Saturday Night Cowboy
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by Sharon Kull
Description: A barmaid named Cathi has fewer problems raising her daughter alone than she does contending with a neighbor's premonitions. She was told of a dark shadow in her near future. Only time will tell if it is her brother, or the new man in her life.
eBook Publisher: SynergEbooks, 2008 SynergEbooks
eBookwise Release Date: December 2008
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [555 KB]
Reading time: 330-462 min.
Seven years and three months later.
The smoky old bar was getting to Cathi, which wasn't surprising. A non-smoker, the hours she spent serving drinks and snack meals sometimes seemed endless, even though friendly faces had her laughing a good part of the time. The standard barrage of sexual innuendo thrown at her by patrons whose bravado had emanated from a bottle, or mug, tended to get her dander up. As a single mom with more important things on her mind than having a fling with a man who really didn't care squat about her, Cathi's patience sometimes slipped. She'd been known to empty an icy pitcher of beer on overheated Romeos, smack a sack of pretzels up-side the head of a foul mouthed jerk and had once tied a groping imbecile to his chair with his own suspenders.
Harry Bowman, the Willie Nelson look-a-like who owned Bar Bar None, had been trying to talk Cathi into participating in the mud wrestling entertainment he was cooking up for Friday evenings. Why he'd thought of such a ridiculous idea, she had yet to find out. Regardless, she wasn't at all interested in making a fool of herself by splashing around in mud like a toddler.
Lena, the thirty-two year old Hispanic barmaid who boasted of weighing as much as the combined weight of her husband and four children, had volunteered to wrestle. Her offer was denied on the grounds that she was too thin. She'd thumbed her nose at the boss, and nearly crushed him with her massive bulk when she deliberately reached beyond him to snatch a tray off the bar.
On this particular evening Cathi was preoccupied by thoughts of romance, or more rightly, the lack of romance in her life. Between her responsibilities to be a good mom to Kaylyn, her job at Bar Bar None and the continuing struggle to improve her talent as an etching artist, there was little enough time for mundane household chores. She would never be able to wedge a man into the scheme of things. Yet, occasionally a yearning for Mr. Right would besiege her.
Sweeping two pitchers of draft and five mugs off her tray onto the table nearest the neon lit entry alcove, Cathi felt a gush of fresh air. Glancing up, she practically began to salivate like a kid in front of a candy counter.
Framed in the entry alcove, alternating reds, greens and yellows of flickering neon enhancing his image, stood a man. And what a man! Six-foot three if he was an inch, beefy, his ruggedly handsome face wore a mask of self-confidence. It was as if he knew he was on a level with movie star heroes and expected to be treated as such. Then he smiled, making him seem like down-home folk. All told, the hunk was cause for pondering.
Who is he? Is he alone, or meeting someone? Married? Single? Age wise, is he in the neighborhood of thirty, like me? What is his favorite color? Why am I so interested? Umm, did he notice me as his gaze raked across the bar scene? Chiding herself for thinking about waving wildly in order to attract his attention, she deliberately swung her attention to three ladies seated at a nearby table. Everyone of them was too busy staring at the hunk to remember they'd been signaling for a beer refill. Now Cathi was struck with two things. A twinge of possessive jealousy toward the hunk because she'd probably seen him first, and a fist sized wad of paper. As the wad careened off the back of her head, her eyes automatically jumped to the cowboy. He was watching and grimacing. Not wishing to have him think she was some sort of a wuss, Cathi whirled around to see who'd thrown the paper wad at her. Guilt was written all over a regular customer's face.
Marching up to him, ignoring the way he was shrugging and raising both arms in a helpless gesture, she snarled, "You've got egg on your face, Toby Wiler."
He laughed, retorting, "No, I don't."
"Yes, you do," he was told, a split second before she scooped a hard boiled egg from the bowl on the table in front of him, and smeared it across his face from ear to ear.