Authors: Jessie M
Copyright © Jessie M. 2014.
Hot & Dreamy Books
All Rights Reserved.
This book is sold subject to conditions that it cannot by way of trade be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the author’s prior consent, in any form or cover, other than which it is published.
This novel is a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it, while at times based on real figures, are purely the work of the author’s imagination.
The soul is akin to a rough diamond which is placed inside the body.
It needs to be polished and cut by life's experiences, before it's lustre begins to appear.
She crossed the busy road and continued on her way, rejoining the footpath on the other side. It was a sunny Friday afternoon and she was enjoying the heat as she walked to work. Her phone bleeped and she plucked it out of her shoulder bag and began to read the long message from her friend Joss.
Boyfriend troubles again... How many times had he cheated on her?
She turned up the small tree-lined lane, absorbed in replying to her, and then bore sharp left, through the club gates, and suddenly she was right in front of a speeding silver Porsche. It stopped quickly with a noisy crunch of gravel, just inches from her. With a thumping heart she stepped to one side to let it pass. The window buzzed down and an un-amused pair of dark brown eyes stared at her stonily.
“Got a death wish?” he asked, in a clipped deep voice.
“No, but what a way to go...” she replied with a shaky smile casting her gaze over his car and him in turn. Expensive car and expensive clothes by the look of it.
“Not under my car honey, it's just been cleaned.” And with that he closed the window and revved off, gravel flying up from his fat tyres behind him. She looked at the personalised number plate with raised eyebrows. 'R1CH ER'
Ugghhh... Flash bastard.
She tried to put her near death experience out of her mind as she continued her way up the wide driveway and through the car park of the country club.
Alista looked at the collection of cars with more than a touch of envy. How she'd love a gorgeous sexy car like one of these. A Merc or a BMW... Not that she could drive it, as she hadn't even passed her driving test yet, or taken a single lesson for that matter. That was something for the future, when her career took off.
She huffed out a heavy sigh as she walked up to the club and through the automatic sliding doors leading into the foyer. “Hi Susan,” she greeted the receptionist with a wave as she passed.
Mrs Simpson was standing at the information area, removing some leaflets and replacing them with new ones. She was the joint owner, together with her husband. She was a fortyish, very well spoken woman, and always immaculately turned out.
“How are you today Mrs Simpson?” she asked with a suck-up smile, coming to a stop next to her.
“Oh, very well thank you, and you? Settling in well, I hope?” she replied in her cultured voice.
“Yes thanks. I love it here and everyone has been so welcoming.”
Alista toned down her Essex accent while she was working in the club. It was
kind of establishment. Expensive and classy. A full dose of her Essex twang might not help her career progress very well, and she had plans.
“That's good to hear,” Mrs Simpson said as she carried on with her leaflet tidying.
“I was wondering if I could spend a little time in some other parts of the club at some stage. The office and maybe the restaurant? If it's not too much trouble?”
Mrs Simpson stopped her tidying for a moment and studied her. “It's no trouble at all. I'll have a word with Harry. You know, I've been hearing some good things about you Alista.”
“Yes, and I like your enthusiasm. We'll speak some more tomorrow, shall we?” she said with a generous smile.
She waltzed off with a spring in her step and a big smile plastered across her face. She wasn't averse to a little brown nosing if it got her somewhere...
She liked working in the bar, but it wasn't very mentally challenging. Her first class economics degree entitled her to aim much higher, she reasoned. But still, she was so glad she had this job. It had taken her six months to find anything. It seemed as if real life work experience was all that mattered to prospective employers. Getting it had been a trial. Thank God that was all over with now.
She walked into the bar and beamed a smile of pleasure. It was a beautiful place to work. Bright and airy with a tall vaulted ceiling, and huge doors leading out to the patio. A light polished oak graced the floor, and a massive grey granite bar stood centre stage, contrasting with the deep purple accented wall. A Grecian frieze in silver, modern chandeliers, and black vases full of white flowers provided the artistic touches. There was a large free space in front of the bar for those who liked to stand, and lots of tables and deep purple chairs of various types, for those who didn't.
It could be very busy in here in the evenings. Saturdays were the worst. She was run off her feet last weekend.
Greta, the other bartender, was behind the bar, cleaning and tidying up. She set off towards the small staff room with a cheery hello as she walked past her. She returned the greeting in her unusually deep voice and gave her a quick smile. She liked Greta. She was Austrian, and on a one year break from her studies, trying to improve her English. She wanted to work in tourism, she'd told her.
She locked the staff room door behind her, opened her locker, and put on her uniform. It was smart and neat. A short black satin skirt, a tight fitting white stretch shirt, which was a touch too revealing, she thought, and the black monogrammed hip apron. She smoothed it down and fingered the looped silver writing... “Athena's” … The name of the bar gave her a little buzz. All the parts of the club were named after Greek gods and goddesses. There was the Aphrodite Suite, for weddings, Poseidon swimming pool, Atlas gym, Zeus restaurant, Maia beauty salon and various others...
The Olympus Country Club, or OCC as it was more commonly known, was set in expansive grounds, with a nine-hole golf course and tennis courts. It had everything a rich man or woman could want for their social life. Wonderful surroundings, befitting their status, five-star cuisine, and a well stocked wine cellar and all the amenities they could wish for. It was young and modern throughout but had a wide variety of clientele from their early twenties to their late sixties.
She smoothed back her long mahogany dyed hair and gathered it up in a band, put on some more make up and finally ready, slipped into her shoes. She was just about to open the door when her phone rang. She huffed in annoyance when she saw who it was.
Oh no... Not Brendan again?
The guy wouldn't take no for an answer. A half a dozen dates and he thought he owned her. It was really awkward, because he was her brother's pal. She answered him reluctantly...
“Hey Ali, how's things?”
“What 'ya doing tonight?”
“Awww, give me a break, come on...”
“Come on what? Let me tell you one more time. Just in case you didn't hear me the other twenty. Leave. Me. Alone.”
“I know you don't mean that... Why don't you come over?”
“Listen, you dumbass jerk, fuck off, okay.” She clicked off with a thumping heart.
She was really regretting sleeping with him now. It seemed like a good idea at the time. He was cute and fit and very keen on her. But the more she knew of him, the less she liked him. They had nothing much in common, he was controlling, overly possessive, and a little bit kinky in the bedroom. Actually, a lot kinky. Not that she minded a bit of kinkiness, but cuffing her to the bed on their third time together was a little strong. And the other sex toys he'd whipped out were even stronger. Thank God she'd had a few drinks beforehand and saw the funny side of it. But it had made her wonder, what he would do for kicks six months down the road. She didn't want to go there. She turned her phone off and left the staff room for the bar.
By nine o'clock it was heaving. Greta turned the music up louder and dimmed the lights to the ambient setting as they slipped into club mode. It wasn't a fully fledged club by any means, but it had a good atmosphere.
The bar manager Tim had gone home with a migraine and the two of them were flat out tending bar and collecting glasses when they had a spare second, which wasn't often. It was noisy, hot, and damn hard work. But they managed to stay cheerful, joking and jiggling around, whilst dancing behind the bar, despite it all.
She wiped her sweating brow as she cleaned the spills from the granite bar top for the hundredth time that evening. They were running out of glasses. She loaded the washer with lightning speed and switched it onto a super quick wash.
“Aye, aye...” Greta moaned as she pulled another pint. “ Heiligen Hölle...”
“I know. Jeez, what the fuck...?” she agreed.
She turned to face the bar as a few more people squeezed along it and leant across, ready to order.
Her eyes focused on the good looking face in front of her.
If it isn't Mr Hot and Richer, the Porsche racing star.
She took in the rest of him, all that she could see above the bar; the black designer shirt, and his beautifully cut and styled dark hair. She was quite sure his haircut cost more than she earned in a day, probably two days... She always trimmed and dyed her hair herself. She hadn't visited a hair salon for the last five years at least.
“A bottle of Fosters and a large Pinot Grigio please,” he said in his perfect upper class accent. A look of recognition crossed his face and his eyes darkened.
She tried a little humour to break the ice that was clearly forming.
“How's the car, still clean, or covered in blood splatters?”
“Oh what a wit you are... And I see you made it across the car park in one piece. Well done...”
“I seem to survive every day, I must be very lucky.”
“No? Not all on your own, surely?”
“That'll be six ninety five please...” she said, giving him a false smile and taking his debit card. She put it in the card reader and waited for the green light. While she waited, she took a sneaky look at his name.
Richard Ethan Robertson.
She sniggered to herself with realisation, and broke into a wide grin.
Ha ha, maybe not quite so flash after all, 'richer' indeed!
She passed him the card reader to enter his PIN.
What's so funny?” he asked, entering his number and staring at her.
“It's not you, just your name,” she replied sarcastically, handing him his card and receipt.
She knew it wasn't on, speaking to a customer like this. She should be calm and pleasant, no matter what. It was all Brendan's fault for winding her up earlier. She was in a man bashing mood.
“And what's yours?” he asked her, expressionless, leaning further across the bar on his forearms.
“Why, are you going to report me to the police for dangerous walking or something?”
He laughed at her exposing some lovely even white teeth.
Well, well, what a stunner of a smile! I bet it cost a packet.
“No, I just want to warn my friends about you,” he replied, straight faced again.
“It's Alista Lewis if you must know.”
“Alistair?” His eyebrows rose as he repeated her somewhat masculine sounding name.
“Drop the IR and you have it.”
“Right... well it's different anyway...”
“Look, I'm really busy, sorry,” she said, brushing him off and moving on to the next customer who was tut-tutting with impatience next to him.
He picked up his drinks without a word and turned, walking away through the crowd.
She worked her backside off for another hour and finally things began to quiet down. She spotted Richer sitting at a table with a miserable blonde. She couldn't blame her for looking unhappy. He must be a real laugh a minute to be on a date with.
His eye caught hers across the room and he beckoned to her with his finger.
She glared and was quite put out, being summoned like that. She stood her ground and folded her arms, narrowing her eyes at him as he stared back. He finally broke their staring contest, got up, and approached the bar.
“What does this mean?” he asked her, and beckoned once more with his finger.
“You have restless finger syndrome?” she offered innocently.
“No, it means come here, please..
” he said in an exasperated tone of voice.
“Why should I?” she replied hotly. “You're only twenty feet away. You can shout from your chair if you can't be bothered to move.”
“Alista, you are one annoying little madam.”
“Perhaps I should get a funny number plate made, like yours... ANNOYU would be a good one. Anyways, now yer here, what d'ya wanna drink?” her carefully hidden Essex accent was returning full flow.
“A Coke and a Pinot Grigio. If you have the time between your sarcasm and jokes.”
She ignored that and carried on as usual. “I'd go for something sweeter if I were you, the wine's not working on her? How about a pina colada with extra sugar?”
His eyes flashed with anger and he took a sharp intake of breath.
“My sister has chronic depression. She's becoming very introverted and she needs to get out now and then.”
“Oh no I'm so sorry Richard. I feel really dreadful now.” She tried to remove her foot from her mouth gracefully.