Here’s an excerpt from CHRISTMAS HOPE…
Thankfully, the weekend was finally over. Thanksgiving weekend was always packed, so Karen was extra tired. Delightful was only open in the mornings from seven to noon and then again in the evenings from five to eight, but sometimes she had to bake during her off hours. Usually she baked in the mornings when she had Janice out front helping, but over the busy holidays they were always empty up front by noon.
She sat down with a cup of coffee, doing a mental inventory and planning out her Monday. She was happy Delightful was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays; she could sleep in tomorrow. She closed her eyes thinking about it and heard the bell on the front door ring.
I must be more tired than I thought; I forgot to lock the front door.
Karen opened her eyes, and her heart skipped a beat as she looked at the most handsome man she had ever seen. He was tall, she could tell from her sitting position, and he had hair so black it reminded her of the wigs the children had worn on Halloween. His eyes were a smoky grey, and when he smiled, a deep dimple emerged on his right cheek. He was tall and lean, but his clothing didn’t hide the strength in his chest, shoulders and arms. She opened her mouth to say something and nothing came out.
He smiled. “Hi.”
Somehow she found her voice, though she didn’t take her eyes off him. She had never seen him before, and she liked the view. “I’m sorry, we’re closed. I—I forgot to turn the lock.”
“Oh. Do you think I could get a quick cup of coffee? I just got into town and I don’t have a coffee machine yet.” He smiled again, his expression hopeful.
“Okay. Why don’t you sit down, and I’ll pour you one to go.”
“Thank you so much. It’s really cold out there. I think I need a warmer coat.” He laughed as he said it, and his dimple showed prominently.
She looked at his coat as she made her way back to the table. It was thin, especially for this weather. He hadn’t been wrong when admitting he needed a thicker one. “It’s going to get colder. You really do need to get a warmer coat, and fast. Cream and sugar?”
“No, black is fine. Thank you so much. I’m Jason,” he said as he stood and pulled out his wallet.
“Don’t worry about it.” She waved her hand. “This one is on the house. I’m Karen.” She sat down at the table as she said it, and he sat down too. Delightful was closed, and she was tired, but she didn’t want him to go just yet.
“Are you visiting family?” she asked as she sipped her coffee, curious about where he came from.
“No, I just moved here for work. I don’t know anyone in this town. Well, except you.” He smiled again.
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