Re: Selina C/Jack P: the (bad) diner
"You're a walking magician's trick. I don't think you're a woman who gives away her story in small print," Jack said it with certainty. Nah, the town was flotsam on the highway, a tiny piece of driftwood and a speck of ink on a map but it had headliners, fishing around in there. The woman who ran the bar, she was running a show fit for a city and Jack had known headliners before.
He gave a laugh full of filth and smoke, and a cough that hacked with too many cigarettes. "I'm here for neither, sweetheart," he bit into the fresh piece of toast, with certainty he read her neither way and up. Broken hearts didn't shatter into precise pieces that fitted back together. They splintered, glass, and it was ugly, shit that couldn't be fixed. Nah, Jack thought if there was a heartbreak in this woman's rear-view it was somebody else's, roadkill.
Generous, maybe. Good at getting the grumpy arsehole in the back to give up the goods. Jack's hand darted out for the coffee, and he tipped three sugar packets into the brew and gulped, the slow-boil of his belly griping over the toast.
"You, generous. You hand out candy-canes and Christmas wreathes?" It was practically restful, asking Cat questions, because Jack knew the answer wouldn't be straight. It would be fixed, glossy and perfect and the edges tamped down so anyone with an interest couldn't see where they ended. No risk run, no story to fall into his palm like a bad Christmas gift.
"Nice work, though." He tipped the coffee cup toward her. Gratitude, red-eyed and bleary.