Hey Everyone! This is a new short story I wrote. It is complete however I will be posting a chapter every week and not the whole story in its entirety. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find another one of my stories, Ark Noah, in the sci-fi fantasy section.
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The following works are copyrighted by the author. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the author. All characters are entirely fictional and any resemblance to living persons is coincidental. This story will contain scenes of explicit or erotic sex between men. If this is illegal in your country or state, or offends you, please leave now.
There's a Prince in the Kitchen
THE nightmares were back. God, why did they have to return? I could feel myself struggling to breathe. In my sleep, in my nightmares, I knew without a doubt what they were, and yet, the terror and gut-wrenching fear still rushed through me like a tidal wave. My vision blacked out, and I felt myself being pushed down and dragged. The sniggers and the vulgar words were being thrown down at me like sharp stones. They were gonna get me good, teach me a lesson. Faggots like me didn't belong on Gods beautiful blue world. My body shuddered and I tried to scream as hard as I could when I felt them tear my jeans off. I got kicked in my head for the trouble and blood gushed out of my mouth. Another kick speared into my abdomen.
No! Please let this nightmare stop! But it continued. It seemed I had to continue to play this out. My eyes were wet and I was gasping as I felt their brutal, hard hands roam my body. The tears stung my eyes and moistened the blindfold tied painfully tight around my head. My shirt was ripped off next and the cold wind knifed through me.
I heard a belt buckle loosen, and my mind screamed in terror. "Stop!" I pleaded with them, but they laughed, these faceless monsters, and I whimpered as I realized what was going to happen to me. So I shut up. I would not give them the satisfaction of screaming out.
One of their clammy hands touched my ass, and I struggled not to wrench myself away, I knew I was just going to get beaten more. This had to be over quickly. This nightmare had to end now.
Why couldn't I wake up?
And then I felt it, sliding between my buttocks. And then the stabbing-
I shot up out of the bed and landed in the corner of my room, breathing painfully hard and loud. Just a nightmare, it was only a nightmare. There was a keening sound disturbing the silence in the room, and realized it was coming from me. I made a concerted effort to calm down and shook my head and stood up shakily from the carpeted floor. With eyes that saw nothing, I walked toward the bathroom, turned on the shower as hot as I could handle, and stepped in after I shed my sweat drenched sleeping clothes. I let the scalding water fall over my body for a minute before I proceeded to scrub my body, and scrub and scrub and scrub.
TWENTY minutes later I felt as refreshed as I could be after my horrifying night. After years of trying to forget that dreaded day, the nightmares had started up again. I would never set my foot in another big city in America as long as I could breathe. Those huge, noisy, crowded cites filled with anonymous people could forget about Lucio De Luca forever.
Donning my chef's uniform, I headed downstairs to what my whole life now was. After that day I threw myself into the one thing I knew I could do well, making food, and eight long, difficult years later, I had my dream. Lucio's was my life, the one thing I threw myself into passionately, and it paid off. My family bistro was doing well; there was never a slow day. I immersed myself in making people happy by filling them up with food that would satisfy them; keep them coming back for more. Perfection was something I demanded, from myself and everyone that worked under me, and as a result I was sure many of my staff members thought I was a tyrant, but I was never mean to anyone. I was kind to a fault, which was probably worse for them. It gave them no choice but to obey me.
Of course, I wouldn't be caught dead in the front of the house, the restaurant area. My domain was the kitchen, and it was where I thrived, my kingdom. A restaurant manager saw to the running of the front. I trusted Sarah with that responsibility. I did everything else though; I was meticulous with my financial records and rigidly kept my books in the black. I would not allow myself to fail, and lose my restaurant.
After switching all the lights on, as well as the stoves and fryers, I heard a knock on the back door. I saw Sarah's bright smile and big blue eyes through the small window. I grinned and unlocked the door for her. The sun was just beginning to rise and I was sure it was going to be a bright day in Rosenwood. Sarah whirled into the kitchen, dropped her bag onto the counter, and then eyed me suspiciously.
My smile dimmed a little. I nodded, there was no use hiding anything from Sarah. She knew me too well, and nothing ever got past her. That's what made her such an effective restaurant manager. She also happened to be my best friend, well, the only person I ever really confided in.
"Yeah, the nightmares returned."
"Oh, you poor thing." Sarah came over and hugged me. My body tensed at the intimate contact, but I made myself relax. It was a huge feet because for years after I couldn't bear to be touched by anyone. Even now, Sarah was the only one who could get away with it.
"Don't worry, I'll be okay. I've gotten through it before, and I'll do it again." I slowly extracted myself from Sarah's arms and continued preparing the kitchen.
"Okay, but if you need to talk, you know I'm there for you, right?" Sarah said as she removed her coat. She was immaculately dressed in her black and white uniform, the only other person besides me who was a stickler for protocol.
"Yes, I know."
"Oh, that reminds me! We've got a new guy starting here part time. He'll be coming after school. He's a student at a school nearby."
"Oh? Doing what?" I asked as I filled the coffee machine for my morning cup.
"Kitchen assistant!" She shouted from the doorway as she made her way to the front of the restaurant.
"Sarah," I said. I knew there was a scowl on my face.
She peered at me through the warmers with a shit-eating grin. "Yes Lucio?"
I lifted my eyebrow, "Whatever made you think I needed help in my kitchen?"
"Oh for fuck's sake Lucio!" She exclaimed. "You're really gonna stand there and tell me you're not drowning during the evening shift when everyone within a two mile radius comes in for dinner?"
She was right. The bitch.
I waved her away and heard her cackle as she prepared for the day. I heard the back door open again and Paul and Chris, two more of my employees entered.
"Morning Boss!" They called out to me. I mumbled a hello in return.
LATER, after the morning rush had finally died down, I took a cup of coffee to my office to check the books for the day. Paul and Chris were more than able to hold the fort until the lunch rush came in. Sarah was able to take a break with me as well while her servers watched the floor. She came into my office with a huff and plopped down onto the guest chair in front of my desk.
"I swear no matter how many times I go through it, the breakfast rush always leaves me winded."
I grunted in response as I balanced spreadsheets, glad to see that everything was well within the black.
"So that cake you were trying out the other day, how was it?" She asked as she fanned herself with her hand.
"Hmm, I'm still trying to figure out the right quantities of spices to put in."
"Remind me again, what were those?"
"Nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, a bit of allspice. But the trick to getting that sweet taste is the maple syrup."
Sarah moaned. "It sounds good."
I grunted. Sarah was stalling. I knew there was something else she was dying to know. My lips remained silent.
"Oh come on Lu! You know exactly what's been bugging me. Spill it already!"
Sighing, I turned to look at her. She was a beautiful woman. Her curly chocolate brown hair was pulled back into a tail. Her face was smooth and golden, and she gazed at me with hazel eyes filled with mischief. She was grinning at me, waiting in anticipation for my answer.
I had been on a date the day before. A date that she had set up herself. I was to meet this guy at Madame's, another restaurant on the other side of town. Sarah told me she had said nothing about me to this guy and she would tell me nothing about him.
Which was a pity. If she had told me the guy was an artist, I would have told her no thanks. So it left me no choice but to go and see this Carl Parker.
"I'm going to give you some advice, my dear Sarah. Never, ever, ever, set me up on a blind date again."
Sarah gawked at me. "But he's an artist!"
"Yes, and I'm sure he's a very good one. But did you forget to mention that he was, oh I dunno, arrogant and selfish? The hour and a half we spent at the restaurant was exhausting, and all he could talk about was how hard it was to get just the right color for this painting he was working on. And when I asked what the color was gonna be used for, he said it was for the nipples of the model he was painting."
Sarah burst out laughing. I scowled at her and huffed.
"It's not funny Sarah! When the waiter accidentally knocked Carl's hand, I thought there was going to be a lawsuit! Nobody messes with an artist's hands. It's their livelihood."
"Okay, Carl was a bad idea, I admit it now," Sarah said, wiping tears from her eyes.
I waited for her to continue.
"Alright already! I won't set you up on another date."
I nodded. "Good."
Truthfully I was relieved. Because I had been terrified. I was nowhere near ready to be intimate with another person. I don't think I ever would be.
IN the early afternoon there was a knock on the back door. It opened and a boy stepped hesitantly into the kitchen. He looked around and spotted me. Smiling shyly, he walked towards me. He was about two inches shorter than my five nine, with a lean frame. Beautiful was a word that described him. He had the lightest blond hair I had ever seen, almost white, trimmed to just above his ears. Wide, blue eyes gazed at me with a vulnerability that seemed to pull me in.
"Hello, what can I do for you?" I said, and smiled to make him feel at ease.
"H-Hi," he said, waving slightly. His hands were delicate. What was I going to do with delicate hands?
"My name is Dean, Dean Mason. Sarah said to come see you about starting today... as a kitchen assistant?" His voice was light, lacking confidence.
Taking a deep breath, I looked around my kitchen, wondering how I was going to kill Sarah. "Right, I figured." I extended my hand to him. "I'm Lucio De Luca. You'll be working for me."
Dean took my hand in his and shook it, his grip surprisingly firm.
"So Dean, do you have any experience working in a kitchen?"
"Nope," he said, "but I learn quickly and I promise I'll work hard."
How nice. Sarah was going to hear a few choice words from me.
I lead Dean to my office and had him give me his details. He was seventeen years old and a junior in high school. He stayed about five minutes away, which was good for him because I despised tardiness.
I managed to find a uniform that would fit his slight body and told him to start in the scullery area, get some of the things cleaned. "Everybody has a chance at the sink," I told him. After that he could get to peeling some potatoes.
He was quick, and when I checked, thorough. Paul and Chris seemed to get along with him and made light conversation up until their shift ended. I introduced Dean to Lacey and Greg, the evening shift chefs. Lacey took to him immediately and began showing him the various dishes we served. It seemed he was doing well.
Maybe Sarah was right to send him to me, but that didn't mean I wasn't going to have those words with her.
Thanks for reading!