Registered nurse Brynn Norseman hasn’t had the easiest time in her career. Her days at work are spent in the quiet telemetry monitoring station instead of where she truly wants to be -- caring for patients.
All Nikki Mortelli ever wanted was to become a lawyer, but bailing out trust fund brats and corporate sharks wasn’t what she had in mind when she’d passed her bar exam.
A late night spent perusing through the aisles of the local co-op ends in a chance meeting between the two women. Though instantly infatuated with the other woman, Brynn worries her tattered past will get in the way of a meaningful connection. When they’re forced together during a freak snowstorm, can Brynn put her fears aside and open up to Nikki?
The local parking garage closest to the bookstore in question was deserted when Nikki pulled in. After paying the fare and sticking the receipt in her windshield, she headed out to the street. It hadn’t snowed for a few days and the lack of humidity caused the air to feel crisper, each breath biting with the frigid temperatures despite the impending snow. She was thankful she'd listened to Brynn and wore a thick black sweater beneath her coat and jeans rather than anything too formal. The local weather station was forecasting a large front coming in and with it, a substantial amount of snowfall. The preliminary accumulations were estimated between six to twelve inches, but that level was expected to increase as the storm grew closer. Nikki hardly believed the predictions as they hadn’t had a real snow fall in years and even at that, it wasn’t above six inches.
Warmth engulfed her as she entered the quaint little bookstore and she scanned the space as the door shut with a jingle of the bell hanging from the threshold. Scents of strong coffee coalesced with the soft fragrance of old books and Nikki breathed in the aromas around her. The sweet nurse was standing by the counter where a barista handed her a paper cup. “Hey, pasta enthusiast,” Nikki called as she approached the attractive younger woman. Brynn turned and grinned widely, her hazel eyes shimmering in the lighting of the bookstore.
She wore her thick coat, a red scarf around her neck that nearly blended in with the crimson of her hair and her long legs were encased in black. Again, Nikki found the woman absolutely striking. “Hey! Grab a coffee and we can go sit over there,” Brynn said, indicating to a cluster of plush chairs arranged around a display of bestsellers.
Nikki obliged, ordering a quick double shot espresso. Brynn was already settled in a chair, her feet tucked beneath her and a book in her hand. “Do you come here often?” Nikki asked as she took a chair to Brynn’s right.
Brynn nodded, placing the open book on her thigh. “I do. This place and Whole Foods are my favorite spots aside from the waterfront and Pike Place,” she admitted.
Nikki quirked an eyebrow and tilted her head. “Whole Foods?”
Deep red spread across Brynn’s face. “Uh, I meant the co-op, I can never remember the name.” Nikki found her embarrassment adorable and wanted to kiss her pink lips.
Instead, she chuckled. “Oh, you mean Gabby’s Organic Galley?”
“I guess so,” Brynn mused with a wistful smirk. Nikki noted not only how cute Brynn was but also her natural beauty. Her cheeks were soft and seemed to hold a slight pink tinge to them even in the warmth of the co-op and the bookstore. Her gorgeous smile seemed to reach her hazel eyes, the orbs speckled with flecks of gold that shimmered in the light. “What?” Brynn questioned.
Nikki shook her head, smiling. “Nothing. You caught me staring,” she grinned. "Do you live in the city?"
Brynn shook her head. "No, I actually live just over in Bellevue. It's a lot cheaper than finding a place here. How about you?"
"You've got a point there as I do live here and know exactly how much it costs," Nikki chuckled.
Brynn smiled and moved forward to the edge of her seat, her legs dropping and feet hitting the ground with a thud. “I have an idea,” she began, her lips curling into a deviant smile.
Nikki looked at her precariously. “And, what would that be?”
“Do you like to read?” Brynn inquired.
Nikki shrugged. She hadn’t read for pleasure since college and couldn’t remember the last time she opened a fictional book. “It’s been a while, but I used to read a little horror or mystery.”
Standing up and downing her coffee, Brynn gestured for her to stand and she obliged. “We’re going to pick out a book and then gift it to each other. I love a good romance or sci-fi thriller. Ready?”
“Sure, that sounds interesting,” Nikki admitted.
“Okay. No peeking,” Brynn said before she was off down the aisle, a sweet giggle coming from her mouth as she turned around the corner. Nikki chuckled at her behavior and decided to play her game.