Destined for the Star (Starstruck)

BOOK: Destined for the Star (Starstruck)
13.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Table of Contents

Title Page



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21


About the Author


Teresia Dell

Copyright © 2013 Teresia Dell

This book is a work of fiction and, except in the case of historical fact, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanical without the permission in writing from the author or publisher.

Cover Art by Melissa Alvarez,

For A.

Chapter 1

Tuesdays were always slow at the café. Except in the summer, of course, when the tourists invaded the Old Town, and they stayed busy from early morning until closing.

It was October now though, and Stockholm was slowly moving into the gray and bleak winter months. Not the most pleasant time of year to be in Stockholm, but it made her job less hectic, and for that she was grateful. Although she wasn’t crazy about the raw cold of the Stockholm winter, she had never particularly cared for the Swedish summer either. It was beautiful, for sure, with its soft warmth and sheer Nordic light, but there was a desperate sense of urgency to those few months of Arctic summer that had always given her angst. It was as if the Swedes suddenly awoke from their Sleeping Beauty slumber every year, and feverishly tried to cram as much life as possible into those all too few summer weeks. Beginning with Midsummer celebrations, the Swedes lost themselves in a frenzy of heavy partying, and she didn’t feel comfortable partaking in their bacchanalian feasts. After what had happened to her mother, nothing scared her more than the alcohol-induced madness of people who drank too much and lost control of themselves. She had promised herself long ago that she would never let herself go there. Ever.

She tried to shake the searing pain and fury awakened in her by thoughts of her mother’s death. Tears stung behind her eyelids and she drew a deep breath to force herself to focus on the present instead. The sound of the doorbell chiming helped her snap back.

There were only a couple of guests at the café this morning. She knew both men pretty well by now. They were taxi drivers coming off of their night shifts, meeting here to have breakfast together and read the morning papers. They were nice customers, easy to please, and never disrespectful or rude.

She was going to be alone working in the café until the lunch crowd started pouring in at eleven. By then she would have been joined by her best friend and co-worker, Sasha. Sasha’s easy banter and vibrant spirit always brightened her day. Still, she longed for the day to be over so she could go home and make dinner for her brothers and hear all about their day. After dinner she would get a few precious hours to work on her novel.

She turned towards the door, as it fell shut, and froze. She had never seen a more beautiful man than the one that had just entered the café. He surveyed the room, looking a little lost, and then he walked over to where she stood behind the counter. His eyes looked into hers, and she felt something melt inside her.

His eyes were green with luminous specks of gold surrounding the pupil. Luscious black lashes shadowed those mesmerizing eyes, and thick, dark eyebrows endowed his face with a powerful masculinity. His face appeared to have been carved by Michelangelo himself; the most sublime cheekbones balancing the appeal of his defined jaw and set off by a pair of sensual, perfectly formed lips. She couldn’t see his hair - he was wearing a black beanie. Only his sideburns showed and they were dark brown.

He met her gaze and then, suddenly, he looked a little embarrassed and broke away from her stare. She felt a flush of red stain her cheeks, as she realized she’d been staring like an idiot at the handsome stranger. He was probably sick and tired of women staring at him all the time, she silently admonished herself. She quickly cleared her throat and asked him what she could do for him.

”I’m sorry, I don’t speak Swedish,” he said apologetically.

”Oh, that’s okay, I speak English. What can I get you?” She rushed to get the words out, while reminding herself to calm down and breathe. She was embarrassing herself, acting like a smitten schoolgirl. But he affected her in a way she felt wholly unprepared for.

”Great, thanks. Um, coffee please, and perhaps one of these. Are they any good?” he asked, with a shy smile that had her stomach doing backflips with desire. He pointed to one of the sandwiches on display, the one filled with Brie cheese and salami.

”Yes, it’s quite good. But my personal favorite is this one, with the chef’s own meatballs and beetroot salad. It’s a very Swedish sandwich. Not for everyone.” She smiled tentatively back at him and watched him freeze for a second and stare at her, before he looked down at the sandwich in question.

”I’ll try one of those then. If I don’t like it, I’m holding you personally responsible.” He gave her a wry smile.

She smiled back at him.

”Tell you what, if you don’t like it you can have something else on the house.”

”Sounds like a deal,” he smiled. He paid for his order and she put it together for him on a tray.

”Enjoy,” she said and watched him take a seat at a table next to one of the windows overlooking the street. He was incredibly sexy, even from behind. He shrugged out of his jacket, and hung it on the back of his chair, but kept his hat on. He appeared to be warming his hands on the coffee cup. She understood the need - it was a cold day with a slight drizzle outside. The wind was coming in from across the harbor and made it seem even colder than the temperature would have you believe.

He looked young; definitely under thirty. She wondered if he was close to her own twenty-three years of age. Perhaps twenty-five or so. He had a light tan and his chin was covered in a very sexy stubble. He looked like a student. Maybe he was backpacking through Scandinavia, although the time of year seemed a little off.

Too bad it was a slow day, she would have little else to do but obsess over this beautiful stranger. She would have to keep a tight leash on herself, or she would stand there drooling over him all morning long.

She went to do some work in the kitchen; checking on supplies in the store room and taking note of what needed to be ordered. Then she returned to the outer room, and went to offer refills to the customers. She tried to do this whenever she had the time, rather than let the guests get their own refills at the coffee table set up next to the counter, because she knew that it was appreciated by their patrons. And she enjoyed the brief social interaction.

The taxi drivers eagerly accepted refills of their coffee. Although the stranger had hardly had enough time to finish his first cup yet, she felt rude not offering him too, so she walked over to his table with the coffee pot. He looked up when she came - his beautiful green eyes lighting up a bit, or was she imagining that? She was probably reading too much into things. She was such a silly romantic sap.

”Would you like a refill?” She tried to hold back the trembling she felt when she was near him, so that it wouldn’t give her away.

He looked a bit surprised at first, his cup still almost full.

”I’m fine right now, thanks.”

She felt a little silly and had already turned to go hide behind the counter again, when he stopped her with a light touch of his hand on her bare arm.

”Wait, please,” he said, as electricity shot through her at his touch and she froze in her spot. He immediately removed his hand, as if he felt her go rigid. She wanted to shout ”No! Keep it there!” but instead she turned back to him.


He looked up at her.

”If it’s not too much trouble I think I could use some help. I think I’m a little lost, to be honest.” He smiled sheepishly at her. ”But I have a map, so if you could be so kind as to point out where we are, I could find my way, I think.”

”Of course, no problem,” she said, ”I’ll just go put this down first.” She pointed to the coffee pot.

”Of course.”

She returned to his table where he had unfolded a city map.

”Where are you going?” she asked, and leaned over his shoulder. He smelled heavenly, very masculine but fresh, like a sea breeze on a sunny summer’s day.

”I was looking for the Royal Palace, which shouldn’t be so hard to find, right? But I’m afraid all the buildings here look pretty much the same to me,” he admitted apologetically.

She smiled at him.

”That’s okay,” she said. ”It doesn’t look like what you might imagine a royal palace should look like. It’s like a huge gray square with a courtyard in the middle. It’s actually not very pretty to look at, at all. Maybe if they had painted it a pale yellow, like it was originally intended, it might have looked a little more regal. I don’t know.” It suddenly occurred to her that she was rambling. Her face turned pink.

He looked at her but didn’t say anything, his eyes softly sweeping across her face, finally settling on her lips, before he broke away and looked down at the map again.

She quickly went on,

”We are here now,” she pointed to a small alley a few blocks from the Royal Palace, ”and the Palace is over here. So you see, you weren’t that far off, really. You would have found it eventually.”

”Oh, okay, thank you very much. I’m still not sure I’ll be able to find it, though. My sense of direction is sadly lacking, to say the least.”

She didn’t know what to say to that. She just smiled hesitantly at him again.

”The best route would be to go this way when you leave here,” she offered, and bent over the map to trace the way with her finger.

She blushed when his gaze lingered for a second on her cleavage. She stood back up and took a step back.

”I hope that helps.”

”Wait, could you maybe fill out the route with a pen, do you think? Just to be on the safe side?” he asked with a broad, boyish grin that revealed a set of perfect white teeth. She was momentarily stunned into silence, but then she recovered and grabbed a pen from the pocket of her apron.

”Sure.” She bent down again, but this time he kept his eyes firmly on the map, as she filled in the easiest way to the palace for him with her pen.

”There you go. If you stick to this route you won’t go falling into the water. It’s cold this time of year so we wouldn’t want that, would we?” she teased.

”No. Stay away from the water. Got it.” He smiled back at her and she felt a molten warmth spread inside. She longed to trace his sensual lips with her fingers, just to feel the heat and softness of them. What was wrong with her today? Irritated with herself she shook her head slightly, to erase the images that unbid filled her head with yearning for this man that she would never see again. The thought made her heart ache a little. It was very strange. She must get a hold of herself and stop acting so childishly.

Resolutely she turned around and headed for the counter.

”Thank you,” he called after her. She didn’t look back as she answered him.


The clock struck ten and she knew it was only an hour left until the lunch rush would begin. But by then Sasha would be there with her, filling the café with her bubbly banter, and then she would soon forget all about the sexy stranger. She hoped.

The doorbell chimed. It was a group of young mothers, with their babies in their strollers. They filled the room with their chatter and hungry babies crying. She didn’t mind the Latte Moms, as they were known in town, but she knew the owner, Rashid, did. He didn’t appreciate that they took up so much space with their strollers and babies, and stayed chatting contentedly for hours on end, without buying much more than a cup of coffee each. It wasn’t very good business, of course, but she liked hearing and seeing them. Mothers on maternal leave, looking exhausted but peacefully content. One day maybe she would be lucky enough to be one of them, a warm little baby nestled close to her. Although the odds weren’t that good; she had yet to meet someone she felt safe enough with to dare to make that kind of commitment to. She doubted that man even existed.

BOOK: Destined for the Star (Starstruck)
13.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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