Stranger.Books by Author:Isabella Starling books
I was barely legal, eighteen and a few months. I got a job catering at an art gallery in town. Being shit out of luck, I took it with open arms. My birthday money had run out, and I was struggling to find a job. I was at that point where I didn"t want to settle for waitressing just yet.
I"d just graduated from high school the year before, and, to the mortification of my parents, I never enrolled in college. I"d fobbed them off with lies of a gap year, but in reality, I had no idea whether I"d ever go to school again. I was too headstrong, too restless to stick to something for the next few years of my life.
So when my roommate Veronica told me about the job, I listened. It was good pay. One night of work, and I"d leave with a hundred bucks. I was fine with that. My parents were getting tight with money, giving me less and less and probably seeing right through every lie. We"d grown apart in my teenage years. I used to be Daddy"s girl, now I was just a lost lamb.
Veronica and I were standing in a closet in the gallery. She was getting ready to bolt, and I was getting ready to work. My poor body had no idea it would be fucked relentlessly in only an hour or so.
"Wear this," Veronica said, passing me her uniform with an anxious expression. She was my roommate along with another girl, Jessica. We"d never really bonded, but I knew Veronica was grateful I was covering for her. It was her full-time gig, but she had a date with her boyfriend. She"d told me the night before she was hoping he"d pop the question.
I took the clothes she handed me. A black pencil skirt and a white blouse with a black bow-tie " simple enough. I was taller than Veronica, but she was full-figured where I was lanky.
"Do I just tell them I"m Veronica"" I asked, slipping out of my leggings and shirt. "What if they ask questions""
"Don"t worry," Veronica said. "It"s not the usual team today, they called in some extra people since it"s a big event."
She watched me as I got changed, her eyes grazing my figure and making me self-conscious. My mom had always told me I was a late bloomer. I"d only grown breasts in my final year of high school, and even now, they weren"t big. My hips and shoulders were narrow, but my waist was even narrower. As I put on Veronica"s clothes, I realized my assumptions about them fitting me were way off. They hung off some parts of my body and clung to others in the most uncomfortable, unflattering way.
"These don"t fit well at all." I sighed, giving Veronica a nervous look.
"You look great, Sapphire," Veronica lied with a fake smile. I cringed hearing my name on her lips. I"d always hated that pretentious fucking thing.
"I"m going to head out now," she said, "Please, don"t mess this up for me. I know it"s a lot to ask of you" But I need this job so badly. Especially if Trevor asks me to marry him and we move in together."
I gave her a reassuring smile and smoothed down the apron I"d just fastened around my midriff. "Seriously, Nic, what could go wrong"" I asked. "It"ll be just fine. Go to your dinner, and don"t worry. I can"t wait to hear all about it later."
She gave me a grin, an actual, genuine grin. Veronica and I weren"t close " not by a longshot. But that smile gave me hope that maybe we"d connect over what was happening.
Nic leaned closed to me and pressed a quick kiss to my cheek before running off into the night. I was still smiling to myself as I took a deep breath, trying to stop my hands from shaking. Why on earth was I so nervous" My only job was to carry around a tray of canap"s and smile like a good girl. Something I was surely capable of, even with my minimal talents.
Another deep breath, and I walked out of the closet and into the lobby. Right away, chaos greeted me. People were running around frantically, setting up for the big night.
"Are you Veronica"" someone asked me anxiously, and I looked down into the brown eyes of a stocky guy with a fervent expression. "Please say you are, otherwise I will lose my fucking marbles."
"Yes," I lied smoothly, an action that came so easily to me lately. "I"m Veronica. Am I late or something""
"Am I late, she asks," the guy rolled his eyes. "Ten minutes fucking late. Come with me before I call the goddamn company I got you from."
He grabbed my forearm and half-guided, half-dragged me across the room to a group of frazzled-looking people in matching outfits to mine. I caught the eye of a hot guy with dark hair and gray eyes and shot him a sweet smile. He grinned in return and my tummy gave that flutter I love so much.