Home > When We Met(8)

When We Met(8)
Author: Shey Stahl

Sev takes her drawing and a handful of crayons with her, heading toward the door. “Stops sayin’ a hundred words. My head hurts.”

Lillian watches her walk away, her tears drying. “Did Camdyn really google Barbie sex?”


“Is that like, a thing?”

I frown, disgusted to even consider it and curious at the same time. “I have no idea.”

“And you didn’t say anything?”

I raise an eyebrow. “What was I going to say?”

“So many things come to mind. You should talk to her about it.”

“All things I probably don’t want to discuss.” I tape the orders against the counter. “Now leave me alone. I have work to do.”

As I reach the door, she sighs. “If you hear from Morgan, tell him to call me.”

I open the door. “I won’t.”

I find Sev sitting in front of my toolbox, coloring on the concrete floor. I stand in front of her, sipping my coffee. She holds up a piece of paper with lots of black and purple. I look down at it. “What is it?”

“A witch. She sleeps with Morgan.”

Laughter rolls through me. Jesus Christ. It’s only nine in the morning, and look at everything we’ve done today. “Morgan’s having a bad day, huh?”

Sev’s shoulders lift. “I’m hungry.”

Of course she is.



We all got ’em.




“Stick this in the mail for me.”

Serenity takes the envelope and smirks at the address written on it. It’s the third time she’s sent these papers back to California. “Wonder if she’s going to send them back again?”

“Seeing how I didn’t sign them, probably.”

She laughs, rolling her eyes. “You’re so relentless.”

“When I want something, yes.”

Her cheeks flush. I know Serenity has a crush on me. She’s made it known, but I’ve also made it known, she’s seventeen. And even if she wasn’t, she’s not my type.

“He’s a shrimp.” I stare at the space where Serenity is occupying. Twirling her golden-brown locks around her finger, she takes a drink of her water and then screws the cap back on it. “He thinks with his heart.”

Serenity answers the phones at the shop, and while she’s a nice girl—too nice if you ask me—she’s completely fucking random. Pretty, but again, seventeen. She graduates this spring, can talk your ear off about useless shit, barrel races horses competitively, and wants to be a large animal vet. One, never trust a barrel racer chick, they’re trouble, and two, she knows entirely too many animal facts.

Like shrimp, and octopus sex. I didn’t want to know this, but I do now, so you get to as well. Female octopuses are cannibals and eat the males when they fucking feel like it. Especially during sex because they’re so close to one another. I’m all for some kinky sex and biting, but eating me, uh, no thanks. Could you imagine? Anyways, Serenity informed me one afternoon how this exactly happens. The mating, that is. The male octopus puts his arm penis (yes, one of his arms is actually a dick) into the female’s mouth and prays not to be eaten before he gets off. And if he’s really scared, he detaches his arm, throws it at her, and tells her to go fuck herself. Then he dies a lonely death of exhaustion. Actually, they both die after sex. It’s like a fucked up aqua version of Romeo and Juliet.

Anyways, fearing that’s where this conversation is heading, I don’t like talking to Serenity.

But, despite this, I ask, “Who’s a shrimp?”

Serenity smiles, knowing she’s hooked me in a conversation I want no part of. “Morgan.”

Do you see the way I’m staring at her? The “what the fuck” face and the annoyance. I look at everyone like that, but today it’s pissing me off. I don’t care about Morgan’s shit.

Have I mentioned I hate drama? Yeah, I thought I had, but still, it keeps fucking finding me.

Groaning, I rip my frozen burrito from the microwave, fully intending on eating it cold rather than listening to the office drama.

“You know how they say think with your head, not your heart?”

“Nope. Never heard the saying before.” I eye Sev, who’s sitting inside an excavator pretending to be driving it. I shouldn’t let my kids play on heavy equipment, but I do. Jace, one of my mechanics, is beside her, so I’m not worried.

Serenity throws a plastic fork at my head. “Well, a shrimp’s heart is in their head.”

“Don’t care,” I mumble, taking my burrito with me out the door and into the shop, wishing I’d gotten more sleep.

Here’s another fun animal fact for you. A snail can sleep for three years. Why wasn’t I born a snail?

In the shop, the sounds of air tools and metal hitting metal fill the air. It’s a slow morning, and even slower afternoon, which leaves too much down time to think about all the shit I don’t want to. Like octopus and shrimp. And Morgan. If Tilly knows, and Serenity… I can imagine Morgan’s wife is going to find out soon too.

Jace finds me, the last few months wearing on him, hair all over the place and eyes tired. “Sev’s up there,” he says, nodding to the excavator.

“I saw. You get Virgil’s oil pump done?”

“Yeah, it’s ready for him to pick up.” His eyes land on mine, and then away.

I can tell by the look on his face, he’s tired and pissed off. “You get the invitation?”

He nods.

My heart beats a little faster, knowing the pain he’s probably in. “Shitty. You gonna do somethin’ ’bout it?”

He chews on his lip, his hands shoved in the pockets of his Carhart jeans. “Haven’t decided.”

Jace Vaughn, he’s another country boy who let the girl go thinking it was best for her, not him. Although I wouldn’t say Abbi had a mean bone in her body when she left. Poor timing on their part, maybe, but it doesn’t stop him from being in love with the girl. Now she’s getting married to another man.

Drawing in a weighted breath, he motions to the office. “Lil said Earl called. His backhoe’s stuck in his field again.”

Earl… he ignores every single warning sign that there’s something wrong with his equipment until it quits. “Okay, I’ll stop by after I pick Camdyn up from school. I’ll be back later.”

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