emergency.” His voice was muffled through the rain. He then unzipped his hoodie halfway down, and a tabby cat’s head popped out.
Ohmygoodness! I rushed to the door and unlocked it. I knew self-defense, so if he was a serial killer who used cats to get to his victims, I would take him out. A sweep to the leg would do it.
He entered, not as soaked as I’d expected but damp enough that I found myself shivering even in my baby-blue fleece sweatsuit. With his head still down and covered by the hoodie, he handed me the black and orange striped cat.
I lifted the meowing cat to my face, and it licked my nose, making me smile.
My hope he wasn’t a serial killer visitor pulled his hoodie off his head, showing an arresting, tanned face that made me snuggle the cat. This man who had invaded my morning was very easy on the eyes. He had a rugged handsomeness with more than a few lines on his face, but it added to his appeal. Also, his brown eyes that reminded me of dark chocolate were hypnotic.
“Do we know each other? You look familiar, but I don’t think you’re from around here.”
He ran his palms over his pointed chin that had a good dusting of scruff. “I guess I have a face people can trust.”
“I never said you have a face I trusted.” I winced as the cat’s claws jabbed my arm. I did a quick inspection to see what gender the poor kitty was then set her on the table next to me.
“Ouch.” He smirked but not in an egotistical way, but more…awkward cute. This guy had to be near forty or thereabouts. For some reason, even under the strange circumstances, I thought him cute.
“What’s the deal with this cat, and why did you bang on my door during the wicked rain storm? Even though this is a cat café, we don’t accept cats off the street.” I waved at the sanctuary.
He scanned the area as if he didn’t have a clue what type of business he had invaded. “I saw the light on and the cats through the glass, and I thought it was best to bring my unwanted guest here. No vet is open, and I have a breakfast meeting in a half hour.”
“This isn’t your cat?” The calico sniffed the top of the desk and hopped to the floor.
“I found the cat in the backseat of my rental Corvette. I guess the furball wanted a warmer place to sleep in the parking garage and jumped in the ’Vette because I left the top down. It’s a good thing you’re right around the corner from the Hotel Belmont, where I’m staying.” He glanced over his shoulder as the wind rattled the glass and the rain intensified.
“You’re driving a Corvette as a rental? Did you get a discount?” This guy must have a sweet job to rent a luxury car.
He shrugged. “I prefer to drive in style, even if it’s to visit Keansbury.”
He said it so matter-of-fact and lacking snobbery that I stopped from making some droll comment.
“Looks like she’ll fit in here.” He pointed at the cat batting the glass of the sanctuary.
“I can’t take her. She has to go to the vet first.” I cursed when I saw the spilled litter.
“I’m not having a good morning, and it’s not because of your sudden visit. Want to sweep up some day-old kitty litter spilled on the floor?” I ran my hands through my hair, forgetting I had pulled it back. My hair fell around my shoulders.
“Wow,” my visitor, who I had yet to ask his name, said in what sounded like awe.
“Huh?” I turned around, blinking as a sudden wave of exhaustion hit me. Maybe I should hold my nose and down a shot of expresso…
“Ah, never mind.” He took out his cell and nodded. “I have to go.”
“Wait, sir.” I grabbed his sleeve. “We’re not done here.”
“My brother Austin is waiting for me… Shit.” He removed my hand but squeezed it for some reason.
“You brother is waiting for you in your car?” Skittles must have become curious because she meowed in tandem with the new cat.
“You have no clue who I am?” He chuckled. “Austin is going to get a kick out of this.”
“Austin?” I was more confused than ever. “Is this some kind of joke, Mister? Am I being filmed—”
A cat screeched, followed by a growl behind me. Skittles jumped off the counter and chased the calico into the back room where more cats cried out.
“Crap!” I booked it back there to stop the possible kitty carnage that might occur between Skittles and the new cat.
I defused the situation quickly by grabbing Skittles, who settled in my arms, while the new feline hopped on my desk to sleep. Aww, she really was a cutie for a stray. Suddenly remembering the mysterious, hot, not-a-serial-killer guy, I hurried to the front, but he was gone. All that remained of him was a stack of bills on a table that, when I finished counting, equaled to one-thousand dollars.
I sat, mystified at what had happened. This might be the start to possibly the strangest week of my life.