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"He just left?" Nicky asked, sounding as perplexed as Keeley felt.

"Yup," Keeley confirmed bitterly, as she fiddled with a wire clothes hanger. "He acted like I had contracted some contagious disease from the Amazon." She watched as Nicky opened a large box of boardshorts. After Talon had driven off, she went straight to The Surf Shack to see Nicky.

"It just doesn't make any sense," Nicky murmured as she started pulling out the merchandise. "Are you sure Zach didn't recognize his name?"

"He had no clue." She handed Nicky the hanger and grabbed another one off a nearby rack.

"Maybe Zach stole his girlfriend or something?"

"It's definitely possible," Keeley mulled. Zach's moral compass didn't always point due north. He had been known to sleep with girls regardless of their relationship status. It had even gotten him in a couple of scuffles in the past.

"Did you at least get your phone back?" Nicky asked as she held out her hand for another hanger.

"Yah. He exchanged them right before he bolted." Keeley huffed as she remembered Talon walking toward his truck without a backward glance. He fled the parking lot like a herd of angry dogs were nipping at his heels.

Nicky waved a hand right in front of Keeley's face. "Hello? Earth to Keeley?"

Keeley's eyes snapped to attention. "Sorry," she apologized and handed her another hanger.

"So, what are you going to do now?" Nicky questioned. She arranged the green shorts on the wire hanger and hung it on an empty rack.

Keeley bit her lip. The more she started to think about the situation, the angrier she became. "Nothing," she stated bluntly. If Talon didn't want to talk to her anymore, then there was nothing she could do. Besides, it's not as if they were friends. They were practically strangers for Christ's sake!

Nicky shot her a quick look, the surprise evident on her face. "Seriously? You seemed to really enjoy talking to him," she commented. "Over the past couple of days, you've talked more about Talon than anyone else." She paused. "Even Brent."

Keeley's spine stiffened. "It's only natural that I talked about Talon. He made my life hell for a whole week."

"You know what they say about love and hate," Nicky casually remarked.

Keeley frowned. "I don't like him if that's what you're hinting at. I find him..." she paused, trying to find the right words, "..intriguing. At first, I thought he was a lot like popcorn."

"Popcorn?" Nicky asked in amusement.

"Yeah. You know, the type of guy that is all big talk without a whole lot of substance," Keeley explained.

Nicky laughed at the comparison. "And Talon has substance?"

"I think so. The past couple of days I've realized there was more to him than football and his extra large ego." Keeley thought about his willingness to teach her about surfboards and the way he ate his mother's embarrassing lunches. She thought about his witty remarks and his confession about the problem with his father. No. There was definitely more to Talon than he let on.

"So if he isn't popcorn, what he is?"

Keeley leaned against a nearby table and sighed. "I don't know. That's why I find him so interesting. I guess I wanted the chance to figure it out."

Nicky halted, taken back by her friend's admission.

Keeley chuckled self-consciously, and tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. "Pretty stupid, huh?"

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