Tuesday, October 25, 2016
The Dark Heart ~ Part 19
“You are something else,” said Jackson with a smile as he walked over to the counter.
“Speaking of ‘something else’, what’s the deal with you and Emberlyn James?” asked Tucker.
“No deal,” said Jackson, “we’re just friends.”
“Friends don’t kiss each other like that,” said Tucker. “I saw you two at the charity ball, practically making out like teenagers.”
The irony of the statement was not lost on Jackson and he couldn’t stop himself. “Speaking of making out like teenagers, what’s the deal with you and Genna? One minute I’m getting her a drink, the next she’s making out with you behind the fountain.”
Tucker’s cheeks turned a bright shade of red. “Ahh man, you saw that?”
“I did,” said Jackson.
“Look, I’m sorry, Jackson,” said Tucker, as he ran his hands through his hair. “I was drunk and being stupid.”
“Don’t worry about it,” said Jackson, taking out the employee calendar from under the counter and flipping it open.
“Seriously, Jackson, I’m sorry,” said Tucker.
Jackson looked at his friend and could tell he was being sincere. “It’s really not a problem. Genna and I weren’t in a relationship. She’s welcome to kiss anyone she likes.”
“Yeah, but I knew you liked her,” said Tucker. “It was a jerk move on my part. She was pretty drunk too. I ended up driving her home and she puked in my car. I looked for you, but Igor told me Ms. James’s driver had taken you home early.”
“Igor?” Jackson raised an eyebrow. “You mean Alister? Yeah, Emberlyn had an issue in the garden and I helped out. It was no big thing, but I didn’t really feel like staying, so to return the favor she got me a ride home. If I’m being honest, seeing you with Genna made me do some real thinking about her and the truth is, she’s not really my type. So I’m moving on.”
The front door bell jingled as it opened and Genna bounced in. Jackson couldn’t help but notice Tucker’s smiled widen. Genna giggled and practically skipped up to them.
“Speak of the devil,” Jackson whispered, before smiling at Genna. “Hi, Genna.”
“Hi Jackson,” she said, barely giving Tucker a nod of hello, “anything I can do for you today?”
Jackson shook his head. “No, we’re good here, but thanks.”
Genna frowned. “You don’t have any customers.”
Jackson shrugged and pointed to the window behind the counter that showed the surf was up. “Usually don’t when the waves are as good as they are now. It’ll pick up in an hour or so.”
Genna pouted a little more and then brandished a smile like she had just had the most amazing thought. “I’ve got Daddy’s credit card. I’ll shop.”
“Okay,” Jackson said slowly.
Both Jackson and Tucker watched as Genna made her way over to the small beachwear section. Jackson didn’t stock much there, just some t-shirts, board shorts, flip flops, and a few bathing suits.
“Well, you might not be interested in Genna Murphy anymore, but she seems awfully interested in you,” said Tucker.
Jackson furrowed his brow. “I know, she’s been acting really odd since the charity ball. She practically met me at the door yesterday morning and then ran out and got Emberlyn and me coffee and muffins.”
“So you saw Emberlyn yesterday as well?” Tucker cocked his head. “That’s intriguing.”
“It’s really not,” said Jackson with a sigh, wishing Tucker would let it go. He enjoyed his time with Emberlyn and didn’t want Tucker to sour it with his childish remarks. “I offered to teach her how to surf and she took me up on it. Not a big deal.”
Jackson’s phone beep, indicating he had a text. He looked and it and frowned.
“What’s wrong?” asked Tucker.
“Oh, the new girl who was supposed to come in and work just quit via text,” said Jackson. “Who does that?”
“Kids, today,” said Tucker with a shake of his head. “No work ethic.”
“Says the guy who plays on a yacht and calls it work,” teased Jackson, as his stomach rumbled, “Guess I’ll be having muffins for lunch today.”
“Oh, no, that won’t do,” said Genna, coming up and placing a large stack of various clothing on the counter. “Let me pay for these and then I’ll go get you a bacon cheeseburger from Van’s.”
“Not necessary,” said Jackson. He looked at the stack of clothes. “This isn’t necessary either. Don’t buy form my shop out of pity.”