Jules knew things were going to go to hell in a handbasket, and not in the good way, as soon as Adam showed up.
Adam was the "perishables" specialist, and Snow's bete noire,
mainly, because he didn't know anything about bakeries, delis, or meat, because he was a produce specialist. All according to Snow, who always coughed like a cat with a hair ball and said "asshole" behind her hand whenever Adam's name was mention.
They had to make a distinction that he wasn't Nice Adam. Nice Adam was six feet two inches tall, and was renowned for nearly taking out Manager
David with a vicious spiking, during an allegedly friendly softball game between them, and their sister store in the next county. Manager David didn't seem to mind, but all the women were divided between swooning at Nice Adam's shoulders and bristling at his mean behavior to Our David.
Anyway. Jules shook herself from traitorous, wistful thoughts of having sex with someone bigger than she was, and texted Eliza. Adam always came by the store when Snow was off, always, and Jules so needed the true Assistant Bakery Manager on deck.
"Fucker told my Eliza that I overbake my french bread," Snow was screaming over the jukebox at Pancake Heaven. "Oh Dude. I've been baking bread more years than he's been alive. I was baking homemade bread and making cinnamon rolls from scratch back when this boy was still on his mama's tit!"
"Which was last year," Nicky said to Seth. "Adam is so very very weird.
And dating Amber?"
"It's the band," Seth said wisely. "Chicks dig bands."
"Oh? Maybe we should get a band together, dude."
"Well, except for the part where you can't sing and I can't play any musical instrument, sounds good."
Eliza popped her gum. "I wanna be lead singer."
Snow look tragic. "It's Christmas week and no one loves me."
"I love you, baby," Cindee the waitress said soothingly, pouring another cup of coffee. "Fresh pot, hon."
Snow smiled. "Hey, do you think I should call my lawyer? Think I can sue him for harassment?"
Nicky raised his eyebrows. "You don't have a lawyer, and if you're talking about Dee, she said she'd run over any of us in the parking lot if she saw us."
"Yeah, she didn't take too well to that whole thing with Armin and the freezer burns."
"It wasn't my fault that he went to sleep in the truck," Nicky argued.
"Dude, people fall asleep when they're freezing to death."
Even that wouldn't have been so bad, except that Adam sent Tom to
reset the bakery with tags on the shelves.
"Oh my God! shelf tags! Oh no! I'll learn my lesson now," Snow snorted.
Tom dropped several of the plastic tags, and Snow smiled unpleasantly at him.
"Like that is going to force me to bake what Adam thinks I should be baking. Or overbaking, as the case may be." She put her hands on her hips. "But I'm gonna be nice. I don't believe on taking things out on the minions."
Eliza sidled up to Tom. "Give me the tags. I'll take care of 'em."
Tom shoved the plastic bag of tags into her hands, and fled the scene.
"But, the thing is this. They're starting to bitch about shrink again. Just like they do this time every year. Yet they want me to bake things that I know won't sell in California. Hello? Anyone out there? I mean, someone with a fucking brain, please."
"Like what?" Chris asked. He studied Snow, head tilted, then spun her around on her barstool. "Just breathe." He began massaging her neck and shoulders.
Snow pretended to bring her paw up to her face and scrabble, like a dog
being stroked. "Okay, I'll give you thirty minutes to stop that."
"Oh, fatty, sugary junk food stuff, instead of fresh, fresh, whole grains and yuppie bread."
There was a traffic jam at the entrance to the bar.
"Why does she get a massage from Chris? " Eliza asked, outraged.
"Gee, thanks," Nicky said. "Where's Seth? Someone should tell him that Chris is stealin' his woman."
"Aaah, she won't go far," Seth said, comfortably. "I have her wallet. Who's up for a pitcher?"
"Who the hell does she think she is?" Jules agreed. "I mean, damn."
James gave her an outraged look. "I thought you lived for my massages?"
"Pfft," Jules said.
Eliza and Nicky gave each other looks of pleased comprehension.
"How do you feel about that, James? That Jules is obviously sexually attracted to Chris?" Eliza asked.
A pleasant voice came from behind them. "Isn't everyone?" Nathan asked.
"What d'you think, Dave?"
"Well, I've heard of hands-on union representation, but---" David began.
He became aware of them all staring at him.
"But what?" Nathan asked.
"But nothing. It was a rhetorical gesture." He looked over their heads
at Chris, who let go of Snow, and grinned at the crowd in the doorway.
"Good," Chris said. "Now we can talk about the Christmas party."
"Oh, Christ, " James said.
"Christmas," David said blandly.
Somehow, Chris managed to sidle next to David at the bar. "I'm tired of the joke, now," he said abruptly, looking at David's broad shoulders under the double layer of long-sleeved tees, and where the hell did that look come from. Jeeze, next thing you know, boy'll be wearing Chris' CAT hat.
David lowered his beer mug. "Well, it was you who wanted to freak 'em all out and win money." He licked foam from his lip. "It's fine with me."
Chris wanted to take him into the men's room and shag him senseless.
Seth and Snow were dancing next to the jukebox. They called it dancing; Eliza called it vertical foreplay. "You weren't even a teeny tiny ittle bitty tiny miny bit jealous?" She asked sadly.
"Baby, I happen to know that Chris belongs body and soul to someone else," Seth said patiently. "And no, it's not the girl from Pancake Heaven."
"Great. And now Big Dave is out drinking with Captain Nathan Tightpants,
and he and Chris'll never be together," she pouted.
Seth kissed her. "You're sexy when you've got your head completely up your ass."
"Do you think my ass is sexy?" Snow brightened.
"Absolutely," Seth said. "Especially in this denim thing."
Jules was sitting on James' lap. "I know you aren't completely satisfied with me," she sighed.
James ran his hand up the back of her blouse. "What do you think about a threesome?"
Jules grinned. "Hey, it depends on who you have in mind."
"Vinnie or Michelle," James said smugly. "You pick."
"And either one of them would jump at your offer?" Jules said, her head swimming.
"Hey, it's their idea."
Jules wrinkled her forehead. "What do you call a foursome?"
"An orgy," James said. "Ah, you're drunk and so am I."
Jess held Kelly's hand very tightly. "These people scare me," she whispered. "They're weird. "
Kelly brushed his hand over the back of her head, smoothing her hair. "Oh, they're all talk, baby. Look at my brother and Eliza. She's settled down---" Eliza chose that moment to spill beer down her tee shirt. "Well, sort of settled down." He nudged her. "Look up. Mistletoe." And kissed her.
"There wasn't---never mind," Jess said breathlessly.
Cindee, from the diner, sat at the bar, talking to Chris' friend Steve.
"They're obsessive compulsive," she said. "Bakery yada yada, betting yada yada."
Steve signalled for another round. "Cindee," he said, "have you ever sung back-up?"
Chris leaned into David's space. "Move in with me," he said.
David set his mug down. "Move in with you?"
"You asked me what I wanted for Christmas," Chris said, downing his shot of Jack. "Well. To quote Mariah Carey, All I want for Christmas is you."
David considered. "I can afford that," he said. Incredibly, the big guy looked like he was blushing.
Chris never would have believed it if he'd been told in advance, but absolutely no one in the bar saw him kiss David.
"So I should take that Fender Stratocaster back?" David asked, his face straight but his eyes crinkled in laughter.
"What? Fuck, no!" Chris just stared. "Really? Jesus!" He got off the barstool and turned around a couple of times. "A Strat! Fuck!"
"Leave with me now, and we can go get it," David said. "I don't give a shit about the betting."
Chris grabbed his beer and finished it. "Fuck, no. I don't either." He
got back on the barstool and leaned on the bar, grinning. "I want to do something---something big."
David cleared his throat, modestly.
Any of this sound familiar?
**laughs at myself**
Do I really sound like that when I'm ranting?