Second Chance at the Sugar Shack

Second Chance at the Sugar Shack by Candis Terry Read Free Book Online

Book: Second Chance at the Sugar Shack by Candis Terry Read Free Book Online
Authors: Candis Terry
she answered.
    “Josh, what’s up?”
    “It’s a damned catastrophe, Kate. When are you coming back?”
    “What’s a catastrophe?”
    “OMG, didn’t you see ET ?”
    “Umm, no. My mother’s funeral. Remember?”
    “Oh. Sorry, sweetie.” He didn’t sound sorry. “Anyway, the so-called Fashion Guru slammed the outfit Inara wore to the premiere of Last Breakfast in Eden . I don’t even want to tell you what she did to Stella’s blue linen dress after I left her house.”
    A lump lodged in Kate’s throat. “Don’t tell me she sliced and diced an original McCartney.”
    “Worse. She bought a frickin’ BeDazzler and added . . . are you sitting down?”
    “Yellow rhinestones! And no, I’m not shitting you. We’ve only got four days before she attends the awards pre-show luncheon. I’m freaking out here, Kate. Somebody needs to get this trashy bitch under control!”
    Kate gripped her forehead. Great. Strike three. Hello, Variety classifieds.
    She took a deep breath.
    Okay. No problem. She could handle this. She’d run interference with the entertainment media fashion hags before. She’d just do it again. She was a pro—who really didn’t feel like dealing with such a trivial issue on the day they’d laid her mother to rest. But as soon as she hung up from talking with Josh, she’d order a bribe package to be delivered to the Guru and get her butt back to L.A. Pronto if not sooner.
    Only one little problem remained. She’d promised her brother they’d sit down tomorrow and discuss how to help their father. Crap. She couldn’t just bail on her dad the day after he’d buried his wife.
    “Calm down, Josh. I’ll call Inara. The soonest I can be there is late tomorrow night. And that’s if I can wrap it all up here and get a flight out. In the meantime, I’m putting you in charge of not letting our pop princess out of your sight.”
    Kate ended the call, pulled to the curb, ordered her bribe package, and changed her airline reservations to an earlier flight. Once business was done, she pulled back onto the road and maneuvered the car around the corner at the Gas and Grub Roundup where her friends Maggie Densworth and Oliver Barnett had once stolen Olde English from the ice locker.
    Oliver and Maggie consumed all six cans that night. Two months later Maggie announced she was pregnant. When Kate lamented her situation, Maggie told her it was no big deal. Shit like that happened all the time in a small town, she’d said. Maggie’s dreams of becoming a TV news anchor had been squashed. And Kate was convinced that for her , a one-way ticket out of Deer Lick was the right and only decision.
    Though Matt had taken precautions the night they’d made love, Kate had worried the following month. She didn’t want to end up like Maggie—trapped in a dead-end town with a dead-end job and a kid and husband who’d forever regret the day he’d married her.
    In a town the size of Deer Lick, everybody knew everybody’s business. And while there were many couples who’d married young like her parents and stayed happily together, there were many more that hadn’t. When marriage went bad, it got ugly and hateful and everybody got a black eye. Especially the kids who came from those busted and broken homes.
    Matt Ryan had been one of those kids.
    She may not have known much in those days, but she did know she cared about Matt too much to trap him into a repeat of the life in which he’d been forced to live as a kid.
    She’d wanted more.
    He deserved more.
    The Buick sputtered past Purdy’s Pawn Shop, which had expanded into the old Laundromat next door, and the Once in a Blue Moon Café where they served a heavenly Monte Cristo sandwich with homemade huckleberry jam. When she came to the red brick building in the center of the block, tucked between Buck’s Gun Shop and the Once Again Bookstore, she pulled over and parked in front. Half whiskey barrels brimming with autumn mums framed the door and

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