By: L.A. Casey

My mother smiled to herself as she stood up and winked. "Yep, let's go get some breaky. You can tell me how you plan on getting me grandchild that doll for Christmas along the way. I can tell it's going to be interesting.”

I snorted. "Doubtful. "

"I wouldn’t speak too soon on that, lovely." My mother winked. "When you’re involved, things are always interesting."

After my mother and I went to a cafe in the village and had breakfast she dropped me off at Smyths on her way home. I got there forty minutes before closing time for the holidays. I knew I had a limited amount of time left in my mission, so I had to get to it.

My mother wished me good luck in finding a doll for Charli, and I told her that I didn't need luck. It turned out I needed more than luck - I needed a bloody leprechaun with his pot of gold to appear and accompany me into the shop because I was royally screwed.

"This can't be happening," I whispered in dismay as I scanned the doll aisle in the shop for the tenth time in twenty minutes looking for a Fire Princess doll from a popular children's film called Blaze. The film was huge, it had been months since the film came out, and all the kids were still bloody crazy about it. That was exactly why I needed this doll. I told my niece Charli that I would get this doll for her for Christmas and I already told my brother Sean, Charli's father, that I had the damn thing so I could not go home empty-handed. If I did go home empty-handed it meant I would have nothing to give her on Christmas morning. I swallowed down bile as images of my crying niece, and her disappointed Father flooded my mind.

I had to get this doll, my title as the world's coolest Auntie depended on it.

I shook my head and the unwelcomed images away.

"Why do they only have the Princess's stupid sidekick?" I muttered aloud as I pushed aside box after box of the poor boy - who was really a Prince - from the film.

I needed the red-headed Princess, not this lad.

"Excuse me." I waved to a young lad who was stacking boxes down the far end of the aisle.

He straightened up as I approached him. I smiled as he cleared his throat and said, "Can I help you with something, miss?"

I nodded my head. "Yeah, you can actually. I need the redheaded Fire Princess doll from that children's film Blaze. You know the one were the princess can make fire-"

"Sorry mate, you couldn't tell me where the dolls from that popular Fire Princess film are, could you? I need the red-haired Fire Princess one."

My mouth lost all of hint of a smile, and my stomach churned with the sight of him. My wide green eyes narrowed and my hands balled into fists. This was cruel, as if having to put up with a conversation about him earlier wasn't torture enough, now God was going to make me face him as well? All in the same day? Not cool. Not cool at all.

I narrowed my eyes to slits because he was mere feet away from me.

Darcy Hart.

My archenemy.

"Excuse me, are you blind? I'm standing right here, and I was talking to this fella before you were," I growled.

Darcy leaned to the left and looked around the lad to see who was speaking to him, and when his eyes landed on mine, they instantly narrowed.

"Neala Clarke," Darcy spat.

I inwardly rolled my eyes - he always spat out my name like it left a bad taste in his mouth.

I evilly smirked at him. "The one and only."

Darcy gave me a bored once over before he dismissed me with a glare and turned his attention back to the male worker. "As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, do you know where the dolls from the Fire Princess film are? I need the red-haired doll."

Was he serious?

"You can wait your turn for help, Darcy. I was here first!"

Darcy clicked his tongue at me. "Boo hoo, little miss perfect doesn't like waiting, what a surprise."

Excuse me?

"Hold on just a minute you rude shite, what the hell is that supposed to mean?"

The lad between Darcy and myself stepped back from standing between us. Now we had perfect views of one another. I kept the look of sincere disgust on my face as I stared at him, but my stomach fluttered even though I willed it to stop. I hated how good looking the bastard was - he always had a handsome face, but unlike our school days he wasn't a skinny boy anymore. He was filled out and all man, and from what I heard around the village, he was also now quite the slut... or ladies man, whatever.

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