“I have your change from the other day.” She fished in her apron pocket.
“Oh, no, keep it.” He waved her actions away. “You earned it.”
Silence stretched out as he racked his brain for something else to say, something intelligent or witty. Something that would make sense, that would impress her. He drew a blank.
“So, uh, can I get you something?” She finally broke the silence.
“Uh, yeah. Coffee. And uh—” He fumbled with the big laminated menu. “A sandwich. Corned beef on rye. Yeah. That sounds good.” It was the first one he saw. He’d looked at this menu dozens of times, but he couldn’t even read the danged thing right now.
“Sure.” She frowned but wrote his order down anyway. “Fries with that?”
“That’ll be right up.” She turned and started to walk away.
“Wait.” He leaned over, hoping something brilliant would come to mind. “You, uh, forgot the menu.” He mentally rolled his eyes.
“Oh, we leave them back here.” She took the menu and leaned all the way over the table and tucked it behind the metal napkin dispenser. Pausing, she turned her head toward him, meeting his gaze, the upper part of her body stretched out across the entire length of the table. “Like that,” she whispered.
Jack’s mouth went totally dry. Words, thoughts, sanity failed him. He could only stare.
Wendy straightened and brushed against his arm in the same instant. Jack snatched his hand back as if she were a flame. Which she was. And he was the flippin’ moth.
Wendy sauntered away, her hips swaying slowly, gently, teasing. He could only stare after her.
* * *
WENDY HUSTLED THROUGH the diner’s double doors to the kitchen, making sure the blasted thing didn’t smack her in the backside like it did about half the time. Tara was always telling her to slow down going through them. She had to keep reminding herself.
“Who’s your friend?” Kaitlyn leaned against the counter, texting with someone, probably her dork of a boyfriend.
Wendy busied herself setting up the tray for Jack’s meal. She was not in the mood to talk to anyone, least of all Kaitlyn, who was proving to be a real pain to work with.
What was wrong with her? Wendy was a good girl, but he’d looked at her so befuddled and tongue-tied, she’d had to shake him out of it. When his gaze had met hers, as she’d stretched out there on the table…
She hadn’t wanted to look away. She hadn’t wanted to move away. She’d wanted him to move closer.
Suddenly, the ketchup bottle slipped from her fingers, smacking the edge of the tray and popping open when it hit the tile floor. The pool of red goo spread at her feet, splotches landing on her neat, nearly-white shoes. “Dang it!”
Kaitlyn giggled and moved farther down the counter, focusing on her phone as if the giggle hadn’t told Wendy she’d seen. The girl wouldn’t help clean up anything—why would she help with this?
Hastily, Wendy grabbed the mop and cleaned the spill. She’d just finished scrubbing the last of the splotches from her shoes when Wade called, “Order up,” through the pass-through.
Kaitlyn hadn’t moved. Which meant there would probably be diners out in the dining room waiting for refills and services. With a sigh, Wendy hefted the tray with Jack’s order up on her shoulder and headed through the door.
Why was she disappointed that she might have to wait on other customers? Why was she even surprised that the lazy girl was leaving her with all the work? She headed to Jack’s table.
He was staring at his phone but hastily put it down when she approached. She smiled warmly, hoping to hide her mortification at her earlier behavior. “Here you go,” she said too brightly.
“Oh, great.” He pushed his phone across the table toward the napkin holder.
Wendy’s cheeks warmed with the blush at the reminder of how she’d slid across that table as easily as the phone. She settled the plate in front of him, filling his water glass and setting the carafe down where he could reach it. “Can I get you anything else?” She leaned back, crossing her arms over the empty tray.