Chapter One

"Yeah, Hart, I'm on my way there."

"Are you sure that you know where you're going? I mean, I've known you for a long time. Your sense of direction is, like, seven kinds of messed up."

"I know where I'm going. Jesus, have a little bit of faith in me." I roll my eyes, considering hanging up on my best friend.

I hear a heavy sigh from her end. "Melanie, I would like to remind you about that time when you offered to drive my boyfriend home from school when his truck broke down."

"To be fair, I'd never been to Dane's house before," I point out, while trying to suppress a cringe at the memory. I might have gotten us so hopelessly lost that even he didn't know the right way back to his place.

There's a pause, then another sigh. "You've lived in this town all sixteen years of your life, and you can barely understand how to get to Main Street."

"I'm hanging up now. I'll let you know how the coffee is. Love you." I hang up, pushing my phone into my jacket pocket.

My best friend, Hart, has managed to coax me out of the comfort of my home to go to this new coffee shop that she's heard about. Of course, she decided that she had to interrupt my winter break and pester me until I finally decided to go check it out.

I pull my jacket tighter around me to try to block out the cold wind. I suppose that coffee wouldn't really be so bad right now.

After another few minutes of walking, I find myself at Bay Brews, named for it's proximity to the bay just a couple of blocks down.

As soon as I pull the door open, I'm drawn in by the inviting smell of coffee and chocolate.

It's a cozy little place, with the counter off to the left, and armchairs and tables spread out across the rest of the shop.

I walk up to the counter, staring at the chalkboard on the wall that's advertising the different kinds of coffee and tea they have.

"Hey there. How can I help you?" I look away from the little menu to see a girl, who's probably the cutest person I've ever seen.

"Uh," I stammer, not even trying to hide the fact that I'm staring at her. Her hair is light brown, short on the sides and longer on top. It's slightly wavy and a few curls fall into her eyes, which are a dark blue.

I try to ignore the freckles dusted across her nose and cheeks as I attempt to speak again. "Uh, sorry, yeah. I mean, could I just get a, uh, small mocha? Please."

"Sure," she says, a small smile forming on her lips. "What's your name?" I watch her grab a cup and a Sharpie, and I notice that she's left handed. I also notice the smudges of ink on her fingers, which makes me smile as well.

It takes me a second until I realize that she's waiting for an answer to her question. "Oh, uh, Mel. Melanie."

"Alright, Mel Melanie. That'll be out in just a second," she says in her quiet, soft voice, and I swear I can hear the smile in her voice.

After I pay for my coffee, I find an armchair away from any other people in the shop as I pull my laptop out of my bag so I can work on an essay for my history class. Or, I tell myself that I'm going to work on my essay. In reality, I sneak glances at the cute barista.

After only a few minutes I hear that soft voice calling my name. I stand up and set my laptop on the seat, heading up to the counter.

The girl holds the cup out, the small smile still there. She's probably about four or five inches taller than me, so I look up to meet her blue eyes with my brown ones.

She holds my gaze for a moment before turning red and looking away. I finally take the cup from her, our fingers gently brushing for a moment.

"Thanks." I pause, trying to collect my thoughts before I speak again. "Um, what's your name?"

She gestures to the name tag on her black shirt that I had previously missed. "Carson. Sullivan."

I raise an eyebrow, studying her face while her gaze flicks back to me then away again. "Carson or Sullivan? Need a moment to decide?" I ask teasingly.

"Sullivan is my last name. Carson is my first." If it's even possible, her cheeks turn a darker shade of red. I can't help but smile at how amazingly adorable that is.

"Well, Carson Sullivan, I'm Melanie de la Cruz."

"It's very nice to meet you, Melanie."


A giant thank you to anyone and everyone who took time out of their day to read this. If you enjoyed, please leave a review or follow. Any feedback, even negative, is welcome and appreciated. This chapter is short, but the following ones do get much longer. Thank you again for reading, and I will see you in two weeks.