Story: Where We Go is Where We're From
Part 1: Morning Brew
He stopped by "The Harvest", an old hole-in-the-wall diner, every morning at 8:15 AM sharp. An Italian leather briefcase clutched in one hand, the other holding a thick stack of papers in front of him. He was one of five people who frequented the old establishment, two of which being the line-cook, Frank, and Gladys, the friendly old waitress.
This morning the door chime tinkled a quarter to 9 and a very angry Angelus stormed in, a cell phone firmly held to his ear. He didn't take his usual seat at the corner booth, but strode up to the island and sat at one of the empty cushioned stools. "I don't give a flying fuck what she counter-sues with, Lindsey. This shit better be wrapped up before lunch or your next job will be serving soup in the Ukraine." He flipped his phone shut and irritably rubbed his throbbing temples, muttering, "Christ."
"H- hi, may I get you anything?"
The voice was soft and hesitant, so unlike the shouting match he'd had to endure for the past two hours. Angelus looked up at the timid blonde, offering a half smile in apology. "Coffee, please. Black." He searched for her nametag and was slightly dismayed to not find one. She must be new, Angelus thought, knowing he would have remembered her.
She nodded and turned back toward the kitchen to retrieve his drink.
Angelus watched her go, admiring the graceful way she moved. His phone vibrated and Angelus groaned, glancing at the Caller ID. "Jesus Fucking Christ."
The waitress returned with a large coffee mug, placing it before Angelus. She poured his hot drink in silence, only an eyebrow raised at the litany of obscenities that flowed from the handsome man's perfectly sensuous lips.
"Quite a mouth you got there."
Angelus' head snapped up. "What?"
The blonde's smile widened. "Were you a sailor in a past life?"
His frown vanished as he realized she was being playful. He smirked, shaking his head. "Don't think I could pull off the eye-patch and scurvy too well."
Setting the coffee pot under an oven mitt, she curled a few stray hairs around her ear. "Well, it'd explain why you're so grumpy all the time. Probably couldn't catch anything bigger than an anchovy."
Angelus took a sip from his coffee and did his best not to grimace, swallowing the burnt grounds politely. He set the cup down, a half smile on his face. "And how would you know if I'm grumpy all the time? Maybe I had an off morning. Fish could've died, lost my favorite shamrock socks, or served a parking ticket? "
The cute waitres tapped her short nails against the counter thoughtfully. After a beat, "No, you're definitely one of those 24/7 grumps."
"Yeah?"The dark, handsome patron smiled. "Do you moonlight as a 1-800 Miss Cleo?"
Slowly shaking her head, her voice dropped a few octaves. "I can let you in on a secret though."
She leaned in and he could smell the light spice of vanilla perfume. He followed suit, feeling his heartbeat speed up at the close proximity.
She opened her bow-shaped mouth, only to be abruptly cut off.
"Buffy, where the fuck are you?! Get your scrawny ass back here, we're slammed with orders!"
The couple glanced around at the empty diner.
Angelus watched as thepretty waitress, Buffy now learned, muttered something under her breath and visibly steeled herself. She shrugged a thin shoulder at him, smiling weakly, then walked through the double doors to the kitchen.
He watched the doors flap back and forth listening to angry sounds of a hushed argument, a pensive look on his handsome face. His phone vibrated, looking at the long text message written in all CAPS, Angelus bit his tongue to keep from cursing. He left the cup of coffee on the counter, now cold, and placed a twenty dollar bill under the saucer.
Walking out, he wondered what the secret was for the rest of the day.
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