Wayward Ink Publishing
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Phil Mitchell pours his heart and soul into his job as manager of Speedy Mart, a local convenience store. He loves his work and he loves his fellow employees, but when it comes to his personal life, Phil is lonely and depressed and still pining for his long-departed ex. He embarks upon the week from hell where anything that can go wrong does. It begins with a truck crashing into his outdoor sign and only goes downhill from there. Add an asshole homophobic boss hell bent on seeing him fired and Phil realizes he needs to put into place a plan to save himself and his job. First step in his plan… do something about his love life. Meanwhile, Ezra, one of Phil’s team members, is dealing with his own roller coaster ride of a week. As is Brandon, the local cop… And Mark, the homophobic boss… Perhaps, with a little… luck, the next week will be better.
Speedy Mart store manager
Phil Mitchell loves his job most of the time. At least he's very dedicated, and he loves his employees and customers. But as of late he feels discouraged and lonely. He works so many hours as store manager of the Speedy Mart convenience store he has little time or energy for anything else, especially a love life.
Additionally, Phil finds himself at odds with the company for which he works. They employ thousands of low-wage workers who have little or no hope of ever making a living wage, while a very minuscule percentage of corporate fat cats rake in enormous salaries and bonuses. He tries to do what he can to make a difference in the lives of his employees, but he feels helpless in the face of a system designed to make the rich richer and keep the poor begging for crumbs.
Phil has been a shining star in the company, winning performance awards and achieving sales and profit margin goals beyond the company's expectations. His boss, the district manager, has him on a fast track for promotion to a far more lucrative position in the company...until Phil's embarrassing secret is revealed. Phil is gay.
Humberto, though an American citizen, speaks English as a second language. But he's learned since moving to the United States that there are forms of communication that transcend words. And when he first lays eyes on the cute, sexy store manager at the local convenience store he frequents daily, Humberto's heart is all a flutter.
He tries to flirt with Phil while at the cash register, but the sexy boy with the adorable smile is either being coy or truly not interested. Since Phil has learned to speak a little Spanish, Humberto tries to bridge the gap between them by propositioning him en español. To Humberto's delight, Phil agrees to a date.
Everything seems to be going great, and the couple seems a perfect match...until an unexpected visitor from Phil's past emerges to threaten their burgeoning relationship.
customer service representative
Ezra's a CSR (customer service representative, aka cashier) at the local Speedy Mart. Though he doesn't look Hispanic, he can understand Spanish, having been raised in a bilingual family. And when he overhears one hunky Latino customer propositioning his boss, Phil, he realizes he's not the only gay employee of Speedy Mart. Ezra works the third shift, which is probably a good thing. With his piercings and tattoos, he'd probably shock the corporate brass that slipped in and out of the store during regular business hours. Ezra has his own special type of clientele after hours, including a sexy, buff drug dealer who's willing to take alternative forms of payment for a bag of weed. But beneath the bad-boy facade, Ezra has a gentle, compassionate heart, and his true romantic passion is directed toward someone very dear to him, someone just out of reach.
Vince works for Coca-Cola, delivering beverage product to retail stores like Speedy Mart. With his athletic build and winning smile, he uses his charm and sex appeal not only to make the sale, but also to take delivery of just about anything... or anyone... he wants. And that includes the sexy sales clerks at the Speedy Mart, or even a hunky police officer he meets in the parking lot. Vince's arrogance precludes him from considering the feelings of anyone but himself, even if this means hurting someone who loves him dearly, someone who's dedicated to happiness. But a guy like Vince is impervious to any such pangs of guilty conscience when all he can see is his own ambition--his own desires.
Brandon's not ashamed of who he is as a gay man, but his position on the police force doesn't exactly make it easy for him to be "open" with his identity. He also harbors some unspoken fears about the ramifications of a potential same-sex relationship; therefore, he's in no hurry to dive into any sort of serious commitment. When he meets Vince, a sexy truck driver who manages to wedge his vehicle between the two poles of the Speedy Mart illuminated road-sign, sparks begin to fly. Brandon finds himself thrilled with the prospect of hooking up with this hunky deliveryman... until he starts to see that physical beauty isn't the only thing that matters when it comes to sex appeal.