1 ~ Sweet as a Strawberry

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A/N: The chapters will go Charlotte-Ben-Charlotte-Ben in chapter POV's, so you'll know if it's Charlotte when it starts with "Sweet" and Ben's chapters start with "Sour"


Chapter 1: Sweet as a Strawberry


"You'll never guess this one," the customer said gleefully, shoving something into my mouth.


I chewed carefully, my eyebrows scrunching as I tasted the delicious morsel of bread. "Pumpernickel and rye swirl," I decided confidently, smiling underneath the blindfold.


"With?" she urged, sounding a little put-down.


I chewed some more and thought. "Dried oregano and pickled jalapeño," I added, swallowing the piece.


The blindfold was ripped off and the customer who'd challenged me grimaced, putting some money in my tip jar. "You win," she said grumpily. "I can't believe it. I only gave you a bit with pumpernickel, how'd you figure out it was swirl?"


I smiled cheekily, already aware of her sneaky trick. "I told you I'd be able to guess anything."


In the little bakery called Good Eats that was my second home, I, Charlotte Carter, won yet another challenge from a poor, clueless customer.


It was a thing my boss had set up after realising I could guess almost any ingredient in any sort of food. If a customer wanted to bet that I couldn't guess the main flavours, they'd get a free cupcake. If I could guess, they had to pay however much they bet in my tip jar.


I'm not trying to sound conceited when I say that I've never lost. You wouldn't even believe how business has boomed since we started the whole competition thing.


My boss, Diana, even gave me a significant pay raise because of that.


"I thought you were exaggerating!" she said in exasperation, blowing angrily at a strand of her mousy hair. "Now I don't have enough money for the cupcake I wanted!"


My eyes widened in guilt and I bit my lip. "That won't do, now, will it?" I stuck my hand back in the tip jar and brought out the five pounds she'd put in. I smiled nicely. "Just don't tell my boss-"


As I stretched across the counter to give her back her money, a large, rough hand came down on mine, successfully stopping it mid-way.


I looked up curiously, my eyes meeting a pair of dark brown eyes. "Hello there," I said cheerfully, taking my free hand off the table to extend to him. The man just stared at it distastefully, making me drop it slowly. Oh man.


Who was he? I would've remembered a face like his, but I didn't recall ever seeing him before.


He turned to my customer. "If you didn't have enough money to spare, you shouldn't have challenged her," he said.


She had been drooling at him ever since he'd approached us, but suddenly snapped out of it as he spoke. "W-what do you mean?" she asked nervously, hands twitching to the money I still held in my grip, the hand that was still being held captive by this stranger.

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