I opened the doors and met Leslie’s gaze. Leslie shook her head urgently, but I was damn sure Chance would come in after me. She glanced across at Benny and then moved over to me, seeing Benny was distracted.
“Honey girl, get out of here, I’ll get your money soon.”
“No Leslie, I earned that money, I want it. If Benny doesn’t pay, there’ll be trouble,” I whispered, avoiding the gazes of the customers who had witnessed Benny’s vitriol earlier.
“Trouble? Honey girl, Benny’s in a foul mood. Trust me, I’ll get your money. Clio, take this, these are my tips for today, it’ll do you for now. I’ll get your money in the next day or two.” I shoved Leslie’s tips back at her. Leslie was a hard-working person, and she needed her own tips. She was the mother hen of the waitresses and did her best to take care of the other four servers.
“I need to get my money, Leslie, I don’t think Chance will wait,” I said, glancing over my shoulder. Leslie followed my gaze and her eyes widened.
“Hellfire MC is at your back?” Leslie asked, recognising the men staring through the diner’s windows.
“Looks like it,” I shrugged, Leslie grinned. She gave me a wink and leaned forward.
“I’ll look forward to this,” Leslie whispered and walked away to refill the coffee pot. Benny turned around, caught sight of me and came flying out from behind the counter and shoved straight into my personal space.
“Told you to get the fuck out of here, you’re fired!” Benny shouted, I stepped back to get breathing room and faced him.
“I want my wages, I earned those fair and square,” I whispered. Silence fell in the diner, I trembled, there was nothing worse than confrontations.
“Get the fuck out, you stupid bitch. Not paying you when you’re late.”
“I wasn’t last week, nor the other days I worked this week, I want my money,” I demanded.
“Benny, give the lass her money. It’s wrong to keep it,” an old man called out.
“Shut up,” Benny snarled and turned back to me. Benny pushed his face in mine again and then an arm wrapped around my waist, and I was pulled back into a hard-muscled body.
“You ever get in my girl’s face again, they’ll be digging your bones up all over the state,” Chance growled, and his arm tightened around me. I knew Chance felt my trembling, and I was ashamed Chance knew I was scared.
“What the fuck?” Benny roared, facing off and looking at Chance. Benny’s temper took over, and Benny went red in anger, and then he paled within seconds as he realised who he faced.
“Said, I’ll fuckin’ break every bone in your body if you ever get in my girl’s face again,” Chance snarled. Chance leaned over me to make his point, and Benny found himself very much alone and facing seven of Hellfire. Everyone stopped what they were doing, customers watched intently, the other two waitresses stood with mouths open and glee on their faces.
“Your girl? Clio’s got no links to Hellfire MC. I’d know,” Benny retorted, balls returning.
“Know everythin’ do ya? What about Hellfire’s reputation?” Chance asked. Chance turned me gently in his arms. “Bear,” he said. An enormous mountain of a man appeared, and my jaw nearly hit the floor. Bear was massive, I’d no idea where he’d come from considering his bulk, but Bear was here now.
“Come here, woman,” Bear rumbled and tugged me into his sphere. I made wide eyes at Leslie, who was openly grinning. Two tree trunks arms wrapped around me and I latched on, peering over thickly muscled arms.
“Know who Hellfire is,” Benny said, and my attention returned to him. Chance got into his space and Benny backed away, Chance kept moving, and finally, Benny hit the counter. Chance reached out one hand and snagged Benny by the shirt. Without straining, Chance raised his arm, and forced Benny on to his tiptoes and then got in Benny’s face.
“Tellin’ you what’s gonna happen. You owe my girl two hundred and seven bucks for last week, plus one hundred and thirty-eight for this week. Fuckin’ asshole paying his waitresses three bucks an hour,” Chance ground out the paltry sums and I flushed in embarrassment again. I tried turning my head away, but Bear was immoveable. Murmurs arose as people listened to what Chance has said. Chance shook Benny and let him go.
“Three hundred and forty-five bucks,” Benny said minutes later, returning from the till. He handed the money to Chance, who looked down at his hand.
“Not finished,” Chance grumbled. Benny’s angry vibes hit the diner, but they were overcome with Chance’s own vibes.
“That’s Clio’s money, take it.”
“Nah, see, my girl told me she’s worked at least five weeks’ worth of overtime, which you refused to pay. ‘Cause Clio needed work she couldn’t fight you on it. Now Clio don’t stand alone. You owe her for that, another one thousand and thirty-five, we’ll round it up to an even one point five thousand, damn sure Clio’s owed more than that,” Chance growled. Benny flushed.
“Not paying that.”
“Add to that I found out you take half these women’s tips, you people know that?” Chance said, turning to the diners. Angry mutterings arose.
“What do you mean, Chance?” a man said, getting to his feet. Chance nodded at him.
“Miguel,” Chance acknowledged. Miguel Hawthorne nodded back and turned to Benny.