Lucky Chance ( Luvluck Novellas #2) - K.L. Shandwick

Chapter 1

The pint glass was almost half full when the beer tap spluttered and deposited draft Guinness foam down the front of my T-shirt. I let it go, cussing under my breath, and I glanced along the bar to my bartender, Terry. As usual, he was deep in conversation with the three old timers who propped up my bar most lunchtimes.

Those old guys treated The Lucky Shamrock like their second home, escaping their isolation of living alone. I loved that of all the local bars, they’d chosen to stick with me after I’d taken over as manager almost eighteen months before.

“Terry, I need to go and change the Guinness barrel in the cellar and clean up.”

“Do you want me to change the barrel?” he asked, reluctantly, his eyes pleading with me like he’d have found it traumatic to move.

“No, I wouldn’t dream of interrupting your social time,” I told him, sarcastically. “I need to get a clean top from the dryer in the cellar anyway,” I replied, gesturing to my clothing drenched in ale.

The truth was, I knew Terry was likely the only fresh conversation those senior citizens were likely to have before they went back to their solitude in their homes.

No matter how many times I had opened the door to the cellar and looked down into the darkness, it gave me the willies. I knew it was stupid because there was no creepy window for a mad man to sneak in.

As I fumbled along the wall for the light switch, snapshots of every horror movie I’d ever watched flashed through my mind.

Relief flooded my body when the neon strip light on the ceiling of the cellar blinked in a ‘will-I-won’t-I’ decision before it finally decided to stay on and the basement under the bar was bathed in a harsh bright light.

Out of habit, I’d paused halfway down the wooden steps, my heart freaking out as my eyes desperately scanned around the damp sunken space. I’d obviously read too many paranormal shapeshifter books when my vivid imagination paid consideration to one or two of those perhaps lurking in the corners.

Although the cellar was kept clean and tidy for potential unannounced health and hygiene inspections, it had a smell that reminded me of bygone days. Maria joked it was the smell of death and swears it had been used as a dungeon in the past.

Hastily, I unclipped the keg from the pump line, rolled it away and struggled with the new seventy-kilo-plus keg and moved it into position. When I reconnected the hook-up to the pump line, the pressure valve released marginally before the connection was sealed, spraying me for the second time that morning with Guinness.

“Shite,” I muttered to myself as I quickly peeled off my soaked top, grabbed the first one that came to hand from the dryer and pulled it over my head. Stepping back toward the pump, I rechecked the connection and then headed back up to the bar.

“Ta-da, I’m back, Terry, job done. You’ll be glad to know there was no axe murderer down there, so you won’t need to strain yourself doing any work,” I teased.

Terry turned to look at me, but instead of giving me his usual thumbs up sign whenever I made a sarcastic comment, I saw his eyes widen and he stalked toward me, concern etched on his face. Grabbing me by my forearm, he marched me out of sight of the old timers and shoved me gently toward the stairs at the back of the bar.

“Daisy, what the fuck are you wearing? I don’t think you’ll want to be advertising yourself like that,” he scolded, sounding stern.

“What…” I had begun to ask as I held out the hem of the top and glanced down to see what was wrong. “Are you fecking serious?” I muttered in disbelief when I saw I had pulled on the smutty joke pyjama top my friend, Maria, had bought me for Christmas.

The scooped neck top had a printed image on the front of male and female feet, intertwined, male on top as they poked out from under the bottom of a sheet. The low V neckline displayed my ample cleavage and underneath the printed picture was a slogan adorned with shocking pink sparkles that said, ‘Good girls do missionary work’. I cringed.

“And the crotch of your jeans,” he remarked, pointing down lower. “They look like you’ve wet yourself,” he said, not knowing where to focus his attention between the wet patch and the crude picture emblazoned Copyright 2016 - 2023