Authors: Ivy Sinclair
Leed Lake Publishing
Kindle Edition, License Notes
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His eyes were blue. That
kind of stormy blue that
could blaze a
trail right into your soul
and there would be nothing you could do about it
. Mel realized that she had been caught staring as
that sentiment crossed
her mind. She immediately dropped her eyes
and made her arm continue its swirling motion wiping off the tabletop of the booth in front of her.
It was a Monday afternoon, the wor
st possible shift to work at the Rumbling Roc
k Bar and Grill. Mel hated Mondays. The hours stretched into an endless ocean
and she frequently
she was bobbing along in a boat with no engine
. But she was the newest waitress on staff
and until she built up her tenure, she was stuck with the shifts that nobody else wanted.
When she arrived for her shift thirty minutes ago though, the
man sitting at
the bar had drawn her attention. T
he normally abysmal shift suddenly
much more palatable with that kind of scenery
Mel cut a glance back across the room, but the man's gaze had returned to the highball glass in front of him. Occasionally he would pick it up, swirl it around a few times, and then return it to the bar without pulling it to his lips.
Even if he wasn’t devastatingly gorgeous, h
was the only patron at the bar, so it was hard
to look at him
long legs planted firmly on the floor
in front of the stool
told her that he was taller than averag
e, and his trim waist paired with
a set of broad s
told her that he
saw the inside of the gym. His hair was so black that it shone even under the meager light of the hanging bar lights above his head. There was a five o'clock shadow across his cheeks, b
ut that was the only part of his appearance
ed the slightest bit casual. The
dark blue pin-stripe suit
ensured that he looked
ut of place at the Rumbling Rock,
but the man didn't seem to care.
She wondered what
could have possibly
drawn the man to her dive bar on the edge of
. There was nothing p
retentious or glamorous about the bar
. It was far from the trendy bars and restaurants downtown that catered to the people who cared about such things. Mel knew
that better than most. One day, not all that long ago, she had been one of those people. T
hat had been before her life fell apart. That had been the
life that she left behind without a second glance over six months ago.
Perhaps that was what fascinated her about this man. He was a real-life, slightly painful reminder of what she had given up, and seeing him there dredged up memories of things that were better left in the past. She was alternately intrigued and annoyed with him. Of course, he sat there, nursing his drink, completely oblivious to the rush of emotions
evoked inside of her.
Now that she knew what color his eyes were
, she thought that she coul
d forget that he was there. Mel’s responsibility was
the tables in
dining area while
kept an eye
anyone who sat at the
bar. It was just the two of them on Monday afternoons, and Mel was pretty certain that Max would have preferred to be anywhere else than stuck
with her inside the dingy bar
The feeling was mutual.
The creak of the heavy, wooden front door brought the welcome distraction she had been waiting for: customers. She was
to see that they weren't just any customers though; Barry and Bud Parker were regulars and the sight of them
made her stomach clench uncomfortably
. Barry and Bud were twins
dn't have looked more different in appearance.
Barry was tall and thin, his plain boyish face belying the fact that he must be at least forty
years old. Bud was short
and carried a wide girth around
his belt line. His face was tight and seemed dressed in a permanent scowl.
What they had in common was that they were
rude, egotistical, and lousy tippers.
Mel said a silent prayer hoping t
hey'd make their way to the bar and
then Max could deal with them
the two men sidled right past it
. The brothers were talking
at a job site, but that didn't stop Bud from giving her a lewd wink as he shoved his stout body into one side of a booth
on the far side of the dining room
Her feet dragged as she approached the table. Barry stopped talking as his eyes lit on her face. "Well, hello there Mel! A
ren't you a sight for sore eyes?”
Barry never had a better pick-up line than stupid
. Mel thought that he was
harmless outside of his lame verbal attempts to attract her attention,
wasn’t willing to bet on that assumption
"Barry, Bud," she said in a crisp greeting as she pulled out her order pad. "Usual?" She wanted to get away from them as quickly as possible.
"We're celebrating today, Mel. Bring us a pitcher to start," Bud said.
Mel groaned inside. If the brothers were starting to drink already, that meant they'd be there all afternoon. When Bud got drunk, his hands started to wander, and Mel didn't think that she'd be able to stop herself from decking him if he "accidentally" grabbed her ass one more time. She gave serious consideration to telling Max that she felt sick and needed to go home.
"Comin' right up," she said
as she turned on her heel.
The conversation resumed behind her. She took her time making her way to the bar,
salt and pepper shakers and napkin bin
on several on the
tables. All too soon she reached
waitress station at the
end of the bar
door that led into the kitchen
. She intended to busy herself with as many small, invisible tasks as possible
for the next few hours
that kept her out of reach of Bud Parker.
"A pitcher of Light," she said to Max, who leaned nonchalantly against the bar
ading a car magazine.
The biggest difference that she could see between her and Max
as that Max would do everything he could
do a lick of work
during his shift.
She preferred to be busy. It helped keep her thoughts from wandering into unwanted places.
Max grunted in re
ply and moved to the beer tap
. As Mel started to enter the order into the POS system, she saw that the blue-eyed man, who
at the opposite end of the bar, now appeared to be studying her. Mel tried to
she didn't notice.
She was used
to men checking her out,
but then her mind
lanked on the entry code for a
pitcher of beer. She stood there, feeling the weight of the man's stare, before
give into a bit of spontaneity
et his eyes full-on. Although her life had been turned upside down, she was still the same person, and old Mel wouldn't
under an attractive man's gaze. The old Mel would have eaten him for dinner.
She had to give him credit. Caught staring, he didn't even flinch the way that she had done
when he caught her
earlier. If anything, she sensed a kind of curiosity there. Mel decided to try an experiment. She raised her hand, pulled her lips into a seductive grin, and fluttered her fingers at him. The
man's eyebrows shot up and he frowned
his eyes. Mel was left feeling embarrassed and slightly mortified.
"Here," Max's looming form blocked her line of sight to the man at the end of the bar as he set a pitcher of fo
amy beer in front of her. "You tell those two that if they get
loud, I'm kicking them out."
"Sure, sure," Mel said, rolling her eyes. "You always say that.
Thing is, you never actually do it.
"This time I mean it," Max said.
took the pitcher and sighed as she p
ut in on a tray with two beer mugs
. Max talked a big game, but he wasn't a fighter regardless of his
form. Plus that
kind of thing
would require him to
do something above and beyond
his normal duties
, and Max put in nothing but the minimal effort.
Mel took her time wal
king back to the booth, and set the tray down on the edge. She quickly slid
the pitcher and glasses off of it. She knew that Bud was staring at her cleavage.
The required uniform at the Rumbling Rock was a tight, nearly transparent low cut t-shirt.
htened and took a step back. That
extra few inches ensured she was out of Bud's reach, which made her glad as she saw the gleam of lust in his eyes. He hadn't taken them off of her chest. He slowly licked his lips
and Mel felt like a wave of disgust.
"Just keep 'em comin'," Bud said. "Like I said, we're celebrating. You should grab a glass and join us, Mel.
I'd rather roast in Hell
, she thought. "I'm working, Bud."
Bud looked around the empty room. "Looks
like you have some
to fit us in
ignored his comment
and walked away. She had no desire to be drawn into further discussion with either Parker brother. That was when she saw that the
at the bar
watching her again.
Mel stormed into the back room to get a broom, u
o embarrass herself any further
floor that she swept twenty minutes ago
no doubt needed to be swept again.