Kitchen Affairs

By: Brooke Cumberland

I dropped the pot on the floor like the klutz I am as I watched him walk away, appreciating his rock hard body. His perfect dark hair and perfect-framed jawline sunk you in as his face hypnotized you. His six foot-three frame was pure perfection; yet, I wondered if the inside had any faults. Probably not.

I shook my head trying to refocus as I was drooling over Drake. Mr. Cooper gave us an easy assignment for lesson one, which I sincerely appreciated given it was the first day. I needed to create a new sauce for a dish the restaurant developed: Shrimp Pesto Fettuccini.

For the next three hours, I concentrated on my project. We had to follow the standard recipe but add in our own ingredients to taste. Mr. Cooper wanted to see our creative and tasteful sides. Pleased with my new creation, I packed up and headed to the freezer. I placed the containers of my sauce on the shelf towards the back when I heard the door slam shut. I jumped and quickly turned around afraid that I'm now locked in when I see him strangely standing there staring at me. Awkward.

"Hello…" I said vaguely hoping he let me slip past him.

Why is he even in the kitchen? Doesn’t he deal with finances and business stuff? Better yet, why is he in the freezer? Oh god, Molly stop staring!

"Miss Woods, pleasant seeing you here." He stood tall with his hands in his pockets as if he owned the place. Well, technically he does.

I shot him a confused look. Well, I'm the one working in the kitchen after all. "Molly," I corrected him once again. "Excuse me," I urged hoping he would move out of my way. He didn’t budge, so I edged myself toward the front, but he only moved closer allowing me the opportunity to inhale his scent.

Sweet Jesus, he smells good.

"I was wondering if you have dinner with me tonight?" he asked, making no easy way to read him.

This is an odd request. What does he want? Why would he be asking an intern to dinner? Does he have better fish to seek?

I'm drowning in my thoughts as I realized I haven’t answered him yet. "Sorry I can't," I managed to say as I aimed for the door.

He took another step closer to me giving me absolutely no way to dodge him. "What a shame. Another time then." He stepped aside allowing me to grab the door open. I smiled vaguely at him and walked out wondering what the hell that was about.

I unlocked the door to my apartment and saw Michael and Stella playing a game of twister. She’s laughing, and Michael is losing terribly to a four-year-old. "Hello!" I called as I placed my purse and keys on the kitchen island.

Nothing beats coming home to my sweet little girl.

"Mommy!" She ran and hugged me. I felt so blessed to have such a remarkable daughter. She’s been through so much in her short little life. She doesn’t have a dad, but Michael did a terrific job of making up for that. I don’t know what I'd do without him.

"What's going on here, baby girl?" I grabbed her in for a close hug and kissed her.

"Uncle Michael is losing!" Stella grinned as she stuck her tongue out; clearly proud she’s beating him. Gosh, I love her spunkiness.

"That’s wonderful darling. What have you guys been up to? How was school?" I asked, trying to get the details of her day.

Stella attends a private school while I’m away at school. She’s exceptionally smart, which I have Liam to thank for that. Liam was in his third year of studying psychology before he died. I used to edit his papers for him while he studied and ended up learning more about psychology than the average person wanted to know. Although I teased Liam for studying psychology, I truly admired his hard work and dedication. He was striving to become an addictions counselor, ironically being from a home where his mother abused drugs and his dad was too ignorant to notice. He wanted to make helping people a career. Secretly, I think he just wanted to make up for not being able to save his mother before it was too late.

"Great Mom! I drew a picture for you!" She ran to the refrigerator where her picture was hanging so neatly. She brought it over to me and beamed with pride.

It was moments like these where I truly wished Liam were around. As she grew older and developed her own little personality, I noticed characteristic traits of Liam. She would do ridiculous facial expressions that were identical to him, and I would scoop her up and kiss her senseless at the reminder of him.

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