I move around from city to city, from coast to coast not because I can, but because I have to. In order to protect him, sweet, shy, and endearingly naïve, Malcolm. I have to do what I have to do to keep him safe and secure. It's always been that way. It's always been my responsibility to make sure people didn't take his kindness for weakness, and use his sweet nature against him. To hurt and molest him before casting him aside like the poor excuses of human filth who called themselves his family. I've taken care of him ever since he was a kid, and I'd do anything for him. I've proven it time and time again. Now, I've chosen to bring him Seattle, Washington to start a new life afresh. Dusty's Bar and Grill was on the I-5 highway in between Seattle and Shoreline. The Biker Bar needed a bartender, and I already knew my way around a bar, so I applied and got hired for the job.
Steady employment would give me the opportunity to settle down and maybe find some peace in the quiet little town. Shoreline was close enough to the main city where I can get some action if I needed to scratch an itch. But most importantly, it was a place I could keep him safe. Yep, that's my plan, and so far it was turning out to be a sensible one. That was until the bar owner's nosy little son, Cameron tried to get close to my boy. He started asking questions whose the answers would threaten all that I've strived to create for Malcolm's protection. I'd hate to have to move after settling into a place that eased the darkness in my soul, but if that pretty little boy didn't learn to mind his own business and continued to interfere in our lives, then I may not have a choice. While Malcolm's heart was a welcoming one, mine was not, like my name I'm made out of pure, solid, cold, unyielding stone, or so I thought.
Enough was fucking enough, I'd told that fucker the next time he laid his filthy hands on Malcolm, I was going to break the fuckers off. He didn't believe me. He taken advantage of the fact that Malcolm's bitch of a mother was begging at his feet like a dog for her next fix of whatever drugs he'd strung her out on. Malcolm's so called stepfather laughed in my face, the stink of alcohol still foul on his breath. He'd taken great pleasure in scornfully reminding me that Malcolm was nothing, couldn't do anything, and he'd never amount to nothing without him and his fucking money taking care of them.
The bitch had managed to climb to her feet, and she staggered after him as he swayed down the hall towards their bedroom. I'd waited until their door slammed closed, sure enough her screeching and pleading started. It was long before there was a loud thump, like a body hitting the wall and then came the silence. That's when I went to the bathroom and I quietly ran the water in the sink until it was warm. I helped Malcolm clean the fucker's fluids from between his bruised thighs. I bit my lip and tried not to cry when the sting of the soap burned his abused anus, and the abraded tissues surrounding it.
Rage had burned like wild fire deep in my chest while I studied the plethora of fresh to faded bruises covering Malcolm's body at the time. That asshole would've soon realized that I wasn't a kid anymore. I wasn't helpless, I'd been sixteen getting ready to turn seventeen. I hadn't filled out as much as hoped, but I was lean and I was strong, and thanks to the self-protection classes I'd been secretly attending across town at the community center. I'd planned on taking that fucker down and get Malcolm as far away from here as I possibly could.
That's why I hadn't felt not one iota of guilt, remorse, or sympathy for doing what I had to do. It hadn't been a week later when that asshole had barged into Malcolm's room while he was doing his homework. He'd just busted in like always, grabbed Malcolm by his hair and smashed his face on the desk, before flinging him on the bed and roughly landing his much bigger body on top of the protesting young man.
"Soon I'm going to have to get rid of you. You're not as pretty as you used to be. Maybe I should find another single mom out there with a pretty young boy to replace you and that useless cunt, you call a mother. A boy who'll appreciate my attentions." He'd leered while trying to tug Malcolm's pants and underwear down his slender legs and I'd had enough. I had to put an end to this cycle of abuse.
My stomach rolled with disgust of him doing this not only to Malcolm, but the idea the sick fuck would attempt to go after another innocent kid was too much. The reality that he'd probably done this countless times before sent me into a rage like I've never, ever experienced. It was in that moment when I'd made the firm decision that this man would never hurt anyone from here on out. That nothing or no one would ever hurt Malcolm ever again.
Kicking my bike stand down, I looked around the partially lit parking lot of Dusty's Bar and Grill, taking in my new surroundings. A line of motorcycles was parked right out front, a spectacular collection of everything from bad ass Harley's to custom built Hondas. I'd parked my custom built Fat Boy, "Shadow Rocket," at the end of the line, and I let the vibrations purring from my baby's powerful engine settle through my legs before turning the key and climbing off the bike. Shaking out my hair, I placed my helmet on the seat.
The rest of the paved lot contained a collection of trucks, and a few cars. Sweeping my gaze back around to my bike, I pocketed the keys and swept my hair up into a loose bun. This would be my first shift as the bar’s new bartender, and I just wanted to do a good job, keep my head down, and keep myself out of trouble.
I couldn't afford to get involved in any drama. I was tired of running, tired of being on the road all the time. I needed stability, and fresh air. I needed to settle down in one place, so Stone brought me here, to Shoreline, Washington where I can be at peace around the scenic waters of Puget's Sound.
It's been a few months since I’ve felt that telltale tingle in the back of my mind or the edges of my vision going blurry alerting me that danger was close by or coming my way, and I wanted to keep it that way. This town seemed like a nice place to finally try to settle my tired, wandering feet. Stone seemed happy, especially in the morning when he'd wake up in our little cottage and I was able to sit on the back porch, drink my infamous caramel latte, and draw pictures of the surrounding landscapes.
It settled my soul to feel so carefree and content with my surroundings. The constant fear that used to plague me, the constant depression, and the feelings of unworthiness of not being wanted or being different from everyone else seemed to have lifted from my shoulders, in the wide open greenery of our new home. It made the darkness in me ease a little knowing that I finally feel happy.
Tonight was going to be the ultimate test for me. Stone may have gotten me the job, but I'm the one who was going to have to interact with the bar's various clientele. The customers raged in variety. There were the typical biker's crews, their status made obvious by the leather cuts, bikers boots, beards, and comradery amongst the brothers. Then, there were what seemed to be the locals, people casually dressed in jeans, and sweaters out enjoying a game on the multiple flat screen TVs, casually tossing back whatever beers that’s on tap.
Finally, you had the young urbanites on their way home from corporate America. They were unwinding from their day with a glass of wine along with their co-workers on their way to suburbia. The place held an interesting mix of people all interacting with one another. But what really grabbed me about the place was the LGBTQ flag waving over the entrance letting people know this was a gay friendly establishment.
Keeping my head down and trying not to make eye contact with any of the patrons, just in case openly looking at someone might be mistaken as some kind of challenge, I made my way towards the end of the bar. I knew I'd find Dusty sitting in a darkened corner observing his domain while keeping his books.
"Hey Son, how ya' doing? I see ya' made it in." His loud, boisterous voice boomed over the noise of the busy bar and the multiple conversations going on around the room. Dusty heaved his gigantic frame off the bar stool, and his big paw slapped me right between my shoulder blades. The force behind the hit nearly knocked me off my feet.
I coughed to clear my throat, as I tilted my head back and looked up at the big fucker, and my first reaction to his sheer size was the trickle of fear shimmering down my spine. My vision blurred, and I had to clench my eyes closed and quickly repeat the mantra in my head. "It's not him. He's long gone, It's not him." I didn't need Stone to come running to my rescue, and burning the bar to the ground in the process before I've even managed to clock in for my first shift. I carefully opened my eyes. Once again, I could see crystal clear, and my heart wasn't threatening to jump out of my chest. I was good.
"Yes Sir. I'm doing fine." I managed to mumble a response while he dropped a heavy arm around my shoulders and steered me behind the bar.
"Good, good to hear that, son. This guy right here is Shaun, my head bartender, just follow what he says and do your thing. Go down that hall, you will see the employee locker room. Change into a bar shirt and stow your stuff in an available locker. Rocky's back there, he'll show ya' how to punch into the computer." He instructed and I nodded my head in greeting at Shaun.
Making my way back to the employee's locker room, I found the small closet that held shelves of t-shirts. The sizes were printed on the shelf below the stacks of shirts and I quickly picked my size and carried it over to the lockers. I found an empty one and opened it. I threw the shirt on the top shelf then peeled out of my riding jacket and my plain white tee and threw them inside the small space. I picked up the black shirt and pulled it over my head. Redoing my bun, I kicked the locker closed, and pocketed the little key. I turned to check my reflection in the mirror. This was a good as it was going to get.
Now to search for this Rocky person in order to clock in. I made about two steps towards the back of the room when a tall, skinny guy stepped out of the back room.
"Hey you must be the newbie. Come on then and let me show you how to clock in and out." He gave me a crooked grin and I immediately felt at ease around him. He had colorful tattooed sleeves on both arms. He wore a ripped, faded pair of jeans with a shirt just like mine, sporting the letters Dusty's Bar across the chest.
He handed me a plain white card with my name embossed on the front and a magnetic strip on the back. "This is your access card, you'll use it to clock in and out, as well logging into to the cash register." He led me over to the computer sitting on the desk. "Just swipe the card through the card reader here. It'll clock you in and do the same when you clock out. When logging into the register, you see a similar set up. Keep your card on you at all times while in the bar and lock it up in your locker when leaving. Never take it outside of the bar, you can lose it, and Dusty won't be too pleased if you do."
Stepping up the screen, I followed his instructions and swiped the card. My name, the date, and time popped up on the screen with a simple, "hello," message then it went back to a screen saver showcasing Dusty's logo.
"Alright pal, you're all set. Go see Shaun and welcome to the Dusty's crew." He said before waving me off. I nodded and hopefully gave him a convincing smile before retracing my steps back towards the bar.
Gathering my courage, I drew in a deep breath through my mouth and released it out through my nose. I can do this. I've manned plenty of bars before, some of them were down right dives. I mean this bar and grill was not exactly a five star establishment, but it was way, way better than some of the places I've been.
The computer system alone seemed to be high tech, and I'll just have to learn how to use the register. Once I get a feel for the clientele and what they want, then it'll be much easier. At least I'll have someone with me tonight and I'm not thrown to the wolves like I've been at some of the other places I've worked.
After lifting the heavy wooden panel and making my way behind the bar, I stopped at the sink in the corner and thoroughly washed my hands. I used my elbow to turn off the tap before grabbing a few paper towels from the dispenser to dry my hands.
"Good, at least I don't have to explain about hygiene." A deep voice stated behind me and I turned to see Shaun standing there with his arms crossed over a good sized chest with his biceps bulging. He was about the same height as me, but he had just a little bit more bulk in the shoulders and thighs than I did. Where I was blonde and blue eyed, with my neatly trimmed beard covering a good portion of my lower face.
Shaun was dark haired with olive skin that sported what looked like several intricately deigned tattoos peeking from underneath the sleeves of his shirt. He was clean shaven, but his eyes are his main attraction. They were such a pale green, almost translucent in color. He was gorgeous, but he didn't make my dick twitch in the slightest, and for me that was a good thing. Stone had little patience for my manly crushes.
He saw them as a danger or a potential threat to my safety, and he treated them accordingly. No guy has ever lasted more than a few days after meeting the mean bastard. Sometimes he took his protection of me a little overboard, but I deal with it like I always have. Never mind that I don't say anything about when he brings his skanks home, and then proceeds to fuck them through the mattress all night long, only to rudely kick the poor heartbroken, sometimes weeping women out in the morning.
Shaun started speaking while he led me over to the computerized cash register. He showed me how to swipe in and register my sales, he explained the ordering system from both the waiters, and the table top devices on each table. He demonstrated how to start and stop a customer's tab, and then it was onto the drinks and service. I paid attention to his routine and that of the servers. I quickly picked up on how to fill orders for the table ordering system as well as from the servers themselves, and I soon jumped feet first into the fray.
It was a Friday, and as the evening turned over into night, the patrons and the atmosphere of the bar significantly changed. Music started up and the pool area and the dance floor lights come on. Gone were the orders for Cabernet and frou-frou Martinis, and out came the orders for all kinds of beers by the pitcher, Whiskey, Bourbon, and you name the hard liquor, then it's being ordered, Tequila shots seemed to be a popular amongst the beasts.
The patrons got rougher in appearance as the night lingered into the early morning hours. The biker crowd, along with their hangers-on and their old ladies. I even saw a few men with men and vice versa with the women. No one batted an eye at the same sex couples and I felt even lighter with that knowledge under my belt. Soon enough Dusty reappeared out of nowhere, a real accomplishment for someone of his size. He once again attempted to knock me over the shiny surface of the bar with is exuberant back slap.
"Ya' done good tonight, son. Jumped right in like a real pro and handled yourself well. Clock out and head home. The shirt is yours to keep and maintain as long as you are working here, grab a few more to cover the weekend. Wash 'em and wear 'em. See ya' at six p.m. This evening. Go on git, make sure to get some sleep." He waved me off before lumbered his way back around to the other side of the bar and his laptop.
Shaun gave me a smile and a thumbs up sign as I wiped down the bar surface area yet again. I logged out the register and stuffed my tips in my front pocket. I made almost two hundred bucks, and I felt really proud of myself. But I couldn't wait to get home. My feet were killing me and I was dying to a big, long glass of lemon iced tea. It would have went well with that big ass burger Cookie, the bar's grill master had made for my dinner.
Yeah, Stone had chosen well when he picked this place. I can only hope that things were the way they seemed, and no surprises were going to come out of left field and blind side me. Nope, Stone would be pissed beyond epic proportions if shit hit the fan. I can only pray that things continue to go just as well as they did for me tonight.