"I think we should have a rule that prohibits employees from dating each other." Carla is standing next to Don, near his office, and she looks pissed.
"I don’t see why this is such a big concern to you." Don says, looking like he could care less about the subject.
Carla sighs. "It’s not. And that isn’t the point. I just think we should implement this as a new rule. When employees date, they break up and cause all sorts of drama that’s hazardous to the workplace."
"That only matters in big business dealings, Carla. We’re a restaurant. We always have drama behind the scenes with the wait staff and kitchen crew anyway. What’s it matter?"
Carla turns and as soon as she sees me she stiffens. "Fine, whatever. Don’t make the rule. I couldn’t care less." She spins around and heads in the opposite direction, leaving Don staring after her in confusion.
He turns and when he sees me, gestures for me to come over. "Did you hear any of that?" He asks, and I nod, deciding that telling the truth is the best option. "Did anything... what she said make sense to you?"
I shake my head. "No, not at all."
"Good. I wasn’t sure if it was just me." He grins a bit and opens his office door. "Well, get to work, Brookie."
My shift starts out slowly but an hour in and we’re smashed with complaining guests and whining teenagers. Nothing I passing out seems to be cooked the right way for anyone in the restaurant all night, and they complain when it takes longer to get a second, fixed, plate. But I plaster a smile on my face and make the best of the night. More people means more work, which also means more tips. More tips means I can get my car and apartment sooner. Although part of me would rather just stay at Jeremy’s for the rest of my life.
There’s only one other good thing about busy nights, and that’s how the time flies. It’s closing time before I realize it and though it takes an extra half an hour to clean up, I barely notice it. Wiping down each table is such a routine task and I’m actually a bit surprised when I reach the last one without realizing it was the last. Carla’s remained sullen and silent all night long, shooting me glares and dirty looks whenever we passed by each other. She’s always been ill-tempered around me but this seems more than usual. I ignore her as best I can while putting everything away for the night.
As soon as I’m done in the dining room, Jeremy comes from the kitchen, wiping his hands on his dirty gray shirt. He looks sweatier than ever, in a not so cute kind of way. "Even with the air conditioning blasting that kitchen turns into a furnace on the busy nights." He tells me, pressing a quick kiss to my lips as a form of greeting. I just smile and gesture around me to the empty dining room.
"I suppose it’s not furnace hot out here, but it does get pretty gross."
Carla slinks by, hips twitching with every step and she flashes an all-too-sweet smile at Jeremy. My jaw tightens ever so slightly and I feel a raging anger burn through me as I watch her leave.
Jeremy must have noticed because he chuckles slightly and rubs his hand up and down my arm. "Calm down, babe. If looks could kill, you’d be in jail for manslaughter."
"Murder." I correct him, with a small grin that is somehow contagious enough to cross onto his face. "It’s the higher offense."
He takes my hand in his as we traipse outside into the cool spring air. I collapse into my car and sigh. "That was crazy." I mutter with my feet aching. Beside me, Jeremy nods his agreement.
"I cannot wait to get home and shower." He mumbles.
"Dibs on first." I tell him with a grin and he groans loudly as I start the car.
"How about we just shower together?" He asks suddenly, grinning wolfishly at me.
I laugh and shake my head quickly. "Not a chance, sweaty boy." I say. He pouts a bit, his bottom lip sticking out in the most adorable way, but I hold my ground. "Sorry, Jer, but you’re so not getting into that shower with me."
He huffs and childishly sticks his tongue out at me but doesn’t push the subject further. When we reach the house he bolts inside and when I realize what he’s doing, I chase after him but the door to the bathroom slams just seconds before I get there. I sigh and start pounding on the door. "Jeremy whatever your middle name is Cavanaugh, get out of there. I totally called it first!"
The door opens enough for him to stick his head out and he grins at me. "First off, my middle name is Thomas. Second, there’s plenty of room in here if you want to join me. But it looks like you’re going to have to wait if you want to shower alone. Guess you should’ve been quicker." He winks at me before closing the door and I hear the shower turn on. I groan and head upstairs to grab some clean clothes to change into after my shower. "You win this time." I grumble as I leave. "But you better watch out." Next time it won’t be so easy for him, I decide.
I head up to our room when I’ve finished showering, with my hair wrapped up in a towel. Feeling refreshed after such a long busy night that I typically would have had off, I sit down on the edge of the bed to brush out my hair. I'm braiding it to the side when Jeremy comes in. He sits behind me on the bed and snuggles up to me. He's not drunk but he's slightly buzzed. He kisses my cheek and I smile and after slipping a hair elastic around the end of my braid, I turn to press a kiss to his lips. Being here with him feels so effortless. His hand trails against my cheek, down my neck and then he touches the end of my braid, distracting me by kissing me. It’s not until I feel a few individual strands of hair falling around me that I realize he pulled the elastic out. "Jer, what did you do that for?" I grumble, tucking my now loose bangs behind my ear.
He grins a bit sheepishly. "I like your hair this way."
I just stare at him, raising an eyebrow. He must be crazy. "Wet and tangled?"
He chuckles and shakes his head. "No, well, I guess. But I mean I like it down, when it’s hanging all around your face. Tangled hair or not, you still look perfect."
"You’re super cheesy tonight." I mumble, twisting my hair in my hands, fumbling as I try to re-braid it, but his hands stop me.
"Please leave it down?" His voice is soft, gentle, pleading.
So I drop my hands, letting my hair fall where it falls and a simple smile graces his face. "You’re beautiful." He mumbles, pecking my nose with his soft lips. "So beautiful." His face turns serious and he chews on the inside of his cheek for a moment, hesitantly before starting to talk. "Brookie, have you thought more about... well, about what to do about Tyler?"
I shake my head slowly, nervous to have this discussion. "He hasn’t really texted or called much in the past few days and I guess with how busy I’ve been it just slipped my mind."
Jeremy smiles a bit but it isn’t his usual full smile. "I’m glad that he hasn’t been plaguing your thoughts, but I just want you to be safe. And I think you have to go to the authorities about him."
"And say what exactly? That he raped me over a year ago? I have no proof, no evidence against him. I can’t do anything unless he does something again."
Jeremy is silent and I can see in his eyes that he knows what I’m saying is true. "We can at least do something about him basically stalking you." He finally says.
I shrug a bit. "Maybe this is dying down on its own. Like I said, he’s stopped calling and texting. Maybe it’s all over and we can just move on and forget it all and I don’t have to bring it all back up." He stays quiet so I continue. "Do you know how hard it was for me to tell you everything? I don’t think I can go through that again, especially to have to tell it to someone I don’t know? I can’t do it, Jer. I just can’t." I’m shaking my head fiercely and his hands reach up, one on each of my cheeks and he stops my movement, looking directly into my eyes.
"Breathe. You’re getting really worked up, just breathe."
I do as he says, feeling myself start to calm down the slightest bit. "I just can’t do it, Jer. Not right now. I will if he texts me again, but can we just drop it, for now, please?"
Jeremy sighs quietly, but then he nods slowly. "Alright, just, promise me one thing?" I nod in answer and the pad of his thumb brushes against my lips. "If Tyler contacts you one more time, you’ll tell me, so we can figure out what to do about it together."
I nod again. "Of course, Jeremy. I promise." He still looks so concerned. I bring one of my hands up to his face, tracing the scars by his nose gently. "I promise." This repetition of my promise seems to slightly lessen his concern. His lips that were pressed together so thinly after his plea loosen up slightly and I lean forward, bringing our lips to meet. Having him so close to me has such a calming effect on me and I can only hope that I bring the same source of peace to him.
"We both have Tuesday off, right?" I ask, trying to change the subject after a minute of kisses. He nods slowly. One of his hands is tangled in my hair, the other is still cupping my cheek, and his thumb taps patterns on my skin. "Can we go disc golfing again?" The smile I love fills his face and I know his answer before he says it.
"Definitely." He yawns loudly and flops onto his back. "Can we sleep now?"
I giggle and nod. "That sounds good." He fiddles with the button on his jeans before yanking them off and pulling his shirt over his head afterwards.
"I’m not putting on pants." He mumbles, tugging the blanket up over him. I just laugh a bit and shake my heads.
"You didn’t put on pants last night either." I say and he grumbles something incoherently. I’m already wearing an old, worn, band t-shirt and a pair of yoga shorts so I switch off the light and then slip into bed beside him. Before my head even hits the pillow, he’s curled up around me. His arms snake around my waist and he pulls me against him. I can feel his soft, slow breathing on the skin of my neck and I can faintly hear the beating of his heart. A small smile crosses my face. After a few minutes, Jeremy is asleep. So I shift slightly, getting more comfortable and I can’t keep the smile off my face. In this moment, my life is perfect.
Thinkerbelle77 - I definitely understand being busy! I'm glad to hear from you now though! Hope you enjoy this chapter!
Louise - Thank you! I hope you liked this one!
Miha - Thank you so much! I'm enjoying introducing more of Jeremy's family! I'm so glad you liked the chapter and I hope you like this one just as much!!
Emma - Thank you!! I love writing the cute, intimate scenes though they can be quite difficult! I hope you like this chapter too!
Hey all! Thank you for all the sweet comments and all the reads! Chapter Five just reached 16000+ reads and I can't even believe it! It's so incredible!
I just wanted to give you all a quick update on what's going to be going on in my life shortly. I've got a new job and am accepting all the hours I can get with it, which doesn't leave me much time to write. When I'm home I'm torn between sleeping, spending time with my family and pets, and trying to find time for friends. This week is going to be a long rough one as I'm going to be working just about every day and have so many commitments and appointments to make. I just want to apologize in advance for the fact that the next chapter may take a while for me to write and post. I hope you all understand!
Anyway, thanks for all the reads, support, and comments! You all make me so happy! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this chapter! Love, Marie.
Scars And A Daisy - Chapter Thirty FourJeremy shows his cheesy side.
By Em Bishop