Are You Sure About This?
"Britt, it doesn't matter what you cook, you will win this competition just because of your tenacity. You have done more preparing for this final than anyone I have ever seen, plus if you cook me one more meal, I'll have to go to the gym 7 days of the week instead of 5."
I laughed as he came around the counter and wrapped his arms around my waist and lightly kissed my temple. "Stop distracting me. I need more people to try these dishes so I can have my entry. I only have one more week to get it just right."
He pulled out his phone and walked outside to make a few calls while I cleaned up my enormous mess. When I finished the last pot he came inside with a huge smile on his face. "Ask and you shall receive, my lady." Then he bowed.
I looked at him in confusion and said "What do you mean?"
"You will be hosting my sister and her elite list of friends tomorrow for brunch. You will serve all three dishes and then they will vote on the best one."
My eyes widened and I couldn't breathe. "Your sister? And her friends? WHAT? Colin...I c-can't cook for them, they are the most influential women in this city and they could ruin me. What if they hate all three, what if they don't even want to try my food?" I said as I paced back and forth in front of the stove.
He grabbed me by my shoulders and said "To you they are my sister and her snobby friends, nothing more. And they will love your food, I promise. Now we have some shopping to do."
Slipping his hand into mine, he pulled me towards the door while grabbing his keys off the table. He escorted me to his car, opened the door and practically pushed me into the seat. I was still in shock that I never asked any questions and before I could, he started the car and pulled out my driveway.
"Colin, I appreciate you doing this but I don't know if I'm ready for something of this magnitude. I mean, I will be working at Bronto in a couple of weeks but I will be cooking recipes that are already masterpieces, not original plates that can't even compare to the sophisticated pallets of those women. I can't do it, please call your sister and cancel."
"You have got to stop being so hard on yourself, Britt. Your food is amazing and you never would have gotten the job if they didn't think so. Plus, the only thing those women care about is the wine that will be accompanying the food, trust me you could sauté a dog turd and they would love it."
I busted out laughing but my stomach was in knots, sure he may know these women as snooty socialites but I knew differently, and women are catty. If even one of them didn't approve of the plate ware I would never hear the end of it, let alone if their food wasn't cooked properly. And what if they didn't eat meat or hated my choice of sides and sauces? No, no, no! This was too much, I just simply couldn't do it.
"Colin..." I said in a pleading voice.
"No! End of discussion! You are doing this and that's final." He said as he turned into the farmer's market parking lot.
I took a deep breath and waited for him to open the door before stepping out and walking alongside of him to the vegetable stand. We shopped for a few hours, and surprisingly I started to feel better about the whole thing. We decided on a sit down brunch which would showcase the three contenders, a rosemary rubbed sirloin roast, apple glazed porkchops, and chicken breasts stuffed with fresh mozzarella, tomato and spinach with a pesto and balsamic glaze.
Once all the ingredients were gathered, we paid and left to prep for the next morning. Most of the work would be marinating the roast but the veggies needed cutting and the sauces needed making. The apple glaze took some time, so I opted to make it tonight and reheat it in the morning while the porkchops were being grilled. Colin sliced the mozzarella and tomato and rubbed and wrapped the sirloin for me before placing it in the oven. Once I added everything to the blender for the pesto, he poured the olive oil in just as instructed then poured it into an airtight container.
We were finally done around 11 that evening after he helped me set and decorate the table in rich hues of burgundy, grey and cream with accents of eucalyptus wrapped in navy ribbon. Everything was set so the food would be the only thing I needed to focus on and Colin even offered to be the waiter.
"Ashley and her friends will be here at 10 so we need to be up early, I suggest you go to sleep and I will clean up."
"Thank you Colin."
"You're welcome, Britt." He answered as he continued putting everything back into the box and straightening up the kitchen.
I smiled and walked down the hall, checking to make sure the blankets and pillows were in the extra room before I went to bed. This was the third time he had slept over and every time he slept in the guest room, never complaining once about the arrangements, but I knew even his patience would grow thin at some point. I promised him that after the cook-off and my birthday were done we would talk about our relationship. He never whined about me wanting to wait, although we did have a couple of steamy interactions that I almost went through with it but he always stopped himself before we got too far.
I laid on my bed, staring at the ceiling, and the only thing my mind could do was think about Ethan. I know I overreacted when I deleted his contact and part of me was hurting because of it but I couldn't be with someone who didn't know what they wanted and Colin had his mind made up already. But I had also never given Ethan a chance either. What if he really was holding back and me in my stupid state decided to kick him out of the running?
I threw the pillow over my head then I heard Colin's phone ringing. Secretly I hoped it was his sister and her friends who were cancelling but I knew better. I got up to go get some water but when I got to the end of the hall he was facing the wall talking in a hushed tone.
"No, everything is set...No, she doesn't suspect a thing...I told you I am handling it...No, I don't need your help...Just let me worry about that, Ok?"
The call ended, then he placed his hands on the table and hung his head down.
"Hey, what was that all about."
He turned around quickly and said "Were you listening in on my call? You know it's not polite to eavesdrop?" He snipped then laughed.
I was confused by his reaction thinking that maybe I was interrupting something important or that he was mad that I overheard something I wasn't supposed to, especially since I told him I didn't want to do anything special for my birthday and then sadly made up some stupid excuse about how I had a tradition of wanting to be alone that night because of a traumatizing experience from a party I had when I was a kid. He took the news well but I could tell he wanted to do something big and I just hoped he didn't because the truth was, I did have plans, just no with him.
"I'm sorry, I was just coming get some water before bed." I said as I walked to the fridge and grabbed a bottle from the door.
"It's ok, you didn't interrupt me. Just some business with a client at my brother's firm."
I shook my head as he walked over and kissed my cheek.
He walked down the hall and closed the door to his room while I stood their replaying the conversation in my head. Was it something with work or was he trying to plan a surprise for me? If he was, Tara would tell me because she already knew I wasn't going to be around for my birthday. I shrugged my shoulders and went back to my room, stopping to look at his door before sighing and returning to my bed.
There were times when I wanted to beg him to take me and then there were times like this when it seemed like he didn't care as much as he said he did, I mean he could be a real-life gentleman and be respecting my wishes or he could be a wolf in sheep's clothing, stringing me along until he got what he wanted and then ran for the hills the next morning. No matter how much time we spent together, the thought always came up, did he really mean what he said or was he just being nice to get in my pants?
I closed my eyes and just like every night before I couldn't stop thinking about Ethan. He may have been a cocky ass but everything he said and did made me melt. I didn't know what it was about him but he did everything he could to rile me up then just when I thought I had given him a taste of his own medicine he did something unexpected, making me want to jump into his arms.
With the big night only a week away, I began to get nervous about what was going to take place. Was this the best way to do this or would I end up regretting it, especially since Colin was so willing to wait for me? I just hope I'm making the right decision and this all doesn't blow up in my face.
Awe, Colin set up a contest for her with his sister and her friends. Was it a good gesture or will it be a recipe for disaster?
Who do you think he was talking to? Sounds to me like he's planning something big and doesn't want Britt to know!!!
Of course she can't stop thinking about Ethan, the man was perfect! Or was he? You would think he would have gotten in touch with her another way by now!