It was summer break, a time for sleeping in and having fun but unfortunately for Santana, she wasn't doing either. She has to wake up at seven o'clock every morning so she could go to work.
She worked for the family business, a business that her great Grandfather had set up when he arrived in America. Enrique Lopez did everything he could to find a job when he arrived in the land of opportunity, he didn't mind what he had to do he just needed money. His wife was pregnant with Santana's Grandfather and he needed to provide for his family.
He started off by knocking on people's doors and offering to do the jobs they didn't want to do. He would cut their grass, tend to their flowers and even clean leaves from out of their gutters.
After his son was born Enrique started to put small amounts of money away each month. His brother had also moved to America to become his business partner and within a year they could afford to buy a truck. It was the worst truck in the world, the clutch would often stick and sometimes the engine wouldn't start but it was theirs that they had bought with their own money and they loved it.
Enrique and Louis spent all of their lives as gardeners, every day tending to the gardens of the rich and privileged just so they could support their families.
Every summer Santana would help out with her best friends Puck and Sam. She had known Noah Puckerman all of her lif since he lives next door with his Mom and his younger sister.
Santana's Mom used to work as a receptionist at the free clinic, it was how her parents met when Antonio had injured himself whilst working. Maribel had to give up her job when she was pregnant with Santana since she couldn't afford child care, one day when she was talking with her friends about the situation she had an idea. She would become a stay at home nanny and look after all the children in the neighbourhood from her own home.
It was the perfect job, she could look after her own children, earn a wage and give her friends and the neighbourhood cheap child care.
That was the reason that Santana and Puck were so close, they had grown up together from when Maribel looked after Puck when he was a one year old all the way to high school where they were now.
They had met Sam when they were ten years old and he moved in across the street with his family. Two years ago his Dad, Dwight had lost his job and was in fear of losing his house so Santana's Dad had offered him a job working with him.
It wasn't as if Santana's family was rich, the complete opposite in fact but even if it meant that he earned slightly less money Antonio Lopez wouldn't see another man struggle. It's not how they did things in this neighbourhood.
When she was younger Santana used to help out her Dad on weekends and during the breaks in school. When she was sixteen Puck's grandmother died and left him enough money to buy a beat up old truck so they decided to extend the business. They now had two cars so they could tend to twice as many gardens, Antonio and Dwight would take one car while Santana, Puck and Sam would take the other and at the end of the week they count up their profits and split it equally.
They were in their first week of summer break, they had spent the last few weeks of school canvassing for new clients. It was always the best time for their business, with the flowers and grass thriving on the sun and the need of the rich to have pristine gardens meant that there was always work for them.
They had to work as hard as they could through summer and autumn because when winter approached the work would be barely there. They often would earn money by shovelling snow, if the weather was bad but that only brought in just enough for them to pay the bills.
They were always trying to come up with more ways to make money, thinking of new business adventures but she had Puck and Sam as her business partners and neither of them was the sharpest tool in the shed.
Pulling herself out of bed, Santana stretches her muscles trying to release some of the built up tension. Her job was labour intensive and it always left her with aching bones and muscles.
She pulls on what she likes to call one of her work outfits that consist of grass stained jeans, a white tank top and a red plaid shirt, that she leaves open.
She pulls her hair up into a high pony, to keep it out of her face. She takes a quick look at herself in the mirror, not that it matters what she looks like by the end of the day she probably end up being be dirty anyway but she can't help but feel like she'll be judged by the real housewives of Lima.
When she gets downstairs and reaches the kitchen she finds Puck and Sam sat around the table eating breakfast courtesy of Maribel.
"Morning sunshine" Puck greets.
"Don't you two have your own houses to loiter in?" Santana asks.
"Yeah but they don't have Mama Lopez's cooking" Sam replies.
"You know I don't mind have you boys here. Santana sit down and eat, you'll need your strength today" Maribel says, placing a plate of bacon and eggs on the table.
Santana sits at the table across from Puck and starts to eat.
"Don't talk with your mouth full Santana it's rude. Your father is outside with Dwight putting the tools in the trucks" Maribel replies.
"Sorry Mom. So why aren't you two helping instead of helping yourselves to free food?"
"My Dad said I would just get in the way" Sam mumbles loud enough for Santana to hear.
"I've been saying that for years" Santana teases.
The loud clatter of feet running down the stairs indicates that Santana's quiet breakfast was about to be disturbed. The door opens and in runs Santana's younger siblings, her eleven year old brother Rico and her nine year old sister Eva.
"Good morning niños" Maribel greets.
"Morning Mami" they both reply.
"Hi Sam, Hi Noah" Eva says in a sickly sweet voice.
"Hello my little Latina princess" Puck smiles.
Eva smiles back at Puck and goes to sit on his lap since her brother took the other seat next to Santana. Santana thinks it's strange how a nine year old has the two older boys wrapped around her little finger but who could blame them she was a Lopez woman after all.
"You okay baby bro?" Santana ask Rico who was playing with the plate of eggs his mother had put in front of him.
"Yeah, it's just tiring with all the kids around the house. I don't want to complain because I know it's Mom's job but sometimes I just want some quiet time"
"I can drop you off at a friend's house if you want or I'm sure you can go and see Abuela, she wouldn't mind if you wanted to spend a couple of hours with her."
"It's okay, Tom is coming over today so I can hang out with him" Rico replies.
"Alright but if it ever gets too much then let me know and I can help you out"
"Good morning family" Antonio bellows as he enters the kitchen.
He receives multiple responses from the various people filling his kitchen.
"Dwight and I are leaving now but Santana I want to talk to you before we go"
Santana follows her father out of the kitchen and into the living room where it's quieter.
"The Mayor of Lima recently fired his garden team and has offered us to take over, this is really big for us Santana. If we do work for the Mayor it can get us noticed, we could be put in contention for the contract on the recreational parks. I'm putting my faith in you and the boys to take on this project but you have to be extremely professional the Mayor doesn't need any excuse to fire us, I heard he dismissed the other team because they used the wrong type of fertilizer. We need that contract, it's worth a lot of money."
"You can trust me Papi, I'll make you proud and I'll get us that contract"
"I'm already very proud of you Mija and that's why I trust you with this opportunity we have been given and there's no doubt in my mind that you'll get that contract. You'll go to the Mayor's house today and evaluate what work needs doing, his wife will be there and will tell you exactly what she wants. Make a note of it and if you're unsure ask her, we want no mistakes. Now business is out of the way, come here and give your old man a hug"
Santana closes the gap between her and her father and wraps her arms around him in a tight hug. She rests her head against his chest like she always does ever since she was a child, she can hear his heart beating. It makes her feel calm and safe, especially with his strong arms wrapped around her.
"We should get going"
"Okay, I love you Papi"
"I love you too sweetheart" Antonio replies, kissing his daughters head.
They return to the noisy kitchen, it's always like this in the Lopez house whether its family, friends from the neighbourhood or the children Maribel looks after it's always a busy house.
"Bye Mija, bye Mijo" Antonio says as he kisses Rico and Eva on the head as he passes the table to his wife.
"Adiós mi amor" he smiles, kissing Maribel.
"Please stop, I've just eaten and I would really like to keep my food down" Santana teases.
"Very funny Mija just wait until you find the girl of your dreams and I'll be teasing you about it" Antonio laughs and kisses his wife one more time.
Santana ignores her father's comment and the laughs from her so called friends and leaves the house. She sits in the passenger seat of the truck and waits for Puck and Sam who come out laughing a few minutes later. The smile is quickly wiped from Sam's face when he notices that he has to sit in the back of the truck.
"No fair" he frowns.
"You shouldn't have mocked me Sammy boy" Santana smirks.
"I need San in the front anyway because she can read a map, unlike you" Puck says as he gets into the truck and slams the door shut.
"Hey, it's not my fault I find directions tricky it's just that maps confuse me"
"Everything confuses you" Puck jokes.
"Shut up. So where are we going first?" Sam asks.
"The Johnson's" Santana replies.
"We don't need a map for there. I'd never forget where Mrs 'I'm not wearing a bra' Johnson lives, she's always trying to come on to me" Puck says.
"Just another perk of the job" Sam grins, poking his head through the sliding glass window.
"I have something important to tell you guys. We are now officially the Mayors new garden team"
"Are you serious?" Puck asks.
"Yeah, we have to go to his house at twelve and evaluate the work."
"That's awesome and don't worry you don't need to tell us how important this job is" Sam says.
"Does this mean we could be nominated for the parks?" Puck asks.
"Yes, it looks as if things are starting to look up for us. Now come on, we don't want to keep Mrs no bra waiting"
Puck chuckles as he turns the key in the ignition, he has to turn it a couple of times before the engine finally roars to life. The radio crackles, it's busted and only has one working station that plays music from the fifties.
He pulls the truck out of the driveway and heads towards Lima Hills.
A/N I have decided to attempt my first Pezberry multi-chap fic. I thought that I would post this chapter to see what reaction it got and see if people were interested in the story or not.
I never wanted to write a full story and that is why I stuck to my one-shots but I had this idea that I thought could be expanded over a full story and with the support I have received from you guys it made me feel like I should give it a go.
I have most of storyline planned out but my story skills might be a bit rusty so we'll see how it goes.