I unlocked the café doors every morning. I got the till ready, the coffee brewing easily enough before going to put out the fresh scones that were proofed and baked last night, and then I let my morning shift in as I opened the doors and flipped the sign over.
I got Jenny up to speed on what was on 'special' this morning. Since we were on a school street, we got the parents flooding in before and after drop-off.
I looked around at the crowd flowing in, slowly I realized there were just too many drinks on the line and I didn't focus on anything but the cups and the names I had to call out when I got the drinks done.
But then around 9:30 things started to slow down. I got more food out, putting them in the case when I heard loud laughing, and I looked up and around to see the same biker man that comes in like clockwork. He had his vest on, brown hair past his ears, green eyes that seemed to glow under my café lights, sunglasses tucked into the front of his shirt, and a phone to his ear before he put it down and then in his pocket.
He always tried to talk to me, but I always just gave him a smile and walked into the back and watched him in through the door until he left. Today was no different, he kept at his flirting.
"So, you're the only one with no nametag... it's got to be something really fucking cute. Pepper? Honey? Goldilocks?" I rolled my eyes at the ‘original’ names. I had long blonde hair so I’ve heard them before.
"Here." I finished off his coffee and held it out to him and he grabbed it and then my wrist softly.
"Name?" He asked, and I just laughed lightly and tugged my hand away.
"It's on the cup." I told him, and he looked confused.
I knew his name was Lucien, I knew he drove a Harley, and I saw the dog tags on his neck. I knew he was bad news when I saw the motorcycle and the cut, but then I saw the dog tags. I knew he would be off limits. I don't date men like my father, any military man was X-ed out... no matter how hot and flirty they were.
"I would really like to know your name baby." He said, and I looked back to him and saw his smirk as he looked over my face and then down to what little he could see of my body behind the counter.
"Take a guess." I decided to play his little game today. I was bored, the coffee cups were slowing down.
"Julie." He said, and I gave a scoff. "Amber? Tiffany? Muffy?" He listed, and I just rolled my eyes at the names. "Butch?" He tried with a light chuckle and I gave him a look before calling out a name. "Got to give me something. A letter." He asked, and I just held in my smile before looking around at the door and then the nonexistent line.
"My name starts with a J."
"Jessica" He asked, and I rolled my eyes and got the last cup out before hearing the bell above the door. I looked up to see the person walk in. I only wanted to see the person if it was a regular... but what I saw was a man walking in with a gun, pointing at the counter.
"I want my place back Jackie." He shouted, and I just clenched my jaw. Another customer screamed, and I saw the man reach back and lock the door. "Your father ruined me!" He told me, and I just wanted to scoff and tell him to join the club, but he did have a gun.
"Jackie." I heard Jenny whisper my name. I looked over to her and she had already pushed the silent alarm button.
"You're fine Jenny. Go into the back." I told her and saw the man take three quick steps.
"You need to lower that gun." I looked to the biker, Lucien, when he spoke up and I saw him moving slowly to get in front of me and I grabbed Jenny's wrist and pulled her behind me.
"You need to back off! And she is not going in the back! Do you think I am stupid? Like your father!" He shouted at me and he waved the gun from me to Lucien and then around the café.
"Who are you?" I asked him and stepped forward so he would train his eyes back on me.
"Ask daddy dearest! He got me dishonorably discharged!"
"Back off." Lucien had to have been shouting at me since I was the only one that had moved closer.
"Shut up!" The man shouted, turning back to him with the gun and I looked around the bottom and spotted the fire extinguisher. "Get away from me!" He told Lucien and I saw him hold up his hands, but never once did he take a step back. "Come around here Jackie. Now!" He waved towards the counter.
"I can't- "
"Do it now you little bitch! Hurry the fuck up!" He wasn’t going to take any excuse. I just nodded before holding my hands up and moving back as if to go through the back to get to him instead of over the counter like he wanted me to. "What are you doing?" He asked and walked closer. But as soon as he got within arm’s reach of Lucien, he forgot the most important rule of combat.
Lucien grabbed his wrist, twisted, a shot was fired up into the ceiling and I made a dive for the fire extinguisher. When I had it, I noticed they were both on the ground, so I threw it over the counter and heard a groan. I got up on the counter and saw the man get from under Lucien. The man didn't have the gun anymore though. I saw it in Lucien's hand as he got up and groaned.
I ran through the back and into the front to help him up and he set the gun on the counter as he tried to stand. "Are you okay?" I asked him, and he sent me a glare.
"Who the fuck threw the fire extinguisher on me?" I nibbled my lip and he shook his head. "Who was he?"
"I have no idea."
"So... Jackie is the name huh?" He asked me as he sat up and leaned against the counter.
"Yeah. Where did it hit you?" I asked, and he gave me another glare.
"Cops." He nodded towards the door and I just looked to the front door. I stood and went to the door, hands up and opened it.
"Ma'am, we received the silent alarm, is that the perp?" They nodded inside, and I looked back to see them looking at Lucien, one cop already putting a hand on his service weapon.
"No actually. He saved everyone in the café. I got a little worried that things would not work out for him and threw a fire extinguisher over the counter and hit him... the other guy got away, but Lucien got the gun from him. It's in there on the counter." I waved them in, and Lucien got up and rubbed the back of his neck.
"Can you guys all describe the man? Did he get away with any cash?" The cops asked right away, and I shook my head at the second question.
"He didn't get away with anything, it seems that he was after me." I told them, and Officer Martinez looked utterly confused.
"Okay... wait, start from the top. When did he come in here, when did you first see him with the gun?" Now I needed to do an entire lineup of events.
"I was actually talking with Lucien when I heard the bell for the door. I looked up to see if it was a regular and he already had the gun out and was pointing at me." I told him, and he nodded. I went on to tell him about how he was saying things about my father.
"And your father knows him how?" He asked, and I worked my jaw as I looked away.
"I don't know. My father is a Marine. We haven't spoken in years. Last I heard he was stationed in Germany." He just nodded and started to write things down.
"And you said he knew your name? Even though you don't know him at all."
"Yes." I didn't understand why that needed clarification, but if he needed to write it down as a second confirmation, then I would comply.
"Okay... and your cameras- "
"They don't record, it's just to check the front to see how busy it is." I told him and crossed my arms as he rolled his eyes. "Is that a huge issue officer? This is a neighborhood watch area. I have bars on my windows. I have three locks on the back door that doesn't have a handle on the outside. I have a silent alarm button." I felt a hand on my hip, and I turned to see Lucien looking down at me with a question in his eyes, but I just looked back to the officer.
"Well, we need you both to meet with a sketch artist." Martinez looked at both of us and I just glared harder as he turned and walked away after giving us a time and date to do it.
"Damn sweet cheeks remind me not to piss you off." Lucien whispered near my ear and I rolled my eyes.