Page 15 of Marked With Love

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“Give her the folder,” Grams instructs George. I take it. “Go save your lover before they cuff him. I’ve turned the restaurant over to you.”

“What! No! Can’t it just be the art piece? Don’t give me a restaurant, Grams,” I start to beg. “I can’t even cook. I still don’t know which fork is for what.”

“Sell it for some gold bars,” Alfred suggests.

“You with the jokes today.” I stand. “Is he really trying to get Eros arrested?”

“Yes,” George answers. “Go show your proof so that it doesn’t go any further.”

“Can’t we fax it or something?”

“Fax it?” Grams gives me a look like I’m crazy. “Who faxes things?”

“I mean email it over to the police or something? I don’t know.”

“It will be faster if you go, or he’ll end up in jail for a few hours.”


Alfred hands me my bag and car keys.

“Did you just pull that out of your ass?”

“Maybe this place is haunted, and I’m a ghost with magical powers,” Alfred retorts.

“You win this round, Alf,” I say as I head out.

As I drive by Eros’ place, I see police cars outside. My first order of business as the new owner of the restaurant shall be to fire Louis.

When I make it to the restaurant, I already see cops inside. It’s too early for the place to be open yet. I motion for someone to come open the door for me. A tall blond woman I recall walking around the restaurant last night comes over to crack the door open for me. I think she’s a manager.

“We’re not open.” She eyes me up and down. “Weren't you with that man last night that—” I cut her off. I’m sure the pink hair gave me away.

“I’m a Hoffman.” Her eyes widen at that. She’s not sure if she should believe me or not, but I don’t think she’s willing to chance it, so she steps back, letting me in.

“Morgan?” Louis says my name as I walk over toward him and the officers.

“I hate to break it to everyone, but that piece of art belongs to me.” I hand the folder over to one of the cops. “Also, you’re fired,” I tell Louis. His eyes widen as his face starts to turn red. “I hope you have a good sous chef because he or she has just been promoted,” I tell the blonde with a smirk.

Look at me not being the damsel in distress. I better get my kiss this time.



“You hadyour girlfriend fucking fire me?” Louis screams into the phone. I hold the receiver at arm’s length from my ear, and I can still hear him.

To be honest, I didn’t know chefs could be fired. I thought they left or retired to some farm. Actually, I’ve never really thought about chefs and their careers at all. This is all news to me. Also news that I have a girlfriend. I’m assuming that’s Morgan. I hated having to let her leave last night, but even if she had stayed, I would have ended up on the sofa. We’d both drunk too much. The car service was for the best.

“Are you listening to me? You owe me!”

I wipe the paint brush off with a cloth rag and scrape red and white onto the palette. This piece needs some pink but with a light blue undertone. I add a bit of black and then blue.

“I’m talking to you!”

Has Louis always spoken in exclamatory phrases? If he does, that sucks for his co-workers. His voice gets kinda high-pitched when he’s mad. If I had to color it on my canvas, I think it would be chartreuse, heavy on the neon so that it sets your teeth on edge.

“Sorry, Louis. I’m hanging up on you. You’re killing the vibe for me. Maybe we can talk when I want to do something with a darker, more frenetic energy. Sorry about your job. Good luck on finding a new one.” I disconnect the call and dip a clean brush into the mixed paint. On the canvas, the hue doesn’t look right. I need to get the original in my studio to paint match it.