Cook's Night Out

Free Cook's Night Out by Joanne Pence

Book: Cook's Night Out by Joanne Pence Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joanne Pence
doesn’t make sense.”
    Angie pushed her hair off her face, then leaned back in the chair. “Lately, I’ve felt like the Jonah of the business world. Every job I’ve had, something has gonewrong and I’ve ended up out of work. So this time, I decided to become my own boss.”
    Just then, a peppy shave-and-a-haircut knock on the door interrupted their discussion.
    â€œOh, no,” Angie groaned. She went to the door and looked through the peephole to confirm her worst suspicion. It was confirmed.
    â€œHi, Stan,” she said, opening the door a little way. “I’ve got company.”
    â€œOh, the cop?” Stan, a tall young man in white jogging shorts and a T-shirt with a Hard Rock Cafe logo, peered over Angie’s head into the room. When he saw that the company wasn’t Paavo, he smiled broadly. “The more the merrier, I always say.” He scooted his lanky body around Angie and stepped into the apartment, giving a quick toss of his head to flick back his silky brown hair. The Hugh Grant look, he called it.
    He stopped halfway into the living room and gave Connie an appreciative smile. “Hello there.”
    Angie shut the door and followed him. “Connie, this is my neighbor from across the hall, Stanfield Bonnette. Stan, meet Connie Rogers.”
    â€œHi, Stanfield.” Connie held out her hand.
    He pumped it hard. “Call me Stan. Angie’s mentioned you to me. I’m always pleased to meet one of Angie’s friends.” He sat next to her on the sofa, too close. “I work for a major bank in the city. I’m one of those hotshot young executives. Rising fast. Of course, I haven’t been able to work since I was horribly attacked a while ago. Life grows more hazardous every day.”
    â€œIt does. Are you going to be able to go back to work?” Connie asked, concern heavy in her voice.
    â€œOh, sure. But I’ll milk it for all it’s worth. Play the system,” he added with a knowing nod. “That’s me, just a concerned, caring, nineties kind of guy.”
    Connie eased back from him. “You’re amazing.”
    â€œI know.” He smiled proudly, then turned to Angie. “I couldn’t help but notice the wonderful smells coming from this apartment, Angie. It’s like walking by a See’s candy store. Excuse me a minute,” he said to Connie as he got up and headed for the kitchen. “Wow! It is a candy store!”
    â€œHelp yourself,” Angie called out drily.
    In a moment he was back with a plate of chocolates. “I’ve died and gone to heaven,” he enthused, finishing one piece and starting a second as he walked into the living room. Draping himself over an antique Hepplewhite chair, he turned to Connie again.
    â€œSo,” he said, licking his finger, then taking a moment to decide which piece to try next, “you’re one of Angie’s friends. Are you…uh…also a cook?”
    â€œNo,” Connie said, “I run my own business. A gift shop. Everyone’s Fancy.”
    â€œAaaaahhhhhh, one of those filthy rich self-employed people.” He laughed uproariously, as if it was a joke. Neither woman joined him. His laugh died and he bit into another piece of candy. “You know, Angie, all the candy is good, but these little squares with the chopped dates and nuts and caramel, why, they’re simply outstanding.”
    Angie and Connie both stared at him as if he were crazy.
    â€œWell,” he said, standing up, a chocolate melting over his thumb and forefinger, “I guess I’ll leave you two alone. Mind if I grab another couple of chocolates, Angie?” He was already halfway into the kitchen when he asked.
    When he came back out, his plate was overflowing.
    â€œYou’re going to be sick, Stan,” Angie said. “How can you eat so many?”
    â€œWhat can I say?” he said. Then his smile vanished and he gave a

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