“You can’t believe everything you read.”
Sarah frowned. While she didn’t take that article about divorced women as gospel, it certainly had discouraged her. According to the magazine, divorcees over a certain age had a slim chance of remarrying.
“All you have to do is try,” Autumn said. The two women were crafting corsages and boutonnieres. It was prom season and Sarah’s flower shop had been flooded with orders.
“What do you mean?” Sarah asked. “I’ve been trying. Didn’t I tell you about that blind date last month?”
Autumn made a face. “Month being the operative word…” She trailed off, her attention drawn to a car pulling up to the store. “I think you should go on the offense. Make a pass at someone, or at least show him you’re interested. Like Tom, for instance. He’s adorable and no wedding ring. Would you go out with him if he asked you? I think he likes you.”
“I don’t know. Maybe.” Sarah tucked some hair behind her ear as an older woman got out of her car and approached the shop. “But don’t get any ideas, Cupid. Tom Kennedy is a good customer and I wouldn’t want to lose him.”
“Good customers, we have a lot of,” Sarah said. “Boyfriends…? Not so much.”
The phone rang and Sarah went to answer it while Autumn greeted the customer. “Welcome to Flowers by Sarah. I’m Autumn. How can I help you?”
The woman smiled. “I’d like to send something to my son for his birthday, but do you have something a little more masculine than a bouquet?”
Autumn showed her some of the miniature bonsai trees and the woman was thrilled.
“This is perfect. Now, I’d like this to be delivered around six p.m. on Friday—by Sarah herself, if that’s possible. I’ll even pay extra for that if I need to.” At Autumn’s quizzical look, the woman added conspiratorially, “Ever since my husband passed away, my son has sent me flowers every single month. Since he’s always talking about his florist and how pretty she is and I thought, as a mother, it was my duty to…”
A sudden suspicion bloomed in Autumn’s brain. “If I could have your son’s name, please?”
Autumn beamed. “Mrs. Kennedy, let me assure you I understand completely. In fact,” she said, lowering her voice, “if I might make a suggestion, maybe a little dinner would be in order, as well...”
A few days later, Sarah pulled up to Tom’s house. She was nervous. He was a really nice guy and one that she wouldn’t mind dating. But, she reminded herself this wasn’t a date. It was a delivery and she needed to remain professional.
When Tom opened the door, his eyes widened in surprise. “Sarah?”
“It’s me, all right.” She held out the bonsai tree his mother had chosen. “Happy birthday from your mom.”
“You’re kidding. Wow, it’s beautiful.” A grin appeared on his face and she noticed for the first time his warm brown eyes had flecks of gold.
Another car drove up, and a teenager got out holding a couple of bags. As he got closer, Sarah noticed the food was from her favorite Italian restaurant, Luigi’s, but Tom protested he hadn’t ordered any of it.
“It’s already paid for. By someone named Cupid,” the kid said.
After the teen drove away, Tom turned to Sarah. “You know,” he said, somewhat sheepishly, “this is a lot of food. Are you hungry?”
Deciding to go on the offense like Autumn had suggested, Sarah nodded and minutes later, she was having dinner with him. He was so easy to talk to, but that was no surprise. They’d chatted before. Tonight though, she found herself watching his face. His eyes were so expressive and they crinkled at the corners when he smiled, which was often. Time flew as they laughed and talked, and at the end of the evening, she thanked him.
His mouth twitched with a wry smile. “You should probably thank my mother,” he said, “because I’m pretty sure she had more than my birthday in mind when she requested that delivery and ordered this food.”
Sarah felt a blush warm her cheeks. “Actually, if you want to know the truth, I’m pretty sure the Cupid who sent this food is my friend Autumn.”
“Autumn who works at your store.” He chuckled and gave her one of his eye-crinkling smiles. “We didn’t stand a chance, did we?”
Sarah gave a happy sigh when he reached out and took her hand. “No, I don’t suppose we did.”