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And now on with the story…
Chase had watched Lana patiently as she served her customers. The sway of her hips was hypnotizing, and her jeans hugged long, muscular legs. Despite being distracted by her body, he realized after about the third table that she never took anyone’s order. And the customers never argued with what they got.
When she carried a tray over to their table, he straightened his back, ready to say something flirty to her when she handed him whatever she’d decided he’d want. But she had nothing for him. She gave his friends a round of rum and Cokes, which he couldn’t recall ever seeing them drink.
One of them said, “Thanks, Lana, I’ve been looking forward to this all day.”
Disappointed when she left without even glancing at him, Chase stood up and started a game of pool. He felt childish declaring to himself he’d ignore her. It sure as hell wouldn’t do any good because she’d never notice.
He’d sunk a few balls before she appeared next to him at the table. He had to force himself to rise slowly so he wouldn’t seem like an eager puppy hoping she’d take him home. He gave a wide smile that froze and vanished when he saw the Zima in her hand.
A picture of his dead wife knocking one back flashed through his mind.
He didn’t even think Zima was made anymore. How in the hell did she get one?
“How did you know I hate that drink?” His voice cut through the air, and he realized all his friends had shut up and were staring.
At the last second he noticed the inviting smile in her eyes right before they switched to shock. She swayed.
He was somehow off script. His head told him he should get the hell out of this Hotel California setting while he still could, but something in his heart whispered to take the drink. Not something, someone: his dead wife.
He grabbed the Zima from her and said with a softened voice, “I didn’t even know they still made this.” Before he changed his mind, he chugged it. With each swallow the bar returned to normal. He was at Milly’s, not Harrigan’s. He’d known Lana forever. She always knew the right drink to give him. It was good to remember Glenna tonight. Their time together had been way too short, but it had been fun…yeah fun. Hell they were young back then. They’d lived exactly like they’d wanted to, and he should have no regrets. He finished it and handed the empty bottle back to her with a smile. “Thanks.”
Her shoulders relaxed like she’d been worried about something. Lana never worried. Maybe he should ask her what was wrong.
But she beat him to it. “I’ll come by for a game when I have a break.”
She left without waiting for an answer. He couldn’t remember having a real conversation with her. He should get to know her, not just order drinks from her on a Friday night. He turned back to the pool game hoping it wouldn’t be too long before she came back.