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.She was so tired of changing her zip code every year.There was a yearning inside her to place permanent roots somewhere.She wanted to be in the presence of people who knew her inside and out, not just her first name or the sight of her as she walked by them.Gabrielle wanted to belong, to be part of the fabric of a town.She wanted close friends to confide in and who she could go out for a cup of coffee with on a Saturday morning.Maybe then, the feelings of loneliness that inhabited her world would be filled up with other emotions like joy and contentment.Maybe she would finally be at peace.After a quick five minute walk to her place of employment, Sweet Treats Bakery, she checked the front door to see if it was locked.After turning the knob and meeting no resistance, she pushed the door open and stepped inside.The heavenly smell of apples and cinnamon and chocolate hung in the air, the perfect medley of scents.Even though she'd already eaten oatmeal and scrambled eggs this morning, her stomach grumbled noisily.She heard the sound of pots and baking trays clanging in the kitchen.Of course he'd beaten her to work.Vince Di Fazio was a wonderful employee.He was dedicated and kind and very prompt.More than prompt, actually.On most normal work days, he started an hour earlier than he was scheduled.It made her feel like a slacker.“Hey, Gabi.Beautiful morning, isn't it?” With his bald head, goatee and olive skin, Vince was a comforting sight to behold.His kind demeanor and willingness to show her the ropes at the bakery endeared him to her.He'd treated her with nothing but kindness and taken her under his wing in the kitchen.She'd learned more from Vince in the last few weeks than she'd ever dreamed possible.She sniffed the air, inhaling the delicious aroma.“Hey, Vince.It's shaping up to be a gorgeous Cape Cod day,” Gabi said with a smile.“What is that heavenly smell?”Vince beamed at her.“I made some cinnamon and apple donuts.Now I'm making whoopie pies for the event we're catering.I have a batch in the oven.”“Mmm,” she said, rubbing her tummy.“I smell the cocoa.and vanilla, right?”“You've got a great sense of smell.The perfect accessory for a baker.”“I love baked goods.Too much in fact.” Working at Sweet Treats was wonderful, with the exception of the constant temptation surrounding her.Cookies.Cannolis.Cupcakes.Eclairs.She loved them all.And she didn't discriminate!“Not too much.Just right,” Vince said with a wink.“Before I forget, Remy's going to help us out today.We have that big order to fill.”“Remy Donahue.He's going to be here today?” Her heart began to thrash around inside her chest.And she wished her voice didn't sound so high pitched and full of alarm.Vince turned towards her, his eyes full of questions.“Yes.Is there a problem with that?”Yes, there was a problem.A huge, pathetic problem.Every time Remy was in her orbit she became a nervous wreck.Remy, the son of her employers, Maggie and Alec Donahue, was a stunning, debonair man.He exuded class and sophistication.With his lean athletic build, cafe au lait colored skin and endearing smile, he gave her heart palpitations every time he worked with them at the bakery.She'd met a bunch of Maggie and Alec's sons and Remy was the only one who made her feel tongue tied and nervous.But there was no way she could tell Vince that Remy made her uncomfortable.The very idea of doing so made her feel awkward.He would never understand in a million years.“No, of course not,” she said in a strong voice.“I just figured Maggie would be working today since Alec has been making such great strides.” Alec Donahue had suffered a stroke several weeks ago, one that had put him out of commission and in various therapy programs to help with his recovery.Remy had been picking up the slack for his parents so they could focus on Alec's health.“Maggie has her own appointment this morning, so Remy volunteered to come by and put in some hours.” Vince scooped more batter and placed it on a baking sheet.“We can definitely use him.This order for the birthday party is one of the biggest we've seen in weeks.”“Of course.He'll be a big help,” she murmured, urging herself to get a grip before Remy walked through the doors of Sweet Treats.She couldn't put her finger on what exactly she was feeling whenever Remy was nearby.There was a strange, heightened awareness she felt whenever he was in her radius.Although she'd had plenty of teenage crushes, as she'd grown older she'd shied away from relationships, with the exception of a few dates here and there.Those relationships had never gone anywhere, mostly due to her lack of interest.There was something inside her, she knew, that resisted getting close to another human being.A part of her was frozen in time.The jangle of the bell alerted her to his presence before he even uttered a word.She swallowed past the huge lump lodged in her throat [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]