Presented by SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS

SPONTANEOUS CHOICES SHORTS features short serialized fiction by author Shannon Muir, that may be later released as part of e-book or print collections. In 2019, these serials will appear every second and fourth Thursday (and fifth Thursdays as they occur) beginning January 17, 2019. The story line featured over the next sixteen days is “A Spontaneous Kind of Mystery,” featuring the return of Marnie and Zane. This is part 5  of 16.

‘You both made it!” Marnie exclaimed. Then, she realized they both came in together. “Did you carpool?”

Sophia laughed.

“No, I found Zane outside a little lost so I showed him the way since I’ve been here before.”

Zane waved at Marnie, and saw he looked a bit embarrassed.

“You want to get some coffee before they start?” Marnie suggested to him, remembering what he said on the phone.

“Sure,” he said with a smile.

Sophia gently pushed Marnie forward and whispered in her ear.

“Go for it, girl!”

Marnie tried not to let her own embarrassment show as she walked with Zane towards the coffee bar. As they approached, could hear the customer at the bar exchanging words with the person making his coffee. Both of them had a very similar build, but the one behind the counter looked athletically trained, while the other likely came of his build more genetically. The customer also wore glasses, with an eye-catching tortoise shell frame for the upper part of the lenses and behind the ears.

“Tell your boss when you go back after your break to leave my boss alone!” the person making the coffee said, shoving the cup in the other’s direction.

The other young man forcefully grabbed for his coffee, and Marnie thought it a wonder he didn’t break the cup in the process.

“They’d really both benefit if they worked together,” the other young man insisted. “But your boss won’t be flexible to change.”

“You keep forgetting, she was here first,” the young man behind the coffee bar responded with a tone that indicated he considered the conversation complete. The other young man stormed off with his coffee.

“So sorry about that,” the young man behind the counter apologized to Marnie and Zane. “That Colby and his boss don’t know when to give up. Enough about that. What I can I interest you lovebirds with tonight?”

Marnie looked at the employee’s name tag. It read: BARTO. Then she looked over at Zane to see if he was going to bother to correct Barto’s impression of them. He didn’t, and before she could decide if she would or not, he stepped forward.

“Hi Barto,” Zane said, “we’d like to order some coffees. Actually, I would be up for a latte tonight.”

He turned to Marnie.

“How about you, Marnie?”

Marnie was still in shock that Zane hadn’t put up a fuss over anything Barto said she hadn’t even thought about what she wanted to order.

“Yes, sure, that’s fine,” she said. “I’ll have what you’ve ordered.”

Marnie now nervously wondered if Zane really did see this as a date, the way Sophia told her he might… or perhaps she just read too much into it.