The Quarterback's Secret Baby

By: Amy Brent

Chapter 1

Amanda nearly dropped a tray of dirty dishes when an old man pinched her ass as she walked by. She ground her teeth and shot him a glare, but she kept her mouth shut. She'd complained to the boss on more than one occasion about the behavior of the customers, but Spiro didn't care about anything but the restaurant's sales at the end of the day. If a customer kept coming back week after week and spending money, then he wanted that customer treated like gold.

Not that the assholes who treated her like a piece of meat ever tipped well. She'd be lucky if he left her a dollar on the table after he left. But Spiro only cared about the amount of money he made, not what his staff made.

She dropped the dirty dishes off in the back, then printed out the check for one of her other tables. She took the long way around to drop off the check, so she could avoid walking by the perv's table again. She also noticed the perv's drink needed to be refilled, but as far as she was concerned, he could wait. Maybe if she gave him bad service, he'd stop coming back. Spiro would complain about losing a customer, but Amanda had better things to do with her time than be manhandled by someone who didn't even tip.

She dropped off the check at the other table. “Is there anything else I can get you?” she asked, keeping her fake smile on her face.

“You can give me your phone number,” the man said, winking at her.

Amanda rolled her eyes. Max was one of her regulars, and while he never got handsy with her the way some of her other customers did, he was relentlessly hitting on her. But he was at least friendly about it, and he never took it the wrong way when she shot him down, so she tried to at least have some fun with it. “My phone's probably getting shut off next week, Max,” she said, giving him a playful smirk. “Tell you what, wait until I win the lottery, then we'll see.”

He chuckled and shook his head. “You either make too many calls, or you're not being paid enough here.”

“Little of both,” Amanda said. “Mostly the latter.”

She flashed him a genuine smile as she took his empty plate. Max, at least, was a decent tipper.

She took a quick glance at her other tables. Aside from the perv needing a drink refill, it looked like everyone was doing fine. She'd have just enough time to slip out for a quick smoke.

She kept an eye out for Spiro as she cut back through the dish room and out the back door. The boss didn't much care for his employees smoking on the clock. But Spiro only paid her $2.13 per hour, which was the minimum wage when you earned the rest of your pay from tips, so she didn't really care what he thought. She ducked behind the dumpster, trying to ignore the smell as she pulled out her Parliament Menthols and lit one up. She never smoked at home, because she didn't want to expose her son to secondhand smoke, which meant she had to get her fill while she was at work.

While she was smoking, and dreading the next three hours of her shift, her phone buzzed in her pocket. She pulled it out and saw it was a text from her friend Michelle. She almost ignored it. Michelle had been a real party girl ever since high school, and had only gotten worse when she moved away for college. Whenever she stopped back in town during a school break, she wanted to go out drinking and cruising for guys. Amanda didn't have the time, between working two jobs and taking care of her son, for that kind of life. As much as she felt like a jerk for ignoring Michelle's texts half the time, she knew she just couldn't deal with being dragged out for a weekend of partying.

She read the text, already composing a response in her head. She needed to make a good excuse in order to get out of going drinking without hurting Michelle's feelings in the process. Though when she read the text, she nearly dropped her phone.

Hey, Mandy! You need to clear your plans for the weekend. I'm coming home, and guess what? I'M GETTING MARRIED!

Amanda was still staring at the text, trying to process it, when her phone buzzed again with another incoming text.

You'll be there, right? Promise you will! I need my bestie there as my maid of honor!

Amanda held her cigarette between her lips and typed out a response. She didn't see how she could get out of going to her friend's wedding, especially if Michelle wanted her to be maid of honor. Her head was spinning as she typed out her response: Holy crap! Since when are you getting married? Why such short notice? Of course I'll be there.

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