STAIN (My Soul To Wake Book 1)

STAIN (My Soul To Wake Book 1) by Tara Oakes Read Free Book Online

Book: STAIN (My Soul To Wake Book 1) by Tara Oakes Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tara Oakes
inside.
    “Leah?” he asks me, softly speaking my name. “That’s a beautiful name. It fits you.”
    Court sighs deep, conceding some imaginary lost cause. She doesn’t wallow long. Instead she takes solace in her beer, catching up with the rest of us. Nina’s almost done with hers, holding the back of her hand up to hide the burp that the hastily gulped beer solicits.
    Will flags down our waitress, signaling another round by swirling his finger in a circle, pointing to all of our dwindling glasses.
    “Are you from around here?” I scrounge up enough courage to join the conversation, although I fear Will may think I’m rude already for staying silent so long.
    I see his finger twitch and tap the tumbler in his hand anxiously. “You could say that. Salem’s where my family comes from.”
    I perk up. “Really? How far back? I’m reading a book about the founding families of Salem. Maybe yours is in it?”
    “Possibly. I’ve heard there were some of us around back then. Trumbull. That’s my family name. This book you’re reading… are you interested in that kind of stuff?”
    I shift my body to face him however I can with the limited space we have.
    “I think so. I’ve never really given it much thought, but since we’ve gotten here, it feels… I don’t know- important somehow.”
    I feel foolish at my over dramatization of an answer and bury my unease into the alcohol at hand, finishing off my glass to catch up with Nina’s empty one. The waitress appears on cue, clearing away the discarded ones and setting fresh drinks before each of us.
    “This is so good!” Nina is already loosening up. At this rate, she may forget all about her iPad for the rest of the night. One can only hope.
    “So do you make a habit of coming here alone?” I ask Will.
    “Who says I’m alone?” he answers.
    Of course. Why on earth would I think a drop-dead gorgeous guy like this would actually be alone ? He’s probably got a girlfriend stuck in the ladies room, ready to reclaim him at any moment. The friendly local who simply helped a girl carry an extra drink, and stayed for some small talk waiting for the girlfriend to present herself and save him from boredom.
    He can see my embarrassment at my assumption. “I was supposed to meet up with a buddy, but he bailed on me. His girl wasn’t feeling the whole third wheel thing.”
    A surge of hope shows signs of life. Third wheel ? Hmm… so he doesn’t have a plus one to bring along. This is promising.
    “So what do you do?” I strive to get some more information. “Besides helping damsels in distress?”
    Court and Nina have started their own little conversation, leaving Will and me to ourselves.
    “Construction. You?” he returns the question.
    I sip some foam from my beer. “I manage one of my family’s businesses. A coffee shop.”
    “You--” he takes his thumb and moves carefully as I eye him suspiciously. He swipes the calloused skin of his finger pad across my lower lip. “-- have some foam on you.”
    My breath hitches at his touch, and I freeze. His finger swipes back and forth, removing the froth. I feel my lips part, my eyes set like stone on him as he does whatever this is that he’s doing to me. My stomach flips.
    The bench opposite us is awkwardly quiet all of a sudden and I glance over at Nina and Court with their mouths agape, watching us. I pull back bashfully.
    There it is again! His lip twitched.
     
    ~*~
     
    Two rounds of drinks and a meal later, we’d covered the basics. Hobbies, favorite movies, bands. His favorite food is pot roast and he owns a small house on the outskirts of the city.
    Nina and Court have added to our conversation from time to time but mainly kept to themselves. I can see them begin to fade. The effects of the alcohol setting in. Reluctantly, I suggest we head back to the hotel.
    The check is settled against my protests as Will insists on covering the tab. He helps me slip into my jacket, one arm and then the other,

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