Day 3: word count 875
“The main course is a little simpler, but no less hearty than previous dishes. A delicious beef bone broth.”
She watched him move around the room, raw excitement radiating off of him as he worked the crowd. He was in his element here. Chef, host, entertainer, he was a bright light you couldn’t help looking at even at the risk of your health.
“I used marrow, knuckle bones, choice short ribs, and oxtail to bring untold flavor to the broth. The vegetables are farm fresh, straight from the ground this morning. As with most good broths, the longer it sits, the better it sings along the taste buds. As with all the dishes tonight, I’ve added a little something extra to make the dish my own.”
It was an intimate dining party of five, invited by him for their ties to the culinary world. The buzz in the dining world made securing a place at his table highly coveted, and they hung on every word.
They all leaned in to smell the delicious broth, waiting patiently for him to give the word so they may eat. To start before his go ahead was the ultimate misstep and those people returned.
He let them pant for a taste for a moment longer before he signaled for the course to begin.
“Do have a taste.” He settled at the head of the table. “Please tell me what you taste with each bite and sample the wine that compliments.”
As they ate, she let her eyes stray lazily back to him. He was watching her, a smile on his face that made her heart flutter. She felt sluggish, drugged by his glances. Fire burned in his gaze, a knowing that said there was more to come and she should hold on so she didn’t miss it.
“Oh!” A woman’s startled cry fills the room. “Chef, this is marvelous. I taste the marrow, the headiness of the beef, and some earthy flavor I can’t put my finger on.”
The rest of the table broke into murmurs of appreciation as the course continued on. There were wild guesses as to what was added to make it so different, but he never revealed the mystery spice.
She watched them the whole time. Slow breaths in through her nose, out through her mouth, her body languid. He captivated every inch of her with his secret stares and smiles she knew were just for her.
He rose from the table to collect their plates, disappearing into the kitchen before returning with a tray lined with small glass shooters.
“A palate cleanser.”
They each took a sip, all downing the red tinged contents with flourish. The vocal woman from before hummed in enjoyment.
“How do you make even this so enjoyable, Chef?”
His eyes roamed to hers, scanning her face before turning back to address the woman who had spoken. “It’s the special ingredient I love adding to every dish, every time. It’s the love I pour into it, I believe, and the desire to make every moment perfect for you.”
The woman sighed with pleasure at his words. It was easy to tell what the article she planned on writing would say.
Master Chef, devoted to his craft, always adds a little something extra
He finished the meal with a dessert with a subtle almond quality that all five guests raved over. He absorbed their praise like the artist he was, bowing to them as they clapped.
They all lingered, the woman especially. Her desire for him evident in every line of her body, and if he wasn’t already focused on other things perhaps he would’ve accepted her invitation to discuss the finer points of truffles. As it was, he led her the door with an invitation to return to the next meal. Her dazed smile showing she didn’t see it for the rebuff he meant it to be.
“Oh, cheri,” he breathed as he entered the frosted glass room just to the side of the dining room. “You were brilliant as always.”
She simply blinked up at him from her chair. Her droopy smile her only response to his words.
He touched her cheek before removing the smock covering her torso. Intravenous lines snaked out from multiple points on her body. Some pumped in clear fluid that made her feel no pain, and some pumped out tubes of blood that flowed into a container behind her. Her arms and chest were raw where the skin had been harvested for tonight’s dish.
“And what shall we have for our next dinner? They quite enjoyed your offering this week. The marrow was a lovely touch.”
He felt along the stitches at her ribs and stomach, palmed her breast before reaching up to tap her lips. She opened her mouth for him and he slid his fingertips along her tongue.
“Perhaps an Asian flare with sweet and sour tongue? Or a Mexican themed celebration so close to Dia de los Muertos? Tacos de Lengua would thrill them, no?”
He reached into a drawer to removed a set of tongs and a large serrated knife.
Grasping her tongue in the middle, he warned her softly. “Do stay still, cheri, I don’t want to ruin the meat.”