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Wasted Words(12)
Author: Staci Hart

I smiled. “Sounds like our type of guy. I’ll see if I can find a suitable match for him.” I took a sip. “How’s your day looking?”

He cuffed the sleeves of his sky-blue button down and whisked, holding the bowl in his free hand at an angle. “I have a few meetings to attend with Jack and a phone call with one of my prospects.”

“Which one?”

“Darryl Johnson.”

“Oh, he’s the one who plays for Nebraska? Under your dad?”

He nodded. “I just hope I’ve done enough, you know? This business isn’t always what you’d call honest, so to be a part of an agency that plays by the book and stands on integrity is humbling and terrifying. When everyone else bribes players and you don’t, it’s a risk.”

“Even though it’s illegal?”

“There are ways around the rules. Everybody looks the other way because that’s just how things are done. But Jack’s built something different, and because of his principles, we’ve got some of the top players in the NFL. Darryl trusts my dad, and he trusts Jack. I think he trusts me too.”

I smiled, looking into his honest face, knowing what Darryl would see in it. “I have a good feeling it’s all going to work out.”

Tyler smiled back at me. “Thanks, Cam.” He glanced down at the skillet and poured the egg concoction in with a hiss. “Well, tonight should be eventful, huh?

“Should be. Thanks for coming to hang again.”

“Hey, no worries. I hate to admit it, but it’s fun to watch you work your magic,” he said as he pushed the eggs around the skillet. “Who are you working on now?”

“Well,” I said, leaning on the table, “tonight, it’s sealing the deal on Bayleigh and Greg.”

“Tell me how everyone knows each other again.”

“So, Rose used to work with Bayleigh at Habits. Well, you know she’s a sweet girl, kind of quiet, a little shy until she gets to know you. She’s had some trouble in the guy department finding someone she can trust, so number one priority was to find her an honest dude. Greg is a super honest dude, a total catch. Rose actually used to date him — he was working at a coffee shop, and she asked him to be the bar manager.”

“He’s the skater, right?” he asked as he stirred the eggs around.

“Yeah. Anyway, Greg’s the best, and the guy just can’t seem to catch a break. Every girl he’s tried to date ends up being a disaster in one way or another.”

“And he and Bayleigh are a surefire Cam Emerson match?”

“The outcome appears to be favorable. The two of them … I don’t know. I just want them to be happy, and I think they could make each other happy. Both of them need a win, and in the exact same ways, so, yeah. I think it’ll be a satisfying match. We’ll see tonight.” I found myself smiling at the thought.

Tyler plated the eggs and chuckled again. “That excited, huh?”

“Just a little. But first, I have to count comic books all day. Good news is that I’m in charge of the playlist today.”

“Upsides.” He set a plate in front of me with a napkin and fork. “Your breakfast, m’lady.”

I bowed my head. “Thank you, good sir.” The salty steam from the eggs hit my nose, and I actually salivated, wetting my lips before digging in. An appreciative hum vibrated through me, and when I looked over at Tyler, I caught him watching me, amused. “These are damn good, buddy. You can’t keep telling me there’s no special ingredient because that’s got to be a bald-faced lie.”

He shrugged and laid his napkin in his lap. “Oh, there’s a secret ingredient all right.”

I swallowed a bite and gaped at him. “Are you kidding? I’ve been asking for a year now. What is it?”

He batted his eyes and made a face at me. “Love.”

I rolled my eyes, though I felt myself blush. “That’s adorable.”

He laughed. “It’s the whisking that does it. It’s all in the wrist.”

“That’s what she said.”

His eyes twinkled as he took a bite. “That’s how you get it all frothy.”

“Yeah, you’ve got to beat it real good or it’s limp. Nobody likes it when it’s limp.”

A laugh burst out of him. “You win.” He speared a chunk of eggs and slipped it into his mouth.

“Of course I did,” I said, making a show of taking a bite of my own. “I’m a good winner. Some would say I’m the best winner.”

We finished up our breakfast and finished getting ready, Tyler pulling on his oxfords, while I opted for skinnies, my Visit Mordor tee, and a cardigan. We left the apartment together as we always did, parting ways in the subway station, heading in opposite directions. The trains were packed for rush hour, but I caught a seat as someone got up and felt like I’d won the lottery. Those were the best days, when I could sit down on the way to work without having to maintain my balance. Because took way more brain power than you’d think.

I spent the train ride on my phone, playing chess with Tyler. I’d been practicing, and I swear I was so close to beating him I could taste it. But with my headphones in, soaking in the last moment of solitude that I’d have for the day, I smiled to myself, feeling like it was going to be a real good day.

I put my phone in my pocket when I reached my stop and headed off the train, watching the people around me. An old man trudged through the wide passage as people flowed around him, not even seeing him. I touched his arm as I passed and gave him a smile, and when he smiled back, his whole face lit up.

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