“One muffin, or two this morning?”
“Make it two, both to go. I’m running a bit late. Jessie forgot her reading book at the house, and we had to rush back for it.” He pulled a paper napkin from the dispenser on the counter. “And then we realized Nibbles—”
“Jessie’s new hamster, right?”
“That’s right.” He rolled his eyes and grinned. “Well, Nibbles escaped from his cage, so we had to launch a search and rescue.”
Mattie laughed. “Was the mission successful?”
“Barely. Fluffy had him cornered in the laundry room.”
“Oh, no. Not the cat.”
“Yes, the cat.”
“Let me guess…you realized you forgot the reading book, again.”
“Right.” He groaned and ran a hand across the crown of his head. “I think I have a few new gray hairs.”
“You look fine to me.” Better than fine. Mattie turned her attention to the display case. “But that was some way to start a morning. Sounds like you’ve earned your breakfast.”“You can say that again.” He sighed and propped his elbows on the counter, leaning in. “And I’ve been looking forward to your apple-cinnamon muffins. Nothing better to quell my appetite.”
“Coming right up.” Mattie reached for a foam cup, poured a robust house blend. Her hands shook as
“No. I’m fine.” She waited while he lifted her hand for a closer inspection. Her breath came in small gasps as his fingers gently skimmed hers.
“Well…it looks OK.” He nodded and let her fingers slip from his. “What’s got you so jittery this morning, Mat?”
Mary Manners is an award-winning author of inspirational romance who lives in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband and teen-aged daughter. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Smoky Mountain Romance Writers.
During the school year, she teaches middle-schoolers reading and Algebra. In her free time, she likes to garden, take long walks with her husband, and read romance novels in a hammock beneath century-old shade trees.
Visit Mary at www.marymannersromance.com