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Say Hello To My Little Friend

Kristine Kathryn Rusch


He was strange from the start, yet oddly compelling.

I can explain the strange. The compelling is harder.

He’d come into my bar about 3:30 Friday afternoons, thirty minutes before the official start of Happy Hour. He’d take a seat as far from the door as he could get. He’d order two drinks—one, a piña colada, the other, light beer on tap.

Then he’d wait.

He was stunningly handsome. That’s the thing you’d see first off. The square jaw, the black-black hair, the laughing blue eyes all accented his broad shoulders and perfect male model physique. Only he dressed like a regular guy: nice suit with a jacket he’d remove when he sat down, white shirt, and shoes that could use some attention. Before the drinks arrived, he’d loosen his tie and roll up his sleeves, revealing muscular arms.

And then he’d nurse the beer.

Any red-blooded woman would look at him, as well as a handful of closeted males. So of course I looked at him. I’m as red-blooded as the next woman—even if it is my bar.

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