Can I Keep You

Kayla joins a hospital's high school program to convince her parents to let her go with her boyfriend to Europe. What she didn't intend on was having a hot seventeen year old patient, let alone falling for him.

Chapter Nine

Part Time Job

Maybe I should just quit.

The thought struck me as I stared down at the picture on my phone of me and Todd together, smiling, but then I envisioned us in Europe, happy and together, no one to tell us what we could or couldn't do.

I knew that was the reason why I was staying in this job, why I was so determined, but there was a brief moment I didn't think about us. I thought about Anthony, alone in his room, bored and restless as his glare drilled into the ceiling tiles above.

I shook my head. I was going to continue working at the hospital because of the trip that we had planned. I was sure, if that weren't the case, and there was nothing holding me back, I would have quit the moment I laid eyes on Anthony.

"You want me to work for you?"

Todd nodded, and I felt an odd mix of suspicion and happiness. Happy because I would get to spend more time with Todd. Suspicion because I had the feeling he was doing this because he didn't trust me. Around Anthony, that is.

"You can work Tuesdays and Thursdays," he stated. "You work at the Charity on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, right?"

I sighed. So this was about Anthony. "Todd, look." I took his hands in mine, leaning against the table. "I know you may be a bit uncomfortable with me working with Anthony, but honestly, its nothing." His fierce blue eyes told me otherwise. "We hate each other."

"It sure didn't look like that when he was laughing with you."

"At me," I corrected.

He raised an eyebrow. "And you still don't want me to beat him up?"

I laughed, shaking my head, bringing Todd closer to me. "Relax." I embraced him. "You have nothing to worry about. You can trust me–and don't you dare say, it's him I don't trust."

Todd cracked a grin, looping his fingers through my jeans. "You drive me crazy, you know that Kayla?"

"Aw, you love it though."

"Damn right." He pulled me to him roughly, kissing me, and I melted in his arms. It had been so long since we were able to just hang out, the two of us. I missed the days Todd snuck in through my window at night, and we just talked endlessly. Todd hasn't done that in years though.

"Ah, you guys sound like twins." Derek stifled a laugh as I pointed an accusing finger at Sage, seeing as we had just shared a twin moment.

She placed a hand on her hip. "I work here." She gestured to her black uniform, as if I were stupid.

I scoffed. There was no way in hell I was going to work with this girl at two jobs. I could barely stand seeing her three days a week. Now I would have to see her Monday through Friday?

"Ladies, ladies, what's wrong?" Conner acted like a referrer for us, smiling to the customers that happened to glance by.

I crossed my arms. "Todd failed to mention she worked here." It wasn't Todd's fault I guess, since he didn't know I knew Sage, but I felt betrayed in a way. Why hadn't I stopped by Todd's work more often? I felt clueless.

Sage burst out into a strange laugh, holding her sides. "Oh my God, you're Todd's girlfriend? Really?" She lifted her chin with a smirk. "Explains a lot."

"You little–"

"Ladies, there's no need to argue now." Conner took my pointed finger and patted my hand like a dog, while giving Sage a charming smile. "Let's not have a cat fight in the restaurant."

"Dude, shut up!" Derek jumped in, pulling Conner aside. "Two hot chicks fighting? I wouldn't mind seeing that."

"Shut up, Derek," Sage and I growled at the same time, before glaring at each other. God, what the hell was wrong with me?

Sage was the first to break our glowering contest with a smile. "You really outta keep that boyfriend of yours on a leash."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Was I beginning to put doubt on my mind just because Sage implied it? Yes, clearly I was.

"Oh, nothing to worry about. Unless, of course, he hasn't told you." She snickered before disappearing into the kitchen. One of these days I was going to kill that girl if she didn't watch it.

"Down girl." Conner blocked sight of the kitchen door, coming between us. "You don't want to tell Todd you got fired on your first day, do you?"

I peeked at the door. "It'll be worth it," I reasoned, imagining Sage's head dunked in dishwater.

"Hell yeah!" Derek cheered as I picked up a couple of menus and smacked him in the face.

As fate would have it, Sage and I were the last ones to close up shop. I really wasn't responsible for any broken material, as I had pointed out to Conner earlier. Todd's parents did own the restaurant after all. They could pull a few strings for me, I'm sure.

But for some reason Sage's words danced around my mind. You really outta keep that boyfriend of yours on a leash. Did she see Todd here with someone else? Was there reason to doubt why I felt so…distant from him?

Forget it, Kayla. My mind soothed. You're beginning to sound like an accusing wife. I tried to keep my suspicions down when Sage walked into the room, all smiles.

"Don't you just love the feel of being left in charge of a restaurant?" She laughed. "Send over those creeps. I can take them."

I snorted. "Yeah, if I'm lucky maybe they'll kidnap you." I didn't really care whether or not she caught that, but I had a feeling she did.

"What's your problem, raven?"

I turned to her. "What's yours?"

We glared at each other, and for a moment I had the urge to hurl the napkin dispenser at her face. The thought vanished with the sound of shattering glass.

Sage and I both duck, as if expecting the intruder to knock us both down right there. Our eyes narrowed again at our in sync actions, and I sighed.

"I don't hear anything," I noted, hiding behind the counter.

"Me neither." She bit her lip, clutching a table's leg. "Go check if he's still there."

"What? Why don't you?" I argued, and she shushed me. We both froze at the sound of crunching, like someone was walking over the glass.

Sage quickly stood, grabbing a napkin dispenser and salt shaker. She tossed me the salt.

I raised an eyebrow. "What am I supposed to do with this? Blind him?"

She rolled her eyes. "Be lucky I didn't give you the ketchup bottle." The sound of crunching continued. "We'll go together, at the count of three?" It sounded like a question.

"You go first," I insisted.

"No, you."

The sound of banging pots had us both jumping. "Together," I agreed, grabbing her hand and diving into the pitch black kitchen. I hurled the salt as hard as I could at the same time Sage threw the napkin dispenser.

There was silence, and then a scream.

"Ah!" Sage and I screamed back, when the intruder grabbed Sage's ankle. I could hear as she hit the ground, screaming for dear life.

"Hang on!" I yelled, searching the counter for a pan and swinging at the guy as hard as I could. He released several yelps.

"Wait, stop!"

I held the pan, mid swing, and Sage had stopped screaming. That voice!

I quickly felt around for the light switch and clicked it on. We gasped.

Derek was lying on the ground, face beaten and hand clasped around Sage's shoe. She shook his hand off, standing, looking from me to him and back again.

"What the hell are you doing here?" I yelled, dropping the pan.

"Ugh," he groaned in pain. "What are you trying to do, beat me?"

"You scared us!" I lifted my hands up. "And you grabbed Sage. What else was I supposed to do?" He shook his head. "Why are you here, anyway?"

"Oh my God," Sage gasped. "You were trying to scare us, weren't you?"

The blood boiled in my skin. This was a joke…

Derek gave out a forced laugh. "Always good to play a prank on the newbie, huh?"

"Oh, well if that's the case." I took a step toward Derek, making him flinch.

"Wait." Sage stopped me, sighing. "I owe you one." I blinked and she rolled her eyes. "Back there, when he got me? You didn't leave. You tried to help me."

"Oh," I said awkwardly. An apology from Sage? "Its no big deal. You would have done the same, right?"

She hesitated. "Right…Why don't we just call a truce?"

I shrugged. "I guess." We gave each other half smiles, when Derek laughed again.

"So, since I've gotten you guys to be friends, I'm off the hook right?"

I looked at Sage. "Say, why don't we celebrate our new friendship by beating Derek up?"

Sage smiled. "Yes, I believe we should."

"You better run, Derek." We laughed when he cursed and took off for the back door, holding our sides.