After all they’ve been through, Drea and Kirk return to work. That should be easy, right? Well, shouldn’t it? It is, until an unexpected customer arrives.
The next morning, Drea opened the shop as usual. The front exterior was being cleaned, but the side and back entrances were already spotless. Kirk and the staff were in the kitchen when the shop door swung open, a brass bell tinkling cheerfully. Drea smiled as she spun around to greet the newcomer. The smile pasted itself on her features when she saw the man. Not their typical customer, he was medium height, tattooed, muscular and powerfully built. His sandy hair was close cropped, his eyes steely in his swarthy face. Even in a three piece suit, he looked out of place.
Drea tossed her pale blond hair out of her face. “Hi, I’m Drea. Won’t you come in?” She extended her hand.
He eyed her with disgust, not taking it. “I wish to book a party for the night of the full moon.” His words were flavored with a accent he seemed determined to conceal.
Drea blinked. Was this some sort of bizarre code? “Alright.”
Taking out her appointment book, she waited for him to expand on the topic. He didn’t.
“You’ll have to be more precise, sir. What date exactly?”
He glared at her. “I need a very special menu that I was told you could provide.”
“Barr Nunne can handle even the most complicated….” Her voice trailed off when he glared at her.
Pen poised over her notepad, she waited with an expectant expression. The smile was gone, frosted over with impatience. This fellow was some wacko who had wandered in off the street to test their reputation. He might be a competitor, but he had more the look of a soldier or policeman than a chef.
“What would you like to serve?:
“Blood sausage,” he said, a hard edged glint in his eyes. He stared at her pointedly, looking for her reaction.
“There aren’t many people who like that around here,” she explained. “It’s rather esoteric.”
“Your chef can make it?”
“Of course, though it is something we generally would import. It’s quite time consuming.”
“I want it to be fresh,” he demanded. “Fresh – blood.” He elongated the words, pausing for dramatic effect, staring even more pointedly at her.
“You’ll have to discuss that with our chef. He’s unavailable at the moment. Surely that isn’t the only item?”
“Steak Tartar.” His head whipped around, snakelike, eyes riveted on hers.
Drea made a note, frowning. “I see, anything else?”
Drea flipped her notebook shut with an irritable snap. “I think that’s quite enough, sir. Not only is your menu indigestible, but your attitude is disturbing, not to mention appalling. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
“You can’t do that. I’m a paying customer.”
“We’re booked solid for the next 30 days. I’m afraid we can’t accommodate you. Good day.” She headed toward the rear door of the shop marked ‘private’.
“I know your secret,” the intense man said, his voice suddenly layered with a heavy, dark accent. “You can no longer hide.”