Chapter 20



The three entered the restaurant through a small wood paneled lobby.  Dark walnut furnishings accented the room and glass walls slanted out over the city and the lake far below.

The Maître d’ stood behind a computer topped podium.  He greeted them and tapped an image of the seating plan on the computer display.  A virtual table lit green.  He looked up at the three, smiled, and directed them toward the corresponding table at the edge of the room.

Marie and Nicole, fascinated with the view, were drawn to the huge windows.  Cameron looked to the interior.  He had heard of the infamous wine cellar, the world’s highest.  Through double cherry doors, Cameron could see redwood racks stocked with bottle after bottle of wine.

“Incredible,” said Marie, gazing to the shore far across the lake.

“It certainly is,” said Cameron, still looking at the wine cellar.

Cameron, Marie, and Nicole each took a seat at their window side table and the Maître d’ placed menus in front of them.  A waiter sidled up to him and then stepped to the table as the Maître d’ stepped away.

“Hello,” said the waiter, “my name is Christophe.  Would you like sparkling water today?”

“That would be fine,” said Cameron.

“May I tell you the specials we have today?”

“I believe we know what we will be ordering,” said Marie.

Cameron had not yet opened his menu.  He looked across the table to Marie.  Her eyes were fixed on the waiter’s.  “I understand that you have swan, white swan.  We would like that.”

The waiter’s smile fell away and his brow dropped.  He quickly scanned Marie, Cameron, and then Nicole.  Nicole was lost in her gaze across the lake and indifferent to the waiter’s presence.  If the waiter was trying to be nonchalant in his reaction, he failed.  He fixed his eyes back onto Marie and then composed himself.  His smile returned, tightened and hubristic, “Excellent choice Madame.”  Marie handed the waiter her and Nicole’s menus, as did Cameron.  “I will alert the chef,” said the waiter, he nodded, and then went to the kitchen.

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