Olive had a major crush on Hank in high school. She was the too-smart, slightly chubby girl who gawked as Hank ran track and made all the cheerleaders swoon. After high school, the two went their separate ways. Olive opened a yoga studio and swore off sweets while Hank traveled the world. No problem, right? At least there wasn’t a problem until Hank moved back to town and opened a candy shop across the street from Olive’s studio. Now, Olive will do everything she can to shut her old crush down. But Hank has other plans, and all of them end with an Olive sundae.
Author’s Note: This is a sweet Christmas treat that will leave you satisfied, yet desperate for a little taste of sugar.
I glance around at the cat-free common room. “Sure. I-14.”
“Thank you.” She stares at her upside down bingo card.
“I wanted to ask you something last night, but I couldn’t quite work up the nerve.” His fingers linger against mine again as he hands me the next ball.
“What?” My voice comes out breathy as I call out the number. We should have had a bingo by now, but I’ve learned everything takes a little longer at the senior center.
He leans over, his warm breath tickling my ear. “I was wondering what your favorite candy is.”
Goosebumps break out along my neck and arms as I snatch the ball from his hands and announce the next number.
“I don’t like candy.” I glance at him. He’s watching me, eating me up with his eyes. Problem is, I can’t say the sensation is unpleasant. Quite the opposite.
“I don’t.” His nearness is throwing me off, and I stutter out the next number.
“You sure? I saw the way you looked at my candy apple.”
I huff out a breath. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He moves closer, our arms touching. “Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone.” His conciliatory whisper has my heart stutter-stepping. “You look beautiful, by the way.”
I can’t focus on the numbers, not when he’s winding me up like a clock. It doesn’t help that this is the most distracted I’ve been over a man since … Since senior year when I stared at him running track instead of doing my homework. I’ve fallen into the same hole with the same guy, and I can’t seem to get myself free.
“Candy apples.” I keep my voice low.
“What?” God, his voice in my ear sends shivers shooting down my spine.
“I like candy apples the best.”
“I’d like to see you eat one of my candy apples. Extra caramel for you.” He hands me the next ball, his index finger skating along mine. “Something sweet on your tongue.”
My body goes up in flames as our eyes meet, and I call out, “O-69.”