Twist:A Dive Bar Novel(9)

By: Kylie Scott



With all the body-shaping underwear, lip gloss, heels, and tiny dress, you could almost say I’d been fibbing about who I was. His lie, however, left my Spanx and push-up bra way behind.

We both stayed silent, watching each other warily.

A cute, perky waitress appeared, smile stretched wide at the sight of Joe. A curious gaze looked me over, then dismissed me. I swear, it took the woman no more than a nanosecond to decide I wasn’t any competition for my disheveled, hirsute, tattooed companion. Little did she know I’d always thought Jean Grey in X-Men got it right, Cyclops was a way better bet than Wolverine. All of that testosterone and bad attitude mixed with a scruffy face and general give no shits about his appearance was not so wonderful. In all honesty, I’d take cool, calm, and well kept over anger management and body hair issues any day of the week. Joe was all hers. She turned slightly and hitched her hip, subtly blocking me out of the conversation.

Oh yeah, I’d be leaving her a real big tip. Something along the lines of “fuck off.”

“Hey,” purred the waitress. “Good to see you, Joe.”

“Hi, Jess.”

“The usual?”

Joe turned to me, apparently unaware he was being oh so obviously hit on. Interesting, his eyes were hazel in the sun, chocolate brown flecked with amber. Last night they’d seemed dark and furtive, brimming over with secrets and lies, but this morning, he was just a guy. Funnily enough, one I thought I’d known, though it turned out I hadn’t had a clue. Or maybe it was the other way around. I thought I hadn’t known much about him, but actually in a strange sort of way I did—which only complicated things further.

“They do great coffee and fresh juices here,” he said. “Excellent pancakes. Sound good?”

“Sure.”

Again, a small, safe smile, then he ordered for both of us. I did my best to tune out Joe and the waitress. Proving she had all the moves, however, cute, perky waitress then placed a hand on the table and leaned forward, giving the man a clear view down her shirt. All right, so I might have had a bit of breast envy on account of my minimal mammaries. And yeah, care of recent events and my head cold, my mood registered right around crap level. But if she was the universe’s way of messing with me, in an effort to pass along the message that Joe was in fact attractive, well … duh. I already knew that. Beards and bulk were on many a woman’s wish list. They just hadn’t been on mine. Could be I’d watched Keanu Reeves in The Matrix one too many times. That slick dark hair and cool outfits. Rawr.

“Are you sure I can’t get you anything else, Joe?” she asked, sucking on the end of her pen in a manner that would have made a porn star feel mildly uncomfortable.

“No, I think we’re good.” Joe looked my way. “Alex?”

“All good over here.”

“Thanks, Jess.”

“Tell Eric I said hi,” said the waitress.

Joe gave her a friendly smile. “Will do.”

With a wiggle of the fingers, cute waitress sashayed her tiny little butt back off inside. Yes, fine. I’m a little sensitive about the size of my ass too. In all honestly, my issues are many.

“Friendly girl,” I muttered, hunkering down in my black wool coat.

Joe said nothing.

“Hypothetical question,” I said, my chin inching up a bit. “A waiter hits on the woman you’re with, what do you do?”

He blinked. “There a reason for this question?”

“Just curious.” I shook my head. “Never mind.”

It’s not like it mattered, because after this unfortunate breakfast we’d probably never cross paths again. So the waitress had rubbed me the wrong way. Such was life. Let it go. Move forward. Blah blah blah.

He cleared his throat. “If a waiter hits on the girl I’m with, I do nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“Not unless it’s upsetting her.”

Hmm. “Why only then?”

“If it’s not upsetting her, then the problem’s mine.” He settled back in his chair, stretching out his long legs and crossing them at the ankle. “Make a big deal out of it and I look like a jealous douchebag who doesn’t trust his woman to ignore that sort of shit.”

“What if she enjoys that sort of shit?”

“Then I’m with the wrong woman.”

“Huh.”

“What about you? What if a man you were on a date with started flirting with the waitress?”

“Then I’m out of there.” I sighed and stared off down the street. Downtown Coeur d’Alene was a pretty place. And a somewhat strange one. “That is a very colorful moose.”

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