Home > Dirty (Dive Bar #1)(12)

Dirty (Dive Bar #1)(12)
Kylie Scott

Nothing was said. Though there seemed to be a sadness in his eyes, an understanding. Chris had blue eyes, but different from Vaughan’s. Darker. Flecks of hazel muddied their depths. Chris’s eyes had never struck me as being particularly expressive. Not like Vaughan’s. I guess it was all the secrets he was keeping, all the lies. Eyes as windows to the soul, or not. You can’t see into someone if they won’t let you.

“Honestly? The way I’ve lived my life has worked out shit for me, Vaughan.”

He just stared.

“Apart from letting Chris make me look like a total idiot. I was working with my fiancé, so I’m assuming I’m now out of a job. I gave up my apartment to move into the big house, so I have no idea where I’m sleeping tonight.” I crossed my arms over my breasts, covering up as much as I could. Nothing about laying myself open felt good. Of course, maybe it wasn’t supposed to. Especially not to a veritable stranger.

Whatever. The situation was what it was, and no matter how much anger I worked up at Chris, I’d played my part in getting here. I’d made bad choices. No point pretending otherwise. “It’s not just Chris’s fault, though. I think you could safely say I’m exceptionally shitty at relationships. We were constantly moving around when I was a kid. After a while I just didn’t bother making friends anymore, you know? It’s easier.”

He just watched me.

“I even pretty much kept to myself in college. Just concentrated on study and my waitressing job. Because work is everything, right? The guy I dated was pretty low key too. Neither of us were party animals.” I breathed out through my nose, shoulders slumping. “That romance kind of fizzled out after graduation.”

“Yeah?”

“He had this great opportunity overseas and I just wanted to find somewhere nice and settle. I tried a few different places. Coeur d’Alene was the first one that felt right. I’d make some friends outside of work, get to know my neighbors.” I stared off at nothing, avoiding whatever expression he had on his face. “That’s what’s normal, right?”

“One version of it, sure.”

“Hmm.” God, listening to myself try and explain my life made me want to forcibly throw myself off the nearest cliff. Or have a really full-on spa day. Either would probably do. “Given my history, its amazing I thought I had a clue what I was doing with Chris at all. I was the perfect target for his fuckery.”

I forced a smile. “Idiot is definitely the word.”

“Don’t say that,” he admonished. “You were a little naive maybe, inexperienced. But you’re not an idiot.”

“Thanks. Anyhoo, enough of my pity party. So,” I said, squaring my shoulders and looking him straight in the eye. “I’m guessing you don’t follow the rules or worry about being polite and toeing the line. How’s that working out for you?”

The corner of his lips twitched. “Honestly?”

“Honestly.”

“Shit,” he admitted, lacing his fingers behind his neck.

“Yeah? How deep?”

“Broke, out of work, probably about to lose this place.”

“Wow.” I slumped in my chair. “Aren’t we a pair?”

“Aren’t we?” His self-deprecating smile grew. “No money. No hope. No nothing.”

“Basically.”

His head fell back and he gazed up at the ceiling. The strong lines in his neck were way pronounced in this pose. I couldn’t quite see the tattoo peeking out beneath the collar of his tee. Words, but I’m not sure what. He raised his head enough to look at me from beneath his brows. “They have booze back over the fence at your fancy party?”

“Heaps. Really good stuff too. Lots of craft beer.”

“Nice. We should go steal some.”

I nodded instantly. Crazy ideas deserved support. “We should. It’s half my wedding, it wouldn’t really be stealing. You’re going to have to help me get back over the fence again, though. I think I pulled every muscle from the waist down getting over it the first time.”

“I can help you get back over the fence.”

“Done, then,” I said. “Tomorrow, we figure our lives out. Tonight we’ll toast to our crappy situations and drown our sorrows.”

We smiled at each other in kinship.

“How serious are you about this?” I asked, more curious than afraid. Mostly.

A shrug. “You got to go back there sometime. Might as well make it worth the trip.”

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