A matter of just desserts
|“Soup to Nuts,” Andrea Parsonilly finished off her dessert waving her fork in her hand. The restaurant buzzed around them with the sound of business deals. This was her home away from home.
The crab meat had been spectacular, the wine chilled perfectly, the service impeccable. Everything had gone right, so what had gone so wrong? “Something?” she enquired of her guest. She was paying for the meal and paying twice over, it appeared, for the experience.
The raised fork was a sign calling out for help. Andre’, the waiter appeared out of nowhere at her side, after-dinner silver plate with bill, apparatiff’s and two chocolate mints wrapped in glitter at hand. The pale red liquid swam to the edge of the goblets, paused, and spilled over on cue. “Oh, my. Look what you’ve done to my dress.”
She stood to complete the display, Knowing eyes around her turned away. Conversations abruptly stopped, continued. Other frequenter’s sitting at table had witnessed this scene before. “Excuse me. I must clean up.”
Those weren’t the words Henry Thomas was going to say. These exchanged place with the words, ‘I’m sorry, no.” he meant to offer to the business woman’s proposal. He got up to offer assistance but? She was untouchable. Andrea fled.
A flick of Henry’s cuff revealed the time. It was wasting. His hand paused over the slight bulge of his cellphone. The raised eyebrow of Andre caught his eyes. “Yes? Oh. payment. My card. No tip.”
The waiter nodded stiffly, sight glazing over. The tip was built in. No skin off his nose. The usual bribe of additional cash wasn’t the insult it could have been. He disappeared as silently and suddenly as he came.
Henry waited, balancing back and forth on the balls of his feet. It would be impolite to leave Andrea without closing the deal one way or the other. “Unusual, but it must be done.” His table was being cleared and cleaned. He followed the trail of wine drops on the plush carpet floor.
The sight of Andrea freshly groomed sitting next to his greatest competitor and chatting easily, brought him to a stop. A tall palm decorating the corner held him bound. It was easy eavesdropping. They were talking about the unfinished deal. Andrea was nodding yes. His ear tingled, a sure sign something was up.
Like an western gunslinger, his hand whipped to his hip, trigger finger dialing his phone. “Hello?”
Andrea hid her smile. Her ploy to ignite male domination always won, working one man against the other. The bidding war was on.