Dinner At Navarre’s

    Sara slips on the beautiful dark green dress Clara brought earlier, then looks in the full length mirror, I love this dress! She  runs her fingers over the ruffled collar happy that it covers up her neck that has lingering marks left by Li Tian. The design is so feminine and unique. She zips up the zipper on the side of the dress, so different from anything I’ve seen before I wonder who the designer is?  After she brushes her long black hair she pulls it up in a high ponytail then applies a little pink lip gloss. Feeling refreshed after her bath she decides to find Navarre, so she walks down the hallway towards the living room.

    When she enters the spacious living room she looks around for Navarre. Hmmm.. Sara becomes distracted when she smells a delicious aroma coming from the kitchen. Unable to resist the lure of food she enters the kitchen. A tall slender man wearing a blue apron is standing by the counter chopping an onion. Sara smiles brightly, “Wow… smells delicious, what are you making?”

   The chef turns around surprised to see Sara, his voice is deep and he speaks with a British accent when he answers her question. “I am making Stuffed Red Peppers with Fennel and Goat cheese at the moment.”

     Staring at the hollowed-out red peppers Sara’s eyes light up,“Oh, I’m looking forward to trying that dish! I have never tried that before.”

     Seeing her eyes sparkling he asks,  “Do you like Western food?”

     Sara giggles, ” Well, to be honest with you I prefer Chinese food but really I love all food. It’s always an enjoyable experience to try something new. She picks up a piece of celery and takes a bite.  “I love to cook. Can I help you with anything?” 

   “…” This innocent-looking girl doesn’t seem like one of Julien’s usual women.She isn’t wearing any makeup and has a carefree attitude.  I wonder who she is? He puts down the knife then lazily strides over to the refrigerator taking out a whole chicken he has been marinating. “No. I have almost everything prepared. I’m putting the chicken in the oven now.”

   She watches him place the chicken in a pan then sprinkle it with spices. After swallowing the piece of celery she asks, “I haven’t seen Mr. Navarre, is he home?”

  “I believe Julien is working in his art studio.”

    Sarah feels guilty being reminded of the Midnight Lover Necklace. He is probably attempting to fix the necklace. Furrowing her forehead she responds,”I won’t disturb him.”

   The chef is very curious about Sara’s identity, after he puts the chicken in the oven he politely asks, “Would you like a glass of wine and some appetizers while you’re waiting? “

    “I would love some snacks but… I don’t care for any  wine. Maybe just a glass of juice would be good, thank you. Oh… I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself, my name is Song Sara. I am Mr. Navarre’s  model for the International Jewelry Competition”

   “My name is Patrick Sloan please call me Patrick”  He gazes at Sara noticing her brilliant crystal blue eyes, the young woman must be of mixed ancestry, with her unique features she certainly is beautiful enough to wear Julien’s magnificent Sapphire and Diamond necklace. Even without any makeup she is  incredibly stunning, her fair and tender looking skin is flawless. He opens the refrigerator and takes out a  plate of snacks. “Who have you modeled for? Chanel? Chloe Designs ?

    “…” Sara picks up a snack from the plate then points to herself with a grin on her face revealing her two cute dimples.Laughing her eyes curve into a crescent shape as she clarifies,  “Me? A professional model? Haha..no.  I was working for Li Group as an executive assistant to the CEO when I met Mr. Navarre in Milan. Due to some unforeseen circumstances he asked me to model the necklace so I agreed.”

   Suddenly the smile disappears from Patrick’s face replaced by a look of disdain when she mentions Li Tian. He is pouring Sara a glass of orange juice while remembering the last time he saw Li Tian, not paying attention to what he is doing, the juice overflows from the glass. Sara can’t help but notice his strange expression, she quickly looks around for a towel to clean up the mess. When she comes back to where he is standing she begins to wipe up the orange juice on the counter. Patrick comes out of his  trance  placing his hand on the cloth she is using, “I’ll get that.”

    She gently pushes his hand away, “Don’t worry about it. I almost have it cleaned up. Is something the matter?”

   “No.I was just spacing out for a moment. Thank you for cleaning up the spill . Here let me take  the sticky cloth from you.”

    Sara hands him the juice soaked cloth then washes her sticky hands in the sink. After she dries her hands she picks up the glass of orange juice. She can see the chef is embarrassed so to break the awkward atmosphere after she takes a sip she exclaims, “Yummy! This juice is so sweet is  it freshly squeezed?”

   “Yes. My friend has an Orange Grove in Valencia.We just received a crate of these oranges yesterday.”

  Looking at the plate of delicious looking appetizers she wonders if it would be weird to take a photo.  “Umm… Patrick. I wonder if you would mind me taking a couple pictures?I have a little food blog and I haven’t been able to update it for the last couple days. All the appetizers you prepared look fabulous and I think my followers would enjoy  seeing them.”  Sara brought the phone Navarre’s assistant Michelle purchased for her to the kitchen planning on calling Bi to let her know she wouldn’t be back in Catang City until Wednesday.

  The way she is looking at him pleading with her big blue eyes he doesn’t have the heart to refuse her request. Patrick looks at the plate on the table which contains several of his signature creations. Although I don’t not want  anyone to know I am in Paris, who would read an insignificant little food blog. “I don’t mind but please don’t mention my name or that you are in Navarre’s  residence, and of course don’t take any pictures of me.”

  ‘Thank you so much! I will be careful only to photograph the food.”  Sarah points at a delicately wrapped puff pastry with caviar on top, “ Do you mind telling me what this one is called? It is almost too beautiful to eat.”

  Patrick laughs then describes all the food on the plate, the girl really is a foodie! After he finishes with the descriptions he goes back to preparing dinner. Sarah begins photographing the glass of orange juice and plate of appetizers. Patrick shakes his head as he watches her seriously taking pictures from several different angles. I should find out the name of her blog and check it out. Her serious expression is very cute.

  Meanwhile in the art studio Navarre is tired from working on the necklace. He rubs his eyes then looks at his watch, Patrick should have dinner ready. I have done as much as I can until I get two more Sapphires and Diamonds to replace the missing jewels. He stands up from his workbench then turns off the light to find Sara for dinner. When he walks down the hallway towards the guest room he hears laughter coming from the kitchen.Song Sara must be out there with Patrick.

  When he arrives at the kitchen he sees Sara basting the chicken as Patrick laughs at the way she keeps asking him questions about cooking. They both hear him coming and turn his direction. Sara picks up the pan to put back in the oven and Patrick quickly takes the pan from her, “ I’ll do it. Julien dinner should be ready in about fifteen minutes. Would you like a glass of wine?”

 ‘Yes, I will have a glass of The Domain Leflaive.” Navarre notices Sara drinking orange juice. “Do you want a glass of wine Miss Song?”

  “ No thank you.” She has a guilty expression on her face as she softly asks, “How is the necklace coming along?”

   Patrick returns with the glass of wine and hands it to Navarre. He has a confused expression wondering what Navarre is doing to his necklace. When he saw the Midnight Lover necklace he thought it was absolute perfection. ” Julien,you are changing the necklace’s design before the competition?”

    Navarre takes a sip of his wine then answers,  “There was a problem and the necklace needs to be repaired.”

   Sarah quietly walks away from the two of them wanting to distance herself from their conversation. Everytime she recalls her terrifying experience by the gazebo she feels a panic attack coming. Sara shivers  picturing the swarthy man’s bony hands grasping at the necklace around her neck when she was attacked.

   In the kitchen she locates the plates in the cupboard, I think I should set three places at the table. Patrick appears to be on very good terms with Navarre.He calls him by his first name and they are sitting on the couch drinking wine together and laughing. 

   Once the table is set she opens the oven door to check on the chicken.  Inhaling the perfectly roasted chicken’s fragrant aroma she salivates. Sara doesn’t think it is her place to remove the chicken but it looks done, the skin is golden brown. Should I mention it to the chef? Probably not..haha  She picks  up her orange juice then returns to the living room where they are sitting. 

   Patrick is curious how the necklace was broken. He is Navarre’s closest friend so he doesn’t hold back explaining what he knows of the situation. He tells Patrick that Sara is Li Tian’s  girlfriend, she wore the necklace to the Bellini Reception. He suspects they quarreled and that’s how the necklace was broken and her neck was bruised. Patrick’s green eyes darken thinking Li Tian abused Sara.  The f****ng bastard hasn’t changed a bit since we went to University together. Still a cold and heartless pr**k! He angrily gulps down the rest of his  white wine then stands up. “Dinner should be ready, why don’t you go to the dining room.”

  He looks at Sara holding the glass of juice and has the urge to pat her head, but retracts his hand midway. “Go with Julien. I will serve the food.”

  “Can I help you? I would like to take a picture of the roasted chicken and stuffed red poppers.” For some reason I feel comfortable with Patrick… but I think it would be a little embarrassing to take my phone out in front of Mr Navarre. 

    “If you want.” What does this little girl see in that cold bastard Li Tian? He restrains himself from warning her about him. It’s none of my business and when does a woman in love listen anyway.

    After Sara takes a few pictures she helps Patrick carry the food to the table. The three of them are enjoying the meal and Sara feels very relaxed listening to their conversation. Sara holds her side laughing as Patrick tells a hilarious story about Navarre trying to make breakfast. He started a fire, smoking up the entire apartment.While he is telling the story Navarre’s face turns red and he interrupts him. “Should I reveal one of your most embarrassing moments?” Waving his Fork he reminds Patrick of an incident when they were in the University. Apparently, Patrick was trying to impress the school flower with his cooking skills and didn’t know she was allergic to coriander.They finished dinner and the girl’s face swelled up like a puffer fish and he had to rush the poor girl to the hospital while she was crying. He dramatically puffs out his cheeks. “After the incident she wouldn’t even answer her phone when he called. Haha.” Sara takes her finger to wipe the tears from her eyes, “You guys are too funny!” She thinks their personalities are quite different yet they have a good relationship. “Were you two roommates in college?”  They both look at each other and answer simultaneously. “Long story .”

   Patrick pours another glass of wine for Navarre then asks Sara if she would like to have a glass. She is having a good time so she thinks why not, “Okay, I guess I can have just one. Thank you.”

   Sara compliments Patrick on his cooking skills, “ You are an excellent cook! I have never had such a tasty pepper dish before and the savory flavor of the chicken is absolutely delicious. Can you give me the recipe?”

   Patrick’s lips curl up watching Sara as she devours her dinner, The girl definitely is a foodie. ” Sure and thank you. I really enjoy experimenting with spices.”  Noticing Sara has finished her glass of  wine he refills her glass as she eats another bite of the savory chicken. 

     The  meal is almost finished when there is a knock at the door. Navarre gave his staff time off while he was in Milan and the temps left already, so he answers the door. Li Tian storms past Navarre directly into the apartment anxiously looking around, ‘Where is Song Sara? Why didn’t you answer my phone calls?”

   “To answer your first question she’s in the dining room to answer your second question, my phone broke when I was in  Milan. I explained the situation to your secretary and gave her my new phone number.” 

   “I don’t know what you’re talking about. The only assistant I brought with me to Milan is Song Sara.”

   “The woman said she was your secretary and would give you the message.I have no reason to lie to you or avoid you. I need your help to replace the missing  jewels on the Midnight Lover Necklace before the competition.” 

   In the dining room Sarah can hear Li Tian’s voice and her heart starts racing. What the heck is the CEO doing here? What am I going to do? Wuuhuu.. I have nowhere to go to hide from him.  She nervously picks up her glass of wine and downs it in one gulp. 

4 thoughts on “Dinner At Navarre’s

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  1. And that’s an awkward conversation to have with someone who clearly wants to avoid you at all cost. Ooh and when she finds out it was him that night in the club!!! Li Tian is gonna get it!!


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