That was all he was allowed to make.
No cream. No sugar.
And for god’s sake, stay away from the espresso machine.
Bev’s words. Not his.
Drumming his fingers on the countertop out of absolute boredom, waiting for the next surly customer was where he found himself this morning.
Five am was an unholy hour to be awake but Bev, his best friend and his boss, had informed him that too many of their nightly customers were complaining about the quality of their drinks. One old man had even called the Omega ‘cantankerous’. Never had barely been able to say that with a straight face.
He honestly didn’t see what the big deal was, he was perfectly happy living on the instant coffee that was granulated in jars. But some people had to be picky.
The bell over the door ringing causing him to stand up straight and paste of a pitiful fake smile only to slump his shoulders once again when he saw Bev come through the door.
“Mornin’.”, she called out happily, smiling when she saw that he’d put out the muffins and the doughnuts for the rush that was coming.
“At least you didn’t give me the obligation for it to be a good one.” He grumbled out as crossed his arms over his chest, leaning his hip against the counter as he watched her tie on her apron.
He needed this job and Bev knew that and that’s the only reason she kept him here. Not that he hated the work, he really didn’t, he hated the customers. The forced pleasantries grated on his nerves. Having been fired from three jobs this semester alone for his 'unwillingness to grant superior service’. The exact words of two former employers. He thought they were colluding anyway.
“No one can force you to do anything, and we both know it.” Bev’s response was chipper anyway.
“Says the person who made me be here at dawn.” Grabbing a towel and wiping down an already spotless counter as he grumped.
“Did you drink your own coffee this morning?” Bev asked with the hint of a smile.
“No. I ran out. And the store doesn’t open for another hour.”
“Have a cup, then. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll brighten you up some.” A teasing edge to her voice.
“Fine.” Tossing the towel in the bin and turning to look at the machines with an exasperated sigh.
“Yeah. You need coffee.” She knew that he could be a bear in the mornings and yet, here he stood. At dawn. At work.
He was grumbling so much to himself that he didn’t hear the little bell over the door announce the arrival of a customer until he heard a throaty clearing behind him.
Spinning around, his eyes first landed on the leather gloves braced against the counter top, traveling up to the bright warm eyes of the Alpha looking back at him.
“Can I get you what?” He asked quickly, tongue stumbling over his words, coughing and giving it another go. “What can I get you, sir?” He asked as his eyes danced away.
“Caffè Americano, if you please?” Came a thickly accented response. “Single shot.”
Swallow audibly, his anxiety about the espresso machine overriding any biological response he may have otherwise had. Giving the man an abbreviated nod and turning his back to him once again, calling out with a hiss, “Bev!”
Waiting a beat for her response which never came.
Squaring his shoulders and eyeing the equipment disdainfully before thinking fuck it and proceeding with the man’s order.
The color and aroma were correct as far a he could tell, turning and placing the porcelain cup on the counter with a smile that probably looked more like a grimace as he rung him up.
“Thank you…Will.” The man ducking his head slightly to read his name tag.
“You’re welcome, let me know if you need anything else.” Wiping his hands on his apron and making a beeline for the back as soon as the Alpha turned away.
“Bev! Where are you!?” Calling out lowly just as she was stepping from her office.
“What happened?” A curious expression on her face.
“A customer and a Caffè Americano happened.” He hissed back at her.
Eyes growing wide as she looked at him. “You didn’t break the espresso machine, did you?”
Resting his fists on his hips, nearly snorting. “No! It’s not broken.”
But he was talking to the swinging kitchen door as she already gone out front to check on her machine.
“Uh…Will? Come here.”
His shoulders rounding at her tone, at least he thought he didn’t break it. Pushing open the door only to stop, Bev standing at the counter with a full cup in one hand a business card in the other. “I think this is for you.” Holding out the card between two fingers as she moved to pour out the coffee.
In small copperplate scrawl was written:
Your smile goes further than your coffee. If you’re so amendable, I like to enjoy a proper cup with you.