Orpheus and Lily had originally intended to see a movie after their dinner but as they stepped out of the restaurant and their exhaustion mixed with full stomachs they decided that they would save that for another time. No one batted an eye as the couple walked into a well-known hotel and made their way to the elevators while practically holding each other up. No one gave them a second glance as they went to the top floor. No one noticed them slip up on to the roof and no one was there when they floated away.
No lights were on when they got home. No one else had gotten back yet. They didn’t need the lights to navigate anymore so they left them off. The bedroom door didn’t even creak when it opened and a Command whispered through heavy breaths closed it more tightly than any lock could.
Cook smiled to himself as he prepared the most important dish of the night. It had been nice to see Orpheus again, he had grown into quite the young man and that young lady he had been with had looked positively stunning despite the tiredness in both their eyes. Cook clasped his hands together as his memories briefly jumped back to a time where he had been that smitten with a girl. He stood there for a moment just reveling in the memory and forgetting what he was doing. The smell of burning sugar brought him back and he whipped his power at it. A normal chef would have had to scrap the whole dish as the caramelized sugar threw the texture of the dish right out the window but his power pushed the sugar back to how it had been before he had started daydreaming.
“This is not quite the time for daydreaming.” He chastised himself “Not when there is so much work to do.” The other chefs looked at him admiration clear on their faces. They thought he was talking about taking care of the guests and in a way, they were right. But it was not just any guest whose dish was being prepared personally by him. They had been relieved when he had stepped in to prepare Flare’s meal personally. The man was known to have a bit of a temper and a short fuse. The other chefs had worried that if he didn’t think it was good enough they would be fired but they couldn’t fire the owner.
They offered to help but that was mostly a token gesture to show that they were go getters and thus worthy of a promotion or transfer to a nicer restaurant where they could show off their artistic side and prepare food for the elite. Cook paid them no mind and kept working because this meal had to be exact. The flavors had to mesh perfectly with the texture so that Flare was completely satisfied with the meal. After all Flare needed to have no issues with the meal so that he left happy and without any complaints.
He needed to be completely happy and satisfied so that when he later went off on some poor soul so hard that he killed them no suspicion would fall at his door. “He’ll probably be struck down by his own team” Cook thought wistfully to himself as he added the garnish. He had to keep from skipping when he delivered the dish to the table. “For the madam” Cook said as he put a dish one of the other chefs had prepared in front of the girl.
“Thank you so much. It looks so wonderful.” The girl thanked him and her smile was so genuine and innocent that Cook said a prayer and hoped she wasn’t who Flare went off on.
“and for the sir” Cook finished as he set the carefully crafted dish in front of Flare. “I hope you enjoy your meals and don’t hesitate to call if you need something.” Cook bowed. When the two had eaten Cook returned to collect their dishes and asked, “So how was it?”
“It was an absolute pleasure to get to have a meal prepared by the world-famous Cook.” Flare said with what sounded like genuine sincerity.
Cook pushed past his disgust at them man and smiled “The pleasure was all mine. I hope you dine with us again someday, maybe tomorrow.” He laughed at his own joke and the couple politely chuckled in response.
Cook went back to his penthouse shortly after the couple left citing a disgruntled stomach as the reason for his early departure. Some of the cooks would snicker and make jokes about only caring about celebrities when he was gone but he didn’t care, he was just nervous he would start laughing. Once he was at his penthouse he stepped into the closet and the room that was hidden behind a part of the wall that would slide away. In the room, he knelt down in front of a picture. The women in the picture was smiling and laughing. It was the only picture of her that existed anymore and it only existed because the photographer had used it for his portfolio. He said it was the best wedding picture he had ever taken but to Cook it just that his subject had been so perfect. Tears flowed freely from his eyes and a grin started to grow on his face.
“Soon it’ll be done my love. Soon they’ll pay.” He stood and pulled a pen from his pocket. With a quick slash, he crossed at the word Flare on the list hanging on the wall. Before he left the room, he pulled the plan marked Flare off the wall and threw it into the incinerator.
The man who had once had a name showered to hide his tears and did what any paparazzi that dropped by would expect him to be doing, he cooked. To an onlooker he made fantastic meals that used only the best ingredients but if someone could see beyond that they might glimpse his cooking for what it truly was, training. The man who had once had a name, who had forsaken it when his wife had been taken from him, poured his rage, his fears, and his hate into the dishes. He had to be ready. His work was just getting started.