Cockney:A Stepbrother Romance(9)

By: Aubrey Irons

My very bossy, very distractingly attractive boss.

My new stepbrother.

Yeah, no, Oliver’s not in trouble.

I am, and with that man sleeping right next door all night and being my boss all day at work?

Yeah, I’m in big, big trouble.

I’m leaning against the outside wall back behind the kitchen, frowning at the cobblestone streets of London’s south bank and sipping espresso. I close my eyes as I take a sip, breathing it all in and just loving it.

I love the smell, the sounds and the taste of restaurants opening in the morning. This life is not for everyone, that’s for damn sure. Late nights, super early mornings, and all manner of drink, drugs, and sex in between. Honestly, those who cook your food might be the final great rock stars in the world, like the Stones back in the ‘70s or something.

We might be the world’s last pirates, and I fuckin’ love it.

I love the chaos, the threat of danger, the pressure, the burns, the cuts, the screaming maelstrom of fuckin’ chaos that somehow births something beautiful. I love that, somehow, through the utter chaos of a commercial kitchen during service, the madness can still give birth to something pure and something perfect: a meal that transcends food and becomes a fucking experience.

And that’s what I want. I want people to walk away from a meal I’ve cooked them changed on a visceral, fundamental level. I want to rock their world; I want that first bite of food to be a fuckin orgasm for them. That’s what I love about all this. I love ending the night and looking out over my field of battle in that kitchen, and knowing that I bled for the cause and won. The cause of a perfect meal.

I take another sip of the espresso and frown. What I don’t love is lateness. Lateness like how Chloe is already ten fucking minutes late to her first day on the job. The job I’d never have given her, truth be told. I run a fucking machine back there on that line, and I do not have time to babysit fucking hobbyists trying to “rough it” with the big boys in the kitchen. Fuck that. And her being late is just pissing me off even more.

I can’t have it; not in any kitchen but certainly not here at this one. People here need to fear me like they do their father, or a Goddamn brigadier general.

And if she thinks I’m going to go easy on her because of our parents, or because of our...well, history, she’s sorely mistaken.

Oh, fuckin’ finally. She’s coming around the corner, on her fucking cellphone of course, with a coffee. She looks up quickly, as if feeling my eyes boring into her. I sip the last of my espresso, my arms crossed over my kitchen whites as I narrow my gaze at her.

“Sorry!” She says, looking up from twitter or whatever bullshit has her late to my kitchen. She throws me her best “cute” wincing face.

It sort of works, even if I hate to admit it.

“The trains-” She shakes her head; “Sorry, I’m not used to-”

“So leave earlier.”

She shoots me a sharp look. “Look, I just got here last night, you know. It’s not like I’ve ever been to London bef-”

“So look at a map.”

She drops her jaw, her mouth going into this adorable and shocked looking “o” face. I have to suppress the urge to grin, because truth be told, I’m more interested in seeing how far I can push this girl than I am actually mad at her. Yes, lateness is something I abhor, but I’m not a fuckin’ dictator. Honestly, I’m partially amazed she’s only ten minutes late after trying to figure out London’s tube system on day one.

Not, of course, that I’m going to tell her that.

She shoots me another glaring look full of daggers, “You want to give me some fucking slack?”

“No, actually,” I say, smiling widely at her and loving the way it gets her all flustered looking, her mouth opening and closing like she can’t even find the words to express her anger at me. Her cheeks get all flushed and pink looking, and I can’t help but remember the last time I saw them like that.

Of course, that time I had her shirt half undone, my cock pressed against her thigh through our clothes, and her moans melting through my ears as she kissed me like our lives depended on it.

Suffice to say, I would be extremely curious to see that particular blush on her face again.

But I quickly shake that thought from my head. I have to be the hard-ass here. If not for her, at least for the rest of the kitchen.

“Be on time,” I say again, forcing the grin from my face and mustering my hard-ass chef glare.

And she rolls her eyes.

“You know what, screw this,” she spits out, her eyes narrowing at me. “I don’t need this shit, not from you.”

I shrug. “Hey, you don’t want to work for me? Wicked, I don’t want you in my fuckin’ kitchen either.”

She whirls back and drops her jaw and opens her mouth, but I push a finger against her lips; her soft, pouty, totally fuckable lips.

Oy, you need to shake your head right clear of that RIGHT now.

“Look, just walk away, sweetheart. Maybe the kitchen just ain’t the place for you.”