His Contract - Kelli Callahan

Chapter One


There’s always a line at Kotov Bakery. You’d think I’d learn to come earlier, but it never seems to happen. But any line would be worth it if I can see Josie’s smile before I go to work for the day. The man in front of me finally decides on an order and steps off to the side while one of the baristas starts to fill it. That’s one of the perks of this place, specialty brewed coffee to go with delectable baked goods.

“Good morning! What will it be today, Cason?”

My gaze meets the baby blues of Josie’s as she grins at me. That’s the thing about her, never once have I felt like her kindness or happiness has ever been forced. When she’s smiling it’s because she wants to, not because she has to be nice to the customer. Seeing her makes my lips pull into a smile. She has to be the only woman on Earth that makes me want to do so.

I hum and crouch, acting as if I’m checking out what the bottom of the display case has, when in truth, I can make out her shapely legs and rounded hips standing on the other side. Her jeans hug her like a second skin. I never thought I could be jealous of clothing, but they get to be wrapped around her; I’ll never have the luxury. After a moment, I stand and run my fingers through my hair. “I don’t know. Everything always looks so good. I guess I’ll have two of your famous peach scones with icing.”

She laughs, leaning onto the counter. “That’s what you always get. Are you sure you don’t want to try something else?”

It takes all my willpower to keep my gaze from straying down to her cleavage, as her arms press her ample breasts together, and her v-cut collar shows them off more. Part of me wants to get her a sweater to cover up. So that I know not every hot-blooded male in here could get an eyeful. I want her breasts to be mine. Again, it’s just a pipe dream. Even if she did want me, it could never happen. Besides, I’m almost certain she sees me as an older brother. I used to babysit her for heaven’s sake. I saw her as a sister until she came back from college last year, looking every bit a woman, and something inside me shifted. She was no longer the little girl that begged for piggyback rides and had me push her high on the swing. She had a woman’s body. Full of curves that I suddenly wanted to explore with my tongue and fingers.

I shrug. “I guess I’m just a creature of habit. I know what I like. My day wouldn’t be complete without your scones, Jo.”

Her eyes glitter in the sunlight coming through the large windows at the front of the quaint place. She pushes a strand of loose black hair behind her ear. “Well, I guess I should be glad for that. My day wouldn’t be complete without getting my daily dose of Cason. Do you want a coffee, too?”

I grimace. I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker and she knows that.

She laughs. “C’mon, I have a new cinnamon latte that would be right up your alley. It’s perfect for a chilly morning like today.”

I arch a brow at her. She knows cinnamon is a favorite of mine, but I’ll never give over to liking coffee. “Make it a chai latte to go and you have a deal.”

Josie’s plump lower lip juts out as if begging to be pulled on with my teeth. “You’re not staying around this morning? I reserved your table for you.” She points and I follow it to a table in front of one of the windows. She thinks I sit there to work on my laptop and watch the world outside, in truth, it’s the best seat in the house to be able to keep an eye on her and make sure that no one is bothering her.

“Not today, I’m afraid. Just stopped in for my breakfast. I have a meeting in an hour and you know how long it takes to get to the office.”

She sighs as she grabs a set of tongs and a paper bag. “I suppose that’s a good reason.”

My stomach flips a little at the fact she wants me to be here longer. God, if she could want me, too... No, I can’t let that happen. I