Hello romance readers! Today’s Tuesday Tales post is from a new Valentine’s Day romance, Love for the Barista. This short romance is almost finished, so there won’t be many snippets shared from this story. Join us as we take a peek into a Carmen’s new love. Carmen owns Java Time, a coffee shop situated on historic Oak Grove Square. Between running her business and being a single mother of two young children, she doesn’t have time for love in her life.
This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘coffee.’ (Hehehe, having a story set in a coffee shop made this weeks prompt a breeze.)
Return to TUESDAY TALES here to read more story snippets.
“So how’d you go from that to Java Time?” Victoria looked behind her as if making sure that she wasn’t keeping another customer from being served.
“After ‘Lita was born, I started working part time at…” Carmen lowered her voice and looked around as if telling a big secret. “You know…that other place.”
Victoria joined in the conspiracy. “Oh, you mean the big ‘S’? The one that’s on just about every corner?”
“Yep. That’s the one. I loved it. Turned out I had a knack for mixing the different concoctions and remembering what customers liked what. But, it turns out I didn’t have a knack for being bossed by someone else and having them set my schedule – which was different every single day of the week.”
“That’d be rough. That’s why I like my little antique shop. Ten to five. No nights. No Sundays. No holidays.”
“That’s what I like here. Although the early hours are a bear. But the kids are usually still in bed when I leave. And this way, when I close up at four, I go home and I have all evening to spend time with the babies.”
“That’s good. It’s important to spend a lot of time with them when they’re this young. How old are they now?”
A soft, loving expression filled Carmen’s face. “Mario is four. Or will be tomorrow. And ‘Lita’s two.”
“Those ages are rough. Especially when you’re working full time. Good thing you’re with your mom and she watches them during the day. I’ll bet that helps.”
Carmen started wiping the counter as the two business owners chatted. “It does. I don’t think I could make it if I had to get them up and dressed to drop them off somewhere so early.”
Victoria cocked her head and looked at her friend thoughtfully. “So…all you need now is a special someone in your life.”
“Special someone? As in a man? I. Don’t. Think. So.” Carmen coughed like she was choking. “Sorry. Been there. Done that. Don’t need to go there again.”
“But once the kids are in bed for the night, wouldn’t it be nice to have a fellow to curl up on the couch with? Watch movies? Drink a glass of wine? Snuggle a little?”
“Girl, you’re only talking like that because you’re still all out in love with Toby.”
Victoria flushed guiltily.
“See! There! Look at those red, rosy cheeks. You’ve got it bad, my friend. Which is good. I love watching you two together and seeing the joy he’s brought you.” Carmen wagged her finger in the air. “But that doesn’t mean that the rest of us single ladies need a new lover.”
“But Valentine’s Day is coming up. You won’t have anyone to spend the evening with.”
“Sure I will. The loves of my life. My kids.”
The bell over the door dinged as another customer walked in, followed by a gust of frosty air. Carmen looked up and didn’t recognize the man at first. Then he got closer to the counter and tipped the brim of his hat in a familiar gesture.
Carmen glared, a cutting look passing across the space between them.
If he calls me ma’am again…
He cleared his throat and looked down as he shuffled his worn boots on the floor. “That was the best coffee I’ve ever had. I reckon I could use another cup to ward off the cold.”
Victoria looked back and forth between the two of them and eased away. Giving a wave in the air, she turned to go open Serendipity, her beloved space on the other side of the square.