An Unconventional BeginningbyGoldeniangel©
AAuthor's Note: This story was written at a reader's request. Thank you for the idea and for pushing me out of my usual box! This is a stand alone short story and I do not intend to make it into chapters.
Avery flicked her eyes over at her co-worker Trevor, the two of them were often scheduled together for the late night shift at the 24 hour dry-cleaners since they were both students who took their classes in the afternoons and so could rearrange their schedules the easiest out of all of the employees. It wasn't glamorous work, but the graveyard shift paid pretty well and the owners didn't mind if they did their homework in between customers. In the city that never sleeps there weren't too many 3am customers, but it had been known to happen.
The other upside of working the late night shift was her co-worker himself. He was twenty two, just one year older than her, and freaking gorgeous. Muscular and tall, he was a 6'4" feet tall, which meant that he made her feel petite despite the fact that she was 5' 8" and taller than the average female. He had thick, wavy brown hair that he curled around the nape of his neck and the kind of ruggedly masculine features that made most of the girls on campus, Avery included, swoon whenever he walked by. The man could be making money as a model but he chose to devote himself to biochemistry instead. And work the graveyard shift at a laundry mat. Sometimes he wore geeky t-shirt too, which should have made him more approachable but it didn't.
Even though she wanted desperately to start a conversation with him, she could never bring herself to do it. Most of the time, when she tried to think about what she might say to him, she came up with nothing. After all, she was a history major with her focus on Renaissance England. He was a biochemistry major with his focus on something smart that she didn't understand and the one time she'd asked him about it had only increased her confusions, not to mention her feeling of looking like an idiot while he tried to explain to her about how some molecule attached to another molecule and... she couldn't even remember the explanation, much less why it was important to his field. Ugh.
Tonight he was wearing a "Firefly" t-shirt, which was one of her favorite tv series - even though it had been canceled (criminally) after only one season and she was dying to ask him if he was a fan, but she just couldn't bring herself to do it because after talking about the show, where would the conversation go next? No where. It would just start something that she couldn't finish and so she wasn't going to do that. Instead she contented herself with drinking in the gorgeous sight of him bent over his text book, studying in earnest. Gorgeous, smart, slightly nerdy if his t-shirts were anything to go by... the perfect man and yet he was so far out of her league it wasn't even funny.
Suppressing a sigh, she reached for her phone in her purse, thinking to text her best friend, Rose. It was something she often did while working the graveyard shift, so that at least she could gossip about how incredibly sexy Trevor was. Maybe if Rose could suggest a second topic of conversation, so that there would be something more to say after asking about his t-shirt, then Avery could get up the courage to actually try and talk to him. But her phone wasn't in its usual pocket. That wasn't entirely out of the ordinary, she usually tried to put it in the same place but sometimes she just tossed it in without thinking and then had to search for it. Hauling the large bag up onto her lap she began to dig around inside of it, as quietly as she could so as not to disturb Trevor's studying.
"Shoot," she muttered under her breath, grabbing her car keys and putting the purse down.
"Everything okay?" The deep rumble of his voice almost made her knees buckle, just as she was standing up. There should be some kind of warning bell that set off before Trevor was ever allowed to speak. He had the kind of deep, bass voice that sent vibrations through a woman's stomach, straight down to... well, places that Avery didn't have much experience with. Just his voice was as good as an orgasm. Not that any man had ever given her one of those, but she'd managed to find her own way using a vibrator. Rose had meant the gift as a joke, but Avery had gotten plenty of use out of it. Especially after she'd started working the graveyard shift with Trevor.
"Um. Fine. Yeah. Forgot my phone." Avery cursed herself for sounding like a complete moron. She was smart dammit! And friendly, if not outgoing. She should be able to have a conversation with a guy, or at least answer a question without sounding like a completely fool. Deep breath. "I um, forgot my phone. I'm just going to run out to my car to get it."
"Okay, but you'd better hurry back," he drawled. "Otherwise I might be overrun by needy customers before you get back." The wink he gave her made her stomach do all sorts of flip flop melty things as she skittered a laugh, trying to cover up the blatant desire that he might want her to hurry back because he liked her company.
"Right. Sure," she said breathlessly, and then turned to head out the back door, practically fleeing the scene.
Stupid Avery. Why would he like her company? She couldn't even talk to him.
Every time Avery was out of the room the whole atmosphere seemed to lose a little bit of its luster. Trevor sighed, feeling frustrated and pathetic. They'd been working together for months but she barely noticed him. He admired how studious she was, but he wished that she was just a little bit less studious. A little bit more talkative. The few times he'd tried to initiate conversation she'd barely responded. Lately he'd resorted to rather pathetic attempts of wearing t-shirts that were meant to be commented on. Not that long ago he'd heard her talking to a customer about her favorite TV show, Firefly, so he'd watched it and bought the shirt. It was a good show. He'd thoroughly enjoyed it. But he'd love talking to her about it even more.
Especially if talking led to sitting closer to her, close enough to get more than just an elusive wisp of the honeyed vanilla scent she always wore. Avery was stunning in the wholesome girl next door way that Trevor liked so much. He'd never lacked for female attention, but most of the girls that came after him made themselves up more than Avery did. They wore lots of make-up, put enough product in their hair to make it stiff and unappealing, and wore tight, revealing clothing. Which, okay he had to admit, was fun. But he wasn't truly interested in them. Great, he was good looking, had a body that girls seemed to want, and he knew he was a damn good lover. But for the first time in his life he'd found a girl that he wanted to pursue and had realized a vital conundrum - he'd never been in this position before. Girls had always come to him, not the other way around. He had no idea how to go after a girl that he wanted.
Cheesy pick up lines weren't good enough for her. Neither were the seductive suggestions that popped into his head sometimes. He hadn't known, until he met Avery, that he always relied on the woman he was with to steer a conversation. Avery wasn't like that. She wouldn't talk just to talk.
By now he'd figured out that Avery was shy. He just didn't know how to break through that bubble. Not that she seemed interested in breaking through it. Avery had plenty of friends, she was always texting them even during the late night shift, and she was obviously a good student who was focused on her studies. Which was probably why she wasn't coming after her. But that didn't mean he didn't want to go after her. Show her that she didn't need to be studying all the time to be a good student. Lately he'd been hoping to impress her with his own dedication to doing homework and studying, but she barely seemed to notice his presence. So he was stuck just sitting and watching her, fantasizing about running his fingers through that long dark brown hair of hers that was always secured in a pony tail that reached halfway down her back, wondering what kind of underwear she was wearing under her jeans and those slim fitting t-shirts and sweaters she wore. Doing his best to catch an occasional glimpse into those sparkling hazel eyes. Wondering how soft her bow-shaped pink lips were and if she'd taste as good as she smelled.
All in all it was pretty infuriating.
Dammit. Enough was enough. He didn't care if he had to tie her to a chair and throw her books in the trash. When she got back inside they were going to have a conversation.
Just then the door chimed and he looked up with a smile on his face. Avery was coming in the door looking pale as milk, her wide eyes startled and frantic in her ghost-like face. Next to her was a person in a ski-mask, a firm grip on her upper arm, and they had a gun to her head.
The only thing keeping Avery's legs from collapsing was the sure knowledge that if she made a sudden and unexpected move, she'd surely be shot. It was also the only thing keeping her from going into complete and utter hysterics. When her eyes met Trevor's across the length of the floor, she wanted to moan. Horror flitted across his face followed quickly by an intense rage and she had the sudden, hysterical vision of him leaping across the counter and taking down the bad guy. Followed by a horrifying vision of him dead on the floor in front of her for trying it.
"Don't even think about it," the guy holding the gun to her head said, his voice calm and sure. Avery closed her eyes and gulped, but when she opened them again this awfulness was still happening. He'd accosted her before she'd even gotten to her car, having seen her exit the building. The entire time he'd been giving her directions, he'd also reassured her that he didn't want anyone to get hurt. Strangely she believed him. But she also believed him when he said that it wouldn't completely ruin his night if he didn't get what he wanted either. "If you do what you're told, I won't have to shoot her. Now stand up. Slowly."
The quiver in Trevor's jaw was further evidence of his rage at his impotence in the situation. His hands were fisted by his sides as he stood. Avery could sympathize with him. Guys like him would take a robbery like this personally, feeling like they should be able to do something about the situation. But he would never risk her, because guys like him also didn't ever put a woman in danger. So he had to do what the bad guy was telling him to, even though every bone in his body must be screaming that he should stop the robbery. Take down the bad guy. This was his territory and now it had been invaded and he couldn't do anything about it because she had a gun pressed to her head.
It made her feel like she'd let him down abysmally. She was so stupid to have gone outside like that, at this time of night, without even looking around to see if there were other people on the street. All for her stupid phone. So unnecessary. And now look at where it had gotten her. Trevor would hate her after this. All of these thoughts whirled around her head, as if her brain was trying to distract her from the imminent danger she was in.
"Strip. Down to your boxers."
Avery blinked, barely keeping herself from jerking at the odd command. She watched the confusion flicker across Trevor's face, cutting through the anger. And then the hesitation. Oh god, please don't hesitate. Any other night she'd be cheering to see Trevor's body, but right now all she could focus on was not pissing off the guy holding the gun. Please, please, please.
"Do it. Don't worry, I'm not going to get some kind of sick pleasure out of it."
That muscle in Trevor's jaw tightened again, his eyes meeting hers for a moment. It seemed like he was trying to tell her something, some hidden message, but she didn't know what. All she could do was try not to panic. And then wonder what the hell was wrong with her that she could still enjoy watching him strip, even with a gun pressed to her head. But maybe that was why she was enjoying it; because even if these were the last moments of her life, at least she got to see Trevor stripped out of his clothes and appreciate those broad shoulders, the incredible pectoral muscles with pinkish flat nipples, and the smattering of hair across the center of his chest, reappearing in a thin line that disappeared down into his boxers.
A six pack; he had an honest to god six pack. Apparently her body didn't know that she was supposed to be completely terrified, her fear seemed to be subsiding, overwhelmed by the pure heat of female appreciation for Trevor's body.
"Toss the clothes over here." He did so and the bad guy kicked them away. As she heard the sound of his phone clattering around, slightly muffled as it was in his jeans, Avery suddenly understood the reason for the command. Now Trevor had no phone. And if he'd had any kind of weapon in his clothes then he no longer had it available to him. Well, depended on your definition of weapon. She fought the sick impulse to giggle at a time like this.
With a gun to her head it took almost no time for Trevor to hand over the cash from the safe and register that the man demanded; he was careful to have Trevor throw everything to him, never letting Trevor out of his sight but never letting him come within ten feet of them. Then he backed Trevor into a closet, after getting the key for it. Trevor looked way too big for the space, it was little more than a broom closet, with just enough space for someone to lie on the floor. All it had it in was a broom and dustpan and some afghans that she'd stacked in there last winter when the heat hadn't been working properly.
Seeing how much Trevor looked like an enraged animal about to spring from its cage must have given the bad guy second thoughts because he had him turn around so that Avery could tie his wrists together with some of the cord that they sometimes used to hold the laundry bags. The gunman was careful to keep her between the two of them. She was actually starting to relax a little; he truly didn't seem to want to hurt them, he just didn't trust Trevor to try and stop him. She couldn't blame him, considering that Trevor looked like he was constantly trying to find a way to turn the circumstances around. But the gun to her head didn't leave him much of a choice. As long as Trevor didn't do anything stupid, which she trusted him not to, then she wouldn't be hurt. That's what she kept telling herself, over and over again throughout the entire awful situation.
Once Tyler's hands were secured behind his back, tight enough to reassure the gunman, he had Trevor step back into the closet. Then he ordered Avery to strip down to her underwear. Trembling, hoping that he didn't have anything more in mind than what he'd done to Trevor and knowing that she had no choice even if he did, Avery tugged her shirt over her head.
In all the fantasies he'd had of seeing Avery's delectable body, these were not circumstances that he'd ever imagined. Or wanted. It took away all the pleasure from the situation because he couldn't leap forward and strangle this sick bastard for threatening her and then exposing her like this to both of them. His wrists twisted behind his back, the friction of the cord burning against his skin. Even with his hands behind his back, if that asshole touched her, he knew he wouldn't be able to stop himself from leaping forward. And probably getting himself shot but he wasn't really thinking logically anymore. There was just that tiny shred of it left, that one miniscule line that kept him from going into complete caveman, enraged and protective male - mode. They were more likely to get out of this okay if he could control himself.
But his eyes promised instant retribution if the robber took things too far.
Plus, staring down the bad guy kept him from looking too much at Avery's creamy skin, the way her breasts were heaving inside the demure pink bra she was wearing, and the fact that her underwear matched the bra. A part of him stirred that had no right to be taking notice of anything in this situation.
Fortunately for everyone, the bad guy didn't make any inappropriate comments or do anything out of hand. He just took Avery's clothes and tossed them away before looping cord around her wrists and tying them in a loose knot with one hand, keeping an eye on Trevor the entire time. It was a small sop to his ego that the bad guy obviously still considered him a threat. Or maybe the guy just realized that Trevor was THIS close to losing it and not thinking with his brain anymore. Having Avery stripped down was a bad idea because right now every cell in his body was screaming "Mine" and there was someone else seeing her as well. Even touching her a little bit, but only incidental touches as he tied her hands behind her back.
And then, suddenly, they were shut in the closet together, both of them breathing like they'd just run a marathon. The sound of the door locking was almost shockingly loud in the small room. They both stood there silently, listening as the bell to the front door rang, letting them know that the robber had left. It was over. Sort of.
Looking down, Trevor saw Avery's eyes fill with sudden tears, her lower lip trembling as all the emotions she'd repressed during the robbery, all of the fear and embarrassment and shock, came rushing to the surface now that they were safe.
"Don't, please don't cry," he begged, tugging harder at his wrists and wincing as the cord tightened further. Avery looked at him with those large doe eyes, full of liquid, and then they widened as she took in the pained grimace on his face.
"What are you doing?"
"Trying to get the hell out of these cords so I can hold you," he answered gruffly. "Did you have to tie them so tight?" Immediately he regretted the accusation, but she didn't even seem to notice. Instead she just blinked at him and then, shockingly, a small, tremulous smile spread across her face.
"Turn around," she said.
Frowning he did as she ordered, looking over his shoulder as she got to her knees. "What are you doing?"
Avery didn't respond, instead she leaned forward out of his vision and he felt something tug at the cord around his wrist. She was using her mouth!
"You know, this would have been a lot easier if you hadn't pulled so much on these," she muttered. There was another tug and then tight grip around his wrists slackened and the restraints fell away. "Oh my god, your wrists!"
Trevor turned immediately, grasping her shoulders and pulling her up to her feet, ignoring the heat that seemed to fizz through his blood at the contact as well as the reddened and slightly torn skin of his wrists. Getting her off of her knees in front of him was paramount, because it was sending all sorts of inappropriate images through his brain. Their half naked state wasn't helping either. Ruthlessly he shoved back those thoughts and turned her around before she could see his reaction to them, fumbling at the cords around her own wrist.
"How did you do that?" he asked as he picked at the knot. "How did you get me untied so quickly?"
"My Dad taught me how to tie that knot," she said, with understandable pride in her voice. "It looks complicated and super secure, but one good tug at the right place and it all comes apart." Not like the knot around her wrists, sloppy as it was. Trevor gave up on getting it completely undone and just got it loose enough to slip the first loop of cord over her hands, the rest quickly following.
And then he followed his all too human instinct to hold her and confirm that she was physically okay, even though he'd been able to see that nothing had happened to her the entire time. The urge to check over every inch of her vulnerable body was overwhelming. Spinning her around he pulled her into his arms, settling her face against his chest as she let out a small gasp, her hands automatically coming up to press against his chest.