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Dawnbreak
Jessica Scrome

A dame who knows the ropes isn't likly to get tied.

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The man was late.

A vision in champagne sequins Jessica sat at the bar nursing the martini she had ordered half an hour before. It had been a long time since she had been out on a date, the combination of work and Shy's run in with the stalker had eaten up most of her time. When she'd met Aaron Furley at the gathering of a mutual friend he had struck her as good looking but more interested in himself than anyone else. It had taken the urging of Shy and the friend Jessica had accepted and they had exchanged numbers. He had called her a week later and apologizing for the lateness of his call had invited her to Vive Beatus. Jessica had started to get that sinking feeling when he had changed the date and the time twice.

Now here she was sitting at the bar looking like a world class idiot waiting on a man whom she was sure wouldn't be showing. She raised her hand to the bartender as she opened up her purse and drew out her wallet, at least there was a reservation... if she was here she might as well eat the food.

@Morrigan

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Dino cut in before the bartender got over to her. "You look... like you've been abandoned for the night. I don't have anyone else to entertain. How about we's both get a table," he said the bartender saw Dino intervene and stopped to turn around and zero out the woman's tab.

@Garmr

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Jessica looked at the man with a brief, assessing expression though behind that mask cold anger that burned like frostbite settled in as the reality that she had been stood up settled in. It was one thing when she merely though it, quite another when someone else acknowledged it out loud. Yet she maintained her composure and smiled pleasantly at the man while inwardly she marked Aaron Furley's name on a list.

"That's very kind of you Mr--?" she said with a smile full of warmth she didn't actually feel at the moment. Momma had taught Jessica it was bad manners to turn down the kindness of others and her inner bear just wanted to eat.

@Morrigan

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"No need for formalities love. I'm Dino, I sort of own this place," he swirled a finger around in a circle pointing it toward the ceiling to indicate that owned the restaurant. "Come on then," he said to her. "Lets go to the chef's table in the back and I'll make everyfin all better with my famous food," he advised her.

@Garmr

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"Dino," she repeated the name as she slid from the bar stool and came up to her full height. She tilted her head down to study Dino for a moment as if she wasn't entirely certain what to make of him,  "Jessica." Her inner bear immediately perked at the mention of food and her cool grey-blue eyes warmed. "Lead the way."

@Morrigan

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Dino gave her a charming smile before he headed toward the back opening the door to the kitchen and leading her to the chef's table. He invited her to sit down. "So what would you like to start off with?" he asked her. "Our starter's include scallops prawns, lobster risotto, oven roasted bone marrow and iberico ham," he advised her.

@DragonBlue

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He had a nice smile, Jessica thought as she followed behind Dino back into the kitchen. Her heels clicked lightly against the tiled floor and her eyes darted about the sight of men and women dashing about with plates and her mouth watered with the smell of food hit her nose. She sat, "I believe I'll put myself in the hands of the expert. What would you suggest, honey?"

She hadn't meant to use the term of endearment, after all she'd just met this man, but it was out and so she squashed the momentary panic behind a smile of confidence.

@Morrigan

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"Alright then, I will instead surprise you. I will be back," he said as he moved to walk away. He grabbed his chef's coat and wrapped an apron around his middle before he moved to the back to start up with the oven roasted bone marrow and lobster risotto. It was fluid movements in the kitchen as there was shouting of "behind" to keep from someone turning around and running into someone else. It was a symphony really, if you were someone like Dino.

When he returned he set the plates down in front of her and would wait for her first bite before he'd go to make her entree.

@Garmr

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Jessica watched Dino and the rest of the kitchen staff feeling a bit like she was Dorothy in Oz seeing behind the Wizard's curtain. She settled back into her seat and took a moment to check her phone, mostly to let Shy know that her date hadn't shown but she'd be having dinner anyway.

When the Dino and plate arrived the phone vanished back into the clutch purse and she smiled. The plate smelled delicious and her inner bear wanted to just dive upon it ravenously but, true to the manners her Momma had taught her, Jessica picked up a fork and took the tiniest of bites. She 'Mmmm-ed' appreciatively as her eyes closed while she chewed. Yet she did managed to re-opened them and give a nod of gratitude and approval to Dino before he headed back into the thick of it.

@Morrigan

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Dino was a glutton by all means. He had sent one of the prep staff to get the woman some wine that paired with the food as he worked on getting the entrees ready for her and himself.

Jessica would eventually get a glass of wine placed in front of her and the bottle set down beside it.

About fifteen minutes later Dino rejoined her and this time he sat down as he set the Beef wellington in front of her and had some for himself. He was a Lilin but it didn't keep him from enjoying the simple pleasures.

@Garmr

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Jessica was sipping at the wine when Dino sat down and she looked less irritated than she had been when at the bar. The plate the starter had been served on was clean with the utensils placed sideways on the plate* and her eyes smiled when the second plate was set down before her.

"Why thank you Sir," she set down the wine and reached for the appropriate fork. "Tell me, how long have you been in the restaurant business?" It was an easy start to conversation though Jessica had a feeling they'd be through the bottle of wine before it was done.

@Morrigan

 

*plate language for "the meal was delicious"

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"Uhh, I always liked food," he shrugged as he cut his steak. "I think it was back in the fifteen... hudreds that I opened my first restaurant. It was called... um. Meat Pie Emporium. It was in South London," he explained. "Back then meat was pretty expensive but I made a good living and I enjoyed it so I kept at it. Now I'm one of the best chef's in the world. Better than that Ramsey bloke any'ays," he said taking a bite of his food.

@Garmr

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Jessica was midway into cutting through her own piece of meat when her brain registered what he had said. Her eyes raised up from her plate to him as she did her best to hide the fact that he had startled her with a mask of Southern gentry poise. Despite herself she breathed in and her inner bear shook its head in confusion because to her nose Dino smelled human, albeit mixed with meat grease, garlic, and a few other spices.

"You have been at it a bit longer than him Dino-honey." Again that slip of an endearment but given she'd already called him it before and he hadn't seemed to mind so she continued with it. "But now I'm gonna have to ask, what are you? Because you got this bear fooled."

Might as well put all the cards on the table since he had.

@Morrigan

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"Ahh. Well I thought you's knew because I told you I owned the place. It being a supernatural sanctuary and all," he shrugged. "I'm a Lilin. We're the only sorts that can run places like these," he explained. He'd been thinking about opening an sanctuary arcade too but that was another of his many guilty pleasures.

"I guess I sometimes forget that only other Lilin know what I am. Thank Lilith for that. Bless her and her divinity," even though it was her lack of divinity that had spawned their race.

@Garmr

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"Afraid I didn't honey."  Jessica had only met one other Lilin and that had been in Savannah, the man had owned half the bars and clubs of River Street, "I only got to town a few months ago. My brother and I moved here from Georgia and we haven't really gotten integrated with the local culture, met a handful of other people so far... everyone is very accommodating."

Jessica wasn't sure how to respond to his mention of Lilith. She of course knew the stories but it was impossible to tell what was myth and what was fact. "Well, to me you smell like garlic, little bit of oregano, few other spices and man." She wasn't going to mention the meat part because she didn't want to sound rude.

@Morrigan

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"Nothing wrong with that," Jessica said and leaned forward a bit in a conspiratorial way. She met his eyes with an expression of secret wickedness, "My guilty pleasure is hot wings. The saucier the better."

@Morrigan

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Dino gave a hearty laugh that you could tell came more from the belly than the back of his throat as it did for most. "If you ever come back I will have to make you some of mine. Not something on the menu but I think I could manage to do something for a pretty lady like yourself," he advised her with a large smile.

@Garmr

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Jessica's inner bear shone through her eyes that had just dilated at the idea of gourmet hot wings. Her face became quite serious, "Dino-honey, you promise me hot wings and I'll come in any old time you like. Only thing that would make it better is if you serve it with a pitcher of beer and the Falcons are playing."

@Morrigan

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As far as invites home from men she just met went Jessica had to admit Dino had game. She smirked at him but decided not to say anything suggestive in case she'd misread something. "You make the wings, I'll bring the beer. My brother Shy makes his own and I'm gonna have to say it ain't half bad... although, there were a few batches at first that weren't fit for consumption."

@Morrigan

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Jessica took a moment to sample some of the steak before it got cold. She took a moment to enjoy the flavors while she thought about what she typically ate with wings. Really it came down to what she liked to eat when she was drunk, "Fries... maybe some slaw or some corn bread. My usual though is just a plate of wings and a couple pitchers of beer." She gave a slight laugh, "Horribly unrefined."

@Morrigan

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"Not everyone appreciates that," Jessica reached for her wine glass, "but I'd like to think its better to find something you like and go for it than sit around wringing your hands going 'what if'" She gave him a pointed look now, no use being shy when she was interested.

@Morrigan

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