Dirty Truths

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Authors: Renee Miller
floor, her shirt soaked and her eyes wide. She flinched as Sam raised his fist.
    “What the hell is going on here?” Wade kept his voice low and even.
    “She spilled the tray—”
    Sam paused, his face reddened and he opened his mouth but nothing came out.
    Wade turned to Kristina. “What happened?”
    “He g-grabbed me and I told him I’d come back, then he put his hand in my pants and I forgot about the tray. I didn’t mean to spill it.” Kristina’s voice trembled forcing a lump to Wade’s throat.
    Wade held out his hand.
    She took it and stood.
    He squeezed her fingers, relieved to see color flood her cheeks again. “Go get a clean shirt. It’s okay. You did nothing wrong. Come on Sam, you and I need to have words.”
    He grabbed Sam by the collar; the fool proved wise enough not to struggle. Wade half-dragged him out the door and around the building to the dumpsters. When they were out of sight, he threw him against the brick wall of the building. Wade’s shirt clung to his back. The night was still humid and the small effort it took to drag Sam outside had him sweating. “Who do you think you are coming into my bar and treating my staff like that?”
    “I didn’t know—”
    Wade swung, his fist connecting with Sam’s nose.
    A sickening crack and Sam fell to his knees. “Fuck, Wade.”
    Wade allowed him to regain his footing. Blood covered Sam’s chin and the front of his white polo shirt. “You think you can just treat women like garbage?”
    “Fuck you. You’re nothing without your friends around. I’m not scared of you.” Sam spat, bringing his arms up.
    Wade stepped forward. “Let’s see about that.”
    Kristina stood at the sink behind the bar rinsing the towels she used to clean up her mess. The door opened and she looked up. Wade strolled in alone. Was that blood on his hands? He walked to the bathroom, emerging a few minutes later, his hands clean and his shirt tucked in once more.
    Coming around the bar, he paused behind her. Kristina shivered as the warmth of his breath reached the back of her neck. “Don’t worry, he won’t be back. You better tell me next time you have a problem, before it comes to that.”
    Kristina dropped the damp towel and turned to face him. She paused startled at the force of his gaze, his eyes so dark they appeared almost black. “I can’t do this Wade. I’m sorry, but I’m going to see if I can get my job back—”
    “What? No fucking way.”
    “I can’t do this and I keep screwing things up. I’m just not cut out for this place.”
    “The customers love you, although a bit too much sometimes. You take home more in tips than anyone I’ve seen yet.” Wade reached out and brushed her bangs from her eyes, his gaze softened and he smiled. “You’re our comic relief. What am I going to do without you? I can’t spill the drinks myself.”
    “Funny.” Kristina looked at her hands, noticing for the first time she still wore her wedding rings. She covered her left hand with her right. “Seriously, Wade, why would you keep someone who is terrible at their job?”
    He sighed, glancing at her hands. He frowned and shook his head, then looked at her with a crooked grin. “You aren’t terrible. Your drink to table to floor ratio is improving. Don’t let one bad incident make you give up. That’s not the girl I remember.”
    Kristina stared at him, trying not to laugh. He was right. She had improved. A bit. But the fear Sam forced to the surface made her remember Daniel and all she wanted to run away from. She hated that she could go back to a spineless coward so easily.
    “I guess if I quit then guys like him win.”
    Wade put his hand on her shoulder and squeezed. “Exactly, and I will never let it happen again. So? You’ll stick it out? I’d hate to have to drag you in here kicking and screaming every night. It’s bad for business.”
    “I guess so, as long as you can afford the damage.”
    “For you, I’d pay

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