Soldier Mine (Chapter Seven: Claudia, page 1 of 6)

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Ugh. I don't know how I managed to let that happen, but I slipped up. Petr caught it, too. I'm beginning to wonder if Eileen is onto something. But I can't fathom what might remotely interest someone like Petr. He knows nothing about me, and I definitely am not trying to encourage him in any way. The woman he met here the first day was more his type than I am.

Not that it matters. I'm kinda glad his coffee was cold. I hope that makes up for me almost admitting I was waiting for him today. I tell myself I didn't any more than I do any other regular.

But I did, and I know it.

The day passes quickly, and Todd shows up around three. To my reluctant delight, he's got a girl with him. I go to his booth, and he looks up. His face is glowing. The girl across from him is a pretty brunette with green eyes and dimples.

"This is my sister," he mumbles. "Claudia, this is Maya."

"Nice to meet you Maya," I say with a smile. "Can I get you guys anything?"

They order sodas and pie.

Young love renders them low maintenance, and I check on them every hour or so until my shift is over at seven. I'm not sure what to think exactly about Todd having a real girlfriend. It's not just the fact that he's growing up but that he's developing a tie to the locals. It's been a no-no for so long, I'm not quite ready to endorse something as innocent and temporary as first love.

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