Chapter 32.1Mature

All the dishes were placed in the middle of the table so it resembled a buffet. Beth smiled as she pulled some of the pork paprika onto her own clear plate. She also got some of the trout, and a few meatballs.

She tried the trout, which turned out to be stuffed with mushrooms, and one of the meatballs. That was when she decided that Robert had an excellent palate. The meatballs did, indeed, turn out to be cooked in red wine sauce and the pork paprika was the best Beth had ever tasted.

She dared herself to try some of the shrimp, and found that she loved that as well.

“You know, I might actually get used to fine dining,” Beth mumbled.

“Good,” Robert smiled.

Beth ate some more in silence. She watched Robert, who seemed preoccupied.

“What’s wrong?” she asked him.

He looked at her and smiled. “Sorry, just thinking.”

“About...?” she prompted.

“Business. Jay’s coming over on Sunday evening.”

Beth’s eyebrows drew together. “But, you told the other’s first thing on Sunday.”

“First thing for most of them will be the evening. Some of us prefer our traditional version of night and day.”

“Who’s Hollywood?”

“That’s Jay’s nickname. You’ll see why when you meet him.”

Beth raised an eyebrow but said nothing. Once they’d cleared most of what was the main course, the waiter came in to clear the plates. When they were gone, he came back in with desserts.

There were small cakes that smelt relatively like brownies, and a normal chocolate and peppermint ice cream.

“Okay, now you really are spoiling me,” she mumbled as the waiter left.

“It’s my job,” he grinned.

Beth smiled back.

After she’d eaten most of the desserts, she sat back in her chair and sighed.

“I think you might have to carry me,” she said, putting on a serious face.

“I will do if you want me to,” he said, a slight smile pulling at his lips.

“No, I’ll just hobble back to the car to prepare for the calorie burning.”

Robert grinned crookedly and chuckled softly. He leant forward slightly.

“Best get to it then,” he murmured.

Beth blushed and followed his lead as he stood up. He took her hand and led her out of the room and back through the restaurant. He mumbled something to a member of staff about charging it to his account. He pulled her out of the building and handed a numbered ticket to the valet, who disappeared to go and get the car.

“Will it hurt?” Beth asked quietly, looking down at the floor.

He tipped her chin up so she had to look at him. He planted a gentle kiss on her lips.

“I won’t let it,” he promised.

“But you’ll feel it, won’t you?”

“Then I can give you a detailed report afterwards, can’t I?” A small smile played on his lips.

She smiled back faintly and stood on her tiptoes to kiss him again.

The End

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