Delicious Desires

By: Jackie Williams

She shrugged, glancing at his wide shoulders so close to the window and she tucked more loose strands of hair back away from her face.

“Yes, I’m going now if you want it. If you can fit your car into this space, that is. It looks as though it’s going to be a little tight.” She looked pointedly at what she now recognized as a gleaming black Mercedes parked across the front of one of the four by fours. The beautiful car was not one of the largest models, more sporty than most, but it was still a lot bigger than her Mini. His eyes flickered slightly as he cast his eyes over her aging car and then back to his own spectacular model again.

“I’ll make it fit.” He growled with a determined smile, his lips parting over beautifully even white teeth. His charcoal eyes burned into hers as he pulled his dark purple tie slightly tighter up to his collar, running his long finger round the inside of it as though it were uncomfortable. “I have to be in that meeting so if you’d like to move your car anytime soon, that would be super.” The smile was gone and sarcasm was thick in his tone as he glared at her again. He stood up straight, turned suddenly and then strode purposefully back to his car.

Caroline breathed in once more, hoping to catch another whiff of his scent as the air around him swirled about. The mixture of his spicy perfume and the peppermint was intoxicating.

She could not help noticing that he wasn’t just tall. He was absolutely huge. His easy stride took him back to his car in just a couple of seconds. She watched as he opened the door, ducked his head and folded his long legs and body into a seat that seemed far too small for him.

She drove her Mini forwards out of the bay, glancing over at him as she passed. He was now half hidden behind tinted glass again. She could see the bottom half of his face quite clearly, jaw square and hard. He was drumming his irritated fingers impatiently along the top of the steering wheel.

He lifted his chin slightly as she pulled away from his precious space, twisted his body round and rested his long arm across the back of the seat as he negotiated the parking bay. He was definitely very good looking and she might have admired him even more if he hadn’t sounded so arrogant in his snappy shirt and flashy car with his all-important meeting.

She rolled her eyes and cringed as she suddenly realized that she was being very childish. It was only a parking space. She was only reacting like this because her morning had gone so badly.

She dug around in the glove compartment and found her usual supply of sherbet pips waiting there. One small and much appreciated advantage to owning a cake shop with traditional sweets as a sideline, she thought. She shoved a handful into her mouth rolling them around on her tongue and giving a tiny shudder as the tangy sherbet fizzed there. She drove, deep in thought, towards the exit.

She had been warned that there was potential for development in the area but it had been a rumour for years and nothing had happened so far. Her beautiful cake and sweet shop right on the sea front was perfect. Delicious even. Caroline had thought she’d been so lucky when one of the tiny shops had at last become available to rent. Now she wasn’t so sure. To have success plucked from her grasp like this was more than annoying. It felt like a personal attack.

She should have questioned why the lease had been offered at such favourable terms but she had been so excited at the time she had put it to the back of her mind as she signed on the dotted line.

Now it was obvious why the lease was such a short one. The landlords had used the excuse of not wanting to commit her new business for too far into the future and she had assumed that she would be able to re-negotiate with them as the shop progressed.

She was furious with herself now for relying on old assumptions. She should have asked around a lot more. None of the other shop owners were in the least bit surprised by the outcome of the planning meeting.

Waiting for the project to be completed wasn’t an option either. Twelve months until it would be ready for occupation was just too long. She needed the income from the shop now, not in a year’s time. Perhaps she could look for somewhere else similar? It had been hard enough to find the place and she wasn’t at all confident of finding another. She sucked hard on the little sherbets, rolling them round in her mouth again.

A shadow darted from between two cars just on the edge of her vision, breaking into her thoughts. She slammed on the brakes, thanking heaven that she had replaced them the previous week, as Mercedes Man ran across the car park in front of her.

Her heart jolted into her mouth and she gasped violently, nearly choking on her sweets as he slipped by her bumper, missing it with millimetres to spare. His thick briefcase clanged noisily against the bonnet of her car. She swallowed hard and the sherbet made her wheeze. The breath rushed out of her lungs.

“Idiot!” She yelled through the still open window just as his case sprang open, sending papers cascading to the ground. She was about to shout something else when she saw the expression on his face. She closed her mouth as a look of undisclosed fury crossed his features. He glared at her, his grey eyes black with anger.

Despair replaced the rage as he saw the pile of papers strewn across the ground. His massive shoulders slumped in resignation. He pushed up the sleeves of his shirt and lifted the knees of his trousers as, squatting slightly, he started to gather up his work.