Man after man showed up at the counter and threw orders incessantly keeping me employed to that five square feet.
Oh how I want to slump like you! I thought to myself looking at the drunk slouching on the stool.
My body was perspiring with the heat emitted from these strangers who were visibly gyrating their light headed and heavily intoxicated body.
Six hours on feet was turning out cruel and not just tiresome. I didn’t even had a spare minute to wipe the sweat off my face, my hands attached to the glasses, wiping one after another.
We were merely three people working against the clock.
Earlier, Stefano had arrived and bestowed us with his presence followed by the five men who were smartened up in black suits.
Amongst them, I recognised the eldest of the Berruti Sons, Marco Berruti. He was about an inch taller than Stefano and looked very well built. He was standing on his right looking almost everywhere, inspecting the crowd through his black thick glasses.
However, one of them who had caught my eyes was the bald and thickly built man. He was short. His suit was unbuttoned and the vest was protruding outward.
He said something to Stefano which I couldn’t hear but I did notice the stiff and unresponsive mien of the ruthless. He simply waved his hands at him as a dismissal to the earlier discussion.
My eyes were glued to them until they climbed upstairs and disappeared from my vision.
I was informed by Yakub that an important meeting was going on upstairs. And remembering Ms. Palmas’s clear instruction, I decided to be an outcast today.
My phone buzzed in my jeans and I wanted to check it wondering if it was something important, given the fact that I don’t have a family or a boyfriend who would give a care to send me a message asking about my ongoings.
I took out a minute and pressed the significant date on the screen.
I was about to scroll the notification bar when a blonde woman speedily advancing to my direction caught my attention. Her right hand was placed above her abdomen almost clutching it and her face was molded into a known stressful expression.
Quickly reaching the jetton, her left hand gripped its edge, almost tightly.
Her mouth was parted to form an ‘O’ and her throat was producing some incoherent noise.
She was gagging. Then she did it.
She spew up the countertop. Non-stop.
They were swigging liquors with an insouciant attitude an hour ago so this was nothing unforeseen. I was expecting this to an extent. But what vexed me were those white patches on my cardigan and the drops dribbling from the counter to cabinet and from the cabinet to the concrete floor. Just where I stood.
I squinched my face at the ugly sight. The urgency of this situation was obvious but for a few seconds I stood still like a stupid stone, baffled at what just happened and unable to believe my extraordinaire luck.
I sucked in my breath worrying the cardigan would stick to my skin. My hands found the tissue and scrapped the blotch vigorously.
Honestly, I felt bad. For myself.
I managed to glare at her amidst the frantic movements of my hands.
“Find a sink b*t*h.” My mouth spouted unmonitored.
I could see from my periphery how Dante’s face expressed shock, gaping at me horrified.
If Ms. Palmas heard me swearing on customers, she might just fire me on my first day at work. I glared at Dante, warning him to not act oversmart and to stay shut. He instead rolled his eyes at me and walked to the other direction.
From our previous encounter, I had pretty much inferred him as the annoying, wannabe boss who wants to act superior from other workers.
I let him be and turned to the blondie who was retching her guts out like a broken shower faucet.
A man was standing worriedly beside her looking at the mess she created yet staying put.
“Do you want to puke with her?” I insolenced to the man humourlessly.
He looked at me blankly for a second then at the blondie.
“Take her away.” I almost yelled, my annoyance clear.
Thankfully, he took the cue and led her to the restroom.
I was seething when Yakub came with a ragged piece of cloth to my rescue and took over my position seemingly concerned and anxious.
I quickly found myself the staff washroom and unbuttoned the cardigan taking it off me. I splashed some water and wiped it but the stain remain adhered nonetheless.
Fortunately, I was wearing a black tank top underneath today.
I don’t think Ms. Palmas will like it but do I care? No.
So I went back to the counter just to find that the mess was already cleaned. I turned to Yakub who in return grinned at me.
“Thank You.” I managed to whisper against his ears as he shrugged and walked past me with the tray of drinks.
Minutes later, my phone vibrated again. And again. That reminded me I needed to check what was so important.
I unlocked the phone and saw five messages followed by two missed calls.
“Hey? How’s it going?” an hour ago.
“Are you busy?” 30 minutes ago.
“Is everything alright? I know I am not your boyfriend but send me an emoji if you are just busy.” 26 minutes ago.
“I told you that place is no good. Shall I come there?” 22 minutes ago.
“Okay. I am coming.” 20 minutes ago.
The sender was no one but my freaking roommate. I mean it when I say ‘freaking’ human.
It was nice to be cared sometimes. And I was glad she did because it’s been quite a lone time since I last felt so. Twenty years to be precise. But her worry was redundant. I was not a kid who needs someone around to feel safe and secure.
I pressed my forehead exhaling a long sigh.
“They will leave soon.” Yakub said noticing my exhausted self.
He didn’t look any good. I wanted to ask him how he managed to smile, like literally always but refrained. It seemed too early to be gelling up with your work partner.
“Nights are the busiest. But you’ll get a habit. They’ll leave like-” he glanced at his watch and continued “-in thirty minutes.”
I let out a huge breath at the information and loosened my stiff stance.
He chuckled looking at my face relax.
“It’s your first day.” He grinned again and I mentally pictured what it’d be like if Yakub and Eva sat together.
Would it not feel like a competition ‘Smile till your jaws fall?’
That reminded me I need to tell her I am fine. Eva was worried when I informed her about Dragon. So she had coercively exchanged numbers before I left and has evidently been a dilligent mama.
But before I could type a reply and calm her worried ass, out of nowhere I saw Evangeline standing right in front of me in her full physical form yet small.
She was fuming.
“Whoa missy! Wouldn’t it be polite to not ignore messages and hit a reply nicely. Which of course you are not but wouldn’t that be nice?” She snapped, her eyes narrowing down at me.
What sort of observatory eyes she had to assume I am ignoring her messages?
I was holding my phone. Yes.
I read her message. Yes.
I did not reply her, yet. Okay yes.
But I was not ignoring her.
That is called a delayed reply.
“Calm down you, Tiny Temper.” I tried knowing well that she had the reason to be angry.
“I was busy and not ignoring you. And what are you doing here?” I asked with surprise omitting the silent hell.
“I thought someone kidnapped you.” She stated flatly.
“You know, you are new and all. So that is a possibility.” She continued taking a stool. “And I wanted to drink.”
I chuckled as I started making her a martini. “That’s a lot coming from a little woman.”
“In my defence, my mom passed me her genes.” She retorted genially.
She was wearing a pullover teamed with her denim shorts which meant she was still wearing the outfit to her work and has directly come here.
One might think she is clingy and pestering but she was infact sweet and caring. In the morning, she gave me my much needed privacy and also cooked me delicious food. All in all, she was a compatible roommate.
“So this place is not actually bad, huh?” Eva started taking a sip.
Only if you knew darling.
“Told you there is nothing to worry.” I said instead, reassuring her.
“So when will this close?” She asked.
“Dragon doesn’t close.” I heard Ms.Palmas who had stealthily walked to us. She strode forward and made herself a drink. The ice clinked as she twirled the glass.
“Are you a friend?” Ms.Palmas asked Eva.
Okay. I didn’t need this. I wanted to just live at a nice apartment with a nice person who wouldn’t indulge in my profession.
“No. We are roommates.” Eva chirped. I wanted to stop her but the engine was unstoppable once kicked.
“She is new here… Yes, yesterday… arrogant…yes, sometimes… dragon is nice…haha… Feel like dancing.” That was what I could decipher from her inescapable rant.
However, Ms.Palmas was listening to her more intently than my liking. I mentally grunted. I take back every nice words I said about Eva minutes ago.
I was looking at both of them stupified, my hands involuntarily wiping the counter when I felt a pinch in my arm.
“I said let’s go dance.” Eva almost shouted to be loud and clear.
“Apologies Evangeline. Unlike you, I am actually quite busy.” I mocked while placing the liquors at the shelf.
“Oh come on! They will do it.” She said waving at Dante and Yakub.
It was tempting. The floor was now less crowded. As Yakub had said, people were starting to leave. And I desperately needed a break.
So I looked at Dante and Yakub to see their reaction which was unexpectedly very fine.
“Break a leg.” Yakub laughed.
Dante however facilely made an annoyed face which he didn’t even need to try.
The DJ repeated songs by now and was playing the Dirty Dancing by Boostereo.
We were grooving to the music when a man squeezed himself in to be a part of the two. He was shorter than me and was swiping himself in between us, moving his hands to inappropriate places.
“Hey beautiful!” He slurred to Eva. Given, she was an easier prey.
“Nice ass.” His hands reached to touch her and Eva swatted it off more nicely than was needed.
The man was completely drunk. He started swaying and moving his body having no sense of himself.
“Let’s dance girls. Rock that booty.” he shouted twerking his fat ass.
So I slapped him.
He turned at me to look at the attacker and I felt pleased to see the imprint of my hands on his left cheek. His face was blank with horror.
“How dare you hit me , you f**king whore?” He spatted aloud, clenching his fist.
I slapped him again.
His face turned ashen white with anger. But this time he didn’t wait to say anything and held my hand to twist.
I untwisted it and shoved him off.
I could see the audience dispersing to the side creating a circular space for us.
“Let’s go.” Eva whispered to me.
I was almost following her when the man pulled my tank top from behind.
“Lame attack.” I muttered clenching my jaw before yanking him off of me and kicked him in his crotch.
The result was instant. He fell flat on his bottom, his hands holding his pride and honour.
Before I could warn him, Eva took hold of the mic.
“Shut up, Figlio di puttana.”
“Don’t you ever cross your limits. My friend here is a fighter. She will f**king beat you to a pulp and feed you to the vultures, understand? You a*sh*le.” She made herself clear, bragging aloud and I couldn’t agree anymore.
But realisation slowly crept into me. I just made a mistake. A grave mistake.
So much for being an outcast.
I mustered the courage to look around the crowd and slowly my eyes ran to where it mattered the most, the gallery. I was hoping that this scene went unseen.
But, I was wrong. He was standing in the gallery looking like a king addressing his subjects. His hands were rested on the rail, those fine fingers curled around it.
He leaned forward slightly to rest his elbows on the rail entwining his fingers giving me all the attention. I could see curiosity flicker in his eyes.
He looked devilish.
Now that I saw him standing just above looking directly at me I could appreciate the art of god. He was indeed a very handsome man.
His eyes were a light shade of sultry grey accentuating the dark skin. His lips were partly full. His jawline sharp like a knife, the dark stubble appearing slightly on it in an attractive way.
I slowly ran my eyes to meet his and at that sheer moment I started overthinking the gazillion of things possible after this and abruptly halted muting all the thoughts at once.
It was as if my mind had turned useless, my body felt paralyzed. I could hear my own heart hammering wildly against my chest.
The man was invitingly hot.
My throat turned dry and I licked my lips in reflex. His lips slightly twitched to form a smirk. He was looking at me. Amused.
A/N:. Hey lovelies! Dis you like the chapter?
If yes, do let me know in the comments which part did you enjoy the most.
I am so excited to write the next chapters. Yayyy!!