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His Dirty Secret

By:Evelyn Troy

Chapter One


Isobel put the money in the register, smiled to the customer sweetly as she gave him his change, and then hid a laugh as she caught the glance of one of her co-workers. Melanie discreetly made a face at the guy Isobel had just served, indicating that she’d noticed that, once again, there was no tip forthcoming, which was nothing unusual these days. Isobel shrugged her shoulders in response and was about to mouth something sarcastic back to her friend when the customer captured her attention once more.

“Excuse me, but this is not what I ordered.” His tone was as mean as his tip had been, and Isobel sighed as she plastered the smile back on her face before turning back to face him.

“Excuse me, Sir?” She made sure that she kept her voice as polite as possible, conscious of the fact that her boss was within earshot.

“Are you deaf as well as stupid?” The man positively barked at her, and she could feel her smile start to falter. “I said that this is not what I damn well ordered, girl!”

Isobel held on to her temper, but only just. If there was one thing that she hated more than being treated like she was incompetent, it was being called a girl. “I’m so sorry, Sir, I thought you ordered a scotch on the rocks.” She kept her tone apologetic, while what she really wanted to do was pour a damn bottle of the foul stuff over his pompous head.

“Get it right, girl. I ordered a top shelf scotch on the rocks. And, unless I’m very much mistaken, that means that I specifically did not want this cheap ass booze that you’re trying to fob me off with.” The man’s face was getting redder with every word he spewed, and Isobel was seriously wondering if he was about to have a heart attack.

“That is our top shelf scotch, Sir.” She knew that she had about as much chance of calming the guy down as she did of winning the lottery, but her boss was still watching her with his eagle-eyed stare, and she really needed this job even if she did hate it. “I’ll be happy to pour you another, if you’d like?” The cost of another drink would no doubt come out of her wages, but she’d rather that than get fired and have no wages.

The man stared at her face for a split second, and then his eyes travelled down her body slowly, as though he was undressing her. Isobel could feel her skin actually crawl as his eyes lingered on her chest, and she crossed her arms in front of her.

“There’s another way you could make things right.” Isobel’s eyes shot to her boss in a silent plea for help, but there was none forthcoming. “You could meet me after work and we could, um, work things out.” His voice was as slimy as he was, and Isobel shuddered.

She was about to give him a blistering response, when her fellow bartender spoke up. “That’s against company policy, Sir.” Her voice was haughty and brooked no argument as she defended her friend. “I’m sure that if you try your drink again, you’ll realize that it actually is what you ordered.”

The man shot a glance across to Melanie, his scowl an indication that he was about to shoot her down in flames. When he saw who had spoken to him, however, his whole demeanor changed and he went from mean to humble in an instant.

“Oh! It’s, um, it’s f-fine. My m-mistake, miss.” Isobel stared open-mouthed as he shot her a hasty stuttering apology, threw ten dollars on the counter and hurried away, taking a gulp of his ‘cheap ass booze’ as he went.

“What the hell was that all about?” She turned to her friend with an astonished look on her face.

Melanie grinned at her sassily. “He’s my next door neighbor’s dad, and I don’t think his wife would appreciate knowing that her husband is a sleazy scum-ball who hits on sexy young bartenders.” She picked up the money from the counter and held it out. “Don’t forget to put your tip in the jar.” She winked and walked back over to her side of the bar.

Isobel grinned to herself as she put the money in the jar. It wasn’t much; tips here very rarely were, regardless of the fact that it was an upper-class establishment and mostly rich people drank there, so every penny was appreciated. She wiped down the counter and served the next customer, thinking that even though she might hate her job, she’d found a great friend because of it, and for that she was grateful.

The next few hours were spent serving drinks and putting up with sexist comments made by sexist men who thought they were God’s gift to mankind; women in particular. She checked the clock for what felt like the tenth time, and sighed when she saw that she still had almost two hours to go until the end of her shift. She wasn’t sure how many more pompous middle-aged mid-life crisis businessmen or elderly and wealthy playboy wannabe’s she could stand, but she gritted her teeth and turned back to the bar with her usual smile plastered to her face.