Eternal Bliss Bakery
The Eternal Bliss Bakery had been a fixture on Oberon’s Main Street for as long as Jasmine could recall. The brainchild of Chay and Chenoa’s grandfather, Russell Johnson--known to everyone, including his grandchildren--as Paco, it originally offered only organic, whole grain and unprocessed baked goods. Or so Jasmine had always heard, since that initial period had been before her time. Amazingly, the bakery had survived the phase.
Over the years, the EBB’s rigid code had been relaxed somewhat, to accommodate the owner’s changing perspective. As Paco was fond of explaining now, the sufficiently evolved individual is more than capable of raising the vibratory rate of any food to an acceptable level, no matter what ingredients it contains.
Jasmine didn’t know how much she believed that, but one thing seemed certain, the bakery’s name couldn’t be more apt. One bite of pretty much anything made there was a guaranteed ticket to bliss.
"Jasmine?" Chenoa’s lilting voice was raised in greeting, as she hurried out from behind the counter. "Well, hey, there, Jay. I was beginning to think we were never gonna see you again. When did you get back in town?"
"Me?" Jasmine laughed as they embraced. "Girlfriend, I’ve been here for three days already. You’re the one we’ve all been waiting on."
Chenoa waved away her protests. "Oh, I know, I know. I was so busy at school, I didn’t think I’d ever get away. But, what have you been up to, you brat? You couldn’t find time all summer for a visit? And, now, your mother’s getting married, and you don’t say anything? I had to hear about it from Chayton? What’s up with that?"
Good question. Jasmine frowned. "From Chay? How did he find out?" It’s not like she’d been making announcements, or anything.
"How?" Chenoa’s sloe eyes widened in astonishment. "Well, he’s playing at the wedding isn’t he? And, we’re making the cake here, aren’t we?"
"Oh. Are you? I… I..." Jasmine stammered incoherently. Chay was playing flute at her mother’s wedding? Was that Sam’s idea? No way.
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"I’m not sure she knows about it," Jasmine admitted, feeling somewhat astonished herself. Could it be that Sam and Lucy had a point? For someone who claimed to be excited about the prospect of getting married again, Marsha sure seemed awfully detached from the process. She shrugged the disloyal thought away. "Apparently Sam’s been calling all the shots. I guess he figures he’s got a right to, since he’s footing the bill." That sounded like a much more likely explanation.
"And your mother’s going along with that?" For a moment, Chenoa looked even more surprised than before, then she grinned. "I mean, apparently he’s making some good choices, and all, but still, that doesn’t sound like Marsha."
Yes it does, Jasmine thought. It sounds just like Marsha. The new-out-of-her-fucking-mind-cause-she-thinks-she’s-in-love Marsha, that is. "Look, it’s all too depressing. Can we please just change the subject?"
Chenoa’s eyebrows rose. "Okay, sure. Listen, I’m due for a break, anyway, come on in the back and we’ll grab a snack."
"Sure," Jasmine agreed, her mouth already watering in anticipation. She’d skipped breakfast this morning—Sam’s offer to make omelets had held little appeal for her—and with all the delicious scents floating in the air, she was feeling seriously famished.
She followed Chenoa through the bakery’s kitchen, smiling at the many familiar faces that she passed along the way. Nearly colliding with Chay in the narrow back hallway. His long black braids were partially covered by a dark blue bandana and he was carrying two large sacks of flour, one on each shoulder. He looked as bronzed and handsome as ever.
"Hey, Jasmine." He smiled in greeting as he squeezed past her; that same warm, slow, sexy smile she’d spent years fantasizing about. "Everything work out okay the other night with you and your boyfriend?"
"Her what?" Chenoa turned to stare after her brother. "Who? Did he just say—? Jasmine?"
Jasmine felt herself blushing. "I told you, Chay. He’s not my boyfriend."
Chay’s voice, amused and still unconvinced, floated back to her. "Whatever."
Jasmine shook her head in annoyance and continued on her way to the break room. If that wasn’t just like a guy. One dance, and he thought he knew everything there was to know about her.
©PG Forte 2005
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