Closing Time – Episode 13

XIII

She’s not serious. She can’t be.

John?!

“Well, which one were you staring at?”

I shake my head and focus on her. “I wasn’t staring at either one of them.” Not true, but she doesn’t know that.

“Fine.” She rolls her eyes. “So are you gonna tell me who the guy sitting with John is?”

Glancing back over, as if I didn’t know who she was referring to, I shrug. “Can’t remember his name. He came in here the other night.”

“What do you call him?”

Drat. She knows me too well.

“Casanova.”

“As in…”

“Cowboy Casanova.” I refuse to meet her eyes. It suddenly seems lame that I identify my customers by song titles.

“Interesting. I think I’ll go say hi to John.” She saunters off in their direction. Good riddance. Oh, crap, I forgot to ask her about her date. I make a mental note to ask when we get back upstairs.

Resting my hands on top of the lacquered bar, I survey my domain in an attempt to remember why I’m here. Why I’m doing all this. After a few moments, I’m satisfied and step back, my hands hesitating, stuck on something. Ugh.

I reach for the rag to clean it up, and—in some places— really needing to bear down to scrape up the offending substance.

“Will you have lunch with me tomorrow?”

Looking up, I’m caught by cognac-colored eyes and my movements freeze. Casanova again.

“Pardon?”

He tilts his head, as though I’m a curious specimen he’s studying. And waits.

“Why would you want to have lunch with me?”

“I’d like to get to know you. And it’s difficult when you’re constantly pulled away by work.”

“I’m busy.”

“Oh, well, then I’ll just come back tomorrow night. You’re working, right?”

Another night with him distracting me? I stifle the curse that bubbles to my throat.

“I can go to lunch.”

His smile is sinful, and knowing. Bastard. “I’m Damon, by the way.”

“Lucia.”

“I’ll meet you here at eleven-thirty, Lucia.”

With that, he walks out and I watch the back of his closely-shaved head. So few men can cut their hair that close to the scalp, but his head has a beautiful shape. I blink, realizing I’ve been staring. The drink orders keep me busy for the next hour or so, until it’s time to close up.

Ashley and I usher the stragglers to the door and lock up before tackling the cleaning portion of our night.

Time for The Talk. I open my mouth, but she’s faster.

“What’s the deal with you and John? Do you have a thing?” Her face indicates idle curiosity, but her tone implies so much more. This isn’t an innocent question.

“A thing?” This is the second time tonight. Is there something in the water?

“Well, you seem really close.”

“We’re friends.” This might be a good segue. “And we work together, so even if there was—”

“So there is.”

“There is what?” My head is spinning and I’m tired. I’m so not in the mood to return to adolescent theatrics. High School Never Ends.

“Nevermind.” She mumbles something to herself and continues putting stools on the tables so we can sweep.

I’m more than happy to let the matter drop—after a quick warning.

“Ashley, I prefer my employees to keep their personal and professional lives separate.”

She nods, but says nothing. Fine.

We finish in record time and I retire to my apartment.

Gina’s asleep when I get in, so I don’t get to ask her about her date. Just as well. She’d probably ask me about Casanova—Damon—anyway. I should probably start calling him by his real name, so I don’t slip up when I’m talking to him. My insides flutter like butterflies were just released and my movements slow. Did I actually agree to go to lunch with him tomorrow? What was I thinking?

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7 responses to “Closing Time – Episode 13

  1. Yay, love this story

  2. haha, I like this. I love that she associates name titles to people, lol. Too funny. Great excerpt!!! Can’t wait to read more.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Closing Time – Episode 13 | Closing Time -- Topsy.com

  4. Very enjoyable. I am eager to see what happens with Casanova…I mean, Damon!

    The present tense is written so well, I don’t even notice it, it’s natural and effortless. I only clued in because you mentioned it!

    Julie Johnson
    busywriting.net

  5. Dear Noelle,

    I enjoyed your #teasertuesday post very much. It flowed well and I found myself wanting to get to know your protagonist. Tiny details like her applying names of songs to customers and then deriding herself for it add realism that contributes to the natural feel of the work.

    The POV is interesting to me because I will never see the world from there. Intriguing for me. Thanks.

    Looking forward to more.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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