Chapter 11 - Hungry

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The afternoon at the cafe is really busy again and Jo and Jake work hard to keep all the guests happy. As always they work like they have been doing it for years. And all the guest go home well fed and happy. Jake turns up the volume of the radio after the last guest leaves and they clean together, singing along to old rock songs. Pretty soon the cafe is clean and all set up for the football match later. Jo walks into the kitchen and sits down. She puts her feet up on the table, leaning back in her chair. Jake walks in and asks: "Pizza?" Jo nods, stretching out for a yawn. Jake says: "Since Ronnell is not coming tonight, all I have to offer is pizza or grilled cheese sandwiches. And chicken wings later tonight obviously." Jo smiles, knowing she will have to fry the chicken wings. And the guys thinking it's a different recipe. Jake says: "Sooo, lots of cheese on yours, right?" "Yeah, cheese on cheese, under cheese." She laughs and Jake types something on his phone, looking a bit suspicious. "What are you up to brother? I see you there." Jake plays all innocent and Jo is too tired to press him for answers. On top of that Jake would never do anything she wouldn't like, so no need to worry. They sit in silence for a while, using the time to relax while they can.

"Do you want a beer Jo?" Jake pulls himself up, to walk over to the fridge, getting three beers out of it, handing one to Jo. She is about to ask him about the third beer, when the door to the kitchen opens. Dart walks in, holding pizza boxes. "Someone ordered pizza?" Jo smiles at Jake and he winks at her, taking the boxes from Dart. Dart sits down next to Jo and kisses her, before taking the beer Jake hands to him. Jake opens one of the boxes and places it in front of her, Dart looking at it with a shocked face. Jo giggles and happily picks a piece up and eats it. The boys both ordered the same pepperoni pizza and eat away at it, looking over at Jo devouring the pizza covered in cheese. Jake shakes his head and chuckles. "Don't even try to touch her pizza Dart, she will bite you at the very least. She is not good at sharing."

Jo glares at Jake and then starts laughing. "Yeah, not sharing and not sorry." She looks at Dart: "I'm very possessive when I love something." She finishes the pizza and pats her stomach with a smile. Dart and Jake finish their pizza's and drink another beer, talking about the football game. Jake turns to Jo and sees a hint of worry in her eyes. "You know you can stay in the kitchen, right? You don't have to come out there. Your legendary wings are enough to keep the horde happy." Jo nods and looks at the table. Dart places a hand on her leg and waits for her to look at him, before speaking. "What's scaring you? Tell me." She takes a minute to find the words to explain it to Dart. "Well..a group of guys, excited and drunk doesn't make me feel safe. And even though they won't mean anything by it, I will most likely get scared if they try to grab me or if they say something...well...I am not sure how to explain it really... But during the last game, they didn't know I was here. Now most of them know I work here." Dart listens to every word and sees the panic in her eyes and might not understand it, but knows in his heart that it's really scary to her. He puts his arm around her and asks: "Do you feel safe with me?" Jo answers without thinking: "Always." Dart smiles and continues: "Well then that's the solution. I will stay at the edge of the bar all night and Jake behind it, so the first two men able to grab you will be us two. And I will make sure the guys know you're mine. If anything scares you at all, let us know. It will all be fine." He kisses her, and pulls her close, making her feel safe in his arms.

Jo relaxes and smiles at him. "Okay. Tonight is the night they discover the secret of the chicken wings." Jake looks at her, amazed by her strength and the effect Dart has on her. He mumbles: "Made for each other." Jo gets up to throw away the pizza boxes and Jake walks into the cafe, when he hears the first guys come in. He greets them and invites them to sit down, drafting bears for all of them. Soon the bar is filled with guys, ready to enjoy the game together. One of them raises his voice and asks: "Where is that cute girl that works for you? Wouldn't mind seeing her tonight. You are not hiding her from us are you?" As he finishes his question, Dart walks in from the kitchen. One of the guys asks him what he was doing in the kitchen and if he works here now. The other guys laugh and Dart answers: "I was kissing my girl, to be honest." The guys go quiet and all look at Dart, then at Jake and back at Dart. Dart smiles, all proud of himself for dropping a bomb like that. "Wait. You're talking about the girl that works here, right? Damn Dart. Could you at least leave some women alone? So we stand a chance?" The other guys mumble in agreement. And Dart dryly answers: "Deal! All the other women are yours. But this one is mine and mine alone. If you even look at her funny, I will punch your lights out." The guys go quiet and stare at him. Jake stayed out of it, to see where Dart would take it and speaks up: "Yeah guys, that's what a guy in love looks like. Better not give him a reason to get angry with you. But the first round of the night is on him. And so are the chicken wings." All the guys at the bar cheer loud and Jake winks at Dart.

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