"Now Val, are you sure you don't have any other questions before you get started?" Arlene asks.
"I'm good, thank you Arlene. If I think of anything else I'll be sure to ask." I reply. Arlene nods before she turns around and walks away.
Today is my first day at the bookshop. Arlene phoned me yesterday evening to ask if I could start today and of course I said yes.
With this job now added, I've had to do a lot of planning to work out a schedule for myself.
I work in the bookshop on the days my classes finish early. That would be Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I also have to work on Saturday mornings. As for gymming - the bookshop closes at 6 pm and my kickboxing classes usually start at 6:30 pm, which works out perfectly since the gym is only a few blocks away. Lastly, on Tuesday afternoons I have my music lessons. Yeah... Crap... Just thinking about what happened yesterday makes me want to step on Legos. I am so embarrassed. Like some bitch in heat I completely gave in to his advances, I feel so pathetic. My body has never reacted the way it did with him. I've never felt the need to be touched, especially not in that way. My past taught me that my body finds it revolting. It was out of character. It can never happen again.
I bury my face in the palms of my hands, hoping it would somehow disguise my flushed cheeks.
I can't be doing this, not here, not on my first day of work. I need to pull myself together. I decide the best method now would be distraction, so I start busying myself with my work, completing the tasks Arlene gave me one by one.
When I finally allow myself to rest, I notice that it is already 05:30 pm. Just a few more minutes and then I've successfully made it through my first day. Right?
Why? Because while I was busy having this conversation with myself, three figures entered the shop. Three figures made their way to me and three figures are now staring directly at me as I stare back at the faces of Callan and Alaric Strauss, accompanied by none other than diner guy.
Their stares are so intense that they leave me paralysed. The counter being the only thing that separates me from them.
Diner guy is the first to speak: "Good evening, I don't believe I've had the honour of introducing myself. My name is Ethan Strauss and you are?" He asks, stretching out his arm, his hand awaiting mine.
"Valerie." I manage to say, placing my hand in his. Instead of going for a handshake, he brings my hand up to his lips, gracing it with a light kiss. The two men beside him watch our every move. I feel my cheeks flush.
"Ethan, I don't appreciate you coming in here and trying to scare away my employee." Arlene's voice resonates from behind me.
"It's good to see you again Arlene." Ethan addresses her, his eyes still on me.
"Val, these are the Strauss brothers. Ethan, Alaric and Callan. Boys, this is my new employee Valerie. Now that we have the introductions out of the way, why don't you boys come with me." Arlene says, motioning for them to follow her up the stairs.
For a few more seconds the men are focused on me before Arlene clears her throat, indicating that she is not willing to wait for them much longer.
"I hope to see you again soon Valerie." Ethan says. He walks to the stairway, his brothers following.
Why does my name sound so good coming from his lips?
From a distance, she was enticing, but from up close she's a whole different story. Being so close to her, I could see how perfectly her fiery hair frames her face. Her emerald eyes filled with so much innocence, contrasted by specks of lust that almost go unnoticed. Her smooth ivory skin covered by the slightest bit of freckles on her cheeks and nose.
That woman... What is she doing to us?
I whisper, loud enough so that only my brothers can hear me: "She's fucking ours."
They both grin, nodding in agreement.
As we reach the top of the stairs, we follow Arlene into the back room. The room has a special quality: It is completely soundproof. Not even with our advanced hearing will we be able to hear what is said between these four walls. If Arlene has brought us here, it means it is more serious than we initially thought.
"What is it that you need to tell us Arlene?" Alaric asks, getting straight to the point.
"We have a bit of a problem." Arlene replies, shutting the door behind us.