Guardian

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Summary

Anna seems to be drawing all of the short straws in life. Her bad luck continues to follow her even though she moved across the country trying to avoid it. After years of isolation and pain, Anna was really hoping that this could be a fresh start with her best friend Kimmy. The two decided to become roommates after high school and now that they're on their own- well except for some help from Kimmy's parents- they're forging their way to a new future. It's the summer before their freshman year of college and Anna knows that her past will catch up with her.

Genre:
Romance / Fantasy
Author:
Laura
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
15
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1

Anna's P.O.V

"I hate people" I said to Kimmy as I threw out all of the chewing gum that people had stuck to the bottom of the tables. "I swear they come here just to torture us" I grumbled as I washed my hands for the thousandth time today.

"You know we won't be working here forever. We just have to tough it out until we find something better or finish school" Kimmy said with her usual optimism.

"You're just saying that because you work here to see your usual customer" I said while making air quotes.

Kimmy blushed, "oh be quiet, I'm allowed to dream! Besides, he usually ends up in my section anyways. And you're just jealous that I found a guy I like and you haven't" Kimmy teased back.

I rolled my eyes at her and then went back to brewing a fresh pot of coffee. "There just hasn't been anyone that has caught my attention. All of the boys our age seem to be so immature and all they care about is how a girl looks. It would be nice to find someone who wants to get to know me and doesn't just stare at my chest" I complained as I started wrapping some cutlery.

"I think you're just being too picky" Kimmy said as she stuck a piece of chewing gum in her mouth.

"You better not stick that under the table!" I waved a finger at her.

She stuck her tongue out at me and laughed, "seriously Anna you could use a guy. I mean you haven't dated since everything went down in high school" she said sadly.

I sighed, "I don't know. Maybe if I could find someone my type".

"You mean someone who loves staying at home and enjoying art?" She raised an eyebrow at me.

"Just someone who understands me and yeah it would be nice if they had similar interests" I defended.

"Pfft... okay then" Kimmy rolled her eyes at me. "I want to make a deal with you" she suddenly smiled.

"What deal?" I asked suspiciously.

"Can we swap a table each?" She whispered.

"Why would-" I paused when I looked up and saw that the guy she liked had come in and sat in my section. "I really shouldn't indulge you. I mean he's been coming in since we started a month ago and he hasn't asked you out" I pointed out.

Kimmy pouted at me, "please? I'll let you pick whatever movie you want tonight after work?"

I silently cursed Kimmy for knowing all of my weaknesses, "make it 2 and you have a deal" I said.

"Thank you! You're the best" Kimmy said as she jumped off of her seat. "How do I look?" She asked.

"Like a waitress" I said smartly. Kimmy just glared at me a minute before she went over to the table with her crush.

I really did admire her confidence for approaching guys and going after what she wants. And the guy she likes, Josh, isn't exactly bad looking. He has blonde hair, brown eyes, and a very toned body. It's also kind of funny that he is over 6 feet tall, while Kimmy is just over 5 feet. I chuckled quietly to myself and continued wrapping cutlery.

"Oh my gosh Anna I swear he looks better everytime he comes in here!" Kimmy said excitedly. "Do you think I should leave him my number on the bill?" She asked.

"It's up to you. Do you think he would use it?" I replied.

"Well he is giving me really flirty vibes today. It sucks that his friends are with him... it makes me nervous" Kimmy said softly.

"Then I say go for it" I smiled slightly, trying to encourage her. You wouldn't know it from how she acts but Kimmy is actually really shy around boys.

"Yes!" Kimmy said as she did a fist pump. "I'll keep you posted" she winked at me and went to put their food order into the kitchen.

I sighed. I wish that there was a guy that I could go for. You know, one of the really sweet and romantic ones. But I really am starting to think that they don't exist.

But maybe Kimmy is right. Maybe I have my expectations too high... or I'm still worried about what happened in high school. I shuddered at the thought as one of the kitchen boys brought me another batch of cutlery. We may have only been working here a month, but it's the summer before school starts and I really just want to practice my painting.

My mother is not supportive of me pursuing a diploma in art at all. She says that I will never make a living that way and that I shouldn't waste my talents. So, to make her happy I said that I was going to study business as well as art. She wasn't thrilled at the compromise but I want to do what I love, which is art.

"Oh... my.... gosh" Kimmy said as she stood frozen outside of the kitchen doors. "Who is that? I've never seen him in before" she thought out loud.

I looked up and was surprised by what I saw. It was a guy around our age. He stood about 6 feet tall and was wearing a plain black t-shirt with blue jeans. He had a relatively slim build but you could still tell that he had muscle and most likely worked out. His t-shirt was stretched by his broad shoulders. I glanced up towards his face and saw that he had jet black hair and the most handsome face that I had ever seen.... even though he had a slight frown. I wonder what it would be like if he smiled.... I could feel a blush grow on my cheeks and as soon as I met his icy blue eyes his gaze snapped to mine and I instantly felt nervous. Luckily, he looked away quickly and walked to one of the booths in the far corner away from everyone else.

It was also lucky that he sat in Kimmy's section instead of mine. I breathed a sigh of relief that was quickly interrupted by Kimmy, "oh my gosh you like him!" She whisper shouted. I didn't say anything but I'm sure my bright red face confirmed her suspicions. "I've never seen you act this way towards a guy before. You HAVE to talk to him" she said as she took a seat beside me.

"I don't think I can... He makes me nervous" I admitted shyly. "Besides he's in your section" I added with a smirk.

"But you said you would switch tables with me" Kimmy said with a huge grin back.

"Oh.... right" I said as I mentally cursed her again for being right.

"You'll thank me. He is gorgeous" Kimmy said and before she could see me blush again I grabbed a menu and some cutlery and walked over to the stranger's table.

I took a deep breath and then stood in front of his table. I carefully placed the cutlery and menu down and then said the usual greeting. "Welcome to Sunny's, my name is Anna and I'll be you're server today. Can I get you anything to drink?"

There was a slight pause and I was worried when he didn't even look up at me. But just as I was about to ask again he spoke up. "I'll take a coffee please, black". I nodded and walked away, letting out the breath I had been holding. I got goosebumps on my skin from the sound of his voice. It was smooth like velvet, and he had a very deep tone.

"Well?" Kimmy looked at me as soon as I got back behind the counter. "How'd it go?" She asked me anxiously.

"He asked for a coffee" I admitted as I was pouring him a cup.

"You didn't get his name or anything?" Kimmy's mouth dropped open in surprise.

I shook my head at her, "My job is to serve him food, not to interrogate him" I scolded her. She rolled her eyes at me as I started walking the coffee over to him. I set the steaming mug gently on the table.

"Is there anything else I can get you or do you need a few more minutes?" I asked politely.

"I'll just take the special thanks" he said, his voice coming out softly and with a calm energy.

"I'll get the order in for you" I nodded and put on my best fake smile but he didn't look up, focusing on the table instead.

"Well?" Kimmy nagged when I got back to the kitchen.

"He ordered the special" I replied.

"Did you find out anything else about him?" She inquired.

"No..." I sighed. "He didn't even look at me" I added.

"Don't let it bother you. Maybe he's just having a bad day or something" Kimmy tried to encourage me, knowing how low my self esteem is after what happened.

I put in his order and then sat back at the counter to work on the cutlery. "Look" Kimmy whispered excitedly. I glanced over and saw that the stranger had put on some head phones and pulled out a sketchbook. He seemed so focused on his drawing. "He's an artist too! Girl you have to go for that" Kimmy said quietly so he wouldn't hear us.

"I don't know Kimmy... he seems way out of my league" I replied sadly.

"But he seems like your type!" Kimmy encouraged. "Oh I'll be back, my table wants something" she hopped off the stool and practically skipped to their table in excitement.

"Order up!" I hear the cook call and I sighed.

"Here we go" I tried to encourage myself as I grabbed his plate of food and the coffee pot. I slowly walked to his table and set the food in front of him. "Is there anything else I can get you?"

"No thank you" he said with that amazing voice of his.

"Just let me know if you need anything" I said with another fake smile as I refilled his mug.

"I will" he said as he finally glanced up at me. My eyes met his blue ones and it's like a bond had formed between us. I was snapped out of it when he looked back down at the table. But I could have sworn I saw a blush on his cheeks.... you're probably just imagining it. I thought to myself as I walked towards Kimmy on wobbly legs.

Unfortunately for me I tripped and fell. The coffee pot shattered on the ceramic tile floor beside me. Luckily nothing was hurt except my confidence. I stood up in embarassment and brushed myself off. Kimmy had seen everything and brought the cleaning supplies over.

"Are you okay?" She asked as she started helping me with the mess. I heard the table she was serving laugh at me, but Josh said something to them and they suddenly stopped.

"I'm fine.... please tell me he didn't see that" I mumbled.

"Oh he did... he's still looking" Kimmy said smugly. "Since when do you care if a guy looks at you anyways" she added.

I glanced over my shoulder and sure enough I was met with a pair of icy blue eyes. When he caught my gaze he frowned slightly and then went back to his food. I breathed in relief, thankful that he hadn't laughed at me like the others.... could he really be my type? I thought.

No... there's no way a guy that good looking would ever ask me out. I shook my head and finished cleaning the mess I made before I walked back over to hide behind the counter. "It's gonna be fine... he didn't laugh at you. He actually looked kind of worried if you ask me" Kimmy said confidently.

"You're probably just seeing things Kimmy" I grumbled.

"No really it's true! And he was totally checking you out" Kimmy said with an eyebrow wiggle.

"Ya right. A guy like that would never go for someone like me" I said sadly.

"Oh do you mind if I take him then?" She teased.

"No!" I said way too quickly. Kimmy smirked as if she had won a prize and I quickly defended myself. "I mean you have Josh" I added.

"Not yet I don't" Kimmy sighed.

"I think they're ready for the bill. Now's your chance!" I encouraged her as she grabbed the bill and wrote her name and number on the bottom. I watched her bring the debit machine over with her and she set the bill on the table before handing them the machine.

I started a fresh pot of coffee and glanced at the stranger again. He was still drawing away as he was eating his food. His headphones were back in and he seemed very focused. I admired his attractiveness a bit longer before I turned to check on Kimmy. She was walking away from the table and I saw Josh pick up the bill and look at it.

I saw a look of shock cross his face before he pulled out his phone and started typing something.

"Come on guys lets go" I heard Josh say as he flipped the bill back over on the table and everyone stood up.

"Thanks for the lunch man" one of them said as they all strolled out the door.

Kimmy sighed and looked defeated. "Kimmy you'll never believe what I just saw" I said and she looked up at me in interest. We both started walking to clean off the table.

"What?" She said sadly.

"Josh, I saw him take out his phone after he looked at the bill. He was probably putting in your number!" I smiled at her.

"You really think so?" She said happily.

"I know so, he would be an idiot to turn you down" I winked at her and she laughed.

Once we were finished cleaning up I noticed that the stranger had finished his food so I went over with the fresh pot of coffee and tried to forget about my embarassing slip earlier. "Was everything okay?" I asked him as I topped off his mug and grabbed his empty plate.

He simply nodded at me, while trying desperately to hide his sketch book.

"Can I grab you the bill or anything else?" I asked politely.

"Just the bill thanks" he replied. I was about to walk away when he asked. "Are you okay?" I was a bit taken aback as I frowned at him in confusion. "That was quite a fall earlier" he explained.

I felt my cheeks heat up in embarassment, "yes. I am thanks" I said shyly and he nodded before going back to his sketch book.

"What did he say?" Kimmy asked excitedly.

"He said he would take the bill" I told her the partial truth as she followed me back into the kitchen.

"And?" She nagged.

"He asked if I was okay from the fall earlier" I said, feeling my embarassment reach new levels.

"Oh my gosh he totally likes you!" Kimmy squealed.

"Shhh! I don't want him to hear you" I tried to quiet her.

"He likes you! I say you go for it" Kimmy added more quietly.

"I only just met him today, I don't even know his name" I said, trying to make excuses.

"You can't let him get away Anna. This is the most excited I have seen you about a guy ever" Kimmy said dramatically.

I sighed, knowing she wouldn't let this go. "If he comes in a few more times I'll leave my number" I compromised.

"How many is a few?" Kimmy questioned.

"Five or six" I answered without thinking.

"Okay deal. If he comes in another five times you have to leave your number" Kimmy said excitedly.

"Fine" I rolled my eyes.

"I won't forget this!" Kimmy giggled as I grabbed the bill and went to his table.

"Do you need the machine?" I asked nervously, probably looking like a mess after the spill I had.

"No thank you" he said and I shuddered again at the sound of his voice.

"Okay, thank you and have a great day" I smiled at him and he glanced at me. He seemed surprised for some reason. I was so caught in his gaze that I didn't know what was going on around me until I heard the beeping of the kitchen timer. I shook my head and walked back behind the counter.

Kimmy and I tried to sneak glances at him as he packed up his things. He walked out the door with his head phones on and that's when I noticed that he had left a piece of paper on the table. I quickly ran over and grabbed the folded piece of paper and ran for the door. "Wait!" I called, but he was already gone. I sighed and walked back inside.

"What's that?" Kimmy asked.

"I haven't looked, but I think it's the drawing he was working on" I admitted and Kimmy snatched it from me and looked at it.

"Oh. My. Gosh." Kimmy's jaw dropped open.

"What is it?" I asked.

"See for yourself" she said with a huge grin.

I gently grabbed the paper and unfolded it. I gasped at what I saw.

It was a drawing of me, with my brown hair pulled up in a bun and my green eyes reflecting the light from the windows. He had captured me perfectly, right down to the way my name was written on my name tag. The portrait was stunning and I was deeply flattered that he had drawn me with this talent. "He is so talented" I whispered, gently running my fingers across the page.

"Now I KNOW he likes you" Kimmy said with satisfaction. "You should have at least got his name" Kimmy lectured.

I tucked the drawing into my apron and shrugged. "If he wanted to tell me he would have" I said.

Kimmy replied, "you still should have asked. I wouldn't have let that hunk get away! Plus he obviously loves art" she paused then her eyes went big. "Maybe he goes to our college!" She shrieked.

I shook my head and laughed at her excitement, "I thought you liked Josh" I teased.

"Oh someone is jealous!" Kimmy replied and I felt myself blush, cursing her for being right as usual.

"Let's go clean" I said as I walked to the table. I opened the bill fold to get his payment and froze.

"Woah" I heard Kimmy say from over my shoulder. "And now I'm positive he has a thing for you. That's a good portion of the rent!" She said in awe.

There was $300 worth of tip in the bill fold. I tucked the money into my apron and started cleaning, even though I was still in shock. Who on earth tips $300? I thought as Kimmy helped in silence.

Thankfully our shift was over so we headed home. I was glad that Kimmy and I always walked together, especially when it's getting dark. I've never felt comfortable walking alone in our neighbourhood.

We got home without any issues luckily and we both went to get changed. I couldn't help but pull out the drawing and gaze at it's beauty. He's so talented.... I tucked the drawing carefully in the drawer beside my bed and went downstairs to join Kimmy. "So what are we watching?" She asked. I was thankful that she didn't bring up the stranger again.

"I was thinking a Harry Potter marathon" I answered with a smirk.

"But you've seen it a million times!" She groaned.

"A deal is a deal" I reminded her smugly.

"Yeah yeah" she said as she put the movie on.

It wasn't long before my thoughts drifted again to the mysterious stranger.

Who is he? Why did he leave me the drawing? Why did he tip me so much? Why was he concerned if I was okay? What is his name?

I grumbled silently in frustration. I hate that Kimmy is right again... I should have asked his name. I sighed and tried to get back into the movie.
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