Chapter 85 - The Wet Dog Test

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∞ 85 ∞


As well as his mental exhaustion, Lucius was exhausted physically. He couldn't understand how women could go shopping for so long and walk for so long in such high heels! His astonishment made Valentina laugh.

They stopped at a fancy looking café, hoping to get some tea and cake. After a long while, a bored looking waitress showed up. There was a huge selection of all sorts of colourful drinks and various urns filled with fruits in liquor and herbs behind the bar and Lucius thought he would risk asking for asked for the «thé tilleul» he favoured, but they didn't have it. Valentina also risked asking if they had any cakes that were dairy free, egg free and gluten free and was met with an very weakly veiled look of annoyance and a curt «non»... When the chamomile teas they ordered came, the cups had that raw egg/wet dog sort of smell. ECCKKHH! HOW - DID - THEY - NOT NOTICE - THAT?!

Actually no one else ever seemed to notice that sort of thing and Valentina was worried that she would look annoying and demanding after she had already asked for the special cake (which was apparently very rude of her and obviously caused the poor waitress major distress in just having to ponder the question and make her curt response) so she held her breath and tried not to look repulsed when taking a sip. Lucius, who had noticed the smell before the cups hit the table had no intention of pretending to drink his, but said nothing.

After a long while the waitress returned. Lucius observed discretely as Valentina coyly slid the drink out of smelling range, hoping not to be noticed: one casual slide as the waitress arrived and another as she placed their plates on the table. When Valentina picked up her fork to eat the cake –with dairy, eggs and gluten– that she had ordered to be agreeable, the two middle tines of her fork were bent quite a bit in the opposite direction to the others and Valentina had the little inner dilemma again of not wanting to appear hoity-toity and pernickety, by asking for a different fork and feeling annoyed at the unfairness of the situation; no it wasn't the end of the world but it was a little boorish to be expected to just accept the poor service and 'carry on' as if the pricey café were doing them a favour serving them. They weren't eating there for free!

She decided that she would try and bend the tines the fork back inconspicuously... She was being silly! Just deal with it Valentina! It isn't a big deal! she scolded herself inside her mind. There were far greater things to worry about. At least the fork was clean. She told herself. What she felt more uncomfortable about was that she felt like she couldn't be herself without worrying about being judged for expecting 'too much,' when she was just expecting what she saw as simple, common curtesy and a little look of forlornness unconsciously flooded her face, washing away the cute exuberance. Perhaps if she looked more her age... But... perhaps if she looked more like a typical, pure-blooded European, it would be accepted that she was discerning and entitled to expect a clean cup and a fork that actually picked up food. (WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?! In 32 or 33 years this stupid kind of thought had never crossed her mind before until now, but it did seem like a possibility when simply asking for an item –when it was their job!– so often seemed to be such a big deal in these situations. Maybe most waitresses were just bitches, but then again, Lucian hadn't received a disgusted look when he asked for the «thé tilleul».) More than anything, she worried what Lucian would think... But they weren't on a date after all! And anyway what difference did that make? She never felt weird at home with him. Still, she didn't want him to think she was being impolite.

Lucius huffed and stood up.

Oh no!! He had noticed and was annoyed with her...

"Come on," he said holding out his hand. "We should have some dinner."

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