Please join me in welcoming the ever-fabulous Ofelia Gränd to Stories That Make You Smile! Ofelia has a new novelette out and has popped in to chat about how it ties in to the “Rain or Shine” stories that are currently being featured over at JMS Books:
Hello, everyone! Thank you, Addison, for allowing me to drop by today. As you might have guessed, I have a new story out. The Cake Shop is a short little thing that I wrote for a short story call over at JMS Books.
Every other month this year, there is a call out for in-house authors, and they’re all either-or stories, as in we’re to write a story about either this or the other. The Cake Shop was written for Rain or Shine.
I picked Rain.
I don’t know what April is like where you’re at, but in southern Sweden where I live, April is fickle. We can go from snow to warm sunny days and back to snow. At the moment of writing this, it’s -8C outside (17.6F). If anything would come down, it would be snow. Aaaand according to the weather app on my phone it’s gonna snow in a couple days.
But it could be raining, and if it would be raining, it would be cold rain falling and not something you’d want to be out in. York doesn’t have much choice, though.
He and his pack, they’re werewolves, were attacked by a rivalling pack, and to escape, they split up. York is hurt and running for his life in the downpour. He’s in a part of town he’s never been in before, and he has no idea of how to get back to the packhouse.
The enemy is closing in, and he knows he has to seek shelter somewhere. He takes a turn, and there’s a bakery.
I don’t know if you know, but I also write as Holly Day. Some time back, I was here talking about The Wingman, and how Cole, one of the main characters, is a baker. I had this revelation about many of my characters being bakers. There is just something with cinnamon rolls, you know? And cake… LOL
When I wrote that post, The Cake Shop had another title, so ignore that part 😄
If you’re wondering why I suddenly started talking about bakers, it’s because Torbjorn owns the bakery York takes shelter in. If you read The Wingman post, you know that Torbjorn is an old Norse name that means thunder bear, so you might have rightly guessed that Torbjorn is a bear shifter.
The Cake Shop is a fated mate story, so it’s evident for the first moment they lay eyes on each other that they’re meant to be. The only problem is that Torbjorn refuses to acknowledge it. He doesn’t do people, he doesn’t do touch, and he definitely doesn’t do wolves.
There’s some history there that I won’t touch upon in this post, you’ll have to read it to find out 😉, but York uses the awful weather as an excuse to stay in the bakery. Torbjorn reluctantly lets him… for a bit… long enough to feed him some of his baked goods. But then he has to go because Torbjorn has this rule about wolves in his bakery LOL
It was fun writing this one – rain and cakes!
Oh, and I should probably tell you that this story is about the same werewolf pack as The Drunken Dog, but you don’t have to have read it to read this.
York Winter and his packmates are attacked by a rivaling werewolf pack at a lumberyard. Injured and exhausted, York runs into a part of town he’s not familiar with, and when the enemy is closing in, he takes his chances and escapes into a bear-owned bakery.
Torbjorn Holt doesn’t do people, and he doesn’t do wolves no matter what the pull in his heart is trying to tell him. He’s learned his lesson and will not have wolves in the bakery, and he’ll definitely not mate one. Luckily, York isn’t too badly injured, so Torbjorn doesn’t feel bad about kicking him out into the rain.
York can’t believe what’s happening. He’s finally found his mate, but Torbjorn refuses to let him stay. Torbjorn will never trust a wolf again, and if York doesn’t leave soon, he’ll knock him out with a rolling pin and dump him in the alley. York has to make Torbjorn understand he means him no harm, but how will he do that when Torbjorn refuses to talk to him?
Torbjorn waited a long time. He hadn’t heard the door, but York must have left by now. An ache spread in his chest, but he ignored it. He didn’t want anyone in his life, least of all a wolf.
Opening the apartment door, he stood and listened for a few seconds. Not a sound. He tip-toed down the stairs. The light was still on in the kitchen, and it spilled out over the counter, leaving the rest of the shop mostly dark.
When he moved away from the stairs and out between the tables, he froze. York sat on one of the chairs wearing nothing on his upper body other than the green wrap.
“They want me to stay until it stops raining.” His voice was low and careful. Torbjorn looked out the window. The rain was coming down hard.
“The Bloodclaws did a number on our pickup. We only have one vehicle.”
Torbjorn narrowed his eyes. A pack with only one car, he didn’t buy it.
A sound much like a moan came from York. “Can’t you sit with me for a moment? I won’t touch you. Sit across the table if you want, but please talk to me.”
Torbjorn didn’t want to. He wanted York gone. The ache in his heart and his throbbing dick might think otherwise, but he was in control of his brain. Nothing good came of wolves, and the best way to survive was to avoid packs.
“Did you grow up here?”
York nodded. “Me either. Did you always want to have a bakery? Be a baker?”
York smiled but it was strained. “We’re carpenters.”
All of them? He forced his lips to remain closed and nodded.
“What’s your favorite cake?”
Torbjorn scowled. “To eat or to make?”
Shrugging, Torbjorn looked at the now-empty display shelf. “I don’t know. I like birthday cakes when I get to do something different.”
Torbjorn shrugged again. “Wedding cakes are often the same—three tiers, white, and with some flowers. They can be fun if the couple wants something different, but traditional wedding cakes are much the same.”
“Few want cupcakes at their wedding.”
York chuckled. “I meant you can decorate cupcakes in different ways, right?”
Torbjorn was about to offer him one. They had a few left in the fridge that hadn’t been sold, and he’d make a fresh batch tomorrow, but… Though, to heal he needed to eat. Cookies and cakes weren’t the best food when the body was healing, but it was what he had at hand. He had bread too. He could make him a sandwich while they waited for the rain to pass. “Coffee?”
It was getting later though, maybe he wanted something else. “Or… erm… cappuccino, espresso, macchiato, latte? Or tea? Hot chocolate?”
York’s teeth gleamed in the dark as he smiled. “Ordinary coffee would be lovely, black.”
Torbjorn nodded and headed to the coffee pot. He made enough so York could have several cups if he wanted and then he boiled water for a cup of tea for himself. While the coffee maker did its thing, he went to the walk-in fridge. He grabbed a blueberry lime cupcake with blueberry buttercream frosting, a slice of chocolate truffle cake, a chocolate eclair, and macarons in several different colors.
Then he grabbed a plain sourdough bread, cut two slices, and placed them on a plate. He added some lettuce and cheese and ham. The bakery didn’t sell too many sandwiches, but every day around lunch, they had a small crowd wanting sandwiches or baguettes.
He considered grabbing a tray, but he’d balanced enough plates in his day that he could carry them all at once. He avoided York’s gaze as he placed one thing after the other in front of him and hurried off to grab napkins and spoons before he could say anything.
The coffee maker gurgled, and he snatched a cup from the shelf while waiting for the last drops to drip down.
About Ofelia Gränd
Ofelia Gränd is Swedish, which often shines through in her stories. She likes to write about everyday people ending up in not-so-everyday situations, and hopefully also getting out of them. She writes romance, contemporary, paranormal, Sci-Fi and whatever else catches her fancy.
Her books are written for readers who want to take a break from their everyday life for an hour or two.
When Ofelia manages to tear herself from the screen and sneak away from her husband and children, she likes to take walks in the woods…if she’s lucky she finds her way back home again.
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