A Chance at Love (A Ferry Creek Novel): (a billionaire romance novel) (9 page)

BOOK: A Chance at Love (A Ferry Creek Novel): (a billionaire romance novel)
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I
don

t care about the day of
the week.


You
should. Jack was looking for you this morning. He went with Tyler to cut down
some trees.


Goodie
boy cop?

Darryl asked and
laughed.

Is he coming to
see me now? Going to break my balls a little?


Darryl,
stop this,

Jess said.

Stay there.


No,

Bobby said as he stood near
Jess now.

No. He

s coming with me. Right to the
counter. Let

s go.


But
I like the table,

Darryl
said sarcastically.

Bobby leaned down and looked into
Darryl

s eyes. They were
eyes of hate and pain. A very deadly mix that worried Bobby.


Get
your ass up,

Bobby said
through gritted teeth.

Get
to the damn counter. Drink a cup of coffee and tell me what the hell you

re trying to prove.


If
I don

t?

Darryl asked.


I

ll run your bike over with my
truck,

Bobby said.

And nobody will stop me or help
you. Get the hell up right now.


Listen
to him,

Jess said.

Please, Darryl.

Darryl leaned back and stretched
his neck. He put his hands to the edge of the table and pulled. He slid out of
the booth and stood, standing taller than both Jess and Bobby. The height and
size of Darryl was a little intimidating but Bobby couldn

t back down now. Darryl put an
arm around Jess and pulled her close.


I

m doing this for her,

he said.

Not you, her.


I
don

t care who you do it
for,

Bobby said.

Get to the counter.


Sir,
yes, sir,

Darryl said with
his lip curled.

Darryl kissed the top of Jess

s head and walked. Bobby stood
sideways, keeping an eye on both of them.


Are
you okay?

he asked Jess.


Bobby,
I

m so sorry,

Jess said.

He... I... something

s wrong.


Take
a five minute break,

Bobby
said.

Tyler is on his way,
just in case.


That
won

t help,

Jess said.

Darryl and Tyler have history.


Everyone
in this damn town has history,

Bobby said.

But we

re not in the past, Jess, we

re in the present...

Bobby stopped but thought about
adding,
and we

re
waiting for the future...

Jess

s
eyes filled with tears and she stormed away. Bobby considered going after her
and apologizing but he wanted to tend to Darryl first. He went to the counter
and filled a mug with coffee. He slid it to Darryl, splashing some of it up and
over the edge.


Cream?

Darryl asked.


No,

Bobby said.

Drink it black. And here...

Bobby threw a wet towel at
Darryl.

... clean your
mess.

Darryl stared at the wet rag and
then slid it across the counter, seeping up the coffee that had spilled. Darryl
took a sip, then another. And a third.


Now,
I don

t know what is going
on,

Bobby said,

but I

m not in the mood to deal with it. You

re not going to come in here,
Darryl, and cause problems for the diner. Are you drunk right now?


No,

Darryl said.

Slept most of it off down near
the creek.


You

re sleeping at the creek now?


Had
a nice fire last night,

Darryl said.


You
want to live like this motorcycle riding bad ass rambler, why not just go then?

Darryl held the mug with both hands
and stared into the mug.

Just
can

t leave.


You
can

t leave Ferry Creek?


No.
I can

t. It

s... comfortable.


Yeah.
You sure know how to show that.


It

s just not a good day today for
me.


So
ruin it for everyone else,

Bobby said. He felt like he was talking to his son, Billy.

What are you trying to prove,
acting like this?


Just
looking for a date with my girl,

Darryl said.

Is that a
crime?


No,
and neither is acting like an ass,

Bobby said.

But here, in
my diner, it doesn

t
happen.


Your
diner, huh?


My
diner,

Bobby said.

Not sure what my father had
arranged for you. Seems he had things in order for a lot of people in town.
That

s fine by me, but I
won

t tolerate someone
acting like you just did.


Your
father

s a good man,

Darryl said.

He looked at Bobby with his head
back enough that Bobby noticed a big scar under Darryl

s chin. It was visible through the scruff on his
face because the hair didn

t
grow there.


I
never said my father wasn

t,

Bobby said.


No.
He

s a damn good man.
Honest. Hardworking. Nice, too. Really nice. I hate to see him like this, you
know? I feel like, I don

t
know, like I

m losing my
father or something.

The words took Bobby back for a
second. He knew his father was a good man and took care of a lot of people. He hadn

t really had the time to sit and
reflect on everything his father had done. His father had been healthy one day
and then dying the next. Bobby had been thrust into taking over the diner and
now waited for a phone call to find out if he had a brother.


Well,
I

m glad my father had that
kind of impact around here,

Bobby said.

Darryl pointed at Bobby. His face
turned mean again.

You don

t get it, man. You left. You
went and did your own thing.


You
didn

t?

Bobby asked.

Big bad biker, right?


I
came back.


I
heard you only stayed because you got hurt.


Because
of your father,

Darryl
said.

He started to stand from the stool.
His hands were flat on the counter.


You
look pissed off,

Bobby
said, knowing he was taunting Darryl just a little.

What else do you have to say?


You
have no idea,

Darryl said.

You have no idea, Bobby.
What I

ve seen. What I

ve went through. What your
father did. What he means. And you couldn

t
even keep your wife happy, could you?

Bobby jumped at Darryl. He had a
handful of Darryl

s shirt
and the coffee mug tipped over. Eyes were on them from everyone in the diner.
Peggie came rushing to Bobby

s
side and grabbed his arm. Her dagger like nails sunk into his skin.


Bobby,

she said.

Don

t.


Don

t do it,

Darryl whispered.

Bobby saw Tyler come through the
front door of the diner. He saw the scene at the counter and rushed to throw
his hands into the mix of it all.


Enough
of this,

Tyler said.

He grabbed Darryl

s arm and pulled it behind his
back. Bobby let go of Darryl and stepped back as Peggie stood in front of him.


Quit
acting like kids,

Peggie
said.


I

ve got it under control,

Tyler said.

Darryl twisted and turned, escaping
Tyler

s hold. He stood nose
to nose with Tyler. That

s
when Bobby realized just how big Tyler actually was. The man was so nice and calm
all the time, his size never really showed through.


If
I wanted to restrain you, I would,

Tyler said.


Tough
guy,

Darryl said.

Bobby stepped forward and Peggie
threw an elbow to his gut, stopping him.


Knock
if off,

she demanded.


Why

s he talking to a cop like that?

Bobby asked.


You
don

t get it,

Peggie said.


I

m not a tough guy,

Tyler said.

Not like you, right?


What
an ass,

Darryl said.


Don

t think I don

t know what today is, Darryl,

Tyler said.

I

m
giving you one chance right now. Get on your damn bike and go for a ride. Clear
your mind and go visit her grave.


Visit
her grave,

Darryl said.

That

s all you have to offer. You know what, Tyler, you

re a piece of-

Tyler pulled Darryl forward and
turned to throw him out of the way. Darryl stumbled but didn

t fall. He walked a few steps
and then looked over his shoulder.


Thanks,
Tyler,

he said.

Always watching me walk away.

Once Darryl left, Peggie grabbed
the rag Darryl had used to wipe up the small coffee spill and went to work on
the larger spill caused by Bobby. Tyler stood at the counter and Bobby noticed
the look on his face.

He was hurt.


Everyone
okay?

Tyler asked.

The people at the counter all
murmured their own versions of
yeah
.


Nothing
damaged,

Bobby said.

Sorry I did what I did there,
too. He made a comment about my ex and I snapped.


Don

t blame you,

Tyler said.

Jess came from the kitchen area,
her eyes a little puffy.


Jess,

Tyler said.

Are you okay?


Yeah.
I hate when he gets like that.


He
has his reasons,

Tyler
said.


Wish
he

d tell me about them,

Jess said.

Bobby watched the look between Jess
and Tyler. He couldn

t
figure out why they didn

t
just jump into each other

s
arms. It seemed to be the most obvious thing in Ferry Creek, but nobody spoke
of it.

Before anything else could happen,
Bobby

s phone began to
ring.

This was it.

Bobby rushed to the back and
answered the phone but didn

t
say hello until he was in his office. He crashed to his chair and looked at the
cork board above the desk. It was covered with bills, bounced checks, invoices,
colored pictures from Billy and Claire, a one dollar bill that looked older
than dirt, and some pictures of his father.

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