Another foray into my fictional kitchen. I had a break in an idea for my fiction, with ‘Her’ meeting someone new after Micha’s off on sabbatical. I watched this new Alaska PD show and one of the police officers was like the perfect model. Good name too. So boom! Fiction! I always get excited when something new comes to my head and I can actually write. I have missed fiction. Oh, and I finally settled on a name for said “Her”. I’m going with Hela, like short for Helene, but she goes by ‘H’…. Just like I go by ‘K’ in the kitchen. Hope you all enjoy. It’s a lot of dialogue, so forgive me.
“H, there’s someone out at the bar asking for you,” Carlo opened one of the swinging doors to where Hela stood at the pass checking over the day’s menu choice.
“Hmm? Who is it, Carlo?” She asked distracted as she frowned at the mushroom selection. They were decidedly low on matsutakes.
“He didn’t say. You want me to tell him you’re busy?
Hela looked up. “What? Oh, no. Hang on a sec.” She crossed off the mushrooms and added shiitakes. “Bobby, we’re switching to shiitakes tonight. Could you make sure they are prepped? I’ll have Justine change the menu.”
“Sure thing, H,” her lead line chef called.
She was texting Justin about the menu switch as she stepped out the doors towards the bar and it wasn’t till she was near the shadow she’d seen in her peripheral that she looked up as a throat cleared. Blue eyes, filled with an incredible amount of amusement, had her catching her breath. The sharp intake of air and the breathy sigh she barely let out, had the corners of his eyes crinkling just a tad more.
“I’m Hela,” she murmured, extending her hand while she slipped her phone into the front pocket of her jacket.
“Gerrit,” the man replied, his voice tinged with just enough masculine gravel. His warm palm engulfed hers and she felt an electrical tingle all the way to her shoulder.
“How may I help you?” She was tempted to tug her hand from his grasp when he didn’t release her hand, but the electricity was humming across her back and up into her hairline. The feeling was delicious and made her want to stretch and arch like a cat in the sun.
“I was told I needed to meet the famous sous chef from Tableside,” his enigmatic response had her cocking her head to the side. She arched a brow.
“I wouldn’t go so far as to say famous,” she argued and nearly groaned in disappointment when he released her hand.
“I suppose that is opinion based.”
She hummed a non-committal answer. “Are you from the area?” she asked.
“No, just relocated here for a job. A colleague suggested I stop in and see some of the amazing selections on the menu.”
“Oh, well thank you. Most of the menu is from my chef, but I have a few of my own.”
“And is your chef here as well?”
Hela stared at him, Something he’d said tickled the corners of her mind at the question’s strangeness, but she couldn’t form it into anything concrete.
“No, he isn’t. I’m actually interim chef as he is on sabbatical and I’m waiting to meet my new chef for the next year.”
“Ah. When does that person arrive?”
“Any day now. No specifics have hit my ears yet. Chef, Micha Grant, said he’d let me know when the new chef was set to come in.” Hela said this as if it was just an everyday occurrence, but inwardly she cringed at the thought. Micha had told her she’d like his replacement, yet he’d been so vague about it all, Hela was apt to be rather apprehensive. She remembered too vividly Lucas and all the hell he’d put her through before Micha had fixed everything.
“Well, I’ll have to come in when the change happens,” Gerrit mused. “Though I would love to try one of your dishes if possible.”
“Quite,” Hela said warmly. She grabbed on of the menus by Carlo’s computer and handed it to Gerrit. “The coconut curry is a specialty of mine,” she said pointing to one of the items, “but then there is breakfast salad with oven roasted tomatoes and mushrooms, or the zucchini involtini, or a simple pasta aglio e olio.” She rattled off the three other items Micha had let her put on the menu. She was secretly hoping Gerrit would order the pasta aglio as it was her signature dish. Simple in it’s execution, it had been one of the first dishes Micha had taught her to saute properly. It was still her favorite dish to make.
“Oh, you had me at curry,” Gerrit interrupted her thought.
“Very good. Carlo, send it through. Gerrit, it was a pleasure to meet you. Any special requests on the curry?”
“No. Surprise me.” He held out his hand for her to shak and the grip was just as warm and inviting as before. “And Hela?”
“It’s been a pleasure as well. I look forward to bumping into you again.” His eyes twinkled like he knew a secret.
Hela couldn’t resist looking back at Gerrit as she headed back to cook the dish. He was watching her, a slight smile on his lips as he rested a palm over his neatly trimmed short box beard. A finger rested on his mouth and her breath hitched again as he caught her gaze with his and grinned again. She nearly burst into giggles as she fled to the kitchen flustered all to heck.
Hope you all enjoyed.