Font Size:  

“And you’re good with that?”

“I’m good with everybody I know… including you… especially you.”

There it was… his country charm. It oozed out of him like sunshine searing through cotton clouds.

“Are you flirting with me, Scotty Belmont?”

“You finally picked up on that, did you?”

“Sometimes it takes me awhile.”

I didn’t want to admit the truth. It made me feel like some sort of bad girl, and I always thought of myself as a good girl… that was until I met up with Mickey Finn in that dark parking lot, in his truck, after work.

“We’ll have to work on that,” he teased.

“Yes, we will,” I told him, teasing right back.

I was in for it now.

Scotty 7

“Dude, I ordered two longneck beers and one white wine,” the tall guy, wearing the black felt cowboy hat, said as he stood on the other side of the bar, trying to get his order right. “Not whatever these are.”

I’d served him two pints and one red wine—order for the blond babe at the other end of the bar.

“Sorry ‘bout that. I’ll have that up for you in a couple minutes,” I told him, totally distracted.

It was a busy Thursday night, and I had my head up my ass. Why? Because, as much as I didn’t want to admit it, especially to Colt, who worked this bar along with me, I couldn’t stop thinking about CindyLou.

Yes, she’d always been that girl I thought back on over the years, that girl who I never got over. That first-love girl I’d lost my heart to before I became jaded and protected my heart at all costs. That girl who I spent the summers watching her doing stupid shit to make those long, hot days pass us by.

That girl I was falling for all over again.

“Okay, dude, you got the beers right, but it’s a white wine, not this pink shit.” I could tell the guy was about to lose his temper if I messed up one more time.

“Got that right here for you. That’s twenty-eight even, partner,” Colt told him, saving my ass.

I took a couple of steps back and let him do his thing. As soon as the guy left, he turned to me, “What’s wrong with you, tonight? You feeling okay or what?”

No way could I admit what I was feeling. Not to Colt when I knew he wouldn’t forgive all the mistakes I’d made so far tonight.

“Distracted is all, but I’ll be okay now.” I knew if I would ever get through this night, I had to let CindyLou go until I had some free time. We’d only opened the doors an hour ago, and the place wasn’t even full yet, but I was already forgetting orders.

“Well, get undistracted. Hot Sugar’s playing tonight.”

“I thought that was next week.”

“You really are distracted, aren’t you? Get a grip and get it fast. They’re on in less than an hour, and we’re gonna get slammed.”

Hot Sugar was a local band that had their start right here at Dirty Coyote. They’d had a song in the top ten on the country charts for the better part of the last two years. Whenever they played, the place edged up to max capacity. Everybody loved them and drove in from every small town within a hundred-mile radius to catch their concert.

Tonight would be no exception.

I had to get my shit together fast, or Tammy would be all over me. There weren’t many things that pissed her off like messing up orders behind the bar and causing customers any kind of grief. Customers were golden to her, and you treated them better than your own family. If you didn’t, you might as well leave because she would fire your ass without warning.

“Got it,” I told him, but I knew part of my brain was still off somewhere, trying to sort out my feelings for CindyLou.

It wasn’t as if we hadn’t shared a woman before, we had, but it hadn’t worked out very well. Mickey got jealous, and everything sort of blew up after that.