When the bell above the door rang loud enough to raise the dead, Emily dried her hands on the towel at her waist. She stepped through the doorway, a smile on her face for the latest customer. When she saw who stood at the counter, her pleasant smile froze hard as a fresh bucket of ice cream.
He said the words as if it had been six days instead of nearly six years since the last time he'd seen her. And he had the nerve to smile at her.
"Jake." She spoke through clenched teeth. "What do you want?"
"Some of that caramel ice cream--on a sugar cone if you don't mind." His smile faltered a bit.
Good. Did he think they were still best friends like they were all through school? Had he forgotten what he'd done to her? Worse, what he'd done to Casey? If he thought she'd let him stay in her place any longer, he was mistaken.
"Sorry. We're all out." Emily's gaze never wavered.
He pointed through the glass case. "Funny, I'm looking at it right there in front of me."
Keeping her eyes on him, she reached to tap a sign behind her. "Then I guess I'm exercising my rights."
His eyes moved from side to side as he read the bold, black words printed on the white board. A standard phrase for most businesses: We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.