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Getting Wade

By Shawn Lane

Published by JMS Books LLC at Smashwords

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Copyright 2019 Shawn Lane

ISBN 9781634868723

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Cover Design: Written Ink Designs |

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All rights reserved.

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Published in the United States of America.

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Getting Wade

By Shawn Lane

Wade Conner entered the dimly lit bar and let the heavy wooden door close behind him. For a moment, he stood in the entrance, trying to get his eyes to adjust enough to the darkness to be able to see what he came for.

Who he came for.

He’d never been in this particular bar before. McGinty’s Pub. It was one of those places that had been in the neighborhood for years, all the way back to when it was still legal to smoke in bars in California, and the slight stench of old smoke still hung in the air.

Wade wrinkled his nose. Other smells mixed there, too. He didn’t analyze the stench beyond pot and alcohol.

Shaking his head, he stepped into the main part of the old pub and searched the bar counter first. He doubted Neal Lowen would be there. Barstools weren’t really Neal’s style, but since they were the most obvious choice, Wade searched among the patrons there.

He saw a guy who looked like he could bench press two-fifty, a slight Asian man, and a bald man with a bit of a paunch.

The rest of the bar contained booths and rickety tables with old wooden chairs. In the corner was a mostly hidden booth, and of course, as soon as he spotted it, Wade knew he would find Neal. Pushing his slipped eyeglasses back into place, Wade approached the booth.


Neal, who had been leaning his head on his folded arms, looked up when Wade spoke. In the dim light, Wade couldn’t make out the expression in his eyes, but judging by the empty glasses on the table, Neal was three sheets to the wind.



Wade slid into the booth and scooted close enough to study his best friend. His dark eyes looked watery and his bottom lip trembled just a little. His chin-length dark brown hair appeared wild on his head. His skin was flushed.

“You came,” Neal whispered.

Wade gave his friend what he hoped was a reassuring smile. “Of course, I came. You needed me.”

Neal nodded.

“That’s what friends are for, remember?”

“Yeah, friends.” Neal looked at his fingers. “Have a drink with me.”

Wade glanced around the seedy bar. Years ago, McGinty’s had featured topless dancers. That was decades ago now. He wasn’t even sure how the place stayed in business.

“Are you sure you haven’t had enough?”

Neal shrugged. “Coke, then.”

“Okay, I’ll be right back.”

He slid out of the booth and stepped up to the bar. The other patrons didn’t even glance his way, but he noticed they all drank the hard stuff.

“Two Cokes,” he told the bartender when the bearded man reached him.

The bear of a man replied with a grunt, then mixed the syrup and water in skinny, tall glasses with two ice cubes each. He thrust them at Wade. “Five bucks.”

Wade gave the guy six and headed back to the booth. He really could have used a beer, but decided he needed to be sober enough to drive Neal home.

“I don’t remember you ever coming to McGinty’s before.”

Neal shrugged. “This was my dad’s hangout. When I was a kid and Dad wasn’t home, this was where he could be found. I guess that’s why I came here. I don’t know.”

Wade stuck a red straw in each Coke and pushed one toward Neal. “You’ve been thinking about your dad?”

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