​Candy Store

Please enjoy the following excerpt of Candy Store, copyright 2014, Bella Andre…
Callie heard a noise in the hall and looked up through the thick, frosted glass on the walk-in refrigerator’s door. A tall man in a tux was standing just outside.

“Oh no.”

She tried to push herself back further into the shelves, hoping that her dark pink dress would help her to blend in with the crates of supplies. Maybe if she didn’t move, didn’t make a sound, didn’t even breathe, he would go away. And she could be left in peace with her memory of the taste of his lips.

Callie had spent the past ten minutes rubbing the goose bumps on her arms and trying to convince herself that she had had enough of Derek. She didn’t need to see him, didn’t need to touch him, didn’t need any more of his kisses.

But now that he was standing only feet from her—somehow she had known all along that he would find her and now he had—it was all she could do not to fling the door open, pull him inside the cramped space with her, and rip his clothes off.

The doorknob turned and she stood up and backed into the wall, pressing herself back against the cold edge of the laden shelves as far as she could.

In the dim light of the refrigerator, Derek’s warm voice wrapped around her.

“I thought I might find you in here.”

The way he filled up the room with his essence and the crazy mix of feelings inside of her made it hard for her to speak. Again.

“I, uh…” she said as he stepped into the refrigerated space with her.

Less than four feet from her, which was at least four feet too close for Callie’s comfort, he closed the door behind him with a soft but definite click, never once taking his eyes from her.

His voice laced with humor, he said, “There’s no lock, but at least it’s private. We’ll just have to hope no one needs any milk.”

Looking for a way out, for some sort of escape path, willing herself to think fast so that she could get the heck away from him, she said, “Actually, I was looking for the milk, for, um, coffee for the reception.” Picking up a carton of milk, she said, “So now that I’ve found it, I…”

Derek took a step towards her and Callie, who felt as if she was the lioness being hunted by a needy lion, dropped the carton of milk on the floor. It broke open and spilled onto her shoes, but she hardly noticed the wet splash of milk.

She could try all day, all week, all year, to tell herself she didn’t want what he was offering her. But it would never stop being a lie. Because she did need it. Because she did need him.

Excerpt from Candy Store, copyright 2014, Bella Andre 


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