A/N This scene just didn't work in the story, so I cut it out. But when I was reading through some of my old notes in prep for the new story on which I'm working I came across it and thought some of you might be interested in it. I hope you enjoy it.
I wondered which one of the boys would be the first to ignore her brush off. For the most part we had nice guys, but when you get factory and construction types, there's bound to be at least one or two with more lead in their head than in their hammer.
Sure enough, midway through the second week Pete Bennett decided to try his luck with her. I was behind the counter, rolling up silverware and wondering when I'd be able to get off my feet for a few minutes, when he sidled up to her. His wheat blond hair was slicked back and he had on a nice white shirt instead of his usual overalls.
"Miss Alice, I think you're real sweet looking and I'm real stuck on you. Go out with me." He smiled at her.
"Thank you, no." Alice turned away from him.
He grabbed for her arm. I must have blinked because one moment she was on the stool, watching the door, and the next she was standing behind Pete. He turned around, trying to figure out where she had gone to. When he saw her standing behind him he let out a loud guffaw.
"Spry little thing, ain'tcha." He smiled broadly. White teeth flashed in his tanned face. "Come on, sugar. I'll treat you better than some schmoe who's kept you waiting all this time."
Alice stood in front of him. She barely came up to his shoulder. My shoulders knotted watching them. I walked over to where Felipe was cleaning off a table.
"Felipe," I leaned over to whisper in his ear. "I think you need to get Frank out here. Quick now."
She looked Pete directly in the eyes and said "no" firmly and loudly.
"Looks like she gave you the high hat there Pete!" One of the guys called out. Pete's face flushed red.
"What, you think you're too good for me?" Pete asked. She moved to go around him, but he grabbed her arm to stop her. In a flash she had twisted around and had Pete's arm bent behind him at an awkward angle.
"I said no," she hissed at him. Her eyes were dark and I shivered.
"You broke my arm, you bitch!" Pete hollered. He lunged again for Alice, tackling her.
For half a moment Alice didn't move. Then she looked over at me and fell down. If I hadn't been watching her so closely I wouldn't have noticed the hesitation between Pete knocking into her and her fall. Her skirt ripped as she fell, leaving a wide gash that exposed a pale, white thigh.
"Get the hell off of her!" Frank came roaring out of the kitchen. Frank wrapped his massive arms around Pete and lifted him bodily off the ground. Pete scrabbled at Frank with his good arm. I knelt by Alice. She seemed unhurt, but she seemed even paler than normal and her hands were chilled. I chafed them between my hands, trying to warm them.
We watched as Frank dragged Pete out of the diner and tossed him onto the sidewalk. I helped Alice to her feet. Her beautiful dress was ruined. I pulled off my apron.
"Here, wear this. It'll cover up that tear until you can get home." She smiled at me and put it on. The stained cotton apron looked out of place against the blue silk she was wearing, but I figured it was better than walking home with a tear that exposed her whole leg.
Frank came back in and came to face her.
"Sorry 'bout that Miss Alice. It won't happen again." He turned his piercing blue eyes on the rest of our patrons. "Will it, boys?"
The other fellows at the lunch counter immediately agreed. They looked as shocked at the sudden violence as I felt.
"I'll have Felipe walk you home, if you want," Frank offered. Alice looked out the window at where Pete was just picking himself up, sunlight glinting off his blond hair.
"Actually, can I have a cup of coffee?" We all stared for a minute. In the two weeks that she'd been coming in she hadn't had so much as a glass of water.
"'Course you can. On the house." He nodded and headed back to the kitchen. I hurried to grab a cup and pour her the requested coffee.