Again and Again

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Jasmine Montgomery had a temper! It got her in to trouble sometimes. In fact, it had cost her a job on more than one occasion. That was unfortunate, as she struggled to finish school while supporting herself.

All that changed when a dreamy man offered her the perfect job. He was a very attractive, easygoing, well-mannered gentleman who took an immediate interest in her. It was perfect, until she found out Trent had a real aversion to temper tantrums and held people accountable for what they did. While that was new to her and hard to get used to, she loved the way he protected her and made her feel safe and very happy.

When she found herself in the center of an unthinkable scandal, she had to rely on that safe feeling and trust Trent to find her and protect her one more time.

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Sample Chapter

Jasmine Montgomery pinned her nametag on her uniform shirt as she walked to the front of the gas station‑convenience store to relieve the night shift cashier. She hadn’t even made it behind the counter yet when her co-worker, who looked exhausted, sighed. “Boy, am I glad to see you, Jazz. I thought this shift would never end.”

“What’s the matter, Ella; rough night?”

“Not rough really, just busy. You should be slow today because I think everyone in the state of Tennessee stopped in last night and filled their vehicle up, then got some snacks before they left.”

Jasmine couldn’t help but laugh. “Good. Then maybe I’ll have time to study for a test I have tonight.”

“Yeah, I don’t know about that. Good luck with the test, though.”

“Thanks. Anything I need to know before you leave?”

Ella perked back up and turned to face her friend and co-worker. “Yes, there is. I’m glad you asked. Tom said to watch out for a guy that’s been shortchanging stores like this. He gives the cashier a fifty-dollar bill, but wants change for a hundred, swearing that’s what he gave them. We’re keeping all the hundred dollar bills under the drawer so there’s no hundreds in the register, just in case he comes in and tries to pull that.”

“So are we keeping them in the drawer, but under the tray of money, or dropping them in the slot where we put any checks and credit card receipts?”

Tom Hardin, the store manager, walked over when he heard their conversation. “Slip them in the slot,” he answered. “That way there are no hundred dollar bills anywhere in the register that he can claim is the one he gave you.”

Jasmine nodded. “Okay. Has he come in here before?”

“Not that I know of, but the sheriff called me and said there’s a man that’s tried it several places around this area, so just watch out for him. The sheriff says he’s well dressed and very nice looking. He always wears a suit, and he gets away with it sometimes because he looks like an honest guy and someone that would have hundred dollar bills in his wallet.”

Jasmine chuckled. “Or if he’s good looking, maybe the cashier’s flirting with him and not paying attention to the money.”

“Could be,” Tom agreed. “’But watch for him.”

“Will do.” Jasmine exchanged her cash drawer with Ella’s and told her friend good-bye, just as another customer came to the counter.

Her morning was pretty routine ‑ not slow enough that she could get any studying in, but not busy, either. Early in the afternoon a man came in the store. He had clothes on that looked dirty and had rips in them, and after coming into the store he simply walked about aimlessly. He wasn’t looking at anything in particular, but kept watching the other people in the store. She waited on everyone as they came to the counter, but kept an eye on this man. He was really starting to creep her out, especially since he was the only one still in the store with her. She hit the button under her counter which alerted Tom or whoever was in the office that something was going on out front.

She felt relieved when Tom came walking out, looking around, taking in everyone that was in the store. After a quick perusal of everyone there, his attention became focused on the man she was feeling uncomfortable about. He went to the counter next to Jasmine and started playing with paperwork there, appearing to be looking for something.

She looked at the man in question and quietly told Tom, “He just creeps me out.”

“Been here long?”

“Longer than normal. At least ten minutes.”

Tom nodded and looked around. No one else was in the store at the moment, and he approached the man. “Anything I can help you find?”

“No. I’m good.”

Tom glanced at Jasmine, who was subtly shaking her head, and he turned back to the man. “So there’s nothing you’re looking for?”

The man sighed, and looked nervous. “Look, I’m not going to steal anything. I’m homeless, but I’m not a thief. I got a job and I start today. A man that works there said he’d pick me up here and take me in since I don’t have a car. I know I look bad, but this is a labor job and they said to wear old clothes. Now that I have a job I hope to be able to get some better clothes. If I offend you I’ll wait outside. I was afraid if I was standing around outside people wouldn’t feel comfortable getting their gas.”

He started for the door, but Tom quickly said, “No, no, I’m sorry. You’re welcome to stay inside here. We just wondered what you were doing, but now that we know, you’re fine waiting inside. I’m sorry if I offended you. Good luck with your new job.” He quickly went back to his office, but not before giving Jasmine a bit of a glare.

She knew he wasn’t happy with her, but how was she supposed to know this man’s story? She assumed he’d yell at her before she went home today, and that thought bothered her. Part of her job description was being alert and reporting anything suspicious. That’s all she was trying to do. She tried to turn her attention to something else, but she couldn’t get his glare out of her mind. The more she thought about it the more she knew he’d yell at her for it, and the more upset she became.

She was getting pretty agitated when a gentleman walked up to the register to pay for $30 worth of gas and a bottle of water. She watched as he thumbed through his wallet, and saw he had two fifty-dollar bills. He thumbed through his wallet a bit more before handing her a bill. She counted out change for a fifty and gave it to him.

He looked a little anxious as he looked at her and at his hand. “I’m sorry, Miss, but I gave you a hundred dollar bill. You gave me change for a fifty.”

She was upset as she looked up at the man to argue, but she stopped when she saw what he was wearing. He was a very good-looking man, tall and muscular with dark blond hair and gorgeous blue eyes, and he had on a suit. Not just any suit, but a very nice suit. This had to be the man Ella warned her about. She casually hit the button under the counter again, thinking Tom might be upset with her for calling him again right away, but she was sure he’d be happy with her when they caught the guy.

She plastered a smile on her face before answering. “I’m sorry, sir, but I gave you the correct change. You gave me a fifty dollar bill, and that’s what I gave you change for.”

She saw Tom come around the corner, not looking too happy. She wasn’t surprised, and assumed he was upset about being called back out again. He apparently heard what she said as he rounded the corner, though, because when he looked at the man and saw the nice suit, he seemed to be instantly on high alert.

The customer returned her smile, but shook his head. “I’m sorry, but we seem to have a misunderstanding.”

Tom walked up quickly. “I’m sorry, sir, is there a problem here?”

The man looked at Tom and the nametag indicating he was the manager. He smiled as he politely said, “I don’t think it’ll be a problem, sir, just a misunderstanding. I gave the cashier a hundred dollar bill, and she gave me change for a fifty. I’m sure if she looks at it again she’ll see it was a hundred.”

Jasmine was a bit perturbed by the man’s patience and manners. What a fake! No one was that polite or patient. If it would have been her and she really had given the cashier a hundred dollar bill she’d have been yelling by now. This guy was so good looking, she was sure that’s how he’d been getting away with it. He’d flash a lady cashier a winning smile and look at her with his gorgeous blue eyes, and she’d be a goner. Then he’d turn on the charm and smooth talk his way right into an extra fifty bucks! Well, not with her, he wasn’t.

She smiled back at him, but didn’t give in. “I don’t have to look at it again, sir. I saw it as you were taking it out of your wallet. It was a fifty.”

The customer’s eyebrows rose when she emphasized the word sir, but he quickly regained his control. “Could you please just humor me, then, and show me that it’s a fifty? I thought I pulled out the hundred.”

Jasmine couldn’t believe this guy. He wasn’t giving up. Tom was standing there, as well, watching and listening. She once again pasted a smile on her face. “Once again, it was a fifty. Maybe you should take your change and leave, sir, before I call the police.”

Tom and Jasmine both saw the shock on the man’s face. To his credit, though, he pulled his wallet back out and thumbed through his money again. He looked at Jasmine one more time and shook his head. “I’m sorry, but I still – you won’t even look at it again to be sure?”

Tom stepped in just as Jasmine was getting ready to tell the guy off. “Jasmine, can you show me which bill it was he gave you?” He looked down at the register and froze. There on top of the stack of fifties in the register was a hundred dollar bill. When she opened her mouth to say something, he quickly caught her eyes and looked down at her stack of fifties. “Jasmine, look at your drawer before you say another word.”

She followed Tom’s eyes and looked down at the drawer. She paled, but quickly took out a fifty-dollar bill and handed it to the man. “Sorry,” she said.

“No harm done,” the patient man said with a smile. “Thank you.” He looked from one of them to the other. Anyone could easily see there was obvious tension between the cashier and her boss, and he paused a moment. “No harm done at all. You two have a good day.”

After he left Tom looked around to be sure they were alone. “Jasmine, did you even look at the money when he gave it to you?”

She couldn’t stop glaring at Tom. She was still angry that he was upset earlier. “Obviously, I thought it was a fifty. He didn’t seem to be upset about it, so let’s just drop it.”

She turned to walk away, but his words stopped her. “No, I won’t just drop it. You obviously weren’t paying attention to what you were doing, and if you upset the customers we’ll be losing business. That’s the second person you’ve upset today.”

“How was I supposed to know what that first guy today was doing?”

“I don’t know. Maybe you could ask?”

Jasmine was beyond controlling her temper now. “You think you can do it so much better than me? Fine. Show me how. I’ll sit here and watch the expert in action. Maybe I’ll learn something.”

“I don’t have time to train you again, Jasmine. If you can’t do it now, and do it right, maybe you just shouldn’t be doing this job.”

Jasmine couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She didn’t think she deserved to be fired, but isn’t that what he was saying? Her temper and pride sure wouldn’t allow her to beg for her job, though, and she knew it, so she’d save him the trouble. She got up and walked out before she had a chance to say something she might really regret.

She went straight home, sat down on her sofa and cried. She needed a job, but decided to worry about that later. She had a big test in her class tonight, so first things first. She studied for her test, cooked some Raman noodles for dinner and went to class.

After taking her test she went to the student lounge to get some coffee and unwind before going home. Linda, a lady she’d seen in her class, came and joined her. After talking about the test and how rough it was, Jasmine told Linda about her awful day. “You don’t know of any jobs, do you?”

“Actually, there’s a restaurant around the corner that has a ‘waitress wanted’ sign in their front window. I don’t know anything about it, but I’ve seen the sign.”

“Thanks. I’ll go there first thing in the morning.”

Two days later Jasmine made her debut as a waitress. It was a lot harder work than she thought it would be, but the tips were good. She’d been able to work her hours around her classes, and although she’d be getting roughly the same number of hours, she thought it might actually give her a little more money, which would be nice.

Her third day on the job was a Friday, and she was working over the lunch hour. She hadn’t worked over lunch before, so she didn’t know if lunch was always this busy or if this was unusual, but it seemed packed. She was carefully picking her way between tables, dodging people, which took more time. Try as she might, she had a couple of people complain about her service. She tried to get back to her tables with more coffee, but she just didn’t seem to have enough time to do everything. The more behind she got the more frustrated she got.

She was walking carefully past a table while carrying a tray full of water, Cokes and iced tea, when a little boy jumped up right in front of her. She jumped, trying to avoid the boy. Unfortunately, the tray of drinks toppled into the lap of the man sitting at the table beside her. He immediately jumped up, and she quickly grabbed napkins. The owner of the restaurant heard the commotion and came out to see what had happened. He apologized to the man, who of course was wearing a now very wet and sticky suit.

Jasmine went in the kitchen and grabbed some towels, but when she went back out to help the poor man who’d been drenched, for the first time she looked at his face and found herself staring into his eyes. She was shocked to be looking into the same gorgeous blue eyes of the man that told her a few days ago that he’d given her a hundred dollar bill and not a fifty. “Oh, no, it’s you again. I’m so sorry.”

The owner took the towels from her and sighed. “You’ve done enough here. I don’t think you were meant to be a waitress.”

Jasmine was so embarrassed she turned and ran into the kitchen, and straight out the back door. He’d said that in front of the entire dining room, where of course everyone was already staring at her. She got in her car and drove home, tears running down her cheeks. She was still upset when she went to bed that night, and had a hard time falling asleep. Besides being embarrassed, she knew she would have to start a new job search right away.

***

Wednesday when she got home from her classes she collapsed onto her couch. She’d spent three days looking for a job, with no luck. She was a senior, would be graduating, receiving her degree this year, but she needed a job now. She had living expenses. She laid her head onto the back of the couch and closed her eyes. She was exhausted. Looking for a job was harder than any actual job she’d ever had.

She had about fallen asleep when her phone rang. It wasn’t a number she recognized, but she’d given her number out so many times over the last few days while applying for jobs, she knew she couldn’t ignore it. Someone could be calling to offer her a job, or at least an interview.

She answered, trying to sound much more pleasant than she felt. “Hello?”

“Hello, is this Jasmine Montgomery?”

“Yes.”

“This is Trent Douglas.”

“I’m sorry; who?”

“Trent Douglas. Please don’t hang up on me until you hear me out. I’m the man at the restaurant the other day, and at the gas station last week. You ran out before I had a chance to talk to you Friday.”

She was quiet for several moments, then took a deep breath. “I really am sorry. I didn’t get a chance to tell you that Friday, but I mean it, I really am sorry. I’ll be happy to have your suit cleaned. I know it must be a mess.”

“Thank you for your concern, Ms. Montgomery, but I’m not worried about my suit, and I don’t want you to be, either. I’m much more concerned about you than my suit. I understand you lost your job because of that, and that’s not right. What happened wasn’t your fault. I’d like to offer you a job to replace that one.”

“You’d like to – a job doing what?”

“Well, I’m not sure exactly. I’d like to have dinner with you so we can discuss it. Are you free tonight?” After an extended silence he sounded concerned. “Ms. Montgomery?”

“Sorry, I’m still here. I’m a little confused. Who are you, and how do you know who I am?”

“My name is Trent Douglas, as I said, and I found your name by asking the people you worked with. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have over dinner, while we talk about what kind of job you may be looking for. Are you free tonight?”

“Are you serious about giving me a job?”

“Of course I am. I know you don’t know me yet, but when you get to know me you’ll see that I don’t say things I don’t mean. Now, can we talk more over dinner? Tonight?”

“Umm, yeah, I guess I’m free, but how do I know I can trust you?”

“Would you feel better if we met at the restaurant, or if I were to pick you up somewhere other than at your apartment?”

“How did you get my phone number?”

“Ella at the gas station. She wouldn’t give it to me until I told her I want to get in contact with you so I can offer you a job. We spoke for quite some time before she agreed. By the way, she said if you were hesitant to have dinner with me I should tell you that it’s okay, I buy three Tic Tacs, and you can trust me.”

Jasmine giggled. “Okay, good. Now I believe you. With that kind of recommendation, I’ll have dinner with you.”

“Good. Maybe over dinner you can explain to me what that means. Is it okay if I pick you up at your home?”

“Yes. If she trusts you I can, too. Do you know where I live?”

“No.”

“112 North Lincoln Street, Apartment 2B.”

“I know just about where that is. Can you be ready in half an hour?”

“Sure.”

An hour later Jasmine and Trent sat down in a booth at a family restaurant. He reached over and patted her hand. “Thank you for agreeing to have dinner with me. I’ve got to ask, what was that all about when Ella said you can trust me because I buy three Tic Tacs?”

“Ella and I are good friends, and we both noticed the price of the Tic Tac mints. They’re so much each, or three for so much, which was actually cheaper than buying two. It was always a joke between us that people that bought two packs didn’t pay much attention to things that should be fairly important, like prices, and we didn’t think we could trust them. But people who bought three were smart, alert, knew what was happening around them. They had to be the kind of people you could trust. So when she told me you buy three Tic Tacs, that was her way of telling me she thinks you’re someone we can trust. You must have spent some time with her, though, because she wouldn’t have told me that if she didn’t truly trust you.”

Trent threw his head back and laughed. “I wondered what buying mints had to do with trusting me.”

“Basically it was her way of telling me to give you a chance, hear you out.”

“Well, I’ll have to thank her the next time I see her. I am glad you agreed to meet with me. I intend to offer you a job, but I’d like to know more about you so we can see what kind of job would suit you best.”

“What do you mean you intend to offer me a job? What kind of job is available, and how can you offer it to me? Oh, wait, are you like some kind of personnel manager somewhere that hires and fires people? I mean, I’ll appreciate it if you can get me an interview for a job somewhere, but can you really just flat out offer me a job?”

“Boy, you have a lot of questions,” he said with a smile. “And they’re all good ones. Let me explain. I have a company and it’s doing rather well. We’re expanding and we’ve been hiring additional people on a fairly regular basis. Therefore, I’m sure we can find a job for you somewhere. But I’d like to get to know you better so we can match you up with the job that would be the best fit for you.”

“Wait a minute. When you say you have a company, do you mean the company you work for?”

“Yes and no. It is the company where I work, but I don’t want to mislead you. I own it, so to answer one of your questions, yes, I can offer you a job, not just an interview.”

Jasmine’s eyes grew huge. “You own a company?”

Trent chuckled. “Yes, but don’t get too excited. It’s not like General Motors or IBM. It’s just a fairly small, local manufacturing company.”

“Wow.” She froze suddenly, and slowly looked at him carefully. “Did you say your name is Trent Douglas, as in Douglas Manufacturing?”

His smile reached to and included his eyes. “You’ve heard of my company?”

“Duh. Everyone around here has. I’ve heard it’s the best place around here to work. You own that?”

“You’ve heard that, really?”

“Of course. Everyone says you’re very fair to work for, and you pay more than other places around.”

“That’s wonderful to hear,” he said, deep in thought. She could tell his words were sincere.

“How can you do that? I mean, if you pay more than other places, won’t your profit be lower?”

“I don’t think so, no. When I started this company I told everyone that I believe if you treat people right they’ll treat you right. I know how I want my business to run, but I can’t do it all myself. I can’t make it, sell it, ship it, collect the money, put it in the bank, and pay the bills all myself. So that means I have to rely on a lot of other people.”

“I’m with you so far.”

“If I want them to care about this business and do the best job they can for the company, the best way I know to do that is to treat them fairly. The longer someone works for me, the more they know about the company and the more they care about it, and the better job they do. So if I want them to stay there and have that longevity, I have to treat them right. That’s been my philosophy from day one, and I’ve been really happy with how it’s been working.”

“Wow. I’m impressed.”

“It’s not really that impressive. It’s just treating people the way I’d want to be treated myself. Now, about that job.”

“You’re serious? You’d offer me a job, knowing I just got fired from my last two jobs?”

“The last one wasn’t your fault, and in my opinion the owner had no business firing you. The kids at that table behind me were not at all behaved. They kept jumping up and running around the restaurant. It was much too busy for them to be doing that. In my opinion the owner would have been a lot better off kicking them out and keeping you in his employ. But since it was already done and I couldn’t do anything to stop it, I have to admit I was happy that it gave me a chance to meet you.”

“Why would you want a chance to meet me after the way I treated you at the gas station?”

“Besides the fact that you’re a beautiful young lady, Ella told me you’d been warned to be on the lookout for someone in a suit trying to pass off fifties and saying they’re hundreds. I understand what happened.”

She looked up at him, a smile forming. “So you wouldn’t have fired me for what I did?”

“Fired you? No.”

Her smile grew. “Thank you.”

“I might have taken you into my office at the end of the day and given you a good spanking, but I wouldn’t have fired you.”

Jasmine about choked on the water she’d taken a sip of. “You’d what?”

Trent chuckled, and changed the subject. “So, tell me about yourself. What do you like, what do you not like? What would be your ideal job?”

“Now or once I get my degree?”

“Both. What kind of degree are you aiming for, and how close are you to getting it?”

“I just started my last year. It’s taken me six years because I haven’t had the money to go full time, but I’ve taken at least two or three classes every semester, and I hope to get my degree in May. It’ll be a degree in business management.”

“And what kind of job will you be looking for once you graduate?”

She shrugged her shoulders. “This is going to sound weird, but I’m not real sure. I really like business; all of it. At first I thought I’d like to be a human resources manager or personnel manager. But then I studied purchasing, like to be the manager of a purchasing department. I love shopping and looking for bargains, and I think I’d like that kind of job. I don’t buy anything until I’m sure it’s the best deal I can find, so I think I’d be great at it. Tell me what you need and I’ll find a good deal on it and buy it. Besides, what could be bad about getting paid to spend other people’s money?” She giggled, and he laughed as well, loving her smile.

“So you’d like to work in purchasing some day?”

She shrugged her shoulders again. “I think I’d like that, yeah. But I also think I’d like working in personnel. I took a few classes in sales and marketing, but I don’t think I’d like that as well. The same way with accounting. I took a couple of classes so I can read financial statements and know what they’re saying, but I wouldn’t want to be in accounting.”

Trent was nodding as he listened carefully. “Okay, I think I have a little bit of an idea what kinds of jobs you might like when you graduate. How about now? Since you were working at a gas station and as a waitress, can I assume you’re willing to do, how should I word this? Maybe, less glamorous jobs until you get your degree?”

“I’m willing to do about anything.” She blushed as she quickly looked up and clarified her statement a bit. “Well, anything legal and moral.”

Trent laughed at the little lady sitting across the booth from him. “I hear you, and I appreciate the clarification. Just so you know, I’d never ask you to do anything that wasn’t within your comfort level.”

Trent thought she looked adorable when she blushed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t think you would.”

He put his hand over hers and tried to get her to relax. “I know. Now, I know a little about what you want to do professionally. Tell me about yourself. Did you grow up locally, do you have family nearby?”

She wasn’t real forthcoming about her family and growing up, but when she changed the subject slightly, he allowed it. They soon discovered conversation flowed easily between them, and they enjoyed their meal. He took her home, and after they talked for another hour, he convinced her to have dinner with him again on Friday. He gave her a gentlemanly kiss on her cheek before thanking her for having dinner with him and saying goodnight.

He thought about Jasmine as he drove home that evening. In fact, he couldn’t seem to get her out of his mind, and was glad she’d agreed to have dinner with him again. There was something about her that grabbed his attention the first time he’d met her at the gas station. She was very genuine, and he admired that.

She may have been small in stature, but she was big in likability. She was confident in her opinions and words and obviously comfortable in her skin, which he also admired. He couldn’t help notice her long light brown hair, with even lighter highlights that caught the light perfectly, telling him her hair color was not from a bottle. In fact, she was a beautiful young lady, but he didn’t think she realized it. She wore little makeup, just enough to accentuate what he considered her best assets, which made her breathtaking in his opinion. But what he liked was that she seemed totally unaware of her beauty. She had natural grace and charm, and enough self-confidence to be herself. All of that put together, the whole package was something he was anxious to get to know better.

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1 review for Again and Again

  1. Redrabbitt

    IF YOU TREAT PEOPLE RIGHT THEY’LL TREAT YOU RIGHT

    I enjoyed this page-turning tale with a great cast of characters, wonderful interactions, a bit of sweet romance, and a dominant man and feisty woman. The story also has mystery, suspense, danger, with a sinister plot.

    Jasmine Montgomery has worked hard to put herself through college. She works part-time while managing a few classes per semester. It has taken her longer than most because she is doing it all herself. Unfortunately, she has also allowed her temper to get her in trouble and fired from several jobs.

    Trent Douglas is a man who has built a company, is well respected, not pretentious, takes care of his people, and is also willing to lend a hand. He believes in being courteous to people but expects them to do the same.

    The story’s plot will have Trent going into the convenience store where Jasmine works and attempts to pay with a hundred-dollar bill where she only gives him change back to fifty and argues with him—that ends that job when her boss is upset with her. Her next job as a waitress ends, not by what she does, but the boss embarrassing her and firing her in front of the entire room full of people—she was bumped into and drinks spilled on Trent. Trent is a man who sees potential in people, and that includes Jasmine, and he will make contact with a friend to get in touch with her—a dinner out—and an offer of employment.

    Jazz: “So you wouldn’t have fired me for what I did?”
    Trent: “Fired you? No. I might have taken you into my office at the end of the day and given you a good spanking, but I wouldn’t have fired you.”

    Trent discovers that Jasmine has study business courses and is interested in purchasing. He is willing to give her a chance to work part-time while finishing college and then full-time after she graduates. They also start dating regularly. When Jasmine has issues, throws a fit, allows her language to include cussing, Trent isn’t shy about spanking her and calming her down. She has several times that this happens—and it always ends the same way. He cares about her and wants to help her, knowing she is better than her temper.

    Trent: “Are you starting to see that losing your temper doesn’t help anything?”
    Jazz: “Yes. It does help, it hurts.”
    Trent: “Yes, it does. It hurts in more ways than one.”

    “I promise you that I care enough about you to be as consistent as I need to be to help you get control of your temper.”

    As the relationship between Trent and Jasmine escalates, she tells him about her childhood, being raised in boarding schools, and meeting a girl named Sheila that became a pen pal. Sheila lost her parents and raised in the foster system, and how she wants to someday help her to go to college. That will set this tale into motion, figuring out how Trent can help Jasmine and Sheila with this plan while not over-interfering with the dream. To begin with, he can offer her a job, but there is the matter of her getting to Tennessee, and it is decided a loan for a car is needed—and supplied. Who would have ever known that buying a car would lead to trouble—but trouble comes with it.

    “I feel like for the first time I have a future, with so much to look forward to.”

    The story has the good, the bad, and the ugly of people. I loved how Jasmine and Sheila have kept this friendship—after only a brief time knowing each other and Jasmine’s compassion for her friend, wanting to help her. Trent is a man who believes in helping people, giving them a fair chance, finding what works best for them. The chemistry between Trent and Jasmine is an instant connection, with two people learning to trust each other and making a relationship. It has its moments of angst, attitude, and discipline. Trouble follows Sheila, and with it, both she and Jasmine are kidnapped. It will take Trent, his recollection of conversations, and following a trail from Arizona to Tennessee to solve it and find the girls.

    The story has multiple discipline scenes but never sex scenes. As always, Ms. Misty Malone takes the reader on an exciting, page-turning journey.

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