T H R E E

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Dedicated to PolinaMartinMorgan for Playing The Possessive Bully. Really loved the book!!
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The weekend finally came and I had a shift at the restaurant.

After what happened last time with dad, I have taken the courage to go out my balcony door. I put on my apron after I've parked my car in the driveway and walk in.

Em's Restaurant was like home to me.

The lady who owns the place, Emma was a sweet and nice person and she always gave great advice. Her husband sometimes works with her. Sadly, she can't have kids so she told me that I could be her 'adopted' child.

"Hey Hope, how was your week?"

Emma says and I flip the sign to say We're Open instead of Sorry We're Closed.

"My week was okay. Colin took me to this cool place with lots of flowers near the town entrance. It was really pretty."

I push small door connected to the counter and sign my time sheet. Emma puts out chocolate chip muffins on the centerpiece and I grab a rag to start cleaning the tables.

"He sounds like such a great guy. Why don't you go out with him or at least stop being so mean to the poor boy? I can tell that he really likes you." I fake a glare her way but she just chuckles and put the napkins in the boxes.

"I already told you this, I need to focus on my school work so I can get a good scholarship and a job."

She shakes her head at my reply but isn't able to say something back because our first customer arrives.

The workers start coming in but we just do our work and ignore each other. I think they mainly don't like me because Emma does but I don't care.

"Hope, table 3 is waiting for you", Rachel says and I nod at her before grabbing my notepad at the pen.

I'm surprised to see Colin and some little boy around 12 sitting next to him.

"Um, welcome to Em's Restaurant. I'm Hope and I'll be your waiter today, what can I get you." He looks up at me and his eyes widen and I try to pretend that this isn't awkward.

Trust me...it is.

"Hope, I didn't know you had a job and that it was here. You should have told me. I would have come over sooner. This is my little brother Matt. Matt this is Hope."

Matt looks me up and down and then back at Colin.

"Is she your girlfriend? She's really pretty." I laugh at Matt's comment.

Me and Colin, never.

"Not yet Matt."

I realize what Colin has said and a slight blush appears on my cheek. It gets bigger when he grins at me.

"Hope, you know these people?"

I'm doomed for life.

Colin nods his head at Emma and sticks out his hand.

"Hello, I'm Colin and this is my little brother Matt." Emma shakes his hand and looks at me. "Well I'm Emma, the owner of this place. Hope never told me you were this handsome."

I must look like a tomato now.

"Oh, Hope talks about me... what did she say."

I slowly back up and leave before having to hear Emma completely embarrass me in front of him. I pick up the dirty dishes on another table and place them in the sink and clean off that table.

By the time I'm finished, Emma has already taken their order and has sat down to talk. Gathering my courage, I walk over to them.

"As lovely as this must be, Emma, you must have something important to get done."

She gets up and dust her apron and promise Colin that if he comes back, she'll tell him more.

Isn't that nice of her.

I give them their meals before going to the next table and serving them.

I come back to check on Colin and Matt after a good twenty minutes and he tells me that he loves the food and so did Matt. I give him his bill and he hands me the money and then slips a fifty under it.

"What is this for?"

I look at him and he tries to pull an innocent look with me.

"It's your tip."

He says as he slides out the booth with Matt following.

"I can't take this, this is way too much." I grab his hand and tuck it back in his hand and pick up the plates to put in the black bin.

"Hope, I'm not asking you if you want it. I'm telling you to take it. You deserve it. Whether you want to believe that or not. Now, I got to take this little kiddo to baseball practice."

He starts walking to the door and Matt follows behind and I'm still staring at the money in shock. I run after them as they go out the door and reach his arm and pull him back.

He turns around and Matt continues walking to their car.

"Thanks...for everything."

He smiles and pats my hand that's on his arm before he starts walking to his car.

"Oh, you two definitely like each other."

Emma says as soon as I enter in back in again. I don't even bother trying to correct her and her smile widens at that.

After a long shift, I tell Emma I'm leaving and pull off my apron. I hop in my car and when I see no one on the street, drive past all the red lights. Like every other time I've done it, nothing happens. I sigh and pull into my driveway.

I take out my keys and go through the front door when I don't see my dad's car.

Thank you for that.

I take a long shower and look at all the bruises and marks on my body.

I try not to pay them too much attention but it's kind of hard when they're all over me. I step out the shower and change into some pajamas and get into my bed.

One thing comes to my mind before I fall asleep, Colin.

Him and the fact that I might have developed a small crush.

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