A reporter for a small-town newspaper and a college intern have a summer romance.

An excerpt:

Every Friday, payday, the entire editorial staff went to the Metro for a drink or two after work. He had hoped he could talk Beth into joining them but he didn't have to. Simon did it for him. Beth didn't even offer much resistance.

Usually, six of them sat at the long table in the Metro but Beth made it seven. She was the youngest and the only woman. It seemed only right that Simon, as managing editor, should sit at the head of the table. Beth sat next to him, on his right, and Art sat on her right.

Conversation was constrained. There was desultory, unenthusiastic chat about baseball. Ordinarily, Simon and the other unmarried guys would talk about their hopes and plans for the weekend, which usually involved sex, but they were obviously inhibited by Beth's presence.

The jukebox was playing "I Love You Because." Impulsively, he asked Beth to dance. "This must be boring for you," he said as he led her unto the small dance floor.

"A little, but it's okay. It's not such a bad idea to get together. Maybe by the end of the summer they'll accept me as just one of the guys."

"God forbid." She laughed softly into his shoulder.

They started to go back to the table when the song ended but when Bobby Darin began singing "You're the Reason I'm Living" he took her into his arms again, closer this time, and she came easily, readily.

When that song ended, the jukebox fell silent. Beth excused herself to go to the ladies' room. Art watched her slim form for a moment and turned to go back to the table. The other guys were laughing about something, paying no attention to him at all. On a sudden impulse, he turned again and headed toward the men's room.

The restrooms were in an alcove almost entirely screened from the rest of the place. He waited across from the ladies' room door. When it opened and Beth came out, he stepped forward, put his arms around her, and kissed her. She didn't resist. When they eased apart after several seconds, Beth smiled and said, "I liked that, but I'd better get back to the table or people will talk."

They had another round. Beth ordered a 7-Up instead of wine and. when she finished it, she said she'd better get home because her parents would be getting worried. Art offered to take her home but Simon said, "I brought her here, so I'm responsible." Art had one more beer with the rest of them before leaving.

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