The best ride of my life

Chapter One

In the town of Dursley on one of the coldest nights of the year, an apartment building stood tall. Inside one of the apartments, lights illuminated all around a woman on a small grey couch. Her legs dangled over the arm of the chair as she sat reading a magazine. She wore shorts and a vest, her typical night wear. It wasn't long before a man joined her in the room. The man was fully dressed. He wore a security uniform with the name 'Trey' etched on his shirt.

"Mel, I'm headed out" Trey mentioned.

"Ok. Did you get your lunch?" Mel inquired, not looking up from her magazine.

"Yeah."

"I made your favourite. Cheese and ham sandwiches" she told him.

"I saw. I'll be back around two am" he said. He walked over and she flinched slightly. Taking her magazine off her, she looked up at him. Crouching down so he was eye level to her, he placed his hand on her thigh and rubbed gently.

"I'm sorry about the fight we had earlier" Trey apologised.

"It's fine. It was my fault."

"I'll make it up to you when I come back, ok?" Mel nodded in agreement. Grabbing the back of her head, he pulled her in for a kiss. As he pulled away to look at her, his hand started to rub her thigh more vigorously.

"I really want to stay here and show you how much I love you" he said.

"You have to work" she reminded him.

"I know." He gave her another kiss and took off out the door. As soon as he left, she shot up and looked out of the window. A few minutes later, she saw him get into a taxi and watched as it left. Suddenly, she started rushing around and started to pack a bag. She shoved a bunch of clothes inside and went to the back of her closet. She quickly changed into some jeans and a jumper. At the back was a loose wood panel under her shoes. She removed her shoes from on top of the panel and slid them on. As she lifted off the panel, she uncovered a jar with a lot of money inside. Placing it in the bag, she headed out the door. A taxi had taken her to the train station. She got her a ticket and ran down to the platform to catch the train before it could leave. Hopping on the train, she sat down letting out a sigh of relief. As the train started to move, her eyes fluttered closed.

A few hours later, Melanie had been woken up by the conductor. He gently shook her and she shot up.

"Miss, this is the last stop" the conductor told her. Looking outside, the name Moordale was written on the sign at the station. She thanked him for waking her and left the train. As she walked around the town, everywhere seemed quiet. She had forgotten how late it was and looked around for a hotel. On the corner, she had noticed the hotel and went to look for a price. Looking in the window, she saw the hotel prices written down on a piece of cardboard. The opening times to check in had also been on the list. It was too late for her to check in now. She sighed and continued to look around. As she travelled deeper into the town, she noticed a bar with its lights still on and a sign saying 'Room for rent' on it. Entering the bar, she saw no one in sight and looked around the room. In one corner, a wall stood with a ton of pictures hung on it. She stood looking at the pictures. In one picture, a man with shoulder length jet black hair stood. He was standing behind the bar, pulling on the beer tap. Underneath the picture, it read 'Johnny at the grand opening'. It wasn't long before a shadowy figure in one of the pictures had startled her. She spun round to see the very same guy in the picture standing in front of her now.

"Can I help you?" he asked.

"Hi. I saw a sign outside saying that there is a room for rent. I would like to rent it if I could" she replied.

"It's two hundred for the month" he mentioned.

"That's pretty cheap" she pointed out.

"Yeah well not many people want to live on top of a bar. You sure you going to be staying that long?"

"What makes you say that?"

"Well you only have one bag and people don't usually move here. It's sort of a place to stop at for the night" the guy pointed out.

"Well you're wrong. I'll be staying for the month."

"Alright. I expect the money up front" he muttered.

"Sure" she said and dug through her bag. Walking over to where he stood, she grabbed the money and slammed it down on the bar. Taking it off the side, he slipped it into his back pants pocket.

"Ok. Let me show you the room." He motioned her to follow him and she obliged.

As he walked up the stairs, she followed him close behind.

"Just so you know if you leave before the month is up, you will not get any of the money back" he told her.

"That's fine" she mumbled. As soon as they reached the top of the stairs, he moved down the hallway to the left. Approaching a door, he fished in his pocket and pulled out a key. He unlocked the door and opened it. Inside the room, the walls were a plain white and in the centre was a double bed. The bed was the only furniture in the room. On the left was a window with no curtains and on the opposite side against the wall was a closet.

"It's um- nice" she said.

"You can do what you want with it, but you have to take whatever you get with you when you go. My room is at the end of the hallway and the bathroom is the one right next to it on the left. You will have to share, so no long showers ok?" he explained.

"Sure. I don't usually take long showers. I'm a quick in and out girl" Mel pointed out.

"Good to know."

"Can I ask why you are open so late?"

"There are usually a few strays who come in at this time, so rather them beat down my door I let them in. Can I ask you why you are coming here this late?"

"My train got delayed" she lied.

"Right. Well if there's nothing else-"

"Actually, there is" she interrupted.

"I was wondering if you know anyone in town who is hiring? I need a job" she added.

"You can work here if you like. I am in need of a new dishwasher, but I do pay in cash. I don't bother with banks and all that."

"Cash works for me. When do you want me to start?"

"Whenever you want."

"How about tomorrow?"

"Yeah alright. We open at twelve noon, but it doesn't get busy to start with. You can start at one" he said. Just as he was about to leave, she stopped him by taking hold of his arm. He looked down at her hand and looked back up to her eyes. She removed her hand and folded her arms across her chest.

"I'm sorry, I just didn't imagine this would be so easy. You let me rent the room and now you are giving me a job. I mean, I could be a killer or a thief for all you know" she mentioned.

"Are you?"

"No."

"Good. Now that we have got that cleared up. Goodnight" he said.

"Don't you want to know anything about me?" she wondered. He once again stopped in his tracks.

"What's your name?" he inquired.

"Melanie. Melanie Richmond."

"I'm Johnny Danes. Owner of all this" Johnny said, motioning to the building.

"Nice to meet you" Melanie uttered, holding out her hand.

"Likewise" Johnny mumbled and took her hand to shake it. After introducing each other, Johnny said goodnight for the final time and took off down the hall.

Meanwhile in Dursley, Trey had returned from his job. As he made his way inside, he slowly removed his clothes and made his way to the bedroom where he expected Mel to be waiting. When he got to the bedroom, the only thing he wore was his boxers.

"Mel I'm back. Ready for me to make you-" he stopped as he saw she wasn't in bed. He called out, but got no reply. An angry scowl formed on his face as he searched the entire apartment. Melanie was nowhere to be found. Walking over to his night stand, he grabbed the laptop off the side and started it up. Once it had fully started, he typed in his password and the start screen flickered on. There was an icon in the top left hand corner of the screen that looked like a camera. As he clicked it to open, the screen showed a video of him of what he was doing right at this minute. Clicking on recordings, he pressed play from the time he left for work that night to now. As it played, he saw Melanie preparing her bag and leaving the apartment. His jaw tightened as his anger grew.

"Stupid bitch!" he yelled and slammed the laptop into the wall.

The next day in Moordale at five to twelve, Johnny was already up and taking down the stools from on top of the bar. Once all the stools had been removed, he began wiping down the bar. He'd finished wiping down half of it when he heard footsteps coming from the stairs. Melanie had entered the bar and wished Johnny a good morning.

"You're a little early coming down, aren't you?" he questioned.

"Well I figured I could help with wiping down the tables or something."

"Look Mel, I know most employers love the eagerness to work from their employees, but I'm not one of those employers. So either go back up stairs until your shift starts or go get some lunch" Johnny ordered.

"Fine. I guess I will go get some lunch" Mel agreed and took off out the door.

Nearly an hour later, Melanie had returned from her lunch and took a seat at the bar. There was a few customers inside. As she looked around, Johnny come out from the back.

"How was your lunch?" Johnny wondered. She turned in her stool to face him.

"It was nice. So, can I start working yet?" she asked.

"Wait five minutes and then you can start" he told her.

"You want a drink while you wait? I don't mind you drinking on the job, just don't let it affect your work" Johnny offered.

"Um I'll take a diet coke" she said.

"Alright" he muttered and started to prepare the drink. Placing it down on the beermat, he grabbed a straw and poked it passed the ice cubes. Suddenly, a blonde walked in through the front with a black shirt that said Johnny's on it in green with a black skirt to match. Her name tag read 'Kiki' on it.

"Kiki, you are over an hour late. Where the fuck have you been?" Johnny asked the blonde.

"I had to get my nails done. Katrina botched them yesterday, so I had to get them redone" Kiki replied.

"You pull this shit one more time and I'm going to fire your ass" he warned.

"Come on Johnny. Don't be like that" she groaned.

"This is your last warning" he said. Kiki huffed and put her coat on one of the hooks at the side of the bar. She grabbed her apron out of her bag and began to tie it round her. Another woman came in soon after wearing the same thing.

"Hey Johnny. I'm sorry I'm late. Kayla had a swimming competition" the woman mentioned.

"No problem Daniella. Just try to get here a little earlier next time" Johnny told her. As Daniella removed her coat and started to put on her apron. Kiki looked on in shock.

"Are you fucking kidding me? I get tore a new one, then she comes in late and you are fine with that?" Kiki snapped.

"Daniella is a single mother and had a reasonable explanation, whereas you just come in late for the sake of it. Now get to work" he argued. She sighed and stormed off into the back. Johnny looked back at Melanie, who was looking in his direction.

"She seems nice" Melanie uttered.

"Yeah a nice pain in my ass. I swear if the customers didn't adore her, I would have fired her months ago."

"Right, I guess you can start work now. Come on I'll show you where you will be working" Johnny said and took her through to the kitchen.

Inside the kitchen, Melanie heard music. Wandering further inside, she saw a guy flipping burgers and dancing to the beat. He turned around to see Johnny and immediately stopped dancing. He turned off the music and stood with his hand on his hip.

"Johnny, I can't make magic happen when you are watching me" the guy said.

"Ramone, this is Melanie. She's the new dishwasher" Johnny said introducing her.

"Melanie, this is Ramone. He's our chef" Johnny told her.

"Hey I am not just a chef. I am the chef. One of the best in the whole of Moordale" Ramone corrected him.

"Nice to meet you" Melanie said and took his hand shaking it. Looking down she saw his apron, it was tiger print and the words 'eye of the tiger' etched in the pattern.

"Nice apron" she complimented.

"Thank you. I bought it myself, because Mr tight ass over here wouldn't give me one" Ramone said, motioning to Johnny.

"Ramone, I gave you an apron" he corrected him.

"Yeah a raggedy white one. Like I am going to wear that" Ramone argued. Johnny shook his head in disbelief.

"So you are the new dishwasher? Wonder what happened to the other one?"

"I had a slight disagreement with it" Johnny confessed.

"You broke it you mean?" Ramone said.

"Just show her where everything is and get back to work" Johnny ordered and left the kitchen. As he left, Ramone saluted to him as soon as he was out of sight. A slight smile formed on Melanie's face.

A few hours had passed by and Melanie was still in the kitchen working. As it had got hotter, she had tied her hair up in a pony tail. Wiping the sweat from her brow, she placed another plate onto the side. Johnny soon came through to grab another case of beer, but stopped as he looked at Melanie in confusion.

"Melanie? What are you still doing in here? Thought I told you to have a break" Johnny questioned.

"I will in a minute. I just need to finish the last of these" she replied.

"Melanie, do I look like a goddamn slave master to you? Take your break" he ordered.

"Fine" she huffed, dropping a plate back into the water. She left the kitchen and headed for the bathroom. Johnny shook his head and grabbed a case of beer.

"Hey Johnny" Ramone called out, stopping him from leaving.

"What?" he said, rolling his eyes at him.

"Now that you mentioned it. I kind of feel like you do look a little like a slave master, especially around the eyes" Ramone joked.

"Ramone cut the shit and get back to work" Johnny snapped and headed out of the kitchen.

"Oh yes master. Of course master. I'm sorry, please don't get the whip out master" Ramone pleaded, bowing to him like someone would to a king.

"You're not funny" Johnny called back.

As Johnny came back around the bar, a guy walked through the front door. His hair was black and looked like it had been slicked back with some kind of gel. The boots he wore matched the colour of his hair. Blue jeans accompanied with a grey shirt and a black leather jacket completed his outfit. As he walked over to the bar, Johnny seemed to know him instantly.

"Hey Darius, how's it going?" Johnny said. He gave the guy a fist bump and pulled him in for a slight hug as he leaned over the bar. Stepping away from the hug, the guy sat down on one of the bar stools. Johnny opened a beer bottle and placed it on the beer mat in front of him.

"Thanks Johnny. I needed this" Darius uttered.

"No problem. You only just come back to town?" Johnny wondered.

"Yeah about an hour ago." Darius mentioned and placed some money on the bar to pay for the beer. With a heavy sigh, Darius spun around on his stool to see a guy dressed almost exactly the same as him. He was surrounded by a few other guys who dressed like him and some of the female waitresses from in the bar. Leaning his arm against the bar, he looked on looking not the least bit surprised that he was here. Shaking his head, he walked over to them.

"So, how long has your sorry ass been sitting there?" Darius said to him.

"Yo, D! You're back" the guy stated.

"Yeah that I am. How have you been?" Darius inquired.

"Good. Glad you come back bro. Now come and introduce yourself to these beautiful women."

"I've met them before Charlie. They are the same waitresses who serves us every time we come here" Darius pointed out.

"Well hell come get reacquainted then" Charlie ordered.

"Come on make some room for my brother" he said to one of the men sat at the side of him. The guy obliged and Darius took his place. Charlie placed his arm around him and they clinked their beer bottles together.

"Hey Johnny, more beer over here" Charlie called out, while Darius took a swig of his beer.

Exiting the bathroom, Melanie sneakily slid back through to the kitchen to get back to work. As she put her gloves on, Ramone popped up at the side of her.

"Weren't you meant to be on a break?" he asked.

"I did have a break. I went to the bathroom" she told him.

"No. Bathroom breaks are completely different from regular breaks. Johnny is gonna kill you if you don't take a break" Ramone mentioned. Ramone headed back to the cooker and flipped burgers that were sat on the grill. She sighed and just as she was about to leave, Kiki came bursting through the door and rushed to the mirror at the back of the room.

"Damn Kiki, where's the fire?" Ramone shouted.

"He's here Ramone" Kiki squealed as she tried to put on some lipstick.

"He who?" he asked.

"Only the most amazing, most hottest guy to ever walk this earth obviously" Kiki said. She adjusted her shirt to create more cleavage and rubbed away the extra lipstick from the corner of her mouth with her finger.

"Bradley Cooper is here? Damn I want to meet him" Ramone remarked.

"No. Not Bradley Cooper you idiot. Darius" Kiki corrected.

"Darius Walker? That little trouble maker is back in town?" Ramone muttered. Kiki moved away from the mirror and scoffed at his response.

"Darius Walker is anything, but little ok. He is the most beautiful, strong well endowed specimen of a man I have ever met" Kiki boasted.

"If you say so. Before you go out, you might want to get rid of the lipstick on your teeth" Ramone pointed out.

"What?" she worriedly asked. Rushing over to flash her teeth in the mirror, she saw no lipstick. She shot Ramone an annoyed glance and Ramone grinned in return.

"You're an ass Ramone" she said and stormed off.

"Lord here we go. Darius Walker back in town. That's all we need" he announced.

"Who's Darius Walker?" Melanie inquired.

"He's the local bad boy. All the girls are hooked on him. He and his brother Charlie are part of Mullins crew" he explained.

"Mullins crew?"

"It's a bikers gang. It's like an episode of sons of anarchy, but without all the crime."

"They dangerous?"

"A little. I prefer to keep my distance. I suggest you go have a real break before Johnny comes in again" Ramone said and continued to flip the burgers. Melanie rolled her eyes and removed her gloves putting them on the side. She took off out the kitchen.

Outside of the kitchen, Melanie sat down on one of the stools outside. Johnny walked over and placed a diet coke in front of her. She thanked him and took a sip. With a sigh, she let her hair down and ran her fingers through it. Across the room, Darius had noticed her the minute she walked into the room. He leaned forward placing his arms on top of his thighs and his hand dangled from in between his legs. He watched her in awe. Too engrossed in her, he didn't hear what Charlie had just asked him.

"Hey D!" Charlie shouted, knocking Darius out of his trance.

"What?" he said, not tearing his eyes away from her.

"You want another beer?" Charlie asked.

"Yeah. Who's that?" he asked, motioning to Melanie. Charlie looked in the direction of Melanie.

"Not a clue. She's hot though."

"Yeah. She is" Darius agreed. Charlie then called Johnny to come over. Johnny walked over and Darius still continued to stare at her.

"Who is she?" Charlie wondered. Johnny looked over to see he was talking about Melanie.

"That's Melanie Richmond. She came here last night. She's renting the room upstairs" Johnny informed them.

"She just walked out of the kitchen though" Darius mentioned.

"She also works here. She's the new dishwasher."

"Dishwasher? Damn Johnny anyone that hot should be serving our drinks" Charlie pointed out.

"Get her to come over and say hello" he added.

"Charlie I don't want you knocking up anymore of my waitresses, ok" Johnny argued.

"We just want to welcome her to town." Johnny sighed and walked over to Melanie.

"Hey, the guys over there want to welcome you to town. Go say hello" he told her. Melanie looked over to see them both smiling at her.

"Do I have to?" she asked, looking back at Johnny.

"Yeah. If you want to keep your job" he warned. Rolling her eyes, she stood up.

"Low blow Johnny" she said and walked over to them.

As she walked over, her heart beat faster than usual. She stood in front of the table and folded her arms across her chest.

"Hello" she muttered.

"Hello yourself sweetheart" Charlie said.

"My name's Melanie, not sweetheart" she informed him. Darius smirked at her response.

"Alright. Welcome to Moordale. My names Charlie. It's a pleasure to meet you" he replied.

"Wish I could say the same" she muttered under her breath.

"This is my brother Darius" Charlie told her, pointing in his direction. Her eyes shifted to Darius and he smiled in return.

"Hey Mel" he said.

"Melanie" she corrected him.

"You don't like nicknames?" Darius questioned.

"I don't know you well enough for you to give me a nickname" she shot at him.

"Perhaps we can change that. How about a drink? I'll buy" he offered.

"No I'm good. I have to get back to work anyway" she said and left. Darius bit his bottom lip and watched her ass as she walked away.

Walking back into the kitchen, Melanie made her way over to the sink. Before she had a chance to put on her gloves, someone appeared behind her and made her jump. She turned and was face to face with Darius. Ramone stood chopping up tomatoes, being the quietest he's ever been.

"What are you doing in here? You can't be in here" she told him.

"It's fine. Johnny doesn't mind me being back here" Darius informed her.

"Well I do, so leave" she ordered.

"Thought I could help you with your work and then maybe we can have that drink" he volunteered.

"It's my first day. I don't need or want any help from you. I especially don't want to have a drink with you" she rejected.

"Why not? Most girls in this town would be happy for me to offer them a drink" he grinned.

"Well I'm not most girls."

"I'm sensing that" he whispered.

"So, you a lesbian or something?" Darius questioned. She laughed in disbelief.

"Yes I'm a lesbian. A super lesbian. Now leave me alone" she lied and turned away towards the sink. Suddenly, he turned her to face him and pulled her in for a kiss. As his lips slammed down onto hers, she looked bewildered. Pulling away from the kiss, he had the cheesiest grin on his face.

"That's funny. You don't taste like a lesbian" he uttered. Without hesitation, she slapped him hard across his face. Her slap wiped the grin of his face. Caressing his face, he let out a little laugh.

"Get out" she said.

"Ok. I'll leave you alone for now." She turned towards the sink as he turned to leave.

"By the way, I love the way you taste" he admitted before he left the room. She rolled her eyes at him and held onto the sink out of fear that she would faint right there.

"Looks like Darius has found someone new to occupy his time" Ramone commented. Slamming down her gloves, she turned to face him.

"How could you just stand there and watch me get violated like that?" she growled at him.

"Honey, that's Darius Walker. I'm not spending days in the ICU to stop him from getting what he wants and from the looks of it, he wants you" he snapped back.

"Well he's not going to get me. I don't like violent guys like that" Melanie admitted.

"He's not that violent" Ramone muttered.

"You just said that he would put you in the ICU if you stopped him from kissing me" she reminded him.

"I'm guessing that's what would happen. I don't know for certain if he would do that."

"Ugh Ramone" she said and left the room.

"What? What did I do?" he called out.