Bottle Service

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Normally, I love my job as a waitress in the Skinner Lounge of the CapriLuxe Hotel in downtown San Francisco. I serve drinks in a little black dress and rake in a hefty chunk of tips every night.

But tonight, I hate my job, my life, my everything. I'm reeling hours after I broke things off with my cheating boyfriend—ex-boyfriend. My ex-boyfriend, who happens to be a valet at this hotel.

I slam my serving tray on the counter, signaling the beginning of my shift. "Brad can burn in hell."

Jetta, the bartender, responds to my outburst with a frown.

"He cheated on me," I say, the words acid on my tongue.

"No fucking way." Her dark eyes convey shock and sympathy. She runs hand a through her dyed-red locks.

"I saw it with my own eyes. This morning." I chuck the empty glasses onto the counter as she makes the next round of drinks for me to distribute.

Against the mood music echoing in the lounge, I give her a brief run-down of how I walked in on him screwing the dog walker of our apartment building when I came home early from my morning grocery run.

"Tell me you threw him out," Jetta bites on her lip ring while prepping a gin and tonic.

"Abso-fucking-lutely." I say. "I need you to convince me not to slit his throat."

Jetta shrugs. "Skinner Lounge is nicknamed Sinner Lounge for a reason. I promise to look the other way if you do."

Skinner Lounge aka Sinner Lounge is a sexy little haven in the lobby of the elegant and upscale Capri Luxe Hotel. Stressed business types come here to wrap up million dollar deals, then blow off steam by gawking at the servers in tight black dresses and pumps.

Luxury oozes from every corner. In keeping with the dress code, every surface of Sinner Lounge is shiny black. The entire space looks as though it was carved from a gleaming hunk of onyx. Bulb light filters through the half-dozen Swarovski crystal chandeliers suspended from the ceiling, creating the perfect balance of mood and opulence. The residual sparkle makes everything from the glassware to the alcohol bottles shimmer. Even the stemware boasts gold trim.

Jetta's eyes scan over my shoulder.

"Speaking of the devil." She wags an eyebrow and turns away.

Brad's jet black hair slides into my peripheral.

"Babe, let's talk," he pleads. He pulls at his rumpled valet vest.

"We have nothing to discuss."

"Come on, Mia. It was one time. You know I love you."

"I swear to god, if you utter one more word to me during my shift, I'm smashing the nearest bottle against your head. Stay the hell away from me." My heart throbs in my ears.

He ruffles his hair. "What if it's work related?"

I slam the drinks from the counter onto my tray. "Then ask one of the other hundred employees who work here. Don't come near me again."

With the tray balanced in my right hand, I shove past him. The oof sound he makes is mildly satisfying, but does little to quell the fiery fury engulfing my chest. As I leave the bar and walk back toward the tables, Jetta hands me a shot of clear liquid. I swipe it with my free hand and knock it back. Gin. Yuck. I need it though.

I stomp through the maze of tables, dropping off drinks along the way.

"Rough night there, babe?"

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