Darkness Bound

Darkness Bound by Stella Cameron Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Darkness Bound by Stella Cameron Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stella Cameron
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal
scuffed up to the bar. They took side-by-side stools and the taller one said, “Who’re you?”
    “Excuse me?”
    “Name?” the other man said. “You’re new.”
    “Leigh,” she told them quickly.
    They grunted their order and she served two pints of beer, pleased she managed without sending foam all over the floor—that or poured glasses with beer that looked flat and lifeless.
    Bringing the smell of grilled onions with her, Sally rocked rapidly up beside Leigh. “You okay?” she said.
    “Great. I used to do this when I was in school.”
    Sally nodded. “From the looks of you that would have been about last week.”
    She made Leigh laugh. “Thanks.”
    “You want some coffee?” Sally asked.
    “No thanks.”
    The men at the bar drained their glasses and Leigh refilled them.
    “You see the drift this morning?” Sally asked.
    With no idea what Sally meant, Leigh said, “Can’t say I did. Oh, you mean the tide coming in?”
    Sally looked her hard in the eyes. “Watch out to where the rocks are. Sooner or later you’ll see what I mean. That’s what it’s all about, what makes you feel so good here.”
    “Chimney Rocks, you mean?” Leigh tipped her head on one side. “They don’t show above the water, even at low tide. What will I see?”
    “Being under the water doesn’t stop them from making a difference,” Sally said. “Just keep your eyes open and it’ll happen. There’s not many like you. Can’t remember the last one—not that I know.”
    “The last one what?” Despite Sally’s cryptic tone, Leigh didn’t feel nervous, just intensely curious.
    “I’ve said too much.” Sally gave a secretive smile and left again. Lunch patrons were dribbling in and she went to pour coffee and take orders.
    The two men at the bar slid off their stools and turned to leave, but before they could Leigh told them what they owed in an overly cheery voice.
    Both of them swung back, amazement in their eyes. “You’re new,” one said at last. “Just put it on a tab—Jerry’s or mine. Don’t make no difference.”
    “Can’t do that.” It took Leigh all the courage she had to keep a smile on her face. She had looked up the prices on a list and was ready. “Wouldn’t look good if I messed up on my first morning.”
    “Gabriel carries it in his head,” Jerry said. “You let him know later.”
    “Just a minute.” She wrote the amount on a sheet in a receipt book, tore off the top copy and passed it to them, still smiling brightly. “I hear we’re thinking about putting in a regular customer discount. Kind of like an ice cream store where you get a punch card toward a free something eventually.”
    At some point the two men saw they weren’t getting around Leigh. They each pulled money from their pockets and slapped it down on the counter. “Have one yourself,” the man called Jerry said grudgingly, but he didn’t give her enough money. They turned and left, grunting and grumbling all the way.
    “Don’t mind if I do,” Leigh laughed to herself as she put the payments in the cash drawer and the coins supposedly for her drink in a glass behind the front bottles of whiskey.
    Making a difference to the business, helping to turn it into a financial success, was what she was setting out to do, and it looked as if she would have to do more than stay in her office to get that done.
    She was still feeling warm from her triumph with the reluctant payers when two boys of about twenty appeared and started setting tables. They nodded at Leigh and she noted at once that they were almost identical. These would be the twins.
    “I’m Leigh,” she said in a loud voice.
    One boy nodded, the other inclined his head to let long, straight brown hair slide away from one eye. “We know,” he said. “He’s Cuss and I’m Jim. We’re twins.”
    “Ah-hah,” Leigh said. “Nice to meet you, Cuss and Jim. I’ve got a twin, too, a sister. I like it, how about you?”
    They both shrugged but tipped up the

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