From my upcoming addition to the Last Man Standing series, CHANCE ( book 13)
Available for preorder: https://amzn.to/3tVIylh
The next morning Chance wasn’t surprised to see a line already forming behind the counter of A Hug in a Mug. From what he’d sampled the day before, the coffee was the best he’d ever tasted. He’d woken that morning with a craving for another cup to jumpstart his day.
The hope that the ponytailed pixie would be the one to make it for him was also a major contributor to his desire to start the day with a hot cup of caffeinated comfort.
Like the day before, she was busy seeing to the coffee orders while her much younger cohort ran the register. When it was Chance’s turn the girl, who couldn’t have been out of high school yet, stared at him for a moment, a look of pique on her pretty face, then asked, “Anyone gonna toss anything in your face this morning? ’Cuz I don’t want to have to mop it all up again.”
Chance winced at the decided testiness in her voice and said, “No worries about that today. I just want a cup of coffee and I’ll be on my way.”
From the way she pursed her lips, he didn’t think she believed him. But she took his order, wrote his name on the cup, and handed him back the change from the twenty he’d given her. Chance stuffed it into the tip jar again and moved down the counter to the pickup section.
Without ever turning toward him, the pixie grabbed the cup, perused the iPad order, and went to work, Chance watching.
She moved effortlessly between the coffee brewer, the foam dispenser, even the milk machine, as she made the order to his specifications. Only when she was done did she glance up and call his name.
He didn’t think she recognized it until their eyes locked. That hurt just a little since he’d been thinking of her for the better part of his night and morning.
“Well, good morning,” she said, a slow and easy smile trailing across her lips. She started to hand him the coffee, when she suddenly pulled her hand back and asked with a decidedly playful pitch in her voice, “No one’s going to be tossing this at you today, are they?”
He grinned back at her and nodded toward the counter. “Your coworker already grilled me about that and I assured her there was nothing to worry about.”
The way her mouth pulled into a thin line had his breath catching.
“Sorry about that. Lindsey’s not used to dealing with the public and she needs to work on her people skills. How’d your suit survive the attack?”
Her word choice charmed him. “My dry cleaning guy says it’ll be costly, but salvageable. The shirt’s toast, though. I’m billing my client’s husband for the cost since her anger at him was really displaced on me.”
Her eyebrows lifted at that, while she shook her head a few times. “Lawyer fees are never cheap.”
“Experience talking?” Her subtle eye roll told him it was. “So,” he said while she wiped down one of the machines, “I know your coworker’s name is Lindsey, and you know my name,” he lifted the coffee cup to where it was written, “is Chance. What’s yours?”
The way she cocked her head at him and the line that popped up between her brows proved she was reluctant to give it. She opened her mouth but before she could say anything the counter girl called, “Freddie, the line’s empty so I’m gonna take five, okay?”
She nodded and moved toward the front of the station. “Freddie?” he said as he followed her.
“Short for Fredrika.”
Her eye roll charmed him. “I’ve always thought it sounded like it should belong to a racehorse. Freddie’s what most people call me.”
Intrigued? Heehee I hope so…