My Hockey Alpha chapter 9 by Werewolf

Chapter 9: An Unwelcome Customer

Chapter 9: An Unwelcome Customer


Enzo didn’t seem to recognize me right away with my uniform and my hair pulled back. He came in and sat down at the counter while I was pouring coffee for another customer, which I nearly spilled all over the table out of shock.

My hands trembled as I approached the counter. Was he following me, or was this just a coincidence? Now, more than ever, I regretted ever sleeping with him. Why must he insist on playing with my feelings like this? Couldn’t he just move on to the next girl?

I walked behind the counter and immediately turned my back to him, pretending to fiddle with the coffee

“Hi, Nina.”

So he did recognize me.

I took a deep breath and turned around to face him.

“What are you doing here?”

Enzo looked around and gestured a bit with his hands. “What do you mean? It’s a diner. I’m hungry.”

I frowned and folded my arms across my chest. “You and I both know that you could have gone to any other restaurant in town, and you chose this one. Are you following me or something?”

Enzo shook his head. “Can I just get a menu, please?”

With a huff, I grabbed one of the laminated menus from behind the counter and tossed it down in front of him.

Just then, my boss came out of the back. He was a kind old man named Phil. He walked with a cane, but his mind was sharp and his hearing was even sharper.

“I hope you’re not being rude to a customer, Nina,” he said.

“No, I-” I started, but Phil cut me off when he saw Enzo.

“Oh!” he said. “Enzo Rivers! Welcome.”

Enzo smiled not smirked, but genuinely smiled for the first time since I met him. He looked handsome when he smiled, and suddenly I had a flash of a memory from Friday night in his bed. I blushed and looked at the floor.
“Is Nina being harsh?” Phil asked.

Enzo shook his head. “No. She’s just surprised to see me, that’s all.”

“Hm.” Phil looked up at me then and winked before hobbling off to go count the register while Enzo scoured the menu.

“What do you recommend?” Enzo asked. He glanced up from the menu. His brown eyes were captivating, but I tried not to let them get to me.

I shrugged, somewhat annoyed at his question. He was clearly trying to get me to talk to him more than I needed to, but Phil was watching and I couldn’t be rude in front of my boss.

“I like the grilled cheese,” I muttered.

“A grilled cheese sounds good right now,” Enzo said, handing back to me. “And some fries. Oh, and a soda.”

I pursed my lips together into a sarcastic smile and snatched the menu away, ignoring Phil’s dissatisfied glare, then retreated to the kitchen to put in Enzo’s order. I hid back there while the cook made his food.

My hands still shook a bit as I carried the plate of hot food back out to the counter. I set it down in front of Enzo, then filled up a glass with ice and root beer for him.

“Mm,” Enzo said, his mouth full after. taking a bite of grilled cheese. “This is good… Thanks for the recommendation.”

“You’re… welcome.” I replied when I looked over to see Phil glaring at me from the register. While Enzo ate, I busied myself with pouring coffee for other customers and clearing tables. I always felt Enzo’s eyes on me as I worked, but whenever I turned around, he only seemed to be looking at his phone and his food. It was unsettling to feel like I was being watched, only to find out that I wasn’t being watched at all. I chalked it up to Enzo making me nervous, but it felt like there was something else at play here.

When Enzo was finished, he waved me over.

Thank god, I thought to myself. He’s leaving.

Enzo handed me a wad of cash, which I took to the register to get his change.
Much to my dismay, he followed me to the register; not that that was out of the ordinary for customers, but I guess that I hoped he would keep his distance.

As I counted it, something fell out.

It was a VIP ticket to a hockey game.

“What’s thi-”

“Hey, Nina!” Jessica’s voice suddenly rang through the restaurant. I had completely forgotten that we had planned to meet up at the end of my shift, which

was almost over. I nervously clutched the ticket in my hand as she approached the counter and sat down. When she sat down and looked over, she nearly jumped out of her skin as she finally noticed that none other than Enzo was standing across from me at the register. “Oh, Enzo!” she exclaimed, jumping up and primping her hair. “What are you doing here?” “Just visiting,” Enzo replied. I crumpled the ticket tighter into my hand, my face going red with a mixture of embarrassment and rage. Jessica looked at me, then at my hand, then back at Enzo.

“Actually,” Enzo said, reaching into his pocket, “I have another VIP ticket. Here. Now you can both come to the game and get the best seats.” He held out the ticket for Jessica, whose eyes lit up. She snatched the piece of paper gratefully with a grin on her face. I had had enough. I threw the ticket down on the counter and folded my arms. “No thank you,” I said. “I won’t be showing up to your game.” Both Jessica and Enzo looked disappointed.

“Alright,” Enzo said with a sigh. I handed him his change and he shook his head. “Keep the change. And keep the ticket just in case you change your mind.” Before I could protest, Enzo turned around and walked out of the restaurant. I could see him get on his motorcycle through the window and drive away. Jessica ran up to me with an angry look on her face, clutching the ticket like her life depended on it. “Are you crazy?” she half-whispered.

“The Enzo Rivers gave us VIP tickets to his game and you decline?” I shrugged and closed the register, sticking the tip Enzo gave me in my apron and leaving the ticket on the counter before walking away to clear off the counter. Jessica grabbed my ticket and followed me. “Nina, you have to tell me what’s going on,” she said. “I feel like you’re hiding something.”My body stiffened at Jessica’s words. There was no way I could tell her the truth; for starters, she would never forgive me for sleeping with her biggest crush. Second, I didn’t exactly want to broadcast the fact that Enzo and I had a one night stand. I wasn’t that type of girl. “Nothing’s going on,” I lied, grabbing the dirty plate and cup off the counter. “Oh, so Enzo Rivers is just inviting you to his team training match for no reason?” Jessica pried. “You seriously don’t think he likes you?” I shook my head vehemently. “No way,” I replied.

“How could he like me? I’m totally not his type. He’s just being nice after what Justin did, so the reputation of the team doesn’t get sullied.” “You really have nothing to do with him?” Jessica asked. “Absolutely nothing,”

I said. “I promise.” Jessica surprisingly seemed satisfied with this response. She let out a sigh of relief and sat back down at the counter while I took the dirty dishes into the kitchen. While I was cleaning up the dishes, Phil entered the kitchen. I could hear his cane tapping on the floor before I heard anything else.

The tapping came closer, and soon he was standing beside me. “Nina, you know I love having you here,” he said. “But your behavior tonight with Mr. Rivers was unacceptable. His patronage here could be useful for business, so I don’t want you driving him away. Understand?” I nodded, biting my lip. Did that mean that I’d have to see Enzo at the diner more often? When I was finished up and my shift ended, I grabbed my jacket and my bookbag from the back and went back out front to meet Jessica. She was beaming, but not only because of the tickets.

“The internship assignments were posted!” she said, holding out her phone. I perked up and jogged over to her, taking her phone from her hand. “Jessica Valdez, children’s hospital,” I read. Jessica squealed. My heart caught in my throat when I scrolled to my name and saw my assignment.

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