Page 14 of Sweet Treasures

Though she barely knew Nicholas, she liked him and even wondered if he might be the answer to her prayers for a soulmate. But… like a glass ornament slammed onto a hard surface, that notion shattered into a thousand tiny pieces with two tiny words. New York.

His practice was in New York, and her business was here in Colorado. There was no way for the two of them to work out. New York City would be an amazing place to visit, but she couldn’t move. She loved Colorado. Loved her clients. Loved all the amazing friends she had made here. Loved the two-story house she had grown up in at the foothills. But even more important than all of those, she couldn’t bail on the people who depended on her here.

With a heavy sigh, Anna searched the room until she found Nicholas still talking to the men. Not knowing how long he would be, she decided to step out into the lobby for a few minutes.

Outside the elevator, she turned left and headed around the corner over to the wall of windows. Arms anchored across her stomach, she stared down at the city below and all the twinkling Christmas lights that normally brought such joy to her. This time, however, they didn’t appear as bright as before or make her feel as giddy as a child on Christmas morning.

“There you are, Cinderella.”

Her heart paused at the sound of his voice. It took a moment for it to get back into rhythm again. When it finally did, she turned around.

“I thought you had left the ball after all and I was going to have to put out an APB on you.” Nicholas strode toward her with that smile that turned her knees into melted chocolate. However, now she hated the feeling because it reminded her this was only for a moment, not forever.

Not wanting him to see her sullen mood, she smiled back at him. Right there and then, even though she was sad that he would be leaving, she made up her mind to enjoy his company while he was here. She would just be careful not to get too attached to him. If she wasn’t already.

Chapter Three

The next morning, Anna sat in church, but unfortunately her mind wasn’t on the sermon. It was on the man sitting next to her. Before he had taken her home the night before, Nicholas had asked where she went to church and had invited himself along. She couldn’t refuse his invite. Despite the fact that he would be leaving, she really wanted to enjoy his company while she could.

“And you young single people…” Pastor Shane’s words snagged Anna’s attention away from thoughts of Nicholas and plopped them on to the pastor. “If you’re praying for a spouse, wait for the one God has for you. A lot of people have jumped into marriage without ever seeking God’s will and lived to regret it. So even if it means waiting longer, trust me, it’s worth it when you marry the person God intends for you.” His gaze went down to his wife Avery sitting in the front row. Anyone who knew Pastor Shane knew how much he loved Avery and how much Avery loved him.

Anna wanted that kind of love, if and when it ever happened.

Pastor Shane finished his sermon several minutes later.

When the last worship song ended, as they made their way out of the church, they stopped along the way and Anna introduced Nicholas to some of her friends.

Saying her goodbyes, she headed out to his car.

Inside his vehicle, he turned toward her. “Would you like to have lunch with me?”

Before today’s sermon, she would have said yes right away. But now, she wasn’t sure whether she should. Was spending time with someone God could not possibly be intending for you to have a lasting relationship with smart? Was it what the older generation called leading someone on? Moreover, could she spend time with him and not risk getting her heart more broken than it surely already would be when he headed back to New York?

Truthfully, there were so many questions swirling in her, that she couldn’t find a definite yes or no anywhere.

♥ ♥ ♥

Nicholas sat there, waiting for her answer, and feeling a bit uneasy as to why the answer was taking so long. Had the pastor’s message affected her the same way it had Nicholas? Though he doubted anything could come of their relationship other than friendship, he still wanted to spend time with her. Was that so wrong? Unsure of the answer to his own question, he decided he needed to have a long talk with God about Anna. He’d never met a woman he liked as much as her.

Taking her silence as a no, and with a heavy heart, he started the car. “That’s okay. I’m sure you’re busy. I’ll just take you back to your shop to get your car.” He glanced over at her to gauge her reaction.

She angled herself in her seatbelt toward him. “Oh, okay.”

Well, that wasn’t the response he hoped for, but he would do whatever she wanted.