A Life With No Regrets - Sarra Cannon

Chapter One

I wipe the back of my hand across my forehead and take a deep breath. I’ve been lost in the bar’s rhythm for the past couple hours, but now that I take a second to step back and really look around, I realize just how packed the place is tonight. We’re already out of glasses and have resorted to using an old stash of plastic cups from the storeroom. I’ve had to send Knox to the back twice to grab more longnecks.

“Hey, can I get three Coronas and a vodka cranberry?”

A young, blond guy who looks like he just stepped off the beach leans forward and flashes a smile. I double-check that he’s wearing a wrist-band and nod.

I reach into the cooler and grab three Coronas, pop them open with record speed, and shove a slice of lime into the top. I sink a plastic cup into the ice and tilt the vodka bottle up for a three-count.

“Twenty-two,” I say as I top it off with cranberry juice from the gun and another slice of lime. Damn, we’re about to run out of those, too, and I don’t have time to slice more. We seriously underestimated the crowd tonight.

Blondie holds out a credit card, but when I go to take it he won’t let go. I pull again, confused, but when I look up, I see that familiar look in his eyes. He wants to flirt.

I sigh. I so do not have time for this.

“Want to start a tab?” I ask.

“What I really want is to find out what time you get off work tonight,” he says.

I raise an eyebrow in warning, and he finally lets go of the card. I slip it into the cardholder under B for Blondie.

I look to the woman next in line, hoping he’ll just let it go at that.

“Two BudLight Limes,” she says.

“I’m serious,” Blondie says as I reach into the cooler again. Apparently not getting the message. “Let’s hang out. We could have some fun.”

“Is that right?” I ask, not stopping for a second. I hand the girl her beers. “Ten bucks.”

She hands me a ten and tosses three dollars into the tip jar.

“Thanks,” I say and flash her a smile.

I try to remember who was next in line and turn to an older guy standing at the end of the bar.

“What can I get for you?”

Before the guy can answer, Blondie slides in front of him. “Hey, listen baby, there’s no need to play hard to get,” he says. “I’m already interested.”

I take a deep breath. Why do guys think this is attractive?

“I hate to crush your school-boy dreams, but I’m not playing hard to get,” I say. I look him straight in the eye and lean over the top of the bar, making sure he hears me. “I’m the one who’s not interested. Not today. Not ever.”

A few people standing around us make rude noises and begin to cheer. Blondie narrows his eyes at me and gathers his drinks from the top of the bar.

“Bitch,” he mutters under his breath. He turns away so fast he bumps into an even bigger guy behind him and nearly spills the cranberry. I try to hide my laugh, but it sneaks out anyway.

“Didn’t your daddy ever teach you not to scare the customers?”

Behind me, Colton’s warm breath sails across my cheek and his body presses against my back as he reaches around me to grab a fresh stack of cups. Goosebumps break out all over my arms, and I shiver.

We’ve been working together behind the bar for a few months now, but from day one he’s always known just how to get under my skin. It makes me want to punch him in the face.

Or jump his bones.

I’m not sure which one just yet.

“Didn’t your momma ever teach you how to actually work for a living?” I turn around to face him, which is a big mistake. He doesn’t back away and now I’m close enough to smell his cologne. “Because last time I checked, you were stationed at the other end of the bar.”

He lifts his hands in mock-surrender and takes a tiny step backward. “Whatever you say, Boss,” he says. “I just needed some more cups, and I couldn’t help but overhear you berating the customers. Hey, if you don’t feel like serving people tonight, send ‘em my way. I could always use the extra money.”

Our eyes meet for a brief instant and my stomach flips in this way I haven’t felt