Wasted Words

By: Staci Hart

“Well, then she’s smart too. Thank God you friendzoned her from the jump,” he said with a laugh and took a drink.

“We friendzoned each other,” I corrected.

“Whatever. So are you coming out tonight or what?”

“Or what,” I answered, thankful for the change of subject. “I’ve got work in the morning.”

“So do I, and it’s not stopping me.”

“Well, apparently I don’t have the job security you do.”

He chuckled. “All right, all right. Would this weekend work better for you, Princess? So you can get your precious beauty rest?”

I rolled my eyes with a smile. “Yeah, this weekend could work.”

“Good. Then it’s settled. We’ll get drunk, get you laid, hang out with the boys. It’ll be everything you need.”

“If you say so,” I muttered, not at all interested.

“I say so.”

“Then how could I argue?”

Kyle held up his glass, smile bright. “Cheers to that, motherfucker.”

I raised my glass to his with a clink and we drank, Kyle draining his in a single shot. He set the glass on the bar and stood, fishing in his back pocket for his wallet.

“Leaving already?”

“Yeah, this place gives me the fucking willies, dude.” He tossed a twenty on the bar and slapped me on the shoulder. “It’s good to see you, brother. This weekend, it’s on.”

I smiled. “Good to see you too. Good luck tonight.”

He laughed. “Oh, luck’s got nothing to do with it. Don’t get crazy here in the bookstore, okay?”

“Hey, don’t joke. You haven’t seen this place when the new comic book issues come out.”

He narrowed his eyes in concentration. “It’s like you’re trying to talk to me, but I can’t understand a word,” he joked before turning, calling over his shoulder, “Later, man.”

I raised a hand in parting.

Cam didn’t come back until he was gone, and she had an overdone smile on her face.

I raised a brow. “What’s that look all about?”

“I was told if I don’t have anything nice to say not to say anything. Plus, I made a promise to a good buddy that I wouldn’t give him shit about his assbag friend who looked like he was scared of books.”

I laughed. “I think you’re right. About him being afraid of books, that is.”

She leaned on the bar, smiling sweetly at me. “They don’t bite. Much.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle, leaning toward her too. “Don’t let him know, or he might come back,” I said conspiratorially.

“Your secret’s safe with me.”



TYLER SMILED AT ME FROM across the bar, and I sighed, content with his company. You know, as many matches as I’d made, I’d never attempted to set Tyler up. The reason was simple: Tyler deserved the absolute best, and I hadn’t found anyone for him yet that lived up to my expectations for him. Not that I’d looked super hard, but that was beside the point.

Bayleigh pushed through the double doors just in front of the bar, waving at me cheerily as she walked past. “Hey, Cam.”

“How’s it going, Bayleigh?”

She made her way behind the bar and shoved her purse into the cubby where we kept our stuff. When she stood, she ran her hands through her blond hair, pulling it into a ponytail. “Weird question, but could you call me Leigh?”

My brow furrowed. “Sure, but why?”

She sighed and rolled her big, brown eyes. “It’s dumb.”

“I doubt that. Come on, what happened?”

“Well, I’m just sick to death of everybody spelling my name wrong. I went to get coffee this morning, and the barista spelled it Baylee. Not that it matters — I mean, it’s just coffee. But it’s gotten to the point that I spell my name to everyone I meet, whether it matters or not. Like, I met a guy the other night, and when I spelled my name he looked at me like I was crazy. So I’m trying on nicknames. At least there’s a chance someone will spell my name right if it’s more common. Leigh seemed like the obvious choice.”

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