Daddy’s Old Flame Little by Jess Winters




“Edith Lynn, you should be ashamed letting a nice boy like that slip through your fingers.” I should’ve known better than looking for sympathy from my mama, but you can’t blame a girl for trying.

Phil had isolated me from all my friends. Outside of my boss Greta, I didn’t really have anyone, and she’d stayed up at her Daddy’s house for the weekend.

I hoped I got as lucky as her. I needed a Daddy in my life. Not some wannabee like Phil who used his title as a way to control me. I couldn’t do this on my own, as much as I wanted to.

“Edith, are you listening to me?” My mother’s voice droned through the phone.

Fuck I hated it when she called me Edith.

It was my grandma’s name, and I liked to think I behaved nothing like the old woman who literally hissed at children as they walked home from school. The entire town called her a witch—and not in a cool wears-funky-black-clothes-and-brews-potions way.

“Yes, mama.” She always had a knack for making me feel like a fifteen-year-old despite being twenty-three. My aunt had raised me, so my mom and I weren’t even particularly close. She was only around during Holidays when I was a kid.

“You better call Phil right now and beg him to forgive you for whatever you did to make him break up with you.” What I made him do.

Like how I made him sleep with not one but two of my friends. Or how I made him get fired from his last job. Or how I made him kick a hole through his kitchen cupboard. 

“You mean stand up for myself—because that’s why he broke up with me. He wanted me to quit the bakery.” He and I had dated on and off for four years. In that time, I’d slowly slipped away from all my friends and had given up any resemblance to hobbies.  All except baking that is.

Phil wanted me to be a compliant housewife, but I had bigger dreams.

“Girls your age would kill to have a man take care of them like that. I don’t get why you’re so devoted to that damn bakery anyway.” Of course, she didn’t. It’s not like I’d wanted to be a baker since I was a kid or anything.

Phil called baking silly—he said no one could make money off desserts, but if that were true, Greta’s shop would’ve gone under in the first year alone. Instead, she’d expanded the menu, added seating, and hired on more staff.

In the last year alone, I’d earned two raises, and now I managed a few workers. Sure, half of them were local high schoolers, but that counted! Phil called it pathetic and childish.

“Mom—mom. Hey!” She continued as if she couldn’t hear me. And maybe she didn’t.

“Eddie, I just don’t know what to do with you anymore. You know I did my best to. . .” Geez. We were about to get to the part of the impromptu lecture in which my mom would accuse me of acting like my father, a man who couldn’t commit, despite them both having opted out of raising me.

“I’ll talk to you later, mama.” I realized that I could end phone calls whenever I wanted and exercised that right as often as possible. The first few times I’d pissed her off, but now she half expected it.

My phone rang almost immediately after hanging up.

Greta’s name lit up on my screen, and I wondered what was so important that she was interrupting her weekend at her Daddy’s house. Her new Daddy reminded me that the world still had good men floating around somewhere. I’d wish on whatever star I needed to make that happen for me.

“Hey, Eddie—It’s G.”

I giggled. Of course, it’s you, silly.” No one else ever called me.

She giggled back. Despite her being my boss, she and I had connected talking about Little things, too. I could hear in her voice how happy Noah made her. They made a cute couple, almost sickeningly so.

“Still looking to get out of the house?” It had been eat, work, sleep, repeat for the last few weeks, and I’d gone a bit stir crazy.

“What do you think, G?” I rolled my eyes. Anything would beat staying at home, stuffing my face with ice cream, and watching cartoons.

“Someone is sassy today!” She teased. I bit my lip. Whoops. “I left my Fall menu in my office. Noah and I were trying to see what ingredients from the farm we could integrate. Could you bring me the binder?”

“Hmmmm,” I said playfully. “What’s in it for me?”

“Unbelievable,” Greta said, giggling. “How about dinner, Ed?”

I sighed dramatically. “I guess that would work. . .” At least that meant that I didn’t have to fend for myself. Cooking for one person sucked. “Wait!” I said gleefully. “Does this mean I get to meet your Daddy?” I’d been hearing about sexy Noah for weeks, but he and I hadn’t met yet.

She sighed dramatically back at me. “Yes, Eddie, you’ll get to meet Noah.” Score!

“Love you, G,” I said and hung up. Only two more hours. It couldn’t come fast enough. 

About an hour later, my phone buzzed.

Have a special dinner guest for you to meet ;)

Greta had mentioned Josiah a couple weeks ago and had tried to set me up with him every day since, but I kept avoiding the topic.

It looked like she found a way around my avoidance. Greta could be sneaky when she needed to be, but only when the situation called for it.

She said she thought he could be Daddy material with the right Little to love. Either way, she assured me he was my type—a little rough around the edges with a short beard and intense eyes. He worked on Noah’s farm, so I knew he had to be muscular.

Plus, it didn’t bother me that he wasn’t an experienced Daddy. I’d wanted to explore that dynamic with Phil, but he’d shut it down immediately.

The bell above the door jingled. We had a customer. “Hi Adelynn!!!” I squealed as she walked in. Addy owned a candle shop across town. Sometimes we swapped goods.

She looked down in the dumps today, though, which wasn’t like her.

“Hey Eddie—the usual please.” She tucked her hair behind her ears and looked distractedly at the glass case of cookies. I slipped into the back to prepare her order.

I came back with two chocolate raspberry crepes. “So, what gives, Addy? I haven’t seen you this bummed since River broke up with you last year. Prior to, they’d been one of the hottest couples in the local underground lifestyle club inundated with Daddies and Littles.

“Just some guy drama, babe. He took me home last night, fucked me, and didn’t even remember my name this morning.” As tough and sexy as Addy looked on the outside, I’d seen her vulnerable more times than most. The hurt flickered behind her icy blue eyes.

Wrapping my arms around her, I kissed her cheek. “Any man who mistreats you is an asshole. You don’t need that in your life.” And she didn’t. Addy had the looks of a model—long lithe legs, a small chest, and slightly pouty lips.

She wiped her eyes on her shirt sleeve and nodded. “I know. I just. . .Well, it would be nice to find a Daddy again, you know? The good ones are hard to come by.”

Fuck, wasn’t that the truth.

“Let’s hang out soon, hmm? We can have a sleepover—watch movies, paint nails, the whole nine yards.” We hadn’t had a Little only sleepover in a long time. I needed it as much as she did. “Text me your schedule, hm?”

“Yeah, I’ll do that,” she said, looking down at her phone. “Shit, I got to go. Bye, Eddie.” She ran out the door, and I locked up behind her. Another day in the books.

I let down my hair and admired the cascade of loose blonde curls in the mirror. In this light, my eyes looked almost black. Hearing Addy’s guy drama reminded me how lonely things had been lately, especially since the breakup. I needed to get back out there. I needed to find someone to depend on.

Greta knew me better than anyone, so I’d have to trust her gut. I’d give Josiah a chance if he gave me one, too.