Like a banty on a june bug

12 2 0

They are stuck on the entrance door like if it was a cage in a zoo. One of the weirdos has started pounding on the glass panel with his head so hard it cracks. This is stupid. The door isn't locked.

I know I should be at least somehow anguished by this situation. Honestly, I'm annoyed. Look at this timing!

I'm usually pretty understanding on crazy overdosing antics but the gorgeous Domenica is right here and they just murdered the mood. Way to go.

I get my bearings back when Mandy walks confidently towards the door, and I stop her.

"Mandy," I say. "I know you're brave, but I'm not sure they're have the ability to listen right now. This is more of a cop situation. Unless you feel like being a bouncer?"

The three guys are not doing much of anything except being loud and threatening. Me and several patrons stand in front of the door, just in case they decide ruining the evening isn't enough anymore. Domenica is right next to me, hands crossed below the chest. Who would dare to mess with her?

When Mandy grabs the phone and starts describing the situation, they seem to get the drift and stumble away. I wish them a mean headache and much vomiting.

I walk back to my seat, mentally preparing to make small talk about how difficult it is not to let people spoil the cool places. Domenica wipes the idea with a warm smile. "Don't we deserve a drink for being awesome at handling violence? My treat," she says.

I smile back almost against my will. "Aren't you awfully positive about this?"

She shrugs, keeping eye contact. "I'm having too much fun with you to let them drag me down."

"Well..." I say. I refrain from swallowing loudly and letting out a full-face blush. "Yeah. Definitely." Ugh. Smooth.

"Girls," says Mandy, "I really want to be supportive but I'm gonna close early tonight. I don't want to give those guys a chance to get back and I'd really like some time to tape the door before someone actually breaks it."

Shit. "I get it," I say. "Do you want some help for closing?"

Me and Domenica start stacking the tables in a corner while Mandy handles the lineup of clients waiting to pay their tabs. I don't wanna go back like this, after so many hints dropped. Even I can get around the idea that Domenica enjoys my company. Right?

"It's a shame about that drink", I say, hoping for a last minute save. Maybe she knows a good place to hang out?

Or maybe that:

"I have a mean rum back at home, if you're interested," she says. "It's a short walk away." Holy flying fuck. Praise the universe. Or not.

Do I want to follow her? Hell yes. Do I want to have a goddess get a closer look at my scrawny body, all sweaty from cycling? Mmm. Fuck it. I'd rather be rejected for real than missing on this.

"That would be perfect," I say. "I just need to grab my bike."

I'm in a daze. Is this really happening? What am I actually hoping for? A flirt? A one-night stand? I don't know the first thing about her. She just looks awesome and I suck at saying no to that.

We finish the tables just in time for the cops to arrive. Mandy and them have some talking to do, and I leave her on a reassuring hug. How many bartenders can I safely hug these days? While I unlock the bike, Domenica starts grilling me about the chicken thing, but there is honestly not much to say.

"I don't actually have a precise idea of what I'm gonna do over there," I say. "I don't even know if they have live chicken or if they just prepare the meat. Have you ever had that kind of job? What does it look like?"

"No I haven't," says Domenica, "which is not to say that I haven't done odd jobs at all. Back in my college days, I would spend summers in a call center. The job in itself was as awful as you can imagine and there was no AC."

I chuckle. "Call centers? You sold encyclopedias over the phone?"

"Not really," says Domenica. "I mostly did surveys. You repeat the same words, you play along the best you can given that they can listen to you anytime they want and fire you on the spot. You don't even give your real name. All the girls gave Emma Williams as the script said." She pauses. "Girl, when I think about it your chicken factory doesn't look so bad. How could it be worse, anyway?"

"That's the thing," I say, "I expect I might get surprised in a bad way. All I can think of right now is constantly smelling like chicken poop and blood, and that's already quite a lot. Anyway, I need the money."

We have been walking through the narrow streets of the old town, and we going downhill now. The shops and flats have given way to more spacious houses, smallish courtyards, driveways. It's a bit like Tig's part of town, only tilted sideways and more stone than bricks. We stop in a quiet pedestrian alley, in front of a pretty decent two-stories house with an actual garden.

"Domenica, you live in a house?" I say, while my jaw hangs.

She smiles. "I rent the ground floor. Archaeologists don't get paid that much, Deb."

While she fiddles with her keys, she says: "By the way, I hope you'll get me some insider scoops about this factory. Did you know the mountains it is buried into have the most interesting history?"

"What, the Brooding Peaks? I know they gave their name to the city but... that's about it," I say. "I'm not much of a history buff."

"Well, El Pollo more specifically was a sort of sacred territory for the natives. Even now, we regularly find statues, other ceremonial artifacts just lying around. That's what I'm studying."

I smile. "So, if I just stumble upon a golden statue stuck somewhere between two piles of chicken breast..."

"You call me right away," she says, deadpan. "Mmm," she says mischievously, "I guess I don't need an excuse to ask for your number anymore."

The front door opens to a wood paneled corridor. From there, Domenica leads me to a comfy living room filled with antiques of old wood and red velvet. The couch looks so snug it's definitely a trap, so I just go for it. She soon comes back with an engraved bottle and a couple shooter glasses. Maybe it's because she told me her job, but everything here looks like it came back from an expedition.

She fills up our glasses, sits beside me. Bottoms up!

Domenica frowns slightly, recalling our discussion. "Jokes aside, I'm really not a fan of what the HappyBroilers factory has been doing these last few months. They're expanding, and they're doing that right in the middle of sacred territory. I honestly don't know how they got any permit at all to dig the mountain like this."

There goes another glass. I guess I'm done being careful for the night.

"Sorry I take money from the enemy," I say. "If I had to choose one thing to represent the city, I sure would like a sacred mountain more than a giant factory." I look at my glass. Given the way she's filled it right up, I have a feeling getting really wasted is on the menu. "Still, I'm not sure I'm gonna be able to be all serious and political after another one of those shots. Good stuff, by the way."

Domenica puts down her glass, and in the same movement sets her hand on my thigh. "Yeah," she says, "let's leave politics aside for tonight."


* * *


Thank you so much for reading this new chapter, I was a whole day late from changing cities and potentially getting hired, we'll see. Things in this story have a tendency to stretch out, I originally thought it would be a 20-chapters but I'm not so sure anymore. Guess we'll find out!

I'm also wondering how steamy next chapter should be. A story for everyone, or a grown-up one? I have a week to find out.


Cock-a-Doodle-Doom ☑️Where stories live. Discover now