A/N: This is a story I wrote a few years ago but never posted anywhere. I hope you enjoy! From B*tch to Boss by stevita-- Another late night. 12 midnight found Nick stuck at the restaurant as closing manager, and he was just about to lock the back kitchen door when he heard out on the floor, his closing server receiving one last table. “Hi there, welcome to April and Andy’s, c’mon, have a seat! My name’s Dolly, I’ll be your waitress...can I offer you anything from the bar?” He had to raise a skeptical eyebrow to her thick southern drawl. Mah nayme’s Dawlly, ah’ll be yer waytress… She didn’t sound that way in the break room upstairs, and she sure didn’t sound that way in the kitchen with the immigrant cooks. ¿El jefe esta muy guapo anoche, ja? ¿No, no pienses? Pues...a mi me gustan los gorditos. Now, Nick didn’t know what any of that meant, but Dolly didn’t have any Hispanic heritage whatsoever, so she must have learned her Spanish in a classroom. She was a smart girl--his guess was, she dumbed down on the floor so she’d seem friendlier to her guests. Charles, the bar manager, had once suggested she introduce herself to her tables as Dolores, so as to seem more sophisticated, but she hadn’t listened, and Dolly stuck. Nick could stand by her decision; April and Andy’s wasn’t exactly a sophisticated bar. Charles was just pretentious. Nick was doing some paperwork in the office when Dolly poked in her head. It was one in the morning now, an hour to close. “Hey, Nick,” she said, “I just wanted to let you know, I just served my gentleman at table 22 his fourth drink. I think he’s fine and Josue,” Josue being the bartender, “thinks he’s fine. He’s eaten and everything. But I still like having the managerial green light to keep serving. So will you go say hi to him?” Nick already knew the guy was going to be fine. If Dolly really believed a guest needed to be cut off, she’d say so. Hell, she’d shut down her station, alert all the staff, and call the damn Navy. Somehow, this table waiting gig meant the world to her. Frankly, he was surprised she was still offering drinks at this hour: most servers would just want to go home. He could never understand how she managed to keep going and going and going. Just for her peace of mind, he nodded his assent and went downstairs to talk to the table. There was only one guy sitting at table 22. Big fellow, working on a beer and still picking at several plates from what looked to be a multiple-course meal. An empty glass sat at the edge of the table; Nick removed it and held it behind his back. “How has everything been tonight, Sir?” “Oh, it’s all been great! Good food, good beer...the waitress is doing a great job, too.” He didn’t seem drunk. “Good, good, I’m glad to hear it,” said Nick, and caught up with Dolly on the patio to give her the thumbs up. “Pre-bus your table, Dolly, but otherwise, good job.” “He told me he was still eating, Boss.” For the rest of the night Dolly held the gentleman hostage. She swung by every fifteen minutes, “Are you still okay on beer, Sir?” as if they both might die if his glass ran dry. He was out by last call, but not before Dolly sold him dessert--”You have to try the chocolate mousse cake!” From the office, Nick heard her musical voice as she saw her guest off. “Well, I’ve had a wonderful time with you tonight, Mr. Smith, and I hope you have as well! Have a great night, mmkay?” Nick next found her sitting on the counter by the expo line, scrubbing the wall with a dish rag while he was doing his final walk through. “It’s chili. The cooks made a damn mess,” she said. “Is Josue still here?” “He left, why?” “He helped me get up here…” She flushed scarlet, and as he understood what she was asking him to do, so did he. See, Nick was a big guy, and he knew it. The other managers made sure he knew it with their cutting remarks. He didn’t have much practice approaching women, much less touching them. And he’d always been particularly fond of Dolly Parker. Any man would be: blonde and beautiful, with full, perky breasts, that little waist, and curvy hips to drive a man mad. Tonight, her long hair was tied up with a crimson cheerleader bow to match the dining room decor and her pouty lips were painted red-red to match her bow--had she reapplied her lipstick after her last table left? She was sitting on the counter with her legs spread in her short shorts and logo tank top, and the look on her face was pleading as she said, “I need you to help me down.” “Alright, come here…” It took all of his self control not to pop a boner as he let her wrap her arms around his shoulders, her legs around his waist. It would just be inappropriate. She was scandalously young to him, at twenty to his twenty-eight. She’d never been shy about touching, though. The other week, she’d made a bet with him: “What do you think I CAN’T sell tonight? I bet I can sell three bottles of Caymus. If I sell three bottles of Caymus, you owe me a hug.” For the record, she had sold five bottles of Caymus that night. He lowered her to the ground and she smiled a little nervously. For a moment, they stood in awkward silence. Then, she flitted out the door with, “I left my checkout on the well. See you tomorrow!” See ya tuhmorrah. Jesus. The kitchen wasn’t quite closed yet, and he hadn’t eaten dinner, so he made himself a salad, no croutons, undressed. He really wanted to ask Paco on the fry station to make him a chicken fried steak, but he had his figure to think about. Maybe if he lost a little weight, Dolly would want him to do more to her than help her get down from on top of the counter.