IT’S TIME TO MAKE THE DOUGHNUTS–A FREE READ
The oatmeal cookies were ready. Betty picked up the pan and turned to put them in the oven.
Startled, she shoved the pan into the oven and turned to stare at the stranger standing in the rear doorway. She grabbed the rolling pin.
“This is a place of business. Keep out of here,” she snapped, trying to sound tough. It was six-thirty in the morning and who knew what he wanted, showing up so quietly with no one else around. Watching him, she edged toward the phone.
He grinned and sauntered to the sink. “It looks like a bakery to me,” he said, and began to wash his hands.
“Who are you? What do you want?”
“Ward Thomas. You look like you could use a hand.”
“I’m doing fine, thank you. Please leave.”
“You’ve got a sign out front. Help wanted? I assume the boss is looking for another baker?”
“I worked in a doughnut shop in Merton. Christie’s? Maybe you know it?”
“They went out of business last week.”
He nodded. “Yeah. We couldn’t compete with the chains.” He picked up one of the lemon squares she had taken out of the oven ten minutes earlier and took a bite.
“Hey, those are for customers.”
He smacked his lips and grinned. “You make good stuff. What time does Mary come in?”
She shook her head.
“Mary, as in Mary’s Bakery on the sign out front?”
“She died two years ago.”
“Well, the boss then, whoever he is. I’m applying for the job.”
“Oh good. Tell me, did you make the doughnuts at Christie’s?”
“Yeah, but I can do much better than that. I even had a special recipe they wouldn’t let me use.”
“Really? I’ll bet you spiked it.”
“Nope. Chocolate, cinnamon, walnuts, and a crème filling. You’d love them. Hey, those cookies ought to be done by now.”
She’d forgotten! She grabbed a towel and pulled the cookies from the oven. Hands burning, she practically dropped the pan, but managed to set it down safely. And then he was there, next to her, sliding the next pan into the oven.
He was practically on top of her and the smile in his eyes lit up his face. “Hey, if we’re going to work together, you ought to tell me your name.”
“I’m Betty, and I wouldn’t bet on that,” she said, but she had the wildest urge to touch his face. He wasn’t that striking, or that tall, probably no more than five-eleven, but there was something about him.
“Maybe you could put in a word for me.” He looked around, taking in the trays and pans of baked goods that filled the room. “You’ve been busy. What time did you start this morning, four?”
“Three-thirty, and that’s fine. I love to bake.” Why was she telling him that? Her very bones ached. Larry had taken off two weeks ago and she’d been working constantly ever since.
“How about I give you a hand until your boss comes in?”
“You don’t need to.”
Eyes locked on hers, he smiled. “Let’s just say I’d like to. I might even come back some time. Even if your boss doesn’t hire me.”
It was her turn to grin. “You never asked the boss’s name.”
He frowned. “Yeah?. What is it?”
“Me. And it’s time to make the doughnuts you mentioned.”
Here are links to some other folks you might like to read:
Elyzabeth VaLey m/f
Sara York m/m
Julie Lynn Hayes m/m