Chapter Twenty-One

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I stand beside Connor, watching him like a hawk as he goes to take a customer’s order.

            “Hi, what can I get you?” he says in a tone that’s verging on monotonic. Even as he flips open the black notepad I presented him with half an hour ago, he couldn’t look less interested if he tried. With a slouching posture and an expression that could turn milk sour, he’s not exactly the picture of a friendly waiter.

            The woman Connor’s staring at expectantly doesn’t have a chance to respond before I interrupt.

            “That’s not how it’s supposed to go,” I tell him for the third time, resisting the urge to slap him, “and you know it. You’re supposed to introduce yourself.”

            He spares me a glance over his shoulder, but only rolls his eyes at me. “Whatever. It’s not like it matters.”

            “Yes, it does matter.” I grit my teeth. “You’re working here, and I’ve been told to train you. That means you’re supposed to do what I say.”

            “Look, it gets the job done, doesn’t it? So stop nagging,” Connor retorts, before turning back to the table. “What can I get you?”

            His deliberate insolence is driving me up the wall; I don’t know how much longer I can be around him without completely losing it and punching him in the face. How he has any friends is beyond me. The only thing stopping me from screaming at him is the fact that we’re in the middle of the restaurant, and that causing too much disruption would probably get both of us fired.

            The hour that I’ve spent with him already has been hell. There’s no other way to put it. After returning from the bathroom following  my encounter with Dad, the situation’s just been on a steep downhill slope. Finding out I’ve got to work with my worst enemy is bad enough, but training him as well?

            I swear, it’s a miracle he’s still alive.

            I don’t have a clue why he even took the job. He knows full well that it’s my dad who owns the restaurant, and he’s also aware that I work here. If he’s got such a massive problem with my presence, why walk straight through the doors and fill out an application form that will mean he has to spend even more time with me?

            I do not understand how his head works.

            “Connor,” I force out in a low tone, “can I have a word with you?”

            The customer at the table looks slightly unnerved by the two warring servers in front of her, and has deemed shrinking behind her menu the safest option at the current moment. In all honesty, she’s probably got the best idea.

            “Excuse us for a second,” I say, offering her a small smile before grabbing the sleeve of Connor’s shirt and yanking him in the opposite direction. I only manage to drag him a meter or so before he pushes me away and sends me a piercing glare. However, despite his protests, I’m able to escort him away from the paying customers and into the seclusion of the back of the restaurant, where any potential arguments are less likely to lose us our jobs.

            The furthest place is the storeroom, which requires a four-digit pass code on the door to gain access. Not that there’s anything worth protecting in here – unless any burglars happen to have an odd desire for boxes of cleaning products and multi-packs of condiments. I punch the numbers in and force the door open, dragging Connor inside the musty room.

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