Copyright © 2014 Michelle Woods
All rights reserved
All rights reserved
Molly Daniels pulled on the gray coveralls, sighing in despair. She really hated the damned things but she needed her job. Checking her hair in the mirror, she smiled at the cute twist she’d managed to tame her frizzy black hair into; it was a good look. Lifting the small bottle of mascara, she applied a light layer, wishing as she inspected herself that it wasn’t the only makeup she owned. Taking one last look at her reflection, she let out a derisive snort. The shapeless coveralls were lumpy around her hips and baggy over her slight chest, making her look dumpy.
Molly rolled her eyes; the coveralls weren’t a good look for her. She sighed, turning to see if the side view was more flattering. Her heart sinking when that view was no better, she really wished she wasn’t required to wear these stupid coveralls. Wearing them today when they were not at all fashionable or attractive was disheartening. She had a date with Luzen tonight after work and she would have liked to look at least halfway decent when they went out.
Ha, what else could she wear anyway?
Molly let out a snort because the one dress she owned was second-hand with a simple flair skirt and had patches sewn onto the worn areas. It was just as well, she supposed, that she had to wear the coveralls since her wardrobe was sadly lacking anyway.
Examining herself one last time, she decided it was the best she could manage with the tools available to her. She headed down the hall to the kitchen for breakfast. Her mother was standing by the counter loading ration cubes into lunch bags for Molly and her father. Molly continued into the kitchen, sitting down at the table in front of a bowl filled with goopy oatmeal. She frowned with distaste at the contents of the bowl.
She was so tired of oatmeal. But it was cheap and easily available in the Slums, so she ate it every morning without complaint, even if it did stick to the roof of her mouth for hours afterwards.
“Morning, Mother,” she said, and took her first bite, grimacing in disgust at the gritty taste.
Molly watched as her mother set the filled lunch bags on the end of the counter. She began to clean the dishes in the sink. Looking over her shoulder at Molly, she smiled, although it didn’t reach her eyes.
Molly stared at her mother’s fitted skirt that hung to her ankles and the flared button-up blouse that was a popular fashion in the Hill district while absentmindedly eating her breakfast. Molly wasn’t surprised that even standing in her slum kitchen, her mother was immaculately groomed, her slightly graying hair forced into a clean bun, which was also popular in the Hill district right now. Her mother always dressed in the latest fashions. Molly was unsure how she managed it. She almost suspected her mother stole the clothes from somewhere because it was all they could do to buy food most months, much less clothing like her mother was wearing.
“Morning, Molly. Your father tells me that you have another date with that boy from the Hill district today. He said that the boy wants to take you to a restaurant in his part of the city. I wish you wouldn’t go.” Her mother paused, her eyes clouding with concern as she looked at Molly.
Molly didn’t fool herself that it was concern for her own well-being. Her mother loved her in her own way, but she always put her own needs first, followed by Molly’s father, and if she had anything left, that’s what little concern Molly got from her.
“He’s a Hillie, dear, and you two dating is like a bird dating a fish. It won’t work. Even if this boy isn’t concerned with his reputation, his class will never accept you as one of them. You’re not in his league. You know….”
Molly raised her hand to stop her mother’s tirade. It was the tenth time that they’d had this conversation, and she was over it. Luzen Colden, the man her mother referred to as that boy from the Hill, was twenty-four. He wasn’t like the other class snobs who thought that those living in the Slums were little better than lepers.
Luzen was sweet; he brought her flowers and even some candy once. They’d been together for ten months, and today was the day he would ask her to marry him. She just knew it. When he’d asked her to go out he’d seemed nervous about her answer, and when she’d agreed he’d been overjoyed. He’d also told her last week that he loved her and that tonight was a special night. Molly smiled remembering his smile and the way he’d gazed at her.
She was twenty-two years old. She was well aware that their City wasn’t perfect, but sometimes people could understand that classes didn’t matter. Her Luzen was one of those people. Molly had been a gear head most of her life, and she’d been looked down on by many in the upper classes during her short lifetime. Even before they were together Luzen was kind to her, and to the others who worked on her team, if a little clueless about their true circumstances.
If he asked her to marry him, it would be her chance to escape from this demeaning class and move into their upper-class world. Where she wouldn’t have to eat lumpy oatmeal every day, she thought with disdain.
Eating another tasteless lump of the stuff, she cringed. When she became a Hillie, as the Slum residents called those who lived behind the gates, she wouldn’t look down on her old class as many who’d moved into the Hill district did. She would be kind as Luzen was, only she’d know what it was truly like to be living in this squalor. Looking around at the dirt floor, the slanted walls, and the old almost unusable appliances, she felt a feeling of hope settling in her stomach. Molly would be grateful to escape this place and, quite frankly, her mother.
“Please, not before I go to work. We can argue about this when I get home. Where’s dad this morning? He’s supposed to be on shift at seven too,” Molly questioned between disgusting bites of goo, trying to change the subject.
“He’s helping Mrs. Rohan with that generator of hers, it stopped working last night. She had no power for her water system, so he went over to help her fix it.” Her mother looked at her with condescension. “And I wasn’t trying to argue again, dear. I just want to talk to you about this boy. You need to face the facts about your relationship with him, it isn’t g––”
Molly ignored her mother’s comment, smiling. She had a feeling of excitement run through her and her mouth watered because Mrs. Rohan grew oranges. When her father helped her fix the old generator, she paid him with fresh fruit. So maybe tomorrow, she could have something besides oatmeal and nasty ration cubes, which tasted like cardboard, to eat.
Molly ate the rest of her oatmeal in silence while her mother finished cleaning up the small kitchenette, muttering about ungrateful children. Molly stood and took her lunch from her mother with a cursory kiss to her cheek. Glad she was able to get out of here before her mother started in about her and Luzen again, Molly grabbed her bag from her room.
“Don’t wait up. I will be late tonight. Tell dad I’ll see him at work,” she called out as she neared the door.
“I really wish you’d reconsider about that Hillie, but what does a mother know––” her mother’s voice followed her out the curtained door into the streets. Molly shook her head because she was really tired of hearing the same old song and dance.
She felt her shoes sinking into the mud as she walked towards the gates watching the children, who ran by holding toy guns made from trash. They went scurrying over piles of rubbish and ran into houses made from aluminum siding, calling out to each other as they laughed and played. Molly couldn’t help but wish for their innocent wonder instead of the cold reality of what surrounded her. She sighed, looking around at the Slum district. Seeing all the rundown buildings, the muddy streets, and the poverty that filled this district of the great city behind the wall, she just wanted to escape.
She looked up at the massive buildings beyond the gates seeing the way that they gleamed brightly in the sunlight. Those buildings weren’t made of aluminum siding, she thought sourly. No, the Hill’s massive towers were made of steel and they gleamed because the clean windows of the buildings reflected light. Their streets weren’t filled with piles of rubbish, and their fancy tech allowed them to lead very different lives. Molly stared at the shining example of the differences between the Slum district and the Hills, trying not to allow her resentment take over. The Hillies treated them like lepers, always looking down on them just because they were born in a lower class. She shook her head, trying to clear her envious thoughts. This line of thinking wasn’t helping her get to work on time.
She headed to the barrier between the Slums and the Hill districts. As her boots made wet plunks in the mud, the early morning light bouncing off the buildings nearly blinded her. She crossed to the gate where she entered and stepped onto the cobblestone road leading into one of the twenty cubicles where she was scanned every morning for germs, vermin, and weapons before she was allowed to enter the Hills. Scanning her badge, she waited impatiently for the machine’s lasers to move from her head to her toes.
A mechanical voice chimed in an annoying whine, “Slum Mechanic 452 free from germs, now cleared for entry. Proceed to manual inspection.” Molly gritted her teeth upon hearing the whiny computer pronounce her fit to step into the Hill.
Screw you too, she thought petulantly.
Stepping out into the second area of clearance, a small courtyard, she glanced around. Slum district workers were waiting in the small courtyard beyond the entrance gate and were forming a line. Molly sighed as she walked towards the second gate, her mind wandering.
Spotting her friend Racheal, a busty blonde with a dynamite figure covered by a similar pair of green coveralls, Molly sucked in a quick breath, envy eating her up. She didn’t have any baggy areas that made her look dumpy in her uniform. Racheal was just stepping out of the cubicle to her right. Seeing Molly, she smiled and waved before coming over to greet her.
“Hey Doll, I hate these early shifts. I wanted to work nights, but the lottery gave me this shift again. How was this morning with your mum?” Racheal questioned with a knowing look. Molly let out a heavy sigh, her shoulders drooping.
“You know mother. She was trying to convince me to stay home again. Ugg––I don’t know why she can’t just stop with this don’t date him crap. ‘He’s a bird, you’re a fish.’ It’s all crap. I know why she really wants me to stop dating him.” Molly mocked her mother in a high nasally voice that she knew sounded nothing like her but it made Molly feel better. She again looked at Racheal’s uniform and her blue eyes narrowed. “I really hate how great you look in these damned coveralls, you know,” Molly muttered as they moved up in line as the person in front of them stepped forward.
“Yep, I know it,” Racheal said, preening a bit. “You know your mother is just thinking of you getting hurt and that’s what causes her to act that way,” she added with obvious disbelief in her tone of voice. Racheal had been her friend for over six years and she knew that Molly’s mother didn’t care for much other than her father and the Hills.
“Ha, my mother cares for little that doesn’t affect her. The only reason she cares at all about me and Luzen is because if I do marry him then I would be living better than her, and she can’t stand that. I know she’s always trying to pretend she’s better than everyone else in the Slums because her mother was a whore who got pregnant with a Hillie’s baby,” Molly hissed, quietly venting while scowling at her friend, who smiled with delight at the angry outburst and slung her arm over Molly’s shoulders.
“Okay, okay, I know she isn’t a warm fuzzy type, but I’m sure she loves you and wants you to be happy,” Racheal said, although Molly could tell she didn’t believe it any more than Molly did by her tone. They moved again with the line of people waiting to be allowed into the building two at a time for manual inspections. After a few minutes, they finally reached the front of the line. “Maybe really deep down,” Molly said, her eyes rolling because it wasn’t very likely that it was true.
They had arrived at the front of the line and she showed her ID badge to a guard who inspected it with a scanner before returning it, and said in a firm voice “Clear 452.”
Molly stepped into the building, entering the left door. She grinned when she met Lt. Tucker’s smiling blue eyes surrounded by bushy white brows as she walked towards him. Carl Tucker had been a handsome man when he was younger and it showed in his handsome face and wide shoulders. He was her favorite guard, a man in his late fifties with gray hair and a slightly heavy frame; he was always friendly and seemed to love his job. He’d been recently promoted to Lieutenant within the guard, as the two new stripes on his right shoulder denoted. He wore a white shirt and black slacks, the uniform all the guards wore, complete with a stun stick and laser gun attached to his utility belt.
“Hey, I thought you weren’t doing entry scans since your promotion?” Molly questioned as she raised her arms to allow him to scan her again with the wand scanner.
“Well, they were short-staffed, and I wanted to slip you that manual I promised.”
Lt. Tucker reached into his back pocket and discreetly pulled out an old manual for a turbine engine. This was her secret passion, and she had about thirty-five of these old manuals stashed away at home.
Carl knew about her obsession, having discovered her rummaging through some old manuals a few years ago in the office of an abandoned building in the Hill district. That first meeting could have gone very badly had Carl not been the kind man he was. He could have arrested her and she might have been tossed outside into the wild territory beyond the wall. She felt a shiver run up her spine at the thought. Reaching out she took the manual from him, looking down at it in fascination.
“Oh, I love it. Thanks,” she said, stuffing it gently into her coveralls. “How’s Berta doing?”
“Purring like a kitten after you finished fixing her. I took her for a spin outside the wall just yesterday,” he whispered to her as he finished scanning her.
“Well, keep her tuned like I showed you and she’ll be fine.”
Feeling better after talking to Carl, Molly moved to the exit as another man entered through the door behind her. She walked out into the hall from the little room with a wave over her shoulder. Berta was Carl’s sweet Harley fat boy, which had been built back in the 2000’s. It was a pre-disaster motorcycle. The man loved older technology as much as she did.
“Clear mechanic 452,” Carl called out to the computer when she reached the door, which let out a loud click as it unlocked, and she left the small room and headed to the water plant.
Molly spent the rest of the day working on one mechanical breakdown after another. She glared into the toolbox as she replaced the wrench she’d been using to tighten the bolts on the generator because nothing seemed to want to work properly today. As soon as she managed to get one mechanical issue fixed, another popped up, worse than the last. It was as if the machines were trying to side with Molly’s mother to prevent her from meeting Luzen for their date at six. By noon she was exhausted. That was when the airflow generator decided to break down.
She’d requested parts for it over three weeks ago, and they still weren’t in. It was hard to fix the machine without the required hoses. Molly bit the inside of her cheek, her frustration mounting. She went on a search for something she could use to make the repair at least temporarily. Entering the cleaning closet, she found some tubes and decided they would work. She used them to patch the one that busted, but she knew it was only a temporary fix.
Molly wiped her brow with a greasy hand, smearing it with a dark smudge. She was glad that she’d finally managed to get the machine fixed, although without those hoses, the patch she’d done wouldn’t last a week. Getting to her feet, she tossed the tools back into her box and checked the time.
Crap, she only had ten minutes to get to the dock where she was to meet Luzen. She tossed the toolbox back on its shelf in the hallway before running to the employee bathroom where she quickly changed into a clean pair of coveralls from the employee locker and washed her face.
She lifted her hands, trying to tame her hair back into what had once been a very attractive twist but was now a mass of frizzy black hair piled on top of her head. She attempted to smooth it back into the twist for about three minutes. Finally giving up, she quickly pulled it down and braided it, all the while bemoaning the loss of the cuteness she’d created with the twist she had perfected for an hour that morning. She glared at her reflection. She should have brought her mascara, she thought, noticing with dismay that she had washed it off with the grease a few moments ago.
Molly checked the time again and seeing that she only had three minutes left to get to the dock, she let out a groan. This would have to do, she decided, because there was nothing she could do to fix the way she looked in time to meet Luzen. Sighing, she went tearing out of the bathroom and sprinting towards the dock.
Luzen stood by a hover car taxi looking at his watch; she ran down the ramp to meet him.
“Sorry, the airflow water generator was acting up again. Any idea when the parts will be in? It won’t last much longer without them,” she asked breathlessly, coming to a stop beside him.
“Molly, my dear, no need to apologize. A good work ethic is one of the things I love about you. Don’t you look lovely.” He smiled and kissed her on the cheek. Molly felt a light blush stain her cheeks at the compliment.
Luzen continued. “And I have no idea when the parts will be in. They can’t even be ordered until Thornton Davis takes a look at the generator to verify your assessment.”
He waved her into the waiting taxi not even noticing the tensing of her shoulders as anger filled her. Molly knew she was a damned good mechanic and the idea that someone had to verify her assessment made her want to punch something. It was one of the things that maddened her about the plant’s Hillie management. Any part a Slum worker requested for the water plant had to be verified by a Hill mechanic before the parts were ordered.
It was beyond stupid because half of the mechanics from the Hill had been trained by the Slum mechanics to start with. Trying not to allow her anger to show, she spoke carefully.
“Thanks. I’m just wondering when he would be coming for the review. We could lose that generator and then there would be a shortage of fresh water for the Hill.” Or more likely the Slums, thought Molly sourly, her hands balling on the seat beside her.
The hover car flew towards the lower Hill restaurant and bar sector. Luzen patted her hand as if she were a child, his smile a little indulgent when he informed her, “Not to worry, my dear, it will be soon enough. Now, let me tell you about my day. We had our manager meeting today and they talked of increasing the wage for Slum workers by two credits per week, isn’t that wonderful.”
Molly bit her tongue to keep from yelling at him. Two credits would not make the fifteen a week they were currently earning a fair wage for any of the mechanics on her team. It would maybe buy one meal for most of their families. Molly unclenched her fists, trying to regain control over her rioting emotions because many of them had three or four children to feed.
When everything you earned went to fill your belly, birth control, which was fifteen credits every few months, was too costly. Molly should know, she’d taken a chance on more than one occasion because she didn’t have the credits for the birth control shots. Two credits wouldn’t do much to help them provide for their families and it was quite frankly insulting that Luzen thought this was good news.
If the managers would raise it to ten credits as the teams had asked, it would make life less stressful for many of the workers at the plant. It was hardly an unreasonable wage to ask for when the managers made a thousand credits a week. The wage difference was supposed to be because the cost of living was so much higher in the Hill district than it was in the Slums. Gritting her teeth, she realized this was one thing she hated about Luzen. He had an utter lack of understanding of what life in the Slum district was really like.
“That’s nice,” she replied to avoid a fight on the night he might be proposing. Barely able to control the need to throw something at him for being so clueless, she tried to smile, but was sure it looked more like a grimace.
“Yes, I know it’s much lower than they requested, but it is progress, right?” He beamed as if she should be grateful for the pittance.
“Progress. Right.” Molly knew by his frown that she hadn’t been successful in keeping her irritation with him from her tone. Smiling brightly to lighten the tension, she placed her hand over his, even as her stomach burned in anger and her mind screamed that it wasn’t progress so much as a way for them to keep the classes separated. He lost his frown as the car came to a gliding halt outside of a restaurant called Crave. He assisted her from the car, leading her to the door and holding it open for her to enter ahead of him.
The restaurant was made of red brick with little windows that looked out into the streets of the city. Molly felt a little thrill because the small tables she could see through the window were cozy and romantic. They entered to find a small hall lit with little candle lights along the walls and red floral wallpaper. Molly realized with glee that it must be a pre-disaster design. She loved the old fashioned designs the best because the newer ones were too static, usually done in grey tones that left much to be desired. Molly felt Luzen take her elbow, guiding her along to the podium when she stopped to look at a painting on the wall. A woman watched them approach. Molly was too busy looking around the room at tables with their white cloths and the little candle lights to notice the frown of disapproval the woman gave them.
“A table for two, please,” Luzen told the woman behind the podium when they neared it.
Molly’s attention was drawn back to the podium by her haughty-voiced reply. Molly almost felt the way the woman looked her up and then back down with contempt before turning to stare at Luzen with a sour expression.
“I’m afraid that we do not serve Slum workers here, sir.”
Luzen looked puzzled, his brow furrowed as he scratched his neck, seemingly unable to fathom the woman’s reply. Molly lips pressed into a tight line. She was so tired of being treated like she was less than others because she was born in the Slum district; it was maddeningly annoying.
“I see. Well then, where would you suggest we eat then?” he asked, his face contorted with a look of true bewilderment. Molly glared at him, her mind unwilling to accept the fact that he didn’t have a clue that it was wrong that she couldn’t eat here because of where she lived.
“That place next door serves them if you want to take her there, it’s less––” she paused. “Upscale,” she finally settled for with a sneer.
“Ah, very good, then we shall go there,” Luzen said, unfazed by the woman’s obvious snobbery. Molly was infuriated with the injustice of the treatment. She felt her teeth ache because her jaw was clenched so hard.
“Well, my dear, I had hoped to show you my favorite restaurant. But it can’t be helped. We will have a lovely dinner at the small diner next door instead.” He took her arm and began guiding her out the door. Molly wanted to protest the treatment she’d received. To rant at the woman or at the very least tell her to go to hell, but she didn’t want to ruin their night so she allowed him to lead her away instead. Her head pounded with the knowledge that Luzen hadn’t even bothered to protest the way she’d been treated.
Molly tried not to allow her anger to get the best of her. It wasn’t that he didn’t care, it was that he had been raised believing that this type of treatment of Slum district citizens was normal. It would be different when she was his wife, she was sure of it. He wouldn’t allow such insults to be levied against her once they were married. Satisfied with her train of thought and glad that she hadn’t let her mouth run away with her, she walked into the door that Luzen held for her at the diner next door.
Molly noticed immediately that it was definitely not upscale. The paint looked old with several spots that needed retouching. She had seen places in similar states of disrepair in the upper Slums, which was really the whore district. This was still better than anything the Slums had to offer, though. They walked towards the back when told by a gruff man to sit wherever. Luzen chose a booth along the wall near the small counter.
A woman in a red apron came over, barely glancing at them as she demanded, “Whatcha want?” She then seemed to remember something and said “Oh ya, the special is fish soup with crackers.”
“Hmm, Molly will be having the special and I’ll have a steak medium with potatoes, please,” Luzen replied for her, looking at the menu.
“Drinks?” the woman probed.
“Ah yes, water for the lady and I’ll have a lemonade.”
“Ten minutes then,” the waitress grunted, then turned and walked away.
A little surprised and frustrated that he hadn’t bothered to ask her what she wanted, Molly plastered on a fake smile and lectured herself that he was being polite. He was probably embarrassed about what had happened at Crave a few moments ago. She needed to relax and enjoy having real food; at least it wasn’t oatmeal.
After that the dinner seemed to be flowing smoothly. The conversation streamed naturally and everything seemed to be back on track for him to propose. The special was actually quite good, and she ate it with gusto while they talked. She laughed at a story he told about a lost part that was found on the roof of a building nearby where a parts delivery man had left it on his lunch break.
Luzen excused himself from the table after they had eaten to use the restroom. Molly sat back looking around the room at the tacky décor. It was mostly gaudy art and odd little sayings that were pinned up all around the little diner.
When she looked towards the door she saw a woman dressed in a sleek red dress and heels sitting in the booth behind theirs. She was chatting loudly with her friend. Molly tried to ignore their conversation but the woman was so loud that she couldn’t tune it out. What she heard caused anger to boil up inside her, reaching the point when she knew her mouth was going to get her into trouble because she’d had enough contempt directed her way for one night.
“Did you see her outfit? So common. If I were her, I’d be embarrassed. I can’t believe that someone let her in here. How dare they allow Slummies to eat here at a proper establishment? I bet she steals something before she leaves, and it will serve them right.”
Molly’s hands dug into the plastic table holding it so tightly that she could see her fingers turning white. Even as she lectured herself to just let it go, she knew she couldn’t. Molly took one more deep breath, trying to make herself agree that they weren’t worth it. She knew, even as she stood and moved to stand beside their table, that she was making a mistake. But she was tired of the treatment she’d been getting all night from these stuck-up people who thought they were better than her because they were born in the Hill district. She just couldn’t take any more of it without saying something.
“Excuse me, is there a problem?” Molly asked the women snidely.
Red’s face contorted into a snarl and she looked down her nose at Molly before asking coldly, “How dare you talk to me? You are not worth my time and you certainly shouldn’t be allowed in here. Let’s go, Tara. This is beyond unseemly.” Tara, a little brunette wearing three inch heels and a sheath dress in gold, glared at Molly with disdain and stood.
“Indeed, let’s leave. This place has gotten very Slum like.”
“That’s funny, that was just what I thought when the two of you entered.” Molly smiled sweetly at the brunette.
Yep, her mouth was going to get her into trouble again. She really needed to learn to put a muzzle on it.
“Well! I never. How dare…” Red screeched.
“Is there a problem here, ladies?” interrupted a gruff male voice from behind Molly, who still stood near the table the two women had vacated. A dark light of glee entered Red’s eyes as she moved around Molly and clung to the arm of the man who had spoken.
“Oh, thank goodness you’re here, sir. This creature has stolen my credits. It was horrible.” Molly had turned to look at the woman, who was simpering to the rotund man who had spoken to her and Luzen when they arrived. When he talked, the fat jowls that hung from his face wiggled. She was watching Red and didn’t notice that Tara had slipped a wallet into her pocket. Her mouth hung open at the woman’s bold-faced lie.
“Sir, that’s not true. This woman is making that up. I am not a thief,” Molly cried, outraged at their gall. Moving forward a few feet, she looked at the man who was clucking to Red, who still seemed to be distressed. Knowing that she hadn’t stolen anything, she didn’t know what the woman thought she would accomplish with this display.
“Well then, you won’t mind if he searches you, will you?” asked Tara from behind her as she moved to stand by her friend. She really should have guessed what was about to happen next but she wasn’t thinking clearly.
“Fine,” Molly replied, holding her arms out.
She was grateful that she’d left the illegal manual at work in her locker. The manager extracted himself from Red to check her pockets. He walked over, giving her a once-over with his beady little eyes before he began patting her pockets. She was surprised to see him pull a red wallet out of her lower back coverall pocket. Molly stared in open-mouthed horror at the red wallet.
How had that gotten into her pocket?
When her gaze met Red’s, she saw the delight on her face, and with a sinking feeling in her stomach she knew they had planted it on her. What was she going to do now, she wondered.
“This looks a little better than you can afford, miss,” the man growled.
Filled with horror and fear when she realized how poorly this looked, Molly stuttered, “I–I didn’t ta–take that! One of them must have slipped it into my pocket. I’m not a thie––,”
He didn’t look convinced and Molly could feel the panic inside her begin to rise. If she was arrested for stealing they would throw her outside the wall and that was a fate worse than death. Everyone knew that outside the wall was a lawless hellhole filled with criminals and murderers and Molly didn’t want to be tossed to them because these two bitches had accused her of stealing.
“That’s enough. We don’t allow thieves in here,” he interrupted gruffly, his eyes narrowing to beady slits. “Rhonda, call the guards,” he yelled to the waitress who’d served her and Luzen their dinner.
Molly watched in horror as she took out her phone to begin dialing. She was getting ready to bolt when he grabbed her arm in a bruising hold and began dragging Molly towards the back where there was a door marked employees only. She fought, pulling against his hold, still trying to explain that she had not taken that wallet.
“Wh-whats going on here?” Luzen asked, having returned from the restroom.
Molly’s shoulders sagged and she stopped fighting the man and almost began crying in relief. Luzen would get this mess straightened out. After all, he loved her. He would know that she hadn’t stolen anything and fix this mess.
“Luzen…” Molly began but was cut off by the manager’s gruff voice.
“It seems your date has robbed this woman.” The rotund man gestured towards Red, who was still pretending to cry on her friend's shoulder.
Molly almost rolled her eyes at the crocodile tears the woman was shedding. It was ridiculous and she couldn’t believe that the idiot who worked here had fallen for them. It really went to show that some men let sexy attire convince them to believe anything.
“I did not! Luzen, you know I would never steal,” she told him, outrage at the accusations levied against her evident in her tone. Tugging against the painful hold on her arm, she desperately tried to escape the man’s grip.
“My dear, I––” Luzen stared in horror at her before he looked at Red crying in her friend’s arms, seeming unsure how to respond. He shifted from one foot to the other, his face contorted with an unknown emotion. He seemed at a loss and Molly wondered how even after all the time they had spent together he was unsure how to react to this situation. It made her seriously rethink the idea of marrying him.
“I removed the wallet from her myself. She stole it,” the man holding her said, still slowly tugging her towards that door in the back.
“Look––you know I didn’t steal it, Luzen,” Molly said before crying out in pain when he tightened his hold on her arm and jerked hard. He was steadily dragging her towards that room off to the side of the counter marked employees only despite her resistance.
She saw Luzen’s eyes fall on Red, who had turned. His eyes were pinned to the front of her low cut dress. Red got an evil gleam in her eyes then before she wrapped her arms around her waist, pushing her breasts up, almost revealing her nipples. Molly couldn’t believe that the hussy was trying that trick.
Surely Luzen wouldn’t fall for that?
He stared at the woman in the red dress, watching her breasts heave with her pretend sobs. Molly watched him swallow, and she saw him subtly adjust his member that she could see was hardened. “Molly, I’m shocked. I can’t believe that you would do such a thing,” he said, never taking his eyes off those large breasts that bitch was using to ruin Molly’s life. How the hell was this even happening? How were men so stupid when it came to fancy clothing and big boobs?
Luzen seemed mesmerized by the woman’s tits and began moving toward Red, saying in a mollifying tone, “My dear, please don’t cry.”
Molly couldn’t believe that he was comforting that woman with lust in his eyes while she was getting dragged away so they could lock her up.
How dare he!
How could he say that he loved her and then look at that woman while she was in danger? Then suddenly he was looking back at her and she saw that his lip was curled with contempt. Her mind reeled as she watched him wrinkle his nose in aversion. But even that didn’t prepare her for the blow of his next words.
“I should have listened to mother about you, Molly. She insisted you Slum workers were no better than the ones who live in that squalor refusing to better themselves. And to think that I was going to ask you to meet my mother to prove that it wasn’t true. I’m disgusted.”
Luzen then took the woman into his arms, hugging her, rubbing her back and telling Red that it would be okay. Molly saw the little smile that Red hid in his shoulder as she pretended to whimper and cry like a baby. She was sure that Red could feel his hardened member pressing into her as he glued himself to her. Rage poured through her veins as she realized that this was not going to end well for her.
The sight of him pressing against another woman while she was in trouble destroyed her. Had the last months meant nothing to him? Didn’t he know her better than this? She was supposed to marry him. Her chaotic mind ran over the time they’d spent together over the past months and she was shocked that he was treating her this way. That was when she focused on his last words to her.
Wait, had he said meet his mother?
Impotent rage filled her when she realized that’s what this date tonight had been about, not as she had thought, a proposal, but meeting his mother.
How could this be happening to her? She couldn’t believe that she was being locked up all because even when she knew she should have, she hadn’t shut up and ignored the two women. How could Luzen think that she could be a thief after ten months spent as her lover?
“I’m not a thief,” Molly screamed as the manager thrust her towards the room, still holding her arm. The woman who’d been their waitress opened the door to the room, and the man shoved her towards it. She almost fell from the forceful push he gave her towards the now open door. Desperate, she glanced at Luzen again, sure she’d heard wrong. He couldn’t believe that she was a thief, could he?
When her eyes landed on Luzen her breath froze inside her chest. He was holding the woman in the red dress, patting and rubbing her back, and she was rubbing against him. Molly could hear him murmuring to her softly in a tone she knew well from their time together. Disbelief hit her hard, making her stumble when the fat cook shoved her again.
“My dear, don’t cry, I’m so sorry. This is awful. I should have listened to my mother about her. She acted so sweet. I just don’t understand––” Whatever he finished that with was lost in the shuffle as the cook shoved her into what appeared to be the cleaning closet and she stumbled, falling against a shelf.
He slammed the door as she made a mad dash towards it, only to smack against the closed door. Feelings of desperation consumed her because she had no idea what to do. She was trapped in a room with no windows and no way out except a locked door. Molly knew that she didn’t want to wait for that door to be opened by a guard. If that happened, then she was going to jail. She began screaming out her innocence as she pounded on the door.
“Let me out. I didn’t do it––please, let me out––please.”
Molly pounded her fist on the door for over ten minutes with tears streaming down her face. When her hand began to ache and she knew they weren’t going to let her out, she fell to the floor. Her voice was hoarse and her hand stung from beating on the door for so long. Her arm throbbed where the man had grabbed her and she looked at it through her tears. It was bruised already and Molly felt a hiccupping cry slip out.
Tonight wasn’t supposed to be dismal like it was turning out to be. She’d thought that she would be engaged by the end of the evening and instead she was sitting on a cold concrete floor. It didn’t look like she would be getting out of the Slums any time soon.
Molly knew that by now the guard was on their way here to pick her up and that meant she was going to be thrown into prison. She didn’t want to be thrown out of the city into the lawlessness that existed in that world. Being thrown out of the gates into a world filled with bikers and other criminals wasn’t something she could fathom.
“Please,” she begged leaning against the door, knowing no one cared, her heart filled with hopeless despair. Molly sobbed so hard her chest ached and when the guards came she was too upset to even try to escape.