Don't hate me Tes! Please!
Read this insanity from the beginning. Or just jump in here, although it won't make any sense. At all.
Jules and Eliza were sitting at Pancake Heaven. It was the evening before Thanksgiving and it had been a very long day. Their usual conversation was muted by exhaustion and they were drinking coffee like water, trying to wake up before heading to their homes, or the bars, or their boyfriend’s beds.
Jules perked up when Snow finally joined them, dragging the new girl, Jess, behind her. Jess had a look on her face of both bewilderment and fear. They slid into the large circle booth.
“Fuck me. If I hear one more fucking made~up complaint from one more dumb~ass customer? I’m going postal. Swear to God.”
Eliza rolled her eyes at Jules and laughed, “There’s no money in that. It’s a gimme.”
“So what happened now?” Jules asked, lighting a cigarette and keeping her gaze out the window, looking for James’ car.
Snow put her head on the table, banging it, “You know that full sheet cake I worked on all afternoon? The one that they wanted exactly 45 roses, in varying shades of pink, but no neon pink and no mauve, because oh my god, that would clash with the purple and blue theme of their court house wedding?” She paused, waiting for the others to nod, “Well. They just called and complained. Said the cake was horrible. And they wanted their money back. So Alex told them to bring back what was left and he’d be happy to give them their money back.”
“And . . .” Jules prompted.
“There wasn’t any to bring back. They’d eaten it all. But, you know, it was the worst thing they’d ever tasted and they damn well better be getting a refund or they’re going to call corporate right fucking now.”
“So what did Alex do?” Jess asked, then wished she hadn’t when the girls turned to look at her and laughed.
“Honey, our customers always get what they want. Always.” Jules snorted.
“And a little.” Eliza laughed and Snow groaned.
“Haven’t I fucking told you how much I hate that slogan? And is that Dave sitting there, in the back?”
Jules and Eliza nodded and Jules frowned, “He came in earlier. Waved to us, then went back there. He’s really looking down about something.”
“Or someone.” Eliza smiled knowingly and Snow smirked.
“Dude just needs to give it up more often. Stop being so high and mighty and thinking he’s too good for . . . “
“Jeez, Snow. He can hear you.” Jules slid down into the booth and Snow shrugged.
“Not anything I wouldn’t tell him to his face. When I’m off the clock, of course. He’s too broody. He thinks too much.”
“Yeah, but he’s so pretty when he broods.” Jules said and they all turned to look at David’s broad back as he sat alone, three booths away from them.
Just then Nicky, Seth and James arrived, sliding into the booth and making the girls rearrange themselves. There was much kissing and mild groping, then Snow cleared her throat and looked pointedly across the table at Nicky and Eliza.
“Where is your brother?”
Nicky smiled and nodded, “Right there.” And they all looked up to see a living, breathing, carbon copy of Nicky standing at their table. “Sit down, Kelly.” Nicky’s twin slid into the booth, taking the only empty spot, that just happened to be beside Jess.
“Jess, this is Kelly. Kelly, this is Jess. Now. Let’s all go out and get drunk.” Eliza had already climbed halfway into Nicky’s lap and was kissing his neck as she spoke.
“Jesus. Take a pill or something, ‘liza. Let’s plan our Thanksgiving for tomorrow night first. Then we can all leave and you can just do him right here on the table.” Snow tried to speak with some authority around the feeling of Seth’s roaming fingers on her thigh, under the table. Jules and James were just staring into each other’s eyes and Jess was still looking at Kelly with her mouth open. “And close your mouth Jess. Say hi. Shake his hand. He’s the one that wanted to meet you, remember? How was it put to me? Oh yeah, ‘Snow, my brother is totally hot for that new part time customer service girl. Can you bring her with you after work? He’s just dying to get,”
“Snow. Hush.” Seth reached over and put his hand over her mouth.
“Sorry. It’s been a bitch of a day. And tomorrow will only be worse.”
“Gotta love the holidays in the bakery.” Jules laughed, finally tearing her eyes away from James.
“What holidays?” Eliza snorted.
“So tomorrow. We’re meeting at Seth’s place after work. Who’s bringing what?”
They divided up the Thanksgiving meal as the waitress brought them all more coffee and emptied the overflowing ashtrays.
When they were finished, Jules was leaning into James, resting her head on his shoulder and Snow was quite sure that Eliza was giving Nicky a hand job under the table. Considering just how many times she’d seen Nicky bite his bottom lip, hard, in the last ten minutes. Seth was sitting back, his arm around her shoulder, his fingers tracing patterns on her back and Jess and Kelly had their heads down, whispering to each other and had not stopped smiling once.
Snow decided to turn up the heat for a moment. She was still pissed about the missing icing in her bakery.
“So. Tell me. What’s everyone’s favorite flavor of cake? And frosting? If I’m the one bringing the desserts, I need to know, so no one gets, like, hives or anything.” She looked around the table, trying to catch a guilty glance, or a scared vibe. She knew that they were all trying to pawn it off on Dave and Chris, but no bets had been paid. Dave was still walking around the store with his patented ‘I haven’t been fucked in days. Don’t talk to me,’ look and Chris kept staring after him as if Dave was made of chocolate and Chris was pmsing like a professional.
“Carrot cake.” Jules answered instantly. Girl was smart. She elbowed James.
“German chocolate.” He said.
“Pecan pie.” Jess piped up, then looked around the table shyly.
“Warm apple pie, with vanilla ice cream melting over the top.” Nicky smiled and Eliza rolled her eyes, laughing.
“I’m going to break you of that vanilla thing someday. I swear.” She looked at Snow and smiled, “Anything with that whipped icing. Chocolate preferably.”
Snow grinned back at her, the icing mystery forgotten for the moment, “Oh, God, yes. I’d even eat that off you.”
Seth leaned forward, “Excuse me? Something I should know?”
Snow blushed, “It’s just that good. And no. You’re the only one that gets the pleasure of my mouth.”
Seth laughed, “You are tired. You’re usually not this easy.”
Both Jules and Eliza snorted coffee out of their noses. Snow ignored them, kept her eyes on Seth and ran her middle finger up the side of her face, just for them. “What dessert would you like me to bring?” Seth shrugged.
“Just bring yourself. I’m good with that.”
Snow turned back to the group, “Should we invite Dave and Chris or not?”
“What? So they can fight at the dinner table? No one is fucking with my turkey dinner.” Nicky said under his breath then smiled broadly, looking over Kelly’s shoulder. “Chris. Hey bud. What’s up?”
The table turned as a group to see their union rep standing there. “Invite Dave and Chris where, Snow?”
“Oh, you know, Thanksgiving. We’re all getting together at Seth’s after the department closes. You’re welcome to come over and join us.”
Chris shrugged and they all watched as his eyes were locked, away from them, on David’s back. “We’ll see. I don’t have any plans right now.”
“Well.” Nicky stood up, pulling Eliza with him. “We, uh, need to go. See ya’ll tomorrow.”
“Yeah, us too. I’ll take you home Jess.” Kelly grabbed Jess’ hand and they were gone.
Snow and Jules looked at each other across the table and smiled.
“See you tomorrow morning babe.” Snow said, then looked hard at James.” Don’t be late, doughnut boy. Biggest breakfast day of the year, you know. In fact, early would be good.”
Seth pushed her out of the booth and waved to the other couple. He tried to pull her out of the restaurant, but found her immovable in front of Chris, looking up into his face.
“Fix this.” Snow poked him in the chest with her finger. “Stop being a pussy. Or I’ll find someone else for that man. He deserves to be happy.”
Chris just looked down at Snow, his expression unreadable and Seth yanked hard on her arm, finally getting her to move. Jules and James followed them quickly and the restaurant was empty of customers, except for Dave and Chris.
Chris looked up and saw David's reflection in the window, watching him. He
glanced out the opposite window, and saw the tail-lights of Seth's truck leaving.
He walked to the back.
David put down his book, a biography of Joe Namath. "I heard Snow," he said.
"So, do I look unhappy?"
Chris slid into the booth across from him. "Nah, you look normal to me. Like you have a five-iron up your ass. Pretty normal David expression."
David raised his eyebrows in faint hauteur. "I'd remember that," he said. He looked up at the waitress, who refreshed his coffee. "Thanks, Cindee," he said. "You might as well bring Chris a cup."
"Lotta cream," Chris said, looking up and giving her the full effect of his years of orthodonture. Cindee backed up a half-step, blinking, before setting the pot on the table and bringing a cup and saucer and spoon.
"If you ask me," Cindee said, "You guys need to get the money up higher." She
reached in her apron pocket and dropped several of the small containers of creamer on the table top.
Chris ripped the cover from the first cream. "Huh. You think?"
"Oh, yeah," Cindee said. "That Eliza has some big money down. But the thing is, she doesn't really believe you guys like each other at all. So she's got a side bet on you two clocking each other prior to New Year's Eve."
David set down his cup. "You wouldn't happen to have any money on any of these
things, would you, Cindee?" And damn, Chris had to grin, because the big guy could really turn on the charm when he wanted to.
Cindee looked down the aisle of booths, then slid in and sat beside Chris. "No, I hate gambling. Don't believe in sure things. So I think you two should go by the Thanksgiving dinner and do nothing."
David nodded. "I can do that."
"No, I mean, not look like your dog just died, and you---" she poked Chris.
"----don't look like you're gonna hump his leg. Fake 'em out. They'll go nuts."
Chris leaned back. "And what's in it for you?" he asked, with deep suspicion.
Cindee stood up. "That damned Eliza has been on my last nerve ever since she
took her boyfriend in the women's restroom for a little funch. This ain't a hotel. Payback's a bitch, and so'm I."
"Thanks, Cindee," David said, getting money out of his wallet and putting it down.
"No problemo." She walked off.
David looked at Chris. "Can we go eat, now? Christ, I thought you'd never show up."
Chris nudged David's foot under the table. "Sure."
In the parking lot, Chris said, "Yo." And at David's inquiring look, said, "Guess she never found out about us in the men's restroom."
"We're quieter," David said. "Get your ass in your truck and follow me. I've been thinking about a steak for forty minutes." He slammed his car door and drove off in the direction of the Outback.
"Got your steak----naw, that doesn't work," Chris mumbled to himself, sliding in his truck.
Thanks Tes! That was such fun!!