Burgundy scowled as her eyes fell upon The Bittersweet Spice Café.
It was just across the street from her own café, The Trés Bon Parlour. She could see its owner, Cilan, inside as he waited on customers with his usual smile. Her customers.
Her fists clenched at her sides as she scanned the building, realising just how many customers he had taken from her.
It had been only a week since Burgundy had opened her café here, and yet only a handful of people had stepped foot beyond its doors. Cilan's place was packed whenever she looked. Even the people who passed her café continued straight to The Bittersweet Spice without a second glance. She just didn't understand what was so great about it!
He must have known that he was stealing all her customers. How could he not? He must have looked in the direction of The Trés Bon Parlour at least a few times, just as she had kept her eye on his, and noticed how empty it always was. He must know that he was the sole reason for her lack of customers. He must just simply not care. In fact, he probably enjoyed watching her business fail!
Burgundy ground her teeth together, glare intensifying as her eyes darted angrily around her own depressingly empty café. It was then that she decided it was time to take action. No matter what, she would have revenge against Cilan for trying to ruin her dream of owning the most well-known and successful café in town. She vowed it.
A few minutes later, Burgundy heard the chime signalling that someone had entered the café. She was stunned. Could it actually be...a customer?
Immediately she turned and strode briskly toward the door and gave a slight bow to the well-dressed young woman standing there.
"Excuse me, is this-" the woman began, but Burgundy interrupted her.
"Right this way, please." Before the woman could say another word she was being ushered to the seat in the farthest corner of the café, the one normally reserved for only the finest customers.
"So, what would you like to order?" Burgundy flashed her best smile as she prepared to take down the order.
"Uh, I was actually wondering if this is the café Cilan works at…?"
Burgundy almost fell over.
The woman seemed afraid of the fire burning in Burgundy's eyes. "Yes, um, I was looking for Cilan's café…"
While Burgundy fumed, the bell jingled once more and the woman's face lit up. "Cilan!" She stood and rushed to his side.
"Ah, so I was right. I thought I saw you come in here."
Burgundy stiffened and turned slowly, her face contorting as she caught sight of the man standing there.
"Y-you!" She pointed a trembling finger at him and he turned to face her, confused.
"Have we met before?" He seemed to be thinking hard as he looked her over. Burgundy tried not to blush at his eyes on her.
"Don't play dumb with me, Cilan!" She narrowed her eyes at him in a harsh glare.
"In case you hadn't noticed, this café is empty! And it's all your fault for stealing my customers!"
Cilan's brow furrowed. "I'm sorry about your café, but I don't recall ever stealing any of your customers."
He paused a moment, considering. "This is a new café, isn't it?"
"What does it matter to you?" Burgundy spat, crossing her arms.
Another pause. "How long has it been open?"
She hesitated, looking anywhere but at him. "About a week. Do you have a problem with that?"
"I'm thinking that the reason for your lack of customers is simply that no one knows about this café yet."
Cilan glanced around the café once more before continuing. "I'm sure that if you try decorating and promoting this place a bit more, you'll have plenty of customers in no time." He smiled at her, that same smile he always used when greeting customers at The Bittersweet Spice, and Burgundy's glare intensified.
"Who do you think you are, telling me how to run my own café?!" she snapped.
Cilan just looked confused. "I'm sorry, I was just trying to help-"
"Get out, right now!" Burgundy growled.
"Yes, of course." Cilan gave a slight bow before he made his way to the door, his female customer (who should have been hers) following closely behind. But while she hurried out of the café, Cilan hesitated at the entrance.
He glanced back at Burgundy once and, upon seeing the fiery anger in her eyes, quickly left, leaving her alone in The Trés Bon Parlour.
She gave a frustrated sigh and took a seat on one of the plush lounges by the entrance.
"I can't believe that Cilan!" she shouted, her anger only intensifying as she heard the sound echo around the empty café. "First he steals my customers, then he has the nerve to criticise my skills?!"
Her fists clenched tightly and her head pounded. Her heart was pounding, too, but she didn't stop to think about what that meant. She was far too furious for that.
"That's it. He's going to pay for everything he's done to me!"