The Y-files [GL]
I was not sure how to translate this. Literally it means something like 'for your mouth's amusement'. It is a very small dish, like a shot glass filled with a decorated crab cocktail or a cute little bowl of cold soup, that some restaurants give you while you are waiting for your food.
Chapter 21: Tête-à-tête
I went to the counter and asked “Is your bar open to the public?”
“Off course, you can go right in.”
I took Valerie to the hotel bar, and we sat down at a table in the corner with no other people around.
I thought it best to address the elephant in the room, and said “Why are you on a date with me if you are clearly in love with Mia?”
Valerie sighed. “You are the first to see through my act like that. When did you find out?”
“When you saved those girls in the courtyard and talked to her afterward. Why don't you just confess to her?” I answered.
“I did! But she rejected me...” Valerie went all sad at that point and the large personality seemed but a little dwarf right now.
That was strange seeing how Mia reacted. She was clearly hurt that Valerie was out with me...
Some other customers had entered the bar so we were no longer alone so I started talking a little more quietly.
“But you did not answer my question. Why are you on a date with me and why did we 'accidentally' bump into Mia.”
“I wasn't always like this, you know and Mia wasn't always a bully. I used to be a boring shy girl with not too many friends but I was really close to Mia who was a really beautiful and happy girl. We hung out all the time. One day I realized my feelings were more than just the feelings for friends, and I wanted more, so I confessed to her. She rejected me on the spot saying I was disgusting. After that she started to avoid me, so I also lost her as a friend.”
I saw tears forming in Valerie's eyes. It seemed to have been a really traumatic experience.
“But then I decided I would get my revenge. I did a complete make-over and I became the prince. I started dating any pretty girl that I could seduce, and my image as the most popular girl in school rose quite fast. At that time Mia started bullying. The girls I had dated were often her victims, but every time I noticed, I would defend them making my valiant reputation as the Prince even stronger.” she explained
“So basically you wanted to make her jealous and get her to fall for you that way?”
“How many girls have there been before me?” I asked.
“I don't remember, many...”
“And did you get what you wanted out of it?”
She shook her head.
“You know I think you were successful a long time ago...” I then continued
“What do you mean?” She looked like she received a critical hit.
“Well Mia has fallen for you a long time ago. I would say around the point she started bullying the people that went out with you. She is just being too stubborn to admit it, just like you are being too stubborn to stop your revenge, and go after her again.”
The prince started laughing. “You sure are a peculiar one. This is the first time my date told me to go, and chase another woman. If circumstances were different I would definitely pursue you.”
Even though it was clear nothing romantic would happen between us, compliments from such a handsome girl like that did have quite the unexpected impact on me and I felt my heart skip a beat.
“I'm not like that!” I said to myself. My only love is cooking. My only love is cooking. Few that brought me back to planet earth.
“I want you to come to the FBY office on Monday. If you want we can help you with a strategy to get the two of you together. I think that would be in everyone's interest, as you would no longer be hunting innocent girls, and Mia would stop the bullying...”
Valerie looked at me and nodded. It seemed like she had accepted our help. So my mission was complete.
Then she said: “Well since I’ve been such a bad date too you today, you will have to let me make it up to you. The prince is taking you to dinner, and I won't have no for an answer. I know just the place with the right mood.” Valerie had clearly turned back into prince mode. When we got up I saw another customer leave through the door, who really reminded me of Ms Lyst. Must be because she was wearing the same kind of business suit.
“A penny for your thoughts?” The prince said. She was really good at picking out the moments my mind wandered.
“Oh that woman that just left reminded me of Ms Lyst.” I said.
“Ms Lyst again? It seems like I need to up my game if you are thinking of other women.” the prince said teasingly and then winked at me.
I had no idea why she was trying to tease me. I just thought she looked like Ms Lyst, nothing more. I was wondering why the hell I started blushing again, when there was clearly nothing to tease me about.
She put her hand around my shoulder while taking out her phone and made a reservation at some restaurant.
“I heard you like cooking so I think you will like this.”
She led me toward the Place St Catherine. A historic marketplace known for its many restaurants, and she led me inside of one of those restaurants. The prince greeted the staff and they clearly recognized her. She went up to the owner, they talked for a bit and then she came back to me.
“The owner is my aunt. I made some arrangements so there will be no menus for us. They will prepare something special for just the two of us.”
We were led to a special table in the back and they surrounded us with candle light and some romantic Spanish guitar music was playing in the background.
We both were served a Kir Royale and a little 'amuse bouche' while we were awaiting our appetizers.
The prince made some small talk and I found myself laughing at the stories she was telling me. I was having a really good time and when the food came... Safe to say it was amazing. First we opened with some of the best grey shrimp croquettes I have ever had. They had put some chili in the outer layer and they had served it with a dry white wine that finished it off perfectly. I made a note for myself to experiment with shrimp croquettes.
Our main dish was a salt grilled fish. They drove a little chart to our table and lighted the flames, flambéing the fish in front of us. It was quite the show and the taste was excellent too.
I could not remember the last time I ate this well, where I wasn't the cook myself.
To finish us off they brought a special lovers parfait. It was a large cup for two with only a single spoon. You were supposed to feed it to each other and indeed the prince came to me with a filled spoon. Well I was having a wonderful time so why not indulge a little further, so I opened my mouth and let the prince feed me. I could feel the strawberry liquor warming me up inside. I then took the spoon from her and returned the favor. We both started giggling for acting so silly.
Dinner was over and I offered the prince to pay for my part but she really wouldn't have it. She had not allowed me to pay for anything today.
“What kind of date would I be if I let a beauty like you pay for your food?”
My heart skipped another beat at those words. After the alcohol I really started having a harder time reminding myself this was all just an act and that the prince was a dangerous predator to girls like me.
She escorted me home and when we reached my doorstep she caressed my face and said “Thank you for what you did for me, you have no idea how much it means to me.” Then she kissed my forehead and left.
Steam must've been coming out of my ears. I am not sure that if she had actually tried to kiss me on the lips that I could've refused.