Curves 'em RightBy: Milly Taiden
Daniella Flores glanced around the library she worked at and sighed. She pushed her glasses above her head and scrubbed her eyes. Another boring day in the life of a librarian. Stacks of romance books sat on her desk. As an avid reader, she tended to get lost in the love between the pages of a good book. Hell, might as well. Not like her love life was seeing any mileage.
Her cell phone buzzed and she immediately snatched it up, hoping that something interesting was going on with somebody she knew. The last thing she wanted was to sit there and field calls for her brother, Marcos.
Sure enough. A glance at her screen told her it was her brother texting.
Wow. A man of so many words. Not.
She left her assistant watching the empty library and walked outside. The main street in Red Valley was unusually quiet for the middle of the day.
She dialed her brother and slowly strolled down to the bakery next to the library. Already the scent of fresh baked cookies and scones made her mouth water. At least it wasn’t Tom again. She hated the multiple calls with the school teacher who had recently proposed in a very unusual way.
“Hey, Marcos. What’s going on?” She stared at the display of baked goods, at the same time her stomach rumbled.
She should go eat that salad she left in the office fridge instead of drooling over a piece of cake.
“Dani, you at work?”
“Duh.” She waved at her friend Aurelis, the baker, through the glass window.
“How old are you, twelve?” Marcos admonished.
“No. I know very well how old I am.” As if her upcoming birthday wasn’t enough to remind her she was over thirty, her co-workers were good at constantly asking her when she would find a man and settle down. It was like all three of them had decided she was in desperate need of a man because they all had one.
“Listen, you know I’m going out of town for a few weeks. It’s the annual fishing trip with some of the guys from college.”
Ah, yes. The lovely three weeks when she got to have two jobs. Her own and sitting for her brother’s dogs. “Yeah, yeah. I know you want me to take care of the hounds from hell.”
“If you’d stop feeding them all day long, they wouldn’t attack you for a treat every few seconds,” he said, sounding impatient.
“Hey! So I’m a little soft around the big mutts. I can’t help it. They’re cute.”
Well, cute in a dogs-almost-as-big-as-her kind of way.
“Stop overfeeding the dogs, Dani. Anyway, if you need anything, Blake and Kane are only a short walk away.”
Oh, boy. Blake and Kane. When she thought of them, her heart did that stupid flip-flopping in her chest that she’d swear meant she was going to have a heart attack. Blake and Kane. Shifters. Hot. Badasses. And so out of her league she’d given up on them noticing her since she was sixteen. They were around her brother’s age, which made them only about five years older than her, but boy were they sexy.
Since they’d been friends with Marcos for the longest time, she’d been around the pair most of her life. They’d never seen her as more than Marcos’s little sister. Even though she’d tried. Much to her embarrassment. Remembering the episode where she’d put on her mother’s heels and had tried to walk around the guys, only to fall flat on her ass, made her cringe. She knew better now. She stayed away from all that sexy if she could help it.
“I’ll be fine.”
In fact, the last time she’d seen them was a few years back and they lived pretty close to her brother.
“Okay, then. Call them if you need anything.”
“Stop worrying. I love you, now go have fun! See you in a few weeks.” She hung up the phone, pushed the door to the bakery wide open and inhaled. “Oh, Aurelis. How can you do this to me?”
She moaned and grabbed the piece of cake her friend put on the counter for her. “You’re evil,” she grumbled as she took a bite. Another moan escaped her when the cake touched her tongue. “Really evil.”
Aurelis laughed, added some cookies, fruit and a scone to the plate, and carried it to a table where drinks were already waiting for them. “I knew you’d come over here. Frankly, I prefer to just get everything ready rather than hear you complain over how long it took me to get you a piece of cake.”
She sipped on her latte and sighed. Instead of cake, what she should be eating was the salad at work waiting for her. But she’d never been that much into salad unless it was accompanied by a piece of chicken or fish. A lonely salad didn’t feel like lunch. It was more like torture. “I’m supposed to be eating healthier.”