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Sparks Fly

Sparks Fly

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Mia Allen never expected to fall for her best friend’s brother. All she wanted to do was help him until he could find a full-time secretary. It didn’t matter that she’d had an unrequited crush on him for years. He had been too much of an annoying older brother type that would constantly tease them for her to ever think of developing feelings for him. But then he had to turn out to actually be a great guy.

Adam Carver was too busy getting his electrician company up and running to think of pursuing any kind of relationship. So how was it possible for him to fall for the girl he’d always thought of as his second little sister? But now, after working closely with her and seeing her for the truly amazing person she is, he can’t help but fall in love.

Can they find a way to handle all the sparks flying as their romance develops, or will they be doomed to go their separate ways?

Intro into Chapter One

Adam stared at his sister; still not sure he understood her correctly. She was holding the keys to the supply cabinet out for him to take but he just shook his head dumbly.
“What do you mean you quit?”
“I have classes starting up. I told you about this weeks ago. You said that was fine and that you’d put up an ad for a secretary.”
Adam rubbed his forehead, hoping it would keep his headache from getting any worse. He had completely forgotten about that conversation and knew he was the one at fault here, but how could he keep her from abandoning him like this?
Starting his own electrical business should have been easy enough. He had the schooling, had apprenticed with an electrician for a couple of years, and now had jobs lined up every day for the next few weeks, with a bid for another one up at Emerald Lake. But he couldn’t do everything on his own, not if he wanted to keep this momentum going.
“Samantha, you can’t leave me yet. I don’t know how I missed it, but I really didn’t understand you when you said you were quitting. Can’t you stay on a couple more days? I promise I’ll get a replacement ASAP.”
“My classes start tomorrow. I can’t miss them, or I’ll have to wait until the next program starts up.”
“But it’s just the community college.” Adam looked at Samantha and knew he’d messed up the moment he’d opened his mouth. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. I know this is important to you.”
“I know you didn’t mean to flake out either, but unless you want to pay me triple what you’ve been paying me, I’m done today. Once I clock out, I’m finished and you will have to do the scheduling and phone calls, and billing and everything else. I can help you write up an ad for a secretary later tomorrow night, or even this weekend, depending on how much homework I get on the first day.”
“But I have a job tomorrow morning. I can’t just shut down the front office. Not now that I’m finally getting people to know I’m open.”
“You could see if your roommate or one of your friends could come cover for you.”
“Everyone already works.”
“And I have school,” Samantha said. “I can’t just postpone my own education while I wait for you to get a replacement.”
He knew she was frustrated with him, but he could tell she also felt bad for him. If he was lucky, he could twist her arm enough she’d do something to keep helping him. Until she said the next thing. “I would love to help you, but I’ve been very upfront about this for weeks. I can’t say I’m surprised you didn’t listen. You do that to me all the time.”
Adam’s headache was just going to get worse. He could probably manage to get the calls switched to his cell phone while he tried to find someone to take Samantha’s place, but it would likely cost him a few jobs.
“I’m sorry.” Adam frowned and met his sister’s eye. “You’re right. I wasn’t doing a very good job listening to you, and I just thought you’d always be here to cover my problems at the office.”
“I can come in tomorrow afternoon, but not until about three, but I can’t promise how long I can stay.”
“Do you have time to show me some of the things you’ve got set up before you go tonight? Maybe show me how to record a message for the voicemail saying that I’ll get back with them when I can.”
With a long-suffering sigh, Samantha took the keys to the cabinet and unlocked it to get out the laptop she’d just put away.
“Can’t stay long, I’m meeting Mia to go to the movies. We’re doing one last hurrah before our classes start.”
“What’s Mia studying?” Adam asked while she was getting the computer restarted. “Will she be doing the nursing assistant program too?”
“Computer stuff. She already did a year of it. She wants to develop websites and write programs for companies.”
“The community college has one of those programs?”
“Yes,” Samantha said. “She’s done some of them online, but others she goes in person to an instructor.”
“I’m glad Emerald Cove started up the programs here. At least you won’t be leaving town to get your schooling done.”
Samantha opened the program and pointed at the seat next to her. “Come sit here and I can show you what’s going on. And then give you the details of your schedule and how you can get the phone transferred to your cell.”
“You’re a life saver,” Adam said.
“I wouldn’t have to be if you were a better listener,” Samantha said, giving him a teasing shove. “I swear, with all your intelligence and genius at getting your electrician business up and running, I wonder if you’ve been hit with a few stray volts that wiped some of your common sense away.”
“I’ve never been zapped,” Adam said. He knew too many electricians who’d lost fingers, toes, limbs, and even their lives by accidental connection with high voltage wiring. He was extra cautious so that would never be his fate.
But since he was so focused on doing a good job with work, he wasn’t as great as he should have been with the business end of things.
The door of his small office opened and both Samantha and he looked up.
“Mia,” Samantha said. “I need a few more minutes to explain how things work so Adam can run his own business tomorrow.”
“He doesn’t have a replacement for you?” Mia asked. She didn’t sound surprised, and that kind of irked him.
Adam had never really liked his sister’s best friend. Sure, she was cute, and she’d just gotten prettier as she’d grown up, but she was not his type at all. They were both four or five years younger than him, and he’d always thought the two were extra annoying when she’d come hang out at their house. Especially when they had practiced their band instruments. He’d never seen the appeal of the clarinet or the flute. Why would they even want to be in the marching band? Both of them could have been cheerleaders. They were cute enough for it, but instead, they went the nerd route.
“He was too busy working his business to run his business,” Samantha deadpanned.
Mia laughed and Adam tried his best not to give her a dirty look.
“Yeah, whatever,” Adam said. “I’ve been going nonstop to get this business running by keeping the customers happy.”
“Well, if you can’t answer their calls, or schedule times to help them in the next few days, you won’t have a business for very long.”
“Where am I going to get a secretary this soon?” Adam asked. “I couldn’t find one before, that’s why I begged you to help.”
“You couldn’t find one because you didn’t want to pay a decent wage at first. Now that you’ve gotten clients, and have funds coming in, you should be able to pay a better rate.”
“It’ll take a week or more to find someone good. Then I’ve still got to train them.”
“I’m sorry, dude,” Samantha said. “I don’t know what to tell you. I gave you my two weeks’ notice, like three weeks ago.”
“I could fill in for a few days until you get someone to take over long term,” Mia said.
“What?” Samantha asked at the same time Adam did.
“My classes are in the evenings. I wanted to have the mornings to work on my homework, and since a lot of it is online and dealing with computers, I could be here and answer calls, then schedule appointments and fit my homework stuff in between. I know tons of programs. It won’t take me long to get up to speed.”
“Are you sure you want to work for my brother?” Samantha asked.
Mia shrugged. “It won’t be long term. As long as he starts looking for a replacement tomorrow, I can cover till he has someone lined up.”
“You’re a life saver,” Adam said, ruffling her hair the way he had five years ago. The second he touched her head, he knew that was extra weird. And her hair felt soft and silky, giving him some strange urge to let his hand linger.
Mia reached up and smoothed her hair down, giving him a look that he couldn’t quite decipher. He cleared his throat. “So, what do you need from me?”
“When am I supposed to show up tomorrow?” Mia asked.
“Seven?” Adam asked. “I’ve got the first appointment tomorrow at eight, according to Samantha’s schedule here.”
“That’s fine,” Mia said. She turned to Samantha. “We should get going so we can make it to the movie.”
Samantha closed the laptop then put it in the closet and locked it, then handed her the keys. Mia was already out the door before Samantha turned to him and gave him a look.
“Don’t you dare mess things up with Mia. She’s doing you a huge favor, and you’d better tell her thank you and pay her well. Then get your ad for a job opening set up fast. She has so much more to do with her own schooling that she shouldn’t suffer because you start to take advantage of her willingness to help.”
Adam nodded. “I’ll get on it right away.” He reached out and gave Samantha a hug. “I really am sorry I spaced it and didn’t take care of this sooner. Thanks for all your help getting things going. I know I couldn’t have done it without you.”
“You’re darn right you couldn’t.” She gave him a smile and a wink then walked out the door. “Don’t stay up too late,” she said, as the door closed, and he locked it. “Mia’s a morning person, and you need to not be cranky when you talk to her. Otherwise, you’ll be on your own sooner than you want.”
Adam sighed. He hated mornings. It took him a couple cups of coffee to even be ready to talk to someone. But if he could get Mia to make things run smoothly, he could just get to the point where he would show up, be told where the job was going to be, and he could do what he was best at.


Mia was already to the car and waiting by her door when Samantha finally came out of Adam’s office. She wasn’t looking forward to the look her best friend would give her, but she might as well get things out of the way before they got to the movies.
“So, wanna tell me what that was all about?” Samantha asked.
“I just didn’t feel like I could let him lose any clients since he’s just gotten things up and running with your help. Seemed like it would just be a waste of your good work.”
“Yeah, but this is Adam we’re talking about. My annoying brother who was always giving us a hard time. I kinda think he deserves a little Karma for his lack of preparation.”
“He’ll have to pay more, just like you said. And that should be fun to make him suffer on your behalf. I can even give you part of the pay. Especially since you did it almost for free.”
“Yeah,” Samantha said. “But you were the one that set up the program to do the scheduling. And he had to buy me food and run me errands while he was out. I totally got everything I wanted from him while I worked there.”
“So, it’s only for a little bit. And I have time. Besides, he looked so frazzled and flustered that I couldn’t help it.”
“Just promise me one thing,” Samantha said.
“Don’t fall for him. I don’t care how cute you think he is. He’s still my big jerk of a big brother, and with all the crap he gave us growing up, I’ll be really put out if you start crushing on him.”
Mia laughed. “Oh, believe me. I will not fall for him. He’s not my type.” Though she really did think him handsome, he wasn’t anything swoon worthy. Besides, that random ruffle of her head had been weird. It felt just like when they were younger, but then at the same time, she’d had a strange reaction to his touch.
“Just keep it that way,” Samantha said. “Of course, you could give him a bit of a hard time for me every now and then. Tell him to get you crazy things for lunch when he calls in to see if you want anything on his way back.”
“You think he’ll do that?” Mia asked.
“Oh, and tell him tomorrow that you’ll either want an hour lunch break so you can go where you want, or that he’ll have to run errands for you every now and then. And some days, tell him before he leaves for the day that you need him to pick up random things.”
“Like what?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Pickle flavored potato chips. A bunch of cilantro. A few days later, tell him you need him to grab you a bag of carrots or broccoli. Make him run errands. A thing of chocolate covered cinnamon bears that you could bring home to me. You know just random things you get a craving for.”
“Did you do this?” Mia asked.
“On occasion,” Samantha said. “Needed to do some payback for all those things he made me do his senior year.”
Mia laughed. “He was a bit of a jerk, wasn’t he?”
“And so over dramatic with his breakup with Michelle.” Samantha shook her head. “It was a good thing she married and moved away so soon after they graduated. I’d hate to have seen him pining away after her.”
“Did he ever have anyone else he dated so seriously?” Mia asked.
“None that he ever told me about. I think she broke him a little. He had some girlfriends when he went to college, but never anything long term. I never met any of them.”
“Poor baby,” Mia added a sarcastic eye roll and Samantha laughed.
“Yeah, but ya gotta love him.” Samantha said.
Though it was obvious she really did like her brother, it was fun to see this side of her. It had been a while since she’d been this silly and playful. She was still pretty bummed about her parents’ divorce and the fact that her mom had remarried and moved to Florida and her dad had moved to Boston.
“Well,” Mia said. “You love him. I’ll just help you torture him a little.”
Samantha smiled. “You’re the best. So, let’s get to the movies. I don’t want to miss the trailers. Gotta see what other movies I’ll need to plan for as breaks from school work.”
Mia started her car and gave a small sigh of relief that it started without issue. She knew a lot about computers, but nothing about cars, and the mechanic she’d taken it to had fixed it, but it still didn’t feel quite right. It likely wouldn’t last a whole lot longer, but until she got some more money saved up, she’d have to keep nursing it along.
“Maybe you working for Adam will be a good thing,” Samantha said, patting the car’s dashboard.
“I just hope Betsy will keep plugging along for as long as possible. Used all my money I’d saved up for tuition and the repair bills when the timing belt went out. And I have to save up some money for a replacement laptop. Not sure how much longer it will last.”
“Well, if worse comes to worst, you could always borrow one of Adam’s work trucks. You’re an employee there now.”
Mia chuckled. She patted the dashboard too. “Don’t worry, I’m sure Betsy will keep treating me right. She knows how much I love her.”
This car had been what she’d learned to drive in, and her parents had given it to her when she’d passed her driving test. It had taken her to early morning band practices, to four different comic conventions out of state, as well as her one and only date to a girl’s choice dance.
Being a nerd that liked computers, comic conventions, and marching band more than fawning over the jocks had given her the reputation of being uninterested in guys or dating.
She liked guys well enough. She just hadn’t wanted to get involved in all the crazy teen stuff and had instead focused on things that made her happy. Her introverted personality had also caused her some reluctance in putting herself out there to date. It was a good thing Samantha was so good at meeting people and had basically adopted her as best friend. She’d never go anywhere if it wasn’t for Samantha.
The fact that she’d been brave enough to volunteer to work for Adam was still a big surprise to her. Hopefully she wouldn’t regret it.

Mia Allen never expected to fall for her best friend’s brother. All she wanted to do was help him until he could find a full-time secretary. It didn’t matter that she’d had an unrequited crush on him for years.
Can they find a way to handle all the sparks flying as their romance develops, or will they be doomed to go their separate ways?

Main Tropes

  • Office Romance
  • Sister's Best Friend
  • Friend's to Lovers
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