She shakes my hand but doesn't meet my eyes when she says, "My name is Hazel Tuck."
My heart sinks. "Tuck?"
She releases my hand. "Yes. The mayor is my mother, and my brother is a local business owner." She clears her throat nervously. "He owns the store next to yours."
"So, I'm not sure it's a good idea to…" Her voice trails off.
I raise my eyebrows. "Your brother wants my store so he can expand his business, correct?"
"But he wouldn’t support you in your own business expansion? I don't believe that."
She chews on her bottom lip. "When you put it that way…"
"Just give it some thought. You know where to find me."
"I will." A mischievous smile crosses her face. "So, how's Tuck handling the shared space situation? Between you and me, I think he's even more upset about having to share the rooftop terrace than he is about losing out on the store."
Rooftop terrace?I have no idea what she's talking about, but I play along. "He doesn't share well?"
"Not really. And he's had it all to himself for years since Hildy was too old to climb the steep steps. I bet it's killing him to have to share."
Steps?The contractors never mentioned roof access. Surely, Hildy didn't wall over it?
Hazel and I say our goodbyes and I practically skip all the way back to Sticks & Stones. I bet I can convince her to sell her products in my shop. There's no logical reason for her to say no. Especially with the distribution through the online store included. Wealthy New York pet owners will definitely want her accessories—and they'll pay through the nose for them.
Iguaranteeshe’s underpriced everything in her Etsy shop.
And then inspiration strikes like a lightning bolt. To get customers in my shop, all I need to do is win over the female Tucks.
Mayor Tuck is the key to the whole town.
The entire plan falls into place in a matter of seconds. And it'll work. I'm sure of it.
In the meantime, I have a rooftop terrace to find, and a male Tuck to annoy. He's gotten under my skin. It's only fair that I get under his.
Imaynotcatchmany sunrises, but I almost never miss a sunset.
My private rooftop terrace has the best view in town. From up here, I can see the entire island, including the gorgeous sunsets to the west. Best of all, there's no speaker for the doorbell up here. It's my private sanctuary. The one place no one can find me.
Her door hasn't been opened in so long that the hinges squeal.I'll have to find some grease for that later.
I haven't seen her since the morning we met on the beach. I'd hoped that being struck dumb at her beauty was a one-time thing.
No such luck.
Her short hair is the color of caramel and skims along the top of her ears and just above her eyebrows, highlighting those lovely green eyes. Even wind tousled, it looks soft and touchable.
I desperately want to touch her.