Sandra’s eyes widened in shock. What the hell was this guy thinking? Sure, she was grateful he’d stepped in to defend her... but this?

“Umm.. I don’t think -” she began, but found herself cut off when he raised his hand to silence her.

“You dont need to put up with Gayle’s crap,” he said, his eyes never leaving Gayle. “I’ve seen her do this to many, many people in the past, and you don’t deserve it.”

Sandra glanced nervously at Gayle, who was staring at the man in front of her with surprise, which quickly dissolved into anger. Directed at Sandra, nonetheless.

“Get your stuff,” she spoke quietly, angrily, “And get out of this diner.”

“Gayle -”


“Go,” The young man assured her. “You’re done here.” to Gayle, he said. “No need to fire her, now; she quits.”

“Good riddance,” Gayle muttered, casting a final, nasty glare at Sandra before storming off.

“Are you allright?”

She turned to face the guy who had stuck for her. The one who’d quit her job for her.

“What was THAT all about?!” she exclaimed, gesturing with her hand to the spot where Gayle once stood.

“You don’t deserve that sort of treatment,” he said.



“Listen, AJ,” Sandra began. “I thank you sincerely for sticking up for me back there, but quitting my job? What were you thinking?”

“So I got a little into the moment..”

“A little?!” she exclaimed. “Ugh.” She turned on her heel and went to the back of the diner, not wanting to deal with the guy anymore. The nerve of that guy. Quitting her job, HER job, for her.

She quickly changed into her flared jeans, black boots and tank top, taking her light brown curls out of the ponytail, combing them through with her fingers a little. She cleaned out her locker, left her uniform on Gayle’s desk and left through the back door, not wanting another encounter with the man called AJ.

AJ, however, had different plans.

“Crap,” Sandra mumbled the moment she stepped through the door and found him leaning against the wall.

“I had a feeling you wouldn’t leave through the front,” he confessed.

“So you’re my stalker now, too?” she asked dryly.

“Don’t push your luck,” he grinned. “I actually wanted to apologize..”

“A little late for that, dontcha think?” she said, brushing past him and picking up her pace.

AJ caught up to her. “Can I walk you to your car?”

“Don’t got one.”

“I see.. can I give you a ride then?”

She stopped in her tracks and turned to face him. What was prompting him to be so.. nice.. to her? “That’s really nice of you, but really, I can handle the walk home..”

“Please, let me,” he said then, “It’s the least I can do after the crap I pulled in there.”

“I still can’t believe you did that,” she told him, her anger growing again as she recalled the fact she had no job now. “And it’s just my luck, too; rent’s due in two weeks. Great. Listen, I’m gonna have to take a raincheck on that ride. I really need this walk.”

“So we’ll go somewhere and walk,” he offered, falling into step with her once she’d turned away and resumed walking. “Please?”

Sandra sighed. She was in no mood to argue with him. She was mad as hell, true, but he really didn’t deserve to feel her wrath. She’d just take it out on her friend the punching bag at the gym later tonight.

“AJ, it’s not necessary. You probably have better things to do..”

“I don’t,” he said quickly. “Just.. let me make it up to you. Please? I feel like shit for what happened.”

“All right, okay. You win. Just this once, though.”

“Right,” he grinned. “Thanks. My car’s this way..”

[chapter list | chapter three]