You’re Not Broken by Gemma Hart
“Definitely a drifter,” Malcolm said with confidence as he polished a glass. “A serial killer drifter who’s having his morning coffee before he serially kills again along his drifter way.”
Kat looked at her younger brother dryly. “Wow,” she said. “Care to be a bit more dramatic?”
Malcolm shrugged his thin shoulders. Malcolm had always been skinny. Actually both of Kat’s brothers had always been skinny. But Malcolm was the taller of the two. He had been teased as a kid, being called names like beanpole and toothpick. He was tall and gangly with long arms and legs that he had never seemed to gain complete control over.
His lack of grace had eliminated him from sports even though he was tall enough to play most anything. With his thick black rimmed glasses and broad but bony shoulders, Malcolm looked exactly like what he was—a bookish but lovably geeky brother.
Taking no pains to hide his staring, Malcolm looked over at the customer at table six. Although Kat was trying to be more subtle about it, she was having a hard time herself trying not to stare.
The man did look peculiar.
He was tall, taller than Malcolm and Malcolm stood at 6’1. He had rough stubble that shadowed his rugged jawline. He wore a heavy olive canvas jacket that looked well worn and worn out jeans. His black boots were nearly gray in some areas, showing just how much love they had received from their owner. He had a charcoal gray beanie on that hid most of what looked like chestnut colored hair. And he kept his eyes down on his coffee.
That had been all he had ordered. As soon as she had sat him down at his table, he had asked for black coffee and a spoon and that was it.
Some of the regulars in the diner were also having a hard time not staring. This was a small town and any newcomer was news but any peculiar newcomer was a spectacle.
And it was no wonder. This man did have a quiet draw to him. Although it was clear he wanted to just blend into the background of the diner, there was something potent about him that kept everyone looking over his way.
“Well,” Malcolm thought aloud as he polished the same glass over and over again. “I suppose he could be a vagrant. A thieving vagrant who sneaks into towns and steals things at night and then disappears by day before anyone can catch him.”
Kat gave her brother a pointed look. “‘A thieving vagrant who disappears by day before anyone can catch him?’” she repeated, staring up at him like he had completely lost his mind.
Malcolm nodded with wide eyes, mistaking her incredulity for enthusiasm.
She smacked his shoulder, the highest part of him she could reach. “What era are we living in? The 19th century? Who says ‘vagrant’ anymore?” Kat rolled her eyes. “And I’d love to see anyone, vagrant or not, not get caught stealing a town’s worth of stolen property. Malcolm, whatever books you’ve gotten into now, you need to take a break.”
She took out the glass from his hands before he wore it out and replaced it with another one. “I see a man who looks like he just needs a quiet moment to himself,” she said. And it was true. If the man looked any harder at his coffee, he’d fall into it.
Kat stacked away the cleaned and polished glasses on the rack below the soda machine.
“Have you ever thought about giving Harry Potter a try?” she said, smiling to herself as she neatly arranged the glasses……………………………
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