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Page 10 of Just Desserts (Holland Springs 4)

Bastard. Sebastian crossed him arms and then smiled. “I’m in love with Daisy Barnes.”

Alexander blinked and his mouth dropped open. “You’re sure Daisy Barnes isn’t a metaphor for money or her business that you want to buy and turn into some kind of cupcake empire?”

“Positive.”

“Then I’m truly sorry to say your Daisy belongs to another.”

The world that had shifted under his feet blew itself to pieces. “She’s married?” He didn’t recall seeing a ring, but maybe in her line of work, rings were a hazard.

“No. Back with her ex. According to Rose, Glen moved in with Daisy a couple weeks ago.”

So this was what heartbreak felt like. He rubbed at the spot in the center of his chest. “Oh, that’s good.”

This time Alexander stood and moved to the door. “Normally I’d give you hell, but it looks like you’re already there.”

Sebastian could only nod his head and stare, at nothing really. His cousin and the contents of the room had all become vague shapes.

“Best thing about Daisy Barnes is her friendly nature. I ordered a few cheesecakes online from her last week, and we—including Rose—managed to exchange emails, which is how she found out about the ex.”

The last thing Sebastian wanted to hear about was cheesecakes and Alexander’s email exchanges with Daisy—his vision sharpened, and he fixed his gaze on his cousin. “She personally responds to emails?”

“She did for us.” Alexander stroked his chin. “You know, I was never a fan of getting back together with an ex, because usually there’s a reason why an ex is your ex in the first place.”

“Your point?”

“I’ve shown you the open window, mate. Send an email through it.” With that, his cousin strode out the door.

Chapter Four

“One cupcake again, Jules?” Daisy stared at the order for a moment, then rechecked the on-line form. One red velvet cupcake to be sent to a Mr. Jules Westmoreland in Surrey, England. One cupcake a week. Just like every order he’d made for the last three months. This was getting ridiculous, not to mention she felt guilty as heck that she’d let it go on as long as she had.

She tapped out a tune on her keyboard with the tips of her fingers.

So far, she’d shipped each one via FedEx per his request at the tune of over a hundred and fifty bucks just for shipping. It would be cheaper for him if he’d just order all four at once, and she really should let Jules know.

Brow scrunching, she began to type:

Dear Jules,

How is your dad doing? Has he stopped being a difficult patient yet? When my mother was convalescing at home, there were days I wanted to pull my hair out, because she was so darn stubborn and didn’t want my help. If you have to, leave the room for a minute, or hire someone to help him.

Be strong!

I also wanted to let you know that you could save a lot of money by ordering and having me ship all four cupcakes (baked however you want and whatever flavor icing you want) at once. Please don’t mistake my email as a complaint—I truly want to do what’s best for my customers (and my friends, no matter how recently made) and that includes pointing out where they could save some money.

Let me know if you’d like to change your order.

Smiles,

Daisy

Mr. Westmoreland’s response came faster than she expected. Heck, it was almost nine at night and there was a five-hour time difference.

Daisy,

He remains the same—arrogant, bad-tempered and non-cooperative—and that’s on his good days. Thanks for asking.

How goes negotiations with the insurance company? Still insisting the procedures weren’t covered?

I rather like the arrangement we have, but if you feel it would be best to change, I suppose I could order four a week (and run the ten extra miles it would require to eat them).

Make it so.

Your servant,

Jules

She let her head fall against her palm. That’s not what she meant at all. And had he really just quote Captain Picard from Star Trek? She laughed.

J.

Let me know how everything works out. You know you can email me anytime if you need to!

Ugh. Not going there with the insurance. At this rate, I’ll have to sell the house and move in with my best friend, then Glen and I’ll never be able to afford to get married. :}

BTW, I didn’t mean you had to order four cupcakes every week, you goose! I meant you could order all four at the beginning of the month, and I would mail all of them to you at the same time, then all you would have to do is follow my instructions for keeping them fresh.

So sorry for the misunderstanding. I apologize.

Ten points deducted from Hufflepuff.

D.

Daisy,

Clearly, our email exchanges aren’t quite getting our points across.

May I invite you to chat? We’re using the same email provider.

Jules

Her stomach flipped. She sat back against her bed, her laptop sliding to one side before she righted it, and took a deep breath. What was the harm? They’d been emailing back and forth for months now about personal stuff.

Sure.

Jules: Daisy?

Daisy: I’m here. Look, I feel really bad that you only order one cupcake at a time and pay so much for shipping, when you could order four at once, maybe at the beginning of the month, and I could ship with directions on how to keep them fresh.

Jules: You are lovely to think of me like this, but you lose absolutely no money with the arrangement we have.

Daisy: True, but I can’t, in good conscience, let you keep doing that without knowing all your options. And I feel guilty that I hadn’t thought of it before now. ?

Jules: Again, you are a lovely person to think so, but I’d be rather sad if I didn’t receive my weekly update from you regarding my order and my well-being, my father’s well-being, what episode of Downton Abbey I’m up to now, or debate the merits of a female Dr. Who. However, if you feel it’s for the best, we can only exchange emails once a month.

If she and Jules condensed their exchanges to once a month, it wouldn’t be that much of… Suddenly, she got a funny feeling in her stomach.

She would miss talking to Jules each week, she realized.

Ridiculous, maybe, but true. Sometimes it seemed like she talked to Jules more than she did Glen, but then, Jules listened to her. Glen mostly grunted and crashed, claiming he was tired.

Jules: Daisy…? I apologize if I’ve overstepped.

Daisy: NO! We can change your order to save money, but, um, we can still talk each week, if you want.

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