Christy is my sister from another mister. She’s inspired me and informed some of my characters! Today is her birthday! I’m super excited to share her favorite scene today as a bonus.

*Copyright: This material is protected by copyright owned by Meg Farrell, Farrell Writes LLC. 2016

Kate takes a break from her rant about the asshole at work to ask about my day. I shrug her off because I don’t want to rehash the whole interview process. It’s boring as hell. I take a big drink off my beer, and when I put the bottle down. I simply tell her, “Nothing major happened. Average day in the cube life.”

“Just average?” I look up to see Justin standing by our table with a friend I remember from his lunch group. I never even saw them come in the bar.

I’m stunned by the fact he’s here, and this is the third time today we have “run into each other.” Something starts to feel not random about it, but I can never tell if it’s a real feeling or my paranoia getting the better of me. I narrow my eyes at him before I answer, “Nothing major. Just average.”

He laughs, and it is a great laugh. Oh God. I decide how much I like that laugh. Something inside me melts. My resolve and suspicions become cloudy. My mind aches as I try to resist the urge, but my body doesn’t listen to my mind around him. I find myself smiling. Fail. Kate invites them to sit down.

Justin looks at me, before sitting. “Are you okay with us staying?”

He’s asking you, dummy. I chastise myself. Stammering, I answer as I start sliding over to make room, “Yeah, sure. Why not?”

Justin slides in beside me while his friend takes a seat next to Kate. Justin introduces his friend, Cameron, to us. Cameron’s gaze haven’t left Kate’s boobs since I noticed the guys standing beside the table. She’s eating it up! This is the kind of attention she loves in a social setting.

I steal another look at Justin, and he’s pulling that knit hat off his head, tucking into the inner pocket of his seriously worn-out leather jacket. The booth is small and he’s close enough to me that I smell the leather of his jacket. He’s smoothing his hair, and every move he makes sends more of his smell my way.

It reminds me of my father; an earthy mix of cologne, faint cigarettes, and an old truck. It’s intoxicating. Memories spill through my mind, taking me on a quick journey back to my childhood home. I lean toward him, eyes closed, taking a long, deep breath. When I open my eyes and look at him, his bright eyes are smiling down at me.

“Nice, right?”

Busted. I smile sheepishly. “I can’t help myself, I love real leather.”

He nods his agreement. “It was my Dad’s. I stole it in middle school, and I’ve been wearing it ever since.”

“Was the hat your Dad’s too?” I ask.

“That? Uh, well, no. That’s a gift.”

“A gift? From who?” Please don’t say girlfriend. I suddenly care too much about this answer. It doesn’t matter if he has a girlfriend. It’s not like I want to date him. Maybe jump him, but not date.

He laughs. “It was a gift from my aunt. She knits.”

I puzzle it over for a moment and then ask the one question that’s been bothering me since he sat down at our table, “So, Justin, are you stalking me?”

His laugh is booming as I, apparently, struck him as completely hilarious. Tears form in the corners of his eyes, and he gasps for air. Looking at me, he seems to be shocked I’m not laughing. His eyes widen before he answers, “What? Stalking? No.”

I raise my eyebrow in an expression that tells him I doubt his answer. “Really? Today at work was explainable by the printer. Lunch was easy enough to connect by your proximity to work. But, dude, tonight? Tonight is stalking territory. There’s no good explanation for how we have run into each other ‘randomly.’” I do air quotes. “Three times in the same day.”

His eyebrows pull in as he frowns. “There’s a great explanation for all of that.” Something occurs to him and his expression changes from frustrated to cocky. “You just fail to see it.”

This pisses me off, but I’m going to hold back and give him a chance to explain. “Why don’t you explain what I fail to see, then?” I demand as I cut my eyes at him.

The grin that moves from the corner of his mouth to his entire face is entirely too adorable. I need another beer. He starts to answer, but I put my hand on his mouth. “Wait. I need a beer before you try to sell me some bullshit.”

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