Chapter 2

Milaya knew that she was being cold, but didn't care. Serving Galactic Army men, or Diplomats was not only boring it was also demeaning. The men, especially soldiers, hadn't seen a human woman for months. And consequently, they were all over Milaya.

"Come here, baby." A graying man with bad teeth grabbed at her arm in an attempt to pull her into his lap.

After escaping his grip, she was motioned over by a younger, more attractive the first had asked if she wanted to get a drink with him in his quarters, then slapped her ass.

After a few more foiled attempts to grope her, Milaya stalked her way back to the kitchens, grabbing Isi by the arm on the way. "Those bastards," she muttered.

Isi nodded accordingly. "What'd they do this time, Mil?"

Milaya sat down on a low stool and grunted, "Groping me. Again. I swear if another one of those bulky, over muscled children touch me again, I'll." She broke off, unable to find a sufficient punishment for them men.

"Oh calm down," Isi rolled her black eyes and leaned against a dirty, tiled wall. "It's not like they're that ugly." Leave it to Isi to only think about their looks. "And besides," she continued. "They do tip rather well."

She did have a point. The men that Milaya served personally always found a way to leave a little extra money with her, probably hoping that she would seek them out after her shift was over. And while she was glad for the money, it didn't make up for the groping and humiliation.

Suddenly tired of it all, Milaya untied her apron and flung it at Isi. "If it sounds so fun to you," she said, half teasing. "Why don't we just switch places for the night?"

Isi's eyes widened at the suggestion, then she slowly nodded and reached for the cloth apron. But, after putting it on, she yanked it off. "Why do you wear this?" She shook her head in surprise. "It practically comes up to your neck!" She threw the thing on the floor as if it had offended her.

Milaya merely raised an eyebrow at the question, assuming it was rhetorical. Isi laughed at her and pulled her own shirt down dangerously low. "I'm here to serve you now, Mister Admiral, Sir," she said in a sultry voice then laughed.

Milaya sighed at my friends antics, then left the kitchen to go man the bar. Let Isi have the fun. She was tired of it all.

Serving drinks wasn't as hard as it might seem. Most of the customers simply pressed their currency cards to the table, and barked out their preferences. If it was something simple, the machine under the counter just picked up on their vocals and prepared it. All Milaya had to do was hold out a cup and then hand it over.

But sometimes, things were more complicated, then she had to add things into the premade drinks or sometimes ask the kitchen for a special ingredient. Several times, after a particularly difficult order, she was glad that she wasn't in an alien bar. If human tastes were this varied then, alien tastes would be limitless.

Then, a hooded man strode up to the bar and coughed to catch Milaya's attention. "Excuse me," he said, leaning in close, "Do you know where I might find a female named Milaya?"

Milaya almost dropped the glass she was holding and turned to the man, hoping that he didn't have a picture of her. "Who wants to know?" She tried her best to put on a carefree tone.

The man leaned closer and shoved some currency her way. "Look, sweetheart, it's important. Just tell her that it's a friend."

Milaya was very wary of this man, who had pushed much too much money at her. "I," she stumbled, letting some of her red hair fall over her face. Maybe that would help hide her. But then again, there weren't many redheads around the bar.

"Who you looking for?" The voice of Jarl, the owner of the bar, called out, deep and booming.

Milaya took the opportunity to drop a glass on the floor, spilling the liquid inside. She quickly bent over with a curse and slowly cleaned it up while Jarl spoke with the man.

"I'm uh, looking for Milaya. She works here, or so I was told." The man's voice was lower now that he had turned to face Jarl.

"Oh, yes, she works here." Jarl's voice was always loud. Milaya was glad that is voice matched his physique. Not many men were willing to pick a fight with such a tall and broad man as Jarl.

"Could you tell me where she is?" The other man had earnest greed in voice.

Jarl grunted. "She should be working over there. With those army men. But, I wouldn't bother her unless it was very important."

Milaya could practically hear his grin. "Trust me, it is. Thank you for the help." She heard his footsteps moving away, then took a breath and stood up again.

Jarl was standing speechless, staring at a wad of currency in his hand. His broad mouth was open revealing perfect teeth that were meant for smiling. He stared for a long minute before he looked up and saw Milaya.

"Jesus!" He hissed and looked back to where the man had gone. Then, in an instant, he had his hand on Milaya's wrist and pulled her back into the kitchen. As soon as the door was closed, he cornered her.

"Jesus," he repeated. "Jesus Christ, Mil, what was that about? What the hell have you gotten yourself into?"

Milaya looked at him. "I, I don't know," she whispered. "He just asked for me. And I, I hid under the bar." She felt about as confused as Jarl looked, with his face scrunched up like a prune.

"Where's Isi?" Jarl realized.

With a sigh, Milaya explained. "We switched places. She's with the Army men now."

Jarl cursed loudly, causing several of the kitchen staff to look up. "Do you know how much money he gave me?" Jarl leaned in very close.

Milaya shook her head. "No."

The man placed a hand on her shoulder. "Quite a lot. That is to say, enough to keep this place running for half a cycle." Jarl shook his head in disbelief again. "Are you sure you didn't get into something, Mil?"

"What about Isi?" She finally asked.

Jarl nodded but held out his hand as Milaya tried to follow him out of the kitchen. "I don't think so." He said. "If he wants you that badly, you'd best stay put. I can handle Isi."

Milaya agreed with him, but didn't say so. Instead she put up a little more resistance before finally giving in. "But."

"Look, Mil," Jarl said gently, "Don't worry about me. Hell, don't worry about Isi. I haven't met a Rakiish girl yet who couldn't take care of herself." And then Jarl pushed out of the kitchen, with promises that the man would be thrown out and Isi would inside the kitchen in a jiffy.

Milaya had to agree with it. Sometimes she forgot that Isi was a Rakiish, a race with superior strength and reflexes. And so she relaxed a tiny bit, convincing herself that it would all be alright. But then, the screaming started.