Jilted Groom(10)

By: Mia Carson

Grabbing the information for him, she shoved loose strands of hair from her face and marched out of the garage. Several people stood outside the inn, staring up at the windows. Kris paused before she crossed the street and pushed her way through them. Edmund might be able to afford the repairs, but she doubted he’d survive nearly two weeks in her town where people couldn’t keep their noses to themselves.

“Excuse me,” Kris said as she reached the front door of the inn.

“Where are you going?” Molly, a woman her age who worked in the retail shop down the street, asked.

“To see my latest customer,” she said and hoped that would be the end of it.

Molly rushed around her and blocked her path. “Wait, that hot guy is your new customer?”

“His Mustang broke down outside of town,” Kris explained. “Can I please go deliver the news to him about his car?”

“What’s his name? How long is he staying? Can you introduce me?” Molly rattled on, and Kris burst out laughing. “What? A new guy comes to town and I can’t be excited?”

“You sound like a stalker.” Kris smirked. “Give the guy a night to settle in before you throw your brand of crazy at him.” She tried to move again, but Molly held her back, bouncing on her heels. “Weren’t you just dating Benji?”

“Was, past tense,” Molly said, brushing the words away with a wave of her hand.

Kris pried her hand free gently and stepped backwards into the inn. “Let him have tonight to deal with the bad news of his car. Tomorrow, I’ll be sure to send him to the diner for lunch. You can bump into him then.”

Molly pouted but finally nodded. “You’re right. I’ll back off for the moment, but I call dibs.”

Laughing, Kris walked up to the front desk and rang the bell. “All yours, Molly, I want nothing to do with him.”

“I don’t know why not. You’re single, too.”

“Thanks for reminding me,” Kris muttered and rang the bell again. “Grams!”

“I’m coming, child,” she yelled back. “Give an old woman a break.”

“Just tell me what room the new guy’s in,” she called back.

“Check the ledger,” Grams said grumpily. “My back’s acting up again.”

Kris walked around the front desk and peeked into the back office to see Grams with her feet up in the old camo recliner, a bowl of popcorn on her lap, a beer in hand, and her favorite soap playing on the old tube TV. Crossing her arms over her chest, Kris leaned on the doorframe and eyed her Grams.

“Your back hurts, huh?”

Grams glanced up and shrugged. “Horrible. Partially numb today,” she added, throwing an extra moan of pain in there for emphasis.

Kris shook her head as she checked the ledger for Edmund’s room. “You have quite a crowd out front, you know,” she said over her shoulder as she flipped through the pages until she found the right date.

“You know how this town is. It’ll be a damn circus if he stays too long.”

Kris tapped her finger on the page with his information, closed the ledger, and tucked it away again. “Well, bad news for you, Grams, he’s going to be stuck her for a long while. His car’s dead.”

“Damn. Well, about time something exciting happened around here.”

“You watch too many soaps. Nothing’s going to happen, except Molly’s going to scare him off,” Kris breathed and headed down the hall and around the corner to inform Edmund about the condition of his car.

She reached room number four and raised her hand to knock, but she spotted the oil covering her hand and paused. She’d been sweating hard the last hour and probably stank, her hair was dirty, and she probably had a few grease streaks on her face, too. Her jumpsuit hadn’t been washed in a week. Her other hand bore several bandages from scrapes she’d managed to get digging around under the hood of his car. She nibbled her tongue between her teeth but decided this rich boy came to her town. She wasn’t about to go home, shower, and put on fresh clothes just for him. Raising her fist again, she knocked on his door and waited.

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