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The first time I saw Gabe in my sensual cupcake bakery, I had no idea who he was. All I knew was chiseled perfection like him could never really want a girl like me. That didn't stop me from craving and lusting after everything I could never have. Success.
And I was trapped in a twisted frenemy relationship with my douche bag ex fiancee. I never would have dreamed who Gabe really was, what he wanted and why he wanted it.
My f*cked up family taught me a lot. Take rather than give. Anything. Everything.
Ally made me feel clean. Whole. I'd do anything to have her and even more to keep her. In spite of my past but more importantly ... because of it.
I took her tenuous control and worshiped her killer curves. I never suspected she'd steal my heart.
“I’m so proud of you, Ally. You’re really doing this.”
“It’s been a long time coming,” I murmured, tucking a strand of pale blonde hair behind my ear. I’d wrapped myself in one of those toasty wool ponchos and taken up residence at the front of my new bakery with a mug of hot cocoa sandwiched between my torso and palm.
Snow drifted down from the heavens, blanketing everything in a veil of freshness. Of renewal. Like my life.
“So, that’s it then. Bakery up and running, professional career on track, all you need now is—”
I interrupted Kelly before she hit her stride, giving her a warning grunt. “Don’t even.”
She sighed, a deep exhalation that caused static to crackle into my phone. “Aw, come on, let me set you up with someone. I’ve lost count of the hot guys who walk through our front doors. And it’s Christmas. You can’t spend the holiday season alone.”
“I’m not alone, I have you and Pat. Besides, Kels, I’m going to be so busy with business, I won’t have time for a social life.”
I could almost hear Kelly rolling her eyes. “Ugh, famous last words.”
She was my best friend and had been since I’d moved to Minneapolis from Bemidji and wandered into their coffee shop two years ago . She and her husband, Pat , had taken me under their wing. Those had been strange times, before my break up with Matthew. When I’d had nothing to show for myself. A shiver ran through me at the memory.
Kelly had encouraged me to pursue my dreams.
“Huh? Yeah, I’m here.”
“You went quiet for a second there.”
A wave of gratitude washed over me. “I don’t know what I’d do without you, Kels, you and Pat.”
“Well, you’d be up shit creek without a paddle, of course.”
I chuckled. “I’d better get some rest, big day tomorrow. These bank loans won’t pay themselves off.”
“Tell me about it,” she replied, then paused, the silence stretching out for a few seconds. “If you need help with anything, give me a call.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I said, then stuck my tongue out even though she couldn’t see me. “See you tomorrow.”
“Later Allygator,” she said, then hung up.
I put my phone in the pocket of my jeans and sighed. This was it, my first real endeavor at being my own damn person. I glanced around the bakery and grinned. Hard to believe where I’d landed from where I’d jumped.
I picked out the décor myself — it had a burlesque atmosphere, with velvet cushions on the wrought iron chairs and round tables with glass tops. Very French bistro. In fact, in better weather, I could easily move a couple of tables outside.
Silk floral arrangements in lush shades of purple, strung with Swarovski crystals served as centerpieces. The cupcakes would stand up front in the glass front counter, to showcase their sexy designs. And names.
Kelly had rolled her eyes at my idea for a racy theme, but it was tough being an entrepreneur and a woman in business had to face the facts. Sex sells.
That was the thing about baking, it wasn’t sexy unless you made it that way. And I planned on making it damn sexy. And licking the bowl.
Colleen Charles is the pen name of Tami Stark, #1 Bestselling Author on Amazon.
Colleen Charles held a leadership position for a fortune 500 company for 26 years while writing suspenseful romance by night. Thrilled that she's now able to write full time, she can't wait to spend more time connecting with her readers. She’s also a certified life coach and a Reiki Master. She loves reading and writing stories that entertain and sweep women away from their everyday life. Colleen has shown and bred Arabian horses for over 30 years and lives in the Midwest with her human and furry families. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering for underprivileged girls and homeless pets.
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