Have you ever wanted to break free from being “a good girl” and have an uninhibited fling with a s*xy stranger? Just find a handsome hunk and let your desires go wild? It had always been a secret fantasy of mine that I never could admit to anyone. . .until the day I decided to make it come true.
It was hot and humid that summer evening when I pulled my car into the Sweets & Treats parking lot. I dashed up the steps. If I hurried, I would have just enough time to pick up something for dessert and get to Luanne’s barbecue party without being late.
A wave of cool air engulfed me as I yanked open the glass door. I paused for a second and inhaled. Strawberry, lemon, watermelon. . .the zesty aromas flooded over me as I gazed around the quaint baked goods shop. It was almost like stepping back in time.
The open oak beams told me that the bakery was at least a hundred years old, probably older. I’ve always loved antique buildings, and this place caught my eye. The high ceiling twinkled with multi-colored lights. Red, white, and blue balloons, flag paper cut-outs, and streamers decorated the display tables and high archways. My three-inch black heels echoed on the wide hardwood floors as I made my way to the rounded glass and oak counter.
I tucked my hair behind my ear and peered into the case filled with cupcakes, sugar cookies, pies, and muffins. Everything looked delicious. As I glanced around the country-style store, I realized that I was the only customer. Where was everyone? After checking my watch, I noticed the stenciled sign in the window. “Summer Hours: 9-6pm.” The store closed at six o’clock, and it was already six-fifteen.
Can I help you?” a male voice asked.
I turned around. The man leaning against the kitchen doorway took my breath away. He wore black jeans and a green and white striped polo shirt. His sky-blue eyes locked onto mine, and he looked me over as he ran a hand through his wavy honey-colored hair.
“Can I get you something, Miss?”
I flashed him my best smile. “I’m Diane. I’m sorry to barge in like this, but the front door was open, and I didn’t realize you were closed. If it’s a bother, I can go.”
“No. Not at all, Diane. My name’s Josh.” He grinned, showing off a set of dimples. “I’ve got some time. What would you like?” he asked with a wink.
I l*cked my lips and relaxed. The pleasing fragrances in the shop drained my need to hurry. I could be late, Luanne would understand. Besides, Josh was handsome and acting flirty, how could I leave now?
“I was driving past and I thought I’d stop in for a dessert. I never noticed this store before, but it’s interesting,” I replied.
“I opened up two months ago. This used to be an old ice cream parlor. I was a pastry chef in a restaurant, but I always wanted to own my own business. I can show you around, if you’re not in a rush,” he offered.
“That’d be great. I’ve got some time to kill.” All the time in the world, I wanted to add. Luanne’s party could wait. Every time Josh spoke, a tingling sensation ran up my spine. There was no doubt about it—Josh was hot, even hotter than last week’s weather when the temperature soared to ninety-five degrees.
I decided to give in to my body’s signals and see where this was leading. What harm could there be in flirting back, or even teasing a little? Josh was attractive, and I certainly wouldn’t mind snuggling up next to him after a day at the beach.
I followed Josh through the shop decorated with sunflowers and ice cream cone-shaped lights. “I bought the place at foreclosure. It came within a week of being torn down. I couldn’t let that happen. I’m too sentimental, and they don’t make buildings like this anymore,” he said as he steered me toward a black walnut cabinet.
It was obvious that Josh had put a lot of work into the place. A gift section was devoted to decorative candles, lime and lilac scented potpourri, exotic iced teas, and flavored coffees. He seemed proud of the store, and rightfully so. The place looked gorgeous.
“The store is beautiful. I love old buildings, and antiques are one of my hobbies,” I said as I examined a display of daisy-themed party items. As I bent over, my black dress rode higher up the back of my thighs. It was short and s*xy, and showed off every curve. Wearing it made me feel like a s*xy s*ductre$s, and tonight that’s just what I wanted to be.
I turned and caught Josh staring at my legs. Obviously the dress had done its job and captured his attention.
He looked at me and our gazes locked. Despite the cool air conditioning, the temperature in the room had just shot up ten degrees. A warm rush flooded over me, and I felt my heart race in my chest.
Josh bowed his head and looked away, but not before I saw the hint of a blush on his cheeks.
“So, you’ve seen the place. Tell me, Diane, what would you like?”
“Everything looks so tasty, I can’t decide.”
That was a lie. At that moment, I knew exactly what I wanted—him. I swept my auburn bangs away from my eyes. “I’m not keeping you from something, am I?”
“Absolutely not. Stay as long as you like. I don’t mind.”
His deep voice sent a scorching burst of heat through my body.
Normally, I wasn’t the type to size up a complete stranger, but my instincts told me that Josh was different. My body didn’t lie, and right now it was begging for his affection. But what should I do about it? My courage faltered for a second. Did I dare risk rejection and make the first move?
Josh stepped closer and I caught a whiff of his cologne. The masculine mix of citrus and musk made my heart pound faster, and my lower body flashed into a state of arousal. He was close enough to k*sss me, yet I could sense he was holding back. . .
“Don’t be shy, Diane. If you see something you like, just let me know.” Josh’s wide hand covered mine, and he gave it a gentle squeeze. “Now, what did you say you came in for?”
“Dessert.” I found myself drawn into Josh’s blue eyes. He would definitely make a delicious dessert—and there’d be no need to add any whipped cream. I stared at his well-defined jaw accented with a hint of scruff and imagined the rough feel of it brushing against the side of my neck, nuzzling my bare stomach, then traveling lower. . .
I quickly broke from the fantasy and cleared my throat. “I’m on my way to a party, and I’d like to bring something extraordinary.”
“A party, huh?” Josh smirked. “Well then, come in the back. I think I have just what you’re looking for.”
I eagerly followed him into the kitchen through a set of swinging double doors. A row of pies sat cooling on wire racks.
“This is a new recipe, and I’d like an honest opinion,” Josh said, as he cut into the nearest pie. He put a slice on a plate and broke off a piece with a fork. “You can be the first to taste it.”
I couldn’t help but smile as Josh fed me the pie. I closed my eyes, anticipating the familiar taste of apple or cherry. Instead, a zingy raspberry puree teased my tongue. My taste buds came alive, and I felt my pulse surge. “That’s fantastic,” I said, opening my eyes.
Just for Josh’s benefit, I relished the lingering flavor and took my time, licking every drop of raspberry off my lips.
Josh swallowed hard. “Good! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Would you like some more?” he asked as he leaned closer to me. I felt an electric heat searing between us. Did Josh have any idea what he was doing to me?
“I’d love it,” I replied.
closed my eyes and waited. My body tingled with excitement as Josh’s lips tenderly covered mine.