Authors: Cathryn Williams
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Multicultural, #Multicultural & Interracial
Stand Of Redemption
Young Ink Press Publication
Copyright © 2014 by
Edited by C&D Editing
Cover Art by Young Ink Press
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only e
xception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
This work of fiction is intended for mature audiences only. All sexually active characters portrayed in this ebook are eighteen years of age or older. Please do not buy if strong sexual situations, moderate violence, drug use, and explicit language offends you.
Connect with Cathryn,
Ria looked at her tear filled
eyes in the mirror, and forced herself to take deep breaths. She blinked several times, trying to keep from crying while desperately hoping with each blink the revealing redness would go away.
She couldn’t afford to be fired from another job. She was barely making enough as it was. She was finally able to pay
for her closet-sized, one bedroom apartment. Although, she had made drastic cuts in every aspect of her life to do so.
Ria looked down at her
body; she had lost another five pounds. Food was an added expense, and she didn’t allow herself to eat more than one meal each day.
After a few deep breaths and strengthening her resolve, she looked at her face again. Her nose was still a little red, but at least it didn’t look like she had been crying. She looked into her own brown eyes and saw the despair in them.
She looked back down at her shirt to see the smudged fingerprints from the man who had grabbed her breast when she’d leaned toward him to pick up his beer mug. She had wanted nothing more than to bash the mug over his head; however, she needed this job to keep a roof over hers and her mother’s head. So now she simply had to put a smile on her face and act like everything was fine.
She shook her head and took one more deep breath. She could do this until something be
tter came along. She wouldn’t be working as a waitress in this shithole of a bar forever.
looked at her tight, white tank that zipped up the front and left her entire midriff exposed. She was also wearing a short, dark denim skirt that showed the bottom of her ass cheeks, along with a pair of red cowboy boots. The waitresses were allowed to wear whatever they wanted, as long as they showed plenty of cleavage, ass, or both. It was Saturday night and she wanted the bigger tips; therefore, she was showing both.
It had paid off; she was getting the extra money she was hoping for and a lot of attention from the male patrons. The pitfall to that strategy was she had to put up with every man she waited on feeling like he had the right to touch the flesh she exposed.
The man that had grabbed her was an asshole, yet he reeked of money. She wouldn’t touch the fucker if he had a million dollars. He was one of those rich guys that believed he could do and get away with whatever the hell he wanted. She would love to have proven him wrong, but when she had looked up, she’d seen her boss watching; hence, her decision to step back and play it off like it was nothing.
He had laid a hundred dollar bill on the table to pay
for their drinks. Ria had swallowed her nonexistent pride and reached across the table to pick up the money. That’s when his hand had cupped the bottom globe of her ass. All the men sitting with him had laughed and leered at her, obviously enjoying watching her breasts as she struggled out of his grip.
She had seen groups of men like them before, most of them wearing wedding bands. They would tell their wives they were working late when, in reality, they were at a place like this where they’d brag to each other about who’d scored the most women. Ria was willing to bet the only time any of them got laid was when they bought their wives an expensive gift, though. Married or not, she couldn’t imagine any woman giving it up to one of those jerks for free.
She didn’t bother wasting her time complaining to her boss. He wasn’t going to lose a penny over an irate waitress. He would fire her before offending a paying customer.
Ria sighed. She had lingered in the bathroom, feeling sorry for herself, long enough. It was time to get her ass back to work.
She gave her appearance another once-over in the mirror, adjusted her long black hair into a side ponytail, and let her hair cover the tan skin of her breasts as much as possible. She then pulled her skirt down a little more to hide the view of her ass. She better get the tip she deserved for putting up with the men for over the last two hours.
She took another deep breath, and walked back into the bar.
As she walked through the crowded bar to her table, she saw their eyes drop to her breasts, just as she’d expected.
“Hey, fellas. Can I get you anything else?” The sultry voice she had perfected made her feel unclean as she bent over to pick up some of the empty dishes.
“Another round, sexy,” one of the men next to her slurred as he slid his hand up the inside of her thigh.
Ria felt the shock of being touched intimately again but forced herself to shake it off. It was getting late; their wives would be getting suspicious. While they would act like arrogant as
sholes with her, at home were probably whipped by their domineering wives. Hell, they probably didn’t realize they had a dick until they left home in the morning.
“No problem. I’ll be right back.” She smiled down at him as she smoothly maneuvered he
rself away from his wandering hand.
As she walked back to the bar, she stopped by her two
other tables to get their drink orders, as well. At least the other two tables had men and women, so she didn’t have to deal with more than one table of all males. Why any woman would voluntarily come to this place was beyond her.
“Four Utopias, four Buds, two vodka-crans, and two Miller Lites,” she yelled to Chris, the bartender.
When he turned and grinned at her, she couldn’t help smiling back. Chris looked like a complete bad ass with his bulging muscles covered in tattoos. He was good at dealing with the drunks who got out of hand. Yet, when you got to know him and talked to him, he was actually the sweetest guy—that is, until you pissed him off.
Chris whistled. “High rollers. You are getting some green tonight, Ria-baby.”
Their boss always kept some expensive beer for the businessmen that came in at night. Even though it was a bitch waiting on them, those types of men were pretty free with the cash.
Ria rolled her eyes at his nickname. If he didn’t have a nickname for all the waitresses, she would have liked it, but he was the ultimate ladies’ man. She wasn’t going to fall victim to his flirting, and he knew it, which was why they had become good friends.
“I deserve it tonight,” Ria responded with a glare.
Chris looked at her and she saw his face soften. “Sorry, Ria. Want me to deal with them?”
“No. I’m hoping this is their last round—they have to go home to their wives eventually—but thanks Chris.”
Chris finished getting the beers for the men first, so she grabbed the bottles and sashayed back to their table with a smile.
“Here you go.” She placed each bottle in front of the men, making sure to stay on the opposite side from the two men who had touched her. Unfortunately, it didn’t help.
The man who had grabbed her breast earlier in the night leaned across the table.
“Honey, how would you like to see the view from the top floor of The Plaza?” he inquired as all the men looked at her.
Well, she had been wrong about them going home to their wives. They must be on an out of town trip and looking for some fun.
“Wow, that sounds incredible, but I have to work late.” She tried to put her most seductive smile on her face, not wanting the rejection to hurt her tip. “I’ll just have to picture it in my head.” She pretended to pout.
She watched his eyes narrow in anger, but then he tried to cover it up with a fake smile. “I understand.”
Ria could see him holding back his temper, and she wanted to get away as quickly as possible. A feeling of foreboding came over her. Men never took her refusal without an argument.
“Anything else?” She looked at the rest of the men, but none of them responded.
“No. I’ll put the last round on my card,” snapped the man she had just rejected.
She nodded her head and went back to the bar where the rest of the drinks were ready. She quickly took them to her other tables then completed filling out the check and took it to the table of men.
As she approached, the main guy lifted his hand to take it. She started to leave and wait for him to put his card on the table, but he told her to wait and handed her the card. She took the card and quickly went to the register to close the tab. He was really starting to give her the heebie-jeebies.
She returned to the table and handed him his card back with a pen and the receipt. “Thank you so much, gentlemen; it’s been a pleasure serving you. Enjoy the rest of your stay at The Plaza.” She was doing her best to play dumb and act like she didn’t realize they were looking more like ferocious werewolves than businessmen. She pitied the woman, or women, they ended up with tonight, but at least whoever it was would most likely be getting paid and had volunteered to be with them.
She walked away casually and stopped by her other tables before heading back to the bar.
She sensed Chris watching her approach and forced herself to keep her face calm. She didn’t want any of the patrons thinking she was upset. She met Chris’s eyes and smiled.
“Hey, girl. They’re gone,” he said soothingly.
She just nodded her head in return. She didn’t want to cry. She was facing worse problems than getting groped to earn a small paycheck, plus tips. Tonight was nothing she hadn’t dealt with before over the last six months. She was pissed at herself for letting a few assholes get to her. She knew it was the strange vibe from that table that was throwing her. It was time to shake it off.
“Thanks, Chris. I’m fine.” Ria felt herself relaxing, knowing they were gone now.
Glancing up, she saw her reflection in the mirror behind the bar. She noticed her breasts were pushed up in the red bra and her recent weight loss had thinned her facial features, r
esulting in bigger than normal eyes and the appearance of fuller lips. She looked like an easy lay. No wonder the men were treating her like she was a whore. It didn’t help that the bar was in a hotel. The men inevitably began to assume she would be willing to keep them company in their rooms for a price. She couldn’t believe she had sunk to this level, all for a fucking tip.
She pulled the zipper up to cover her bra. She knew she had to find another job fast, but with her shitty references, it wouldn’t be easy in a city already overwhelmed with unemplo
She walked back to wipe down the table and pick up the receipt. She looked down to make sure it was signed and to see what the dicks had left her and noticed the tip line was blank.
That fucking son of a bitch didn’t leave me a tip!
The small group had spent over fifteen hundred dollars during the course of the evening and she had put up with all that shit for nothing!
As she stared in disbelief, she also noticed that he’d only signed his name; he didn’t write down a total, either.
Before she could change her mind, she scribbled down three hundred dollars in the tip line and filled in the total. She deserved the twenty percent tip, dammit.
With the tip already spent in her mind, she glanced around quickly to see if anyone had seen her actions. Her heart was thumping, and she could feel herself sweating. It was dark
enough to where she didn’t think anyone had seen her. She felt unbelievably guilty, but that money would help her with next month’s rent. The thought of just one month of not having to scrape together rent money kept her from changing her mind.
She finished cleaning the table then carried everything to the backroom to be washed.
, she kept repeating to herself.
He probably would have left the tip anyway if he hadn’t been drunk
. Twenty percent was a standard tip; she hadn’t overdone it. She still felt guilty as hell, though.
She took yet another deep
breath and walked back into the bar and got to work again. Thankfully, the rest of the night was uneventful, but the cloud of guilt stayed with her.
At the end of the night, everyone turned in the receipts and Chris counted the drawer down for the night. Ria held her breath when he looked through her receipts, but he didn’t give her any indication that he saw anything out of the ordinary. It was a normal tip. There was nothing unusual about it. There was no reason for him to think differently.
He turned to pay the waitresses their tips.
“Sexy Barbie, nice job tonight,” he said to Barbara as he handed her the money.
Ria kept herself from rolling her eyes when the tall blond blushed. These women were such suckers for Chris until he screwed them and told them he just wanted to be friends afterwards.
“Hot toddy, what a night!” While Tatiana stepped forward with a toss of her long, dark hair to take her tips, the other girls laughed.
Tatiana was a dark-skinned beauty with sexiness radiating out of her. Ria envied her boldness. Tatiana would have known how to handle the assholes from earlier tonight.
“Ria -baby, another good night for you,” Chris said as she reached for her money.
Chris continued until everyone had been paid for the night. Then they all helped clean up and left together.
She was the last one out. Her desperation almost let her make it; however, her conscious couldn’t stand the guilt.
“Chris, can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Sure. What’s up?”
She reached into her purse and counted out the three hundred dollars, handing it back to him.