- Author: Frankie Love
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APPLE-Y EVER AFTER
The Way To A Man’s Heart
Apple-y Ever After
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Copyright © 2021 by Frankie Love
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Apple-y Ever After
The Way To A Man’s Heart
By Frankie Love
My farm has always been my pride and joy, but I want more than a plot of land.
I want a wife.
When I meet Honey, a funny, beautiful, curvy woman, at her food truck, I know she’s the one.
And after just one night, Honey is the apple of my eye.
Trouble is, this woman is hell-bent on leaving town.
Too bad I can’t let her go. Not now, not ever.
Hank is a hard-ass alpha with a sweet side.
One bite of Honey’s pie and he wants more than the flaky crust and sugary filling.
He wants her.
Let’s give the man what he wants. We might need to come back for seconds…
"How many guests are you expecting today, Hank?” Joey asks me cheerfully as he strides into the staff room and pours himself a generous cup of coffee.
"At least a thousand," I reply, checking my watch. "Which reminds me. Have to get out there and start directing traffic. You’re running late, something happen with the car?”
"Nah," Joey replies, hitting me with a big-ass grin. "Something happened with a girl."
"Don’t tell me that you’re finally settling down?” I ask, and he laughs as he takes a sip of his coffee.
"Not a chance in hell," he scoffs. "It was just a one-night thing. We met on an app. Hey, you want me to get you set up with an account...?”
"No, I’m good," I say, shaking my head. All these one-night things have never appealed to me. I’ve had plenty of opportunity, but I’m looking for forever, or not at all. I’m not going to settle for anything less.
"All right, finish that up, we need to get out there," I tell him, jerking my head towards the cidery outside, where the bluegrass band will be arriving soon enough, along with the rest of the guests for the day.
These are my favorite times at the Finn Creek Cidery; these weekend festivals, early autumn, when the weather is starting to turn but it’s still warm enough to get people out of their houses and down to my place to drink hard cider, pick apples, and dance to bluegrass once they’re tipsy enough. This is our first big festival of the season, and I know that it’s going to be packed-out. They always are.
Early September always brings a wash of warmth to this place, and the sunlight dappling through the apple orchards is downright idyllic – or it would be, if I didn’t have so much to do today. I spot a truck pulling up to the entrance, right next to the freshly painted sign that announces where to go, and I can see from the look on the face of the guy in the front that he’s in a hurry. I stride over to him, and, sure enough, it’s the leader of that bluegrass group that I hired for the day. I know that I should remember their band name, but I don’t. I’ll figure it out as I go along, anyway.
"Morning," I greet him, and he nods at me.
"Where’s the stage?" he asks bluntly. "We need to start doing a sound check and get ourselves all set up..."
"Of course," I reply, and I nod my head towards the path that leads into the cidery. "Take that path along as far as the main building, and then turn left – you’ll be able to see it from there. If you’ve got any other questions, just come find me, okay?"
"Will do," he replies, and with that, he pulls away. I grin as I watch the van making its way down the path in front of it – this is it. The start of a new season. I am so ready for everything that it’s going to bring. Might not have been everyone’s favorite thing, working such a busy opening rush, but it’s how I keep this place going in the quiet off season. And I am more than happy to welcome in a new flurry of people and activity right now.
Just as I am about to turn back towards the house to tell Joey where he needs to be, another van comes around the corner – the rest of the band? No, this is something else entirely. There’s a woman behind the wheel, and she waves at me excitedly as she draws close and turns off the engine once she is beside me.
"Hi!” She greets me perkily. She has bright blond curly hair, pulled back into a ponytail behind her head, and green eyes that seem to glint with the gold that glances off the apple trees in the fall.
"Hi," I reply. "You all good?”
"I’m here to set up my stall for this weekend," she explains. "Apple pie? I think we spoke on the phone. Or I spoke to someone on the phone. I hope..."
"Yeah, I remember," I reply, throwing my mind back to all the chaos that has been running my life since I started putting this together again. "Go on in. There’s a truck right ahead of you with the band in it. They’re going to be setting up the stage, and if you want to choose somewhere close to that..."
"Sounds good to me," she agrees. "Though not too close. Need to be able to boast about how good my pies are, huh? Can’t be drowned out by the music."
"Right," I reply, and she beams at me. She has a gorgeous smile, the kind that