"Everything is prepared for the wedding tasting and your guests have been seated."
"Thanks Mark, you're the best," I grin at my maître d as I reach the kitchen.
"Oh honey, don't you forget it," he retorts.
"How are things going, any issues?"
"All is well hon- we're almost at capacity upstairs. Shaun and Lisa have swapped sections because the regular that Lisa is crushing on was seated on the terrace." He crosses his arms, checks his surroundings to make sure that no one in the kitchen is paying attention to us and moves closer to me, "between you and me, she's barking up the wrong tree. He checked me out on the way in."
"You're joking! Poor Lisa."
"Not at all! And let me tell you, the feeling is mutual. He's hot."
I giggle at him as he arches his flawless eyebrow. The tall brunette has been my dear friend since I began working here nine years ago. We immediately bonded over our shared taste in food and men.
"Speaking of hotties, there have been a few in today. I've been enjoying the view," Mark continues.
"I'm not surprised. If anyone can spot them from a mile away, it's you."
"You got that right," Mark agrees as he runs his hand through his perfectly styled hair. "By the way, loving the look. They say if you've got it flaunt it, and girl you've definitely got em," he adds as he gestures to his chest.
"Get your ass back to work," I say as I playfully slap him on the shoulder.
He laughs as he makes his way back to his post at the entrance. I immediately button my top.
"Elio, is everything under control?" I say as I turn to the head chef.
"All is well. Hors d'oeuvre will be served first followed by the entrees and mains that you have chosen." He replies as he adds fresh basil to the creamy pasta dish now ready for service.
I taste the simmering French onion soup. I add the dash of salt it requires.
"Go and enjoy the tasting," Heather, the sous chef adds with a smile as she playfully pushes me in the direction of the dining room.
I watch as the entire team including the lesser experienced kitchen hands work in unity. Despite the chaos, they still manage to keep their cool. It has taken time to fall into this easy rhythm but I am so proud of how far each of them have come.
"Everyone has been seated and drink orders have been taken," Jen, my head waitress says as she collects the meals for service. "Don't worry, your Merlot is on its way," she adds with a wink.
"You read my mind. Let me know if you need me," I say with a smile as I leave them to their work.
I begin my ascent to the second floor. A shiver rolls down my spine the second I reach the landing. Call it intuition but I feel his gaze on me before I find those familiar grey eyes. My heart thumps in my chest. Goosebumps spread up and down my arms.
After 5 long years, he still has an effect over me. My eyes finally meet his. His full lips form an easy grin and I immediately think back to the first time I saw that smile.
The memories flood back before I can stop them.
Thank you for reading The Ex: Chapter five!
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