***unedited, subject to change***

"I've got a large orange explosion juice for Scarlette," Phoenix Aldridge called out.
Phoenix watch as Scarlette Harris made her way back up to the counter of Phoenix's juice/smoothie bar, The Main Squeeze. She pushed the to-go cup, along with an unopened straw in her direction.
"I know it's not your morning coffee," Phoenix said, sympathetically. "But it's good for the baby."
"I know," Scarlette sighed. "I'm just so used to going to Mellow Mocha. But between Valerie and Marcus, they're making sure I don't even smell coffee. It's ridiculous."
"It's them caring," Phoenix corrected. "This juice should also help with your morning sickness."
Scarlette smiled at that. "Then you may see me morning, noon and night, since I stay sick."
"Hey, the more you visit, the more money I make," Phoenix teased with a wink. She watched as Scarlette inserted her straw into the cup before taking a sip.
"Mmm," she moaned. "This is so good. Thanks Phoenix."
"You need to make a trip to my side of town and come to my store."
Scarlette ran a lingerie shop, filled with high-end undergarments.
Phoenix rolled her eyes at Scarlette's invitation.
"It's not like I have anyone to wear them for," she murmured as she wiped down the already clean countertop.
Scarlette waved off Phoenix's remark.
"Honey, wear them for your damn self. I used to before Marcus came along. Hell I still do. Though I don't know what I'm gonna do in a few more months when I'm as big as a house."
"Maybe you can do a maternity line. I'm sure mothers-to-be still want to feel sexy and desired."
Scarlette's face was thoughtful as she took a long sip from her juice.
"You know...I just might do that," she finally said, a bright smile crossing her face.
"I can't wait to see what you come up with."
"I'm going to swing by Bucky's and see Mom," Scarlette said, referring to her mother-in-law, Viola. Viola ran a bar a few doors down from Phoenix's juice bar.
"Tell her I said hello," Phoenix replied as Scarlette turned to head for the door.
"I will."
As Scarlette was leaving, Phoenix looked up to see her mother walking in. Her arms were full with a basket full of fruits and vegetables. Phoenix was already rounding the counter when her mother nearly dropped the basket.
"Mom!" Phoenix said, picking up the pace to help her mother. "I told you I was going to come by after lunch for these."
Her parents, Fiona and Nick Aldridge, ran a community urban garden next to Phoenix's bar. They'd been running it since she was a teenager and was the inspiration for Phoenix to open a juice bar. She'd experiment with so much of the fruits and vegetables they'd brought home when she was growing up. When the property opened up next to the garden, it seemed like fate for Phoenix and with the help of her parents, she'd opened up The Main Squeeze.
She'd already paid back the loan her parents had given her, and though they often tried to refuse, she often gave them extra money, since the majority of produce she used came from the garden.
"I saw the rush you had in here today," her mother said as she let Phoenix take the baskets from her. "I figured it couldn't hurt to bring it by a little early."
"Well, thank you, Mom," Phoenix said as they headed back behind the counter.
"I need a favor, Fi," Fiona said as Phoenix handed the basket off to one of her employees.
"What's up?"
Before Fiona could respond another customer came in.
"Hold that thought," she said to her mother, before turning to the customer with a smile. "Welcome to The Main Squeeze, how can I help you?"
"Ummm, can I get one of your strawberry kombucha smoothies?"
"Sure thing," Phoenix said. "Size?"
"And what name can I write down for you?"
"Alright, Lois, your smoothie will be ready in a few minutes."
Phoenix went to work on the smoothie, adding strawberries to the juicer.
"What did you need, Mom?" she asked as she poured the ginger basil kombucha into the juicer.
"Dad and I are going on a retreat this weekend," Fiona started.
Phoenix nodded and then pressed the button to blend everything together in the juice.
"So you need me to run your stand this weekend," she guessed, speaking up so Fiona could hear her over the juicer.
Fiona nodded her response.
"If you can't do it, we understand," she said, once the juicer stopped. "I know Saturdays have become one of your busiest days–"
"Which is why I hired more employees," Phoenix said. "It's fine, Mom. I can do it."
"Are you sure?"
Phoenix refrained from rolling her eyes. She didn't know why her mother went through this whole "if it's not any trouble" bit. Fiona knew Phoenix wouldn't say no. That urban garden was just as much hers as it was her parents.
"Of course, Mom," Phoenix said as she filled a medium sized cup with the smoothie. After she placed a top on the drink she called for Lois to come and get her drink.
"Thanks, sweetheart."
"No problem, Mom. What are you about to do?" she asked, as she grabbed a pineapple to cut up.
"I've got another basket that I'm going to run over to the homeless shelter. Dad's working in the garden."
"I'll take him a juice later."
Fiona nodded with a smile before she took off and Phoenix prepared to greet another customer. 

©Té Russ