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Cookie O’Gorman


Text copyright © 2021 Airianna Tauanuu writing as Cookie O’Gorman

All rights reserved. This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, any place, events or occurrences, is purely coincidental. The characters and story lines are created from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, distributed, stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, without express permission of the author, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes.

Cover Design © Stephanie Mooney. All rights reserved.

To all the introverts, dog lovers, K-drama addicts and hopeless romantics


To Pat, Mom, and Colleen. Always.

  Table of Contents

Table of Contents






















If you love someone, you should tell them.

I didn't remember where I'd first heard it.  But that was one of the main themes of nearly every romance book, movie, TV show, I'd ever read or seen.

And believe me, I'd seen a lot.

Despite being a total introvert and invisible to the other students of Durham High, I was for all intents and purposes, a romance connoisseur.  My expertise didn't come from real life experience, but I knew the way things worked.  Girls and guys were supposed to bottle up their feelings, keep everything very close to the chest, until one day, something happens to set the ball in motion.

Well, I'd had a secret crush for a long time and today was the day that I confessed.

The love letter I'd written and edited about a hundred times before it was perfect was in my pocket.  Granted it wasn't written with any particular person in mind.  And I'd started it in fifth grade when I'd first discovered the wonder of boys, hence why it had gone through a good deal of revisions.  At seventeen, my thoughts about love were much different than they'd been back then.  But…I'd written it for my ideal guy.

The guy who I fell for, I knew, would always appreciate my words and feelings.

And I thought I'd finally found him.

My crush, Tyson McCormack, was sweet, funny, and such a good person.  A few years ago, he and his parents had even rescued a dog from the animal shelter where I volunteered, which made him golden in my eyes.  He also happened to be gorgeous, like Hemsworth-level hot—though I kind of wished he wasn't.

I mean who wouldn't be intimidated by that much gorgeousness?

My hand went immediately to my hair, trying to smooth it out once again.  The long locks were a dark mahogany brown that matched my eyes.  I ran my damp palms against my favorite pair of jeans, tugged on the hem of my oversized "Must Love Dogs" t-shirt before fidgeting with the zipper of the hoodie I wore over it.  A lot of girls at DHS were model thin.  But I'd never fit that mold of perfection.  My C-cups and wider-than-they-should-be hips made sure of that.  Tyson, though, was the epitome of male perfection.  If he hadn't been so good looking, maybe I would've approached him sooner.

But like I said, today was the big day.

The day I, Viola Kent, confessed my love.

Ty was moving all the way across the world to South Korea, where his dad had just gotten stationed, so yeah, this would literally be my last chance to tell him how I felt.  It should be quick and painless.  The humiliation, if there was any, would be brief since he was moving away anyway.  Little to no ramifications or risk involved.  And afterward, I could go back to being invisible, keeping my head down, trying to make it through senior year.

I swallowed, glanced up and down the empty hallway.  No sign of him yet.  Checking the time again, I knew practice should've ended five minutes ago.  And before you start thinking I'm some kind of stalker, no, I didn't memorize his entire schedule.

Well, not on purpose anyway.

My dad was the Durham High head soccer coach, so of course, I knew what time the team's practice let out.  Any second now, Ty would round that corner—hopefully alone—and then I'd tell him how I felt and give him the letter.

Palms sweating, licking my lips, I forced myself to wait, to go through with it, to confess.

This was obviously a side-effect of watching too many K-dramas.  I knew I shouldn't have binged so many of them, but they were like crack candy for romance addicts.  One episode just led to another and another and another….and before you knew it, you were 10 episodes deep in a series you just had to finish and get that promised HEA.

I sighed, rethinking my crazy plan for the millionth time.  What did I even expect to happen here?  That we'd start some kind of epic pen pal romance?  If we did, I thought, it would definitely have to involve letters and postcards, not just email and texts.  Real words on paper were so personal, much more romantic.  And who didn't love to get mail?  That would actually be kind of awesome…but highly unlikely.  My fight or flight instincts rose.  Seriously, why was I even doing this?  I was just about to flee—when the door to the boys locker room opened.

Footsteps sounded, coming this way down the hall, but it wasn't Ty who stopped in front of me.

"Waiting for someone?"

My heart calmed, breath coming back to normal as I frowned.  "Not

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