Home > Lucky Star (Starstruck #4)

Lucky Star (Starstruck #4)
Author: Susannah Nix





“Isn’t he that dude from that show?”

Eve Tracey didn’t need to look up to know who the customer in line was talking about. It was after ten a.m., which meant Boone Sheridan had just walked into Antidote Coffee like he did every morning around this time.

Not that Eve would have looked even if she hadn’t known who it was. Gawking at celebrity customers wasn’t how she rolled. The Studio City coffee shop where she worked got their fair share of recognizable actors stopping in for a caffeine fix. She’d long since gotten used to being blessed by their superhumanly symmetrical visages on the reg. Most of them just wanted to be left alone to consume their rejuvenating beverages in peace, and they tipped better when she helped make that happen for them.

Sure, the first few times a celebrity had walked in during one of her shifts, she’d startled at the shock of recognition. There was always that weird disorientation of seeing a familiar face out of context. It took the brain a second to place it and realize it wasn’t someone you knew, but a stranger you’d seen so many times they instinctively felt like an acquaintance.

Yes, maybe Eve had stared a little when it was all still shiny and new to her. She remembered her very first celebrity customer four years ago when she was working at a different coffee shop in Santa Monica. It was a B-list movie star who’d later turned out to be involved in a sex cult running a human trafficking ring—which was horrifying in retrospect. Not that she’d known about that part at the time.

She’d stammered a little taking his order, distracted by his unnaturally tanned face, blindingly white veneers, and unexpectedly small stature. But she’d still known better than to try and talk to him or get overly friendly. Thank god, given the whole sex cult thing. Yikes.

These days, Eve was much better at playing it cool. Even with Boone Sheridan, who was her biggest celebrity crush. Or had been, back when she still watched his show. She’d been so obsessed with Abnormal Investigations when she was in college that she’d even run a fansite for it.

But that was all ancient history now. She didn’t want anyone to know about her youthful fangirl past—least of all Boone Sheridan, who’d been a regular at the coffee shop for nearly a month, and who she treated no differently than any other customer who walked in the door.

“What show?” the guy in line asked in response to his girlfriend’s question. He craned his neck, peering at the other customers behind them. “What dude?”

“Don’t stare,” his girlfriend admonished him. “Be more obvious, why don’t you?”

“I think I know who you’re talking about,” the boyfriend said, glancing over his shoulder at Boone with marginally more subtlety. “He’s on that show with all the monsters. The one with that hot blonde. I can’t remember the name of it.”

Eve finished ringing up the customer in front of the gawking couple and greeted them with a plastic smile as they stepped up to the counter. “What can I get you?”

“Do you know who that is at the back of the line?” the girlfriend asked Eve in a loud whisper. “He’s someone famous, right?”

They had to be from out of town. Only out-of-towners got this excited about celebrity sightings in LA. Other dead giveaways: their comfortable shoes and the anti-theft travel purse the woman was carrying. Definitely tourists. Most likely headed to Hollywood Boulevard or one of the studio tours. Eve empathized with their enthusiasm, because she’d felt the same way when she’d first moved here for college. That didn’t mean she was willing to enable it, however.

“No idea,” she said, smiling wider. “Do you know what you want? We’ve got a brand-new lavender latte on the menu that’s good.”

Looking disappointed, the couple finally got down to the business of ordering their to-go coffees.

“You really don’t recognize him?” the woman asked as her boyfriend paid with a twenty-dollar bill.

“Nope, sorry,” Eve replied. “Your coffees will be right up at the other end of the counter.”

The man dropped the coins from his change into the tip jar as they moved along. All twenty-seven cents of it. Gee, thanks.

“Tourists,” the next guy in line muttered under his breath as he approached the register.

A small twitch at the corner of Eve’s mouth was her only acknowledgement as she offered him the same plastic smile she’d given the last customers. “What can I get you?”

He was a semi-regular, a businessman who worked in an office nearby, and he recited his order and paid for it with the kind of efficiency Eve deeply appreciated. He also tipped well. Always a pleasure.

Next up was a youngish girl, high school age by the look of her, with thick black eyeliner and chipped nail polish. Behind her stood Boone Sheridan, attempting to fly under the radar in mirrored aviator sunglasses and a beard he’d been gradually growing out since he started frequenting the coffee shop four weeks ago.

Eve knew from her former obsession with Abnormal Investigations that the Vancouver-based production was currently in its between-season shooting hiatus, which explained Boone’s presence in Los Angeles and apparent excess of free time. Next month, he would head back to Canada to start filming season ten, and his regular visits to Antidote Coffee would come to a sad end.

The high school girl ordered a bottomless coffee and one of the giant chocolate chip cookies in the bakery case. While Eve plated the cookie, the girl dug into the pocket of her scuffed backpack, extracting rumpled dollar bills that she set on the counter.

Her search became increasingly frantic when she came up a dollar short. “I thought I had a five in here,” she mumbled in embarrassment, her face bright red as she tore through every pocket in her bag a second and third time hoping to find the cash she needed. “I’m really sorry. I have to put the cookie back.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Eve pushed the cookie and plain drip coffee across the counter. “You’re covered.”

“Thank you.” The girl’s eyes were wide and shiny as she gave Eve a wobbly smile. “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s no biggie. Really. Enjoy the rest of your day.”

As the girl gathered up her purchases and fled to a table, Eve retrieved a dollar bill from her pocket to add to the till with the rest of the girl’s money.

“I’ll cover it,” Boone Sheridan said as he stepped up to the register. He flipped open his wallet and pulled out the Platinum Amex he always used to pay for his coffee. “Can you put her whole order on this and give her back her money?”

Eve looked up in surprise. Boone didn’t usually talk to her this much. Or at all, really. He always ordered the same thing, so he didn’t even have to say his order anymore. She’d ask if he wanted his usual, and he’d tip his chin in silent confirmation while holding out his credit card.

“Sure.” Eve shoved the bill back in her pocket and swept the girl’s money off to the side for safekeeping. “That’s really nice of you.”

Boone replied with his trademark silent chin tip.

“What can I get you?” she asked, feeling slightly flustered by the deviation from their normal routine.

“The usual would be great, thanks.” His tone was clipped—not unfriendly, exactly, but not inviting extraneous conversation.

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