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“I’m sorry, ma’am. We’ve been trying to reach you all day. Unfortunately, your room had a plumbing issue, and we’re all booked up because of the Bake-Off, so we’ve had to cancel your reservation.” She slides a paper across the desk. “Again, I’m so sorry. Please accept this free one-week stay as an apology. It’s valid any time after the Bake-Off.”
I gawk at the paper, my heart rate skyrocketing. “But I’m one of the contestants. The Bake-Off is why I’m here!” My voice is laced with panic and quite a bit louder than I’d intended.
I glance over my shoulder and notice that people are staring, including one of the men who was in line in front of me. He’s tall, tanned, muscular, and has stubble on his cheeks, like he didn’t have time to shave this morning. If he had to be at the airport as early as I did, that’s probably what happened.
When our eyes meet, my heart skips a beat. Then it skips another ten when I realize just how screwed I am.
“I’m halfway across the country”—I turn to the receptionist, my tone low and pleading—“for the most important competition of my career. What am I supposed to do?”
“I really wish I could help. I’m so, so sorry.” She hands me a brown envelope. “These are your competition documents.”
“But all the Airbnbs and motels are fully booked. This was the only hotel that had an opening, and now you’re telling me I don’t have a room?”
”If there was anything else I could do, or any other rooms—”
“Do you have a couch in your break room? A closet? Anything?” My voice turns hysterical, but this is my dream, and it’s turning into a nightmare.
“We have room.” The deep, sexy voice sends shivers traveling down my spine, and a wave of hope courses through me.