Shady Ladies

Hello and welcome to the 2020 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge! I’m writing one new meet-cute per day as part of my “Sacramento Love” theme. Read along as couples find themselves falling for folks in lucky locations across California’s capital city. In this time of social distancing, there’s no need to fear a little fictional fun, so get your romance fix here and enjoy!

P.S. Today’s story was inspired by Writer’s Block Coffee, who really are donating 100% of their sales today to Feeding America! They’re aiming to raise $1,000 for the hunger charity, so if you need to stock up on coffee (or just want to try something new), today’s the day.

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It had been a long shift at the Shady Lady Saloon, and Shauna was halfway through counting the tips in the antique glass jar that sat on the bar when a woman dressed all in black slipped through the door.

“Sorry, I know you’re about to close, but do you mind if I wait in here with you for a second? I think there’s a guy following me,” the woman said, her back against the solid oak door she’d just closed.

“Sure,” Shauna agreed, happy to help a damsel in distress. “Go ahead and turn the lock, will you? I’m just about done here.”

“Thanks,” the woman replied. She clicked the bolt into place and approached the bar. “I’m Jeannie.”

“Nice to meet you, Jeannie. I’m Shauna. Care for a drink?”

“I don’t drink, but I’d love a glass of water.” Her dark brown lips turned up in a shy smile.

Shauna poured a glass of ice water from the dispenser and pushed it towards Jeannie, eyeing her with curiosity. She looked spooked, but not injured. “So this guy… do you know him?”

“I wish I didn’t. Ex-boyfriend, turned stalker. Basically, I’m in a band, we play in a bar up the street, and even though he’s been banned from the venue he always waits for me to leave so he can creep on me.”

“What about the rest of the band? Don’t they look out for you?”

“They do, but tonight they were going to a party, and I didn’t want to go, so… here I am.” She shrugged and chugged the ice water.

“That’s fucked up. You need a ride?”

“I’ve got my car. If I lost him, I’ll be fine. He never comes to my house.”

Shauna cocked her head and thought for a moment. “Yeah, I’ve heard that one before. So, here’s my plan: stick with me and I’ll make sure you get home safe. I’ll even help you get back to your car tomorrow after breakfast.”

Jeannie raised an eyebrow. “Breakfast?”

“Yeah, I make a killer pancake. You in?”

“Blueberries or chocolate chips?”

“I’m easy.”

“All right” Jeannie said, hopping off the stool, “Ready when you are.”

Don’t miss a magical moment!

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