“Vodka,” he mumbled.
She brought their orders and Derek asked, “What time’re you off?”
“Closing,” she said on a soft sigh. “I was expecting you to be here sooner.”
“I would’ve been but ol’ boy flew in today and I picked him up before coming here.” He finished his drink. “Miss me, Gracelynn?”
She grinned. “Like a toothache, Derek,” she drawled and brought him another.
“Now that hurts,” he said with feigned disappointment.
She chuckled. “Get lost, Derek. Table four’s open if you wanted to go a few rounds.” She nodded towards the pool tables. “Show your buddy here how to play.”
Derek laughed and clapped James’s shoulder. “That’s one game he can play well. Can we stay late?”
She shrugged. “Sure. I’ll let Grayson know. I’ll see you guys later.” With a wave and a smile she moved back down the bar to serve up more drinks.
Derek wiggled his eyebrows at James. “Let’s play a few rounds while we wait.”
A few rounds turned into just four rounds of pool and a whole lot of drinks for Derek who was too drunk to play eventually. James propped him up against the wall as Gracelynn came by with a tray to take away the empty glasses and bottles.
She smiled crookedly. “Derek never could hold his liquor,” she said softly, never once looking at James. “You should probably get him home.”
James put an empty shot glass on her tray. “I would except I don’t know where he lives. He’s moved since the last time I saw him.”