Vradin, Chapter Twenty-One

Banner for Vradin Stories

I felt horribly embarrassed. I mean, yeah, that moment Tank first looked at me there was this instant of amazing heat, and I could have sworn the man was knocked to his knees, metaphorically speaking, by our mutual attraction. And then he tells me to put more clothes on, and I realize that not only is Dan there, but two guys in suits. Strangers.

Okay, so I wear less to work, but, well, that’s work and it’s a uniform. It’s not me. It’s not my choice to wear that out of all the things in my closet. I mean, yeah, I do chose to wear it because I like getting paid well enough to save up enough to pay tuition and living expenses for when I head over to a four year school, but, well, you know what I mean. And it’s not me that the clients are looking at. My body, occasionally, but not my face, not me. Carl picking us out of a crowd had a lot more to do with Jody than me. She’s memorable. I’m not.

And the look on Dan’s face, too. I think it was worse that he didn’t say anything. He’s an ass. If he had told me to put some clothes on in his ass hat way, I could have rolled with it and enjoyed pissing him off, but the fact that he had no words to say, well, that was extreme.

I went back to Tank’s room, brushing by Jody in the hallway, and trying hard not to cry while I searched for something of mine to wear. I couldn’t be Jody. I’m just not glam enough.

“Hold up, baby girl, what’s the matter?” Jody asked, following me back into Tank’s room. “Did Dan give you shit? I’ll go bust his ass for you. For me, too.”

“Tank said I looked cold, Jody! Cold! And there are strangers here, too!”

Jody rocked back on her heels. “Cold? You walk out with that luscious ass on display and he tells you that you look cold? Are you sure the man isn’t gayer than a fruit pie?”

“He likes looking at your rack well enough!” I groused back as the first tear spilled over on to my cheek. I stopped rummaging through the bag of clothes Jody had put together and looked around for a tissue or something to blot my eyes. I spotted a box of Kleenex on the dresser and snagged one, catching the tear and trying really hard not to let any more fall. It would just be perfectly humiliating to have to wash my face over a simple thing like getting told I looked cold and needed to put more clothes on. No one ever told Jody to put more clothes on, but Jody was smoking hot.

Despite her “luscious ass” comments and other outrageous compliments, I knew I was nowhere near her league when it came to beauty or sex appeal.

Jody was still having her say on the other side of the room, getting worked up enough to go tell Dan to shove it where the sun don’t shine by the time I was willing to hope that I wouldn’t start crying again. I went back to digging through the bag, finding a pair of leggings and a baby doll top that I wouldn’t have felt terrible wearing to school. I made short work of changing and found my zippered hoodie to pull over the top, just for the extra layer against being told I looked cold.

Then I had to take another set of deep breaths to gather my courage and go face my embarrassment.