Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Love at the Candy Heart Café – Chapter Six by Christine Johnson

Love at the Candy Heart Café 

 Chapter Six 

by Christine Johnson

Candy managed to keep up the smile until Bruce Tart strolled into the café. Never mind his dark good looks and oily smile or that the Tarts owned some of the choicest property in Sweet Tart Village. Ever since high school, the man had given her grief. He would interrupt her and Taffy to boast about his father’s businesses. He’d asked her out more than once, even when she was dating Chad. She always turned him down.

“Hi there, Candy.” He eased her way with that too-bright smile of his.

“Seat yourself.” She waved at the nearly-empty tables and retreated behind the counter.

He leaned against that counter—directly in front of her. “Maybe I don’t want to sit. Maybe I want some of that—” He surveyed the display case. “—rhubarb pie? Who eats that stuff? No wonder this place is going downhill.”

Candy choked back a retort. The customer was always right, Grandma used to say with a sigh. Though Candy wasn’t ready to fully agree, insulting the heir to the richest fortune in town wouldn’t help her or the Candy Heart Café. Bruce’s dad sat on the bank board.

“We have banana cream also.”

He leaned a little closer. “That pie looks as sweet as you.”

Candy hid her gagging behind a cough. “Not as sweet as our cupcakes.”

He gave her an odd look that she ignored.

“I’ll get you a piece of the banana cream.” She opened the case and removed the slice of pie. After setting a fork on the plate, she handed it to him along with a napkin.

Instead of carrying it to a table, he took a bite right there. “Good. Not great but good.”

Candy bristled. Everyone raved over Honey Sweet’s pies. “I’ll have you know—”

“—Just like your shop,” he continued as if she hadn’t spoken. “A little drab but with some effort, it could be the highlight of Sweet Tart Village.”

Candy bit her tongue instead of mentioning that his father could have swayed the bank to give her a loan to do just that.

Bruce pushed aside the pie and leaned against the counter again. “I could help out, and you wouldn’t have to sell.”

Where did he get that idea? Chad? “I’ll have you know that I’m not selling this place.”

“Of course you’re not.” His smile made her shiver, and not in a good way. “But sometimes there’s no choice. I hear that snake Chad Hershey is back in town.”

Hearing someone like Bruce call Chad a snake was a lot different than thinking it herself. “So? We split up a long time ago.”

Something that not only still stung but had begun to feel like a bottomless void that would never be filled. Designing wedding gowns and working at a bridal shop had only fed her desire for a happily-ever-after, something that she was beginning to think would never happen in Sweet Tart Village.

Bruce laid his hand on hers. “Don’t worry. There’s always a solution.”

For a second her spirits lifted, but then she considered the source. There would be strings attached. With the Tarts, there were always strings attached. 


  1. Oh, this guy makes me grimace in the same way I do when i eat a Sweet Tart candy! He needs banana cream pie in his face. I can’t wait for Chad to straighten him out!!!

  2. Lenora, you crack me up. I was thinking the same thing about the pie. Bam!

  3. Poor Candy! I'm worried about the future of her cafe! Bruce needs to be dumped in the trash where he belongs!

  4. You guys crack me up--no easy feat considering I've had the flu for an entire week now. Hack-hack.


  5. Oh those Tarts! Villians for sure.

  6. GAH...I do not like Bruce! I do not like him with green eggs and ham! I don't like him, Sam I am...lol!

    He sets my teeth on edge like too much sweets :-)

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