Nesta receives many unexpected customers while working at the restaurant. When the evening takes a surprising turn Nesta must maneuver her way out of a situation that can cost her too much than she can afford. By the end of the night she’ll lose more than she ever thought possible.
I do want to place a warning for people that have been in abusive relationships. This chapter isn’t graphic by any means, but there are some violent parts that might be slightly upsetting. I know people have varying reactions to this type of situation and I just want to make sure you understand the journey ahead and for future chapters.
P.S. Also if work place harassment upsets you this is another warning. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve had to deal with varying degrees of this when I worked as a waitress, front desk staff worker in college and at another place known as the “Most Magical Place on Earth”. Trust me guys. It happens.
The dinner crowd at the restaurant
was one of the busiest so far. Around the holidays a swarm of people flocked to
the location by couples or large groups.
lost track of how many tables she had waited on since she started at noon.
Tonight was a long shift, but within two hours she would be done for the night.
Mrs. Laurent addressed her near the kitchen doors. Her voice was stern and
seeped with rigidity.
It was a
well-known fact that around the holidays Mrs. Laurent would dismiss any of her
workers if they made multiple mistakes during a peak business season. So far
two had been cut from the staff.
it,” Nesta asked. She knew full well that she had not been making any errors in
orders. Why would the manager be calling her for a talk?
“I need you to serve an important
table,” Mrs. Laurent said. “These business people come from an extremely
well-known company in Prythian and I want you to handle them.”
“Shouldn’t Marlene or Jane be
getting the next tables? Currently I’m already working on-”
“They would be if they weren’t
already fawning over the customers,” Mrs. Laurent said. “Many of them are quite
handsome and I know I can trust you not to make a fool of yourself by making
advances on them.”
“Oh.” Nesta blinked. “Well then I
suppose I can take the table since my last few are finishing up their meals.”
“Excellent. The party is waiting
for you to seat them,” Mrs. Laurent left Nesta standing there a bit bemused by
what had occurred.
these people that good-looking?
Nesta shook her head and strode to
the host podium in her small black heels. When she rounded the corner to the
restaurant’s entrance she almost tripped at the sight that greeted her.
Rhysand, Cassian, Amren and a few
other men stood at the podium.
Nesta could see why the other
waitresses wanted this group. Each of them was dressed in business casual.
Cassian’s form captured Nesta’s attention the most though since his hair was loose
in soft waves reaching his shoulders and the grey button down shirt looked far
too good hugging the contours of his muscles. Nesta wondered how easy it would
be to take off that shirt and have her hands touching the skin beneath.
She dashed the thought away before
she ended up making a fool of herself. Taking a deep breath she prepared
“Good evening and welcome,” Nesta
greeted with a smile she always used for customers. Instinct took over as she
put on her waitress role with forced smiles and an enthusiastic voice that made
Nesta want to rip out her voice box. Sadly her true personality never made
customers happy so she resorted to the façade that would please others and thus
make her earn better tips.
Cassian turned around with a
shit-eating grin. Nesta knew he was up to something.
“Are you our waitress for the night
lovely lady,” Cassian asked with mirth.
“I am and if you would follow me
I’ll be taking you to your table,” Nesta said brightly. She made sure to give
Cassian a pointed questioning look. Why of all places was he here?
As Nesta led the way past other
tables full of eating customers Rhysand spoke up.
“Cassian told us about this place
and requested that he and his security team dine here for the evening as part
of their reward bonus this quarter.”
“Did he?” Nesta had told Cassian
once where she worked and he always kept telling her that he wanted to see her
in action at work. Of course Nesta kept making excuses as to why he shouldn’t
go. She merely didn’t want him to see her working at a place that tested her
strength each day as she acted extremely perky and enthused when in reality she
couldn’t care less if a customer was pissed that they only got three slices of
tomato instead of four.
Nesta placed the group next to the
window overlooking the city. The table seated eight, which was perfect for
their group. As all of them took a seat Rhysand leaned slightly closer to
Nesta, but his voice carried across the table where Cassian sat.
“Although if we’re being honest I
think he came to see a particular person that has been in his head lately,” Rhysand
said with a smile.
“Both his little heads,” Amren
added and made a vague gesture around her head and lower half of her body.
Nesta chuckled, but Cassian shot a
dark look at Amren.
“Or maybe he was hungry for
something else other than his home-cooking,” Nesta said and brought out her pen
and small pad of paper to write drink orders.
“You could say I am hungry for
something else indeed,” Cassian winked at Nesta who rolled her eyes yet the hint of smile tugged at her lips. Cassian saw the movement and his eyes shone with
He was going to make her smile for
real tonight. Not one of those fake smiles reserved for other customers, but a
true one. Cassian knew she was just playing a role reserved for what her job
entailed. The urge to let the true Nesta seep out was rising with each passing
second. He wanted Nesta bantering with him and shooting him playful looks when
no one was watching like she usually did.
“What will you all be having to
drink?” Nesta poised her pen and started jotting down each beverage that was
requested. “They will be out in a moment so take your time looking over the
Nesta left her party to grab the
drinks. When she made it back to the kitchen Clare stopped her on the way
“Nesta I have a huge favor to ask,”
Clare said and fidgeted her fingers nervously.
“What is it?” Nesta asked with true
concern. Clare never usually acted this way. She was hired not too long after
Nesta and was a seasoned pro at her job.
“This party of five men just came
in and I’ve already got their drinks, but they keep trying to touch me and they
say such rude things.”
“Did you tell Mrs. Laurent?” The
manager did not take kindly to the harassment of her staff. Surely she could
come out here and deal with this.
“I would, but I’ve already got two
strikes and I don’t want her to fire me considering the mood she’s been in
“She won’t fire you over this,”
“Yes she will. These men – they’re
from Hybern,” Clare cringed at the business name.
“Shit,” Nesta swore. Hybern always
got away with this each year when the group came for their meals. Mrs. Laurent
always claimed they could do no wrong since she personally knows many of the
Two years ago one waitress came
forward about the harassment and was scolded for it. There was no evidence and
the men had made quite a complaint with Mrs. Laurent when the accusations were
That girl ended up quitting, but
Nesta always had the feeling that she was going to be fired regardless from
“I would ask one of the other
waiters, but none of the male waiters are here tonight and honestly I think
you’re the only one that can handle this group. Please Nesta can you swap me
tables, I’ll do all your tables for the rest of the night if that’s what it
takes,” Clare pleadingly glanced back at the table she wanted to avoid.
“Mrs. Laurent personally assigned
me to a table so I don’t think –” Nesta was about to explain why she couldn’t,
but the dimming hope in Clare’s eyes made her stop.
closed her eyes and counted backwards from five. She hoped she wouldn’t regret
this later on.
swap my recent table for the bastards table you got,” Nesta said. “You need to
make sure though that Mrs. Laurent doesn’t see you serving my table though or
else we both are in for it.”
Nesta!” Clare hugged Nesta and the two swapped the current orders they had.
to the kitchen and grabbed the first set of dishes full of food. There were so
many plates for just five men and Nesta could already imagine how much food was
going to be wasted.
She placed most
of the plates onto a tray and hefted it onto her shoulder before striding back
into the dining area. On her way she passed by Cassian’s table as Clare gave
them all their drinks.
caught the confused expression on Cassian’s face at the new waitress. His eyes
searched for Nesta until he spotted her walking by with the large tray heading
for a table a few spaces down. He continued to watch her until he noticed where
she was heading. His fists clenched tightly under the table. He knew exactly who
the pricks at the table were.
The Hybern men immediately questioned Nesta upon arriving at
that cute little server from awhile ago?” One of them asked.
scared that we would bite? Not that I’m saying I wasn’t tempted.” Another
chuckled and showed off his teeth to show that his little joke had underlying
truth to it.
least this lovely lady wouldn’t mind I bet. Would you doll?” The third leaned
closer, but Nesta simply stared him down with disinterest.
She took a
deep breath and began serving plates. “I’ll be your waitress for the remainder
of the evening.”
“Oh?” A man
with brown eyes and matching hair raised a brow. “Is that so?”
well cut to the chase and ask her when she gets off work. We all know that’s
what you really want to know Jurian.” Knowing looks were shared around the
table by the men.
of Jurian’s lips raised in a slight smile. “You know I always have dinner
before the fun,” Jurian glanced up at Nesta. “Why don’t you be a good girl and
get me the rest of my food.”
Nesta left without
a word before her temper got the better of her. Upon her return with the last
batch of dishes the men stopped talking.
looked toward her chest and Nesta crossed her arms making it clear that she
didn’t want him staring.
have nice ones right Jurian?” A man nodded to Nesta noticing how long Jurian
had been looking at her breasts. “I prefer big ones myself, but not to big that
you can suffocate,” The man whispered. Of course his wheezy voice was loud
enough that Nesta could still catch the words.
Jurian said a bit puzzled at the nametag on Nesta’s shirt. “Are you related to
Feyre Archeron by any chance?” The men hushed at Jurian’s words.
a neutral face. Feyre would never associate with men like those from Hybern. If
they knew Feyre then it could only mean trouble for Nesta.
“Is she a
friend of yours?” Nesta parried with another question. Anything to buy time so
she could set down the last plates.
you first,” Jurian tapped his fingers on the table impatiently waiting for a
Nesta could answer a hand gripped her waist. The unexpected touch made Nesta
stiffen. Fingers pressed tighter and a voice from her nightmares spoke just
above her ear.
a long time Nesta.”
Nesta turned her head and was greeted by the sight of Tomas. A boy who should
be hundreds of miles away. A boy who shouldn’t know where she was. A monster that
now had her in his sights.
have guessed you would be working in a place like this,” Tomas said with a
glance around the restaurant.
Nesta was completely confused. Tomas being here had warped all thoughts except
the one that was screaming at her to get as far away as possible.
gestured to her clothes. “You serving people. That’s pretty much one of the
only things your good at.” His hand glided down further and the veiled meaning
behind the words was clear.
pulled away from Tomas and felt the urge to scrub away the contact. “You can’t
be here.” You should be far away and gone
from my life forever.
Tomas smiled as if he had won some sort of sick game.
customers are allowed to be seated and this restaurant does not accept walk-ins
for dinner. You need to have a reservation.” Nesta looked forward to having
this bastard kicked out.
you should watch that tone of yours,” Jurian interrupted. “Mr. Mandray is my
guest who is joining us tonight. You best treat him with the utmost respect or
I will call the manager to fix any issues that arise.”
that Nesta,” Tomas continued to smile. He knew he had the advantage. “Be
respectful. If you can handle it with that venomous mouth of yours.”
clenched the tray in her hands. Her knuckles turned white as she frowned darkly
hear him,” Jurian questioned. “If so then answer.”
The men at
the table snickered at the silent battle waging between Nesta and Tomas. She
wanted to do nothing more than bash his head with the tray. Or toss him out the
Nesta clipped out. She made to turn away, but Tomas gave a loud cough catching
her attention along with a couple of nearby tables.
who had been closely watching the situation unfold, was now glaring daggers at
the newcomer at Hybern’s table. It seemed as if they knew each other, but the
look of shock and a flash of fear in Nesta’s eyes set Cassian on edge. Clearly
she did not want to be around the man. He couldn’t hear the conversation at the
beginning, but once the man coughed Cassian caught the next words with ease.
“Say that a
little more nicely,” Tomas said. “I want to make sure I’m not just imagining
things and that Nesta Archeron actually has a soul in that cold heart of hers.”
flush crawled up Nesta’s neck. People began whispering and the risk of Mrs.
Laurent coming out to investigate would mean trouble.
Nesta spoke up a bit louder and slower as if Tomas were a child. “I heard
exaggeratedly pondered her words. His index finger tapped his chapped bottom
lip. “I suppose that’s good enough for now. Next time though be sure to say
‘sir’ or maybe something a bit sweeter. I’ll also have water to drink.”
will be out later,” Nesta began to turn away, but Tomas coughed again. The
loudness made Nesta cringe.
you’re missing something on the end of that sentence,” Tomas said thoroughly
enjoying watching Nesta struggle with restraint to give into the fury.
will be out later sir,” Nesta added
icily as customers next to her shivered at the coldness in which she delivered
better,” Tomas said before taking his seat. He watched Nesta leave and
attentively focused on her backside where her curves were.
Cassian’s table Rhysand was now watching the action unfolding as well.
Cassian’s voice resembled a growl. After seeing Nesta try to be humiliated by Tomas
it was becoming difficult for Cassian to remain calm. “We can’t let them do
this. I won’t let them do that to
what you’re thinking, but you can’t storm over there and create a warzone,”
Rhysand said calmly. “First I’ll talk with the manager and –”
can’t!” Clare squeaked out as she finished taking their meal orders. Realizing
her abrupt comment was uncalled for she covered her mouth wishing to take back
“Why the hell not?” Amren took a sip of blood red wine from
her glass. Her short glossy black hair shimmered in the light as she pushed
strands out of her narrow cat-like eyes.
tried to talk with the manager before about Hybern since they are known
for…well what you just saw and worse,” Clare said softly not wanting to be
heard by other tables. “She knows most of the people from Hybern and refuses to
believe the complaints made toward them. The last person that tried to call
them out ended up getting fired. Well she technically ‘quit’, but we all know
that she was going to get fired if she didn’t.”
joking,” Cassian looked back at Hybern’s table. “I mean I don’t doubt the
complaints, but your manager makes you put up with that shit?”
manager finds out then Nesta and I will get in trouble since we swapped
tables,” Clare fidgeted with her pen. “Hopefully they eat quickly and then we
don’t have to deal with them for awhile.”
to be addressed now,” Rhysand reasoned. “If not it will keep happening.”
Laurent won’t believe us though,” Clare then saw Mrs. Laurent making her way
through table rounds. “I have to go. If she sees me here she will be upset since
she’ll know Nesta and I swapped tables.” Clare quickly left to give the chefs
the latest orders.
went into the kitchen Nesta came out with a glass of water.
Just get this over with and you’ll be home
Nesta wove around crowded tables
until she reached the one place in the world she didn’t want to be.
long enough,” one of the men said as she set down the glass of water in front
of Tomas. She didn’t look at any of the table’s occupants.
decided on an order?” Nesta poised her pen to write on the paper. Too bad she
couldn’t plant the pen into Tomas’s smirking face.
think of one that involves you, me and this table,” Tomas smiled as if this
was a normal conversation and not vulgar harassment.
involve me bashing your face into a fork if you don’t pick out some food?”
Nesta said without thinking.
wasn’t polite,” Tomas leaned forward and it took all of Nesta’s willpower not
to startle backwards from the motion. “I believe an apology is in order if you
are so keen on demanding orders.”
If he thought
that wasn’t polite he had another thing coming. Nesta ignored him and waited for
him to choose what he wanted to eat.
him,” Jurian’s voice raised the hair on Nesta’s neck. “Apologize.” It was given
as an order.
Jurian a narrow glance. His brown eyes were enjoying the sight of her inner
struggle. Feeding off of how uncomfortable this situation was for her.
Nesta’s words a smooth poisoned blade ready for attack. “Perhaps if you can’t
handle the way I treat improper behavior of customers then you should act with
twitched into a fist. “I think it’s you who needs to be taught respect.”
standoff between Jurian and Nesta began to unfold.
“Get me the
steak dinner with a baked potato and soup,” Tomas interrupted. He was not
pleased that Jurian stole Nesta’s attention away. “And you know how I like my
meat handled Nesta. Don’t mess it up.” A suggestive grin from Tomas earned him
a few laughs from the men at the table.
the man. Go handle his meat how he wants it,” one rudely guffawed and Nesta was
mortified by the stares people were sending her.
walked away and didn’t dare stray away from her path to the kitchen. She didn’t
want to see the looks people were giving her. Nesta could only imagine what
Cassian was thinking right now. Of all the days he had to be here it was when
she was facing her worst day on the job.
After handing in the latest order to
the kitchen staff a small tap on Nesta’s shoulder caught her attention.
with the long dark hair at the table wants you to refill their drinks,” Clare
pointed to the Velaris table. Cassian sat with furrowed brows staring at
Tomas. It appeared as if Cassian was sizing him up.
eyes widened in shock. What if found out that was Tomas was the man that almost
raped her? Cassian had a perceptive mind. He was sure to put the pieces
together if he went searching for more answers.
Nesta had to make sure to prevent
that. If Cassian started a fight over her then he would get in trouble. And he
didn’t deserve that. Tomas wasn’t worth it no matter how bad he hurt her.
Cassian should never face punishment for defending her. Nesta could only
imagine the damage that would be done if Cassian held to his promise during
their first boxing session
make them wish they never hurt you. They would see what would happen when all
their bones are broken.”
“Nesta?” Clare broke her
“I’m a bit busy dealing with the
bastards at my table,” Nesta tiredly rubbed her eyes.
“But he really wants to see you,”
Clare said. “Besides you have to wait for your latest food order to get done
anyway. Why don’t you help me carry out these plates?”
“Fine,” Nesta sighed before
proceeding to carry a few plates on her arm while Clare grabbed the rest. They
stepped back out of the kitchen and made their way to the Velaris table.
Nesta’s waitress persona was in full effect. She couldn’t let Cassian know how
rattled she was with her latest table of moronic assholes.
Rhys and the others smiled when
they saw their food. Clare quickly began placing dishes in front of each
respective customer who ordered it.
“Who ordered the herb-roasted chicken?”
Nesta’s upbeat tone masked the worry she was currently feeling.
“That would be me,” Cassian said.
His eyes never leaving hers.
“Here you go,” Nesta reached in
front of him to set the plate down. His hand rose to help her lower the plate,
even though she had it under control. Unlike the emotions that were beating
inside her walls.
His large hand cupped hers and
together they eased the plate onto the table. His fingers lingered and gently
encased her in warmth.
“I’m tempted to steal you away,”
Cassian smiled. “Considering how my time with you was taken away by people who
don’t see what they’re up against.”
“I’m on the job,” Nesta stated and
slowly eased her hand out of his even though she wanted to stay there the whole
evening with him. “You can’t expect me to sit down and chat with
“But you know you want to,” Cassian
said as if he could see right through her words. “Besides how could anyone
resist this?” He gestured to himself with a grin. Amren scoffed across the
table and the men at the table chuckled at Cassian’s antics.
“That’s easy. The moment you open
your mouth people go running to the hills,” Nesta’s mouth shifted into a true
Amren laughed. “Casanova Cassian’s
charm is no match for the Ice Queen.”
Nesta coughed to cover up the laugh
that escaped her lips. She could always rely on Amren to back her up in baiting
“I would say my mouth is my best
quality,” Cassian crooned until Nesta gently tapped the back of his chair with
“Behave yourself. You’re in a fine
establishment,” Nesta quirked a brow and her eyes brightened with a teasing
“What happens to customers who
don’t behave?” Cassian flirted.
“They don’t get dessert,” Nesta
implied with a faint smile. The double meaning was not lost to Cassian whose
eyes darkened in lust.
“Not at the table,” Rhys
interrupted before reaching for his drink.
“Funny you should mention that
Rhys,” Amren coolly added. “I remember something about you, Feyre and a table
if I’m not mistaken.”
Rhysand almost choked on his drink.
“I better get back to work,” Nesta
did not want to hear the story behind her sister and Rhysand involving a table.
“Wait,” Cassian turned and Nesta
stopped at the change in his demeanor. Cassian’s eyes were full of concern. “If
those men at that table don’t stop harassing you-”
“I can handle myself,” Nesta didn’t
need to ask which people he was talking about. “It’s not like I’ve had to
handle people like them before.” Nesta didn’t risk a glance at Tomas, but
Cassian did. He was trying to connect how he and Nesta knew each other from
their previous interaction.
“Nesta-” Cassian tried again.
“Please Cassian stay out of this.
It will only provoke them if another person gets involved.” In truth Nesta knew
if Cassian went over there it was going to turn into a battleground. She gave
Cassian a small smile hoping to ease his worry.
Cassian was silent. Eyes weighing
the honesty and hidden thoughts that Nesta was trying to keep from him. With a
sigh he conceded. For now.
“Just come back soon,” Cassian said
with a returning smile. “Don’t want you to miss me.”
Nesta bit her bottom of her lip to
prevent another sentence from being released. As much as she loved this battle
and dance with words Nesta needed to get back to work.
Cassian could see it though. She
still wanted to play. We’ll continue this
Nesta nodded and it was almost as if she had
heard his thought.
Across the room Jurian was watching
the exchange with interest. He recognized Rhysand, Cassian and Amren from
Velaris, Hybern’s competitor that almost completely destroyed their company.
The waitress, Nesta Archeron, knew the trio.
This left a perfect opportunity to
taunt Rhysand for making Hybern suffer heavy losses from a business deal gone
bad. Although the lawsuit ended up bringing quite a few more illegal activities
that Hybern was involved in. It was only a stroke of luck that the once
dominating company was still barely even keeping afloat today.
Tomas however was confused by how
familiar Nesta acted with the group from the other table. She was never
friendly back in their hometown. Yet here she was smiling and what appeared to
be laughing with those customers.
And then there was the matter of
that man and Nesta flirting with each other. Tomas could tell what was going
on. Nesta and this other man were looking at each other as if the rest of the
restaurant didn’t even exist.
Tomas glared at Nesta as she
walked away from the man with an easy smile on both their lips. Tomas flexed
his hand underneath the table as the couple was oblivious to being watched.
learn soon enough what happens when you try to leave me for someone else. Maybe a lesson like Dad always mentions when
Mom threatens to take off.
Nesta was unaware of the two
increasing dangers that were sitting at the Hybern table when she returned with
Tomas’s food. Her experienced hand at serving dishes allowed her to give
Tomas his meal in record time.
Now all she had to do was check up
on them on brief and rare occasions now that all the food was served. At this
point she usually told customers to enjoy the food, but Nesta figured she might
accidentally tell Tomas to choke on his food instead.
walk away Nesta. Don’t waste more time with them.
“Hold on,” Jurian said. “You’re not
going to even speak with us before you go running off?”
“I don’t want to disturb your
meal,” Nesta stonily replied holding down Jurian’s stare. She would not cower
from this man.
“But you were talking with that
other table so much,” Jurian vaguely motioned his hand to where Rhys and the
others were. “You’re making us feel neglected when you give them all your
“Sorry you feel that way,” Nesta’s
tone didn’t sound apologetic in the least. “You keep similar friends,” Nesta
sneaked a glance at Tomas, “around your table so I assumed you would be fine
to talk among yourselves.” And not bother
me or anyone else.
“Is that so? And does that mean
those people over there are your friends?” Jurian asked. It may have been a friendly
question, but coming from Jurian it was anything but that.
“Why are you so concerned about who
I keep in my company when you should be focused on your own,” Nesta was tired
of keeping this conversation. “Excuse me while I go check on my other tables.”
“You’re not excused,” Tomas said with
his shoulders tensed. He was ready to pounce and Nesta’s stomach began to churn
at his tone.
“What was that?” Nesta kept up her
“You think you can go back to that
table and be with him?” Tomas said under his breath, but Nesta, Jurian and the
other men heard him.
“I have no idea what you’re talking
“Let me guess. Are you fucking him?
I don’t see why he would considering you’re nothing, but a little pathetic girl
who doesn’t know when to shut her mouth.” Tomas’s voice was rising and two
couples at different tables turned to look at them in shock.
Nesta tried to defuse the situation
while keeping a lid on her own rage that was starting to boil. “My personal
life is not your business,” Nesta
said keeping her voice down so other tables didn’t notice what was going on.
“It is considering you’re my
girlfriend,” Tomas clenched his fists. The action caught Nesta’s eyes. She had
to put a stop to this nonsense.
“I am not your girlfriend. And I
will never be your girlfriend,” Nesta stated clearly. “We are not compatible in
the slightest and if you don’t settle down I will have you escorted out of here
Tomas seethed in his seat and the
Hybern businessmen watched the event unfolding in front of them in shock.
Jurian had the audacity to look amused by the whole thing.
Nesta began to step away seeing as
the conversation was finished. Suddenly Tomas snatched her hand and roughly tugged
her back. The unexpected action pulled Nesta’s hip into the table and caused
the plates to rattle at the force.
The noise drew more customer
attention. Cassian, who had been watching since the beginning, had seen Nesta
being forcibly pulled. He quickly rose from his table with Rhysand swiftly
grabbing his elbow.
“You can’t charge over there,”
Rhysand reasoned. “Let me get her away before you start throwing punches.”
“She needs me,” Cassian tried to
pull his arm out of Rhysand’s firm hold.
“And you’ll be needing bail money
when you get taken away for beating someone up.”
“It may be a murder charge if he
doesn’t let her go,” Cassian ground out with eyes never straying from Nesta as
she tried to pull her hand away from the bastard’s vise grip.
At the Hybern table Tomas refused to
relinquish his painful restraint.
“Let. Me. Go.” Nesta’s mouth was
set in an angry expression. If Tomas didn’t release her then he was going to
regret ever laying his hands on her.
“Maybe I should go visit your
little sister Elain,” Tomas laughed darkly. “If you’re so set on that piece of
trash over there then I can take your sister out instead. Maybe she can finish
what we only started.”
Memories of Tomas forcing himself
onto Nesta flashed across her mind. “You will never go near her,” Nesta
fiercely said. “If you so much as even try I swear you’ll regret it.”
“Is that so? Why should it matter
if you’re fucking that idiot?” Tomas squeezed his hand tighter and Nesta
winced in pain. At this point she could hear Cassian’s voice getting closer.
“You’re such a whoring bitch like
your sister Feyre,” Tomas spat out.
That insult was the final crack
that broke the wall containing her rage. Nesta’s fist came up and punched
Tomas in the face. She heard the crunch of it and the noise spurred her on. So
many years of pent of fear and anger was finally being released.
“Don’t you ever say that about my
sister!” Her words were a battle cry as she gave Tomas another hit to his jaw
that sent him falling out of his chair. His grip didn’t release and Nesta
tumbled forward clipping the table and sending a wine glass shattering onto her
Dimly she heard shards of broken glass fall to
the floor and people crying out in surprise.
Tomas struggled with Nesta until
he rolled her onto the ground. She saw him raise his fist.
“This is what I should have done years
ago,” Tomas’s mad eyes flared as he swung down.
Shouts rang out and Nesta brought
her arms up to block the punch.
For seconds she waited for the blow
to strike her, but it never came. The weight of Tomas was wrenched off her
body and tossed to the side.
Strong arms grasped her shoulders
and pulled her forward into a broad chest. His scent filled Nesta’s senses as
one of his hands held the back of her head tenderly.
“Are you alright?” Cassian’s breath
ghosted the top of Nesta’s hair.
Nesta didn’t trust her voice to
waver and instead nodded. Her cheek rubbed against his chest at the movement.
She shakily placed her hands on his forearms to anchor down from the storm that
had been brewing inside her.
“You fucking bastard. This is
between Nesta and me.” Tomas groaned feet away. Cassian had thrown him off
Nesta with so much force the wind was knocked out of Tomas.
“Keep talking and next time I’ll
throw you out the window,” Cassian growled out. Nesta could feel the rumble of
his voice. She risked a glance up and saw that Cassian’s usual easy-going and
smiling expression had transformed into lethal rage.
“What is the meaning of this?!”
Mrs. Laurent approached. She looked beyond pissed as she took in the mess
Nesta hurried to stand and took a small
step back from Cassian. One of his arms remained on her back to steady her.
“Mrs. Laurent-” Nesta tried to begin explaining.
“She attacked me!” Tomas
“Not without reason,” Cassian shot
Tomas a death glare. “He provoked her.”
“Cassian stop,” Nesta whispered. “I
can explain myself.”
“Then you better have a good reason
why this is happening Archeron,” Mrs. Laurent crossed her arms and customers
watch in morbid awe of the show before.
“This man,” Nesta motioned to
Tomas, “and those at the Hybern table were harassing me. Tomas got physical
and that is when I tried to free myself.”
“And why were you even at this
table? I specifically assigned you elsewhere,” Mrs. Laurent scanned the area.
“Where is Miss Beddor? She has explaining to do as well.”
“I’m here ma’am,” Clare stepped
“Why is Nesta serving at your
table?” Mrs. Laurent asked stonily.
“We swapped tables, because the men
I was originally serving were saying insulting things to me.”
“And can either of you prove these allegations?”
Mrs. Laurent asked with a raised brow.
Nesta heard Clare suck in a breath.
This is what they had wanted to avoid. There was no way in hell Mrs. Laurent
would side with them if there was no way to prove their innocence.
“We could hear some of the comments
from our table,” Rhysand spoke with authority. He must have followed Cassian
over in case he needed to stop him from beating Tomas to a bloody mess.
Mrs. Laurent looked shocked to see
Rhysand. “Oh. And did anyone else hear anything?”
A few nearby table raised their
hands and told Mrs. Laurent that they heard Tomas and most of his words, but
in terms of the other men at the table they couldn’t hear them well enough to
catch what was said.
“So it seems as though you were the
main cause of this fiasco,” Mrs. Laurent turned to Tomas who was now standing
on shaken legs.
“Only because Nesta was treating me
with the same courtesy,” Tomas said with hate directed at Nesta. Cassian
leaned forward to block her from his sight.
“He’s telling the truth,” Jurian
spoke for the first time during the questioning. His eyes glinted and his smile
was directed at Cassian and Rhysand. Revenge was in his grasp.
“You’re not serious,” Nesta
incredulously turned to Jurian. “I said nothing to deserve what Tomas did.”
“Are you sure about that?” Jurian
turned his cunning smile on her. “I remember how rude you acted toward all of
us at this table. Tomas especially.” Jurian shrugged as if this was expected.
“Although I’m not sure why you two were acting so violently considering you’re
“He’s not my boyfriend!” Nesta
clenched her teeth. “He’s a mistake I regret ever having met.”
“Do not raise your voice Archeron,”
Mrs. Laurent sternly said. “And I expect you to apologize to these men right
now for you behavior.”
“Excuse me?” Nesta incredulously
turned to her boss.
“Why should she apologize for
something that is not her fault?” Cassian questioned fiercely.
“She has to pay for her actions,”
Mrs. Laurent solely watched Nesta. “I do not tolerate such conduct from my staff.”
This was it. Mrs. Laurent drew the
line in the sand. If Nesta didn’t apologize then she was risking her job. But
if she did her pride would be crushed all because of filth like Tomas and
Nesta bit her lip. If she lost this
job then there was no way to help pay for her schooling and apartment rent.
Sure she had money saved up, but it wouldn’t last more than three months.
“Nesta?” Mrs. Laurent impatiently
tapped a finger on her arm. “We are
to take care of Elain. Even if that meant tossing her pride and dignity aside
for the sake of her little sister. She couldn’t fail her like she failed Feyre.
sorry,” Nesta choked out as if the words caused her pain. “I shouldn’t have let
my emotions get the better of me.”
Cassian suddenly turned on Nesta and held her shoulders. “This is not your fault. Do you hear me Nesta?”
risk it,” Nesta breathed. “If I lose my job over something like this…then…”
Nesta didn’t want to voice her fears, but Cassian understood. His jaw clenched
at seeing Nesta backed into a corner.
we have that settled,” Mrs. Laurent nodded to security that arrived. She
pointed to Tomas and two of the men began to lead him out.
sighed in relief at seeing Tomas ushered toward the exit. Hopefully that was
the last time she would ever see him again.
As she watched him leave Nesta failed
to see that Mrs. Laurent also directed security to her as well.
also be escorted out Archeron,” Mrs. Laurent said.
eyes widened in shock as one guard walked toward her. Cassian’s put himself
between her and the approaching man.
allow employees that cause such a disruption to remain here,” Mrs. Laurent face
showed slight sadness at the prospect of losing Nesta who was one of her best
workers. “There can be no exceptions.”
thought that if I apologized…” Nesta trailed off.
Laurent shook her head. “It was for your benefit so you wouldn’t feel guilty
later on for your actions toward our guests. Having the opportunity to
apologize will be better for your conscience.”
couldn’t be happening. She was still getting fired. There was no point in
apologizing to those undeserving bastards in the first place.
Laurent please reconsider,” Nesta pleaded. She hated it. This complete and
utter display of weakness, but she had to do something. This job was the main
source of income for Nesta to provide for her and Elain.
Nesta, but you must leave,” Mrs. Laurent said. “I’ll deliver your last check in
the mail. Don’t forget to grab your personal belongings on the way out.”
bullshit,” Cassian ground out. Rhysand grabbed his arm to prevent him from
doing something drastic.
you need to back off,” Rhys steadily commanded. “You’re only going to make
things more hard for Nesta.”
head swiveled back to look at Nesta who was frozen in shock. Still trying to
comprehend how her life had taken such a turn.
security guard made to grab her elbow, but she jerkily pulled away before he
“I can walk
myself out,” Nesta fixated a stern look at the guard who looked a bit unnerved.
He followed her to the exit as she strode passed him. Nesta kept her head held
high even though whispers followed her out the doors.
for the inconvenience ladies and gentlemen,” Mrs. Laurent said to the customers.
“Please enjoy the rest of your evening meal.”
eyed the door where Nesta left.
anything wrong sir?” Mrs. Laurent broke his concentration.
is,” Cassian frowned at the manager. “You’re wrong. And so are these Hybern
customers who harassed not only Nesta, but your staff for the past few years.”
Cassian fumed and set a determined look toward Mrs. Laurent. Hazel eyes still simmering
in anger. “Don’t you dare say that we don’t know what’s going on. You’re the
only one here that is blind to see what’s been happening.”
Laurent looked ready to argue, but Rhysand stepped forward immediately drawing
attention to his form.
some dessert is in order to take the bitterness out of this situation don’t you
think?” Rhysand smiled innocently at the manager who instantly became placated
by the smoothness of Rhysand’s words.
personally have some dessert menus delivered to your table,” Mrs. Laurent
walked off leaving a fuming Cassian and relaxed Rhysand.
Rhysand began to make his way back to his table, but he placed a hand on
Cassian’s shoulder. Grounding him to not make any rash decisions with Jurian smirking
at them in triumphant at what had transpired before him.
her,” Rhysand didn’t have to say whom he meant. His next words were a quiet
warning for Cassian’s ears only. “Do not
go after that man.”
Cassian clenched his fists. That
man, Tomas, was a monster. The urge – no the need to punish him for what he
did to Nesta was impossible to defy.
“We need more background on him
before we can pursue any legal action,” Rhysand finished softly. They would
make Tomas pay. Not now, but in due time when the evidence was stacked in
their favor. Rhysand and the others would make sure of it. Cassian just had to
be patient until they could take the bastard down.
“Fine,” Cassian understood, but
that didn’t mean he liked waiting. “I won’t touch him.”
“Or talk to him,” Rhysand knew his
friend who was more like a brother to him. Cassian was known for brute
strength, but his words were also a force to be reckoned with. Especially when
those he loved were involved. And Nesta had become increasingly precious to
Cassian over the past few months.
“We can’t let them get away with
this,” Cassian said.
“And they won’t,” Rhysand agreed.
He patted Cassian’s shoulder once before returning to his table.
then left the restaurant to find Nesta. He had to ask around before another
server told him that she had already grabbed her belongings and was heading to
the exit that led outside.
doubling back Cassian made his way through the waiting area where people stood
in-line to walk in for their reservations. It didn’t take him long to see over
the people’s heads and spot Nesta already walking out the doors into the
already darkened Prythian streets.
quickened his pace and rushed out the doors. Nesta continued walking down the
sidewalk with her arms curled around her body. The dark grey pea coat she wore
billowed against a rough gust of wind.
“Nesta! Wait!” Cassian called. His voice caused her to stop,
but she didn’t turn. Her shoulders stiffened in preparation of whatever he was
about to say.
approached and moved to stand at her side. “Nesta let me take you home.”
to him then. Her face hard set in a neutral expression. Wall after wall was
fortified against the onslaught of emotions in order to keep them inside to
where no one could see them.
But Cassian knew. He could tell she
was furious and upset. Most of all he understood that deep down she was
suffering. From losing her job and what it meant combined with what she thought
was a loss of dignity after apologizing to Jurian and the others.
It made him want to make Tomas and
those other bastards beg for her forgiveness. He wanted to tuck her into his
chest and let her release the emotions she was bottling up.
“Cassian I’m fine,” Nesta’s posture
solid against the winter wind. “No need to worry about it.”
“Stop saying you’re fine when we
both know it’s not,” Cassian rubbed a hand up her forearm. It was then that he
noticed he had walked outside without grabbing his jacket and other items.
“Well there’s nothing that will
change the past,” Nesta looked away from Cassian. She stared down the sidewalk
with contempt. “I’ll just have to adjust and move forward.”
“I should have intervened earlier,”
Cassian admitted. He could tell they were riling her up each time she had gone
to their table.
“No,” Nesta shook her head and
looked back at Cassian. “If you had gotten there any earlier I imagine it would
have ended a lot messier than what it did.”
“Your shoulder,” Cassian glanced at
where the glass had shattered on her. Beneath the jacket though he couldn’t tell
if she was injured.
“I don’t have any battle scars if
that’s what you’re trying to get at,” Nesta rolled her shoulder with ease. Not
the slightest bit of pain showed on her face. Then again she was known for
masking her feelings.
“I’d feel a lot better if you would
let me drive you back to your apartment,” Cassian repeated. “Then I will check
that shoulder myself to make sure you’re not lying.”
Nesta huffed in agitation. “Go back
inside and enjoy that meal I gave you. It better not go to waste with you
taking me home when I can easily take the subway.”
“He still might be out here,”
Cassian looked around as if daring Tomas to show his face.
The implication made Nesta pause in
fear. Finally she shook her head as she realized that Tomas wasn’t around. “He
already left. I saw him take a cab earlier from the window before I walked
outside.” Still she couldn’t avoid the dread and aggravation rolling around
inside of her knowing that Tomas was in Prythian. She had thought leaving her
hometown would be an escape, but now her nightmare was finally on her heels.
Ever so slowly Cassian reached one
hand to cup Nesta’s face. She blinked in shock at the warmth of his palm
cradling her cheek. The last hour of
events were finally taking a toll on Nesta. It was at that moment that a tear
slid down her face and Cassian’s thumb brushed it away.
“I promise that I’ll protect you Nesta,”
Cassian roughly spoke. “You and your sisters don’t need to worry about Tomas,
Jurian or any other person who thinks they can try to hurt you.”
Nesta remained still at the words.
His promise affected Nesta in a way nothing else had. Cassian vowed to protect
her sisters, the two most important people in her life.
She swallowed and at last turned
away from Cassian. The promise felt too good to be true. That anyone would even
go to such lengths for Nesta to protect her family made her heart clench.
Cassian stared at Nesta as she wrangled with
what he had just told her. Torn between wanting to show appreciation and
claiming that she was strong enough to deal with this on her own.
“I wish you would just rely on me
instead of trying to act all tough,” Cassian rubbed the back of his neck in
frustration. “It’s ok to admit that you need help Nesta. Why not just accept it
when someone offers to give you hand?”
“Because I don’t need it,” Nesta’s
voice raised a fraction. She wanted it, but she felt that she didn’t deserve
the right to have such a moving promise made by someone who would lay down
everything for anyone who needed it.
“I can handle myself,” Nesta
continued. She had to handle it, because if not who would take care of Elain,
the rent and college funds?
“Like how you handled it inside? When
Jurian and his fucking lackeys were treating you like shit the whole night?”
Cassian’s voice lowered with each passing word from his lips. He was upset by
the evening’s turnout and now Nesta wouldn’t even let him help. “Or maybe when
Tomas grabbed you and was about to hit you? Was it handled then?”
Nesta’s face looked stricken before
she swiftly hid her emotions. Cassian caught it though. He quickly realized his
“Nesta…I didn’t mean –”
“Fuck off Cassian,” Nesta
shouldered by him roughly and set a quick pace for the subway station.
Cassian wasn’t going to let this
go. They weren’t leaving each other like this. His longer legs immediately
caught up to Nesta. Easily he wove into her path.
“Would you stop running from me?”
Cassian remained firmly in front of Nesta as she tried to cut him down with her
“I’m not running, especially not
from some jerk who thinks he knows everything!”
“Maybe if you would talk to me then
I would understand,” Cassian gritted out.
He wouldn’t be surprised if steam was rolling off from him in this cold
“I can’t,” Nesta tried to find the
words as she looked away. A car passed by and Nesta still had yet to form any
sort of explanation.
“You can’t?” Cassian crossed his
arms. Not because he was cold, but that he waiting for her answer. The posture
was that akin to a commander waiting for a response. Or perhaps a petulant
child who wasn’t going to give up until they got what they wanted.
Nesta blinked. And soon enough she
was trying to blink back tears.
“You’re such an idiot,” Nesta
“What was that?” Cassian
questioned. “I’m the idiot. Because
the person I care for doesn’t even trust me enough to talk about this?”
“No that’s not the reason,” Nesta
still looked toward the street.
“Then look at me and tell me why,”
Cassian huffed out bitterly.
“Because it hurts!” Nesta whipped
her head around and Cassian saw two tear tracks that left wet trails on her
cheeks. “I can’t talk about what happened, because it hurts to remember.”
Cassian stood frozen in shock. He
shook himself out of his stupor to finally respond as Nesta wiped her tears
“I’m sorry…Nesta I –” Cassian
reached for her again.
“Just stop!” Nesta dodged his hand.
“I don’t need this. I don’t need Tomas, my dad or anyone else that has made
everything worse. And I don’t need your damn apology or help!” Her voice
cracked at she cried out her last statement. This time when she brushed by
Cassian he didn’t stop her.
In the winter night he stood still
with his hand dropping down to his side. Finally he returned back to the
restuarent with peculiar looks by everyone in the building that noticed him
He sat down and stared at the
herb-roasted chicken that Nesta had given him earlier. The memory of the slight
warmth in her hands had faded from the cold air outside.
“Cassian?” Amren’s cat like eyes
were faintly concerned.
He shook his head not wanting to
talk about what had transpired outside.
Amren shared a look with Rhysand.
They knew something had happened, but they would wait to question him later on
Slowly Cassian began to eat his
food. It was tasteless in his mouth.
Dessert was then served with
Rhysand paying for it. Cassian watched as Clare also delivered a couple bowls
of ice cream to the Hybern table.
Jurian’s confused look prompted
Clare to point out that the dishes were sent by Rhysand.
Cassian raised a subtle brow at
Rhysand as he watched Jurian glance at their table.
Clare said something else that made
Jurian’s face tighten.
“What did she say?” Cassian asked
Rhysand who merely turned and smirked at Jurian.
“I requested that she serve him
ice-cream and to deliver a message that some of the best dishes are served
“Like revenge,” Amren agreed
sweetly. Her eyes glinting at what the future may hold in store for Hybern.
Cassian nodded before finishing the rest of his
meal. Slowly the bitterness of the evening began to taste better knowing that
Hybern would soon be getting a dose of revenge.
There’s a new cook we hired recently. He’s a white guy with a ponytail, over six feet tall, broad, loud. When he was being interviewed, of course he was nothing but respectful and he’d come in and we’d talk briefly and it was fine.
Once he was hired, though, away from my supervisors, is when it started.
He calls me names to highlight how short I am: oompah-loompah is one of them.
He makes the catcall whistle just randomly, but also directed at me, to get my attention from the window, etc.
Last night, he stood in front of me and blocked my exit. I tried to manuever past him, and he moved with me. Then he started moving up and down and singing the “Oompah-loompah” song, blocking me behind the counter with his body so I couldn’t move past him.
He does this high-pitched scream when I come around the corner, or when I walk next to or behind him, to scare me. He did it several times last night. I finally had had enough so I turned around and said “You better fucking knock that off.” He thought I was joking. (I’m short, and a girl, so my anger is never serious, you see. *sarcasm* ) He then proceeds to tell me that he can’t stop it, the noises will come out one way or another. I’m furious at this point, because he’s not listening to me, and he’s not going to respect my boundaries. I get that some people do make noises sporadically and it’s not necessarily something they can control, but, he does it specifically when I come near him so he can laugh at me when I get startled/scared. I ignored him at this point and didn’t engage with him. He talked for a bit (more about how he wasn’t going to respect my boundaries and was going to continue to scream at me) and finally he just went “…OR you could just ignore me”, painting me as the cruel one.
I hate this. This is the kind of shit I’d get in high school, I thought we’d moved beyond this point. But by the end of last night my nerves were worn thin and I could feel a full-blown panic attack coming. I don’t know how to get him to stop. I don’t like this. For fuck’s sake, I’m technically his boss, he shouldn’t be treating me like this. No one else treats me like this, so it’s not like there’s a culture at my work place that he’s feeding off of.
God and all night, every time I’d be annoyed or scared by something he’d do to me, I’d glare at him, and he’d just laugh and go “Aw, turn that frown upside down!” or “Come on, smile!”
When I came on Tumblr and started browsing Tom’s tag, I found a nice little community where everyone simply had an appreciation for his work and yes, we find him attractive.
There were fun posts, there nice meaningful ones and everyone got along reasonably well.
But since Coriolanus happened, and a select few people did something, the group has been divided.
It’s a terrible shame and to be honest, unbearably sad.
At what point during that plays run did we stop caring about his (and the casts) amazing stage work and start concentrating on judging and shaming people?
Coriolanus was an opportunity to see Tom come back to his acting roots if you like, to see him and his talent thrive on stage.
To see some Shakespeare and for that (and a lesser known play) to reach a wider audience that might have otherwise been overlooked.
Not everybody understands Shakespeare or even looks at it in the modern day because of certain reasons.
And yet here we had a talented cast, crew and director bring us this powerful work and fantastic performances.
And what do we concentrate on? Those select few who, let’s face it, didn’t behave decently.
Now, I understand this will start to sound like I’m judging people, and to be perfectly honest, I am. I will judge you if you think it’s perfectly acceptable to hound grown men and women.
I will judge the behaviour of those who think they can follow him home.
What if the roles were reversed?
What if you were walking the streets of London late at night and this 6 foot something man in his thirties started following you all the way to your home?
You’d be scared.
So why should it be any different for Tom?
Yes, people will say he knew what he was getting into etc, but why does that make it acceptable?
Just because he has a high profile job? It’s still just a job and in any other work place that’s considered harassment.
What I can’t wrap my head around is the fact that decent human behaviour and actual common sense escaped some people.
And so Tom said that one thing in an I ter view - but here’s the thing - how do we know Tom wasn’t misquoted? How do we know if Tom said something else before and after that little statement that they then missed out?
And the fact that they bolded that statement on the page and enlarged the text shows us the media did that on purpose.
Given all the stories coming from the stage door, it was perfect timing for them to put a cat among the pigeons.
They played Tom in a bad light in that interview because it would sell. It would end up all over the Internet and would stir up people’s opinions.
And look at how successful they were.
Now I’m not stupid, I am very well aware that Tom may have been in a bad mood during that interview, and it probably does get tiresome stopping to take selfies in the street when your on your way to do your food shopping or whatever.
But we all know Tom shows that he appreciates his fans time and time again in other settings.
He puts a lot into his job and is a lot better with his fans that quite a few actors out there.
What this boils down to, and quite frankly annoys me is that social media and the media in general report on the bad image and divide people. They teach us its wrong to have an opinion.
We berate each other for our thoughts and feelings.
Look at certain groups of fans; Twihards, Beliebers, Directioners…
They all have a bad rep.
Because the focus is on those that misbehave and over step their boundaries.
And it’s happening again now.
While I’m clearing my chest (and if anyone is still reading this rant) the thing I hate that the media do to us “hiddlestoners” is assume that we love Loki and that’s the only reason we’re in the marvel universe.
I (personally) don’t love Loki.
I think Loki is a good, complex character who brings something to the stories he is in, and I think Tom nailed it with his performances.
But I’ve been a marvel fan since I was 7 (thanks Dad) and Loki is not by far my favourite of Tom’s characters.
Yet as soon as I say I like Tom Hiddleston it’s assumed I’m obsessed with Loki and that I run around chasing him and screaming for him.
I shouldn’t be made to feel embarrassed by society if I say I’m a fan of Tom Hiddleston’s work.
Because in actual fact, my favourite characters of his are Henry V and Freddie Page.
But what I like most is Tom himself, or at least what we see of him.
It’s easy for people to just like the actor, or just like the actors work, or both.
If you do just love Loki, that’s fine too. Tom’s talent has still captured you in some way and that’s brilliant. It means Tom is doing his job perfectly.
And the way the media represent us to Tom himself - it’s no wonder he stays away from Tumblr and it would seem Twitter too now.
We don’t all write smutty porn, or draw pictures of Loki naked. We don’t all talk about his crotch all the time.
There is some truly beautiful fanart out there and tributes to his great characters. (I’m actually making it my mission to interview Tom and show him this side of us) But if you do all those things above, again, that’s ok!
It’s about what inspires you and makes you creative, and that’s what you like to do, go for it!
I feel (trying to not quote Mean Girls here) that we should leave each other alone and just go back to how we were, with nobody pulling anybody down.
Until Tom himself tells us to politely Fuck off, let’s just assume that everything is fine.
He may be tired, he may not want to take selfies all the time. And I’d hate to hear that he feels he can’t say No, because that’s as bad as something else.
But let’s just remember he’s human. He has feelings. He has a life away from all of this.
AND SO DO THE FANS WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.