“Have you read today’s missed connections?” Callie Dewsberry asked in way of greeting when her oldest and dearest friend trudged through the door of The Daily Dews, her family’s occult bookstore slash coffee shop.
“You know I didn’t. I never do. And yet, you still ask,” retorted Daphne as she pulled out the seat opposite her.
“You really should read it. I’m almost positive this post is about you.” Callie slid the paper across the table and nearly knocked over her steaming cup of heaven.
“Before I read that,” Daphne said and motioned to the paper, “I need some of that.” She pointed at the cup.
“Here, take mine. I’ll make another.” Being an only child had always made her wonder how she’d manage sharing her life with someone some day, but then she looked at Daphne and realized that with a friend like her, she would be A-okay.
She watched her friend take a tentative sip of the coffee and moan with orgasmic bliss. It never ceased to surprise her just how the dark liquid could make someone so happy.
“Is this the new blend?”
“You know it is. The beans are chocolate infused and aged in an oak container.” Pride crept into her voice. There were only two things she was passionate about in life. One was coffee and the other was singing. In fact, if she had her way, she’d drop everything and run off to New York City to audition her way into a Broadway show. But then she’d be leaving her grandparents in the lurch.
The Daily Dews had been in the family as long as recorded town history. It hadn’t always been an occult bookstore, but the witchy rumors that went along with the business gave her a sense of pride. There was something interesting about being tied to one of the many paranormal musings around town, and at least gave her a point of excitement since she wasn’t working her way toward fame and fortune on Broadway.
“Okay, so which one of these screams my name to you?”
“Oh, yeah. This one.” Callie ran her finger down the newsprint until the word “beguiling” caught her eye. “This is the one.” She tapped the ad twice for emphasis.
Daphne scanned the ad then gave her a puzzled look. “Okay, so I’ll bite. What made you think this was about me?”
“‘Beguiling brunette in the hardware store looking at drywall Spackle,’” Callie read aloud. “Who else can that be? I mean how many brunettes spend their time in hardware stores looking at drywall supplies?” Callie paused for a beat before continuing. “Only you. That’s who.” She leveled a pointed look at her friend and waited for the argument she knew would follow. It always did.
“If this ad is meant for a man, then the number goes way up,” Daphne argued.
“Pish posh. You and I both know that you’re beguiling — and any man in his right mind would want to chat you up.”
“Okay, so if that’s the case, then why didn’t he just say something?”
“Because you’re also intimidating as hell, Daph.” Callie rolled her eyes and got up to get herself a fresh cup of coffee. “Want another?” she offered as the fresh scent wafted through the air.
“Of course,” Daphne replied, slurping down the rest of her cup. “And since when am I intimidating?”
A snort escaped before Callie could rein it in. “Daphne Barren. Are you seriously asking me when you got the rep for being intimidating?” She laughed aloud. “You’ve been intimidating poor boys since you joined the public world.”
A dubious look graced her friend’s hauntingly beautiful face. “Don’t you remember that poor boy who stuttered his whole freshman year in high school until he got the nerve to ask you out for the Spring Fling?”
“That’s his name.” In her excitement, hot liquid splashed over the top of the cups she was carrying and scalded her skin. “He was never the same again after you turned him down.” She set the cups down and wiped her hands on her jeans.
“Ugh. In my defense, he barely came up to my shoulders, Cal. Remember? It was because of him I decided to make a minimum height requirement.” Daphne arched an eyebrow and waved her hands over her curvy figure. “Six-two and taller to ride this ride, remember?”
Callie tucked her legs under her butt, settling into the chair. “Oh, I remember all right. Pretty sure Stewart does too. Poor guy never spoke again after all,” she waved her hands at Daphne’s chest, “that.”
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