"I flew for a regional 121 operator out of Texas for a while . . .one of the smaller companies that code-shares with the majors."
"And you left because . . ."
He shook his head, like he realized he wasn't going to get out of the conversation. "The pay wasn't great and the schedule sucked. I flew twenty-four days out of the month, which meant I usually stayed in hotels twenty of those. Now I work eighteen days a month for more money, and even though there's a lot of waiting around for passengers, I actually get to fly instead of babysit autopilot."
"You seem pretty young to be a pilot."
"You seem pretty young to be a baker."
"How old should a baker be?"
"I don't know. But they shouldn't be young and stunning."
Heat rose to Melody's cheeks before she could control it. "Are you hitting on me?"
"If I were trying to hit on you, you wouldn't have to ask." He caught her gaze, his expression dead serious. Just when she feared she wouldn't be able to breathe again, his mouth widened into a grin.
The flush eased when she realized he was just teasing her. "You're terrible."
"I'm honest." He hopped off the stool. "Is it okay if I get more coffee?"
"Help yourself." She let out a long exhale when he left the room. That guy was dangerous. He was gorgeous and he knew it. He had a sexy job and he knew it . . . even if he pretended to be blasé about it.
Pretty much the sort of guy she was always attracted to and lived to regret. In fact, the more attracted to a man she was, the worse off she knew she'd be at the end when the relationship imploded like a popped soufflé.
Judging from the little quivers she felt in his presence, a mere twenty minutes after their first meeting, this one was a heartbreaker.
JUSTIN LEFT THE KITCHEN in search of another cup of coffee. He needed way more caffeine—or maybe a muzzle, considering the way his thoughts seemed to be spilling from his mouth. He hadn't lied. The woman who had saved him from a cold morning in his car was young and stunning. Everything about her was lush, from her figure to her lips to the spill of blonde waves she kept partially tucked up beneath a slouchy beanie. When he'd knocked on the door, he'd been silently pleading for someone, anyone, to answer. He wasn't quite sure what he'd done to deserve her being the one to open it.
That kind of thinking was the last thing he needed. She was already skittish enough being alone in the bakery with a stranger. His only job was to be as nonthreatening as possible and check the interest that had hummed to life the instant she put her warm hand in his.
Instead, he wandered to the window to peer out at the car and cursed his own idiocy once more. He should have known better than to trust the warm sunshine that saw him off on his last tour; he was a Colorado native, so he knew as well as anyone that March had an on-again, off-again relationship with spring. It had just been so long since his project vehicle had seen the outside of a garage that he'd left his much more sensible SUV behind and driven the vintage pony car to the airport.
Which was precisely why he was waiting for a tow instead of already home in his warm bed. The 1967 Mustang GT might be 271 horsepower of pure driving fun on dry roads, but it was virtually useless in conditions like these.
"You okay out there?" Melody's voice drifted from the back. "Are we out of coffee?"
He'd been out of sight for too long. He took his coffee and moved back into the kitchen, where Melody was taking golden-brown loaves from the oven, one by one, and setting them out on vertical racks to cool.