I’m back, friends. This story has been whispering in my ear since I was writing the last few chapters of “Little Choices” and I had to write it. If you are a fan of my writing because I have so much gentle love between characters, this story may not be for you. This is the first story I’m writing that is not a love story. I don’t foresee it becoming a love story, it’s a thriller novel. If you liked the Wendy arc from “Little Choices” and the Bella arc from “Best of It”, this is your story. We’re going dark right from the start. Ready? Here we go.
“Hey, your favorite customer is back,” Daniel laughed as he jabbed Alicia playfully in the shoulder.
“Ugh,” Alicia groaned, “Get back to the front, you butt. I hope that old lady who wants to climb in your pants visits today and just won’t be seated.”
“You’re awful,” Daniel stuck his tongue out at her, smoothing a wrinkle from his work uniform and walking back to the front of the restaurant. He couldn’t help but steal one more glance as he walked away. Alicia was gorgeous… not in a super model way, she was curvy in all the right places and her breasts were round and not too big. Her soft brown hair framed her narrow face, and her upturned nose sat above full, perfect lips. One of her eyes was just slightly higher than the other… but what really stood out was her heterochromia. She had one sparkling blue eye, speckled with green and one brown eye that shined with beautiful yellow flecks. She got very uncomfortable when people stared at her eyes, she actually wished they’d just stare at her chest instead so she wore low-cut tops often, but Daniel thought her eyes were her most beautiful trait. Those eyes were so expressive, her emotions could be read in those eyes, they twinkled when she smiled and they clouded when she was angry.
Alicia groaned again, looking out at table five. Sure enough, there he was. The asshole had been in every day during her shift for the past eight days. Thankfully she got two days away from him, her days off, but he was back and waiting for her as soon as she came back to work. The jerk’s name was Sergio Marin-Gil. Upper class, business type, always ordered the same thing exactly the same way. She had seen the Black Card in his wallet, he could afford to eat anywhere he wanted. No, she thought to herself, he’s fucking stalking me. I hate him.
“Welcome back, Sergio,” she smiled, she had gotten in trouble with the manager for being rude to him three days ago. One thing was for sure, he tipped amazingly when she played along. And all it cost was her dignity. She did have an extra month’s rent saved up from the past eight days though, that was nothing to sneeze at. “What can I get you today?”
“You, to go,” he smirked. He’d used the line twice before, but there was an extra $50 in the tip if he got to say it. Sergio ran a hand through his thick, curly black hair. He had perfectly bronzed brown-gold skin, and his charcoal grey suit was obviously tailored just for him. His teeth were blindingly white, though Alicia had never seen what she’d call a kind smile on his lips. His nose was slightly too large for his face, otherwise he could probably work as a male model… she had no idea what he really did for a living. His dark brown eyes never left her chest… she honestly didn’t care what he did. She wished he’d just go away.
“Maybe one of these days, Sergio… how about the usual for now? One-third kilo steak, rare, side of loaded potatoes, Crema Catalona for dessert, cola light ice and a coffee?”
“You’re the best, Alicia,” he smiled, staring into her eyes. “It would make me very happy if you joined me for lunch, anything you want.”
“Sorry Sergio, I already ate lunch again. I didn’t think you’d be coming in today, I’m sorry.” She quickly started walking back to the kitchen to put in his order when his voice called after her.
“You know Alicia, you’d be happier if you just gave in,” Sergio oozed confidence, he was used to getting everything he wanted. He didn’t know why he wanted this waitress so badly… she wasn’t even a ten, but he did. Maybe it was just because she didn’t leap at the chance to ride in his Lambo, he always did have a thing for hard-to-get. There weren’t many challenges in his life anymore.
“Sergio wants the usual,” Alicia grumbled as she put the ticket up on the wheel.
“That creep is back?” Irene, the head daytime cook groaned on Alicia’s behalf, “When the hell will he get a clue? Do you want me to go hit him with a spatula?”
“No,” Alicia laughed, “But I really appreciate the offer. He’s just an asshole who isn’t used to girls saying no to him. I’m sure he’s banged half the staff at Ruby’s.”
Irene laughed heartily at these, ragging on their top competitor was their favorite pastime. It was a friendly rivalry, they didn’t actually dislike anyone at Ruby’s, it was a fine restaurant and she was friends with one of the servers there… she knew for a fact they made the same jokes about Top of the Town, where she worked.
“At least he tips well, right?” Irene said cynically.
“Yeah, I’m sure that’s all it takes to make a girl’s clothes fly off in his mind. What a jerk,” she grumbled and went to take care of her other tables.
Twenty minutes later, his order was up and she was serving him… and he reached forward and grabbed her butt as she set the plate down on the table in front of him.
“I always get what I want, sugar,” he smiled his slimy smile, making Alicia’s skin crawl. “Let’s stop this game, I’m going to have you one way or another. You know that, right?”
“Look Sergio,” she said with a little more heat in her voice than she intended as she took a step back and looked him in the eye, “I’m not interested in you. You may be used to getting what you want, but you can’t have me, okay? There is no chance of me ever going anywhere with you. Enjoy your steak,” she said flatly as she turned to go find the manager. The tips weren’t worth this…
Yes they are, she told herself, just keep your distance from him, don’t let him grab you again. You’ve made an extra month’s rent off this douche, just keep taking his money and turning him down. It’s not like you’re going to suddenly cave.
She talked herself out of going to the boss. She refilled Sergio’s drink when he needed it and otherwise kept the chatter with him to a minimum. He tipped more than the other three tables she was waiting combined, even the couple with the Little that she managed to keep from melting down by tickling his bare feet and kissing him on the forehead. She had a knack with Littles, you just had to understand that they were babies who thought they should be adults. If you could keep that in mind, they were pretty easy to manage. A little ego-stroking, a little praise, and a little love and they were just fine. Their brains were so addled from the regression formula that they were easy to manipulate if you just knew the right buttons to push.
If only creeps were as easy to handle.
When Sergio finished his meal, he paid with his Black Card like always, she ran it like always, and he gave an enormous tip… like always.
But as he turned to walk away, he caught her eye.
“So, what time can I pick you up tonight, beautiful?”
“A quarter past never,” she answered quickly, “I’m not interested in you Sergio. I don’t care that you’re rich. You’re going to have to learn to deal with it.”
“Will I?” he smirked, “You’ll be mine, Alicia Vinyes. Mark my words.”
“Not a chance, Sergio. Thanks for the tip, though.” It probably wasn’t wise to taunt him about the tip, but Alicia couldn’t help it. She looked at the signed check and sure enough, it was even higher than usual. Sergio more than doubled what she made in a day since he started coming in.
“This is your last chance, Alicia. If I walk away without you tonight… well, you’ll be sad.” Something about the way he said it sent a chill down Alicia’s spine. There was a hint of the sinister in his voice, but it wasn’t a threat. At least, Alicia didn’t think it was a threat.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Sergio. Same as always,” Alicia said softly, “With you leaving alone and me taking your money.”
Alicia looked up at the blackboard in the room, “Homecoming Game Tonight” was scrawled in chalk in fancy lettering. She looked around at all of the familiar faces in the seats near her.
No. Not this again.
This dream, her mind always went back to this day. She knew how it would end, this was the day she was assaulted by Trent, the rich kid. The bell rang and the students started filing out to the field for the pre-game celebration. Trent would find her in a blind spot near the field and pin her against the wall…
She ran the opposite direction from the students, trying to avoid the field. She ran toward the chemistry lab, heading directly away from the stream of students. But just as always happened with this dream, no matter what direction she ran in the school, she turned a corner and ended up running straight into Trent.
“Hey Bright Eyes,” the voice said as she slammed into his body. But it wasn’t Trent. Trent was the captain of the swimming team, a pretty-boy, tall and lithe… she was staring at a grown man in a charcoal grey suit, his thick, black curly hair bouncing as she ricocheted off him and found her back against the wall. It was Sergio, invading her dreams - as if this dream weren’t bad enough already. He pressed his body against hers and slid his hand down her pants. It was still Trent’s words, Trent’s actions… but with Sergio standing in for him. “Shh, I’ve seen you staring at me. I know you want this.”
He silenced her shout with a forced kiss, his hand finding her delicate places. She tried to scream and twist, but he was too strong, he was always too strong. She felt his fingers force their way into her at the same time his tongue forced its way between her lips. She slapped at him, pushing…
And woke up, covered in sweat. Again.
She hugged her pillow tightly and cried.
The alarm clock read 2 A.M., she needed to go back to sleep. She dragged herself from the bed and shambled to the shower, needing to rinse the sweat from her body before she’d be able to find sleep again. She cursed Trent for the millionth time, and added Sergio’s name to her swearing as well. So many men in Catalon were pushy, aggressive. She wished for the days of old, when the matriarchy was strong. The pendulum had swung over the past couple of generations, and the males were much more forward than the history books spoke of… so many things had changed as everything became so Little-focused.
Alicia sighed heavily as she laid back down, hoping sleep would come easily… dreamless sleep, the best kind.
Sergio hadn’t been in the past 3 days and her bank account showed it. She had spent the extra money already, her car had broken down and needed repair… she didn’t know enough about cars to argue, she could only pay - and it caused her to miss a shift on top of it. She cursed herself for wishing he’d come back in. He had been awful, and those last words he had said to her were unspeakably creepy… but the money had been nice. It was worth it, or at least that’s what she decided now that it was gone.
Daniel and Irene had celebrated with her when he didn’t show for 2 days in a row, but she had grown to like having that extra cushion in her account in case something happened… like a car breakdown. Now she was back in her usual spot, where one major unfortunate incident would make things really hard on her. Sure, she could give up waitressing and go take a job as a nanny somewhere, the Little care businesses made much more money, but she honestly didn’t want much to do with Littles. She had the minority opinion, but she felt that they had some intelligence, that they weren’t just mindless pets. She had been mocked for her beliefs, but she felt that they didn’t deserve the hand that fate dealt them.
“Um,” Daniel sounded nervous as he tapped Alicia on the shoulder, "You should… you should go home, Alicia. Go out the back. Just… "
“What are you talking about?” Alicia turned. Daniel moved to block her view, but she saw Sergio sitting in his usual spot, “Oh, he’s back. Fantastic. I’m not that unhappy to see him, I could use a little extra money.”
"No Alicia, you don’t understand… " he started to grab her by the elbow, but she jerked away. He swore under his breath, he knew she had a thing about people grabbing her. "Wait… "
Alicia strode over to the table, where Sergio was grinning widely. He glanced to the seat across from him…
And Alicia came face-to-face with a Little. Her face was puffy and swollen, probably from crying, a Silencer pacifier was stuffed between her lips and over-inflated, her cheeks bulged a bit. She was strapped down into a Little-seat, her hands secured to the railing on the front of it. The Little was naked except for an absurdly huge, pink diaper that extended from nearly to her knees almost to her breasts, straining under the buckles of the chair - and had a terrible smell coming from it. She had shiny, soft brown hair… and two different colored eyes, a sparkling blue one and a shining brown one. Alicia was staring at a Little version of herself… she stammered in shock, and by the look in its eyes, the Little was just as surprised as she was.