Sherl Lane-Craft squinted intently at the sandy-haired young man who had followed her and her little sister several blocks to Blueberry Hill and taken a seat at the next table. There was something vaguely familiar in the square-jawed, sober-looking gent—Bobbi could see that much in Sherl’s expression—and it was killing her not to pivot in her seat for a good look.
“Anyone you recognize?” she asked, irked. “Is it the dude from NBC with the God-awful plush Pergo remnant he calls a toupee?”
“No, no faux follicles on this one. He’s pretty cute, actually—kinda Robert Redford-y. I think he’s one of the newbies at CNN.”
A pen and tiny notepad peeked out from the front pocket of his business shirt. That and the dark, crisply pleated slacks screamed “yuppie with aspirations.”
Three months after Robbie Westbrook’s death, local and national newsies were still clamoring to get an exclusive with the grieving girlfriend who watched him die. A brilliant comedian on the brink of stardom overdoses on cocaine after a Machiavellian manipulation: The major networks were salivating all over the made-for-TV tragedy. Bobbi’s physical beauty and talent—and her stubborn and persistent evasion—intrigued them all the more.
“We should have waited for a damn booth,” Bobbi grumbled, fussing with her menu. “Let’s just leave.”
“I’ve got a better idea,” Sherl said, rising from her chair. “Hey, Dan Rather wannabe!”
Her loud proclamation drew the attention of every patron in the bustling restaurant. The young blond fidgeted and blushed.
“Yeah, you. We totally saw you follow us through, like, the entire Loop. She’s not doing interviews, so why don’t you just order your burger to go and break in those pleather shoes somewhere else, douchebag?”
Bobbi lowered her head to the table and laughed until she snorted.
The young man rose from his chair, embarrassed, and slid a business card in front of the snickering Bobbi before turning to walk out.
“In case you change your mind …”
“If she changes her mind, she’ll call Barbara freakin’ Walters,” Sherl shot back. “Loser!”
She took a quick, playful bow—a gesture several customers answered with applause—then plopped back into her seat, more than a little satisfied with herself. Bobbi shook with barely stifled laughter; her cheeks blazed a bright red and her eyes watered profusely.
“Okay, that was worth the aggravation ..."
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