Lickety SplitBy: Amarinda Jones
Dedicated to those in the endless pursuit of ice cream. So many flavors, so little time.
And to my editor Helen Woodall and Captain Kirk. One is excellent value, the other is a habit.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following word marks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Cinderella: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Ken doll: Mattel Inc.
Lassie: Classic Media, Inc.
Mr. Frostee: Mr. Frostee Inc.
Nancy Drew: Simon and Schuster, Inc.
Sex in the City: Home Box Office, Inc.
“Fucking men and their stupid words,” Waverley Astor cursed as she scanned the available options before her. All of them looked good and each in their luscious own way would make her feel better. Even though it was bloody cold in the walk-in freezer section of the supermarket, she knew she had to make the right choice or end up with a Jonathon again. “Smarmy bastard wanting me to lose weight,” she muttered as she blew warm air on her cold hands. “Thank God I never slept with him.” But then he hadn’t wanted to sleep with her until she lost her “irresponsible weight” as he called it. “Ignorant, arrogant asshole.”
Waverley picked up one carton after another and assessed each of them critically. She had an important decision to make. What she did now would have an effect on the rest of her evening.
“Call me thunder thighs? I don’t think so.” He was never going to be offered the chance of seeing her thighs again. In fact, no man would. She held the carton aloft in the air, placed her other hand on her heart and did her best Scarlett O’Hara impersonation. “I swear on this tub of double caramel pecan swirl ice cream that no man will see these thighs again.” Waverley expected a crash of thunder and maybe a bolt of lightning for dramatic effect yet all she heard was male laughter. Great—one of them was in the freezer section with her. “All men suck,” she muttered in contempt of their kind. Because of this unwanted male intrusion, she felt justified in adding a carton of French vanilla bean ice cream as well. They made me do it.
“That’s a hell of an oath to take,” murmured a deep, smoky-sounding voice. “What did he do to make you so angry?”
“He was a man. Isn’t that enough?” Waverley grabbed the two cartons of ice cream and started to head out. “But it’s okay now as I am giving men up for good.” She could hear the man’s footsteps on the other side of the packed shelves of frozen goods.
“Thinking of batting for the other side?”
“No, going to invest in lots of batteries and hard vibrating plastic,” she responded, stopping dead when she saw him. That would be right. The gods were testing her vows already by sending her temptation. The man was tall, dark-haired and broad-shouldered. Just my kind. He was smiling as if he was pleased by what he saw. The pleasure was reluctantly mutual. Waverley’s eyes roamed the strong face before her. It was almost like it was carved out of rock. High cheekbones, dark hooded eyes, a large nose that would have looked weird on someone else and a mouth that was so beautifully shaped that it was a sin just to look at it and wonder at the taste. Waverley looked down at his hands. You could tell a lot about a person by their hands and this man was definitely not her type. In his hands he carried a plastic store basket filled with several bags of frozen vegetables. No ice cream lover this one. But definitely a lover. Those eyes screamed sin and sex and everything in between. Waverley mentally slapped herself. Hello? You are over men. Remember?
“Vanilla, huh?” His eyes read the label on the cartons she carried.
Waverley was already defensive when it came to men, questioning her ice cream flavor choices just pissed her off further.
“Got a problem with that?”
“Not at all. Did you know that different flavors mean something?”
Waverley blew out a tired sigh. “I’m not here to be picked up.” Yet she was wondering why she was pausing as long as she was to tell him that.
“Vanilla means hidden passions that are yearning to be free.” He tapped the lid of the container with one long finger.
“Vanilla means lunch and caramel means dinner tonight.” If they had stocked the cherry coconut she loved, then that would have been breakfast. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I am freezing my ass off in here.” If only it were possible to freeze flab off. She moved to the glass entry door and pushed. It did not open. Waverley tried again. The same thing happened. She looked at him.
“The door won’t open.” I do not need this. I need ice cream and a male-free area to eat it in. Waverley glared at him.
“What?” he arched his eyebrow at her in amusement. “You think it’s my fault it won’t release because I’m a man?”
“Well, at least do something masculine and kick it open or rip it off the hinges.” Now that was something Waverley would like to see. There was an undeniable sexiness about a powerful man. And watching a strong man do manly stuff was not breaking her thigh vow. But then this particular man was sexy just holding a shopping basket. Be still my heart if he kicks the door.