Snowy is fair and sweet. Doc is the tall, broad-shouldered WITSEC marshal who’s going to save her from her evil stepmother. No dwarves here, but seven wharves where Ms. White finds herself experiencing life on the run. Her evil stepmother isn’t far behind. More
The mounded plate slid off Snowy’s wrist and crashed on the slatted wharf that served as the floor for the Tiki Taster restaurant. She stepped over the oozing mess and delivered the other plates in her hands to the frat boys at table five. "Don’t make me wait for the replacement food, you clumsy cunt."
"Yes, sir. I apologize for the delay. I’ll make sure it comes right up."
They ogled her suggestively. "Oh, it’s up already, babe."
A flush rose over her like a heat shimmer from a desert dune. Her eyes would give away her fury, so she kept them carefully focused on her empty hands. "Excuse me while I work on that replacement."
The quartet jeered her until she turned a corner and moved out of sight. Her feet felt like chewed gum despite her sturdy shoes, and her hands were shaking. Get control of yourself. It was the third job—and third false identity—she’d had in three months. She was a lousy waitress, but the Marshal’s Service WITSEC liaison was determined to get her into food service again, even if it meant giving up her training as a chef to become a server. The last job had been as a food expediter. The one before that was a hostess position. She’d be working in a dish pit if she kept screwing up or having to move.
Snowy punched in a replacement order, coding the entry carefully so that it would go to the head of the queue, secured some cleaning equipment, and took care of the mess she’d made. She hurried back to the kitchen where the assistant manager waited for her.
"Is there something wrong with you?" His tone suggested that he was answering his own question with a loud "yes!" "That’s the fourth ruined meal in just three days. You’re not concentrating on your job! Do you want to be fired? Are you looking for unemployment benefits?" He narrowed his black, piggy eyes. "You’re still on probation here, you know. You can be fired for any reason. Get your act together, Ms. Bianco, or get the hell out."
Snowy bit her lip as she tried not to shout back at her boss. "Yes, sir. I’m sorry."
"Hmph. We’ll take the broken crockery out of your wages. Don’t let it happen again, or you’re fired. Do you understand me?"
"Yes, sir." Her tongue was a lead weight in her mouth. Nothing polite came to mind, so she turned back to her duties. To think that she used to be one of the area’s top chefs, and now she was reduced to being berated by the assistant manager in an unimpressive college hangout. It seemed too unfair to have her criminal stepmother free on bail, living her comfortable life while the legal system ground through the tedious details. Snowy, on the other hand, was stuck hiding in the WITSEC program because she’d seen the woman order the murder of a man Snowy didn’t even know. * * * Doc watched Snowy move through the restaurant gracefully. Her dark hair, pulled back into a long tail, swished like polished silk against her slender back. She smiled at the customers she served, though the smile was superficial. He could see how unhappy she was in the weariness in her eyes and the high spots of color on her fair cheeks. As his subordinate, Deputy Marshal Logan, met him at the table, Doc looked up and nodded. "She’s secure."
"No." Doc kept his voice low. "McCarty’s shift was a negative, too." He popped another French fry into his mouth. "She’ll be off work in half-an-hour."
"Right. Long hours for her today."
"Yeah, her feet must be killing her. Let me finish these fries and then I’ll jog along." Nodding, Logan began to peruse a menu. This was the second time this week they’d had their officer debriefing at the witness’ place of employment. They’d have to find another location for their next status update.