I Choose You

I Choose You

By:  Krista Lakes  Ongoing
Language: English
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Step 1: Go to college. Check. Step 2: Find a job. No luck. Step 3: Start a family. Whoa, one thing at a time. Alicia Chambers was stuck on Step 2. No matter how many resumes she sent out, she couldn’t find a job in her dream field: phone app development. It seemed like most successful apps were started by a single inspired person in their basement, including the most recent craze, Monster Go. If only Alicia could find her own inspiration for an app… Drawn into the game (research, she told herself), she meets a mysterious stranger who also plays. He’s perfect for her: rich, handsome, and nerdy. However, despite formerly being in app development himself, Jacob seems to have left it all behind. Between romantic dates and catching monsters, Alicia finds herself growing closer to the mysterious man. But when she learns something that he deliberately kept hidden, will she flee his secretive life? Will she let him know her own secret- that she’s carrying a little gift from all their time “playing” together? I Choose You is a standalone romance novel. If you like new adult stories, you’ll enjoy this story of two people finding love over a phone app.

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33 Chapters
Chapter One
This is going to hurt, I thought as I hurtled through space.I wasn't quite sure what had caught the toe of my shoe, but somehow the floor was quickly coming up to greet me. It would be less than a second before my entire body slammed into the floor of the restaurant entryway, which was conveniently made of very hard-looking tile.Just don't break anything, I prayed, holding my hands out, hoping that my arms would be strong enough to break my fall. It was going to be ugly and there was nothing I could do about it. I was inches away from colliding, when a pair of strong arms caught me around my waist and pulled me back up into a standing position.“Careful,” a man's voice said. The voice was calm and his hands were strong.I was still wincing in anticipated pain as the stranger held me. I had been expecting to hit the floor, so it took me a second to realize that I had just been saved. His hands were on the top of my waist, holding me steady with a firm and safe grip.“You okay?” he as
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Chapter Two
I tried to pay attention to the discussion about how terrible Tommy's teacher was, but the table next to us stood and left, giving me a clear view of the room. Instead of the conversation, I was drawn to something else. Or rather, someone else. It was the guy who had saved me from falling in the entryway.From where I sat, I had a perfect view of his face. My first impression of him was dead on. Gorgeous. He was strikingly handsome, with dark hair combed to one side and a square jaw covered in beard stubble. He wore square dark framed glasses that instantly gave him the impression of intelligence. My stomach fluttered with the thought that I had been wrapped up in his arms not that long ago. Warmth filled my belly and my heart skipped a beat. He must have felt me looking at him, because he glanced up and smiled at me.I nearly melted at the subtle flirtation and even more so when I noticed his eyes. They were sky blue, unlike any I had ever seen in real life. They were beautiful and i
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Chapter Three
Dear Alicia,We regret to inform you that the position you applied for as software engineer has been filled by a more qualified applicant. We wish you the best in your journey and hope you reapply next year.With an agitated sigh, I clicked the “delete” button on the email and put it in the trash along with all the others. It was the third email I had gotten that day and they all said the same thing, that my newly received college degree was worth practically nothing in the work force.I spun my chair around away from the desk. At the same time,Tommy popped in through the door, unannounced.“Why do you look so upset?” he asked, as he pushed his shaggy hair out of his eyes.“Because I have a little brother who doesn't know how to knock,” I replied, with a sarcastic smirk.Completely ignoring me, Tommy strolled in and took a seat on my bed.“Seriously, Alicia, you've been in here all day,” he said. “You've been home from college for more than a week and I haven't seen you at all.”“I'm
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Chapter Four
He was still beyond gorgeous. Instead of the glasses, he wore sunglasses, but they still looked like prescription glasses.“Me too,” the man said to Tommy, pulling out his phone. “You said your game locked up?”Tommy nodded glumly. “I'm stuck on the loading screen.”“Did you log out? Sometimes that reloads your user data and will get you back in the game,” the man told him.Athena came up to him and sniffed his hand. The man quickly pet her on the head, and Athena leaned into it. If my dog thought this guy was okay, I guess I could let him talk to my little brother. He looked up briefly at me and smiled as Tommy continued to follow his instructions.“I'm back in,” Tommy announced, relief filling his features. “Now, to keep the gym under our control.”“Good to have you back in the battle.” The man studied his phone screen. “Hmmm, a leveled up Stingly would take care of this situation in a heart beat.”“You're right,” Tommy agreed, but he frowned. “But I don't have one.”“I do,” I inter
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Chapter Five
The sun shone brightly and birds chirped as I walked Athena towards the park. I had made sure I looked good today, so my confidence was high. I could do this. It wasn't really a date. It was just meeting a cute guy.A really cute guy.My initial confidence faded as I stepped onto the path that led into the park. First dates, even if they weren't really dates, were not my forte. I always managed to say something far too nerdy. I liked computers and science, and I had more than one date never call me back because I started talking about programming or computer languages better than they did.I ran my fingers through my hair and then over my summer dress, making sure that everything was in order. It was too late to make a different first impression with Jacob, but I figured I could polish up my third impression the best I could. My heart beat quickly, and I drew in a slow breath to calm myself down.Nearing the fountain, I noticed that there were a handful of people standing around it, j
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Chapter Six
“What is your company’s name?” I asked. I would have to look it up. Maybe they were hiring. “Are you still running it now that you’re living here?”Before he could answer my question, our phones vibrated. We both glanced down at the same time to see the Monster GO app flashing on the screen.“There’s a Buugybuug nearby,” he said. He put his hand on the small of my back to turn me in the right direction. “It’s not a rare monster, but you should catch it anyway. Anything you can do to get experience points will help get you leveled up.”Talking with Jacob, I had forgotten we were playing a game. I lifted my phone, and so did at least five other strangers around us. With a swipe, I caught the little cartoon creature. The catch gave me a grand total of five monsters in my inventory.“See, it’s easy,” Jacob said, holding up his phone. His inventory screen looked way fuller than mine did.“I’m still shocked at how much of a worldwide craze it’s started. It’s insane.” As much as I fought it
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Chapter Seven
“Are you guys going to kiss or something?” Tommy asked, stepping around to the front of the bench.Jacob pulled away and cleared his throat. He shifted in his seat, trying to play it cool. It was the first time I'd seen him even a little bit flustered, but he shrugged and was suddenly totally collected yet again.“No, we were just hanging out, playing some Monster GO,” Jacob explained.“Tommy, what in the hell are you doing here?” I asked, doing my best to stay calm.“Last I checked, we live in a free country,” he said, as he crossed his arms to stand his ground in front of me. “I finished cleaning my room and Mom said I should come find you. It was just lucky I looked here first.”“Tommy, I’m going to give you three seconds to turn around and go home.” I stated, my words slow and measured. Inside, I was ready to pummel the kid for interrupting what would have been an amazing first kiss.“Or what?” he snapped back. “What, Alicia? What are you going to do?”“Three.” I narrowed my eyes.
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Chapter Eight
“Now you’re doing it, too, Alicia?”My mom’s voice caused me to look up from my phone. She set a plate in front of me. We were having T-bone steak, with corn and mashed potatoes for dinner.“What did you say, Mom?” I asked, setting my phone to the side. “Sorry, I was distracted.”“You’ve been staring at your phone for the past ten minutes.” Mom frowned at me “Are you playing that same thing that Tommy has been playing for the past couple of weeks?”I looked to my right, where Tommy was seated, busily playing Monster GO. When I glanced back toward my mom, I nodded. “I am. And I have to admit, it’s more fun than I thought it would be.”“See, sis. You should listen to me next time I tell you about a game. I know you think I’m just your stupid little brother, but I can teach you a thing or two about life.” He smiled smugly as he continued playing the game.“I’m glad you and Tommy have been able to find something that you’re both interested in.” Mom paused and then crossed her arms. “But s
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Chapter Nine
When I woke up the next morning, the first thing that I did was snatch my phone off of the nightstand. Normally, I’d have checked my email or looked to see if I'd gotten any hits on my job search, but instead, I opened up the Monster GO app. I wondered if maybe I was becoming slightly addicted to it, but I still wasn’t to the point where I was going to admit it, even to myself.An update was available on the game and I downloaded it. While it loaded, I realized that for the first time since graduation, I hadn't awoken to my first thought being about finding a job. It was far better to wake up excited to play a game rather than disappointed to not have a job. If nothing else, the game was making my world a little bit brighter and I was glad for it.When the game restarted, I was surprised to find that the appearance of the game looked a bit different than before. Now, instead of being able to see monsters that were within a one or two block radius, I could zoom out on the map and see m
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Chapter Ten
Jacob was poised to ring the doorbell as I opened the door. He jumped slightly, but smiled widely as I stepped out. He had on his glasses today, which I found out helped him with computer work.“You forgot to take off your glasses,” I reminded him as I closed the door behind me.“Thank you,” he replied, taking them off and putting them in his pocket. “I was working before I came. It was a busy work day today. You look great, by the way.”I loved the way his eyes twinkled when he looked at me. I felt like I was the center of the universe when he looked at me like that, and it made my stomach do happy somersaults.“Which direction should we go?” he asked, taking my hand in his and leading me down the driveway. I liked the way his hand felt wrapped around mine.I looked to my left, where the park with the fountain was located, then I turned to my right. A couple of miles down the road in that direction was William’s Park. I hadn’t been there in a long time and I kind of wanted to see wha
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