I quickly pulled my grey t-shirt over my head and onto my slender body in my room. I had to work today, sadly, after a fun night.

Parker was sleeping soundly on the old couch in my living room.

He’d spent last night watching over me, making sure nobody tried to hurt me. He ended up crashing before I did. Yeah, that’s exactly how you watch over someone.

I slipped on a pair of comfortable jeans and my favorite pair of vans. My hair was put up in a messy ponytail to keep it from interfering with my work.

“Parker, wake up.” I quietly told him. He only stirred slightly. He clearly wasn’t a morning person, and yet he managed to get to the restaurant before any of the workers arrived.

“Yes dear?” He yawned, flipping over so that he was lying on his stomach. His polo shirt was wrinkled from the night before and his dark wash jeans were scrunched up to his knees. His black hoodie had been tossed onto the coffee table, covering the withering rose.

I made a mental note to buy a vase after work for it.

“We have to get to work.” I said to him. He stirred slightly before pushing himself off my couch and onto his two feet.

“Oh yeah,” he mumbled. “Where’s the bathroom?” His dark eyes wandered across the room, like he couldn’t remember what had before he fell asleep.

“Over there.” I pointed to a simple white door in the short hallway. Only two doors were on it; the one to my bedroom, and the one to my bathroom.

Parker slowly made his way over to the bathroom, making sure to close the door once he was inside.  

A half hour later, he emerged from the bathroom freshly showered and smelling like Axe.

“You keep a bottle with you?” I commented once I saw a small black bottle in his right hand.

“Doesn’t every man?” Parker sprayed it across his chest, making his shirt wet with the yucky perfume.

“Ew,” I cried out once the wretched smell got to me. “That’s just nasty.” That remark made Parker crack up.

“Jodelle,” he cackled in between words. “You know what; let’s get to work before that kid arrives.”

Parker didn’t like Spencer. He‘d found him annoying on numerous levels. He utterly despised how he ordered food, and didn’t even bother to eat it. He’d considered it a waste of good food.

Parker picked up his gray jacket and motioned for me to follow him out the door. The restaurant was only around the block. It was very convenient for people like me that often woke up late and in a mess.

Parker dug through his jean pockets for the keys to the restaurant.

“Darn it.” He mumbled, realizing he’d left them elsewhere. “Jodelle, I’m going to run to my place. I’ll be right back.” He said sternly, stomping off through the dark alleyway. I didn’t have enough time to protest about him taking that awful route to his place.

After he left, the employees slowly started coming up to the restaurant in their everyday clothes. Some of them were neatly dresses in good jeans and bright, nifty t-shirts, while others showed up in tattered rags.

“Where is Parker?” Manny asked me. He had a Spanish accent when he spoke in English. I absolutely adored it. I found it cute and kind of entertaining to listen to. Frankly, I’d have fallen head over heels for him if he were younger and not married with children.

“He forgot the keys at his place so he said he’d be back with them in a bit, although that was a half hour ago.” I frowned.

I knew something had gone wrong with him not showing up and taking the dangerous alleyway.

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