Saturday, February 3, 2018

Love at the Candy Heart Cafe-Chapter Three by Terri Reed

Love at the Candy Heart Cafe (our 2018 Valentine Serial)
Chapter Three
by Terri Reed

Oh, this was not good.
Candy winced as Chad scrambled from the booth, grabbing handfuls of napkins from the dispenser on the table and wiping down his lap.
She really should go help him. That would be the polite thing to do. The right thing to do but what she really wanted was for Chad to leave.
Seeing him again stirred up long buried memories and feelings. Oh so many feelings, enough to fill the jellybean jar sitting on the counter.
“Order up,” the cook called from behind the counter.
Candy grabbed the plate and hurried to set it in front of a customer. When she turned around, she came nose to nose, or rather nose to chest, with Chad.
The rich aroma of coffee, chocolate and man hit her senses. Her gaze lingered on the splotches of brown liquid marring his white shirt before lifting to meet his rich as Hershey kisses colored eyes.
She swallowed and backed up a step.
“Candy,” he said, his voice smooth as silk creamer. “We really need to talk. Look at this place it’s not going well for you.” He tilted his head with curiosity written across his handsome face. “What happened to designing bridal gowns?”
She grabbed his free hand and dragged him outside. The late morning sun sparkled on the ocean. Seagulls swooped and dipped into the water. Pedestrians walked or biked along the boardwalk rimming the sandy beach. She returned several waves and continued tugging Chad toward her car. Here was far enough away from curious ears. Though Mr. Lovestock had his nose pressed to the café’s front window.
“I’ll have you know I have a design degree from the University of Florida.” A familiar ache gripped her chest. She’d just begun her career when her grandmother became ill. “I inherited this place from my grandmother.”
Sympathy melted his chocolate eyes and softened his strong jaw. “I was sorry to hear of Caramel’s passing.”
“Grandmother always liked you,” she confessed. “Even after you left me.”
“I left this town,” he corrected. “I asked you to go with me.”
“Yes. Yes, you did.” She remembered that fateful day like it was yesterday. “But I couldn’t go clear across the country.” Which made her wonder why he was here now. “I thought you were doing well in Los Angeles.”
“I am. Was. I’m here now.”
Her heart skipped a beat. “Here, as in Sweet Tart Village?”

“Yes. I’ve opened my own real estate shop down the boardwalk. Just a hop, skip and a jump away.”
That close? “And your first client wants to buy the Candy Heart Café? But why?”
He made a sweeping gesture with his free hand. “Look at this place, Candy. The location is perfect. There’s so many things that could be done to update and improve the business. Patio seating out on both sides would be a huge draw. Update the inside, of course. Expand the menu, expand the reach.”
All things she’d thought of but couldn’t afford. “I don’t have the funds for all of that.”
“Then let me tell you how much my client is willing to offer." He placed his briefcase on the hood of her VW and took out a piece of paper. He held it up for her to view.
A large amount of zeros danced across the front. With that kind of money...old dreams surfaced. Dreams of making dresses for beautiful brides and planning gorgeous weddings. The temptation to say yes burned her throat like the cinnamon from a candied apple.

“Forget about the past, Candy. Look to your future.”
Her veins turned frosty. “My future is here.” She turned and marched back inside, hoping he wouldn't follow.


12 comments:

  1. And the plot thickens... Can't wait for tomorrow's installment!

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  2. Chad has to be suppressing memories about good times at that cafe. He'll come around at the end. Right?

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  3. I'm still wondering who wants to buy the café.

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  4. Now I'm really craving some cinnamon candy. :)
    Can't wait for the rest.

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  5. I like seeing Chad's side of things.

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  6. It was fun to write. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

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  7. So intriguing...who is his client???

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  8. Great chapter. I kind of feel bad for Chad. He’s going to have to do some tall talking!

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  9. And of course he's going to follow...lol! Stubborn man :-)

    I think we're all on tenterhooks trying to figure out who wants to buy the cafe!

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  10. Oh man, my teeth hurt from all these sweets. Such a great entry. Can't wait to see how this all works out.

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  11. This is so much fun! Sweet Tart Village.

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