Bad Boy's Bridesmaid(260)By: Sosie Frost
“We’ll figure it out,” I said. “Together. I promise.”
I sat with him a while longer, deciding on a lawyer and who to call. Maddox pulled me away when both Granddad and I grew too tired to continue. He took me home, rested beside me on the couch, and held me close.
“We’re doing the right thing.” He kissed my hand. “I know it doesn’t feel like it.”
“It doesn’t.” The shock hadn’t passed yet. “It’s not revenge. It’s not justice. It’s not…fair.”
“I know, Sweets.”
“Not the best way to begin our life together.”
“Of course it is.” He pulled me onto his lap, letting me straddle him. “It’s our life, and our first step is a big one. But I would stumble without you, and you know it. We can work through it…for the baby.”
Where had my optimistic, sweet Maddox come from? Or was he always there, buried in a darkness I finally shone through? I glanced into the kitchen, biting my lip. My mind busied itself with new plans and opportunities.
“Sweets?” Maddox asked. “What are you…”
“I should get baking.”
I hopped off the couch. “Of course now. You said it. We’re starting this life together. Why wait?”
He checked his watch. “Because it’s nine o’clock at night, and you got that look in your eye like you’re about to harvest cocoa beans.”
He surrendered. “Point taken. What can I do to help?”
I pulled him into the kitchen, teasing him with a soft kiss. “You can start by grabbing me the sugar from the top shelf. Then you can tell me what flavor cake it should be.”
“Who’s the cake for?”
I grinned, wondering how my bad boy ever became so naïve.
“It’s ours, Maddox. I’m making a cake for our wedding.”
Epilogue – Josie
The grand re-opening of Sweet Nibbles wasn’t without its initial disasters.
I ran out of chocolate cake within the hour, thanks to Benjamin Ducacas’s sweet tooth.
Three of Mrs. Greentree’s Shih-Poo puppies tumbled around my tables, upsetting two plates of sample cookies and spilling Councilman Grossi’s coffee.
And of course, my baby stole most of the attention away from my prized cupcakes. But that was okay. Little Angel coo’ed in my arms and she helped me serve her namesake—the strawberry angel food cake that I practically subsisted on during my pregnancy cravings.
“Josie, everyone loves the cake pops,” Chelsea said.
“How many have you eaten?”
She blushed. “Only two. Well, three. The baby had a bite.”
Chelsea ran the register with a shrewd eye and common sense, even if she had a hard time greeting the townsfolk who never once had a kind word to say to her. That was before they realized how sweet, trusting, and beautiful she really was. When she was given a chance.
When she was given a real family.
I smirked, bouncing Angel in my arms. She was getting heavy for such a little thing. My baby grew from newborn to six months old in record time. I asked the doctor, but he said it was normal for her to grow up. I couldn’t keep her little forever.
“Josie, we need more meringue cookies!” Chelsea called from the front.
“We’re out of the meringues. Everyone will just have to come back tomorrow.”
A playful groan echoed in my store, echoing off the pristine walls of vibrant red. I stacked the space with gold tables and a spotless, black-and-white checkered floor. Just like the ice cream shop Nana opened fifty years ago.
The town flocked to my opening, bought everything I had to offer, and insisted it was better than ever. Even Granddad agreed, though he said he wouldn’t attend the grand opening because of the trial. Fortunately, it looked like the courts would grant him leniency even without a batch of cookies as a bribe.
The mortgage on the new property was scary, but we’d manage. Maddox never shied away from hard work, especially for me and the baby. He popped in through the back, stealing a cookie and taking Angel from my arms. She squealed for her daddy and tugged at his hair as he kissed me.
“Sorry, I’m late.” He grinned. “Had a big job.”
“I got the gig. Wiring the new hospital.” He kissed me again. “And the foreman wants to keep me on. He’s giving me something steady.”
He tickled Angel until she gasped from giggles. I scolded him and took her back. She immediately whined for her daddy, making grabby hands until I relented and shuffled her into his arms again. That only started the tickles once more. They both loved it.
“It’s more money, Sweets. A lot more.” He glanced over the crowded store. “Though I doubt we’ll have problems unless you drop everyone here into a sugar coma.”