The Candy Bar Liaison

The Candy Bar Liaison

Kiyara Benoiti

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What happens when a store manager falls in love with a young, homeless woman who shoplifts?

Cory has watched Jill for weeks as she's pilfered candy bars and various foods, then he discreetly puts the money in the till for her. Finally, he gathers the courage to talk to Jill over lunch, gives her a part-time job, and helps her get on her feet, but there's one problem: her vicious Aunt Rachel, who kicked Jill out and takes care of her invalid mother. With the encouragement of Cory's gay friends across the hall, he finally sets the scene for a dinner to pop the big question and resolve the issues of Jill's old life.

After all, love and--and even an engagement ring--can be found in unexpected places.

 
PUBLISHED BY: Breathless Press
ISBN: 978-1-926771-10-6
PUBLICATION DATE: 2009
WORD COUNT: 4717
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 3 3 3
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: Romantic Fiction, Chick Lit/Hen Lit, Contemporary
KEYWORDS: work, marriage, happily ever after, HEA, love, romance
 

EBOOKS BY Breathless Press

EBOOKS BY Kiyara Benoiti

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT Kiyara Benoiti/2009

The woman usually came in to the store about every other day or so. That week she hadn’t shown up for three days. On the fourth morning, as Cory stood at the checkout counter taking inventory of the tobacco products, she entered the store earlier than usual. Upon seeing her, Cory paused, pen poised over the clipboard, his heart jumping several gears. The young woman stood contemplating a small personal travel kit and a jar of peanut butter. Returning the jar to its shelf, she deftly slid the box of toiletries under her jacket and froze, eyeing the small, inconspicuous two-way mirror with undisguised suspicion.

At first, Cory thought she would bolt from the store, but slowly, she withdrew the kit and returned it to its rightful spot. She crossed the market and pushed outside, turning right onto the sidewalk and hurrying away as if a police cruiser would appear at any moment.

Stunned, Cory dropped the inventory sheets, sprinted down the aisle as if his shoes were on fire, and snatched up the travel kit. If anyone else had been in the store they would’ve thought he’d lost his mind. He raced outside after the homeless woman.

Standing at a blue mailbox, she kissed an envelope and dropped it through the slot. She turned as Cory approached her.

“Here,” he blurted before she could run. He shoved the toiletries at her. “Take it.”

She wore a suspicious expression and shook her head.

“Take it.” He continued to hold the travel pack out and took one more step toward her. “I’ll pay for it.”

“Why?” she asked. Slowly she took the kit from him; her long, fine-boned fingers gripped it tightly. With her other hand, she brushed aside blonde bangs.

“You chose this instead of food. It must be really important to you.” He stared into her wide gray-blue eyes.

She studied him, uncertainty in her gaze.

“Got a name?”

“Jill Davies.” A hesitant smile graced her full-lipped mouth.

“I’m Cory Evershine.” Something swept over him, and before he could think it through properly, he blurted, “Would you like something to eat? We can go across the street to the café—my treat,” he offered. Giddiness washed through his heart. He’d actually charmed a smile out of her.

“Okay,” she said, her voice so soft he almost didn’t hear her.

He turned and said over his shoulder, “I’ll be right back. I’m just going to have one of my employees watch the store while I’m gone, okay?”

She nodded once, twice.

He hurried back to the market. The world brightened, sounds intensified. The honk of a horn and the aroma of exhaust all seemed wonderful.

 
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