Life Arranged - Book cover

Life Arranged

Kelsie Tate

Chapter 2


Kiera bustled around the diner with strands of her red hair falling out of the French braid she’d tied it up in. Her cheeks were flushed from running around, taking orders, and giving people their food.


She rolled her eyes as she heard them snapping their fingers snobbishly at her, knowing it was that group of young men in the corner. She walked up to them with her service smile and her notepad.

“What can I do for you?”

“Why don’t you sit with us?” One of the boys smirked bravely.

“You know, I would. But I don’t generally make it a habit of spending time with tools,” she replied sweetly before walking off, enjoying the chorus of laughs from his friends.

Suddenly she felt herself being pulled. She spun around to see the brave one’s hand on her arm. She yanked it from his grasp and glared at him.

“That’s a rude thing to say to a paying customer,” he said darkly.

“Paying customer?” She scoffed. “You’ve been sitting in that booth for an hour with your friends. No food, no drinks, harassing me and other customers. Jerks who take up a table to only order water are not paying customers!”


She swung around to see Bill glaring at her from the service window. She turned back to the boy with annoyance before walking off toward the back.

“What the hell was that?” Bill scowled as he stood before her, his hands on his hips.

“He was harassing me, Bill! What was I supposed to do? The guys didn’t even order anything! You should have kicked them out ages ago!”

He shook his head. “Doesn’t matter. You don’t talk like that to customers!” He sighed and rubbed the scruff on his chin. “I’m going to have to take your tips for the rest of the day.”

“What?!” Kiera could feel her eyes beginning to darken in anger. “You can’t do that!”

“Well, maybe you’ll think twice next time you go off on a customer!”

She could feel Poppy fighting for control. She walked quickly to the back room, propping herself against the wall as she tried to rein in her wolf.

“We can’t... not here… Poppy, stop fighting me,” she groaned as she fought against her wolf.

THOSE JERKS DON’T KNOW WHAT’S COMING!!! Poppy roared in her head.

“Chill…,” she mumbled, trying to calm her mind.


“Poppy, we can’t shift here! Stop!” she yelled, tears filling her eyes as she tried and failed to get her wolf to calm down.

Suddenly, Poppy gave back control, letting Kiera ease their mind. Kiera wiped her tears from her eyes and took a deep breath, the fear from almost shifting in the diner beginning to fade.

I’m sorry... I just—

“I know,” she replied, not wanting to talk about it.

She walked back out to finish her shift, working tirelessly for another three hours before heading home.


“Light tips today,” she grumbled, pulling $25 in small bills from her pocket and placing them on the kitchen counter of her apartment.

She changed and headed to her second job, hostessing at a restaurant downtown.

She took the bus, got off down the street from work and walked in, hoping the coffee in her hand would give her the second wind she needed to get through the night.

“Evening, Kiera,” the owner hummed as she walked through the doors.

“Hello,” she smiled, her eyes tired.

If it were up to her she would be at home sleeping, but she needed this job. Even with her two jobs she was still barely making ends meet, sometimes not even that.

She worked through the dinner shift, finally making her way home at eleven.

After stepping through her front door, her whole body dragging, she collapsed on the couch and closed her eyes.

“Someday I’ll find a good job…,” she whispered as she kicked off her shoes. She let out a sigh as she stood from the couch a few minutes later and made her way to bed, exhausted and worn down from life.


The next morning, Kiera slept in, finally waking at eleven with a stretch and a yawn.

Today’s the day! Hurry and do what you need to so we can head out for our run!! Poppy sang in her head.

“We can’t go until tonight anyway,” she replied, laughing at her wolf’s excitement.

She couldn’t lie, she was excited as well. It had been a long time since they’d gone for a run. Not having a car made it difficult to get out to the state park an hour away. Thankfully, her landlord had said she could borrow his car tonight.

He was a nice guy, if not a little gross.

After running a few errands, Kiera sat at the small table in her kitchen and looked at the bills displayed before her with defeat.

“How the hell am I going to pay all of these?”

She looked down at each one, contemplating if there was anything she could live without. “Definitely need to pay the water bill…,” she mumbled, irritated that she hadn’t had a shower.

She sat back in her chair with a huff.

Nothing in her life had turned out the way she had planned.

Because she was kicked out of the pack at sixteen, she never got any other education than what she left with. A few years ago, she had finally got her GED, but she was still only able to find minimum-wage jobs.

It was starting to take its toll and Kiera could feel herself slowly becoming burnt out.

“We just need to figure this out…,” she muttered. “We have to.”

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