“Ugh,” I groan. “Not again.”
“Well, I’m about to take my break,” Marcie says from a few feet away, giving me a knowing shake of her head. “Sorry, Eli. You’re on your own.” She pushes herself off the chipping wall she’s leaning against, taking her phone and cigarettes with her. She wastes no time in leaving me there by myself, swiftly avoiding what I’m going to have to deal with.
The apology in her voice does little to make me feel better about tolerating Clover’s douchiest customer.
And, boy, is he a douche: with a bold, underlined, capital ‘D’.
Frank Poshner waltzes in with his typical arrogant and boisterous demeanor, prancing inside like he owns the diner along with the rest of Los Angeles. And he has a larger crowd with him today.
Ugh. Fuck my life to hell and back.
I don’t even know how a total buttplug like him ended up with a last name like Poshner. There’s nothing even remotely “posh” about the idiot.
I stall heading over to him and his crew for as long as possible, watching with sheer impatience as they rambunctiously settle into the same booth they always do, wearing the same preppy khakis and baseball caps they always do, and laughing obnoxiously at the same stupid, senseless shit they always seem to be laughing at.
I let out a long, tired sigh, taking several—and very necessary—deep breaths before walking over to their booth.
“Hey, Baby Cakes,” he calls out as I approach them, his eyes roaming over me slowly and deliberately so that I’m aware of the action. “Looking good as usual.”
Of all the nicknames I’ve been given in my twenty-three years, this is the only one that makes me want to gouge my own eyes out with a rusty spoon.
His creepy stare lingers on my shorts and his thin lips curve into an arrogant smirk. I shift uncomfortably under his gaze, feeling nothing other than pure and utter disgust.
My God, this guy is so freaking annoying—
Abruptly, teal and cornflower blue eyes force their way into my mind, startling me with their clarity and intensity:
The eyes of the reaper from my dream.
Even after all this time, somehow they still manage to make their way into my head, haunting me with their frightening beauty every chance they get.
And I keep having this ridiculous urge to see them again.
Even now, I remember them so clearly, as if they’re right in front of me, gleaming with that insane luster of blue.
But all I get are the sleazy, whiskey-colored eyes of Frank Poshner, the diner’s most difficult customer, staring back at me.
Frank is a regular here, but before Rubies shut down, I was lucky enough not to have worked any shifts during the times he usually comes in.
I hadn’t realized just how lucky.
That’s clearly changed.
Since last week, I’ve had the utter misfortune of seeing Frank in all his glorious loserdom every day.
Every. Single. Day.
In that brief time, I’ve managed to acquire yet another source of nuisance in my life.
Every day, without fail, he barges in with his usual rowdy crowd and sits at the same damn booth, and orders the same damn thing, all the while looking at me with the same damn pair of lecherous eyes that creep the heck out of me and make my skin crawl.
Today, unfortunately, is no different.
It’s clear he thinks this new routine is something I’m willing—perhaps even happy—to take part in simply because I’ve been civil about his inappropriate advances so far. Not for his sake, but for mine and the fact that I’d like to keep my job.
At the end of the day, my bills aren’t going to pay themselves, and I’m not going to let a noisy douchebag who lacks any semblance of manners or social propriety make life any harder for me outside of this diner.
I take in a deep breath and put on the best smile I can muster at the moment, feeling the sheer tightness in my lips as they resist to curve upward at the sight of the imbecile.
“Can I start you guys off with some drinks? Some coffee or iced tea?” I ask tightly, my eye twitching with the Herculean effort it’s taking to look at him and smile as I grit my teeth.
“I actually had something else in mind I’d like you to start me off with, but I guess I’ll settle for a few Coronas,” he laughs.
His moron friends join him, chorusing their stupidity in crass, roaring outbursts.
I wince at their loudness, my head throbbing from the blaring noise.
Theses morons are seriously making my blood boil.
I try to keep my cool, even as I picture myself smashing several bottles of Corona against each of their bobbing heads.
The thought is unusually satisfying.