Death is a Drag — Chapter 2
Just then she saw Constable McGuyver come in. He smiled at her as he headed for a table where a couple others were already sitting. They smiled and invited him to join them.
Everyone liked Chet McGuyver. He was a good police officer, even if he was a little bit of a stickler for rules. People knew that he genuinely cared about the town when they saw him stopping to make sure an elderly lady got safely across the street or helping a little boy get his kite out a tree or stopping to chat with the teenagers hanging out at the Tim Horton’s. But if you were breaking a law — well, he wouldn’t let you get away with it that’s for sure.
Jodie liked him the first time she saw him. Maybe it was his height and stature that made her feel safe when he was around. Or maybe it was his blue eyes that made her feel like she could trust him with her heart and soul. Or maybe it was his gentle voice that made her lean in just a little closer so that she wouldn’t miss a thing he said. Whatever it was, Jodie was starting to feel things — things she hadn’t felt for anyone except Ryan.
When she saw that Kasey was busy with another table, she went over to greet him.
“Hi Chet. How are you doing?”
“Good Jodie. And you?”
“Oh, you know how it is. Just trying to keep up to this lunch rush! Can I get your order? Kasey is a little busy, it seems.”
“Sure,” Chet said, “I’ll just have my usual.”
She already knew what that was. He came in for lunch three times a week, and each time he had a hot turkey sandwich with a bowl of whatever the soup of the day was. And a glass of Dr. Pepper.
“No problem. I’ll put your order in.”
“Thanks, Jodie. You take such good care of everyone.”
“My pleasure,” she said. If only he knew how much of a pleasure she felt that it was when she was around him. Would he figure it out on his own?
She was on her way to the kitchen when she spotted Manya Petrov waving at her out of the corner of her eye. But she knew she’d forget to put Chet’s order in if she didn’t do it right away, so she waved back at her and her boyfriend, Jake McCumber and called out, “Be right there!”
After she put Chet’s order in, she went to see Manya. Manya was a beautiful Russian woman that many of the girls did not like to serve because she could get a little bit testy. But Manya seemed to like Jodie, and she was always eager to get her attention.
“Jodie! So nice to see you taking orders today! Will you be serving us?”
“I’m not really taking orders. Kasey’s just a little overwhelmed. I can take yours though if you want.”
“I would love for you to take our order. Jake love, what are you having? Would you like a nice fat burger today? Or something else? What about the special?”
“Sure, anything is fine.”
Jake was a quiet man, although Jodie had heard that he was an ex-boxer in his youth and that he had to quit because his temper often got away from him and he almost killed a guy in the ring. It was hard to believe.
“Bring Jake the special and a bowl of soup.”
“And for you?”
“Oh, me? Just coffee. I’m watching my weight, you know.”
Manya didn’t have to watch her weight, but she often did, anyway. She was tall and thin and had a dark mane of curly hair that hung over her shoulders and framed her perfect skin. It was impossible to guess how old she was. She could be anywhere from 30 to 50.
Jodie smiled and wrote their order down on a notepad.
“Ok — I’ll put your order in.”
“Wait — guess where we are going next month?”
“We are going on vacation to Greece!”
“Are you? That’s exciting!”
“Yes. If everything goes right, this time next month I will be basking in the sun on a beautiful Greek island.”
“I hope everything works out Manya. You deserve to enjoy yourself.”
“I do, don’t I?”
Jodie smiled. “I’ll go put your order in.”
As she was rushing to the kitchen, Branson Styles walked in the door and stood at the counter.
“Hey Branson,” she waved. “I’ll be right there.”
Today was certainly turning out to be a busy day. Jodie hoped she wouldn’t be too tired to go to the drag race.
“Hey gorgeous,” he said as she rushed back to the cash register. “Don’t rush on my account.”
“I feel like I’ve been rushing all day long! And it’s not even 1 p.m. yet!”
“Well, I won’t keep you long. I’m just here for a takeout order.”
“No time to sit and eat?” she asked.
“Nope. Gotta get all my work done before the big event tonight.”
His blue eyes twinkled from behind the wrinkles around his eyes. Branson was 60 if he was a day, but he didn’t look it and he usually didn’t act it either. He was a bit of a playboy. He loved women of all ages and he always flirted with Jodie. She hadn’t heard any stories of Branson’s activities lately. The women loved him and no one had been able to get him to settle down for very long yet. He’d been married once, but that didn’t last. He and his ex-wife parted amicably 17 years ago. Their daughter was only a year old at the time but they seem to do a good job of raising her together. Cassandra had only turned 18 about a month ago, but she was enrolled for college in the fall and Branson was very proud of her.
“That’s $8.75,” Jodi told him as he flipped his long salt and pepper braid over his shoulder.
He pulled out a ten and told her to keep the change.
“See you tonight?” he asked.
“Long as I don’t get run off my feet today!”
As she watched Branson walk out the door, she felt her phone vibrate. She pulled it out to see it was a text message from her sister, Fawn Baristte. She was checking to see if Jodie was going to the drag race that night and if she wanted Fawn to pick her up.
Jodie quickly texted her back, saying that would be great.
Another message from Fawn saying that they had to talk about their mom caused Jodie rolled her eyes. What was her mother up to now?
To be continued….
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