How far would you go to reignite the spark you once had?
Two years later, Trace and Olivia are as much in love as they’ve always been. But the spark they once had for life is waning and Trace is determined that they find it again. His solution? A road trip. But he doesn’t tell Olivia the real reason they’re heading north.
Olivia is happy to go on a road trip and have more adventures with Trace. Besides, she needs a distraction from the soap opera her life has become. With college over, this is the perfect opportunity to chase down the carefree girl she once was.
But life isn’t a fairytale and you can only escape reality for so long.
Love, laughs, and a hidden agenda.
That’s the name of the game when you’re Chasing Olivia.
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“Well,” he stood, grabbing his guitar case, “I better get ready.”
“You already signed up to sing, didn’t you?” I questioned. “Before we even got here?”
He nodded. “I always have an agenda, babe,” he kissed my cheek before heading for the stage area. He bent to speak with someone, whom I assumed was a manager at the bar, and then he was escorted behind the stage.
I really hoped he didn’t do something to humiliate me. But knowing Trace, the lengths to which he’d go to embarrass me were endless.
I turned in my barstool, so I could see the stage better.
Somebody’s arm brushed mine and I jerked in response.
“Sorry,” they said, and their voice was way too close for comfort. I turned my head sharply and found a guy about my age sitting in Trace’s vacant chair. He had curly blonde hair and pale blue eyes clouded over from alcohol.
“Can I help you?” I questioned, giving the guy the benefit of the doubt.
“I just saw you sittin’ here and thought you looked lonely,” he slurred with a grin, leaning much too close to me. Somebody needed to teach this guy the rules of personal space because he was all up in my bubble, and if it popped, I could not be held accountable for my actions.
“I’m not lonely,” I said sternly, glaring at him, “so run along now.” I waved my hand in dismissal, hoping he got the message.
He grabbed my arm, squeezing much to tight. I bit down on my lip, breathing in and out sharply, hoping to avoid a panic attack. I hadn’t done well with strangers touching me after what Aaron did to me.
“There’s no need to play hard to get,” he flipped a stray blonde curl out of his eyes.
“I’m not playing anything,” I tried to yank my arm from his grasp but he was too strong. “Let me go!” I screamed as panic crawled up my throat. Tears burned my eyes. I pulled my arm again and this time I managed to get him to let go, but I went falling from my seat in the process and landed on the ground, smacking the side of my face sharply against the concrete floor.
“Olivia!” I heard Trace yell, his voice echoing around the whole bar as he yelled into the microphone. I’d been so preoccupied with Mr. Touchy Feely that I hadn’t seen him come out on stage.
Before I had a chance to move, Trace’s familiar scent surrounded me, and his large hands were on my body picking me up.
“Olivia,” he whispered, looking me over. “You’re bleeding.”
I reached up and felt around my eye. My fingers came away with a small smearing of blood. “It’s not that bad,” I shrugged.
His jaw was clenched tight and his eyes screamed murder. “You’re hurt.” He shoved me behind him and glared at Mr. Touchy Feely who was still sitting in his former seat.
“I didn’t do anything,” he held his hands up in surrender. “She just fell.”
“She didn’t just fall,” Trace seethed. “You grabbed her arm and you wouldn’t let go. When a girls says no, it means no!” Suddenly, he was reaching out and grabbing the guy by the shirt collar and lifting him out of the chair.
Holy shit, I knew Trace was strong, but this guy was double his size and built like a linebacker.
“Dude, let me go,” Mr. Touchy Feely tried to pry Trace’s hands off of him, but it was pointless. Trace was in a rage and there was no stopping him. “I wasn’t gonna hurt her.”
“I don’t care what your intentions were,” Trace growled, right up in the guy’s face as he shoved him into a wall. “When a girl tells you to let her go, guess what? You let her go!” He shook the guy forcefully.
I hadn’t seen Trace get this angry in a long time…not since Aaron attacked me. Trace was an easygoing guy and it took a lot to get him riled.
“Trace,” I whispered, placing my hand on his taut arm. “I’m okay.”
Slowly, he turned his head towards me, and some of the anger drained out of him. He released the guy, but not before giving him a hard enough shove that he went sprawling to the ground. The guy looked up in disbelief. For a second I thought he might attack Trace but instead he chose to pick himself up and walk away. I guess he wasn’t as dumb as he looked.
“Stay here,” Trace growled, bowing his head as he walked away. The brim of the fedora hid his gaze from me and I chewed my lip nervously.
Within seconds he was back, his guitar case slung over his shoulder. “We’re leaving,” he took my hand and practically dragged me out of the building.
People stared as we passed, the blue lights in the bar making them look strange—almost alien.
We drove back to the motel in silence, his grip so tight on the steering wheel that his knuckles turned white, and his jaw was clenched. I wanted to say something, but I figured silence was better.
He opened the motel door, letting me in first. I sat on the edge of the bed, nervously fiddling with the edge of my tank top. “Trace—”
“I’ll be back,” he said in a steely tone, slamming the door closed behind him as he left. I jumped at the noise.
My bottom lip trembled with the threat of tears, but I wouldn’t cry. I couldn’t.
Frustrated, I tore off my clothes and changed into pajamas.
I climbed under the itchy covers; eyes wide open.
Let him leave.
I didn’t care.
Honestly, I didn’t.
Okay, I did.
And that’s why it hurt.
About the Author:
Micalea Smeltzer is an author from Virginia. Her name is pronounced Muh-call-e-uh. She is permanently glued to her computer, where she constantly writes. She has to listen to music when she writes and has a playlist for every book she’s ever started. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading a book or playing with her three dogs.
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Finding Olivia: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17931161-finding-olivia
Chasing Olivia: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18484048-chasing-olivia
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