A small-town cafe with its own P.A. system?
This new job just kept getting weirder and weirder…
And thank God for that, Kady thought happily.
She couldn’t help humming along, couldn’t help smiling and reminiscing as she made her bed up and rummaged through her clothes, which were already neatly hung inside the antique whitewashed armoire next to the vanity dresser.
Last night had been pretty amazing, with Kady wanting to constantly pinch herself as the two extremely beautiful owners of Redwood Cafe carefully went over the ins and outs of the business, like she was already an integral part of it.
(Almost like you’re family.)
Supper (both of her employers had taken pains to explain that supper was for evening and dinner was for midday meals) had even been more peaceful, with Mr. Wyndham having to leave for some meeting.
(Don’t forget the part when the boss winked at you on his way out!)
Finally, Farica had taken Kady upstairs, and she had been unable to help gasping in awe at her first glimpse of her bedroom. It had a pink rocking chair next to a small fireplace and its window boasted of magnificent town views of Hartland.
(But isn’t the most exciting thing about this was Slade Wyndham sleeping right next door?)
Kady caught her reflection in the vanity mirror and gave herself a good, hard glare. Shut up, Bad Kady. Her sly-as-a-fox inner imp had been on a roll since last night, but it was time to put an end to all those dangerously stupid thoughts.
Eric, who had confessed to liking Kady, had still ended up with another (prettier) girl. That should be lesson enough for her: boys out of her league would always stay out of her league.
By the time Kady finished with her shower, Farica’s playlist had already blasted out two other versions of The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and it was now *NSync oohing and eeehing in the background as Kady slowly ran her hand over the leathery texture of her brand-new apron. The new chapter of her life officially began now, and while the thought still filled her with trepidation, she simply started chanting more of John Wayne’s wise words in her mind as she changed into a shirt and jeans.
A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.
Farica was seated by the bar when Kady came down, chatting and laughing with a young couple, who – Kady couldn’t help noticing – also happened to be as extremely attractive as the cafe’s co-owners. And come to think of it, wasn’t the man on horseback she saw yesterday just as good-looking?
Kady tried not to grimace as she considered the possibility of all of Hartland’s locals to have somehow descended from Aphrodite.
Seeing that the couple was also wearing the same apron she had on, Kady realized that they were probably the two other employees Farica had told her about last night.
Farica caught sight of Kady hovering at the foot of the steps and waved gaily at the younger girl. “There you are.” Seeing Kady’s shy look, she said with a smile, “Come here and join us. I promise we don’t bite—”
“But I do,” Slade purred, standing right behind their newly-hired waitress, and when he started to lower his head as if about to take a chunk off Kady’s shoulder—
Farica did her best to smother her laugh as Kady virtually tripped over her own feet in her haste to get away from the billionaire. And Slade being Slade, the conceited oaf didn’t even appear the tiniest bit bothered as Kady seemed to dither like a headless little chick, bumping into tables, chairs, and even into their huge-ass-jukebox before finally arriving at the bar, looking dazed and exhausted.
Poor Kady. It just wasn’t like Slade to have such fun torturing a girl like this, and Farica was doing her best not to think why it was so.
Slade deliberately avoided Farica’s disapproving look as he sauntered forward and took the bar seat that would once again place adorable little Kady between him and his business partner. His proximity had the younger woman practically wilting in her chair, and Slade nearly smirked. A less experienced man could’ve easily mistaken this as a sign of Kady’s secret attraction to him, but Slade had fucked too many women to harbor the same delusions.
Incredulous as it may seem, Kady was immune to him, almost as if the billionaire didn’t even register as a man in her eyes.
The realization chafed somewhat, but since he needed her waitressing skills more than he needed her presence in his bed…
Kady tried her best to ignore the way Slade Wyndham seemed all too fond of staring at her as Farica introduced her to the two other members of their team.
“This is Elizabeth, our sous chef—”
The brunette gave her a smile. “Hey there.”
“And this is our head cook, Arden—”