This section came from chapter 3. Sadie is venting about her first day of work.
“You’ve your ice cream now, so spill. What’s wrong with the library?”
Sadie grimaced. “It was a bit boring. I filled out paperwork most of the time and got the grand tour of annoyance.”
“I wouldn’t think that would be fun.”
“What’s wrong? You don’t give two word answers to library questions.”
Sadie sighed. “You know Hunter Evarson?”
“He was in my AP Bio class last year.”
“He may just win the Most Obnoxious Adolescent of the Year Award.”
“That bad, huh?” Meredith asked, twirling her straw through the caramel base of her shake.
“The tour he gave me was blood-numbingly tedious,” Sadie groaned. “Sarcasm, quizzes, obscure bits of library lore, and nine times longer than it needed to be.”
“Normally, you like the minutia of libraries,” Meredith pointed out.
“Yes, but not when it is delivered in that particular blend of arrogance, competence, disregard and mirth. I’m worried Jenna will schedule me to work with him. I love the library and he’ll just make it a dungeon.”
“Why does he bother you so much?”
“Does there have to be a single reason? Wasn’t he obnoxious in your class?”
“No, he wasn’t. That’s why I’m puzzled,” Meredith stopped toying with her straw. “Normally you don’t get so worked up about our classmates who can actually think.”
“He just bothered me. It’s his whole attitude. He didn’t have that in class?”
“Sure, there were times when his confidence got a bit wearing. He asked some really good questions though. He’s impeccable as a lab partner.”
“Maybe it’s something he saves for the unscientific then.”
“You’re not unscientific. You’ve forgotten your fourth quarter report card already?”
“Basic memorization skills and application of digested knowledge is one thing. Competency in lab experiments is a whole other realm. One that is best kept away from klutzes. My percent errors are always laughable.”
“You understand things in principle.”
“Principle does not seem good enough for Mr. Evarson. I doubt he’d be satisfied with 99.999% efficiency.”
“That may be just a little harsh.”
“So what if it is? His whipping out a ruler to see if I’d placed the books correctly on the shelf was more than a little harsh. It’s obsessive compulsive, almost on the level of persnickety old spinsters.”
“Really?” Meredith asked, her tone too sweet.
“Yes,” Sadie said forcefully. “You’d think he was the overlord of a small universe rather than a library rat. Well, he can keep his delusions of grandeur to himself!”
The small silence that followed was fiercely enlightening. It wasn’t a comfortable silence. It wasn’t a still silence. This silence loomed. Sadie watched Meredith’s eyes look past her shoulder. That’s when Sadie’s ears decided to inform her that the door had opened and closed during her rant.
“He just walked inside, didn’t he?”
“Any chance he hasn’t seen us and we can sneak out?”
“He’s right behind me, isn’t he?”
“Perfect.” Sadie’s fingers clasped down around her purse, the fingers blanching themselves white. No place was safe, not even the Iceberg.
“Nothing’s ever perfect,” Hunter said as he stepped away. “You should know that by now. Especially after all that audiovisual shelf reading you did.”
“Well, at least I didn’t have to shelf read the picture books like some people.”
“That’s on your list of things to do next week.”
“I shall look forward to the challenge. How long does it take you?”
“Then I shall finish in 40 minutes,” Sadie said with more courage than she felt. Hunter raised his thick, dark eyebrows skeptically.
“The daily log will tell the true story. Not that you’re interested in true stories, being a fiction writer.”
Sadie flinched. Hunter walked up to the counter to order.
“Perhaps it is time to rewrite an old motif,” she muttered.
“What would that be?” Meredith asked.
“People always say ‘the butler did it.’ Perhaps it was the hunter instead.”
“You have such a way with people,” Meredith commented after a long sip of her now liquefying shake. “Would you like some ice cream with your foot?”