Part I

How could Candace let herself get swept off her feet by some stranger she met on the beach only hours ago? Where does her short-lived summer fling put her relationship with Nathaniel? And—perhaps most importantly—why is Candace's aunt dressed like a fairy? All of these questions and more are answered in part one my first ever attempt at a My Candy Love fic.

Chapter 1: Good Choices

"I know I promised I'd take you to a movie today, but a co-worker called in sick. Now I have to work this party, and it's three hours from here... So you're on your own again."

Auntie was the only family member I had left, and it seemed as though every other day this summer she had to drive out to see some far-flung client at the last minute—and this was only the second week of vacation!

"...But don't worry! I bought you a present to make up for it!" She held out a handled paper shopping bag stamped with Leigh's elaborate logo. "I got you the cutest swimsuit! I thought you might like to go down to the beach with your girlfriends! Maybe you'll run into some cute boys there!"

I looked into the bag and cringed. The bathing suit she had chosen for me was a tiny purple bikini held together with decorative pink and turquoise beaded strands.

"Um... Thank you, Auntie," I stammered, though it was obvious I was not thrilled.

Auntie took immense delight in my embarrassment. "Don't worry, Sweetie! You've got more than enough to fill out that bikini top!"

I felt my face flush beet red. I did not dignify her comment with a response.

With a metallic jingle, Auntie grabbed her jumble of keys off the kitchen counter with her long acrylic nails. She click-click-clicked in her heels from the kitchen to the front door, and I padded wordlessly after her, still in my slippers and green pajamas. With a swoosh of tulle, she was out the door and climbing into her car in the driveway before I could formulate an objection. On the driver's side door, the letters of her employer's shimmery decal ("Fairy Godmother Party Performers: Making Birthday Magic since 1996") were starting to peel off. "Don't worry," she yelled over the grumble of the engine starting. "I just know you'll knock 'em dead! Make good choices!"

As she disappeared around the corner, I wondered what Dad would make of this situation. He probably wouldn't even let me leave the house until I promised to wear a t-shirt over my bathing suit and not talk to strangers. But Dad wasn't here anymore, so I had to rely on myself.

Make good choices!

I peered into the shopping bag and was relieved to find the receipt nestled beside the tangled bikini. My first stop would be at Leigh's clothing store to exchange the laughable bathing suit. Hopefully, he had something in stock that was a little less...revealing.