The Trophy Case

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Chapter One

RECK, LLC was a consortium. The acronym was formed of Rosemary, Eric, Chloe and Kathiah. Three major Silicon Valley firms, the largest vintners in San Luis Obispo County, the largest processing plants and canneries in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties along with Anderson/Perez Real Estate and Automotive all had ownership and financial backing behind it.

It consisted of a Southern facing half a block in downtown San Luis Obispo containing a concept restaurant, a used/antiquarian bookstore, a vintage/antique store, a vintage/local designer clothing boutique, apartments and a small clothing manufacturer.

Eric Perez managed the bookstore, Chloe Perez the vintage antique store, Rosemary Gallagher the boutique and Kathiah Collier the manufacturer. The restaurant, basically the cash cow and anchor, had exhausted four managers and had only been open ten months. Help was needed and Kathiah moved up from her shop in the basement to manage the vintage clothing boutique, while burning the midnight oil to recreate vintage fashion to fit the current California female population. This freed Rosemary to move in with her Aunt Katie in Los Altos and mine Silicon Valley for the expertise they needed.

Two months of personnel records, interviews had left Rosemary pretty much exhausted. She was sitting down in Katar’s cafeteria when he plopped his tray across from hers.

Rosemary had a surfer’s body, muscular, curvy with a really impressive ass. She wanted to be Twiggy, her forty D cups pretty much destroyed that without hope beyond surgical intervention by the tenth grade. In other words, she had a terrible self-image and a body that made men drool.

Alan had been drooling for almost eight weeks, before he finally sucked it up.

He was an accountant and a closet gourmet chef.

“You’d think they could do something better with Salisbury steak, maybe cook/steam it over onions like White Castle,” he said.

“Doesn’t work,” she answered, “the onions caramelize too fast to steam more than a thin slider burger.”

“A decent lunch then is but a dream?” he answered.

“Ordinary food is ordinary food. Maybe that’s it’s charm. Predictable is predictable. A meatloaf tastes like a meatloaf.”

’C’mon, meat loaf is the most versatile dish in the World.”

“I’m meatloafed out,” she said. “Meatloaf is meatloaf.”

“I have a meatloaf sitting in my refrigerator that will change your mind. It’s slated for dinner tonight. I’ll feed it to you, and if I’m right I get a date.”

“If I go with you tonight, you already have your date.”

“Well, second dates are always the hardest, so I’ll bet that one.”

Rosemary was naturally insecure. If she ever had a second date, she became a clinging vine. Three boyfriends in high school and one in community college had experienced her devotion and decided that they wanted a Rosemary free existence. The college boyfriend deflowered her, they did it twice and she loved the closeness of it.

Alan, on his part, tended to leave any relationship as soon as it became intimate. This was such a frequent habit with him that, in the scant two years he’d worked at Katar he managed to get a prominent spot on every single girl’s ‘Don’t Date’ list companywide.

So, the question was could two such disparate people bond over a meatloaf?

“OK.” said Rose, “You’ve proven meatloaf isn’t always meatloaf. This is spectacular. Do you do pot roast?”

“Food isn’t usually a high-tech interest,” he half answered.

“I’m a very low-tech person.”

“Then what do you do at Katar?”

“Well, currently I’m looking for someone to hire to run a restaurant.”

“And they allow you to do that?”

“My Uncle Jerry is the CFO and my Aunt Katie has a seat on the Board. Not only is it allowed, I’ve found everyone exceedingly helpful. What technological wizardry do you perform beside meatloaf?”

“I’m not a techie myself, and I can do all levels from pretty sophisticated to a pencil and eraser. I’m a bean counter.”

She was ready to leave when he stepped in front of her.

“You don’t kiss on the first date?” he asked.

“Sometimes. Oh, this is the first date?” she giggled. “A kiss is that what you want?”

“Don’t go there,” he said.

“So?” she continued to play with that particular fire, “more than a kiss. How much more?”

“What do I want? I want to pick you up. Take you into the bedroom, rip your clothes off and ravish you,” he said half seriously.

“I wouldn’t suggest it.”

“Why not?”

“I’d take it as a commitment, and nothing about you suggests you’re ready to make one.”

“Are you crying?”

She just grabbed him and kissed him, rubbing all the appropriate parts in all the appropriate places. Then she stepped back. “Feed me a pot roast Friday?”

He stammered out an affirmative, and she just left.

“You’re messing around with Alan Comstock?” asked Katie as Rosemary pulled down the bar.

“He makes a killer meatloaf.”

“You’re looking for a manager, not a chef,” said Arlette, “although I will admit he looks like he could do some major damage in bed. Care to contribute any personal experience?”

“Jesus,” said Rose. “I kissed him.”

“His reputation isn’t the best,” said Katie. “Tends to fuck and forget.”

The pot roast got her to the couch, she was forming a plan and waiting to snap the jaws shut on a trap.

He seemed content to kiss her, so she added a little tongue to the mix. Her commitment comment had slowed him down a bit, but she was melting his resolve. He finally got his hand under her blouse and bra; when he put his free hand over her knee, she struck. She got him on his back, her thigh in his crotch making sure he could feel how hot and moist she was becoming rubbing her crotch next to his.

“For the next two weeks I’m your boss,” she said, “same salary, same benefits. Monday, you technically become the executive chef and manager of Sit Down Shut Up and Eat, in San Luis Obispo. I printed out a map for you. You’ll stay on my partner’s couch, which she claims is the World’s coziest piece of furniture, however since she lost her virginity on it she might be prejudiced.”

Rose shifted her position slightly bringing their crotches together. She pulled his hand from under her bra and put it on her butt cheek, then buried her tits in his chest.

“Pull us tighter,” she said.

She wiggled until he was rock hard, then disentangled herself and stood up.

“To be continued,” she said, and left.

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