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For Your Dining Pleasure, Part 2

It wasn't that Mona disliked being referred to as the 'Cream Queen', or the 'Queen of Cream', or whatever. It was just that it annoyed her that she herself couldn't help but play up to the naked innuendo the nicknames inferred. Probably that's why she named her dessert shop Sweet Mona's, and seriously considered spelling it as Moan-ahhs. Her friend, Teaghan, slapped a restraint on her with one cold, harsh glare. Okay, that would have been a bit cheap-and-cheesy.

Above her tiny but quaint six-seater shop off the main street was her tiny but quaint one bedroom apartment. This was where the pixie-ish baker with strawberry blonde curly hair usually came up with her concoctions and recipes for her tempting sweets and pastries. Inspiration often came from simply watering the colourful mix of fragrant flowers hanging outside of her windows or drawing on some paper with pastels or finger paints.

Sometimes it came from less innocent ways.

“Oops. I think I piped in too much custard. It's overflowing,” Lucas remarked.

“Well, dummy,” Mona scolded her latest apprentice playfully,”Try again.”

Lucas brushed his hand through his ginger hair frowning at the glob of buttery-yellow custard. “What do I do with this?”

She grinned. “Don't let it go to waste,” she giggled, “There are starving kids...somewhere.”

Lucas sighed and put down the piping bag. Kneeling at the end of the bed, he bent down forward between Mona's soft thighs and licked the tasty custard out from her navel.

Mona's tummy quivered, tickled by his tongue as he cleaned out her belly-button. She giggled again, propped up comfortably on her soft pillows, and watched with amusement as Lucas tried once more with the piping bag. Again he failed and resigned himself to licking more sweet goo from her belly.

“How can someone suck so hard at squeezing out custard, but be so good at making rose-petals of icing?” Mona remarked, looking at the perfectly shaped buds covering her bare nipples.

Lucas looked up, a smear of custard on his chin. He winked and said, “I just need to practice some more.”

Mona slid her fingers to her crotch and stroked the soft folds of her petals. “Yeah? You like my custard cream?”

Lucas' green eyes fixed upon the mesmerizing swirl of her fingers. “They don't call you the Cream of Custard for nothing, I guess.”

“That's the Queen of Cream, dummy,” she chided.

He held up the piping bag. “You want me to try again with this?”

Mona shook her head with a beckoning grin. “I think you should use your own piping tool, now.”

“Ouch!" Lucas winced and laughed.

Alright. That was a definitely too cheap-and -cheesy.

“Just get up here and fuck me, stupid,” Mona grumbled through her smiling teeth.

Lucas slid his pale, sinewy body up her soft stretch of pink flesh, hungrily sucking up the buds of icing at the peak of her ample breasts. He swished his tongue around each nipple until they were glistening and clean, before proceeding upward.

As they engaged in a lusty kiss, the diminutive woman reached down and confidently handled his cock, wrapping and sliding her soft palms over his hard length and mushroom head. Her legs spread wide as Lucas lowered himself down, then bent and shifted against his hips as he rocked forward, moving into her with a pointed thrust.

“Umm!” Mona hummed, relishing the throbbing warmth that instantly filled her.

She locked her fingers behind his neck and yanked him down for another heated kiss. Their tongues flicked endlessly, throats gasping and gulping, trading the sweet taste from the custard and icing.

Mona's head listed back, eyeing Lucas over the tip of her pointed nose. Her lips tightened to a tight “O” and through her teeth she grunted, “Don't hold back, baby. Harder!”

Lucas, his long muscles already pumping relentlessly, gave the petite baker a quizzical look.

Her ocean blue eyes lit up as she barked, “You call this a good piping?!”

She couldn't help herself.

Lucas redoubled his efforts instantly, propping himself up, arms locked, hands at her head. He drove into her with fervent, grinding strokes shaking her bed, thumping the headboard against the wall. His pale skin from his face to his shoulders glowed a shiny crimson.

Better, Mona thought. She moaned and groaned her approval, taking him in, clenching herself around his stiff cock.

She cooed, “Ahh! Fill me with your cream, baby!”

She really couldn't help herself.

The veins in Lucas' neck were popping out as he clutched at the headboard and his mouth rounded open. Led by a strained squeak, Lucas loosed a bellowing groan from deep within his gut, heralding a stiff jet of cum from his engorged shaft. He squeezed his buttocks, thrusting forward each time, spurting out more quick shots of his viscous cream.

A few seconds later, his arms buckled and he fell back into the arms of Mona. Their warm bodies settled into one another.

She stroked his damp hair with her fingers and patted him on his back. “Good boy,” she whispered, “Make sure you bring that enthusiasm to the bakery, okay?”

Suddenly her cell phone rang. She recognized the ring-tone.

“Shit,” she snapped. “Off!” She shoved Lucas' body aside. He looked bewildered by her sudden burst of energy.

Snatching up the phone she answered, “Hi Teag! How's it going?”

Lucas blinked. He tapped Mona on the shoulder and mouthed at her, “It's Teaghan? What does she want?”

Mona brushed his hand away dismissively. “No, not doing anything. What's up?”

Lucas frowned and watched as Mona nodded and said “uh-huh” over and over.

“Sure! Of course! That'd be great! Thanks alot!”

“What...”

Mona covered the phone and sneered at him. “Shush!”

Returning to the phone, she chirped, “Come by tomorrow and you can try some samples. Pick out what you want.”

“She's coming here?” Lucas blurted before her hand smothered his mouth.

“See ya, Teag!” Mona said then put aside her phone.

“Teaghan's coming tomorrow?” Lucas asked.

Mona nodded. “She wants me to provide some desserts for a party she's doing. I told her to come by and try a couple of things.”

“Oh.”

She squinted at him. “What's the problem? You've only met her twice, maybe?”

And both times she had implied --actually more like outright declared-- that Mona may just as well apprentice a chimp rather than Lucas. But he didn't remind Mona about that. Instead, he sighed, “She's just...she's so...she's kind of intense, you know? A short fuse?”

Mona giggled and nodded. “Yeah. She's got spirit.”

“I mean, don't get me wrong. I do love intensity in a woman. It can kinda looks good on her, you know? Nothing wrong with some angry mixed with the sexy.” Lucas said, suddenly drifting away in thought, “Honestly, with Teaghan I don't know if I want to yell at her or if I want to fuck....um.”

Mona's eyes pierced a hole through his forehead.

Lucas looked away sheepishly and shifted gears. “Why's she so angry, anyway?”

***

Teaghan – Age Nineteen

“I don't want to keep making the fucking salads, Daniel!” Teaghan dogged Le Petit Chanteur's head-chef.

“Not now, Teaghan. We're beginning service,” Daniel said dismissively as he made his away around the kitchen.

The three other assistants traded exasperated and knowing, looks. It had been a long time since they got through service without an outburst from the salad station.

Teaghan continued to snap at Daniel's heels. “I've been here for almost two years,” she said, “And it's been weeks since you've tried my soups. You said they were great. Why can't we try one on the menu?”

Daniel spun around, a derisive curl on his lip. “You're kidding me, right?”

“No. Whay not?” Her brows pinched together, Teaghan repeated, “You said they were great!”

“You think you can just boil some ingredients, blend them up, pour them into a bowl and then serve that in my restaurant?” Daniel fired back while jabbing a pointed finger at Teaghan's nose, “You're beyond delusional, little girl!”

“Don't call me that!” she demanded.

“It is because it is what you are!”

Teaghan could feel the blood swirling around in her skull. Fists clenched, breathing hard, she stood in the middle of the crowded kitchen floor feeling completely stuck.

“I don't want to keep making the fucking salads,” she muttered.

“Then maybe you should suck more dick,” somebody sniggered quietly behind her.

“What?!” Teaghan turned around to the other assistants, fire in her eyes.

Before she could grab something to throw at the them, she felt a sharp tug on her sleeve. Daniel dragged her out the back door and into the frigid cold of the alleyway.

“Enough!” he exclaimed, shoving her forward.

“For fuck's sake, Daniel!”

“Oh for fuck's sake yourself, Teaghan!” he snapped, “You do not conduct yourself like this in my kitchen.”

She waved her hands at him. With a sarcastic twist on her face, she jeered,“You were perfectly fine with the way I conducted myself in your kitchen during those private cooking sessions, though. Bastard.”

Daniel took a deep breath of cool air, trying to douse the fire within. “Teaghan, your food is fine for what it is.”

“Yeah? What is it?”

He shrugged. “It's home cooking. It's diner food.”

She threw him a glassy, cold stare. “I can cook.”

“Maybe,” he said, “But does that make you a chef? I don't know.”

“Well,” she sniffed, a frosty stream of vapour escaping her red lips, “Maybe I should go somewhere else to find out, then.”

She turned to walk away.

“Wait. You're leaving now?” Daniel called to her. “We're fully booked tonight.”

“Have one of the other chimps make your salads,” she scoffed, never looking back. “And I'm sure Alain will be happy to suck your cock after hours from now on.”

Teaghan hailed a cab and left Le Petit Chanteur.

***

"Bastard!" Teaghan spat at her pastry on the table.

Mona laughed, "It's just a poor mille-feuille, for God's sake! Don't take your frustrations out on it."

The two women sat at one of two little bistro tables inside Sweet Mona's.

Teaghan held her breath, closed her eyes, then exhaled. She imagined the tension escaping her body. "Sorry! I'm sorry. I don't mean to spend so much time complaining to you," she said to her friend. Then she tapped her fork on the sweet pastry on her plate. "And I certainly don't mean to take it on you, you scrumptious thing."

She had been looking forward to this day off, spending time chatting with her friend and tasting the wonderful delights her shop had to offer. Managing to hold her tongue for a while, she finally let loose shortly after Lucas brought them coffee. Something about the “chimp” ignited her.

The thought she would have to be making enough burgers to feed 80 in a couple of days was eating at her specifically. Andres was always an annoying thought in her head in general. She stabbed at her pastry and stuffed a hunk of it in her mouth.

"This guy is really getting to you, isn't he?" Mona sympathized after her friend had gone on explaining what she was going through and associating this guy Andres with every form of rodent from a pygmy mouse to a giant capybara.

"I don't know!" Teaghan exclaimed, waving her fork around, "He's arrogant! He's spoiled! He's bored! He can't tell hamburger from soy paste! He's-"

Her tirade was interrupted by the ring of her cell phone. She looked at the screen. Her face immediately turned sour. "What the hell is this?"

Mona swallowed her coffee and asked, "What? What?"

Teaghan held up her phone. On the screen was a picture of Andres, a full-on leering grin on his face.

Mona's mouth gaped. "Oh my! He's a cutie!"

Teaghan ignored her and firmly pushed the answer button. "Who said that you can touch my phone?" she snapped into the handset.

Mona flinched, realizing her friend meant business.

"I mean, what is your stupid face doing on my goddamn phone?" she repeated. "When did...what? Wait, what? What olives? What do you mean?"

She screwed up her face and looked at Mona, her scowl blowing her petite friend back in her chair.

"You've got a pantry...a whole house full of olives! You have enough olives to wipe your butt with after you take a crap! You're fucking Greek for Christ's sake! " she spat. "Yes, I can swear at you now because it's my day off! No! I'm not going grocery shopping for you! I don't care! Are you listening...hey! Will you...NO...don't hang up! Don't you fucking dare hang up you..."

Suddenly, Teaghan was motionless in her chair, an eerie serenity settling on her face.

"Um...how's the Greek Tycoon?" Mona eked.

The irked chef calmly lowered her phone from her ear. The fine line of her lips puckered as if she'd been sucking on a lemon. Dropping her phone in her bag, she pushed her chair back and stood up from the table. Her brow twitched sharply upward as she growled, "I have to go find him some fucking olives."

“You know,” Mona said as she stood up, “There is a phrase that goes on about protesting too loudly.”

Teaghan paused then smirked. “What? You think I like this guy?”

Mona shrugged. “Hot guy showering you with attention? I don't know.”

“Oh please. You can have him,” Teaghan scoffed.

“I think he already has his mind set on someone else.” Mona sighed. “Nothing you've told me about him come across as mean-spirited or evil. He joked about you being a cook? Ohh! Big deal Ms.Vanity project! He's a bit silly, maybe. But it's like the school jock teasing the bookish class president for her attention.”

“Bookish?” Teaghan protested.

“Serious?” Mona offered.

“How about intense?” Lucas offered from way behind the display counter.

Teaghan crossed her arms, arched her brow, and punched him with her stare. “Get back to your cage, chimp,” she snarled.

“Not now, dummy!” Mona said without turning.

Lucas returned to the back from whence he came.

Mona addressed Teaghan again, “Maybe you can try just relaxing around him. Drop the angry a notch, you know? Appreciate a nice guy when you see one.”

“Yeah, right,” Teaghan grumbled, “Like Andres is a 'nice guy'.”

Mona shrugged again. “Maybe. How can you know when you're so determined to hate him?”

Teaghan rolled her tongue around in her mouth. “Just...make sure the desserts arrive on time, okay?”

She exited the shop slightly deflated, lost in thought as she headed out to look for olives.

***

Teaghan had been prepping the whole afternoon, hours before the first guest had even arrived. Taking a break only to receive her dessert order from Sweet Mona's --the “chimp” delivered them and scurried off with nary a peep-- she went back to work at the guest cottage.

Burgers were easy to make - when you were making a half dozen or so. Making enough for roughly eighty people though took a bit more time. Guessing what Andres' friends were like, the Kobe beef burgers were likely going to end up being used as clay pigeons before the night was over. She probably could have bought them from McDonald's and no one would know the difference. Except she would know the difference, and dammit, her professionalism and pride as a chef would never allow anything less than her best effort.

She'd make the best goddamn Kobe burgers that the world has tasted, so good that Japanese cows would be lining up to give up their flesh for the cause.

She had decided to make extra large patties. After searing them and then slow-cooking the over-sized servings of meat over charcoal and wood-chips, she set each on an oversized slice of fresh baked egg-bread. After topping each with fresh garnish, fried onion straws and a special garlic and roasted red pepper aioli, she simply cut the giant burgers into quarters. In no time, twenty-five burgers became one hundred. Stepping back from her preparation table on the cottage deck, she admired her work. Not bad, though it still took a helluva lot of time.

From the deck, she could hear loud music and conversation coming from the poolside. She checked her watch. Now, where the hell were those waiters?

***

Andres made he was through his guests crowding the pool and garden. He looked the part of the Golden Boy: beaming smile, slick clothes, not a care in the world. His friends were in good spirits, the women were hot and willing, and the booze was flowing freely. Everything was going great when he felt a pointed jab into his back.

Turning around, he looked into the face of someone not having a good time. Her white apron was completely out of place amongst the glitzier, richer fashions swirling around them. Her naturally pretty face looked stern, as twisted as the tight pretzel ponytail she had tied her hair into.

"Hey, Tigger!" he said, "You've come to join us? Grab a drink!"

"Where are the waiters?!" she snapped.

Andres looked left and right and waved his hand around. "They're...somewhere. After they brought out the food, I told them to kick back and join the party."

She watched him take a sip from the glass in his hand. When she realized that was the end of his answer, she blinked then said, "They haven't served ALL of the food! There are still a hundred burgers sitting on the deck back at the guest house! A hundred! Remember? Some dip-shit asked me to spend the whole day making them!"

"Oh geez, yeah. Sorry!" he apologized, "Why didn't you call me? Okay, I'll find the waiters and send them over right now!"

His response nearly sent her into conniptions. Her mouth gaped but she only croaked out inaudible noises.

Andres thought to himself just how amusing and cute she looked right then. He of course knew where the waiters were. He couldn't help himself; he enjoyed seeing the pretty chef get all wound up. It took everything he had not to just reach out and hug the anger out of her.

"Hey, hey, Andres! Who is this lovely bundle of sweetness?" Remy, one of his guests, interrupted them.
Teaghan shirked back a bit. She eyed him through her glasses. The tall man with the clean shaven head, sharp smile and sharper red silk shirt sidled up to her. He wore a heavy cologne that lit up her sensitive nose. "You gonna do the introductions, Andre?" Remy asked, his eyes fixed and narrowing on her.

Andres hesitated then said, "Uh, Remy, this is our live in chef, Teaghan." A shadow of apprehension pulled across his face seeing the man brush up close to her.

"Live in chef, eh?" Remy continued to fix his gaze on her. "Well, my compliments to the chef. No wonder the food tonight is so delectable."

Andres shifted on his feet. He knew Remy, but they weren't exactly on great terms. The leering man probably caught wind of the party and accompanied one of Andres' friends or colleagues. The man trolled these events mainly to score some tail.

"How did you come up with such cool recipes?" Remy oozed on, his eyes always on her, looking her over. "Maybe you could should me your technique first hand in the kitchen."

He was laying it on thick but he certainly wasn't an unattractive man, Teaghan thought, barring the cologne. She smiled tersely at him. "My food hasn't been served. The food I prepared is still back at the guest house waiting for someone to come serve it!"

"Well, by all means," Remy said, putting his glass down and placing his hand on her back, "Allow me to be of some help."

Andres frowned and started to say something.

"Well, that'd be really considerate of you," Teaghan remarked. Andres' annoyance hadn't gone by her unnoticed.

"That's not necessary," Andres spoke up, "I'll send the waiters right now."

Teaghan grinned, satisfied. "Thank-you."

As she turned to leave, Remy took her by the wrist. He said, "So since you're done with your work tonight, why don't you join us?"

"Teaghan doesn't like things like parties or having fun," Andres remarked quickly, "She just likes to cook."

She glared at him. Forcing a tight smile she placed her hand on Remy's chest and said, "That sounds like a great idea. But only if my 'employer' lets me though."

They both looked at Andres. He grudgingly shrugged, finally saying, "I don't care. Do whatever you want."

"Then I'll just go change into something more appropriate," she chirped, winking at Remy. "Give me 15 minutes then maybe you can teach me how to have some 'fun'."

As she slipped away through the party, Remy nudged Andres in the arm. He grinned hardly controlling his excitement. "You know, I never thought a plain white apron could be so goddamn sexy. Wish I could just unwrap her like that. She's just gotta be packing something tasty under there, huh?"

His eyes staying on the fiery chef as she made her way down the steps to the garden, Andres said nothing and simply walked away from Remy.

She was halfway to the guest house when she heard her name called.

"Teaghan!"

The woman turned. In the darkly lit garden, Andres came around a hedge. Teaghan crossed her arms as he approached her.

"You don't have to come," he said.

"Oh, I believe I'd like to join your little party," she replied, "Get to know your friend Remy a bit better, you know? He's kind of cute."

“He's not a friend.” He shook his head. "There's nothing 'cute' about that guy. He doesn't want to do 'cute' things with you."

"Even better," she shrugged.

"What's gotten into you?!"

“Nothing at the moment. Perhaps Remy later on,” she said with a smirk.

Andres' mouth wrenched open but he was speechless.

"Might be nice to feel appreciated!" Teaghan went on.

"Oh yeah? That Remy will make you feel really appreciated when he's screwing you in the backseat of his car," Andres scoffed. He was fully aware of how quickly this had gotten under his skin but somehow he couldn't help show it.

Teaghan waved her hands in the air as if fanning his flames. Her pointed words flared again, "You're the one who told me to have fun! I plan on having some! Or are you just so upset that you might not be able to fuck your personal chef before one of your friends does?"

She blinked as if she didn't know who had just spoken. The explicitness of her own words shocked herself. She had no idea where that had come from, didn't realize how much raging emotion she had built up inside of her. Her words had the same effect on Andres.

He dragged both of his hands through his hair. Starting with a low growl then raising his voice he yelled, "I told you to relax. I didn't tell you to jump into bed with an ass-hole and get yourself fucked like a goddamn whore!"

Instantly, Teaghan's hand came across his face in a flash and painted a red streak on his cheek. She felt her heart pounding in her chest. Her mouth opened and closed slightly but she said nothing.

Andres held his face to the side momentarily, feeling the sting of Teaghan's palm. Slowly he turned his glare back upon her. They were both breathing hard as they just stared at each other in the darkness.

"Ahem." Behind Andres, three waiters stood nervously by the hedge. "We-uh-we're to serve some trays of food waiting at the guest house?"

The uneasy silence persisted for another few seconds. With a frown, Andres beckoned the waiters to walk by. He stared at the ground, feeling the woman's cool eyes on him.

"I'll be there in 15 minutes," she said with a defiant look.

The two parted without another word.

***

Andres wasn't enjoying his party anymore. Slinky, willing women crowded around him and he just pushed past them and walk away. His friends struck up conversations with him but his head wasn't there, muttering responses that had nothing to do with anything and staring off into a corner. The only thing he was interested in doing right now was drinking hard and heavy.

As he downed his drinks, he glared towards the other side of the pool at a couple of people standing on the upper level garden balcony. One of them was the pretty Thai-Welsh chef, now dressed in evening attire, backing up against the marble railing. The other was a party guest he didn't actually invite leaning very closely to the woman, one hand on the railing just barely brushing her hip.

Andres took another swig of liquor, rolling the burning liquid around in his mouth as he dragged his teeth against one another. A red hue surrounded his deep blue, glazed eyes. He polished off his glass and tossed it aside. Slowly he made his way towards them.

Teaghan wasn't having much fun herself. She knew she had already succeeded in getting Andres' ire up, knocking the perpetual grin he had off of his face. That's all she had really wanted. So flirting with Remy now seemed a bit like overkill. He really was as predatory and persistent as Andres suggested him to be, obnoxious as well. As he leaned in closer and closer to her, his overtures had gone well-past suggesting that they continue their introductions more privately and intimately. He was now at the point where he was getting his rocks off telling her what he was going to do with her.

"My cock's never tasted chef pussy before," he breathed on her. His breath and his cologne was sending Teaghan into sensory overload. She winced and tried not to look at him but he was leaning over her so close, pinning her to the railing. "Maybe you could just call it my big 'meat thermometer."

Ugh. Teaghan hated cliche humour.

"Uh, R-Remy," she stammered, then shuddered when she felt his fingers drag up and down the smooth flesh exposed at her midriff. She definitely over did it with the two piece outfit. The already over-stimulated man particularly delighted in handling the gold waist-chain around her belly.

"We can leave this on," he said of the chain. He flashed her a cut-glass smile.

Teaghan leaned over the railing as far as she could without flipping over it. She looked away and down at the poolside. No matter how uncomfortable she was feeling about Remy's advances, what also was distressing her was that she noticed that nobody was touching the food she had spent all that time preparing. The Kobe burgers were pushed aside, surrounded by empty glasses and bottles, and used as cigarette extinguishers. All that work. What a waste. She had guessed before that it could have ended up that way. But it still bothered her tremendously.

And she couldn't see Andres anywhere. That she found this disappointing was kind of a surprise to herself.

She hadn't the time to muse about that thought much, though, as she suddenly felt something warm and slick on her neck. Remy nuzzled his face under the side of her chin, dragging his tongue up along her soft neck. Teaghan gasped and almost lost her balance but his body pressed up against hers, holding her up against the railing. In another split second, his rough hand slipped under her skirt and slid quickly up her thigh and around to her smooth bottom.

"Mmm, nice and tender," he purred against her throat as he continued to kiss and lick her.

His scent filled her lungs and she had to clear her throat before she could speak. "Remy, wait," she said, breathlessly. Then more firmly she urged, "Stop it!"

His hands indulged in a few more firm gropes, tugging at the woman's underwear, before she pushed him away with her legs and arms. "Get the fuck off of me!" she insisted.

"You want to get out of here now?" the man asked eagerly, misunderstanding her. "You want to go to a room or somewhere?"

"No. I just want to get away from you," she spat as she readjusted her panties through her skirt.

Her words weren't quite registering with him, but still, a mean streak immediately showed itself in Remy. He leered at her and said, "Hey. You're just hired help anyway, aren't you?"

He moved towards her again. Teaghan, however, slipped away from him, avoiding getting pinned against the railing once more.

"Will you just fuck off already?" she snapped at him, "I'm not interested!"

"Wha-?" The man stood there, red faced and dumbfounded. He sputtered, "You've gotta be shitting me!"

"No. I'm not, idiot," she insisted and quickly walked around the balcony and went down the stairs.

She had started to make her way through the guests by the poolside when she heard Remy yell at her from behind.

"You fucking little bitch!" he roared as he made his way to the bottom of the stairs. "You're just a cock-tease slut aren't you?"

She should have just kept going but instead, Teaghan froze. The crowd of party goers moved away from her, staring at her.

"Yeah, and you know what?" the enraged man went on as he grabbed a burger from the table, "Your food is crap!"

Stunned, Teaghan turned around slowly and faced him. Her body trembled as she growled, "I am a damn good chef you fucking ass-hole! I may as well just serve you a piece of shit!"

"Go get a job at McDonald's!" he yelled, "Either learn how to cook or learn how to fuck, bitch!"

She was mortified, a chill running through her spine and rooting her to where she was standing even as she watched the crazy man, in slow motion, cock his arm back and prepare to actually fling the burger at her.

Suddenly, a solid figure lunged by and tackled Remy, plowing him into the dessert table. People gasped and screamed as Andres as picked up Teaghan's antagonist and hurtled him like a sack of laundry into another service table. Then he lunged at the man, sat on chest and at the obnoxious, pitiful crap out of him with a flurry of fists into his face. Food and glasses were scattered all around them and the poolside as he mercilessly pummelled Remy even as other guests struggled to pull him off.

Apollo was angry.

Three men finally pulled Andres up from the bloody mess that was Remy's face.

“She's a fucking chef, you dumb-fuck!” he spat, kicking at Remy's feet.

He shrugged the men off. Breathing hard, his face red and angry, he looked around the poolside.

Teaghan had vanished.

***

Once back in the guest house, Teaghan actually managed to compose herself pretty quickly. She stood with her back against the door, staring into space, absorbing what she had just witnessed. Somehow, she managed to peel herself away and walk to the bathroom. Within a few minutes, after she had washed her face and started to change into her wife beater and jockey panties, the distress she felt turned to solemn fuming. What did it matter what that sonuvabitch Remy thought of her? She didn't care about what any of those people out there thought of her and she didn't need their approval to know that her food was great.

Teaghan stood over her bed and grimaced. Okay, so she was a bit proud, and haughty, and short-tempered and all of that sometimes made her do and say stupid things just to get back at people. She knew that she wasn't completely innocent of what went down at the party.

Surprisingly, an excited twinge deep down in her gut betrayed the satisfaction she felt watching Andres throttle Remy. That was a complete surprise. He just tackled him, threw him to the ground, and bashed the stupid prick with his bare fists. And he did it in defense of her, the 'fucking chef'!

Okay, it was very satisfying!

With her mind whirling and her heart still beating quickly, Teaghan thought she would have trouble falling asleep. As soon as she fell onto the plush mattress and pillows, however, her exhausted body sank into a deep slumber, images of a young man with crisp blue eyes and olive skin unexpectedly filling her dreams.

***

3:45 a.m.

Teaghan awoke to the sound of thumping on the guesthouse door. With a groan, she stuffed her face into a pillow and wrapped her head with it like a dumpling. Somehow, the persistent thumping seeped through to her ears, anyway.

"Oh for the love of God!" She whipped off the blankets and marched over to the door.

She couldn't see anybody standing behind the frosted window of the door. The thumping continued, very softly, like someone dragging their knuckles against the door.

Teaghan opened it and jumped back as a dark figure sitting on the doorstep slumped onto the floor at her feet.

"Christ!" she yelped. "Andres?"

The young man hauled himself back up to a seated position, leaning on the door frame. Teaghan switched on the lights and stood over him.

He lolled his head up to look at her. His eyes, reminiscent of those found on fish, were red and watery and his olive skin complexion had a noticeably red blush. His mouth was slightly open and shaped in a really stupid grin. He was pissed drunk.

"Teaghan," he drawled, "Tigger. The Tigress. Rowr. Ha ha ha!"

Teaghan just continued to look at him in stupefied silence. She noticed that he was clutching one of her Kobe burgers in his hand.

Andres crammed the burger into his mouth and took a huge bite. Like a cow with a mouthful of bubblegum, he chewed. Smiling, bit of meat and bread squeezing out between his teeth, he mumbled, “These were fucking amazing! Those fucking people out there had no fucking idea!”

Shaking her head, Teaghan said, “Andres, you don't have to eat those.”

"I-I can see your panties," he chuckled, pointing an unsteady finger at her bare legs.

Teaghan blinked realizing she had gone to the door without her robe. "Shit!" she spat and ran to the bed. She returned to the door, covering herself up.

Andres had polished off the burger in the meantime and belched his satisfaction.

"What are you doing here anyway?" she sighed. "Don't tell me, you want me to make you another sandwich, yes?"

"'Sandwich'," he mimicked her and laughed again. His eyelids lowered and, swallowing, he shook his head, rolling it like it was detached from his neck, and said, "No. No. No. I'm just here to say sorry."

Teaghan groaned, "You don't have to do this now. Just go to bed."

"No. No," he insisted. With a guttural rumble, he heaved himself up onto his feet. "I'm really, really sorry...for everything."

Teaghan held up her hands half-heartedly as he wobbled, but he managed to remain on his feet...his bare feet she suddenly realized. “Where are your shoes?” she asked.

"Yep, I'm a bastard and a spoiled rich-brat," he went on, ignoring her question. Then unexpectedly, he stumbled his way into the guest house.

"Oh, wait! Um, don't...shouldn't you go home?" Teaghan pleaded as he she watched him make his way to the centre of the room.

Coming to an unsteady stop, Andres looked down at the floor. “Where are my shoes?”

“Good question,” Teaghan sighed.

“Ah, yeah!” Showing a droopy smile he remarked, “I buried them in Remy's ass when I kicked him out of the place!”

That managed to cajole a reluctant grin on Teaghan's lips.

He looked up at the skylight. "Wow," he remarked, "This place is nice, isn't it? Never been in here before. It's really homey."

She was at a loss as to what to say or do to get him out of there.

He mumbled, "But you're not going to stay."

She couldn't tell if that was a question or a statement. She could tell however, by the way that he was standing his ground and speaking that he had no intention of leaving any time soon. With a tired sigh, she closed the door and said, "What do you mean?"

He managed to focus his eyes on her, "I mean, you're not going to stay because of me. You can't stand me."

She shook her head, "Andres, I don't-"

"I'm an inconsiderate, unappreciative bastard," he droned, "I get all this good stuff given to me and I don't deserve any of it."

Teaghan's exasperation, in spite of how tired she felt, left her body. She walked over to Andres and gently took his arm. He looked at her and smiled. She smiled back.

"Come on, 'Apollo'," she sais as she led him to the couch. "Have a seat. I'll get you a glass of water."

As she walked to the kitchen, Andres, staring at the unlit fireplace, rambled on, "I mean it. I don't appreciate anything. As soon as I get some money, I blow it. I get a free pass into university and I just squander it. I'm such an ungrateful dumb-ass."

Teaghan returned with a glass of water. She smiled to herself, bemused by his self-berating. As she handed him the glass she said, "Here you go...dumb-ass."

Andres polished it off in one long gulp. "I have a beautiful and sexy and talented chef working her butt off for me," he looked at her longingly, "And all I do is tell her to make sandwiches."

“Beautiful and sexy" were nice to hear. She'd be lying if the she said the “talented chef” part wasn't the icing on the cake for her, though.

"No wonder you want to leave," he muttered and closed his eyes slumping onto the couch.

Teaghan scratched her wrist uneasily and just watched him lie motionless there. She thought she might try to encourage him to leave, but short of picking him up herself, she couldn't be bothered. With a shake of her head, she walked away, turned off the lights and slipped back into bed.

But just as her eyes closed, she heard Andres moving around in the dark. He coughed then said, "So what's the plan?"

Teaghan rubbed her head and sighed, "What do you mean?"

"I mean, what are you going to do when you leave here?" he said. He appeared at the edge of the bed, the light from the skylight casting a glow on him. He walked around to the side and sat down on the bed.

Teaghan sat up, covering herself with the blankets. "Andres! What are you doing?" she asked anxiously, "Get off of my bed!"

"Seriously, what are you going to do?" he asked again.

"I don't know!"

He turned his head to look at her. "Sure you do. Of course you know. You're not going to be here forever."

Teaghan stared at him. His eyes were fixed on hers as he waited patiently for a reply. He wasn't goofing around and he wasn't going to leave until she answered. She breathed deeply, her nerves calming somewhat as she thought for a few moments.

"Well, eventually I'd like to open my own restaurant, I guess," she finally said, "I've always wanted to own and work in my own restaurant, have my own kitchen."

He nodded.

Picking at the blanket she added, "I'd like a bistro in Napa Valley, a classy and intimate place. Twenty guests a night, tops." She enjoyed talking about her goals and continued, "A nightly menu of my own creations using fresh, local produce. It'll be called 'Little Roses' with peach and white flowers throughout the restaurant. Out front, I'll have a statue of a flower girl, tossing rose petals into a pond."

Teaghan smiled to herself in the darkness just thinking about her future.

Maybe it was his grogginess, but Andres thought she glowed as she spoke. "That's...really nice," he slurred. He looked away into the shadowy corners of the room. "Nice to have a plan."

"And what's your plan?" she asked, "What's in store for you, Apollo?"

He shrugged and mumbled, "You tell me.”

Teaghan didn't hesitate. She remarked tersely, "The only son of an only son inherits the family business. Lives rich and irresponsibly for the rest of his life, happily ever after. End of story?"

In the darkness, Teaghan saw the back of the man's head bob slowly up and down. She realized her remark may have come across as callous. She wasn't sure if it was residue from the last few days or if she was just getting a little annoyed with a rich guy's self-pity. Still, she kind of regretted saying it.

She heard him chuckle softly. "Yep. You've really got me pegged. You really are a smart, smart girl." He sighed then said again, "Nice to have a plan."

If there was ever an opportunity for Teaghan to verbally dismantle the young playboy, to slash him and bash him with a curse-laden tirade, to really skewer him and throw all of his spoiled, woe-is-me, attitude back into his face, it would be now. However, though she may regret having not done so later on, she felt all the bluster sucked out of her for some reason.

“Well, I'm not going to feel sorry for you,” she scolded quietly, “Some of us wish we could be so lucky to have a head-start like you got in life. All you have to do now is find something you're passionate about and do it, just like I'm doing. You've just got to dig in your heels and go for it sometimes.”

She wasn't used to being the encouraging type. Certainly she would have never expected to say these things to Andres, yet the words came easily and sincerely.

Despite her better judgement, she added, “I think...I honestly think you're a good guy who could go far if you just grow up a bit and really sink your teeth into something.”

Before she could go on, Andres suddenly dropped back into the bed, his head falling on the pillow beside her. His eyelids slammed shut.

"Uh, Andres?" Teaghan said anxiously as she poked him, "Andres, you can't sleep here. Get up."

A quiet gurgling rumble slipped through his mouth and nose. She called his name again and shook his arm. The snoring grew louder.

"Dammit," Teaghan muttered. She glared at him for a minute. Then she stood up, grabbed her pillow and stomped over to the couch.

She should have left him lying outside the front door.

To be continued...
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