Home > Saved by Him

Saved by Him
Author: Alexandra Beck







“Rivers!” my boss shouted across the diner. “Table seven is ready for you.”

“Got it,” I replied, grabbing my bus pan, spray, and rag.

Heading over to the table, I glanced around at the kids eating, laughing, and screwing around, happy to be done with school for the year. It gave me a feeling of excitement, something that simmered deep down inside of me, but not because school was out. I graduated two years before. It was because the end of that particular year meant life could finally move forward. It could finally begin to grow and develop, and so could my relationship with Emma, a relationship that had been stifled in every direction by her family, but not after graduation. After graduation, it was our future that was laid out in front of us.

“Hey, man,” Sean said, setting his bus pan in the seat, helping to clean the table. “It’s crazy in here tonight. Bet you won’t miss this a bit.”

I laughed. “Not even for a second.”

Sean shook his head. “I’m jealous, and I might miss your ass like a little. I mean, we have been best friends for basically our whole lives. And there you go, off into the sunset, heading to the west coast without me.”

I cleared the last dish from the table and started spraying it down. “Oh, you do have a heart.”

“Shhhh,” Sean replied, looking around. “Don’t let that shit get out. It could ruin my reputation.”

Chuckling, I began wiping the table. “Your secret’s safe with me. Besides, it won’t be forever. Chicago is my town, man. Eventually, when Emma’s parents have gotten over the whole running away thing, they’ll want us to come back.”

“Pffft.” Sean rolled his eyes, picking up his bin. “Stay away as long as you can. You’ve got the whole world to see.”

“Sean!” the boss yelled, whistling to us. “I know you bone heads are attached at the hip, but can you do some work? I think he’s got that one on his own.”

Sean rolled his eyes toward me. “At least you won’t have the boss yelling at you every five minutes.”

I laughed as I slung the rag over my shoulder and picked up my dish pan, heading back to the dish pit. I set the bin down and unloaded the dishes, dumping their contents in the trash and stacking them for the dishwasher. Grabbing my bin, I walked to the doorway and glanced around the room, looking for any tables ready to bus, but they were all filled with customers. I set the bin down next to me and reached in my back pocket, pulling out a folded piece of paper. I had read it a million times, but it never got old.

Mr. Gabriel Rivers,

Thank you for your application to SkySound Commercial Flight Academy. We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted and placed on our elite list of future pilots for the fall session at our beautiful California campus. To get you and your family settled, we are pleased to offer you accommodations starting the second week of June. Please let…

“Gabriel,” the boss said, pulling me from the thousandth read through of my acceptance letter.

I folded the paper quickly and picked up my bin. “Sorry, boss. Which table is ready?”

He shook his head, glancing out at the restaurant and back to me, a look of almost pity on his face. “You have a visitor. Some older rich guy asking for you at the front.”

Nerves rattled through me almost immediately. My family wasn't rich by any stretch of the imagination, and there was only one rich guy that would have anything to talk to me about. He was not someone I had any interest in conversing with; it never turned out to be a good conversation. I peeked my head around the doorway, seeing Emma’s father, Mr. Harrison, standing at the front in a suit, his hair dark with gray peppered through, his shoes shiny, and his nose sneered at his surroundings.

I sighed and shook my head. “Sorry, boss. I gotta see what he needs. It’s Emma’s father.”

He nodded, realization moving across his face. “Ah. Got it. It’s about time for your fifteen-minute break anyway, so go ahead.”

Patting his shoulder, I took a step forward, but he stopped me, his eyes shifting back and forth. “Word from the wise, don’t let no one push you around. Just saying.”

I chuckled. “Thanks, man. I’m sure he just wants to tell me about some ridiculous surprise party or something for Emma tomorrow.”

As I walked through the restaurant, taking off my apron and tossing it to Sean, I knew I was downplaying things to the boss. Mr. Harrison had never come to talk to me alone. He had barely paid attention to my existence when I was directly in front of him. Whatever he wanted to talk about, he didn’t care what my input was nor would he go out of the way to invite me to anything.

“Mr. Harrison,” I said, putting my hand out. “Everything okay?”

He turned, eyeing my hand for a moment before shaking it stoutly. “Fine, fine. Everything is fine. I’m sorry for bothering you at your…job…but I need a moment of your time.”

I nodded. “Sure, let’s step outside where it’s not so loud.”

“Yes,” he replied, sneering around before walking past me and straight out the door I was holding for him.

Sean looked at me confused. I shrugged my shoulders and mouthed, “I have no idea.”

Heading outside, I rubbed my sweaty hands down the sides of my pants and shoved them in my jean pockets. “You could have just given me a call, Mr. Harrison. I know this is pretty far from where you live.”

He waved his hand, walking with me over to the side of the building. “No trouble. I was somewhat near here for a business dinner.”

I pursed my lips and nodded, my eyes shifting around as he pulled out his phone, silenced it, and put it back in the inside breast pocket of his jacket. “So, what can I do for you?”

He pressed his lips together and sighed. “You have been dating my daughter for years now. When she first told me that she had met someone at Preston Private Academy, I was pleased. However, it would be no surprise to know that finding out you were on a scholarship by a kind charity from your family but were not in the same financial arena as the others at the school, I worried for my daughter’s future.”

I held my tongue, the whole financial crap being the base of every issue I had with him since I had met Emma. “Yes, I’m aware.”

He shrugged, looking around. “I do have to admit, you showed you cared for my daughter, you followed my rules to the letter, and in some ways, motivated her to get beyond excellent grades.”

I gave a half smile, knowing he was talking about the ultimatum he had given Emma two months after we started dating. If she didn’t keep a 4.0 or higher average each quarter, she would be grounded. Grounded meant there would be no time for her and I to spend together, keeping her locked up in either their country mansion on the weekends or the brownstone downtown during the week. It wasn’t as much motivation as it was a necessity for us to be together.

“I’m glad you feel that way, Mr. Harrison,” I replied. “I’ve supported Emma getting as good of grades as possible, experiencing as much of Preston that she could even after my graduation, and keeping focused.”

“Mhmm,” he replied, stepping closer to me. “You did.”

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