Saving Drew(4)By: Lara Van Hulzen
Baylee didn’t know much about baseball either. Growing up in Texas, football was what everyone would eat, sleep, and breathe. She watched every weekend with her dad during the season, but with only one sister and no brothers, sports weren’t high on her radar.
Kate and Drew made their way around the dance floor. Drew said something that made Kate laugh. A wave of homesickness hit Baylee. Sure, Silver Bay was her home now, but she still missed her sister. After her divorce, Baylee wanted a new start. She and Casey landed in Silver Bay. After her father died of a heart attack, her mother decided to join her. With a family of her own already established, Baylee’s sister stayed in Texas. Baylee saw her now and then when she could get back, but with running the bakery and raising Casey, time and money were not two resources she had to spare.
The song ended and Drew hugged Kate before handing her off to Jack. The two men shook hands. Baylee kept her gaze on Drew as Jack led his bride to get something to drink. His smiled faded as they walked away, the cloud that had hovered over him before returning.
She sighed. Why was she spending so much time focused on Drew? He’d asked her to dance once. Sure, he was gorgeous, but she didn’t have the time or energy in her life for another man. The little one she was raising drained her enough. Besides, Drew wasn’t even staying in Silver Bay and the heaviness he carried in his life right now was not something she had the strength for. Or did she? Her mind kept telling her to look away, a tiny spark in her heart said to keep looking.
The bell above the door of the bakery jingled. Drew stepped through and looked around. Tables adorned the side wall and sat along the front window. All but two were full. People munching on cookies, cake, even donuts. Sipping coffee and talking.
The scent of vanilla filled his senses. He breathed it in. Baylee. She’d smelled like vanilla the other night at the wedding reception when they danced. It made sense, seeing as how she owned a bakery. But like her name, it fit. Sweet. Tempting. Made him want more.
That was the best Drew could come up with as to why he was standing in her shop a mere few days after dancing with her at his sister’s wedding. He’d done nothing but mope around his mother’s house and work with his trainer since arriving in Silver Bay, and yet, that morning, he’d gone for a run, showered, thought about shaving but let that go, then wandered downtown and into Baylee’s Bakery.
A young woman moved around behind the main counter but, to his disappointment, it wasn’t Baylee. She looked to be a college aged student, her dark hair wrapped up in one of those messy buns on top of her head.
It was a cozy place. Bright. White walls were adorned with pictures of pastries. A large, ornate shelving system made up the wall behind the main counter. Decorative teapots, as well as cake plates and boxed baking sets sat on each shelf. A glass case attached to the counter that held a cash register was full of baked goods in various sizes, shapes, and colors. Drew’s stomach rumbled.
He searched the cases and decided on a large sugar cookie and a cup of coffee. He paid and took his items to an empty table. As he looked around he noticed a few couples, a small child with his mother and grandmother, and recognized how odd he must appear. A grow man by himself sitting in a bakery eating a cookie. Fantastic. He’d resorted to looking like a stalker over a woman he’d danced with once.
He shook his head and took a sip of coffee. He considered leaving, but man, that cookie looked good. Eat the cookie and get going. That was a good plan. If only Baylee saw him now. Wouldn’t that be the strikeout moment of the day? Hopefully she was in the back baking with no intention of coming out front, or taking the day off. That would be even better.
Her voice was smooth as honey and just as sweet. He set down his coffee mug and swallowed. The hot liquid burned his throat and made his eyes water. This was really not turning out to be his day. What the hell was he thinking?
She stood next to the table, wiping her hands on a yellow apron with the bakery logo on it. Her blonde curls were held back from her face by a large, cloth headband and flour dotted her nose and cheeks. He blinked. Man, she was beautiful. Sure, she was something at the wedding, but now? In her own element? He zoned in on her green eyes and couldn’t look away. Or speak.