Many thanks to Angeline for proofreading and helping me edit this wonderful story and to -phreak and Mythical- for their comments on the rough version. I hope everyone enjoys this. It's the first story I've managed to finish in over three years. Please read, enjoy and feel free to send me any comments to email address above.
Kayley Jeffers was, for all intents and purposes, just your average American girl from a nice suburban town trying to make it through those rough young adult years in much the same way as any number of her peers. Namely she experimented with sex, drugs and alcohol while trying to hold down a job that at least paid the rent and her phone bill, kept her in decent clothes and allowed her car to remain legal and running well enough to get by. That way she wouldn't have to rely on her Mom and Dad anymore than necessary.
She was what she, and several more forward people, liked to call "cute." She was fairly short, and fairly skinny, but not quite skin and bones. She had a little bit of tummy and enough fat on her bottom that she constantly caught guys (and a fair share of girls) casting an approving glance her way. Her breasts were hardly spectacular, but they were more than adequate. Nice and perky, as a former boyfriend used to say.
She generally kept her black hair close to shoulder length, but generally tied it up in a short ponytail or whatever suited her mood. Her attire would generally be considered something like casual punk in the sense that she preferred her pink chucks to high heels and well-worn, nice-fitting jeans and a band t-shirt to a skirt or some sorority girl type outfit., but she was hardly a hipster. Cute and relaxed was good enough for her.
At the tender young age of 20 (almost 21) she was doing well so far, though not necessarily in the way she'd always imagined. She wasn't going to college trying to earn a degree in education like she'd always dreamed, but she was enrolled in the local community college, and she was slowly but surely earning a degree in accounting. She hoped that at the very least this would mean steady pay whenever she managed to finish her studies. She was taking some programming classes as back up, just in case.
She had a decent (if not wholly respectable) job working a solid 40 hours or so a week for a whopping 8 bucks an hour at the Short Stop, a local gas station/convenience/liquor store. Her job was slow enough that she could bring her homework and work on it between watching the pumps, stocking the cooler and talking with customers and Sara, her roommate and usual co-conspirator at slacking off at work and so much more.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Kayley was pretty damned happy with the direction of her life. It was hardly perfect, but, really, what is?
A few months ago, however, Kayley Jeffers was hardly what you'd call happy. In fact, she was miserable and it just seemed to get worse and worse.
She lived in a dump with an asshole boyfriend who drank, smoked weed, snorted coke and was more often than not gone "working" or "staying at a friend's house" or whatever new excuse he could manufacture to cover up the fact that he was fucking around on Kayley, and spending as much of her hard earned money as possible in the process. When he was doing any of that, he was generally thinking up new ways to belittle her in front of friends and family, all while expecting her to still fuck him, feed him and keep him in clean clothes and all the other "girl shit" as he liked to call anything that actually required effort
In short, he was the very epitome of a bad boyfriend. Why she stayed with him was honestly beyond even her. Every day she woke up next to his smell and promised herself she'd move out, get her own place and be an independent person, strong and powerful, but of course, she never did for various reasons some sound in their own way, but mostly the sad excuses of someone too scared to realize how shitty her situation really was.
About the only thing left that was any good in any way was the sex, but, honestly, that was so rare at this point that it was almost a non-issue. It also wasn't really all that good anymore, either. Just long and rough. No softness, no concentration, no feeling. She rarely came anymore unless she fingered herself while he fucked her.
Early on in their relationship it had been very different. Back then, a whole six months ago, Andy had actually cared. Now, though Kayley hated to admit it, he quite simply did not.
The what and the why behind the change were beyond her. All she knew was that it hurt to even think about it, so she didn't. At least she tried not to anyway. The weed and what other drugs she could keep and hide from Andy helped a little.
Not much, but a little.
Luckily she at least had a decent job. Lot's of tips and hours long enough to keep her out of the house and away from her broken, dying relationship made up for the fact that her boss was a complete ass who staffed the place with cute, young girls like her for two reasons: first, he could push them around and second, if they ever bitched about him taking their tips for imaginary offenses, changing their shifts on a whim and rarely saying anything until the very last possible minute or just being a general ass, they could be easily replaced by the next piece of moderately intelligent eye candy that walked through the door asking for an application. Also, in a small college town like Leslie moderately intelligent eye candy was a dime a dozen.
That was actually how Kayley got the job in the first place. In fact, she didn't have to fill out an application. Paul, the asshole in question, just looked her up in down, asked if she was legal to serve alcohol, (she was), if she had any experience (she did, kind of: she'd bussed tables for a couple of months the previous summer) and if she wouldn't mind starting tomorrow (she didn't).
He had then told her to wait a second while he went into the kitchen. About a minute later she heard what sounded like a plate hitting something metal and shattering quickly followed by the sounds of a man and a girl screaming at each other for a minute before a girl maybe a little older, maybe a little younger than Kayley's 20 years, but not by much either way walked quickly from the kitchen muttering curses and wiping tears and mascara from her face before screaming "Fuck you, Paul! You fucking faggot asshole piece of shit" then slamming the door shut behind her so hard she actually cracked the glass.
After all that a smiling Paul calmly walked out of the kitchen told her to bring her identification and whatnot in the next day at noon and they'd start her training. A month of being broke and living off money she'd borrowed from her father and hid from Andy had ended. That was more than enough to make her forget all about the bizarre, almost surreal scene she'd just witnessed and just happy to finally have a job.
It didn't last long. In fact it took less than a week for Kayley to realize that what she had witnessed really should've been a sign that this wasn't the job for her. A night after that, however, she worked her first weekend shift and made more money in tips then she'd ever made in a week at any other job in her life and she endeavored to endure as best she could.
It wasn't easy, but she managed to last a solid five months in hell before the Sunday night that helped send her down a path she never imagined. After five months of near perfect work (a dropped plate here, a drink ordering mix-up there¾nothing big at all, really), she managed to mess up one entree for a three-top of a bad tippers who just happened to be made up of Paul's best friends from college.
It was so minor she barely allowed it to register in her brain as she quickly apologized and tried to make it right by comping the meal and even getting them a free round of drinks which she knew would be taken out of her tip for the night, but whatever it was a good night, no big deal and all three of them seemed more than happy to accept as an apology and even left her a pretty decent tip before they paid up and left.
She was so sure everything was cool that she even smiled as she watched them stop and have a word with Paul as he helped out at the bar while Linda took a smoke break. She didn't see the frown cross his face a second later because she was busy taking the order and politely listening to the jokes and weak attempts at flirting of a five-top of single guys who simply reeked of nerd.
She noticed that frown five minutes later when Paul caught her and another girl, Kinsey or something, in the kitchen and told a very pissed off Kinsey to take over Kayley's section for a minute so they could talk in the office. Kayley barely got "What the fuck, Paul," out of her mouth before she was stunned silent by Paul telling her simply to clock out and go home, because she was fired. Her services would no longer be required.
There was 15 good minutes of yelling and cursing followed by Kayley throwing someone's Cobb salad at Paul's head while he ducked back into the office before the fry cook and one of the waiters managed to get in between them and shuffled Kayley out the door before Paul called the cops. There was a little more yelling after that before they finally got Kayley into her car and on her way home.
.... There is more of this story ...