Lacey swiveled into the server’s station, grabbing a tray and topping it off with glasses, then tossing in some ice. While some might have needed to glance at their order pad to remember all five drinks requested, Lacey was experienced enough to recall them perfectly. Plus, they’d all ordered soda, so if she got one wrong she could just say the syrup was low in the machine and that accounted for the odd flavor.
“Hey,” Brooklyn said, sidling up next to Lacey and grabbing a stack of napkins. “Where are your trainees?”
“Vince is making salads and Mary is checking on the food for table seventeen,” Lacey replied.
“Lucky dog, I wish they’d give me the free labor,” Brooklyn complained. The bright yellow contacts in her eyes, paired with her frilly costume, made her look something like a chesty Big Bird.
“Maybe if you stop showing up late or asking to be cut early they’ll consider you for a trainer,” Lacey pointed out.
“Yeeeeeeah but then I’d have to stop showing late and asking to be cut early,” Brooklyn countered, flashing a wide smile. Work ethic aside, the girl could charm a table into five add-ons apiece, which was likely why she’d managed to stay employed. “Also, you should tell your guy that a muscle suit and a wig is kind of overkill.”
“I did, actually,” Lacey replied, sloshing the last cup full of fizzing liquid and setting it on the tray. “Turns out he’s just wearing a wig. The body is all him.”
Brooklyn let out a sound from her throat that reminded Lacey of last time she’d worked a double and been ravenously hungry. “That is pretty impressive. I’m not big on the dopey ‘aw shucks’ look, but I might be able to make an exception.”
“I know, right? If I were into that sort of thing he’d be sex on a stick,” Lacey agreed. “Oh well, at least he seems like the type who’ll pick up shifts if you give a good sob story.”
“That’s something,” Brooklyn concurred, snagging a handful of straws and heading back to her tables.
* * *
Vince got his first solo table before Mary, an elderly couple who were very polite, if a bit indecisive on what they wanted to order. By this point, he’d shadowed Lacey long enough that he wasn’t put off, making careful suggestions and giving them ample breathing room to discuss what sounded good. He spent his free time continuing to help Lacey, not that she seemed to need it, but he didn’t see the harm in practicing the basics as much as he could.
Mary’s table came half an hour later, when Vince was in the back working as a de facto food runner. She recognized one of her guests from across the restaurant, even sitting among a sea of people. Alice Adair was a woman who would stand out in an avalanche; she practically glowed in the surroundings of a mere restaurant. The girl across from Alice, however, wasn’t familiar to Mary. It wasn’t until she arrived at table and opened her mouth to greet them, then noticed the small woman squirming and blushing uncomfortably, that everything clicked into place.
“Camille?” Had Lacey been present, Mary would have been docked points for not giving the proper Supper with Supers greeting, however her reaction was quite understandable.
Camille’s pale blonde hair had been cut, trimmed, and styled to compensate for the burned portions. This resulted in a short, semi-spiky look that would likely have been more fitting on a girl sporting tattoos and face piercings. Credit to Anastasia’s skills, no one looking at Camille would imagine she’d just lost some locks in a fire. Not to mention, it accentuated the sharp, comely features of her face, making her all the prettier.
Had it just been the hair, Mary might not have been so shocked, but it seemed Alice had gone all out in making the girl over. Her face was made-up so expertly that she scarcely seemed to be wearing any product, yet her features were more accentuated than they would normally be. Add in the carefully applied eye-shadow, the stylish green sundress, and the accessories like earrings, and it was as though there was an entirely different girl sitting before Mary. An incredibly pretty one, at that.
“Right reaction,” Alice surmised. “Just the wrong person.”
“What happened?” Mary had made no attempt to recover from her momentary shock.
“Did Vince tell you about the hair thing?” Camille asked.
“Alice took me to get it fixed. While we were out, she sort of… kept going.” Camille gave a small shrug and demure smile that would have set Mary’s heart fluttering if she played for a different team.
“She was quite the trooper,” Alice added. “She gave input, helped pick things out, and didn’t try to sneak off when I left her in a dressing room. Unlike some people.”
The “some people” in question was still standing there, clutching an order pad. Mary had never been enthusiastic about Alice’s makeover attempts, but looking at Camille she found herself wondering how Alice could make her look. Camille was always a good looking girl; right now she was downright beautiful. If anyone in that restaurant had been told that mere hours before this girl had beaten the hell out of two men who shrugged off bullets, they’d have laughed themselves hoarse. Which, of course, is just a tiny part of what made a Super like Camille so dangerous.
“I might be more accommodating next time,” Mary said at last.
“If there is a next time,” Alice warned playfully. “Anyway, what’s this joint got to eat?” She pulled up a menu and began perusing the options.
Before Mary could speak about the specials, a silver-haired young man in a fluttering blue cape arrived at the table, basket of rolls in hand.
“Here you are folks,” he said, setting them in the center of the table. “Fresh from the oven.” Given the other two baskets in his free hand, it seemed Vince was currently making a loop to ensure all the customers had received bread.
“Thank you very much,” Camille said, daintily picking up one of the still steaming pieces of bread.
“It’s my plea- Camille?” Vince’s eyes grew wide and his hands grew clumsy, nearly sending both baskets sprawling to the floor. Two years of HCP training and a lifetime of martial arts allowed him to snag them in mid-air, but his eyes never left the pale-blonde girl sitting in front of him.
“Now that was more what I was hoping for,” Alice said, a wicked smile barely concealed behind her menu.