Hillary arrived at the restaurant earlier than usual. She usually arrives at 9, but that day, she was already there by 6 AM. Her restaurant would play host to the President of France for a goodwill dinner by the French-Americans in NYC. Having her highest profile event yet, Hillary couldn't afford to make any mistake. And so, she had her team had been preparing for this for months. With the dinner a few days away, everything had shifted to a higher gear.
As Hillary pulled her car and got out, she noticed a man jogging into her direction. His body looked good enough for her to eat, and Hillay let herself indulge for a few seconds by staring at him. Hillary almost felt her heart drop when she realized that the jogger was Bill. He had grown more muscular since she had last seen his body, which was a few years ago. He had definitely blossomed since then, and Hillary felt like a blob. Even though she was clothes, she felt like she still needed to cover her body because she felt like shit next to him.
Hillary wanted to hide, but unfortunately, Bill already was too close that she could not pretend that she didn't see him.
"Good morning," she said.
"Good morning," he panted as he stopped.
"Are you early to work, like me?" she asked.
Bill shook his head. "I've always been early. At least, for the past two months. I'm trying to create a routine. I arrive at 5:30 then jog a bit then eat breakfast at 7 then start working at 7:30."
"Wow, I didn't know you start so early," she remarked, astounded.
"I wasn't, but what you told me made me realize things. One of which is that I can do anything if I put my heart into it. So here I am, rebuilding my life, taking care of myself and keeping my body healthy."
Hillary smiled, feeling awfully proud of him. "I am glad that you found your confidence. I've always known that you have it in you."
"Thanks," Bill blushed. "Well, I gotta go. You know, to jog. See you in half an hour."
Bill went on with his jog. Hillary remained behind, biting her lips and reminding herself that she had a boyfriend.
During the days leading up to the dinner, Hillary had been more and more involved in the kitchen. Usually, she was simply overseeing the operations, but now, she was doing the dirty work herself. Like in the day before the dinner, she was baking a batch of vol-au-vents which would be be container for her reimagined lièvre à la royale. Instead of the dish just being served in a plate with bread, the hare casserole would be served in the puff pastry. She liked the idea of giving the traditional French dish a new twist.
On the day of the dinner itself, Hillary has closed down the restaurant to give them time to prepare for the big even. The restaurant was filled with experienced chefs, but everyone was running like chickens with their heads cut off.
The pressure had started to take toll on Hillary. She was more irritable than usual, occasionally swearing in front of her staff. Her reputation was on the line, and so she could not make any mistake. Everything must be perfect.
Bill, on the other hand, was holding on his own. He had been assigned to the entreès. For his part, he developed a pastry with brie and mozzarella filling, to be served with champagne. He was particularly proud of it, because it gage him Hillary's first nod of approval. He could remember that day when he was to present his dish to her. He could vividly recall how Hillary indulged in his pastry, that face which he had only seen whenever he hit her particularly sensitive spot with his cock. Bill almost exploded when he saw her that way, but thank God he was surrounded by other people and thus his desire to rub himself was immediately dampened.
As Bill was putting the pastries the oven, Hillary suddenly barged in.
"Hey, Bill. What's up with the pastries?" she asked.
"All good, all good," he proudly showed her the perfect little pastries cooking in the oven.
"Would you look at that," Hillary admired his work. "You really did it, Bill. I am so proud of you."
"Thanks. I am happy that I am able to do this. I never imagined that I would be cooking French."
"You just have to open your mind, and I am glad you did. There's a reason why you have a Michelin star."
"And so do you," Bill replied. "You're a great chef and a great teacher. No other chef could do what you are doing."
It felt like they had turned back time and they were sitting in that bar in Las Vegas, eating cheese and drinking Chardonnay. The mirth in their laughs return, and it's as if no time had passed since. They inched closer, laughing and giggling. Hillary didn't even flinch when Bill tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
A young chef, Elton, opened the kitchen door to find them too close for a boss and her subordinate. Both jumped away and pretended as if nothing had happened.
"Yes, Elton?" Hillary replied.
"Mr. Lecornec of the French security services is here. He wants a routine inspection and an interview with you, Ma'am."
"Oh yes, I almost forgot. Thanks for that, Elton," Hillary wiped her hands on her apron even though they were not dirty. She then turned to Bill. "Let me know if these are already done. I want to test them."
"Sure," said Bill.
Hillary left Bill in the kitchen alone. He couldn't help but glance at her succulent, heart-shaped bottom that he fondly kneaded.
The dinner with the French president was nothing short of exhausting. Hillary would rather be in the kitchen and make sure that everything was running smoothly. But as the owner and head chef of Glass Ceilings, she was to attend the dinner. This was the part of being a boss that she didn't particularly like: attending functions.
As with attending functions, she didn't like dressing up. And so, she just simply let Stacy do all the work for her. Stacy had a friend who worked in Vogue and she managed to "borrow" one of the gowns in magazine's fashion department. Hillary had no participation in it whatsoever. So when Hillary was to wear the dress, she was stunned.
"Oh Stacy!" Hillary exclaimed. "This is too much!"
"No, Hillary," Stacy replied, "you are just not used to wearing gowns. I mean, look at you!"
Hillary looked at herself in the mirror. To be honest, she was pleased at how she looked. It was a gold Dela Renta gown, embellished with sequins and embroidery. The gown was long sleeved yet it accentuated her silhouette. It gave Hillary a nude illusion, yet it there was nothing harrassing about it. It was simply perfection.
It was ironic that even though she was hosting the reception, she had go enter the restaurant like every guest: riding a limo and walking on the red carpet. She would be attending the dinner with her boyfriend, Sean, who would be picking her up.
Just as Hillary finished fixing her earrings, she heard the doorbell. Stacy rushed to open the door, and there was Sean, looking very handsome in a crisp tuxedo.
"Looking good, Sean!" admired Stacy.
"Thank you," replied Sean. "So, where's my girl?"
"Here!" Hillary replied as she emerged from the bathroom after giving a final look in the mirror.
"My God, I can't look away," remarked Sean. "You are so beautiful, Baby."
"Stop it," Hillary playfully nudged Sean.
Hillary and Sean bid Stacy goodbye and slipped inside the limo that Sean rented for this occasion. Once they were in front of her restaurant, Sean gave Hillary one quick smooch to soothe her nerves.
"For luck," Sean winked.
Hillary and Sean stepped down from the car, greeted by the camera flashes and the happy chatter of the guests. Hillary was congratulated by the French and American ambassadors, some members of the French delegation, and Hillary introduced Sean to everyone. Hillary was still uncomfortable by the attention, but slowly, she learned to cope with it.
They were escorted to their seats by Hillary's staff. When they had settled on their table, Hillary was still agitated by not being in charge of everything so she excused herself and slipped into the kitchen.
When she entered the kitchen, the staff was stunned to see her in such a beautiful dress, none moreso than Bill. He almost dropped the bowl that he was holding because he was staring at her for too long.
"I need to check if anything is running smoothly. Where's my sous chefs? Stacy? Robby? Bill?"
"Here," Bill hurried from the stove, retrieving his notebook from the table. He still couldn't stop looking at her.
Hillary gave Bill her last-minute instructions. Hillary was conscious that Bill was standing incredibly close to her, and as much as she hated to admit it, she liked it. She missed having him that close to her. She felt the heat rise up to her cheeks, something she hadn't felt in a long time.
"Honey, the President's chief-of-staff wanted to talk to you."
Both Hillary and Bill jumped when Sean's voice boomed in the kitchen. Sean was standing on the doorway, waiting for his girlfriend.
"Well, I guess that's it for my final instructions," Hillary composed herself. "Honey, can you come here?"
Sean approached the two of them. Bill hid his raging emotions under his poker face.
"Sean, I want you to meet Bill, my newest sous chef," she said to Sean. "And Bill, meet Sean, my boyfriend."
Bill extended his hand and gave a stiff handshake to Sean. Hillary wasn't exactly sure what made her do what she just did. Maybe it was the guilt that she had slept with Bill twice while she was in a relationship with Sean, and it felt incredibly awkward to have the two men that she fucked introduced to each other. But she had to act as if nothing had happened.
After the two men exchanged some small talk, Sean escorted Hillary out of the kitchen, his arm wrapped around her waist. Bill watched them go out, sickened on the sight and decided that after all of this was over, he'd take home that entire bottle of whiskey that he saw in the cellar.