Simon wasn't so sure about this. He hated being put to the test when it came to his shift down at the Black Cat.
"Its quite simple, really," Kelsy the barmaid gave him a pat on the back. She kneaded his shoulders, but that just made him more tense. "You'll just be pouring pints for the most part, luv."
No one ever called him luv, especially a female. And she looked rather in scene with the many colors in her hair and the thick eyeliner. She was about to bust out her tight black number. He thought for sure she was asking for trouble, but he knew if he asked, she'd say she survived on tips.
"Thanks," he did his best to get along. He did so much want to get along, but it was really pulling him apart on the inside.
"You'll do fine," she promised.
Of course, the white apron didn't do much for him. He stacked clean mugs in place. It was expected to be a rather busy evening due to a footballer game. Simon knew he had to find a way to calm down.
"I just wish Josh were here, you know," Simon finally said. "Why is it so awful that we can't work here together? We do just fine at the library?"
"Aw, the old cow has to see if you can manage alone, sweets. You just do your job and that lad of yours will be by your side in no time. Quit the worrying." She went to deliver orders then while he filled them. Thank God, it was mostly ales and lager for the most part.
He looked up from the full mugs and saw Ste coming. Simon freaked, thinking of school and how Ste used to bully him. He looked rather out of sort, the usual. Yet pretty much beaten down. It wasn't as if he owned the village. He didn't even make a snide remark to Kelsy. How strange, thought Simon.
"When did you start working here?" Ste was actually being civil to Simon who just stared speechless as he wiped down the counter.
"You smug little puff, what gives?" He gave him a slight shove.
"Yes," Simon finally looked up, "Were you talking to me?" Simon remained even lipped.
"I didn't think brainy birds as yourself flocked to establishments as these," Ste's dazzling eyes stared at Simon expecting an explanation.
"Oh, its only part-time," Simon pressed his lips hard and went on with his work.
"I need work, you know."
"Really? Well, you'd have to talk to Kelsy about that, I suppose." Simon hoped Kelsy could at least occupy him. That would be awful to have a bully on staff.
"I could be a bodyguard." Ste smiled.
"Of course." Simon nodded, getting back to the mugs that needed to be put away. He felt even more nervous. He so hoped he wouldn't break anything.
"Listen," Ste reached then and grabbed Simon's free forearm. "Would you put in a good word for me? Please?" Simon felt Ste's grip painful. He flinched away from him almost falling into a shelf of wine glasses behind him.
"I don't know," Simon wanted to tell him he'd just breed hate here. Really, no one needed none of that, but he was sure Ste would not understand.
"It wouldn't hurt to try, would it?" Ste wouldn't take his eyes off Simon and for a moment Simon was sure Ste meant something else with that ugly stare of his.
"I'll try." But he didn't want to dare breathe a word of this to upper management and maybe not even to Josh, as well.