Katie Marie Morrison hides behind a flirtatious mask as she serves burgers and peach cobbler at Pops’ Diner. Her bright smile and sarcastic wit hide the devastating knowledge she was just a one-night-stand for the one man she ever loved.
Jeff McAlester, her only lover, returns home for good. But timing is everything and it’s Katie who’s now ready to leave. Despite their rekindled love, she doesn’t want to stay. Can Jeff help Katie learn to live a little and take a second chance on love?
She caught her breath and felt her stomach tighten and twist like a pretzel.
"Yes, this is Katie." Play dumb, don’t let on how it matters, or that you’ve dreamt of that voice for years on end.
"It’s Jeff," he told her, then hesitated a beat too long. "I hope it’s not too late to call."
Of course it wasn’t, he should know that. Despite being a Glen Meadow native, Night Owl Katie had always been at her best this time of day. Jeff knew that, once.
"No, but it’s been a long day and I had to work a double and—"
"Katie?" His rich voice caressed her name the way no one else’s ever had and brought her rambling to a screeching halt.
"I need to see you. I need to talk to you about … things."
She stared at the wall, the pictures hanging there blurred as her gaze went out of focus. Her body felt heavy and numb as she lost her connection to everything but the sound of his voice.
"What … things?"
She heard his weary sigh, could almost feel the weight of it on the phone line. "The past, us. Things."
Katie blinked, her thoughts in a blur. What on earth was he talking about?
"What do you want from me, Jeff? It’s been fifteen years."
Silence. For a moment she thought maybe he hung up on her. It might be for the best.
"Please, Katie? I know I don’t deserve anything from you, but all I want is to talk."
"There’s nothing to say."
"Yes, there is. I’ve got a lot to say. All I need is a few minutes of your time."
If she had learned anything from her granny, it was to be fair and to let the other guy have his say. She couldn’t quite get around that bit of her grandmother’s spirit. The lesson had been so ingrained in her that she just couldn’t tell Jeff to go take a flying leap.
Katie sighed. "Okay, if you really need to do this, I suppose the least I can do is listen. But Jeff, the past is the past. I think it’s best if we just move on."
"I agree, Katie. I agree one hundred percent." She frowned at the eager note in his voice. Maybe he wasn’t interested in rekindling their short romance after all. The idea bruised her ego just a bit. But it would be for the best, wouldn’t it? Of course it would. She needed a romance right now like she needed those dozen cats.
This Blue Plate Special: Pops' Girls novel is available in the 2006 catalog at Moonlit Romance. While you're there, check out the other Pops' Girls titles: Learning to Trust by Laura Hamby, Lessons in Love by Shara Jones, and Pops' Diner (an anthology) by Laura Hamby, Shara Jones and Meg Allison. And don't forget to visit the Pops' Diner website.