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Who Yearns? Book Blitz

“How did you know I’d be here?” I finished my juice with a loud pull on my straw.
She tapped her now painted silver thumbnails together. “Yesterday morning I went back to your work to check on the dog but then I saw you get in a car with some guy. I, ah, followed you home. After your boyfriend dropped you off and you walked inside your house, I was going to ring the doorbell, but I didn’t want you to think I was a stalker.”
“Israh’s not my boyfriend. He’s my best friend and next-door neighbor who—” I shut up before I told her too much about him, and me. “But you knowing I’m here now isn’t being a stalker?”
She stopped fidgeting with her fingers and stared out the window. “I drove away and decided to stop by your house again this morning. But then you were walking on Main Street, and I saw you come here.” She turned back to me with a confused expression. “You really do like to walk instead of driving?” Her eyes widened dramatically. “Unless you don’t have a car? But you live in a nice neighborhood in what I would say is an expensive house for this type of small town.”
The front door opened, and the bell rang. She slouched in her seat and tugged down her hood. She looked nervous, and even though I should have been offended by her rambling speech, I grew concerned. She was too twitchy and perhaps scared? She was really paranoid about being spotted.
“You’re that worried someone might recognize you and rat you out to the press? Why do you think it would happen here, in such a small town like Albee?”
“I’ve been hounded by the press since Gio and my first album was released. It’s been nonstop for twelve years.” She hugged herself and glanced out the window again when Savannah came over.
“You and your friend ready to order?” She focused on me first, not appearing to recognize Gem.
“I’d love another juice. My friend is still deciding what she wants.” I expected Gem to face me, but she kept staring out the window.
“Sure. Take your time.” She grabbed my glass and left.
Gem exhaled and gave me her attention.
“See? Savannah didn’t recognize you. This is a safe place.” I tapped her shoe with mine.
“Guess so.” She stared at the meu. “What’s good here?”
“The pancakes.” My stomach growled, but Gem didn’t seem to notice.
“Too many carbs and too much sugar.” She turned the menu over. “I ate breakfast already, but I’d kill for a chai tea.”
“Sorry, only regular coffee here.” I thanked Savannah when she brought my juice.

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