Bethany was a large girl. Perhaps she wasn't large enough to scare away prospective male suitors, and perhaps she wasn't quite what the average person would crudely label as ‘fat’, but she was definitely large enough to illicit a cringe from herself when she encountered her own reflection in the mirror. She had love handles and stretch marks and rolls and she positively hated it. She had a difficult time finding a single redeeming detail about her size, and really, there probably wasn't any to be found even if she did go searching. It was unsightly. People looked down their nose at her because of it. It was impossible to find clothes that fit. When you got right down to it, carrying so much weight was just plain embarrassing.
“You’re not fat, you’re chubby,” her boyfriend would reassure her. “What does it matter, anyway? You’re still cute! You have nothing to worry about.”
Meanwhile, she was forced to buy clothes online because there was nothing her size to be found locally.
Being fat sucked.
It was for this reason that it had taken many months of pleading and bargaining on behalf of her boyfriend to convince her to stand where she now stood – outside a waxing salon. Her boyfriend liked her hairless where it counted, and if she was being totally honest, she preferred it that way too. It was smoother, cleaner, more sensual, and most importantly, it just looked better. She tried to make the effort to shave her unspeakables when she could, especially when she knew her boyfriend was going to be around said unspeakables, but it just grew back so damn fast. She didn’t have the time or motivation to shave every couple of days, so she either had to live with having ugly, shaven-three-days-ago stubble most of the time, or just suck it up and make do with one hell of a bush.
It was Adam who had suggested the winning solution – she should get it done properly at a waxing salon. “Get it waxed, and you won’t have to worry about it for weeks,” her boyfriend had insisted. “Plus I won’t have to worry about plucking pubes out of my teeth, that’d be a nice change. A few minutes of pain and it’s done with. Is that really so bad?”
The pain really wasn’t so bad. What concerned Bethany was having a complete stranger see her lumpy, naked body from the waist down.
It had taken a not-so-tiny amount of convincing, but she had eventually caved to his pleas. It was a decision she was already second guessing.
Why why why why WHY did I agree to this, she mentally lamented to herself.
With the bitter tinge of regret on her tongue, Bethany Green admired the sign hanging just above her head - “Pamper Yourself!” it cheerfully declared, and although the wording was enthusiastic enough, she dully noted that the sign itself was contrastingly cold and lifeless, entirely at odds with the slogan. It was designed with a blocky, professional font using steel-plate lettering, and the subheading beneath it mirrored this approach; “Massage and Wax Yourself Anew!” it read in slightly smaller text. It was the embodiment of everything she was dreading.
Behind her, Adam tisked dramatically, and she turned to see him watching with a huge grin on his face.
“Clock’s ticking,” he said. “Are you going through with it or not?”
Ever the joker, Adam knew how to aggravate her. He knew why she was apprehensive, and although he was as supportive and understanding as could be, he was also powerless to not derive humour from her suffering. On the inside, Bethany fumed to herself. As great a person and as great a lover as he was, he was also a total (self-admitted, in fact) grade-A asshole.
“You’re perfectly fine with someone else touching my junk?” she shot back in a tone she hoped was playful. Stalling.
His grin never faltered as he shrugged. “Unless you suddenly come down with a severe case of lesbian, I have nothing to worry about,” he retorted. “They’re not going have someone that’s actually interested in your hairy junk doing the touching.”
Yep. Total asshole.
Resisting the urge to flip him off, she simply “hmphed” to herself, turned her back on her man (whom she really did love!) and boldly made her way into the store.
The inside of Pamper Yourself! was surprisingly bare – it was a small, rather homely room that was lit only by the warm glow of a number of lamps placed at strategic positions around the room. The back wall was split in two by a thin corridor which wound away into the belly of the complex; the left consisted of dozens of tiled mirrors behind a small desk, where a small, balding man sat typing away at a computer. Other than that, the room was totally devoid of any interesting features at all besides a few seats on the right. It looked more like a hotel lobby room than a waxing salon.
The doorbell jingled merrily behind Bethany as she made her way over to the desk, a sound which was momentarily repeated as Adam entered right behind her. The man tore his gaze away from the computer screen at the noise, and his face broke into a warm, welcoming smile.
“Good morning, my dear!” he exclaimed brightly. “You must be Bethany Green.”
All her nerves came crashing down on her in full force. All she could do was smile and nod awkwardly.
“Excellent,” he said, rubbing his hands together. With that, he jumped to his feet and made his way over, offering his hand to her.
“Mr Smith,” he happily introduced himself. “I’m the owner of this fine establishment. Welcome to Pamper Yourself!”
“Um. Thank you,” was all Bethany could manage, startled by his enthusiasm. Gingerly, she took his hand delicately in her own, shaking it politely before dropping her hand back to her side.
Mr Smith was very, very short – the top of his head was roughly level with Bethany’s breast line, and Bethany was by no means a tall girl. Dressed in an immaculate white suit, he had a warm, plump face tarnished only by a thin pair of spectacles and a wiry moustache that matched the colour of his suit. He radiated warmth and affection and very much seemed like a fatherly figure; in any other situation, Bethany decided she would have taken an instant liking to him – under the circumstances, though, she didn’t want to be anywhere near him. She wanted to get in and get out as quickly as possible. She didn’t need this.
“You look mortified,” Mr Smith said unexpectedly with a chortle. She instantly flushed with embarrassment, and although she opened her mouth to retort, he literally wove away her protests.
“Quite alright, quite alright,” he said with a grand flourish of his hands. “It comes with the territory, does it not?” He watched her over the rim of his glasses. “Regardless, it is a personal choice that some of us must make, and for those, it is something where the end greatly outshines the means.”
“Well – ”
“Quite alright, quite alright,” he cut her off yet again, and turned around to return to his computer. “Continue down the hallway, it’ll be the fifteenth door on your right. My assistant, Terry, will be waiting for you there to commence the procedure.” He sat down, the seat squeaking noticeably beneath his weight as he did so. Once again turning to face the couple, he bestowed them with an enormous, toothy smile. It was clearly meant to be endearing, but all it did was make Bethany want to crawl into a dark, wet hole, far away from where anyone could see her. “I do hope your experience at Pamper Yourself is a pleasant one!”
“Well. Thank you,” Bethany forced out. She looked over her shoulder at Adam, who looked to be in the middle of restraining a giggling fit. “We’ll…I mean, I guess I’ll get going then!”
“Fifteenth door on the right,” Mr Smith repeated with a winning smile. His gaze flicked back and forth between Bethany and Adam for a moment, before he smiled, clearly content with his greeting, and fully returned his attention to the computer screen.
Adam grinned. “Have fun,” he said, and leaned in to hug her reassuringly. Patting her back affectionately, he pressed his face against her ear, and added “I’ll wait out here with Mr Monopoly,” in a quiet whisper.
That brought a small smile to her face, and she gave her boyfriend a grateful kiss on the cheek. “See you shortly,” she said. Smiling (and wanting to appear more confident then she actually was), she forced a seductive smile onto her face and added in a hushed whisper for Adam’s ears alone, “And when I do, I’ll be naked as a baby down there.”
“That’s the idea!”
Gasping out loud and now actually mortified, her forced confidence splintered and vanished instantly. Bethany spun around to face the man in the white suit as Adam began to laugh out loud. Mr Smith was watching her with bemusement.
“Hurry along, Ms Green, we have more appointments to follow your own,” he said, not unkindly and his eyes twinkling. “Terry is waiting!”
“See you soon,” Adam added, smirking unashamedly.
More embarrassed than she could ever recall being, Bethany “hmphed” again to herself and then hurried away down the corridor to escape the laughter ringing in her ears.
Off to a great start, she sighed mentally. And you haven’t even got your pants off yet!
The corridor was deceptively long – it stretched on seemingly forever, and on top of that, it was badly lit and thin enough to make Bethany feel the faintest tinges of claustrophobia. She doubted that even the thinnest of people could squeeze past her, and for once, it wasn’t because of her weight. Counting the doors as she went on, she vaguely wondered why a waxing salon would need so many rooms. Fifteen on the right alone was an enormous amount; she couldn’t begin to imagine that a waxing salon would get enough traffic to warrant needing thirty or more private rooms simultaneously.
Each door had a plaque set into it at about eye height; however, the lighting was so terrible that Bethany found herself unable to make out anything on them beyond blurred, shadowed lines that would presumably make letters and numbers when not choked in gloom. As such, she found herself forced to actually count each door as she passed it. “He can afford the biggest unit in the entire mall, but he can’t afford to install a decent lighting system,” she grumbled absently to herself. “Absolutely ridiculous. Six, seven, eight…”
A moment later, she reached door fifteen. Surprisingly, the hallway didn’t end there, like she had expected – no, it continued to stretch on deeper and deeper into the building in a perfectly straight line, still lined with doors that presumably lead somewhere important all the while. She couldn’t see the end; eventually, it simply succumbed to a thick veil of shadows, and she could see no further. It was a rather spooky view, and her imagination instantly began to place nameless monsters and fiends in the shadows, just out of sight.
Slightly disturbed by the endless expanse of corridor, she paused to stare down it for a moment, before returning her attention to the door. It was an unusually long corridor, so what. Mr Smith could afford to be a little more generous with his wallet, what more was there to it? She laughed a forced laugh to herself, aware she was being silly. The sound echoed dryly down the hall.
Get a move on. This is stupid.
Forcing a strained smile to her face, she knocked on the door and let herself in.
This was more what she was expecting – a cold, clinical room, straight out of a hospital. There was a desk with tools, a reclining chair for the patient with a small, open bin beside it, and, of course, the harsh fluorescent lights that were the trademark of any medical facility. Bethany instantly noted the odd colouring of the lights; it was impossible to miss, after all. They were an unpleasant shade of green, tinting the entire room with their sickly glow. It bestowed the room with a somewhat eerie quality, but Bethany had already surmised that fantastic lighting choices were not what this establishment was renowned for.
It was a very unwelcoming environment, as far as welcoming environments go, but regardless it still had the effect of setting Bethany at ease. Finally, something was going (more or less) to plan. No overly-enthusiastic Mr Monopoly. No spooky corridor. No nothing but a waxing salon.
A very tall lady stood by the seat, watching quietly as Bethany flashed her what she hoped was a friendly smile and closed the door behind her. The woman wore doctor’s scrubs and a blue cap with the logo Pamper Yourself! embroided into in fine, golden thread; it seemed a little out of place in what otherwise appeared to be a professional environment, and on top of that, wearing it did nothing to stop her immaculate, blonde hair spilled unrestrained down her back anyway. Over her left breast, a bright yellow nametag declared her name to be Terry. What struck Bethany the most, though, was her immense size. She towered over the (presumably) younger girl, to the point that she found herself looking up just to look her in the eye.
“Good morning,” Bethany offered with a meek smile. She placed her bag by the door, then moved forward to shake the lady’s hand.
“Hey there!” was the sudden, unexpectedly enthusiastic response. Before she could react, Bethany found her arm being vigorously pumped up and down by this strange woman. “My name’s Terry. What’s yours?”
Well. Mostly to plan.
“Bethany,” the flustered girl managed to force it. She pulled her arm back from the onslaught. This lady must be related to Mr Smith, she decided. “My name is Bethany.”
“That’s nice, dear,” Terry responded in a high, lilting tone, one that most people would reserve for small children. Bethany raised an eyebrow, hardly expecting to be dismissed as such. “I just need you to strip out of your pants and undies so we can get started. Kay?”
“Good girl,” Terry answered warmly, complete with a winning smile. She leaned in to pat her client on the head, then went about inspecting her equipment.
Did that really just happen?
Stunned, Bethany just stared at her for a second. She wasn’t a pet. She wasn’t a child. She was twenty-three, not three. Why the hell –
Just strip down and get it over with, the little voice in her head whispered. The sooner it’s done, the sooner you can get out of here.
Vowing to book a more conventional place to get this done next time, Bethany shook her head to herself and got down to business.
She had dressed this morning with the idea that it would all be coming off sooner or later; as such, she was wearing only a long, floral skirt with an elastic waistband, a t-shirt that was perhaps a size or two too big (it was impossible to perfectly nail the sizing of clothing online, after all) and a denim jacket. Nothing fancy. Her hands around the waist of her skirt, she found herself hesitating - in that moment, she suddenly felt every single one of her 170 pounds. Nerves getting the better of her, she cast a glance over at Terry. How was this strange lady going to be about her thunder thighs?
Apparently, that was the absolute worst possible thing she could have done. The taller lady noticed her reluctance almost instantly.
“Are you having trouble, dear?” Terry asked, concern creeping into her voice. She strode over to Bethany in a few short steps. “Here, just hold your shirt out of the way.”
“What – ”
A second later, the lady had knelt down in front of her, taken her skirt in both hands and pulled it straight down around her ankles.
Bethany gasped out loud, staggering back awkwardly in surprise. “I…but…you…” she spluttered awkwardly for a second out of sheer shock, before coming to her senses. “How DARE you!” she exclaimed. “What the hell was that?” Looking down, she realised her underwear was on display, and with a frightened eep! pulled her shirt down to cover herself.
“Oh shush,” Terry said dismissively. She grabbed the girls hand and pulled her back within reach, causing Bethany to stumble forward and her skirt to disentangle from her ankles in the process. “It’s nothing I haven’t seen before. Hold still.”
“But you can’t just – ”
Terry’s hands were suddenly around her waist again. Futilely, Bethany tried to step back again, to remove herself from this insanity, but it was too late. Just like that, it was over, and Terry was dragging the shorter girl’s underwear down her legs.
“There, was that so bad?” the lady cooed. “Come on, step out.”
“Was that really necessary?” Bethany asked weakly, her heart pounding furiously. Shyly, she lifted one foot and then the next, letting Terry remove her underwear one leg at a time. Her hands remained firmly clenching her t-shirt, dragging it down to cover herself. It was too late to do anything else now. “How old do you think I am, lady?”
“Clearly not old enough to undress yourself,” was the aggravating non-answer.
“Whatever,” Bethany muttered to herself, eyes downcast in embarrassment. I guess I had to get them off one way or another.
“Come on,” Terry instructed, jolting Bethany’s attention back to her waxer. She was patting the seat suggestively. “Sit your butt down here so we can get started!”
With a sigh, the waxee made her way over.
The first thing she became aware of was the fact that the seat was very high up, slightly above her waist level, obviously positioned as such so the waxer could easily reach everything they needed to. That was fair enough, and didn’t bother Bethany in itself; what bothered Bethany was the fact that she couldn’t get onto this seat without letting go of her shirt so she could lift herself onto it.
Meaning Terry was going to see everything she had to offer in action.
For a moment, she considered asking the strange lady to lower it for her, her cheeks just about ready to burn with shame, but that little voice in her spoke up again.
For the love of God, grow a pair, it hissed in frustration. She’s already stripped you naked from the waist down. She has seen far more girly parts than you can ever imagine, AND she’s clearly not fussed about your weight. So grow up, shut up and GET UP.
I guess I am being a little silly, she meekly answered to herself.
Fuck yes you are, was the exasperated answer.
With a sigh, she let go of her shirt and clambered onto the seat, fully aware that she was probably letting Terry see parts of her lumpy body jiggle and sway that no one other than her boyfriend had ever seen jiggle and sway. Having this lady undress her like she was a child was enough – this was starting to push the limits of her embarrassment.
“That’s a good girl,” Terry cooed again, and Bethany glared at her as she got comfortable laying back into the seat. She was self-conscious enough as it was, and being treated like this was only causing her to rapidly lose her patience. “Let’s get started, shall we?”
“Please,” Bethany grunted back, wanting nothing more than to cover herself up and leave. Her false bravado and confidence was gone; she was fed up and wanted it over with.
From that point on, everything sped up dramatically and went exactly as Bethany had expected when she first Googled the phone number of the salon. Terry quickly adopted an attitude that actually approached professional – she quit the small talk, turned clinical and got to work. There was a puff of talcum powder, a sudden warmth as the wax was applied to her skin, the reassurance that “this will only sting a little bit!” followed by something that was closer to the burning fires of hell than ‘a little bit of stinging’, and then rinse and repeat. For the most part, Bethany just kept her mouth closed, tried to show as little discomfort as possible, and kept her gaze glued fixedly to the roof. It was much easier to simply admire the bizarre emerald lighting that eddied and swirled just overhead and mentally chew Adam out for ever mentioning the existence of “that place at the mall!” than it was to think about what was happening between her legs.
Half an hour passed slowly. Barely a word was passed between them.
“How are you going, dear?” Terry finally broke the silence from down south. Inspecting her work so far, she wiped her hands clean on a nearby towel.
“Fine,” Bethany responded curtly.
Terry made eye contact and flashed her a winning smile. “That’s good!” she said happily. “We’re almost done – I just need you to roll over onto your front so we can do your bum, then you’re good to go!”
Bethany just nodded, the first tingling of relief beginning to dawn. Freedom was within sight. Wordlessly, she wriggled around till she was lying flat on her back, her butt on full display for Terry.
“That’s a good girl,” Terry said happily, inspiring Bethany to roll her eyes at the cushion in front of her. A moment later, she felt the waxer’s hands pulling at her cheeks, holding them apart and out of the way. Her other cheeks instantly blushed red, realising her bubble butt was quite literally getting in the way.
“Almost there,” Terry cooed reassuringly, clearly sensing her discomfort. She gave Bethany a gentle pat on the small of her back, causing the smaller girl to jump in surprise. “Just a few more nasty hairs to clear up here, then we’ll have you reunited with your daddy in no time!”
Embarrassment was replaced with puzzled irritation in a heartbeat.
“I heard a man’s voice when you first came in,” was the response. There was a faint tickling sensation around Bethany’s loins as Terry sprinkled a fine layer of powder over the region. “That would be your daddy, yes?”
Bethany gritted her teeth together - was this woman mad? Did she actually look like a three year old?
“He’s my boyfriend,” she said coldly. “My boyfriend is waiting for me outside.”
Cue moment of silence.
“That’s nice, dear,” was the belated, disinterested response.
“Look, lady, I’m twenty-three,” Bethany retorted, officially fed up. How dare this lady talk down to her like this? “And I don’t appreciate you talking down to me like I’m a little kid. Do you even realise how rude you’re being? Do you always talk down to your customers like this?”
The hands in her butt stopped, and she felt Terry’s eyes drilling holes into the back of her head. For a moment, she thought the waxer was going to have a go right back at her, but the only response was, “I think you need a nap, dear. Don’t worry, we’re almost done and then you can go home.”
Unable to believe her ears, Bethany was stunned into silence for a second.
“You’re mad,” she finally managed to answer. She could hear the incredulity in her own voice. “Totally, barking mad.”
Terry said nothing, proceeding to pour warm wax down Bethany’s backside.
There was absolutely no point reasoning with her, and the shorter girl gave up. You can’t win with someone like this, she said to herself. Bite your tongue, smile, nod, and put in a bad word to Mr Smith on the way out. Be the bigger person. This lady shouldn’t be in a line of work where she has to deal with customers, and you screaming at her won’t change that.
Her internal monologue was interrupted yet again, this time by a sharp pain in a place she’d never felt sharp pain before. She winced unconsciously and bit back a yelp.
Another agonising five minutes passed the same way.
“That’s it, dear!” Terry eventually exclaimed in a voice that was far too happy for someone whose sanity had been questioned only minutes before. “You’re officially as bare as a baby everywhere down here.”
“Awesome,” Bethany grunted out, rolling back around onto her back so she could admire her waxer’s handiwork. As much as she didn’t want to admit it, Terry had actually done a fantastic job. Ignoring the redness of her skin and the aching that had already set in, which was to be expected, there wasn’t a hair in sight, not even stubble. She ran a hand over her groin and confirmed the total lack of anything prickly. It was exactly what she wanted.
Adam will love this, she thought to herself. The thought made her smile a little in spite of herself.
She returned her attention to Terry. “Thank you,” she said grudgingly. “It came out fantastic.”
Terry patted her customer’s thigh, causing Bethany to pull away with a slight yelp. “It always does,” she said with a small smile. There was an odd glint in her eye, as if she was waiting expectantly for something or for her client to say something more. It made Bethany vaguely uneasy, as if there was something she didn’t know. “It always does.”
Any smile she herself may have had disappeared. “Get off me,” Bethany sighed. She brushed the taller lady’s hand away and slipped off the seat. “Look, I appreciate the job you’ve done, but you need to stop with the little girl treatment.”
Terry stared. A barely noticeable hint of confusion traced its way across her face.
“I’m twenty three! For the love of God, please!” she exclaimed in exasperation, throwing her hands in the air. She hurried over to her orphaned pile of clothes by the door, sorting through it as she looked for her underwear. “People don’t enjoy being treated like a child, especially during something like this. They want a professional. Someone who makes them feel comfortable while a total stranger touches their junk!”
“Did you not just say I did a fantastic job?” The confusion on her face was beginning to enter her voice.
“Yeah, but – what about customer service?” Bethany fumed. She found her underwear and began to dress herself. “You can’t just...I mean...”
She gave up. “Forget it. Have a nice day.” She pulled her skirt up, grabbed her bag and pulled the door open. With one final glance back at Terry, she hurried out into the gloomy corridor and on her way to the familiarity and protection of her boyfriend. It was too much. She was completely, totally done with this nonsense.
Back inside, Terry frowned to herself. It wasn’t because of her client’s reaction – no, that was to be expected. She had heard all of that before. No, it was the fact that the procedure itself had somehow gone dramatically wrong. For a moment, she considered running after the girl...but was that the right thing to do?
Absently picking up a towel and wiping her hands clean of talcum powder and wax, she followed her client’s footsteps and made her way over to the door to flick the light switch off and on again. For a moment, the room went dark; the next, the fluorescents returned, only this time they radiated a warm and rosy glow, far removed from the toxic green that had permeated the atmosphere throughout the session.
“They always come out fantastic,” Terry repeated to herself thoughtfully. Throwing the towel on the seat, she took her eyelid carefully in one hand whilst with the other she plucked a contact lens out. It was unusually metallic in appearance, far removed from the jelly-like makeup of a normal lens. Repeating the process with her other eye, she absently threw them in the bin and made her way back to her work space to begin the clean-up. Hopefully Smith would know how to handle the situation. “They always do.”
Bethany hurried through the gloom of Pamper Yourself!’s infamous hallway at a brisk powerwalk, still fuming at the way she had been treated by someone that was supposably a professional.
The nerve of some people, she ranted to herself. The NERVE. Who in the HELL does she think she is to talk down to me like I’m...like I’m a kid! Who in the hell EMPLOYS someone like that for a job like this? Were they THAT desperate to fill the position?
At least it’s over? Her friendly neighbourhood conscience offered feebly.
Get fucked, she shot back furiously. Get absolutely fucked.
She had taken her time on the way in due to nerves and being unable to see where she was going; now it was over, and she could see the light at the end of hallway, and as such she was back in the foyer of Pamper Yourself! in only a matter of seconds. Neither Mr Smith nor Adam looked up as she entered; they were standing together by the main desk, clearly deep in the midst of what looked to be a very serious conversation. The former was talking in the quietest of tones, observing Adam with a look that could only be scepticism over his thin glasses – the latter was watching intensely, occasionally nodding in agreement.
Adam was standing with his back to the hallway; thinking nothing of the conversation she was about to interrupt (how fascinating could it be to talk to a guy that resembled the KFC mascot be, after all?), Bethany decided to take her boyfriend by surprise and tackle-hugged him from behind.
“Don’t you ever,” she paused for a second to milk the drama as the boyfriend in question squeaked in shock and stagged from the impact. “EVER suggest that we do this again.”
A look of absolute shock crossed Mr Smith’s face as Adam, realising what had just happened, began to laugh and turned to face his girlfriend. She smiled thinly in return, knowing her exasperation was perfectly visible to the owner of the establishment she was apart to tear to pieces. She didn’t care. He deserved to have it shredded beyond recognition for employing someone as devoid of people skills as Terry. Let him be shocked. It was about to get worse.
It wasn’t difficult to see the barely-contained rage hiding just beneath the surface of Bethany’s face, and Adam restrained his merriment. “Come on, I’m sure it wasn’t that bad,” he offered. He finally returned her hug, giving her cheek a gentle kiss. “Does it look good at least?”
“Well, yes, but that’s not the point,” she snapped. She looked over her boyfriend’s shoulders and glared at Mr Smith. “Do you realise how totally incompetent your employee is?”
She derived great pleasure from how quickly Mr Smith’s expression changed. Almost instantly, it dissolved into the blank, neutral expression that most people who work a retail job would instantly recognise as the, “Unfortunately, I get paid to deal with this shit” expression.
It did nothing to placate her anger.
“I have never,” she continued, her voice slowly rising her volume. “NEVER had to deal with someone so out of touch with reality. She treated me like a three year old the entire time.”
“Come on sweetie, I’m sure she wasn’t that – ”
“Don’t sweetie me!” Bethany shrieked. She instantly regretted it, realising screaming at the top of her lungs wouldn’t achieve anything but embarrassment on her behalf...although it did shut Adam up instantly. “How is it even possible to employ someone so unprofessional, so amateurish, so unbelievably fucked in the – ”
“That’s quite enough, Ms Green,” Mr Smith said flatly.
She shut her mouth and resorted to glaring instead. She’d made her point.
“I apologise if you feel slighted by the treatment you have received here at Pamper Yourself!” he said stiffly, his eyes never straying from her face. “However, that does not bestow upon you the right to scream at me within the walls of my own establishment.”
His gaze flickered briefly to meet Adam’s (who had moved to hug her from behind so he wasn’t in the way), shooting him an unreadable look that made Bethany look over her shoulder to her boyfriend for an answer (which she didn’t receive), before returning to stare at her.
Bastard is probably wondering how a daddy can let his daughter think it’s ok to scream at strangers, she sarcastically thought to herself.
“Quite frankly, my dear, I think you’d be best served by learning to respect your elders. After an outburst like that, I daresay that Terry had every right to treat you the way you say she did. How else does one deal with an unruly child?”
Bethany’s jaw dropped open. She hadn’t been serious. He couldn’t be serious. Surely, he couldn’t be as moronic as his employee. Surely.
“Obviously, you are not a child,” he quickly added, seeing the thunderclouds rushing to greet him on Bethany’s face. “But – well, if the shoe fits…”
“IF THE SHOE FITS?”
“Bethany, stop,” Adam said softly, tightening his grip as his furious girlfriend made to step towards Mr Smith. “Stop. This instant.”
“HOW DARE YOU – ”
“Stop,” he repeated sharply. To her horror and eternal mortification, he slapped her butt in admonishment. She yelped in shock and instantly felt her cheeks begin to burn red, spinning around to stare at him with silent reproach. “Stop yelling, apologise to Mr Smith, and we’ll be going. No tantrums. Do you hear me?”
Bethany wanted to scream. She wanted to die. She wanted the ground to open up and swallow her whole. Here she was, trying to lodge a complaint, and her boyfriend was reciprocating the little girl treatment.
He had actually spanked her.
It was as enraging as it was humiliating.
At that moment, Adam gave an almost imperceptible wink.
He’s just showing Mr Smith what he wants to see, she thought with dawning realisation. Of course he agrees with you, he’s going to trust you over a total stranger. He’s playing the part to get us out of here without starting a brawl. Go with it.
A fine description of this infuriating little man’s mother still burning on her tongue, she pulled herself together and muttered, “I’m sorry Mr Smith.”
“For what?” The flat, emotionless quality of the man’s voice made her want to lash out at him.
Because I can’t save you from being an absolute fucking tool.
“For screaming at you,” she forced out through clenched teeth.
“And for insulting Terry?”
At last, Mr Smith sighed. “Quite alright, my dear,” he said softly. “Quite alright. We all get carried away sometimes. I can appreciate that.”
Adam squeezed her pointedly. The message was clear – we’re in the clear. Shut up.
“She gets a little ahead of herself sometimes, I’m so sorry.”
“It’s quite alright,” Mr Smith repeated yet again. He waved the apology off and made his way back behind the desk. Taking a seat, he fixed his eyes on Bethany’s face, staring so intently she found herself forced to look away. “However, I must ask you to leave. I have plenty of clients to get through today, and I have paperwork to organise. So, if you’d be so kind…”
There it was. The end!
“Of course,” Adam responded, recognising the “this is your last chance before I call security” message instantly. He prodded Bethany’s ribs, causing her to squirm away and grumble in protest. “Say goodbye to Mr Smith, Beth.”
Eyes downcast and face burning with embarrassment at the persistency of the ridiculous little girl treatment, Bethany muttered out a vague goodbye that wasn’t even discernible as a legitimate farewell to her own ears.
There was a pregnant pause for a split second…then a sudden laugh broke the tension. Startled, she looked up to see Mr Smith chuckling merrily to himself. The businessman was gone – the Mr Monopoly she had first encountered when they entered the building was back. He watched her from the other side of the desk, his big, blue eyes gleaming.
“She’s a good girl,” he said to Adam. “Do take care of her.”
Adam, thankfully, didn’t answer. “Come on Beth,” he’d let her go and was pulling at her arm now. She looked at him miserably, all fire and fury gone. He offered her a reassuring wink in return. “I paid him for you while you were in there. Let’s go.”
She sighed, but let herself be dragged along behind her boyfriend. There was a merry jingle from the doorbell as they left, and then they were gone. Free.
They stopped just outside the door, and before Bethany could say anything, she found herself enveloped in her boyfriend’s embrace. “You did good,” Adam said softly in her ear. He pulled away a little so he could look her in the face, small smile on his own. “I wasn’t sure you’d be able to stop yourself.”
“I shouldn’t have had to,” Bethany grunted in response. She pulled away and, seeing there was a seat only a few steps away set in a concrete island in the middle of the walkway, dragged him over to it behind her. They sat down. “What a joke that was.”
Adam leaned over to kiss her cheek. “Tell me over lunch,” he said. “If it was that bad, we’ll lodge a complaint somewhere.”
He went as if to say more, then abruptly paused. “It wasn’t really that bad, was it?” he hesitantly continued. He looked her right in the eye. “We don’t need to contact the police or anything like that? It can wait till lunch?”
Bethany sighed. Getting Terry and Mr Smith in legal trouble sounded positively fantastic, but that wasn’t really a possibility. “No, we don’t need to contact the police. It can wait.”
Adam nodded thoughtfully, and for a moment Bethany thought that was that, they were done talking about her waxing experience, when a small grin crossed his face. “Think happy thoughts!” he said. He patted her crotch, causing her to give a choked shriek and look around frantically to see if anyone had noticed. “This is the cutest it’s ever been now!”
“Get off me, you creep,” she hissed. She forced his arm away her. “You can’t do that in public!”
He laughed. “Just trying to lighten the mood,” he said. “Let’s get something to eat,” he said. He offered her his hand.
Still glaring at him, she took it in her own, letting him pull her to her feet. Hand in hand, they finally left Pamper Yourself! and the stresses of the morning behind them, ready to get on with their new, pube-free lives.
From the front window of his store, Mr Smith watched them disappear amidst the crowds, a dramatic frown plastered across his face. Finally, he turned his back to the window and strode away to find his employee. He wasn’t happy, and he wasn’t quite sure what to do now.
Terry had fucked up.