I kept looking at his retiring back as he descended the stage as if his last name was King and not mine. I swallowed hard as he shot me his hard wicked look before exiting the hall. I didn't miss that evil smirk on his face. I know he is going to take his revenge for throwing a milkshake on his expensive suit. Looking at how materialistic he is he will make sure to torture me for ruining his clothes on purpose. Some people came and congratulated me and I bluntly said my thank you not paying attention to them as I was still drowning in my thoughts of escape to his revenge. One by one everyone started to go and I was left standing on stage alone immersing more deeply in my misery.
"Oh, Sage, I knew that you would win," Sophia said as she came running to me and hugged me tightly.
"Oh my God, I was so worried that you will get eliminated in the middle of the competition but girl you did it. I'm so proud of you" she said happily while hugging me back. I forced a smile at her. "We need to celebrate your new beginning, let's go and have lunch," she said in her happy cheerful voice as she started pulling me out of the hall as no one was present here now. She dragged me towards the glass door of the restaurant entry.
"Why are we going there exists is that way," I said in my confused voice as she was taking me to Villains restaurant against my protest.
"We will have lunch here, come let's go in. I'm hungry after seeing so many delicious-looking dishes made by all contestants'' she said in her eager voice and I knew she was hungry by her grumpy tone at the end.
"Not here it looks so costly. Let go somewhere nice and I will treat you to delicious food," I said, trying to take our celebration party to a new venue as she was about to open the door.
"No, we will eat here. Let's see how this place is. It's better to know it before you start working here and don't worry it's my treat you just enjoy your win" she said in a full happy mood as she opened the door.
"But listen to me you don't have to waste--" even before I could complete my sentence she dragged me in.
This girl never listens to me.
I bit my lower lip and entered the restaurant. As soon as we entered a cold breeze mixed with perfume and food aroma hit my nose making me take more deep breaths while looking all over the restaurant. My stomach growled in hunger. My eyes glinted in amazement as I gawked all over the place. The interiors were so luxurious and screamed money.
"Seats for two," she said to the waiter as I was busy looking at each corner of the restaurant my eyes could touch.
"This way mam and sir," he said gesturing to the empty seat near the open kitchen and that's when I got a peek of my new workplace.
My eyes almost came out of their eye socket. It looked so good from the small peek I could get. Chefs were preparing orders with full dedication and it fascinated me even more. It looked so well equipped. One day I was to make King's dinners kitchen well equipped like this. I still can't believe I won the competition and now I'm going to work here with all these people cooking food for the people. Tomorrow I will get work here and this thought gave me excitement jitters in my stomach.
"Sage close your mouth and take your seat" I heard Sophia's voice as I was still fascinating trying to look more in the kitchen. Her comments made me immediately close my mouth as she laughed at me. She had already taken her seat. I gave her a small nod and took my seat. As much as I was excited to work here on the other hand I was afraid of him even more.
"What's wrong? What's with that look on your face," she asked with furrowed brows as she saw the tragic look on my face. I looked at her with my face full of distress. I don't know how to tell her that I on my own have walked inside the lion's den. She kept looking at me as I kept quiet thinking about how to tell her because I knew she would freak out after knowing the truth.
"Sage you are making me worry now. Just tell me what's wrong," she asked in her afraid voice as she saw the look on my face.
"You remember that Mall guy I threw a milkshake on. He was in the judging panel," I asked while looking here and there if someone was listening to me.
"Yeah I saw him, he was looking at you like he wanted to throw you out of the competition," she said as she remembered how he was looking at me throughout the competition.
"He is going to make my life hell for the next six months," I exclaimed, pulling my short hair in frustration.
"Thank God, that's what is making you worry. I thought there was something else big troubling you. Don't worry about him, Sage, he is one of the chefs here like you will be from tomorrow. Don't think too much about him, see at the bright sight. I know you can fight with him, you didn't let his vile thoughts become your reality. You won the competition and rubbed it all over his face. I know you can deal with him in the same way as you did today and if he tries to give you more trouble then you can complain to Mr. Xanthus he will surely help you" she said in her firm voice trying to cheer me so I won't stop in the track of my new beginning. She gave me a smile saying to have faith in myself but I know her faith in me will poof out by the second she will know he is the same person she is asking me to go for help.
"Sage, why do you still have that look on your face? Forget about him and cheer up and let's celebrate," she said with a bright smile on her face. I can't keep this big thing to myself. If I don't tell her now she will be mad at me afterward.
"That milkshake guy is Xanthus Villin," I said in my low voice while looking at her.
"What! What are you saying" She almost shouted but lowered her voice as some people looked in our way and I mumbled a small sorry to them.
"Let me ask you again. I think I heard something wrong. The guy at the mall on whom you threw the milkshake and put money in his pocket for dry clean is Xanthus Villin. The Xanthus Villin the owner of chains of a restaurant in which one we are sitting now" she asked in her shocked voice while looking at me with her big questioning eyes from whom cheerfulness was completely gone.
"Yes he is the same as the Xanthus Villin" I exclaimed exasperatedly while exhaling loudly. When I confirmed it her mouth was a little ajar in pure shock. She tried to say something a few times but then she again shut her mouth thinking about the gravity of the situation I was stuck in. I was caught in a cage like a mouse who was trying to eat a small piece of cheese.
"I d--don't know what to say," she said while suturing a bit. "You are caught in this because of me and what he--" she in her anxious voice and didn't complete her sentence as she looked here and there if someone was listening to our conversation when she was assured that no one was listening to us she looked back at me with the same anxiousness in her eyes.
"What if he discovers you are a girl dressed like a boy," she asked in her whispering tone. The anxiety in her voice was making me more anxious. I looked at her worried face. Her words made me anxious too but If I get scared after coming this far then it will be the beginning of my downfall. I need to be strong and protect my disguise for the next six months and once it's done I will vanish in thin air with no connection with anyone.
I'm here to make money and I don't know if the path I'm walking is right or wrong. The only thing I know is that I want to help my family and this is the best way to help them in this crisis. All the thoughts were running in my brain in all directions. I took a deep breath to calm myself first before assuring her.
"You did nothing, you just tried to help me so don't blame yourself. Don't worry I will think about something to get away from him" I said with a faint smile on my face while putting my hand over her. I made sure to look at her with determined eyes and a smile on my face and she smiled back at me lightly knowing anyhow I will find a way out of all this.
"I trust you," she said while covering my hand with her making me smile. At the same time, I felt eyes on me passing chills to my body. It made me immediately look in the direction of chillness. Strange no one was standing there and watching me. I looked at the empty spot with my furrowed brows.
I must be imagining things.
"Let's forget about it for now and let's order our lunch. I'm starving too," I said with a big smile on my face while taking the menu to order food. She nodded in return and started to look at the menu. As I opened the menu to look at the dishes my eyes almost fell out of their socket.
"What the heck why everything here is so costly," I said in my stunned voice.
"Yeah it is so costly" she agreed with me while turning the pages of the menu to see more.
"Everything is so overpriced here. At King's dinner, you can eat twice with a single meal price here," I said while looking at the main course prices.
"This is how he has become rich by stealing from people," I exclaimed looking at the dessert menu of dessert. "I tell you these people only know how to steal in the name of luxury and give very little in return," I said in my little angry tone.
"Yeah you are right---" she didn't complete her sentence. It made me look at her as her voice completely became low at the end.
"We still have time should we go somewhere else," I asked while looking at her. She was looking behind me with her wide eyes. "What happened to you. It looks as if you saw the ghost" I said in a mock and turned to look behind me with a small smile on my face. It completely vanished when I saw who was standing behind me. l almost bit my tongue for being so talkative today. Behind me, it was not a ghost but a gray eyes monster standing behind me in the bright light of day.
Didn't he have to return to his cave during the day?
He was looking at me with a clenched jaw and from the look on his face, I knew he had heard all my bitching about him.
"No I don't," he said with a clenched jaw making me look at him with little furrowed brows. Then when it clicked I. I immediately put the menu in front of my face to hide from his angry gray eyes.
"Did I say that loudly?" I asked Sophie who had facepalmed herself as she gave me a small nod. I'm digging my grave deeper by each time I say something stupid to him. I swallowed hard as he walked more towards us and stood in front of me.
I was still hiding behind the menu as he was boring holes in the menu to look at me. From the side, I gestured to Sophia to shoo him away but she moved her head in helplessness as it was his restaurant. I slowly moved the menu down to my nose as he looked at me with his blazing eyes. It made me swallow hard again with a nervous smile on my face.
"At least, I don't jump in front of people's cars with their puppies to scam people. I decently make my money" he said in his making tone while looking at me.
Oh God, now he even remembers that I'm the same person from that day.
How did he even recognize me? On that day my whole face was covered in dirt and he still knew I was the same person. His words made a nervous smile completely vanish from my face. Instead, it pumped anger in me.
"You were the one who tried to kill me on that day," I said in anger.
"Is that way of talking to your new employer?" he asked in his dominating tone, making me shut up. And that's when I remembered I'm going to work for this gray eye monster from tomorrow onwards. God this man has already got on my nerves so much. I don't know how much I will hold myself back in the future. The more I stay here the more I will be mad.
"Sophia let go somewhere else where people know how to treat their guests at their restaurant," I said in a mocking tone with a tight smile on my face. He will be my employee from tomorrow today I will do whatever I want. She gave me a small nod. As I tried to stand up keeping the menu aside he pushed me on my shoulder making me slump down on my chair back and bend himself till his face was down to my level. As his gray eyes were at my level my heart started to beat fast as if this place was on fire.
"Eat whatever you want at least I can do this much of charity for you as your new employer and if you go without accepting my hospitality then I will think you do not respect me as your new employer and that's the second thing I hate most," he said in a taunting tone making me look at him with angry eyes.
"Do you know what's the first thing I hate most?" he asked in his same dominating voice. I moved my head in denial while swallowing hard as his eyes were looking straight into me. "Liars I hate liars the most" his words made a big lump form in my throat. There was a warning alert in his words with bold red color and it made my heart almost come out of my mouth. Saying that he stood straight and straightened his tie, still looking at me.
Did he find out that I'm the girl dressed as a man?
My doubts were turning to deepen as he kept looking at me with his hard eyes. I kept my mouth shut as he disappeared from my sight.
"Sage what was with that warning. Do you think he knows the truth?" she asked in her worried tone. It made me look at her fearful eyes.
God forbids it.
"I don't think so. If he had known he would have kicked me out of here" I said in my strong voice but inside I had my doubts.
"May I take your order" a waiter came to take our order distracting me from my thoughts. I didn't feel like eating anymore. I wanted to go out of here but if I do that he will give me a hard time tomorrow. I ordered only soup and Sophia a sandwich. As soon as I took the first spoon full of soup my taste buds explored in pure bliss and I knew they don't have the only luxury to offer by taking money.
My words must have offended him and in the hit of the moment, I said whatever came to my mouth. From tomorrow nothing is going to be easy for me.
These thoughts again took my appetite away even after the soup was so tasteful. I just kept playing with it. I exhaled loudly and looked at Sophia who was finishing her sandwich as I moved my eyes in another direction. I found him looking at me from the open kitchen with his hard eyes and then at my half-eaten soup. It made me resume my eating as I don't want any other problem with him.
Even after the waiter told me that the bill was paid. I still kept the amount of food we have eaten with a note. I don't accept charity from anyone. After that, we went to my place. I was now totally exhausted. We grabbed some ice cream on our way to enjoy our end of the day in delight. Sophia dropped me at my place. As soon as I entered my room Mint wiggled his tail after looking at me.
At least, someone is happy to see me.
I brought some cream for him so we both ate cream as the rest of the day went blurry. I made sure to hide Mint in my room as Eric was extra pissed today. Even when I told him I got the job he didn't bat an eyelid and went back to his room without even congratulating me. I didn't know till now men are so complicated and I need to study them to act like one. Before going to sleep I called mom and told her the good news she was so happy dad was on top of the moon and Elijah asked me to send pictures of my new workplace as I told him where I got the job. I promised him to send it tomorrow in my chef outfit. Saying good night to all of them I kept the call.
"Good night Mint," I said as he cuddled near me he howled lowly like saying good night to me. Tomorrow is a big day and I need to be there at a sharp six-thirty. As soon as I closed my eyes after saying my thank you prayers I saw gray eyes appearing in front of me making me open my eyes instantly.
"What I'm seeing are those most intimidating pairs of eyes" I whispered in my horrified voice. I took a deep breath and tried to sleep again and this time I somehow managed to have sleep.
I woke up in the morning as soon as I heard my alarm. I had set a five o'clock alarm. I got ready with extra energy flowing inside me. Today was my first day and I want to make a beat of it. I made breakfast for myself and some for Eric too. After eating I left for my work. It was still dark outside and chilly. I wrapped my arms around me and walked at a fast pace. My workplace is forty-five minutes away from the place I stay in. So I took the subway.
Now the sun has started to come spreading its rays and painting the black sky in faint blue. I smiled, breathing fresh air, and ran to cut distance only ten minutes we're left for the clock to strike six-thirty. As I approached the get of the restaurant building I saw the gates were still closed. I think I'm the only person who came early. As I asked the security guard to open the door he looked at me with furrowed eyes.
"What are you doing here so early young man," he asked me in his suspicious tone.
"Mr.Xanthan asked me to report him at six-thirty in front of his office," I said with a small smile on my face.
"What someone must have pulled a prank on you even cleaners don't come before seven as the restaurant opens at nine," he said laughing a bit it made me look at him with little wide eyes.
Here goes my first day.