32. Almost Lover

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I couldn't remember the last time silence had been uncomfortable between Peyton and me, but it was that night, at least for me

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I couldn't remember the last time silence had been uncomfortable between Peyton and me, but it was that night, at least for me. Peyton's composure and command over himself was nothing short of extraordinary, so while he looked at ease, I wouldn't really know what he was really thinking unless he told me.

But sitting shotgun while he drove, I couldn't shake the feeling that he saw through my lies and knew all about Jake. I should've known better, Peyton was the smartest person I knew. I could no more fool him than I could flap my arms and fly to the moon.

But so what if he knew?

I wasn't doing anything wrong. Peyton and I weren't a couple, never were, and you can't cheat on someone you're not in a relationship with. It was a two way street though, I couldn't be mad at him if he was dating Alice either.

What was wrong was me lying to him about my whereabouts for the last three days. And now he was going to apologize. How was I going to make it through this farce?

My hopes that Sonic would be too busy and loud for a proper conversation were dashed quickly as it was all but deserted. One other car idled in the carport, Casey Flores' old Dodge. Miranda was probably in there with him and... yup. Our eyes met through the windshields as we drove passed them. She looked away.

Peyton went to order so I went to the patio and mulled over the seating options.

Right or wrong, if Peyton told me that Alice was his girlfriend, I was going to flip my shit. I always tried to be on my best behavior around him, but I was a southern girl, born and bred. You could only push me so far before my mama's mouth and temper took over. And unlike Peyton, my self-discipline wasn't exactly anything to write home about.

He usually sat right beside me when we ate, but I didn't want to sit next to him that night. I wanted some space so I hopped onto the table. Peyton Bishop would never sit on a table. Then, I waited.

Peyton hesitated when he approached, then took the seat on the bench, right beside my leg. Minutes later, a carhop delivered our food. She was a matronly woman with a super friendly face, frizzy brown hair, and milky white skin that seemed to glow. There was a smudge of mustard on her uniform, right under her name tag that read: Tammy.

"Lord Almighty." She set the food down on the table and smiled big, her eyes crinkling softly at the corners. "Y'all are so beautiful I don't know where to put my eyes!"

Tammy must've been new in town because people who recognized Peyton were intimated by his wealth and didn't like to talk to him. It had always saddened me to see him treated differently.

Peyton smiled politely and Tammy continued to stare at us well beyond a socially appropriate time frame.

"I'll be damned. Y'all look like you walked right off them ads for that store, watchamacallit..." Tammy frowned and snapped her fingers rapidly. "Aycaramba and Fitch. That's it."

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