Every season, the restaurant shuts down for two weeks in order for the staff to rest and spend their time with their family. Everyone was relaxing and enjoying their break, with the exception of Bill, who was spending his break in the restaurant. He was busy trying to create a new dish for the next season's menu, which was Hillary's condition for his promotion. If he managed to do that, he would be ahead of the other sous chefs, making him Hillary's right-hand man.
He had been working on a modern variation of canard à la presse, a complex dish made of duck served on a sauce of its own blood and marrow. Instead of being served just by itself, he wrapped the duck into a pastry. Or at least, that was his plan, but he was having a hard time executing his plan. In every attempt, there was always something wrong: the pastry was too hard, the duck was underseasoned or the sauce was too rich. He was getting annoyed at himself for always getting something wrong. He had been toiling all week and he was no closer to the final product than he was when he began.
Exhausted and frustrated, Bill pulled his apron and threw it in his workstation. He didn't bother putting it in his locker because nobody was going to come in the restaurant tomorrow anyway. As Bill had just cleaned up and about to head home, he heard a distinct giggle from affair, and he was pretty sure who that giggle belonged to. His heart racing, he hid in the nearest stock cabinet, praying that the owner of the giggle wouldn't think of getting something from the storage.
Hillary giggled softly when Sean softly nipped the skin of her neck. She had always been ticklish, and Sean knew it. He knew how to make her moan, to make her giggle, to make her come... Sean did his job, and Hillary was enjoying every single moment of it. That's why when Sean pulled her panties down and slipped inside her, she let out a deep sigh.
Behind the stock room door, Bill didn't need to take a peek to know what was happening. Even the dumbest of all idiots would know what was happening, and instead of feeling bitter or hurt, he couldn't help but chuckle. Hillary was much louder and vocal when she was with him on both times. She was constantly egging him to make her come and to come for her. Apparently, Bill had discovered, Sean wasn't as familiar with Hillary's body as he was. Being trapped in the stock room because his boss was fucking outside was incredibly awkward, but he had to admit, this had been his biggest ego boost in a while.
The two week break was over, and the restaurant was back in business. The restaurant was bustling with customers. The latest glowing review of their season's menu from the New York Times only increased their clientele. Glass Ceilings couldn't be in a better time.
As part of their effort to enhance the dining experience of their customers, Hillary and her sous chefs would walk around the diners and talk with them, offering personalized service, just as crepe requests and menu customizations. Often, customers would ask for the chefs' recommendations for wine to match with their menu. Bill, Robby and Stacy were happy to accommodate their customer's requests.
As for Hillary, she would usually go to clients who ordered the cheaper menu sets. She didn't want to make them feel that just because they couldn't afford the more expensive meals, they would not be given a special treatment. Hillary treated every customer the same, and that's what sets her apart from the other restaurant owners.
That night, Bill was doing his rounds on the floor, and his attention was caught by a blonde woman sitting with four other people who seemed to be her friends. Seeing that Hillary and the other sous chefs hadn't attended to them yet, he took the liberty of entertaining them himself.
"Good evening," he said, "my name is Chef Bill. How is your dinner so far?"
"Wonderful. The food is amazing," said the blonde.
Bill looked so pleased with himself. "I see you just had the foie gras."
"Yes, it was amazing. They're as good as the ones I had in Paris," said the blonde.
"I am glad! You seem to be well traveled," he replied.
"Yes, I am. And I am surprised too see you here. I thought you were still in Aunt Betty's."
The woman definitely knew the who's who in the culinary world, Bill thought. "Yeah, I left there years ago. Started my own restaurant but it didn't really take off. That's why I am here right now."
"I see," said the blonde. "I ate in Aunt Betty's four years ago. The ribs were the best I've ever tasted in my life."
"I am glad you enjoyed them," Bill replied, feeling proud of himself.
"Hey, I see the other sous chefs and Miss Hillary take requests from the customers," the blonde noted. "Can I make a request too?"
"Anything, ma'am," Bill replied.
"I heard from the waitress in Aunt Betty's that you are a good sax player. Well, I see a sax over there," the blonde said, pointing at the sax near the piano. "Can you play for us?"
"Well, to tell you the truth, I am a bit rusty...."
"Please..." the woman brought out her most innocent, adorable face, and Bill couldn't help but fulfill her wish. He approached the piano and picked up the sax. He racked his brain for a good song, and thank goodness, he managed to find one in time.
The tune of Frank Sinatra's It Had To Be You in saxophone filled the entire restaurant. The beautiful music caught everyone's attention, and everyone, including Hillary, became aware of the sous chef's hidden talent.
Hillary, her clients forgotten, was staring at Bill. For her, he had never looked so handsome. He was so good with the saxophone. It's as if he was calling her name. It's has if he was reading her a love letter in song. If he had asked her to marry him right then there, she would say yes, Sean be damned.
When the song was over, the whole restaurant erupted into applause, including Hillary. She thought he would go back to entertaining the other customers, but to her dismay, he went straight to the table where the blonde woman was sitting and he seemed to flirt with her. Upset and heartbroken by what she saw, Hillary quietly exited to the kitchens, burying herself in kitchen work.
The blond woman was still clapping when Bill approached her. He seemed really pleased with himself.
"That was amazing. The chefs in Aunt Betty's are right," complimented the woman.
"Thank you, uh, Miss..."
"Margot. My name is Margot."
"Nice to meet you, Margot."
Bill and Margot shook hands, Bill's face felt hot. He felt like a hormonal teenager. He could barely manage not to look like a fool in front of Margot.
"It was great seeing you play the sax," Margot said. "Thanks for doing that for us."
"The pleasure is all mine," replied Bill.
"Hey, do you have a business card?" Margot asked. "I'd like to exchange cards, in case I need someone doing catering."
Bill's face felt hot, in disbelief that Margot was doing what he hoped she would.
"Here," Bill scrambled to give her his business card.
"William J. Clinton," Margot read the card. "Nice name. Here's mine."
Bill put Margot's card in his apron pocket, hoping that he wouldn't crumple it. "Thank you so much, Margot."
"No worries," she smiled. "I believe I am holding you for too long. "I'll call you if I have a catering job for you."
"I'd appreciate that. See you, Margot."
Bill walked away from Margot, almost jumping. He had almost missed having this feeling of having a woman fall for him. Unfortunately, his experience with Hillary had wiped out his memories of being loved and desired.
When Bill entered the kitchen, Bill was surprised to see Hillary in a foul mood. He must have been roaming around for too long and Hillary was left on her own.
"Bill!" Hillary cried, exasperated. "Where have you been?"
"Sorry, I was doing the customer rounds," Bill hurried to her side. "What do I need to do?"
"Nobody's in charge of the entrées, please take care of it," she replied frustratingly as she left for the second kitchen. "And Bill?"
"Next time, try not to openly flirt with our customers," she replied, "especially during work hours. This is not a strip club."
Hillary stomped as she left Bill on his own. For a second, he wanted to scream at her to tell her that she had no business meddling at his personal life. And at the same time, he couldn't control a smile coming out of his mouth, knowing that she was jealous of Margot.