Lacy caught sight of Duncan as he hurried past her shop. Her heart tripped at his downtrodden expression. It was as if someone had kicked his puppy. She craned her neck over the counter, threatening to crush Mrs. Drake's special order coffee cake. The lovely elderly lady was hosting her great grandchildren tonight and had wanted Lacy to bake her old family recipe since poor Mrs. Drake's hands were too arthritic.
"Look out, Miss Lacy!" Little Debbie cried out. The youngest great grandchild, who'd tagged along for the trip, had plans for their treat, and it wasn't to watch it be crushed under Lacy.
Lacy backed up. "Sorry. I was just watching someone."
"Sergeant Hines?" Debbie piped up, cheekily, as six year olds who heard too much often did. "He just came from Angie's house. They gots your cupcakes, but Grammie says Angie's mom will probably throw them away. She says it's a sin what's happening between them!"
The bakery fell into a deafening silence. With cheeks as pink as the hearts on the store windows, Mrs. Drake hastily paid for her purchase, grabbed her young grandchild and hightailed it from the bakery. Even Mr. Valentine scooted off, obviously so reluctant to answer any more questions, he'd left half of his coffee crumb cake behind.
Enough! Lacy squared her shoulders. This town was a delight to live in and to work in, but no one should be treating a soldier like that! She hastily packaged up four more chocolate cupcakes, slapped the 'back in 5 min.' sign on her door and locked up.
image from Wilton©
Cupid's Cove wasn't so big that Lacy couldn't spot Duncan as he hurried past the church and down to the pier. She regretted not grabbing her jacket, but tossed her personal comfort away as she hurried to catch up with him. Salty wind and the cries of seagulls met her as she reached the long dock. The tide was out, and only the tops of the few fishing boats bobbing and swaying could be seen along the left side.
Duncan stood at the end of the pier, hunched slightly as if staring into the water.
Lacy hesitated. The wind buffeted the box of cupcakes in her right hand. What was she doing? She'd foolishly thought that chocolate could solve the man's problems, but not everyone was like her.
image purchased from Dreamstime©
Still, it was worth a try. Duncan needed a friend, and a good talk over fresh chocolate cupcakes could do wonders. She took one step forward, then gasped.
Duncan dropped into the choppy brine, out of sight.