The Enemy (It Happened in Charleston #2) - Sarah Adams

Chapter One


It’s been twelve years since I’ve seen him.

Twelve years since his smug face leaned down to kiss me, stopped just before our mouths met, smirked, and then turned and walked out of my life forever. That day, I stood stunned and awestruck. I wish I had smashed his toes. Instead, I closed my eyes as he went in for the kill. I cringe, remembering how I tilted my chin up, feeling a chill trickle across my spine at the thought of him kissing me after spending our whole high school experience trying to kill each other. I acknowledged defeat the moment my eyes fluttered shut. I hate that he won our war back then.

But tonight…tonight, I resurrect the battle.

And victory will be mine.

No longer am I that naïve little graduate, excited for a kiss from the enemy. I’m now thirty years old and majority owner of Darlin’ Donuts—one of Charleston’s top hotspots. My best friend, Stacy, and I opened the bakery three years ago, and we have been enjoying a nice bit of success ever since.

Not only am I the Southern queen of the gourmet donut tycoon, but I’m turning down men calling me up nightly for a date. Okay…nightly is a stretch. But it’s definitely somewhere around three times a week. Twice a week. Once a week. Above average, okay?

Point is, I’ve got a lot going for me now. Career success. Tons of friends—because family makes the best friends, am I right? And I’m at least four inches taller than I was in high school (read: two inches). Best of all, I’ve perfected a killer winged eyeliner and paired it with a little black dress that has had men eyeballing me from across the bar all night long.

Sorry, boys. You can look, but you can’t touch.

In short, I’ve made sure that tonight—the night I come face to face again with my archnemesis—I look the best I’ve looked in my adult life. Because mark the words coming out of my red lips: Tonight, I will crush Ryan Henderson under my black stilettoed feet.

He will see all that he has missed out on and weep on the floor, clutching my legs, begging me to give him the kiss he left behind all those years ago.

And FINALLY, I hear the door squeak open. I wait, measuring the seconds passing by, the click, click, click of a woman’s high heels drawing nearer.

Just a little closer.

Ugh. She passed me, choosing the far end of the row like a normal person. Why did I have to choose the middle?

“Hey there!” I call out. “Why don’t you take the one beside me?”

Her clicks come to an abrupt halt, and suddenly, I’m aware of how creepy I sounded.

Because…yeah, currently, I’m sitting on a toilet with my fancy little cocktail dress hiked up to my hips and the telltale prickles of a woman who has had no choice but to sit on a toilet seat for far too long shooting down my legs.

“Uh, I think I’m okay with this stall.” The woman is undoubtedly shooting off a frantic text to her date saying if she’s not out of here in five minutes, it was the woman in the middle stall who killed her.

I laugh, trying to sound as little like a serial killer as possible, because any minute now, Ryan Henderson will be arriving at the party, and I need to be out there to see his ugly face first. (I’m assuming he’s ugly because it helps me sleep easier at night.)

“Sorry, didn’t mean to freak you out! I’m normal, I swear. Just out of toilet paper over here and was hoping you could slip me a roll.”

“Oh.” Her voice is still far away. She’s not convinced I won’t do something creepy if she comes near my stall.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting over here, air-drying on the porcelain throne, worrying I’ll never feel my feet again, while Miss Barbie Heels makes up her mind.

I sweeten the pot because, apparently, I’m a black-market toilet paper dealer now. “There’s five bucks and a half-used tube of red lipstick in it for you.”

That got her moving. Moving right on out the bathroom door. Apparently, red isn’t Barbie’s lipstick color of choice, and she’s decided she would rather risk a bladder infection than get near me. If I hadn’t left my phone on the table like an idiot, I could have texted Stacy and asked her to come bail me out. But noooo, I had to prove that I’m not obsessed with my phone