“Get these before I eat them all,” I say around a mouth full of food. Everyone swarms. I laugh and take another picture to post, knowing it will make Jeremy, the owner of Golden Spoon happy.
Dinner service is busy so I don’t have much time to look down at my messages. Once everything starts flowing, I’m able to glance at my phone to see that I have multiple missed calls and texts from Cullen. I open the messages first.
Cullen: Who is the guy on your Instagram?
As I scroll the messages, I can see that most of them are asking the same thing. My irritation starts to rise. Who does Cullen think he is? He thinks just because he made me come a few times that he’s in charge of my life now. The thought of him bringing me to orgasm sidetracks me for a second. I’m getting increasingly mad and turned on at the same time. I take a calming breath before I place the phone back. I’m not sure if I’m mad at him or myself. He’s making me feel out of sorts. Worse, the little voice inside of my head likes that he’s jealous. It’s silly and immature but still it’s there.
I’ll deal with him later after I finish with work. There is no avoiding him since he is now staying at my place. If I got in a fight with him would we still get to have sex? I ponder the thought as I get back to work, feeling restless now.
Each time I think of Cullen my body silently begs to go to him. I’ve convinced myself that only my vagina is addicted to Cullen. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Before I’m able to finish those thoughts the maitre d’, Kimmy, walks into the kitchen.
“Someone is asking for you.” She wiggles her perfect eyebrows. She always does when she thinks a guest is hot. She and Brian have been on a mission to hook me up for months. “He’s cute.”
“He has a woman with him,” a server calls out.
“Nah, they aren’t together. They’re friends. I can tell.”
“I wanna see,” Brian chirps and starts to untie his apron strings.
I glare at Kimmy. “If he brought a woman he’s on a date and I’m not interested.”
“We eat together,” Brian reminds me.
We do. Okay, maybe this isn’t a date but I’m not looking to hook up with some random. While I might be irritated with Cullen, I am still so going home to that tonight.
I give my hands a thorough rub under the water and shake the excess off in the big metal sink. The best and worst part of my job are the diners. On the one hand, I love seeing people enjoy my food. When they are excited, it energizes me to create more and better dishes. On the other hand, some people want to complain. Not everyone will always love what you create. You never know what you’re going to get from someone, but being a chef in this town involves mingling with the customers. Everyone does it, from Jeremy right down to me.
“Table five,” Kimmy sing-songs as she goes to stand near Brian.
I button my spare, and most importantly, clean chef’s coat and head out into the dining area. My eyes arrow straight to table five, where Cullen is sitting, his dimple nowhere in sight.
“Don’t do it,” Tony says.
“Do what?” I ask, not taking my eyes off the kitchen door.
“Murder a man because he fed your woman a piece of shellfish. Or, at least, wait until we’re not in public. I don’t have that Will Smith memory eraser doo-hickey. I’ll have a better chance of covering up a murder if fifty of New York’s elite aren’t watching.”
“I’ll murder whoever I damn well please.” MJ has appeared dressed in a crisp white double-breasted coat that makes her look so fucking sexy. I drag my eyes off her fine form and search for my victim, but the only person behind my woman is the maitre d’ who showed Tony and me to our table.
“You asked me for advice. This is me. Giving you advice.”
“Keep it, Tony.” I stand up and push my chair back, just in time for MJ to reach me. “Hey, shortcake, sent you a text. Maybe you didn’t get it.”
“I got it.” She tips her head. “Who’s your date?”
“Hi, I’m Tony.” My partner waggles her fingers. “I’m the chucklehead’s partner. Supposedly, I’m here to give him advice, but he’s not taking any of it so I’m done with the advisor role. Instead, I’m going to play interested bystander.”
MJ leans around me and takes Tony’s hand. “I like you. How about you ditch your partner and you can meet me for drinks later?”
“I’d love that, but my other partner—the one that I sleep with—might have other ideas. She’s like this one.” Tony jerks a thumb at me. “Jealous all the time.”