The following is a work of fiction. The story may contain profanity and references to gay sex. Any relation to similar events or persons, fiction or real, is completely fortuitous. If such content offends you please leave now. The author retains all rights to the story. Do not copy or use without written authority from the author. Write Bobby at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.
Have you forgotten all I know, and all we had?
You saw me mourning my love for you
And touched my hand
I knew you loved me then
I believe in you
I'll give up everything just to find you
I have to be with you, to live, to breathe
You're taking over me
Taking Over Me © by Evanescence, 2003
Control. It's extraordinary the tactics people employ to obtain it. Some rely on deception while others engage in outright trickery. Then there are those who resort to extortion. Why do we fight so hard for control? Because we know to lose it is to put our fate in the hands of others. And what could be more dangerous?
© by Marc Cherry, 2005
The manager carefully looked me over, remaining uncharacteristically silent from what I've gathered about her. Then her eyes flicked up to mine, and she said, "Welcome aboard. I think you'll do great here."
I let out a sigh of relief and elation. "Thank you so much!"
"I'll grab you a shirt. What size?"
"Be right back,"
I was still reeling over what just went down. This has been my third interview, which sort of made me consider the idea that I was just being toyed with. But no, here I am, a brand new employee of Sixth Street Coffee. The small, mom-and-pop coffee shop is one of the most popular in the city, particularly with the younger crowd—hence why I chose this place to seek a position. Two weeks ago when I applied I had no idea this would actually turn up positive. After all, I applied to about a dozen other places without so much as hearing from them, even when I called to speak with the manager. Tyler has still been anxious about the job situation, though Jared said he spoke with him and convinced him to hop onboard the Employment Express. So why the hesitation still? Whatever. At least I received permission. Wait till he finds out that the hours won't be interfering with school whatsoever.
And going back to the part about the coffee shop being popular with the younger crowd, it feels right to want to start searching for a new partner. Of course there's no rush, but searching is half the fun. I'm not even sure of what I want. Trevor was a class of his own so there's hardly a comparison. His build was stocky yet solid, so, hunky? I've never been good with classification of bodies other than muscular (everyone knows what those types look like). The guy needs to be clean in every aspect of the word. I refuse to date someone who doesn't take care of themselves hygienically. Brushed teeth at least twice a day is a minimum that cannot be overlooked. Him having a job and a car wouldn't hurt. Living with his parents is okay since, you know, that's my situation, by choice I might add. Other than hygiene I don't really have any other criteria I sort by. Not too shallow for having a toned body, huh?
The manager came back out with a black shirt in hand. On the left chest area was the shop's white print logo: a steaming cup of coffee and Sixth Street above that and Coffee beneath the mug.
"Here's the work contract for you to sign. You can read over it if you'd like, but it just sums up your responsibilities." I did a quick review of the contract and signed. "Now, the first shirt is on us, but each shirt after that is seven dollars. I suggest buying a couple."
I reached in my back pocket for my wallet and pulled out a twenty and a one. "I'll take three more, please."
Impatiently, I sat waiting for the manager to return with my shirts. The only thing I want to do right now is rush home and gush about my new employment. Looking around the shop it came to me that this is the start of the new me. I have a new job. I have a new relationship status. Everything seems to be working out pretty well right now. Hopefully this happiness lasts, though, because as everyone knows happiness can change in the blink of an eye.
"All right, here are three more shirts. I'll take these papers out of your way. Your first shift will be tomorrow at one. Then we'll go over your schedule for the rest of the week." she explained. She shuffled up the contracts and stuck out her hand.
I immediately shook it. "Can't wait. Thank you again, and I'll see you tomorrow."
The drive home seemed to take forever. Every stop light I encountered turned red. Every stop sign I drove up to a pedestrian slowly walked across the street. But finally I arrived home and rushed inside to tell Tyler and Jared the great news.
"So, how'd it go?" Tyler asked, not even allowing me to divulge the surprise.
I grinned confidently. "Well, get ready to receive an influx of coffee drinks!"
"Travers, that's great!" he said, hugging me.
Jared came up and did the same.
"Thanks," I said. "I start tomorrow at one, then I'll get my schedule for the week, or what's left of it. And Jared gets the first free cup."
"Why?" Tyler asked.
"Because he convinced you to let me job hunt."
He rolled his eyes. "I was going to let you eventually. I just like hearing you grovel."
"As if," I countered.
"Well, anyways, congrats on landing the job."
I went into my room to change back into normal attire. As soon as I pulled on a shirt I texted Claire, Olivia, and Lizzie. Each one texted back within seconds congratulating me on the new job as well as thanking me ahead of time for the free stuff they'll be receiving. Those are my best friends.
The following day started out pretty well. Arriving at school, however, was when my day began to unravel. Well, not so much unravel as take a sudden drop in happiness. Let me begin by stating that the heavy burden of depression from the break up has been severely lessened. I now only feel a slight twinge of sorrow every so often. The slight twinge, however, suddenly felt like a fresh paper cut being dip in lemon juice. Trevor was walking ahead of me across the quad area of campus. Next to him was his new boyfriend. How am I sure they're together? Well their hands are.
A looming shadow of pain drew near. Though my feelings for him are microscopic I have yet to feel the pang of jealousy from seeing him with another man. I was not prepared to deal with such envy. After all, what feeling is worse than jealousy?
Claire appeared next to me out of nowhere.
"I texted you twice. What're you doing just standing here?" she asked, zipping her jacket up.
I continued staring at Trevor and whoever was holding his hand.
"Trevor apparently has a new lover. Look," I pointed towards them. Claire followed my finger and found them instantly.
She shielded her eyes from the sun. "Ew, he looks ugly. No ass on him."
Her shallow response was expected and . . . true. From behind, Trevor's mystery man does appear to be rather plain, at least compared to me.
Wow. That sounded horribly conceited.
"That's for sure," I replied grimly. "I had no idea he was seeing someone."
"Well they're definitely a new couple. I don't think I've ever even seen that guy before. If I got a good look from the front I'd know for sure."
"What does it matter?" I asked. "Good for him. Good for both of them. I'm over it. Let's just go to class. Sylvester will surely take my mind of things."
We walked towards class. Claire broke the short silence. "I'm worried about the lab from Monday. It was pretty tough. I can't afford any low grades."
"Eh, it was all right. I'm more concerned about the midterm."
Claire groaned. "Oh, shit. I'll have to study day and night for that."
Sylvester was sitting at her desk as we entered the room. She was sitting straight up in her chair, glaring down over the students that took their seats. She looks like an evil queen on her throne. Already I picked up a negative vibe from her, more so than usual. The clock showed 7:59:03 . . . 04 . . . 05 . . . We still have several seconds before class actually starts, so tardiness can't be why she looks so deliciously evil right now. Trevor then came in, a glow about him, and something else.
"Hey," I whispered to Claire, who was digging through her purse. "Has Trevor lost weight?"
Claire glanced over at him. "Now that you mention it, his face looks a bit thinner. Maybe his arms, too."
"Hm, I wonder what that's about."
"No idea," she said as she continued scouring through her belongings.
I looked back up at the clock. Class officially starts in twelve seconds. It seems like most of the students are here. Any stragglers will be refused from class.
03 . . . 02 . . . 01 . . .
Professor Sylvester stood slowly from her desk. Her eyes didn't shift from us not once. Standing in front of her throne—excuse me—desk, she reached behind her and picked up one lab book, holding it up in front of her.
In a normal tone but with venomous tenacity, she began, "Do any of you know what this is?" I'm almost positive the question was rhetorical. "This is the only lab book that received a score above eighty percent." The only one? Holy shit. Please let it be me! I have to raise my grades back up! "Queer bait!"
I snapped out of my hope. "Yes, my Führer?"
The corner of her lips barely twitched. "And who said gays weren't smart? You received a ninety-one on your lab. Now, how did you cheat?"
Did she say ninety-one? As in an A? Thank you God! "I don't have to cheat, my Führer. Science is my strong point."
"Let this man be an example to you all. He is the ideal perfect German. Oops, I mean student!"
Claire nudged me in the ribs. It's her congratulations when words cannot be spoken during the given time. I took the nudge in stride. This grade is going to severely impact my overall grade in lab, which is great news!
"Well I appreciate the attempt at a compliment."
And thus my day began to shine brightly once more. Hours later in History I was still on a high from the grade in lab. Trevor's new lover couldn't even bring me down. The minutes passed by agonizingly slowly. I was increasingly excited to start my first day on the job. Finally 12:20 came along and I was the first person out of the room. There was just enough time for me to eat and change before having to head to the coffee shop.
Jared was reading at the newspaper at the kitchen island as I walked into the house. He had on his scrubs from work still and his white lab coat was strewn across the counter.
"Hey, Travers," he said distractedly.
"Hey, hey," I replied. I opened the refrigerator and made myself a turkey sandwich with an apple and slices of cucumber. I noticed Jared grimace at the incredibly nutritious meal. He'll someday understand the importance of eating healthy. My God he's a physician's assistant! He should already understand!
"Ready for your first day?" he asked, still not looking up from the newspaper.
After taking a bite of my sandwich, I said, "Yes! I can't wait!"
"Tyler's anxious for you."
"Go figure. Thanks for convincing him, by the way. How'd you do it?" I asked. Jared finally looked over at me. "Oh, never mind then."
"What time do you get off?"
"Not sure. I think around six or so. The manager said she didn't want to overwhelm me on my first day."
"Well that's good. Hope you have a great time. It's almost like this is your first job or something."
"I know," I agreed happily. "Kind of feels like it, too." I finished off the last bit of my sandwich and put the plate in the sink. "Well, gonna get ready."
OKAY, SO, I'M FED UP WITH RECEIVING E-MAILS FROM READERS ACTUALLY ASKING IF I HAVE OTHER STORIES. AT THE BOTTOM OF EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER I'VE EVER WRITTEN IS THE LINK TO MY YAHOO! GROUP. HELLO! YOU PEOPLE SHOULD ALWAYS READ WHAT THE AUTHORS HAVE TO SAY! THIS SEEMS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THAT ACROSS TO EVERYONE. SO HOPEFULLY AFTER THIS CHAPTER I STOP GETTING THAT QUESTION! BUT I'VE LOST FAITH IN THE HUMAN RACE SO I'M SURE I'LL STILL BE RECEIVING THEM.
Twenty minutes later I was pulling up into the small parking lot of Sixth Street Coffee. My heart was racing and adrenaline was flowing freely through the miles of veins within my body. I took one last look in the vanity mirror, then stepped out of the safety of my car and proudly walked into the coffee shop. Surprisingly, there were but a few customers inside. On a day such as this one—scattered clouds and low temperatures—this place is usually bustling with business. Perhaps there's a higher force out there somewhere shining down a bit of luck on my parade.
"Well, good to see you can make it on time." Bernice said, wiping off a table in a corner. Bernice is my new manager. Ah, my manager! Woo!
"Always will be," I confidently shot back.
"Hm, we'll see," She finished the table and walked to the front counter. "Today I'm going to go over with you clocking in and out, making a few drinks, keeping the floors and tables clean, and refilling the sugar and creamers and all that."
"Sounds good," I couldn't keep the excitement from my voice.
And so my first day of work began. First came an introduction to the worker already behind the counter. Then she took me into the backroom where only employees could go. In this case I am one! Woo! Okay, calm down, anyway, I learned how to clock in and out with this time card punching machine that seemed way out of date but then again this isn't Starbucks. Next we returned to the front and she went through a few of the more popular drinks on the menu. Living with Tyler has given me an advantage with any job that may involve cooking or making some kind of beverage. He's taught me so much over the past couple of years about food prep that making a few coffee drinks was too easy.
"You said you've never had a food service job before?" Bernice asked, obviously taken aback by how little instruction I needed when it came to making the drinks she instructed. The only thing I didn't know was how much of their secret ingredients to add being that that's their knowledge only.
"Then you sure know how . . ."
"My dad has taught me a lot about cooking. Making milkshakes, smoothies, fraps, and lattes are second nature."
She grinned slightly. "Well that know-how will prove to serve you well. Since you're such a whiz I guess we can make a few more drinks."
She gave me a new order. I checked the recipe guide just to be accurate and began making the drinks. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Bernice was watching with candid fascination. Are the other employees not as efficient or something? I know some people don't appreciate their jobs and their work ethic is portrayed as such. I, however, am not and will never be one of those kinds of employees.
During this time, the girl already working said her goodbyes as she clocked out. Only a heartbeat later did a guy walk in wearing the shops t-shirt. I glanced up at him once . . . twice . . . three times just to be sure it wasn't an hallucination.
There are just three words to describe this guy: I want him.
Dirty blonde hair. Blue eyes. Nicely toned arms. Jeans that perfectly fit. And this guy works here? Oh, thank you, God!
As he went into the back to clock in he gave a quick hello to Bernice. This day has just gone from great to fucking excellent. I finished the drinks and lined them up on the counter. Bernice tried them all and gave her approval. Then the mystery stud came out from the back.
"Ben, this is Travers. He's our newest worker." Bernice said.
"How's it going?" Ben asked, sticking out his hand.
I shook it. It was cold. "Not bad. Piece of cake so far."
"Yeah, it isn't too difficult." he replied.
And that was our introduction. Bernice showed me where the mop and broom for the floor was as well as cleaning supplies for the tables and countertops. Finally she went over refilling the condiments and extras on a small counter off to the side of the main counter. She said the key to get into the cabinet beneath with all the refills and such was in the back on a key holder labeled respectively. All of this information was barely being retained as my attention was being stolen from me by the hunk behind the register.
"Okay, well, you're an excellent drink maker and the rest of the stuff isn't bad. Are you good with counting money and all that?" Bernice questioned.
"Uh, I can count well, I guess. Never worked with a register before."
"Not a problem. I'll train you on it tomorrow. For now I want you to just work with Ben. He'll work the register and you make the drinks." She looked around the shop. "We're not very busy today, but hopefully it'll pick up."
"All right," I was trying very hard not to show my excitement. The thought of being next to Ben for who knows how long was exciting me in more ways than one.
Bernice went into the back, disappearing. A customer came in and Ben took their order. I clearly heard the drink choice and made it in seconds. The customer seemed to be pleased with the results.
"You made that drink fast." Ben commented.
"Yeah, my dad taught me a lot about cooking so it comes pretty naturally." Thankfully I didn't stutter or anything embarrassing like that.
"Is he a chef or something?"
"No, a teacher at East Valley High."
Another customer walked in, except this time it was no stranger.
"Hey!" Claire excitedly said, nearly running up to the register. "This is so awesome! Free drinks!"
Oh, my God! I can't believe she just blurted that out on my FIRST day! What a bimbo! I shot her a shut up before I seriously hurt you look to no avail. She ordered her drink, paid, then continued her rambunctious verbal assault.
"So, remember that guy I was telling you about in my anthro class?" I barely had time to nod before she kept talking. "Well, he passed me a note today. How elementary is that? Anyways, it said I think you're hot. And I passed him a note that said I don't need you to tell me that."
I closed my eyes and hung my head in shame. When I came back to life hoping this was all a bad part in an otherwise fantastic dream I was utterly disappointed. I was also incredibly embarrassed when I noticed the disbelief on Ben's face. Please don't let him think I'm as shallow as my best friend. She's going to get me fired on my first bloody day.
"Did he kill himself after?" I mumbled while starting her drink.
"Psh, no. He came up to me after class and asked me if I wanted to grab a smoothie with him some time."
"And let me guess. You said no?" Ben interjected suddenly. I was taken aback by his brazenness.
Claire didn't even flinch, however. She replied immediately. "God no. He's too cute to pass up. I told him I'd be down for a smoothie. You know, it's a free drink. It's all about the perks."
Hopefully Ben thought I wasn't shallow earlier. But right now I'm not so sure. He could be thinking I'm just as bad as she is. And it's odd because normally she's so much more docile than she's currently being. What's she hyped up on? Perhaps it's just the notion of having a date.
"Well, cool. When's the big day?"
"By the way, this is Ben." I said, introducing them quickly. "This is my best friend Claire, in case you couldn't tell by her honesty towards me." The words were sprinkled with powdered sheepishness.
"Well, I need to get out of here. I have a five page paper due next week on this lame ass book. I haven't even opened it yet."
"Of course you haven't. I'll text you tonight."
Ben surprisingly wasn't staring at me incredulously, but he might've laced me in with Claire, even though I am so not shallow. I think everyone is special in their own way. Whether someone else sees their uniqueness is not their problem.
"So, your best friend seems like a bucket of fun." Ben finally spoke in his usual sexy voice. There didn't seem to be any sarcasm or disgust in his words. "Y'all must have some pretty wild times, huh?"
Y'all? You know, now that I really listen to him he does have a bit of a southern drawl, an accent of sorts. It's very subtle but definitely there. Accents, as long as they're not so thick the person is hard to understand, are very desirable to me. Obviously I've never dated a guy who has had one, but who knows with Ben. I haven't received a definite signal from him. Then again we haven't had much time to get to know each other.
"We certainly do. She's great," What a lame reply!
"So, you were saying your dad works at East Valley. What does your mom do?" he asked innocently.
I'm not ashamed of having two dads, gay dads, nonetheless. It's like any of piece of information; I don't advertise it. But here's this gorgeous guy asking me what my mom does, which of course means my other dad, Jared. I could just lie and say she's a physician's assistant. Or I could tell him the truth, although that could cause conflict and the last thing I need on my first day on the job is co-worker drama. On the other hand, telling him the truth would advertently let him know I'm fully supportive of gay people, thus, causing a burst of trust in me.
Moment of truth.
"Actually, I have two dads. The other one is a physician's assistant."
His face didn't contort in angry recognition. His eyes didn't go wide nor did his mouth drop to the ground. He simply stood there looking at me with the same honest curiosity as before. Well, this is great news.
"So, gay dads?" he asked.
"Not bad. What's that like, living with that kind of structure?"
I thought about it for a moment. "It's like having a mom and dad, sort of. Tyler, um, the teacher, is more—not feminine but more mom-like—and Jared is more of the dad-type. But both love me and my brothers to the core."
"You don't have to answer this if you don't want to and I'm sorry if I'm being too forward, but are you . . . you know . . .?"
"Gay? Yeah, but it had nothing to do with them." I said, wondering if this would be where the drama starts.
Ben chuckled, his cheeks turning a soft rose. "Actually I was going to ask if you were adopted."
His cheeks were still a soft rose color, whereas mine were burning as bright and hot as the fiery pits of hell. I cannot believe I just came out to him on accident! Jeez, if I just would have let him finish his question this wouldn't have happened. I'm such an idiot!
"Oh," I muttered. "Um, yeah, I'm adopted."
"Well, cool. I am, too." I glanced up at him. "Gay, I mean. Not adopted."
My eyes automatically searched for his, locking onto them with intensity. Did he really just say what I hope he said? He's gay? Wow, I must be out of touch with myself. There were no prior signals. I mean, he appears as a pretty boy type, but that doesn't rank him as gay. And now that I know this, the chase begins.
I smiled warmly. "Well, cool. I don't know many gay people, actually. My ex," don't know why I blurted that out, "my dads, and a couple of others, but that's really it."
"Maybe we should hang out some time? Go to a movie or something? There're quite a few movies I've been wanting to see."
Oh, my God! Ben just asked me out!
"Yeah, I'd like that. I haven't had a night out in a while."
Over the next couple of hours the two of us talked about many different things. Family life, school, work, but keeping the gay stuff to ourselves until out of the shop. Turns out he's fairly new around here. His family moved here only two months ago from some place in Oklahoma. That's where the southern drawl comes from then. His family purchased farm land in the outskirts of the city in the more rural parts. A lot of orange groves and other crops are grown there. I've never been on a farm, only seen them on TV and the like. Bernice eventually reappeared and told me to clock out, and she also handed me my schedule for the next week. When I said bye to Ben he looked over my schedule.
"Wow, we have almost the same shifts. You get here a little before me and I stay later, but still almost identical." If I didn't know any better I'd say he was gushing about this revelation. "Oh, and let me get your number. I'll text you later."
We exchanged numbers. I told him bye and left the shop feeling higher than a high school pot head. My first date in I don't remember how long and it's with one of the hottest guys I've ever seen.
Evening came quickly. Earlier when I got home I was barraged by Tyler asking me how my first day went. He even went as far as to make my favorite, albeit, unhealthy dinner: mac and cheese with a crumbly topping. I had four bowls of the ooey-gooey goodness. I tactfully kept Ben out of the conversations for the time being. No need to work them up about something that might not ever happen. Only about two hours after dinner did Ben finally text me.
Hey it's Ben :>
How's it going? I texted back.
Not bad. Just off work. You?
Watching tv. Nothing good on, though.
It's amazing isn't it? Hundreds of channels but never anything food on.
Food on? Lol yeah that happens quite often :P
-.- oi I meant good! Haha
It's so nice talking to him again, even through a horrible medium such as texting. Ugh, I'm already smitten with him and it hasn't even been a full twenty-four hours yet, nor have we even gone on an official date. I'm a mess.
So what movies have you been dying to see?
Lets talk about it tomorrow. I'm so tired Travers. I had the longest day ever
No problem. Sleep tight ;)
I'm always tight. A tight sleeper, I mean ;)
So . . . is he a bottom?
My boyfriend of 11.5 months broke up with me this past Sunday. This chapter was supposed to be posted a couple of days ago, but . . . you know. Depressed as hell here. But I hope you enjoy. It has come out a lot sooner than normal.
Feel free to join my group: Shades of Wisteria. By the way, when e-mailing me be sure to create a good Subject, as it could be directed to my spam folder, which I hardly ever check before deleting. So, put in "Stories" or the title of one of my stories, something like that, okay? Thanks ahead of time.