A/N: Sorry for the wait


To say the very least, I have a whole new type of appreciation for the whole 'be careful what you wish for' concept.

Stan is my best friend, he's practically my brother. He's my knight in shining armor at this point for just handing me a job, but I have to say that I'm still somewhat pining for that secretary job.

Learning the ropes around Sparky's Bar wasn't hard in the least. Serve them this, don't screw up that, and of course, don't punch the customers in the face.

That's becoming the hardest rule, I'm coming to find.

For the first few days, it went fairly smoothly. It was just me walking around serving drinks, no real problems arising. It was a bit stressful dealing with the drunkards that refused to leave, but I suppose that was just to be expected.

But then the men that crowded around the bar learned that I wasn't just there for a few days of helping out; I was actually a hire.

Now all I can do is stand around and be humiliated by the morons that surround me. There's one table in particular that I just can't fucking stand. Stan does what he can to get them to leave me alone, but he told me that their constant drinking helps pay the electricity of the place so he can't just kick them out. I understand that to an extent but I know if anyone treated me like this outside of where he works, he'd kick their ass for me in an instant.

Oh how the workforce changes people.

Tonight it's me and some other girly-bimbo waitress serving the assholes of the place. I'm stuck with the group of guys that I can't stand unfortunately while she bats her eyes at the younger guys around the tables while I cover the booths lining the walls.

I finish taking two younger guy's orders, scribbling down notes as I walk towards the bar and hand Stan the paper.

He sends me a smile, "You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," I nod.

"Hey, pretty boy!" I hear from behind me. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I open them again to a sympathetic expression from my best friend.

"If it makes you feel any better, they think you're better than any of the girls."

"Wonderful," I scoff. "Let me print that on a t-shirt and flaunt it."

"Pretty boy, we're talkin' to you!" One of the men shouts louder. I groan before turning and walking over towards the back corner booth towards a group of four men that I've grown to loathe.

"Yes?" I ask impatiently.

"Whoa there, Pretty," one of them raises their brow. "Not very friendly of you."

"It's a bar and I'm not allowed to drink," I frown. "Why should I be the friendly one?"

The man who I've determined to be their leader leans his chin in his palm and stares up at me. "Fiery, ain't ya?"

I refuse to dignify that with a response.

"Look, did you need more to drink or something?" I ask impatiently. "Or did you just call me over here to piss me off?"

They break into slurred laughter and I can feel my face burning from my anger at these drunkards. I clench my fists and move to turn away before one of them grabs the hem of my shirt and pulls me back a bit. I turn around and see them looking at me with pathetic expressions and can feel my stomach lurching.

"What?" I blink.

"Dontcha wanna stay and talk with us, Pretty?" one of them with dark brown hair pouts.

"Not particularly," I mutter, grabbing my shirt. "And let go of me."

"Aww, come on," the one keeping my shirt hostage says. He scoots into the booth and I find myself pulled down onto the seat. I yelp as my elbow hits the table and look up to find him staring down on me. "You're a fag, ain't ya? You should be humbled to be able to speak to us."

Oh fucking wonderful.

"I can do better, thanks," I growl through gritted teeth before shoving him off of me and standing up, dusting my shirt off.

My arm is grabbed and I'm whipped around, my upper torso across their table as they stare at me. My eyes flicker around towards them and my breathing increases slightly. The leader with blonde hair and hazel eyes leans in towards me, a curious look about his face as he stares. I sneer and back up away, grabbing the edge of the table with my free arm and trying my best to pull away.

"Ya know, Pretty," he says slowly, each word dripping with the scent of his overpriced beer. "Most people kill for this attention."

"Don't fucking tempt me," I snap, ripping my arm away from one of his buddies and falling back slightly. I feel strong hands on my shoulders and they squeeze my skin lightly. I feel my heart lift for a brief moment, breaking into a small smile before turning around and seeing Stan behind me.

My heart's dropping again.

"Touch him again and you're never coming back, understand me?" he says towards the men darkly. I can't help but feel my stomach twist at his words. Stan really shouldn't be the one defending me. I can do this on my own. I do everything on my own now...

This is too fucking much.

The men just turn back to their beers, not another word as their eyes look in mine before Stan turns me and starts pushing me towards the bar. The bar returns to its normal pacing as he steps in front of me and stares at me with his hands still clasped over my shoulders.

"Are you alright?"

"I'm fine," I state. "I was fine the whole time. They just caught me off guard that's all. Next time I'll remember to stab them with my pen," I pull it out of my pocket, clicking it and forcing a sheepish grin across my face.

He stares at me uncertainly before nodding. "Alright, but look, go take your break or just step out a few minutes, okay?"

I'm about to reject his offer before I feel him squeeze my shoulders again and bite the inside of my lip. I nod and he smiles back softly, patting my shoulders before turning to go resume training the newest bartender. I blink, glancing over my shoulder and seeing the group of men still staring at me. I growl and storm out through the kitchen and push my way out the back door, meeting a cool gust of wind with some spare snowflakes wafting around. I brush my hair back and sigh before walking over next to the dumpster in the back of the alley behind the bar and plopping down next to it.

I curl my knees up into my chest and rest my chin atop them, watching some flakes dancing across my feet and feeling my morale sinking by the minute.

His hands...they felt just like the hands I've wanted back for so long. They were there right when I needed him, just like he was. He grabbed my shoulders...just like he would have if I had needed him...

I find myself sniffling and quickly shake away my all-too-quickly gathering emotions. I clench my fists to try to de-stress myself a bit.

To say the least, it isn't working all too well.

I look up at the sky and see some birds flittering around each other and my heart sinks further.

I'm twenty years old. I have no college education, nor do I have the money to pursue one. I work in my best friend's bar from mere pity and I'm felt up by middle-aged drunkards during each of my shifts now.

I lost the love of my life; the man who was going to be my husband before fate decided to spit in my face and take him away from me. I haven't spoken to my family in years and have no one to turn to as I find everything starting to spiral out of control.

I have nothing to my name anymore.

I want Kenny back. I need him back.

Minimum wage is great for a kid still living off his parent's bill payments...but I don't have that luxury anymore. Kenny's income kept us both up and running but now...now every penny of what I'll make will go towards bills. That's not including food or anything basic like that that I can physically hold.

But it's so much more than that. I could deal without the money, we'd find a way to make it from the ground up. The old me would've been able to do that on my own in no time. But now I've become so...dependent on Kenny. Not just financially, but he kept me together constantly. Dealing with my parents abandoning me, helping me through being lonely when he died when he'd make up for it upon his return...

Telling me that he'd give me the opportunity to finally reach for my own dreams since I didn't the first time around.

Because we didn't have the money.

I close my eyes and hide them in my arms, fighting off my waning tears. I need him now more than I ever have. Fuck the money, fuck being able to afford food...I just need his arms. I need him to tell me that everything will be all right, that he'll be right there with me until the end.

All I hear is the wind gusting around me frantically, nothing but cold surrounding me in this cold, darkened alley. Unfortunately, I think this has become my one place of comfort.

A/N: To answer many questions, yes, this will be CK eventually.

I have it planned out and right now it's lookin' pretty lengthy. Not like, Possession bad because all the chapters will be about this length, but still xD

It'll get there one day :)

thanks for R&Ring!