It wasn’t crowded in The Regulator Bookshop. Tricia had finished rereading Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York the night before, and she wanted something new, something she hadn’t read, something hot off the press. She was in the front of the store, across from the cash registers, where the newer books were shelved. She chose four paperbacks, based on the titles on their spines, not even a peek at the cover art, and took them to the café downstairs. She ordered café au lait.
Seated in the café was a ruggedly handsome man wearing jeans and a black shirt, reading a book. Tricia took the seat across from him and set her mug and books on the table next to her. He looked up. "Four books?" he said. "You must be a fast reader; the place closes in a few hours."
Tricia smiled and said, "I’m just taking them for a test drive. I read the first ten pages. If I want to read more, I buy it." Handsome guy, she thought. And he knows how to read. Wish I could see the title on that book. Probably some book on how to build a deer blind. Then again, what’s wrong with that? The carpenters on Trading Spaces are hunks.
She glanced at one of her books and looked up again. "I haven't seen you here before."
He smiled. "Here on business," he said.
"What do you do?"
He took a sip of his coffee. "Contract work, mostly. This is my busiest season."
Spring. Of course. He had to be a builder; or a landscape gardener. The rugged, outdoors type. "You must be glad of a break." She tried to make out the spine of his book. Was it Practical Landscaping, or An Encyclopedia of Power Tools? Practical Roof Repairs? She couldn't stand it. "What are you reading?"
He lifted up the book. "Pennsylvania State Tax Code (2007) 2nd Edition."
"I need to run upstairs and exchange these," she said, grabbing up her books and coffee. "Not what I was expecting." Man, you really can't judge a book by its cover.
Opening: Anonymous.....Continuation: Anonymous