Chief Executive Chef
Even on Sunday morning, Gabriel Evans had business. Wasn’t like he went to church anyway, he didn’t think God was looking out for him*. His parents had shipped him off to boarding school, and he made the wrong friends just to spite them. God hadn’t really given him anything he prayed for, he was where he was today by his own sweat and blood. And maybe some other people’s blood too.
So, on this Sunday morning, Gabe completed a business transaction and was going back home to the other side of the city with his whole entourage of cars. After a morning of getting everything he wanted, everything that could go wrong, did. The cars waited to pass through downtown Meridian just as his phone decided to jam up. All that blood rushing to his brain made him wanted to spill someone else’s, but then he saw the one thing that made his heart stop time.
It was a farmer’s market day, the town had one every other week. And in the center of it, he saw her. Her, her. The Lincoln was slowly moving, but it didn’t matter to him; he opened the door and ran out as the driver hit the brakes behind him. Her hair was messy and her outfit was very more casual, but she attracted him more today than she had then. The smile she smiled at the coffee vendor made him smile, and believe in the universe for today.
The morning was a pleasant one, perfect for a market day. The streets were annoyingly busy for a businessman, but Gabe was cool. He walked past a lot of people, some walking down by themselves, squads of girlfriends chatting about, and mothers pushing down strollers as fathers carried the older children on their shoulders.
Gabe watched her as she ate and walked around, eyeing the stalls. He reached Leah when she lingered at a stall of fresh fruits. She didn’t see him come up to her as she examined a bag of apples.
“How much is this bag of apples, sir?” She asked, then took a bite of her breakfast.
“For you? No charge,” he answered, startling her with his presence. She swallowed hard as she turned to face him
“Why don’t I take it this is your stall?” She asked as she swallowed the next bite more carefully.
“It’s not,” Gabriel nonchalantly said.
“So I don’t suppose it’s free, either.”
“For you, not for me. Let me pay, please, it’s no trouble.” He said, his wallet already in his hand.
“Alriiight. But I’m getting more than just apples.”
“You could ask for an orchard and it wouldn’t be a problem,” he smirked at her.
“You always show off?” She raised a brow at him as he put his card back in his wallet.
“Only in front of beautiful girls,” he smiled and the corners of his eyes wrinkled.
“Is that a pickup line?” Leah asked as she handed her selections to the actual stall owner.
“Depends, will you let me walk with you?”
“I suppose...” she dragged it and took a sip of her coffee.
“Then I suppose it was a pickup line,” Gabriel took a shot and hit the mark.
Leah laughed and he saw the stall guy smile at them as they left.
“Make yourself useful?” She asked, handing him the bags of fruits.
“Gladly,” his fingers ghosted her arms as he took the bags from her, and a warmth exploded in his core. Not the perverted kind.
“And what brings Mr. CEO to a farmer’s market?”
“Well, your Mr. C. E. O. is a chef in his spare time.”
It was hard for him to not notice the blush that crept up her cheeks to her ears.
“Really? And you weren’t trying to plow your entourage of cars through downtown?” She toughened up.
“Do I really look like one of those kind?” Gabriel cocked a brow and Leah took a side glance at him.
While she eyed him, he took the moment to answer his own question. He was definitely one of those kind of businessmen, and maybe much more, but he didn’t want to tell her. Gabriel didn’t plan to ever involve her in that part of his life. The moment was getting long and his thoughts were becoming darker, so he lightened the mood.
“Like what you see?” Gabriel said out loud, clearing his own thoughts and hers. He smiled at her naivety.
“Uhh, yeah. That blueberry pie looks heavenly,” Leah sidestepped him and went to the stall.
Gabriel chuckled and followed her.
“Hi! I was just telling my friend here, your pies smell delicious!” Leah said to the lady working the stall.
“And they taste even better! Would you like to try some? We have samples!” The old lady held up a tray and they both took a cup.
Apparently, the dessert excited her taste buds so much that she voiced her like of it with a deep moan. A moan that excited his other parts. She opened her eyes to him smiling down at her; he looked at her like she was a puppy going through all her first experiences. Her eyes widened and she quickly threw away the empty cup and regained her composure.
“Sorry, I haven’t had time recently to enjoy good food. The pie really was delicious,” she complemented the old woman, then turned to him.
“I’ll take the blueberry one,” he heard him say, but he only kept staring at her with that amused smirk.
“I can pay for it you know,” she reached into her purse, but he finally snapped out of his daze.
Gabriel reached out a hand and cupped her chin, then dragged a thumb over her lower lip center to crease. He wiped a bit of jam from her lips, and without breaking eye contact, sucked his thumb clean. He smiled at her again, and this time, it was Leah who was dazed; starstruck as he paid for the pie.
“Any more shopping?” Gabe asked, bringing her back to earth.
“Huh?” Leah shook her head clear.
“I have one more free arm and an unlimited balance on my card.” He knowingly smiled at her.
“Oh right. Just some more groceries then I’ll be done.” She grabbed the strap of her purse with both hands as they walked away from the pie stall.
“Like I said before, I have exceptional cooking skills. I’d love to have an opportunity to cook for you. Especially if I’d get the same sound of approval you gave the pie!” he teased her.
“Oh great. Well actually, my branch is hosting a chili competition for nearby branches of United Financials. You could help me make a pot. If, you are as skilled a chef as you say.” Leah taunted him right back.
“It’s a date,” Gabriel extended a hand.
“Only if I win,” Leah cockily replied as she gave him her hand.
Gabriel lifted her hand and lowered his head half way, planting a kiss on her hand that buckled her knees.
He was gonna say more, but his phone diverted his attention. Gabriel apologized and made one of his men take Leah’s groceries home for her. He got back to his car and answered the phone, muting it after announcing his presence in the conference call. If she could be his personal banker, he could see himself being her personal chef.
Gabriel reclined his cushioned seat, tapping his phone on his chin;
Her Chief Executive Chef.