Re: Selina C/Jack P: the (bad) diner
No, Cat wasn't a small town kind of woman, and Jack observed this the way he observed most things that moved a little sleeker and a little faster than he did himself these days, admiration and appreciation even without envy a bitter aftertaste. Jack stood out: not just the accent, although, hello, but because he hadn't meshed with Repose through sheer bloody-mindedness. There was nothing to stop him from doing so, getting caught up in the tides and rhythms of the place. No horizon. There were horizons for the woman who wore painted-on denim and grace like a well-cut coat.
"If I gave up doing the same thing, there'd be a vacancy for a town arsehole getting pretentious over Christmas in the newspaper," Jack said, finishing his own coffee, and wincing as the aftertaste sheared his tastebuds.
"I tell all the truths the town has to tell," mild, "Although opening people's eyes to the grand re-opening of the nail place across town, that loses a little of the shine after the third time. I've got a good mother I could flog you, though. Five bucks, you can have her. A little worn, but still good vintage." A flash of a smile, the old kind. He hadn't been the newspaper man who would sell everything that wasn't nailed down for a scoop. Three years, six months, ten days.
He didn't have a chip for that, but he could have. He was too hungover for toes, even if he'd had an aptitude for dancing, and Jack had left those shoes hung up on the back of the door in the big-city apartment. "It's inverse proportions. Actually go to church, believe in the wine and the bread, the blood and the man, and you don't want to flog leftover stock with dancing candy-cane borders. Have not a scrap of belief left in you, you want to shift whatever's sticking around in the stockroom on the back of somebody else's warm fuzzies and 'tis the season."
He studied her toast. "You want to be charitable for the season, you could donate me your last slice. Starving excuse for a newspaper editor that I am." Grin.