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.
I'm sorry this chapter is late. I've been really busy and recently started a new job, so my free time has dwindled significantly. I will try and keep my posting timetable from here on out.
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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
"WELL fuck if it doesn't taste better'n the last one."
I scowled at Sarah as she sat at the counter with a spoon in her mouth.
"It's good?" I asked arms folded over my chest.
"Didn't I just say it was better than the last one?" Sarah scooped up another spoonful of the decadent dessert into her mouth and sighed contentedly.
Huffing, I began pacing the length of the small kitchen. I absolutely had to get these recipes right if they were to be a success. After three days of slaving away in my free time, these dishes had to be perfect.
"Okay, so my desserts are top notch." It was one of the things I was utterly confident about.
"Of course your desserts are top notch! Everything you make is top notch. Did you know that the one you made the other day, the red, saucy one, left me all hot and bothered afterward," Sarah said matter-of-factly.
My face scrunched up. "That's completely disgusting, Sarah. I won't have you associating my dishes with sex. We are trying to run a decent establishment here." I smoothed the front of my uniform and began clearing up. I needed my work space to be immaculate and just so. God knew how the place would look if I wasn't here every day.
Sarah shrugged and pushed away the empty dessert bowl. "I'm only stating a fact. If that dessert gets served on the menu, you can be sure couples will be going home panting for each other."
I sighed. There was no helping the woman. We were two total opposites. How we managed to stay friends was beyond me. I refused to set foot into Sarah's apartment. The first time I did, I turned right back around and left its messy confines, and told her I would come back as soon as she got the cleaning gods to work a bit of magic. She was unrepentant. Her work ethic was above reproach, but at home she was a slob.
But I adored her nonetheless. Whereas I was timid and shy in public, she more than made up for it in attitude and drive. It suited me just fine. We stood up and headed into the restaurant area.
It was decorated in different shades of brown, white and red. It had a comfortable feel to it, which was exactly how I wanted my patrons to feel. The lighting was ambient and easy on the eyes, not bright and garish like many of the modern day contemporary establishments. I wanted Lucio's to be a place to come and relax and enjoy whatever you had on your plate.
"So," Sarah said, taking a seat at one of the tables. "How was the new boy?"
It was dark outside. The restaurant had closed about two hours ago.
"You're a real bitch, you know that?" My frown was fierce.
She stuck her tongue out. "Why yes, I do know that. And you can thank me later," she laughed.
I gave her the finger and she cackled as she stood up. "I'm going home. See ya later!"
"Yeah yeah." I couldn't help but smile.
THE next morning, after another bout of scrubbing in the shower, I felt a bit of relief from my stressful night. It seemed there was no end to the nightmares, each one as horrible as the other. Looking at myself in the mirror, I was surprised that I hadn't broken down yet. My face was pale and gaunt. There were deep shadows around my gray eyes, and my black hair looked frazzled. There was no way I was going to make myself look good. Frowning, I turned away and began to dress for the day.
At around three thirty Dean arrived. He waved shyly at me as he made his way to the staff changing room that everyone shared. I asked him how school was and he looked at me like a deer caught in headlights. He seemed to be surprised by my question and I wondered why. It seemed like a fairly mundane thing to ask.
Haltingly he replied that school had been okay, uneventful, as school was won't to be.
Nodding, I told him to carry on. Paul and Chris supervised him until they left. Lacey always took over when she arrived with Greg.
Turning to stick my head through the door to the restaurant, I encountered a girl. She was small, and looked to be about five years old.
She carried a Raggedy-Ann doll in the crook of her left arm and her right thumb was stuck in her mouth. She looked like a little Goldilocks with her hair held back with an Alice band.
The minute I saw the tears in her eyes I found myself kneeling and taking her into my arms. She sniffled a little before laying her head on my shoulder.
"Oh baby, tell me what's bothering you." I cooed softly, rubbing her back.
She pushed herself out of my arms and looked up at me. "I'm angry at Papa." She sniffed, looking behind me at the kitchen.
"And why is that?"
"Because," she mumbled, "because he wouldn't believe me when I said there was a prince in here."
A prince? I wondered at the imagination of little girls. "But who's this prince you saw, angel?" I asked her, playing along.
She pointed at me.
"But why would you think I'm a prince?"
"Because you're really pretty," she said softly.
I couldn't help the smile spreading across my face. She was just too adorable.
"What's your name, sweetheart?"
She wiggled in front of me, a look of deep thought on her face. "Papa said I'm not supposed to talk to strangers."
It was a little late for that, I thought as I struggled not to laugh.
"But I'm no stranger," I told her, "I'm a prince. You said so yourself."
It looked like I had shown her the light. She didn't seem upset anymore.
"My name is Lucio. There, I told you my name, now you have to tell me yours. It says so in the rule book."
She giggled, "No it doesn't... I'm Anya."
"Well Anya, how about you come up here to the counter and I'll see if I can't dig up some ice cream for you."
Anya looked at me with big, round eyes. "You mean it?"
THE door to the restaurant banged open and Sarah rushed through, her eyes wild. When she saw Anya and me sitting at the counter eating ice cream, she seemed to deflate.
"Oh thank God!" Her hand flew to her chest as she exhaled.
The two of us looked at her and started to giggle.
"Why are you laughing, Lucio? Do you know how much trouble we would have been in if this little girl was lost?"
I stopped laughing and scowled at Sarah. "Us? In trouble? I think the one who would be in trouble is the parent who lost his daughter in the first place."
There was another bang and the door swung open again.
I had to stop myself from gawking at the man who stood before us.
"Papa!" Anya exclaimed, "I'm not talking to you."
He was tall. Really tall. Wide shoulders, trim waist covered in black slacks. Right now his face was a mask of irritation. Chiseled features that would have made Michelangelo weep. This man seemed to take up a lot of space. Power exuded from him,
I found myself clamping my mouth shut tightly to keep from drooling.
"Anya," he said again, his voice deep and smooth. He took a breath and the tension seemed to ease off him.
Anya continued to eat her ice cream, ignoring her father completely. He ran his hands through his short, golden hair. He turned his gaze toward me and stilled.
I admit I got stuck looking at his deep brown eyes, and it took a cough from Sarah to break my reverie.
"Hello," I stammered. Standing up quickly.
"Hi," the Adonis replied. He stepped forward and stuck out his hand. "I'm Julian Romero."
His hand engulfed mine. It was warm and dry. He held my hand firmly and I felt myself loathe to let it go.
"I must apologize for my daughter disturbing you."
Those eyes! I saw myself reflected in them. "It was no problem."
"Yes," he said, "though I'm sure it would not have occurred had your boss implemented strict security on the premises."
It was like a bucket of ice water had been dumped over me. I saw Sarah's face darken behind the man's back.
Pulling my face, I tugged my hand free from his and wiped it down the side of my pants. This man had some nerve, holding my hand and staring longingly into my eyes, while at the same time insulting me. Granted, he didn't know I was the owner, but that didn't excuse him from insulting me in front of my employees. Obviously he must be some sort of prick for his daughter to run away from him.
Dismissing him mentally, I turned to Anya and smiled at her. "I'm sorry Pumpkin. It seems the fun is over."
"But Lucho, you're my prince. I don't wanna go!" She cried.
"I know baby, but your daddy is here now to fetch you, and I have to get back to work." I patted Anya's shoulder and turned away, heading for my office.
"Sarah," I called out behind me, "please escort Mr Romero and his daughter out of my kitchen." I didn't bother looking back until I reached my office and closed the door behind me.