“I can’t pay you in cash,” she said, oblivious to the effect she’d had on him, “but at least let me treat you to anything on the menu. There’s never a wrong time to have ice cream.”
“How about a free cone every day you’re in town? I’m assuming you’re on vacation?”
His head bobbed once in answer.
“It’s the least I can do for your help, Mr…”
“Deacon. Deacon Withers.” Ingrained manners forced his hand out.
She gazed down at it for a beat, and he wondered at her reluctance. When she finally took his hand, she said, “Tandy Blakemore. Vanilla with a Twist is my shop, and you just helped me fix an ongoing problem and prevent a dispensing disaster. This machine is the only one that does flavor twists.”
“I’m glad I could help. And while a free cone sounds nice—” He cleared his throat, surprising himself with his next words. “—how about you have dinner with me instead?”
Wariness flew back into her eyes. As intriguing as her open smile had been, this hesitant reaction was even more so.
“I’m sorry. I can’t. The store is open until ten. Tourist season, you know?”
“You have to eat sometime.”
She shook her head again. “True, but…sorry. Now, about your ice cream? What flavor did you order?”
He hadn’t met many people who could so summarily dismiss him and still smile while doing so.
“Fudge ripple with chocolate jimmies.” The woman who’d originally waited on him had one all ready to go and handed it to Tandy.
“For services rendered,” Tandy said as she gave it to him. “And with my sincere thanks.”
Enjoy an ice cream on this hot day. Remember, like Tandy says: “There’s never a wrong time for ice cream.”
Until next time, peeps ~ Peg