The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(34) by Lynsay Sands
Sherry shrugged. “I’m not good with sales either.”
Basil laughed at that. “You own a store. Sales is your business.”
“That’s different. People come in looking for something and we help them find it. We don’t drag people in off the street and try to sell them something.”
“Ah,” he smiled. “Yes, I can see the difference.”
They were both silent for a minute, and then Sherry asked, “Do you like living in New York?”
Basil shrugged. “It is all right. But it would certainly be nice to see more trees and grass. That is probably the only thing I miss in New York. There are parks, of course, and I have a couple of potted trees on my terrace, but it is not the same as living somewhere like this.”
“No. That’s how I feel about living in an apartment in Toronto,” Sherry agreed.
Basil nodded. “On the other hand. I am usually working, so would not get to enjoy the trees much anyway.”
“Yeah,” Sherry agreed with a wry smile. “It’s the same with me. I seem always to be working as well. Not that I mind,” she added quickly. “It’s my dream. A labor of love, so . . .” She shrugged.
“But it leaves precious little time for a social life?” he suggested.
“Oh, I don’t mind that either,” she assured him, and he looked surprised.
“Really?” he asked. “No biological clock ticking? No pining for marriage and little ones?”
Sherry shook her head and then frowned. “I used to. When I was younger I often thought about finding a man I loved, marrying and settling down. But now I just want the store to be up and running and doing well.”
“You started it three years ago?” he asked.
“Is it not self-sustaining by now? It usually takes about three years for a store to find its footing.”
“Yes,” she agreed.
“And yours has not?” he asked.
“Oh, yes. It did surprisingly well from the start, and since I paid for it outright and had no loans, we started turning a profit almost right away,” she admitted.
“Then it shouldn’t need all the extra work anymore,” he reasoned.
“Yes, but I just want the store to be up and running and doing well,” she repeated as her gaze settled on the Keurig coffee machine beside the television. “I wonder if they’d mind if I had a coffee? All this talk is making me thirsty.”
Basil was silent for a minute, watching her, but then he gave his head a small shake, stood, and walked over to the coffee machine. “Of course they would not mind.”
Sherry stood and joined him, noting that the machine sat on a black metal holder for the small K cups, similar to the one she had in her own office. Opening the drawer, she found various types of coffee in it. Drinking cups were lined up next to the machine and a silver canister held spoons. There was even sugar. Her gaze slid to the water cooler standing next to the shelving unit and she smiled. “I bet there is cream in the cooler’s refrigerator.”
“Refrigerator?” Basil echoed dubiously.
Smiling, Sherry knelt and opened the lower front of the water cooler base, revealing the small refrigerated compartment inside and the cream it held. There were also some soft drinks there. “I have the same setup in my office. Water cooler with fridge. It supplies the water for my Keurig, and I can keep my milk cold so I never have to leave my office to grab a coffee while working. Saves time.”
“Clever,” Basil commented as she retrieved the cream and stood up.
“Or lazy,” she admitted with amusement. “It’s also cheaper than installing a sink and fridge in my office.”
“I am quite surprised Victor drinks coffee,” Basil said as she selected a vanilla hazelnut K cup and set it in the Keurig machine. “Actually, I’ve noticed all the hunters seem to drink it, which surprises me.”
“Why?” Sherry grabbed a coffee cup next and set it on the silver grill, then hit the middle button. She shifted to lean sideways against the shelf as she waited for Basil to answer.
“Caffeine can make immortals a bit . . .” He hesitated, obviously searching for the right word. Finally, he shrugged and said, “Well, I believe the modern term is wired.”
“Enough of it can make anyone wired,” she said with amusement, and then raised her eyebrows and asked, “The nanos don’t take care of the caffeine in your systems?”
“Oddly enough, no. Instead, the effects appear to be amplified in immortals.”
“Hmm. Weird,” she commented, and turned to collect her coffee as the machine finished dripping it into her cup. “Does that mean you don’t want coffee? They have cider and hot chocolate in the K cups up here too, I noticed.”
“No, I shall have the coffee. I quite enjoyed the one we had on the ride down,” Basil said, opening the drawer. After a hesitation, he selected a vanilla hazelnut as well.
Sherry grabbed him a cup and set it on the silver grill even as he popped the K cup in. Then she left him to hit the middle button and turned her attention to adding cream and sugar to her own coffee.
“So, this man that you are casually dating . . . ?” Basil asked a moment later as he began to doctor his own coffee.
Sherry turned to walk to the couch, aware that her eyebrows had risen. She didn’t know why, but his broaching the subject surprised her. Although, she supposed she shouldn’t be surprised. He’d asked if Luther was the one she was dating when he’d come up in conversation. Sitting on the couch, she set her coffee on the side table and glanced to him in question. “Yes?”
“Tell me about him,” Basil suggested.
Sherry shrugged. “There isn’t much to tell. Barry owns the sporting goods store next to my store. He’s newly divorced and going through the slut stage.”
“Slut stage?” Basil asked with a sort of horrified bewilderment.
Sherry chuckled slightly at his expression. “I’ve noticed that when couples break up, one or the other often goes through either a crazy period or a slut stage. The slut stage is dating and sometimes even sleeping with everything that moves. The crazy period is the weeping, wailing, bitching, and can’t-stand-to-be-alone thing. Barry is going through the slut stage.”
“And you are dating him?” he asked with dismay.
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