Kemp made it to New Orleans with no real problems other than fending off the advances of one trucker, letting him know that the ride was appreciated but he wasn’t going to ‘service’ him in exchange for it. The man had immediately pulled to a stop and shoved Kemp from the cab. Only his quick reflexes kept Kemp from landing face-first on the gravel at the side of the highway.
Now he was standing outside the club where he’d worked so briefly before being forced to go home with Leif. This was the one place his brother hadn’t known about when he’d come to the city—and Kemp had kept it that way. After readjusting his pack Kemp pushed open the door and walked in. The place looked just as he remembered it, even to Sinclair standing behind the bar. When the man looked up and saw him, Kemp nodded, getting one in return as he made his way to a vacant stool at the end of the bar.
Sinclair came around the bar to stand beside him, looking him over. “You’ve grown up a bit from the look of it. You’ll even pass for twenty-one now.”
Kemp looked at him in surprise. “You knew?”
“I guessed. Didn’t know for certain until just now. So, are you looking for your job back? Not that I’m offering it quite yet.”
“I could use it, yes, but I can understand if you don’t trust me enough to give it to me since I left in such a hurry.” Kemp chewed on his lip as he waited for Sinclair to answer.
The man shrugged. “You’re not the first one that’s walked out without giving notice and you won’t be the last. At least while you were here you worked hard and were always on time. It’ll be the same thing, bussing, and the same hours.” He chuckled then. “Truth be told you’re a godsend right now. The last kid picked up and left after I reamed him for dropping another tray of dishes, the third time in two weeks. He was more interested in the customers than in what he was being paid to do. So you can start right now if you’re willing.”
Kemp sighed in relief. “More than willing. I even have slacks and a shirt though,” he winced, “the shirt might be a bit wrinkled.” He tapped his backpack.
“As long as it doesn’t look like you slept in it it’ll be okay—for tonight. Now get back there and get changed.”
“Yes, boss.” Kemp gave him a broad smile before hurrying off to get ready. With the first problem solved, all he had to do now was find somewhere safe to stay. And then start his search for Owen.