Le Dragon Vert

Chapter 02

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“No real problem.  I have prepared a fabulous dinner for them, but,” Claude waved the knife in a circular motion, and then continued to slice the cucumber.

“But what?  Don’t leave me hangin’.”

Claude raised the blade again, this time wagging the knife as he spoke, “She insists on coming back to the kitchen, and you know–”

“–Don’t disturb the staff,” said Cameron, quickly adding, “especially during service.”

“You understand perfectly.  Can you please take care of it?  And send Gerard back while you are at it, he is late.  I have created this beautiful amuse-bouche.  It is really lovely, split pea and still vegan.”

Centered on the silver tray in front of Claude a moss green liquid filled four ready to be served shot glasses.

“Certainly, where is Gerard?” asked Cameron.

“I have not seen him, he must be stuck in the library with that woman.”

“Ok, let me talk to them, I want that party happy.”  Cameron placed a hand on the chef’s back and leaned into his ear, “Ms. Lacroux is a favored guest, she is from the UN, she is French, and you know she only chooses to come here because of you.”

Claude grunted and went back to the cucumbers again.

Cameron went to the small corner office pleased he was still able to appease Claude’s ego.  Appeasing his old friend was all that was needed each evening to keep the kitchen running smooth and Cameron gladly took on the role.

From behind the office door Cameron took down the darkest of the three blazers he kept there on wooden hangers.  He donned the jacket, adjusted his collar, and then preened himself in the small mirror tacked up on the post-it note covered corkboard.  The haircut, the blazer, and the shirt were each part of the uniform that comprised his image, the image of a New York restaurateur.  Adjusting to the image of restaurateur had taken sometime while the mindset of a uniform, a cover, was something Cameron was quite experienced in from his formative years.  Cameron often told himself he was pretending to be a restaurateur and gourmet celebrity.  He often asked himself what the difference was really.

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