“You're still playing?” Blake asked her, his face hopeful. She couldn't keep all of her thoughts straight when she was looking at his face. She broke eye contact and looked over to Harrison, who had finished his pie already.
“You need more pie, Harry?” she asked, avoiding Blake's question. Not that it mattered, Kaylee wouldn't shut up.
“She plays every weekend at Red's, duh.” Like the whole room was supposed to know, but she didn't stop there. “She's playing tonight at the—”
“Festival,” Blake finished for her. Lucy's head jerked up, he had looked down to his plate and begun eating so she couldn't read his expression. Not that she ever really could. He was always thinking one thing and doing another.
“Yeah!” Kaylee exclaimed. “So you are here to see her!” She leaned on the counter facing Harrison like she was telling a secret. “She's playing for Taylor Stevens, he's very cool.”
Harrison nodded along, ever the gentleman, as he ate his second piece of pie. Lucy wanted very much to break the coffee pot over Kaylee's head, but decided against it.
“Can I get a refill, Lucky?” Blake asked from his end of the counter. Lucy's face went hot as she blushed involuntarily.
“Lucky?” Kaylee frowned, spinning to look at Lucy as she poured the hot liquid into the ceramic mug. She felt the heat increase and radiate out from her ears. She was positive that she was completely red by now. She considered sticking her head in the ice box. She hadn't been called that in a very long time. That name coming from those lips wasn't fair. It brought back too much. Made her feel things she had long since buried.
Blake ignored Kaylee again, focusing on Lucy alone. She wanted to hide in the back. She wanted to get in her car and drive far, far away. She also wanted to fling herself into his arms and never let go. What was he doing to her? Why was he here? He did this every time. He'd show up, act like everything was cool between them, and break her heart as he drove out of town. The last time he had promised it wouldn't happen again. He swore he was never coming back. And yet, she thought as she blew a stray hair out of her face.
She leaned back and crossed her arms over her chest. She had to get him to stop whatever it was he thought he was doing. She wouldn't let him have complete power over her this time. “Have you been home yet?” She raised her eyebrows at him. His jaw clenched noticeably and she knew it wouldn't take much to set him off. If he could call her Lucky like it wasn't a big deal, then she could tell him to go see his mama.
“I didn't want to bother her.” Blake drained his coffee and she expected him to get up and prepare to leave. But he remained seated.
“You always have an excuse.” Lucy saw the storm clouds roll into his eyes but kept going. The only way to guarantee him not coming to see her play tonight would be to piss him off now. Blake could hold a grudge, and she needed him to. For her own sanity. “I'm gonna tell her you were here.”
“You always know how to wreck a nice visit, you know that?” Blake growled, cooling the atmosphere of the room. Just like a prairie thunderstorm. Hot one minute, cold and dangerous the next. Kaylee fell silent and Harrison hurriedly wiped his mouth with a napkin.
Lucy didn't flinch, she'd survived Blake's downdrafts before. “Take her some pie. I made extra.” She met his gaze, waiting for the cursing to start. But it never came.
He simply stood, lowered his aviators and walked towards the door. Harrison smiled apologetically at her and hustled after him.
Blake turned at the door and lowered his glasses a fraction so he could have eye contact with her. She heard her heart, bags packed, telling her that it was leaving with him again and she was going to have to deal with it. “I'll see you tonight, Lucky.” His voice was dark and too damn playful. She couldn't respond and he sauntered out into the sunshine.
Lucy watched him until he was no longer in sight, her hands trembling and her eyes burning with the angry tears that had pushed to the surface.
“Whoa. There is some history between you guys.” Kaylee's usually peppy voice was hushed. But Lucy understood why. It was because Blake had sucked all the air out of the room when he left.
She untied her apron and threw it in the bin.
“I'm leaving early. Mac will be here in fifteen minutes anyway, you'll be fine.” She didn't want to answer any of Kaylee's questions. She didn't want Blake to come to the festival tonight. She didn't want to feel like her insides had just been ripped out and smeared along the sidewalk. Most of all, she did not want Blake Diedrich back in her life.