Truly Scrumptious(4)By: R.G. Alexander
The man who didn’t seem remotely impressed by her credentials.
Nate shrugged. “TS, is it? Well, I’m honored to have such a…prestigious guest at our humble establishment.” He smirked. “My grandmother watches your show all the time. When she isn’t watching The Weather Channel, that is.”
She tasted blood on her tongue, and realized she was biting the inside of her cheek to keep from responding to his baiting. She’d dealt with arrogant chefs before. Why was he getting to her? She didn’t care if he thought the show she created was boring. His idea of riveting television probably started with a pizza delivery and ended with a money shot. He was, after all, a man.
Another voice, sexy and slow, stopped her from saying something she’d probably regret later. “Bobby? Is that you, man? Did you bring the looker?”
Truly turned and nearly swallowed her tongue. Two men had come through the kitchen door, dressed very similarly to Nate. Frustrated actors? Out of work models? They couldn’t be chefs. Men who looked like this didn’t choose culinary school as a rule. They became arm and eye candy for rich, bored housewives.
The one who’d spoken, the one currently licking his lips as he eyed her curves in what she’d thought this morning was a professional pantsuit, looked sinful. He was tall and lean with shaggy blond hair and blue eyes, eyes that were undressing her without apology.
The other looked like a line backer. His broad shoulders nearly burst through his chef whites as he crossed his arms. His smile was shy, but brilliant, and his eyes, so startlingly green against his dark, ebony skin, studied her with curiosity.
“I’m dreaming. I knew it.”
She hadn’t thought she’d said it out loud until Robert guffawed, tears streaming from his eyes as the three men looked on. “And I knew I was that good. TS, meet Nate’s fellow owners and chefs. Louis Dumont and Clay Lawrence. Clay was responsible for the mini orgasm you had during dessert.” He lowered his voice and leaned closer to her ear. “But I saw him first.”
Three chefs. Three gorgeous, mouthwatering men, two of them looking at her with interest. Not only were her PR senses tingling, but her body was as well. Her skin grew heated, and the cloth of her pants suddenly felt rough against her thighs. Constricting.
Nate brought her back to reality with a roll of his eyes. “Down, boys. Ignore them, Ms. Larkin. The fumes from the kitchen have long since gone to their heads.” He turned to Robert, sounding impatient. “What brings you here, Bob?”
“Destiny.” Robert beamed. “You three have a PR problem, and don’t deny it. You are some of the best chefs in your field, with the most interesting story, and let’s face it—the most sex appeal.” Truly silently agreed with that last part, but Robert wasn’t done. “This place should be packed to the rafters, people should be coming from all over the state to sample your culinary masterpieces.” He looked around. “Instead it’s the lunch hour, and we’re still the only customers in here.”
Nate bristled. “It’s a slow day.”
“Not that slow.” The blond Louis grimaced ruefully. “He’s right, Nate, and you know it. And not only about our massive sex appeal.” He gave a wink to Truly. “You’re the one who’s always grumbling about the overhead. The Lord only knows we could use a paycheck every once in a while. I’d like to be able to afford to eat what I’m cooking, if ya know what I mean.”
Clay nodded in agreement, and Truly began to get that feeling. That burst of adrenaline that shot up her spine. An aha moment of mammoth proportions. She suddenly understood why Robert had hidden this place away. Why he’d brought her here.
They were her second chance. She could make these men famous. Make The Iron Horse a household name. They’d be bigger than Brunch with Laura. It would turn Clive into a big pile of pervy jealousy.
She loved it.
Robert saw her expression and slid an arm around her shoulders, squeezing affectionately. “I’ve brought the solution to all your problems. I’m not too shabby, but TS is the best. She’ll know just what to do to get you the exposure you need. She has all the contacts. All you have to do is put yourself in her capable hands, do exactly what she tells you to, and in two months time you’ll have more business than you know what to do with.”