Nicole cringed. She wanted to crawl under a rock every time Makayla ran into someone in the grocery store. She swore her daughter was doing it on purpose, but she hadn’t been able to prove it yet. At least she always plowed into attractive men and not nasty old ladies who would yell at her.
“I’d really be honored if you would join me,” the man before her said. She tried not to notice his sparkling blue eyes, the dark hair that hung just a little too long and threatened to cover those eyes, and the broadness of his shoulders. She was a sucker for shoulders. The idea of someone being able to carry the load she had appealed to her in ways that never made sense.
But she wasn’t stupid about it.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. Thank you though.”
Nicole steered Makayla away from the stranger and continued their shopping. “Makayla, you need to be more careful,” Nicole chastised halfheartedly. “You’re going to really hurt someone one day.”
“Sorry, Mommy,” Makayla said dejectedly. “I just saw some cookies I wanted.”
Nicole eyed her daughter wondering why she was lying. She could always tell when Makayla lied. Her nose turned just a little pink when she was fibbing and she never looked right at her mom.
“What cookies were you looking at? We could get them,” Nicole offered, knowing she would catch her daughter.
“Oh, um, we don’t have to, Mommy,” Makayla said, looking away.
“I don’t mind. I ate the last ones last night so I was going to look for some anyway.”
“Um…” Makayla glanced around the canned food aisle they were in. Her gaze finally travelled to the end cap where fig cookies were on display. Her least favorite. “How about these?”
Nicole lifted an eyebrow at her. “Really? I didn’t know you liked these.”
“Oh, yeah, I had them at Molly’s house the other day.”
Pink nose. Averted eyes. Uh, huh.
“Hmm, okay. Well, I’m going to buy a different kind because I don’t like those. If you want them though, that’s fine.”
Makayla looked at the package in her hand then set them back on the shelf. “I’ll see what else there is first.”
Nicole nodded, knowing she would decide on that. She steered them to the cookie aisle and let Makayla choose whatever kind she wanted. The guy from earlier headed toward her, his eyes catching hers as he moved closer.
Shit, he was hot. A man like him wouldn’t have any trouble finding a woman which made her wonder why he’d been so persistent to have lunch with the overweight single mom and her rambunctious kid. He would fuel some fantasies for her, but it would end there.
“Hello again,” he said as he stopped his cart next to hers.
“I realized I forgot to introduce myself earlier. I’m Roger.”
She looked down at his extended hand and slipped hers into his palm. His hand was warm and rough. The feel of his skin against hers sent a shiver down her spine. “I’m Nicole.”
“Very nice to meet you, Nicole. Maybe I’ll see you around here again sometime.”
Nicole didn’t want to admit how badly she hoped she’d see him again.