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Riding Red(7)

By:Alexa Riley



“Thanks, girl.” Letting her go, I pick up my purse from the counter.

“See you tomorrow,” Gwen calls over her shoulder as she heads out the front door, locking it behind her.

It’s been a long day but a good one. The good thing about working in a bakery so early in the morning is by five in the evening you’re done for the day. A lot of tourists came in today, despite the sheriff standing guard out front the whole time. It’s odd, but part of me likes the fact that he’s so close. It’s a weird feeling, but it’s as if I feel a bit safer knowing he’s near.

“He’s the freaking sheriff. He’s supposed to make you feel safe,” I mutter to myself, knowing that it’s more than that. I want to yell at him to move from the front of my store, but whenever I see him turn like he might be coming inside, my heart picks up a beat. I tell myself it’s the anger, but I know I’m lying to myself.

No locals came by today, and that part was beyond frustrating. But for some reason, Dominic says that’ll all change on Sunday. What does that even mean? What makes things magically change on Sunday?

Dominic.

Just thinking about his name has me tingling all over. I’ve never felt this way about someone before. He gets on my nerves the way he hovers over me, but I can’t stop my body from wanting to rub against him. It’s crazy because I don’t remember ever being so turned on. When he’s close I feel this hum radiate through me, and all I want to do is fall back and have him climb on top of me.

Jesus, Ruby, get it together. I mentally shake myself out of my sex fog and wrap up the rest of the baked goods from today. Surprisingly, a lot of the Halloween treats sold, the tourists snapping pics and posting them to Instagram. Maybe Red’s Goodie Basket will become internet famous. I can read the headlines now: ‘Red’s Goodie Basket has the Sweetest Pumpkin Spice Dicks Around!’ I can see people coming from all over, getting a cookie dick to swirl around their coffee and nibble on.

I have one tray of extra treats left, and I plan on taking it by the nursing home and then coming back here, opening a bottle of wine, and soaking in the tub before I crash. I still have a ton of decorating I need to do to the shop to make it more festive for Halloween, so I know I’ll be on my feet all day tomorrow. My toes need a nice warm soaking, and maybe if I drink enough wine, I won’t have any more of those dreams about that brooding giant of a man, Dominic.

My apartment above the bakery is small with an open floor plan and a full bathroom off to the side. It’s functional and always smells nice from the array of treats I bake each day. It’s convenient living above where I work, and it’s all I need since it’s just me, but I hope one day to be able to afford a home with some land. I’ve always wanted enough space to walk out on my back porch naked and not have to worry about prying eyes. Well, maybe there’s one set of eyes I wouldn’t mind prying. I stop in my tracks, trying to clear away that thought. I shouldn’t be thinking about Dominic like that. I don’t even know him, but it seems my mind does what it wants these days, even in my sleep. I should want to thump him in the head for being such a pain in the ass.

Opening the basket, I place the tray of treats inside and head out. I walk out the backdoor with my basket of treats in one hand and my keys and purse in the other. Once outside, I turn and lock up. As I flip the key, and the lock clicks into place, I hear leaves crunching behind me. I twist around, holding tight to my basket, but I don’t see anything. It startles me, but I must have imagined it. Maybe it was just an animal running through the trees behind the back of the building. Walking over to my car, I hear some rustling again, and I stand there, staring into the woods for a second, trying to see if I can catch whatever it is. Being in Colorado it could be a lot of things.

Red’s Goodie Basket is located on Main Street, but the side I’m on backs up to the forest. There’s a ton of protected land here since we are so close to the national park, and behind the bakery lie acres and acres of trees and wildlife. Thinking maybe it’s a raccoon, I look around for something to scare it away with. I scan the ground around me. Maybe I can throw a little rock into the woods, and it will run off. I don’t need an animal ripping into the trash.

When I look up, I see a man I don’t recognize standing just a couple of feet away from me, like he came out of nowhere. Jesus, he must move fast. He’s really tall, and I’m not thinking that just because I’m super short. This guy has to be close to seven feet tall. His clothes are dirty and ripped, and it looks like he hasn’t bathed in a few months. Hell, maybe even years. His hair is way past his shoulders and matted up, and his long beard looks about the same. His face is covered, so I can’t really make out any features other than his mouth, and it’s scary-looking. He’s got big full lips, but his teeth are long and pointed. Did I just find Bigfoot? Those Instagram people are going to be so pissed they missed this.

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