Authors: Vesper Vaughn
Tags: #bad boy, #rockstar, #stepbrother BBW romance bad boy opposites attract one night stand second chance second chances bad boy attraction college, #movie star, #bbw, #alpha, #hollywood
by Vesper Vaughn
2016 Vesper Vaughn
The hiss of the espresso maker was enthralling. I stood behind the counter of the Java Bean coffee shop watching the foamy milk steam into the air as it filled up the white ceramic mug.
"Are you going to serve me or are you just going to stand there?" asked the shaggy-haired college boy standing on the other side of the counter.
I felt a frisson of anger rise up in my body. I gripped the edge of the counter. This was hour five of my nine-hour closing shift. I'd skipped lunch because we were understaffed. I was in no mood to play games with this guy.
that I'm making your drink.” I shook my head in exasperating and leveled him with a single look. “I would suggest a small bit of humility and patience for the person who is so kindly assisting you."
The boy tapped his fingers on the countertop impatiently. "I will not be treated like that from a work-study student," he retorted, his tone biting. He looked back at his friends and smirked as if hoping they were watching him.
I yanked the white cup out from under the espresso machine and slammed it angrily onto the countertop, bits of white foam flying onto the counter. "Here's your drink," I spat with a forced, sarcastic smile. "That is, if you can manage to stomach drinking something that a financial aid girl touched with her own hands."
The boy leaned forward on the counter, resting his chin in his hands, his elbows burnishing the shiny wood. "Aren't you going to draw a heart in it?" he asked.
"I don't know how to do that. I spend most of my time working instead of studying. It's almost like I don't even have a brain." I picked up a slightly dirty bar towel and wiped the foam bits off of the wood. "I suggest you drink up before your daddy's money goes cold on the counter."
I was delighted to see that I had struck a nerve with this asshole. "Have a nice day!" I added with more than a dash of faux cheer.
The guy grabbed his coffee and stormed over to the front table where his friends were waiting, apparently oblivious to the interaction that had just taken place.
I patted myself on the back in a self-congratulatory way.
"If you talk that way again to the son of the largest donor to this school's endowment fund, I'm going to have to give you a raise." I turned around to see my boss, Lorna, standing there with a smile on her face. She held a wet dishtowel in her hand with her hip cocked. "I wasn't aware you could stand up for yourself so easily," Lorna said proudly, looking at me in a motherly way.
"Then you didn't see me during pledge week last year," I replied, turning back to my task of shining up the countertop. A shiny wet ring of condensation had been left behind by the cappuccino mug.
Lorna laughed. "Well I guess I'll have to take your word for it." Lorna stood on her tip toes to try to reach the top shelf where the Italian soda flavoring rested, the sunlight of late evening casting a beam of light that twinkled through the rich, liquid color contained within each bottle.
"Here, let me get that for you," I offered. One of my few physical strengths was my height. I usually didn’t have to stand on my tiptoes to reach items that most people would need a ladder for.
"Boy, am I going to miss you when you graduate next month," Lorna said, gratefully taking the glass bottle from me and twisting the cap off of it. She opened up one of the drawers and took out a metal top that she expertly screwed onto the now-open bottle.
I smiled at her kindly. "I'll miss you too, Lorna. Though I can't say that I'll miss working here too much." My eyes darted over to the table where the asshole cappuccino guy was laughing it up with his asshole friends.
Lorna set the bottle onto the countertop. She balled up the towel that she had been holding and set it on the counter gently. I knew what must be coming next. "Olivia, there's something I need for you to do over the next four weeks."
I leaned against the countertop with my hip. "I'm listening, mom," I said jokingly.
"I want you to have some
You've worked here since the end of freshman year. I know you go home and study. I want your last four weeks of college to be enjoyable, not a rush of final classes and applying for jobs."
I sighed and smiled. "I
fun. It's just a different kind of fun."
"Really? What are your plans after work today?"
My mind flashed to the paper script that was sitting on my cozy, warm bed. I'd bought a bottle of wine and was going to drink it while I memorized lines for tomorrow's audition. Except I'd told nobody that I was auditioning for the May term production of
Romeo and Juliet
. I hadn't even told my roommate Lydia, who was the stage manager and costume designer for it.
"Uh, I was planning on going out to the quad with some wine and laying out in the nice weather," I replied slightly evasively.
"Okay, fun is the wrong word then.
might be the word that I'm looking for. I want you to do something that you never in a million years would have considered doing." She sighed and reached over to brush a thin layer of dust off of the top of the espresso machine. "Believe me, Olivia. If I could go back to my final few weeks of college? If I'd looked like you? I wouldn't have been spending it alone with a glass of wine. You'll have plenty of time for that when you're older."
I blushed at her compliment. "I highly doubt you were a bridge troll when you were in college."
Lorna flipped her dark hair over her shoulder. "Did I say that? I just said I never looked like
look. So that's your assignment. Spontaneity."
I laughed. "Don't you think that
spontaneity is sort of against the very concept?"
Lorna reached out and put both of her hands on my shoulders. "This is what I'm talking about. You
too much. Don't think. Just
." Lorna reached behind her thick waist and untied her dingy white apron strings carefully. Then she hung the apron on hooks on the back of the door into the food preparation area. "And on that note, I am finished for tonight." Lorna crouched below the counter and grabbed her worn faux-leather purse, fishing inside of it for her keys.
"Do you have the grandkids tonight?" I asked.
Lorna nodded. "Yes indeed. And it will be boxed macaroni and cheese and cut up hotdogs if I have my way." Lorna smiled broadly. "And you know that I always have my way."
"Yes, you sure do," I replied, laughing.
tell you to be careful with these guys here," Lorna said, motioning her head over to the front table where the knot of boys was now taking plastic straws and shoving them up their nose. One of them was imitating a walrus noise. "But something tells me you will be just fine." On that note, Lorna took her purse, and waved goodbye to me, stepping through the wood and glass coffee shop door, the rusty metal bells tinkling as she left.
I looked up at the clock on the wall. Only three more hours and I would be back in my dorm room. Lydia would no doubt be asleep with her headphones blaring.
Three more hours.
Then I would be free to sneak into bed with the copy of the audition script held tightly in my hands.
I stood onstage, breathing in the waxy-smelling air. The auditorium always smelled like slightly melted crayons. I felt something like nostalgia creeping over me. The sound of hammering behind me was, for once, not driving me up a fucking wall. It almost sounded like the soundtrack to the last four years. I couldn't believe that this was going to be the final play that I performed here. A huge part of me couldn't believe it had gone by so quickly.
I suddenly realized that the hammering had stopped. Diane's raspy voice screeched out. "Romeo? Hello!"
I started and looked around me. Everyone was standing there watching me, including the people working on set. "Sorry," I mumbled.
"Let's try that again," Diane said from the front row, leaning back into her seat with the tall stack of dog-eared papers she always carried settled into her lap.
"From the top?" Josh, my best friend, asked. He sounded annoyed.
"From the top of the scene, yeah," Diane replied. "Hopefully this time Romeo can keep it together."