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Old 05-31-2013, 06:16 PM   #1
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Default Gina & Carlo: A Love Story In Several Courses

(BHM-FFA-Romance)

Author's note: Here's a prequel to my story 'A Little Out Of The Way Place'

Gina & Carlo: A Love Story In Several Courses
by R. V. Gleason

Chapter 1: a story over coffee and cheese cake

The last customer had just left Iris' restaurant and the staff began the task of cleaning up and getting ready for the next days' business. Iris and Gina went over the evenings cash total's and, satisfied with the balance, placed the days take and locked it in the office safe to be deposited in the bank early in the morning.

As Iris and Gina went over the remainder of the business of the day, Bill and Carlo lumbered from the office living quarters carrying a couple of suitcases. They placed the suitcases into the trunk of Bill's car parked in front of the restaurant. With the suitcases secured and the trunk locked, the two large men gave each other a small salute and reentered the restaurant.

"Iris sweetie", Bill called out, "The suitcases are in the trunk. What time is our flight leaving again?"

"Not till 1:30 AM, Bill", Iris answered.

Bill looked at his watch which showed 11:00 PM.

"I'm glad we got the late flight, and that we were able to close the place earlier tonight. Thank goodness for slow Tuesdays", Bill said to Carlo.

"Yes", Carlo agreed in his gruff accent, "slow Tuesdays very good. Gina and me can have night off after staff leave".

"Yep", smiled Bill, "and Iris and I can head to Hawaii for our little business vacation for the opening of our new restaurant there."

"Hawaii sounds so good", Carlo grinned. "Maybe I take Gina there one day."

"Well", Bill answered, "You two are due for some vacation time. Let Iris and me know and we'll set aside the time for you."

"Thank you Bill, I much appreciate it", Carlo smiled and the two men clasped their large, beefy hands and shook on it.

"Ok guys", Iris said as she and Gina entered the dining room, Gina holding a pot of coffee as Iris carried in a tray with four cups and a large dish of cheese cake. "We've got a little time before we have to drive to the airport. Let's say we just relax a little and talk before Bill and I leave."

"Great idea", Bill grinned as he took the tray from Iris and set it at their favorite table at the back of the restaurant. Gina set the coffee pot on the table as Carlo pulled two extra chairs and set them at the table. They all sat down and Gina began pouring the coffee as Iris cut the cake. She placed a big slice of cake in front of Bill who gave her one of his sly looks.

Gina also cut a large slice of cake and placed it in front of Carlo who gave it one of his funny looks and then he turned to Gina.

"You sure not too big a slice for me?" he asked in his funny, gruff accent. Gina returned his glance and patted Carlo's big stomach.

"I'm sure, it's not too big a slice for you", Gina said lovingly in her soft, accented voice, and gave Carlo a quick peck on the cheek, causing Carlo's face to go a little red in front of Bill and Iris, who were looking on with slight amusement.

Bill cleared his throat as he started to scoop a piece of cake onto his fork. "So um, tell me Carlo, how did you and Gina meet? Iris told me a little about it, but I'd like to hear more about it from you".

"Oh well", Carlo said, fumbling his words as he tried to recollect. "Um, Miss Iris hire me to work as chef here in her restaurant. Gina was server here and we met."

Then Carlo took a sip from his coffee and scooped a piece of cake into his mouth.

"That's it?", Bill blinked. That's all there is to the story? I thought there was more to it than that."

Iris gave a small laugh. "There is", she chuckled. "Carlo has a habit of leaving out important details".

"Very true", Gina smiled. "My Carlo sometimes is like a clam, have to pry it out of him sometimes."

Then turning to Carlo, Gina spoke to him in a soft, coaxing voice. "Carlo, my darling. Please, tell more of the story to Bill."

She gave Carlo another kiss on his cheek to encourage him.

"Oh, Okay", Carlo answered, his large face blushing a little. "It go back some years ago, when Miss Iris was first starting business and came to visit my country."

Bill and Iris quietly sipped their cups and munched on their cakes as Carlo began his story, Gina holding on to his big beefy arm to give him support as he told the tale.

Last edited by Britt Reid; 06-02-2013 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:44 PM   #2
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Default Chapter 2: A Quaint Little Village

Chapter 2: A Quaint Little Village

It was a nice, cool Summer afternoon in a small, quaint Italian village as the black car slowly maneuvered through the small streets. Some of the villagers gave the car a quick, curious glance, then returned back to the business of their lives. Some of the village children chased after the slow moving car laughing, some climbing onto the back trunk and looking through the window, waving at the occupant sitting in the back seat. The pretty, young dark haired lady inside turned and gave the giggling children a wave and flashed a friendly smile that caused some of the young boys to shyly blush.

The car then slowed to a stop as it arrived at its destination. The annoyed driver came out and started to yell at the children to get off his car. The giggling, laughing children ran off as the driver stood at the back door of the car and opened it. He helped the young lady inside out of the car.

Some of the curious villagers nearby looked at the pretty, young stranger, some of the young men giving her a very sly look. She was medium height, slim, with lovely long dark hair. She looked to be in her mid-20's. The smart, blue summer dress she wore practically clung to her slim form.

There was a bit of a chill in the air and the young lady reached into the car and took out a small, cream colored sweater which she hung over her shoulders for a little warmth. The young lady took out a small card from her bag and looked at some of the numbers of the shops along the street and smiled. Satisfied that she was in the right area, she turned to her driver. "Thank you, Eric. Please wait in the car till I get back. The place I want is just a few doors from here".

"Yes, Miss Iris", Eric the driver replied and he climbed back into the car and sat in the front seat. He watched as Iris walked directly towards a bistro a few doors away.

Iris was very excited. She had graduated from college eight months earlier, majoring in business management. She then served a few more months as an apprentice for her father, who ran a well known restaurant chain in the United States, and was looking to expand the business even more.

Iris' father taught her the ins and outs of the restaurant business. Satisfied that she was more than capable of running things efficiently, he sent her on a business trip to visit restaurants and bistros in Europe in search of new dishes to introduce to the chain's menus She was also to scout out new and interesting cooking talents whose unique dishes would add to the prestige of her father's restaurant chain.

So far, Iris had found some promising talents and was now tracking down another whose reputation as a chef was well regarded. She stood in front of the bistro named after its owner, Dominick. She looked at the number on the door and back at her card and was satisfied that it was the right place. There were patrons seated at outdoor tables eating their dishes. The smell from the delicious food coming from the bistro convinced Iris that she found her destination.

She entered the bistro and was greeted by medium sized gentleman in his mid-40's with black, curly hair.

"Yes Miss, may I please help you?" the curly haired gentleman asked. "Yes", Iris replied, "I'm looking for the owner of this establishment, Dominick."

The black haired gentleman smiled.

"Ah, Miss", he grinned, "I am Dominick, the owner. How may I help you?"

"Well", Iris said reaching into her bag, "I'm a representative of this restaurant chain in America."

She removed a card from her bag and handed it to Dominick. Dominick looked at the card and his eyebrows raised in surprise.

"Oh my!", he exclaimed, "Yes, I know this chain. Very famous, very famous. What do I owe the pleasure and honor of your visit?"

"Well, as a representative of the chain", Iris replied, "I'm looking for chef's with excellent cooking talents whose dishes we can add to our current menus. Your chef was recommended and I'd like to sample one of his dishes for consideration. If we decide to use him, our firm will give your bistro a recommendation that should increase your business."

"Very good", Dominick smiled, "I'll tell Carlo to make you the best dish in the house."

"Just one thing, Dominick", Iris said, motioning him to come closer so she can whisper in his ear. "Please just place the order for a small portion of his best dish, I can decide better that way. And please don't tell him anything or who I am. I just want to try the dish so I can make a decision.

"Yes, of course", Dominick smiled and winked. "I understand. I tell Carlo to make you a small plate of his pasta and meat sauce, that's one of his best dishes."

"Thank you, Dominick", Iris smiled. Dominick returned her smile then bustled to the kitchen area to place the order. Iris sat back and watched the other customers in the small bistro as they sat enjoying their meals.

Dominick returned shortly with a covered plate and placed it on Iris' table, and removed the cover with a flourish. The aroma of pasta escaped and reached Iris' nose. It looked and smelled fantastic, the pasta covered in a delicious looking red meat sauce with grated cheese spread on top. Dominick motioned for a server to bring Iris a glass of wine.

"Enjoy your meal", Dominick smiled, then left to attend to some of the other patrons. Iris picked up her fork and scooped a small amount of the pasta and meat sauce and tasted it. The flavor was amazing. It was one of the best pasta dishes Iris had ever tasted. She pulled a small notebook from her bag and began taking notes as she savored every bite. Soon, her dish was empty and she raised her napkin to wipe her mouth. Dominick returned nervously to her table.

"Well Miss?" he asked apprehensively. Iris gave him a dazzling smile. "The meal was excellent, Dominick! Your chef is very talented. I'd like to meet him if I may. "

"Carlo? Of course you may. Yes, yes. I bring him to you. Please wait, Ok?", and Dominick bustled quickly into the kitchen. In the meantime, Iris took out her phone and typed out a quick text message to her father that she may have made a discovery that would benefit his restaurant chain. He texted back a positive reply and told Iris to keep him posted on her 'discovery'.

Iris was too focused putting her phone back into her bag, so she didn't hear the lumbering footsteps of someone approaching her table. After a short pause, she heard a man next to her table clear his throat.

"Excuse me, Miss", a male voice with a gruff accent spoke, "Dominick says you want to see me?"

Iris turned to the voice and her eyes widened in surprise. Standing by the table was a huge, mountain of a man wearing a white shirt and black pants with a very large, white apron with some food stains on it that just barely covered his wide belly. The man was tall with dark hair and a slightly dark complexion.

Iris could only guess that the man's weight had to be at least 350 pounds. He had a large, wide, double chinned face that Iris saw was quite handsome. Iris stared at the large man blinking for another minute before he awkwardly asked, "Um, Miss, my name is Carlo. You wanted to see me?"

Iris finally blinked out of her stupor.

"Oh, I'm so sorry!", she said trying to focus. "Um, Hi! My name is Iris. May I please speak with you a moment if possible?"

Carlo looked down at the pretty young, dark haired American lady for a moment. Then, clearing his throat, his gruff, accented voice said, "Yeah, sure."

He pulled a chair from the table and sat down, the chair creaking and straining at the weight that had just planted itself on it.

Last edited by Britt Reid; 06-02-2013 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:45 PM   #3
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Default Chapter 3: Mama

Chapter 3: Mama

Iris stared at the round, handsome face of the large man sitting across from her at the table and began to collect her thoughts.

"Well, Carlo", she began. "A reliable source said you were a very good chef".

Carlo looked at Iris, then turned his gaze to the table looking back at her.

"Well", he said modestly, "I'm ok, I guess."

"Oh", Iris said brightly, "But you are. You have a lot of talent as a chef. I tasted your pasta it's delicious, one of the best I've ever tasted, as good as some of the best restaurants in Europe and America".

"Oh", Carlo muttered, his round face turning red. "Thank you, it's very nice of you to say that, Miss Iris. Thank you."

Iris smiled, charmed by Carlo's sincere modesty.

Iris picked up her bag and removed a card. "Carlo", she asked handing him the card, "Do you know this restaurant chain in America?"

Carlo looked at the card and raised his right eyebrow. "Hey, yes! I know this chain very well when I lived in New York."

"New York?", Iris asked, surprised. "You lived in New York?"

"Yeah", Carlo answered. " I was born in Little Italy, my parents settled there when they first arrived from Italy and we lived there for over 25 years."

"Oh!", Iris exclaimed happily. "Then you're an American citizen? That's wonderful! Then there shouldn't be any problems about getting you a work visa, you can legally work in the United States."

Carlo's took his eyes off the card he was holding and he looked back at Iris with a puzzled expression on his face. "Work visa? America? What are you talking about, Miss?"

"Carlo", Iris answered, "My father is the owner of the restaurant chain on that card. He sent me to Europe to scout for new talent to cook and prepare new dishes for his restaurants. Our chain prides itself in getting only the best. You are a very talented man, Carlo. You have a gift when it comes to food. On behalf of my father, I'd like you to come back to America and work for our chain. With your talent, I think you will be a great success".

Carlo stared at Iris. He was silent for a minute or two. Then, he took a deep breath, and slowly began to speak.

"Miss Iris", he spoke in his gruff accent, "I-I don't know what to say. I'm very flattered and honored that you think so much of my skills. And to work for your father's restaurants would be such an honor in itself, my Mama would be so proud, and,....", Carlo's voice then trailed off, his eyes focused on the table again.

Iris reached over and touched the large man's arm.

"Carlo", she asked with concern, "What's wrong? What is it?"

Carlo's gaze returned to Iris and he sighed, "My Mama. You see, my Mama grew up in this village and met my Papa and married him here. Then, Papa's family in America told him of work in New York, so he and Mama moved there, became citizens and lived in Little Italy where I was born 40 years ago. We lived there for over 25 years, and it's from Mama that I learned how to cook, she taught me all her recipes. I was chubby then too, Mama like to call me her 'Little Fat One'", Carlo blushed. "I don't mind. Well, Mama got homesick and Papa and me brought her back here to her village six years ago. We live here and Mama was so happy. And I was able to find a job working for Dominick in his bistro. Then, over a year ago, Papa got very sick. The doctor did everything he could do. Papa didn't get well. Two months later, Papa go home to Heaven".

"Oh Carlo", Iris said with sympathy, "I'm so sorry."

"It's OK", Carlo said, his gruff voice a little choked. He pulled out a handkerchief and wiped his eyes, then slowly spoke again. "So now, I stay and take care of Mama. Every week I take Mama to the churchyard so she can visit Papa. Today is the day I usually take her. But, the last two weeks, Mama has been sick and I was going to tell her to wait till she feels a little better before we go visit. I have to take care of her, Miss Iris. So, I appreciate your kind offer, but I don't think I can accept it right now. I hope you understand."

"Of course I do, Carlo", Iris said, patting the large man's hand. Carlo smiled and looked at Iris. "Thank you, Miss Iris. Listen, my shift is about to end. Would you like to come meet my Mama?"

"I'd love to meet her, Carlo", Iris smiled. "My car is right outside, we can drive you straight to your home"

"Thank you Miss Iris", Carlo beamed. "I'll ask Dominick if I can leave now and I'll meet you at your car".

Carlo met Iris at her car, and managing to squeeze his huge bulk into the back seat, the car headed to Carlo's home a few blocks from the bistro. The car stopped at a small, humble house. Carlo and Iris got out of the car and walked to the front door. A neighbor who watched over Carlo's mother while he was at work came to greet them.

"Hello Alicia", Carlo greeted the neighbor. Gesturing to Iris, he continued, "This nice lady is my friend, Miss Iris. She wanted to say hello to Mama. How is she feeling?"

"She's a little tired, Carlo", Alicia replied, "but she says she's feeling better. I think it's ok for your friend to say hello to her. Just don't speak too loud, OK?"

Carlo nodded and he and Iris entered his mother's bedroom. Carlo was surprised to see his small mother out of bed, dressed and combing her white hair in the mirror. "Mama", Carlo asked with concerned, "Why are you dressed?"

"Because", his mother replied in a small, frail voice, "Your Papa, he wants me to look nice when we go visit him."

Then she went back to combing her hair.

"Mama, it's a little cold out tonight. Why don't you wait and we go on a warmer day?". "Because, we always go on this day of the week, My Little Fat One", she said in a frail but firm voice, then after taking another look in the mirror, Carlo's mother reached over for a shawl to place over her head.

"Mama, please", Carlo pleaded. "Please don't' go tonight. Look, see? I bring a friend from the bistro. She wanted to meet you. She's a nice lady, her name is Iris."

Carlo's mother turned and gave Iris a frail but bright smiled and took her hand. "Oh, you're a friend of My Little Fat One? How nice. You come to visit Papa, too?"

Iris looked at Carlo awkwardly. "Well, I thought we could stay here and talk for a little bit."

"Oh, we can come back and talk later. I make you a nice tea."

Then turning to Carlo, his mother said, "Carlo, please bring my wheelchair and we go to the church"

"Mama", Carlo said helplessly.

"Carlo, please", his mother said in a soft voice, "We don't want to keep Papa waiting."

Carlo looked at his mother, then at Iris, not knowing what to say. Iris nodded, and spying a small sweater by the door, took it and approached Carlo's mother.

"Please, wear this, it'll make Carlo feel better", Iris said kindly. "And Carlo, see if you can find a blanket to keep your mother warm. We'll save a little time if we take my car to the church."

Carlo nodded, got the blanket, then they slowly wheeled Carlo's mother to the car, got her comfortably belted in while Eric placed the wheelchair in the trunk, then head for the church.

They arrived at the little village church, and Carlo and Iris gently placed Carlo's mother comfortably seated in the chair with the sweater and blanket bundled around her. Carlo carefully wheeled his mother towards the churchyard with Iris walking next to Carlo's mother, talking to her gently. His mother told Iris little stories of her 'Little Fat One' when he was a boy, causing Carlo to blush.

They arrived at a tombstone with a small Cross on top that was a little over a year old. Carlo's mother from her chair tried to reach the stone. Carlo gently wheeled her closer so she could touch it. She bowed her head and whispered a prayer. She then looked up at Carlo.

"Your Papa, Carlo", she whispered, her eyes moist, "He's so proud of you. He's so proud."

Carlo looked down at his mother, his eyes brimming with tears. Looking up, he saw Iris, her eyes also moist with tears. Then, a small cough escaped from his mother's mouth, and Carlo was alarmed. Hi mother coughed weakly, "Are you there, My Little Fat One?"

"I'm here, Mama", Carlo said gently.

"I'll get the car ready, we'll take her straight to the doctor", Iris said and speedily headed for the car. Carlo turned the wheelchair around and the large man quickly but gently wheeled his mother towards the waiting car.

A few days later, Carlo and Iris were standing at the churchyard by his father's grave. Next to it was a freshly planted grave with another tombstone resting close to it. Carlo held a red rose in his hand, then kissing it, gently knelt and carefully placed it on the fresh dirt.

Iris also held a rose, then kissed it and placed it next to Carlo's rose. They both stood there, not saying a word. Then, Carlo cleared his throat and spoke in his gruff accent.

"Miss Iris", he said slowly, carefully choosing his words. "My Mama and Papa, they taught me a lot. Taught me to be strong. They loved me and I love them. My Mama was the reason I couldn't say yes to your kind offer. There's nothing to keep me here now. I say yes, if you still want me to work for you and your father."

Iris wiped the tears from her eyes and looked at Carlo. "Carlo, you don't have to say yes if you don't want to."

"Miss Iris", Carlo answered slowly, "My Mama and Papa say yes now. I say yes now. What do you say?"

Her eyes still moist, Iris nodded and softly said "Yes."

Carlo smiled, then he kissed his hand and touched his mother's, then his father's tombstones. Then Carlo bent his head and said a prayer. "Father God, Mama is happy now, she's with Papa. Papa is happy now because he's back with Mama. And you are happy because two of your children are home with you now. Please take care of them, tell them I love them and that I will see them again one day soon. Amen".

"Amen", Iris echoed. Touching Carlo by the shoulder, she said softly, "I'll meet you at the car."

Wioth that she left him alone. Carlo kissed his parent's tombstones again, then walked towards the churchyard gate to the car.

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Old 06-04-2013, 06:39 PM   #4
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Default Chapter 4: Interlude and Cake

Chapter 4: Interlude and Cake

It was very quiet at the table at the back of the empty restaurant. The two couples sat looking at their partly empty cups of coffee, not saying a word. Gina snuggled closer to Carlo, who was the quietest of the four, and she hugged his arm and reached over and kissed the cheek of his round face. It was quiet for another minute or two. Finally, Bill broke the silence by reaching for a paper napkin on the table, and wiped his eyes with it before softly blowing his nose. "Man", Bill said, his voice choking a bit, "I wish you'd warn a fella before you come to that part of a story", and Bill wiped his eyes again with another napkin. Iris also reached for a napkin and began to wipe her eyes. "It's been so many years since that night", she said softly, "and it still seems like it happened yesterday". She wiped a tear that was starting to roll down her cheek. Iris cleared her throat and continued. "For the few hours I spent with your mother, Carlo, I felt like I knew her for a lifetime. I wish I actually had". "I envy you, Iris", Gina said softly. Turning to Carlo, she smiled and said with emotion in her voice, "My poor, Darling Carlo. I wish I had known your mother. I know I would have loved her", then Gina squeezed Carlo's arm a little tighter. Carlo reached over with his other hand and softly patted Gina's cheek. He cleared his throat and softly spoke in his gruff accent. "I wish you knew Momma too", he said slowly, "I know she would have loved you as much as I do", and he picked up Gina's small hand and kissed it tenderly, softly squeezing it.

The table was quiet for another minute. Suddenly, Iris spoke up, her voice a little brighter. "You know", she said with a small laugh, "for the short time we were together, your mother told me so many wonderful stories about when you were a boy, Carlo, when you were her 'Little Fat One'. Like the story about the birthday cake". Carlo looked up at Iris, his large, round face blushing. "Oh, that one", he said with an embarrassed tone in his voice. "Oh, yes!" Gina smiled, her voice brightening as well. "I know that story. Carlo, My Darling, please let Iris tell Bill the story". Carlo looked back at the two smiling women, his face going a shade redder. Bill sensing Carlo's embarrassment spoke up on his behalf. "Well, if Carlo feels uncomfortable about it..." Bill started to say. Carlo rolled his eyes then sighed and in his gruff accent exclaimed, "It's Ok, it's Ok! You can tell the story, Miss Iris". Then Carlo poured himself a fresh cup of coffee and began to drink it as if it would give him strength.

"Well", Iris grinned, "Carlo's mother told me the story of when Carlo was ten years old and they were living in Little Italy in New York and she baked a big cake for his birthday, with lots of cream and frosting. His mother and father invited some of the children in the neighborhood to the birthday party they were going to throw for Carlo. Carlo's mother had to go to the store to get some more things for the party, so she left the cake on the table, and told Carlo to be a good boy and not to touch it. She came back from the store about 40 minutes later with her bundles and went into the kitchen to get things ready for the party. Well, you can imagine her surprise when she looked at the table and saw that the beautiful cake she had baked with all the cream and frosting, was practically half eaten! She called out Carlo's name and he came slowly out from his room, his face still covered in frosting and crumbs, with a very sorry looking expression on his face. Well, seeing his chubby face smeared in frosting, his little eyes brimming with tears, she started to laugh. She told me he looked like a little, fat angel, and she bent down and gave him a big hug and kissed the tears from his frosting, covered cheeks. He told her he was very sorry that he ruined the party and promised he would never do it again. His mother forgave Carlo, but she didn't know what they were going to serve the children for the party. Fortunately, Carlo's father arrived home from work after stopping by the bakery first with another birthday cake. It turned out it was not the first time something like that had happened at the house, and Carlo's father was smart enough to have a 'backup' plan. After the party was over, Carlo's mother 'punished' him by making him eat the rest of the cake, which his father 'helped' him with". Then, looking across the table at the large man with the reddening face, Iris asked sweetly, "Carlo, why don't you show Bill the picture from your birthday party?"

"Oh? Well, I-I...", Carlo stammered, his face turning a shade redder. Gina squeezed his large arm and said coaxingly, "Please, My Darling. Show it to Bill", and she gave him another kiss on his wide, round face. Carlo's eyes darted helplessly between the two women and the grinning Bill, the expression on Bill's face seeming to say 'they've got you cornered, Pal!' "Ok, Ok!", Carlo grunted in a mildly exasperated voice. Then pulling out his wallet, he fished through it and carefully pulled out a small photo and handed it to Iris. Iris took a quick glance, giggled and handed the photo over to Bill. Bill took a look at the photo and a big grin spread over his wide face. The photo showed Carlo's smiling parents when they were younger, his father being a large man himself, and his wife a smaller, petite woman, lovingly holding his arm. Standing between them was a round, little boy who appeared to be about ten, his chubby, glum little face covered in cake frosting. Bill chuckled and handed the photo to Gina, who looking at it, covered her mouth to stifle a small laugh that escaped anyway. During this exchange, Carlo continued to sip his coffee, trying vainly to appear dignified. Gina turned to Carlo and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. "Ooooh!", she cooed, "What a cute, chubby little boy you were, My Darling!", and she hugged his arm again and gave him a bigger kiss on the cheek. Carlo looked at Gina, then he smiled and a deep chuckle rose from his throat. He reached for her hand and tenderly planted a kiss on it. He took the photo from Gina's hand and glancing at it, chuckled again. "Yes", he said smiling, his eyes growing a little misty, "I was my Momma's 'Little Fat One'". He brought the photo to his lips and gently kissed the image of his parents, then very carefully, placed the photo back into his wallet.

"Well", Carlo said in his gruff accent, clearing his throat, "I still haven't gotten to the part of the story where I met my Gina yet, eh?". "No, you haven't", Bill replied in anticipation. Iris rose from the table. "You go ahead and continue the story, Carlo. I'll get us a fresh pot of coffee", and giving Carlo and Bill a wink, "and some more cake, too!" As Iris headed for the kitchen, Carlo started the story again as Bill listened intently while Gina rested her head on Carlo's large, soft shoulder, clinging to his arm.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:31 PM   #5
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Default Chapter 5: Meetings

Chapter 5: Meetings

It had been over six years since Carlo was in America, and he was both excited and nervous about starting a new job and a new life. Iris reassured him that he was going to do fine, but Carlo couldn't shake off his nervousness. The first business at hand was to meet Iris's father, the head of the restaurant chain he would be working for. A meeting was arranged at one of her father's restaurants. Iris's car pulled up to the restaurant and Eric the driver stepped out to the passenger side of the car and opened the door. Iris emerged in a stunning black business dress that caused some of the male passerby on the street to turn their heads in her direction. She took a few steps towards the door as she spoke. "Now Carlo, don't be nervous. My father just wants to talk with you about your experience and,..." Iris stopped when she realized that she was alone. She looked back at the car to see Eric still holding the passenger door of the car, signaling Iris with his eyes to come back. Iris returned quickly and looked into the back seat. Carlo was still sitting there, his fingers nervously drumming on his knee. Iris smiled and said in a calm voice, "Carlo, come on, it's all right. Daddy doesn't bite". Iris stuck her hand out and in a calm, firm voice said, "Carlo, please get out of the car. Daddy is waiting". Carlo looked at Iris, then took a deep breath and took her hand and pulled himself awkwardly out of the car. He was dressed in an unbuttoned dark suit that seemed a little snug on his large frame. 'Carlo, is that the only suit you have?', she questioned. "Well", Carlo replied, his voice shaking, "I bought it new last year". Carlo tried to close the front buttons of his suit, but the button was barely able to reach the button hole. Carlo looked sheepishly at Iris. "I guess I outgrew it a little", his face turning red. Iris put her hand to her mouth to hide her smile. "Well", she finally said, "leave it unbuttoned, it'll be fine. Besides, Daddy doesn't button his suits either! Come on, let's go in". Carlo took a deep breath and followed Iris into the restaurant.

Iris said hello to the Greeter who led them to one of the booths in the back. Carlo's eyes widen at the beautiful décor of the place, definitely much nicer and fancier than Dominick's humble little bistro. Some of the patrons recognized Iris and waved hello as Iris returned their greetings. Some of them eyed Carlo's large form as he followed Iris and a few whispered to their table companions, making Carlo feel a bit more uncomfortable. They finally arrived at a table where a very large, distinguished looking gentleman with graying hair was sitting. Carlo marveled that the gentleman was almost as big as he was, and noticed that the man's suit wasn't buttoned at the front either. The older man smiled and stood up and embraced Iris who gave him a hug and a kiss on his round cheek. "Hi Daddy", Iris said brightly. "Hello Sweetie", the older man replied, giving Iris a kiss on the cheek. Smiling, Iris turned to Carlo. "Carlo, please meet my father Norman, the founder and owner of the Norman's Restaurant Chain". Norman raised his hand and Carlo offered his and both men gave each other a hearty handshake. "Hello Carlo", Norman said with a big smile on his wide face, "Iris told me a lot about you, a lot of good things, I assure you". "Thank you, Sir", Carlo smiled back weakly, "it's a pleasure and an honor to meet you". Norman indicated a seat at the table and Carlo sat down, while Iris took a seat next to her father so that both of them were looking directly at Carlo. "I believe Iris already gave you a rundown of what we expect from you in our chain" Norman said in a cheerful, warm voice. "And she told me about your mother's wonderful recipes. I'm very anxious to sample some those dishes", the older gentleman chuckled as he patted his wide, round belly, causing Iris to giggle. Carlo shyly smiled, "It would be an honor for me to prepare you one of Mama's dishes, I know she would be proud". "I'm sure she would", Norman smiled. "Now, what we're going to do is give you a very short trial run as a cook in one of our smaller restaurants so you'd get a feel of how we run things. If everything works out well, we're going to move you up and promote you to Master Chef in one of our newer places which we'll be opening very soon. Iris told me about your skills as a cook and I trust her judgment that you're going to do fine. What do you say, Carlo?", Norman asked as he extended his hand across the table in Carlo's direction. Carlo looked at Norman, then at Iris, who nodded her head in agreement. Carlo exhaled a deep breath, then with a shy smile on his wide face, he replied with happiness in his gruff accented voice, "Mr. Norman. If Miss Iris says I'm Ok, then, it's Ok with me!" and his hand met the other large man's hand and both gave each other an enthusiastic, brisk handshake.

Carlo's trial period didn't last very long and he excelled in his duties as a cook which impressed Norman and made Iris even prouder of her 'discovery'. After several discussions with Iris, Norman decided that Carlo was ready to take up the duties of Master Chef at his chains' newest restaurant, which would be opening in another week. A staff was hired and on the afternoon of the opening night of the new entry in the 'Norman's Restaurant' chain, Iris arranged for a meeting with all the employees. The Greeters, the cooking staff, the servers and the bus boys were all gathered in the empty restaurant. Iris, in a smart, navy blue business dress, looked over the staff. Carlo stood next her, all decked out in his new Master Chef uniform. Iris glanced at Carlo and flashed a proud smile to him. Carlo smiled back and gave Iris a funny, little salute in her direction. Carlo had been an Eagle Scout with he was a boy, and his little salute to Iris was a sign of his respect for her. Iris returned Carlo's salute with a smile, then addressed the nervous and patient staff.

"Well, Everyone", Iris began in a friendly, but firm business-like manner. "Tonight is the opening of the newest edition to the 'Norman's Restaurant' family. You've all been well trained and I'm confident that you all are going to do a wonderful job. Remember, YOU represent the 'Norman's Restaurant' chain, and we expect you to be professional and to uphold the outstanding reputation of our organization". The staff nodded their heads affirmatively. Iris looked at her watch, then turned her attention back to the employees. "OK everyone. We're going to open the doors in fifteen minutes. Please get to your posts and let's make this a memorable opening night for our patrons and for ourselves. Good luck, everybody!" With that, the employees began to scramble to their posts and positions. Carlo began to head to the kitchen when he heard Iris call his name. He turned to see Iris smiling and extending her hand. "Good luck to you, Carlo. I know your mother and father would be so proud of you right now". Carlo gently shook her hand. "Thank you, Miss Iris. And thank you for believing in me". Carlo let go of Iris's hand and gave her one of his funny, little salutes. Iris smiled and returned the salute before heading to the front door of the restaurant to greet the first guests.

Carlo turned and started to head to the kitchen when something banged directly into his big stomach, knocking the wind out of him. He looked around to see what hit him, then heard a soft murmur at his feet. He looked down to see one of the female servers sitting on the floor dazed, shaking her head. Carlo extended his hand to the young lady. "Here", he said offering his hand, "let me help you up". "Oh, thank you", the young server said, a little dazed, as her small, dainty hand grasped Carlo's large, strong hand. He pulled the young server to her feet, still a little shaky as she stood up. Carlo held her hand to keep her steady. "Are you Ok?" he asked with concern. "Yes, yes", the young server replied, Carlo noting her soft, accented voice. The young server was small with a slim figure. Her hair was light brown and tied in the back. She looked up at Carlo and he noticed her big, brown eyes, a small, cute nose and a beautiful, little mouth. She looked back at Carlo, taking in his big, wide handsome face. "I-I'm so sorry", she spoke softly in her small, accented voice. "I was rushing to my serving station and forgot my check pad I placed on that table", she said pointing at the table. "In my rush to get the pad, I didn't watch where I was going and I slammed right into you. I hope I didn't hurt you". "Me?", Carlo chuckled in disbelief. "I'm surprise you could still walk after crashing into this!", he laughed, patting his big belly. The young server raised her hand to her mouth to stifle a giggle. Carlo smiled at the young server. "My name is Carlo, I'm the Master Chef here". "Hello Carlo", the young server shyly smiled. "My name is Gina. Please forgive me if I'm a little nervous", she said in her small, accent. "Tonight is my first night as a server". "Well, it's my first night, too", he smiled back. "Look, just do your best and you'll be fine, OK?" "OK", Gina answered with a smile on her small face. "Now", Carlo said in a firm but gentle tone, "go to your station, and Good Luck". "Thank you, and Good Luck to you too", Gina said softly, giving him another smile before heading to her serving area. Carlo watched as the small, brown haired server went to her station. Gina glanced back in his direction and waved. Carlo smiled and returned the wave to her. Then, snapping out of his reverie, Carlo quickly went into his kitchen just as Iris opened the doors of the restaurant and began greeting the first customers to the newest edition of the 'Norman's Restaurant' chain.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:05 PM   #6
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Default Chapter 6: Five Things

The first week for the newest edition in the 'Norman's Restaurant' chain was a great success. The reviews noted the classy décor, the professionalism of the staff and the excellent food that was served. Iris's father Norman was so impressed by the reception that one night he turned up at the restaurant unannounced, surprising Iris and the staff and giving them all great praise. He particularly complimented Carlo on the excellence of the meals served under his supervision. Carlo accepted the praise with great humility and was greatly touched when Norman, Iris and the rest of the staff gave him a round of applause. Carlo was moved and thanked everyone, smiling at those gathered. His gaze finally rested on the young server Gina, whose smile seemed brighter than anyone else's. He kept his gaze on Gina for a noticeable length of time. Gina noticed the way Carlo smiled at her and she blushed at the attention. Iris also noticed the way Carlo looked at Gina, and smiling, she gave her father a small poke into his ample stomach with her elbow and indicated with a glance in Carlo's direction. Norman noticed and turned to his daughter and winked and returned her smile.

After the restaurant closed and the staff began the process of cleaning up for the next day, Iris and her father were busy in the back office behind the kitchen totaling up the receipts of the day. Norman was humming as he was looked over the books, liking what he saw. Iris was going over some of the receipts next to him. "So", her father finally said as he scanned the ledger, "tell me a little bit about that young server girl". "Gina?" Iris asked. "Yes, Gina, she seems like a nice girl". "She is", Iris smiled back. "Her family is from Italy too, and she was born in the States like Carlo, but her family spent more years in Italy and she mostly grew up there. When she turned 18, she moved back to the States permanently staying with an aunt for a couple of years, and earned a scholarship to attend college. In fact, she's studying at the university here as a business major with a minor in chemistry. She's about two years younger than me and she's very intelligent. I think with a little training she can become my assistant in the restaurant in just a few years after she graduates. I've got my eye on her and I think she shows promise". "I see", Norman mused softly, "And I noticed that you're not the only one who's got his eye on Gina". Iris looked up at her father's wide face and gave him a little smile. "Yes", she said wistfully, "Carlo. It looks pretty obvious, doesn't it?". "Indeed", her father answered closing the ledger, placing it on the table. "I kind of had the feeling that you had your eye on Carlo too". Iris looked up at her father quizzically. "What do they say?" Norman smiled, "a girl always looks for someone like her father?" "Oh Dad!", Iris smirked, playfully swatting her father's hand. Then, in a more serious tone she said, "I'll admit, I think Carlo is very handsome and attractive. He's a good man with admirable traits. He's very Old World, a complete gentleman. He also respects me as his employer and mentor, which is funny since he's almost twice my age, which I don't mind at all. But, I can also see that there appears to be some spark between Carlo and Gina. If there is, I don't want to stand in the way of it". Norman gently took his daughters hand and kissed it and pulled her close and hugged her. "That's my girl", he said softly. "And don't worry, I know there's someone out there for you. He's out there now, and one day you're going to find him and you're both going to be very happy". "I know", Iris said softly, hugging her father. "I know".

The next couple of weeks were very busy at the restaurant. Despite the hectic nature at the place, Carlo was happy to be in his element, supervising the preparation of the meals and encouraging the cooking staff to excel in their talents. If one of the cooks was having difficulty with a dish, Carlo patiently showed them the proper way to prepare it. The staff loved working with Carlo, he was a stern, but fair task master who went out of his way to encourage them to do their best. The servers were fond of Carlo too, especially Gina. Despite the busyness of the restaurant, Carlo always went out of his way to say hello and smile at her, and Gina would return his greetings and shyly smile back. Carlo's heart always seem to beat a little faster whenever he saw Gina.

One day the restaurant was particularly busy as it was getting close to Spring Break and a lot of the student's from Gina's college were eating at the restaurant. The hustle and bustle seemed to increase when the college crowd was there, some being a little noisier than the regular customers the place attracted. Iris smiled and did her best to keep a level of order while the college kids were there. One of the servers got her attention to help with a customer's order, so Iris went off to assist just as a group of boisterous jocks from the college entered the restaurant. They loudly greeted some of their friends as they searched for a table and found an empty one near some other students and regular patrons who were trying to enjoy their meal despite the mayhem. Gina was walking pass their table, balancing a tray of food to be served at a nearby table. Suddenly, one of the jocks who appeared to be the leader held up his hand causing Gina to stop abruptly, almost losing her balance of the tray.

"Hey Girlie!", the obnoxious jock shouted at Gina as his friends loudly laughed, "How about getting us some grub!". "I'm sorry Sir", Gina answered as patiently as she could while balancing the tray, "This is not my table. If you'll give me a moment, I'll get your server to help you. I have to bring this food to this table that's been waiting". "Hey, we're hungry now!" the Jock yelled at Gina. "Let those jerks get their own food!" And as he finished his sentence, the jock purposely swung his arm up, knocking the tray out of Gina's hands, where it fell noisily on the floor in a clatter of broken dishes and spilled food. "Oh!", Gina cried, and bent over to try and clean up the mess. As she was bending down, the jock with a powerful swing of his hand, smacked Gina on her bottom hard, causing her to cry out in pain. Iris was at the other end of the restaurant when the commotion began, and when she saw what the jock did to Gina, she angrily headed towards their table. Before she could reach the smirking goons, something big and fast brushed by Iris so quickly that she almost lost her balance. When she was able to steady herself, Iris saw that it was Carlo who had just shot out of the kitchen like a riding bull tearing out of his pen. He was incredibly fast for a man his size.

Carlo made a beeline for the smirking jock, and grabbed the young man by the lapels of his team jacket. "Hey!", the jock yelled angrily. "What do you think you're doing, you Fat..." Before the jock could finish his sentence, he felt himself being lifted off his feet by his jacket. Carlo, his face beet red with anger, brought the jock's face in line with his. "Now, listen and listen good, College Boy!", Carlo growled, his eyes flashing red. "I'm going to tell you five things, so you better listen hard! One, you're going to apologize to the young lady", and Carlo nodded his head towards Gina who was being helped to her feet by Iris, both women staring incredulous at the scene in front of them. "Two!" Carlo continued, "You and your friends are going to apologize to the nice people whose meal you ruined. Three! You and your friends are going to clean up the mess you made. Four! You're going to pay for the damage and the food, and you're not coming back to this restaurant till you all learn some manners. Five!", and then Carlo paused for such a length of time that the shaken jock curiously stammered, "Wh-what's Five?". Carlo brought the jock's face close enough to his so they were now nose to nose, and the young man could see his face reflected in the bigger man's angry red eyes. Then Carlo slowly growled, "If you don't do the first four things, YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT FIVE IS! Capiche?" The jock fearfully nodded his head in understanding, and Carlo lowered him and crossed his arms as the jock apologized to Gina, then he and his friends apologized to the folks near their table and began to pick up the broken dishes and food and deposited them into the trash bags the Bus Boys provided. They then pooled their money together and paid for the damages and quickly darted for the door and began running down the street as the entire restaurant cheered Carlo as he stood in the doorway fuming, watching the young men disappear into the distance.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:41 PM   #7
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Default Chapter 7: A Sweet Thank You

Chapter 7: A Sweet Thank You

The staff were busy cleaning the restaurant shortly after it closed from the days' business. Iris was sitting in the chair inside her office, tapping a pen on the top of her desk as she looked sternly across the desk. Carlo and Gina were sitting at the other end of the desk. Carlo was nervously drumming his fingers on his knee, his head turned downward. He briefly raised his eyes up in Iris's direction to see her eyeing him with a cross look on her face, and he quickly turned his gaze downward again. Gina was shifting nervously on her chair, sitting on the soft cushion Iris had placed on it to try and help her be more comfortable after the painful slap the Jock had administered to her bottom. No one spoke for what seemed like an eternity.

Finally, Iris broke the silence in the room. "Carlo", she said slowly, "I do appreciate you defending Gina from that brainless.....". Iris stopped herself from saying what she really felt. "That, "Gentleman", she continued. "As justified as your actions may have been, you just DON'T manhandle the guests, do you understand?" "Yes Miss Iris", Carlo mumbled. Carlo's head raised up to look directly at Iris. "But", he continued, his voice starting to heat up, "when I saw that,....'Gentleman' strike Gina,...", and Carlo's face started to turn red again. Iris quickly raised her hand and Carlo stopped talking and turned his gaze downward again. "I know, I know", Iris replied with exasperation. "If I had gotten to him before you did, I might have done something similar. I'm quite good with a knee-kick, if you get my meaning". Carlo's face winched at the thought, and he quickly placed both his hands protectively on his lap, nodding his head in understanding.

"Well", Iris continued, "It so happens that the father of that young "Gentleman" is a friend and business associate of my father. I'll give Dad a call and explain what happened and I'm certain he'll call that young man's father, and that his father will straighten him out". Iris sighed, then the hint of a smile crossed her face. "In a way", she said thoughtfully, "what happened earlier has helped me to reconsider an idea I wanted to broach to my father about this restaurant". Carlo raised his head and looked nervously at Iris. "Oh?", he said cautiously. Iris went on, "I've been thinking that it might be a good idea to make this restaurant a more exclusive spot for evening dining. There's a nice business space near the University campus, I'll ask my father to consider buying the space and converting it to a place for the college crowd to eat at. That way, our regular clientele here can enjoy their meals in a more relaxed atmosphere". Gina who had been quiet during this time, meekly spoke up. "I-I think that's a wonderful idea, Ma'm." Iris turned to the young server and smiled. "Thank you, Gina. And please, we're informal here, you can call me Iris. How do you feel, better?" "Yes,..Iris", Gina meekly smiled, pointing towards her bottom, "it feels better". "Good", Iris replied. "Now, you better head back to your dorm and come back tomorrow at your regular time. After I talk to my father about my idea and we finalize things, I'll let the staff know about the new restaurant hours". Then turning back to Carlo, Iris continued. "I don't think we need to say anything else, Carlo. I just want you to do me one favor". Carlo anxiously looked up. "Yes, Miss Iris, anything". "In future, please don't beat up our Guests, OK?" Iris said smiling. "Yes Miss Iris!", Carlo replied with relief, and he gave Iris one of his funny salutes, which Iris returned. "Dismissed!", Iris grinned, and Carlo and Gina started to quickly leave the office.

Before they reached the office door, Gina stopped in her tracks as she looked at her watch with worried concern. "Oh no!", she exclaimed, "I think I missed my last bus to the campus. The next one after it won't be coming for another 45 minutes and I'll be late for curfew". "Oh, I'm sorry Gina", Iris replied, "I didn't mean to keep you here that long. Listen, I'll take you back to campus in my car so you can make your curfew". "But Iris, that will take you too much out of your way and it'll take you longer to get home", Gina said with concern. Before Iris could answer, Carlo's deep, accented voice spoke up. "If it's OK, I can take Gina back in my car, it'd be no trouble". "But Carlo, that will take you out of your way, too, it'll be very late before you get back to your apartment", Iris said. "Well", Carlo replied, "the restaurant is a shorter distance from the campus than my apartment. After I drop off Gina, I can come back here and sleep in the spare store room next to your office". "The spare store room?", Iris said quizzically. "Sure", Carlo answered. "There's plenty of room in there, the regular store room is quite large enough and we only have a few extra supplies in the spare room now which are not taking up much space. I've got my sleeping bag and an extra pillow and blanket in my car, so I'll be OK. Besides, I like getting to the restaurant earlier in the day anyway to get things ready. Sleeping here tonight will help cut some time for me". "Hmmm", Iris said thoughtfully. "That's actually not a bad idea. I think there's enough space in the regular store room, we can convert the spare store room into a bed room for you in case you work too late to travel to your apartment. And I'm thinking, my office is actually pretty roomy, I can convert that into living quarters too in case of late nights. Ok Carlo, you already have spare keys to the restaurant. Take Gina back to her campus and you can sleep here for tonight, and then we'll see about making plans to convert the rooms." "Thank you, Miss Iris", and Carlo gave Iris his funny salute. Turning to Gina, he said, "Get your backpack, Gina, and I'll meet you outside in the car". "OK!", Gina smiled and rushed to the locker room the female staff shared to get her things.

Carlo drove carefully up the road towards the University Campus where the dorms were. While driving, he and Gina talked a little about the villages where they both lived in Italy, Carlo remarked on how close their villages were to each other. As the car start to approach the campus, Gina became quiet. Carlo was quiet too. Soon the car pulled up near the path to the ladies dorm Gina stayed at on the campus. Carlo stopped the car, then quickly went to the passenger side of the car and opened the door for Gina. She quietly stepped out of the car and in her soft voice said "Thank you". Carlo nervously cleared his throat, and in his gruff accent asked "Is it Ok if I walked you to the door?". Gina looked up and smiled shyly at him. "Yes, I would like that". They walked up the path towards the dorm. Then without saying a word, Gina wrapped her small arm around Carlo's large arm. Carlo was pleasantly surprised and looked down at Gina and smiled. She looked up into his face and smiled back. They soon reached the door of the dorm with minutes to spare before the curfew was called. Gina let go of Carlo's arm and turned and looked up at his wide, round face. "Thank you for driving back me in time, Carlo", Gina said softly. "Hey", Carlo replied nervously, "It's OK, not a problem. I was happy to do it". Gina reached to open the door of the dorm, then stopped and looked back up at Carlo. "Carlo, did I thank you for helping me at the restaurant today?" Gina asked tentatively. "You mean for what happened earlier? Sure, I think you thanked me at the restaurant, sure". "No, I mean, did I 'thank you'?" she asked more deliberately. Carlo was confused. "You thanked me, yes. I don't know what you mean by,...". Before he could finish his sentence, Gina reached up for his shoulder and brought Carlo's face down closer to hers and gave him a kiss on his lips. Carlo's eyes widened in surprise. Then relaxing, he closed his eyes, gently putting his arms around Gina, embracing her as they continued to kiss. Finally, their lips parted, and Gina slowly reached for the dorm's door and opened it and stepped inside. Before closing the door, she turned back to Carlo with a sweet smile. "Thank you Carlo, I'll see you tomorrow. Good night". "Good night, Gina", Carlo replied softly. Gina flashed him one more smile, then closed the door and went to her dorm room.

Carlo stood at the door for minute, then walked down the path back to his car and drove silently back to the restaurant. After he parked the car, he removed his sleeping bag, blankets and pillow from the trunk. After locking the front door of the restaurant he brought his sleeping gear into the spare store room. He set everything up, then undressed so that he was just in his undershirt and shorts. He turned off the light in the room and settled his wide, bulky body under the sheets, resting his head on the pillow. He laid on his back and stared up into the darkness of the room, lost in his thoughts. He laid that way for another few minutes before the day finally caught up with him and he fell soundly asleep.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:16 PM   #8
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Default Chapter 8: A Little Surprise

Chapter 8: A Little Surprise

The restaurant was busy as usual, even after it changed to a mostly evening eatery. The new décor made it a favorite romantic place to dine for couples. Iris was surveying the room packed with dining couples and was pleased that her suggestions had helped to increase business. Her father took note of her suggestions and began incorporating themes to the other restaurants in his chain that accommodated couples, business meetings, families and college crowds. The increased business combined with the goodwill of the chain’s reputation certainly pleased Iris’s father.

As Iris surveyed the room, she noticed Gina at one of the tables speaking with an older couple sitting there. The gentleman was quite plump and handed his plate to Gina. The woman spoke to the man with a look of concern on her face, then nodded to Gina and Gina started to head for the kitchen with the plate in her hand. Iris met Gina on her way to the kitchen. “Gina”, Iris asked, “Was there something wrong with that gentleman’s meal?”. “No Iris”, Gina replied a little flustered, “He took a few bites and then said he didn’t want anymore. His wife explained that he eats well at home, but is pretty finicky when he eats out. You can see he barely touched his meal”, and Gina showed the almost full pasta plate to Iris. Iris frowned. “Oh dear, that’s a lot of good food to throw out”. “I know”, Gina said. Then Gina took a quick look around, then said to Iris in a lower tone of voice, “Iris, may I speak with you during my break time? I may have a solution to this problem.” “Certainly”, Iris replied, puzzled. “Good”, Gina said with a small smile, “I’ll see you in ten minutes in your office”.

Gina walked to the serving window of the kitchen and rang the little bell on the ledge. Carlo came to the window, and smiled when he saw it was Gina. “Gina, hello”, he said cheerfully, “what’s up?” Gina smiled back, then placed the pasta dish she was carrying on the kitchen window ledge and frowned. “I’m afraid we’re going to have to toss this, Carlo. The gentleman who ordered it says he doesn’t want anymore”. Carlo looked at the dish and shook his head. “There’s a lot of food that’s still good here. Which guy sent it back?” Gina pointed to the table where the plump gentleman and his wife were sitting. “That guy?”, Carlo said shaking his head. “He looks like he’s had some good meals before”, then looking back at the plate he added, “it’s a shame to throw all this good food away”. “I know”, Gina replied. Then she took a quick look at her watch”. “Oh”, she exclaimed, “I’ve got to talk to Iris for a moment. I’ll see you later Carlo”. Gina flashed Carlo a smile before she hurried away. Carlo waved to her, then brought the dish into the kitchen, the other cooks in the area were all busy preparing food for the waiting customers. Carlo walked to one of the trash bins with the plate and was about to dump the pasta into it, then stopped and looked at the plate again. ‘That’s too much good food to just throw away’, he thought. He looked at the plate for another minute, then turned and walked to one of the kitchen counters, pulled a sheet of food wrap from a roll on the counter, carefully wrapped the pasta dish, then opened the door to one of the kitchen’s refrigerators, found space on one of the lower shelves and placed the covered plate there, closed the door, then went back into the kitchen to supervise the meals for the patrons.

“Hello Gina”, Iris greeted the young server as she entered her office, “What did you want to see me about?” “Well Iris”, Gina said as she sat down in the chair opposite Iris’s desk, “I’m going to be graduating from college soon, and you know besides my business major that I’ve also been studying chemistry”. “Yes, I know”, Iris replied nodding her head. “Well, I was working on an experiment in the lab one day, and I think I created something very interesting”, and from her servers’ pocket Gina produced a small bottle of reddish liquid that resembled wine. Iris looked at the bottle curiously. “What is it?” she asked. “It’s an appetite enhancer. I tested it on some of the lab mice and it rapidly increased their appetites. Some of the mice had poor eating habits. Once I administer a bit of this liquid into their system, they began to eat normally like some of the other mice, in fact they ate a bit more than the other test mice.” Iris looked at the bottle of liquid with interest. “Is it safe, were there any detectable after-effects?” “None”, Gina smiled. “It’s mostly composed of vitamins with some natural ingredients to enhance their potency. The mice showed no adverse effects. And please don’t say anything, but I even tested it on one of my fellow students at the college. He was a guy in the lab who was a picky eater. I slipped a couple of drops of liquid into a glass of juice he was drinking, and later he polished off a few hamburgers and a couple of orders of fries which he never was able to do before”. “That’s kind of dangerous, Gina, you could have made that young man seriously sick or worse”, Iris said disapprovingly. Gina turned her gaze downward towards the desk, “I know” she said, her voice low. Iris looked at the bottle in her hand again, then with a small smile coming to her lips, she asked with a slyness in her voice, “and you’re SURE there were no serious after-effects?”. Gina looked up at Iris and replied with a sly smile of her own, “None whatsoever! It’s going to take a few more tests, but I’m convinced this formula is absolutely safe. All it does really is to enhance a persons’ appetite as well as increase it.” “Hmm, this could solve our problem of ‘finicky ‘ eaters here at the restaurant”, Iris said thoughtfully. “I was thinking the same thing”, the young server replied. After a short pause of contemplation, Iris spoke up again. “I’d like to borrow this bottle if I may, Gina. I have a scientist friend who can give this liquid some more extensive and thorough tests. If he says your formula is completely safe for human consumption, we may be able to use it here in the restaurant.” “Sure Iris”, Gina said smiling, “I’ve got to get back on duty. We can talk more later”. Gina left the office to attend to the patrons in the restaurant. Iris studied the small bottle of reddish liquid in hand, then carefully placed the bottle into her travel bag on the desk. She made a mental note to phone her scientist friend first thing in the morning. She stepped out of her office into the dining room, her eye shifting to the table of the plump man with the picky appetite, sitting across from his wife who looked at him sadly. Iris smiled to herself. ‘If this stuff works, we should definitely see an ‘increase’ in business here very soon’, she thought as she closed the office door.

As it was a Friday night, the restaurant closed a little later than usual. After the last patrons left, the staff got right work in cleaning the place up for the next day. Carlo and the kitchen staff made sure everything was clean and spotless for the next evenings’ business. Carlo was taking a final inventory of supplies when Iris poked her head into the kitchen. “It’s kind of a late night, Carlo. Are you going to head to your apartment or are you going to sleep in the restaurant again tonight?” she asked. Carlo took a quick look at the clock on the wall, then turned to Iris. “It’s a little too late now, I think it’s best if I sleep here again tonight and get a fresh start on things tomorrow”. “Ok Carlo”, Iris replied. “I’m glad we were able to fix that spare room for you a little, you should be more comfortable tonight. See you tomorrow. Good night”. “Good night, Miss Iris”, Carlo smiled then went back to his inventory list. When he was done, he surveyed the cleaning job the staff did and said goodnight to them as he locked the restaurant door. The place was quiet and empty. Then it occurred to Carlo that he didn’t get a chance to say goodnight to Gina, and figured that she might have left while he was still busy in the kitchen. He sighed sadly and felt very lonely. He headed to the kitchen and straight for the refrigerator with the un-eaten pasta dish. He removed it from the plate into a skillet, added a dash of Olive oil, and began to cook it on one of the stoves. When it was ready, he placed it back on the plate and walked to one of the kitchens’ serving tables. He got a half empty bottle of red wine from the fridge, making a note to pay Iris for it later. He picked up a fork and was about to dive into the pasta when he heard a noise out in the dining room. It was the sound of footsteps. Someone else was in the restaurant. Carlo tensed up and reached for a rolling pin on the counter and slowly started to head for the door that led into the restaurant. He was almost at the door and was about to open it, when suddenly, the tapping of someone knocking on the other side of the door was heard. “Hello?” a timid, female voice said behind the door. Carlo carefully and cautiously swung the door open and the light from the kitchen poured out into the dark restaurant, and Carlo saw that it was frightened looking Gina on the other side of the door.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:10 PM   #9
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Default Chapter 9: A Late Meal

Chapter 9: A Late Meal


Carlo stood staring at Gina in the doorway, surprised to see her there. Gina stared back at Carlo with a frightened look in her eyes. Finally, she cleared her throat and pointing at Carlo's raised hand, in a timid voice said, "Um, Carlo. I'd feel much better if you put that rolling pin down!" Carlo looked up at his raised hand and realized he was still holding the rolling pin that he grabbed as a weapon. He looked back at Gina and quickly placed the rolling pin back on the counter. "I'm sorry Gina", he said quickly, "I heard a noise and thought someone had broken into the restaurant. I didn't mean to scare you". "It's OK", Gina replied in relief, "I didn't mean to startle you either". "Gina, why are you still here? I thought you left with everyone else", Carlo asked bewildered. "Well", Gina grinned sheepishly, "I got delayed changing to my regular clothes, and by the time I finally got to the front door, I found it was locked. I was heading to the kitchen to go out the backdoor when I saw the light in the kitchen and I wasn't sure if someone was here or not. I'm so relieved to see it was you", she smiled. Carlo clumsily smiled back, then remembered something. "Wait, aren't you late for the curfew at your dorm?" he asked with concern. "Oh, I forgot to tell you", Gina answered. "I was able to find a small apartment near the campus a few days ago, so I don't have to worry about the curfew now. It'll come in handy during the summer while I work in the restaurant". "That's wonderful", Carlo smiled, "I'm so glad it worked out for you".

Gina smiled back, then looked at the table behind Carlo. "What are you eating there?" she asked. "Oh, it's the pasta dish that customer returned earlier this evening. I hate to see good food go to waste". "I can tell", Gina smiled as she eyed Carlo's big, wide belly. Carlo's face blushed as he patted his stomach. "Well", he grinned, "Momma made sure that I always finished my plate". Gina smiled approvingly, then approached the table and sniffed the delicious aroma of the pasta. "Hmmm, it does smell good. Do you mind if I join you? I only had a sandwich during my break earlier." "Oh, of course, please!" Carlo smiled. "I'll go get another chair", and he went off into the restaurant to retrieve a chair from one of the tables. When he returned, he was surprised to see Gina at one of the refrigerators removing a couple of chicken cutlets. "What are you doing", Carlo asked. Gina went to the stove and placed the cutlets into the skillet Carlo had used earlier and turned on the burner. "There may not be enough pasta for the two of us, "Gina explained", so I thought some chicken cutlets will help supplement the meal". Carlo looked a little worried. "Well, OK", but we have to keep tabs on what we use in case we have to pay Miss Iris for them", Carlo said cautiously. "Oh, I didn't know", Gina exclaimed. "We'll take notes of what we use and figure out the cost. I'll fix the cutlets, why don't you bring a loaf of bread, Carlo". "Ok", Carlo replied and went to one of the supply cupboards where the bread was kept.

As Carlo was getting the bread, Gina was about to turn the cutlets over when she spotted the glass of wine Carlo was drinking from earlier on the table. She looked at the glass for a moment, when a thought came to her. She quickly went to her backpack she placed on the floor, and after a quick search, pulled out the extra little bottle of her formula she had shown to Iris earlier. She looked at the bottle for a moment, and slyly smiled. Quietly, she went to the table where Carlo's glass of wine rested. She opened the little bottle and poured a small amount of its contents into the glass. She picked up the glass and carefully shook it in order to mix the liquid. She placed the glass back on the table, returned to her backpack and placed the bottle back inside, then quickly returned to the stove and turned the cutlets over again just as Carlo returned with a loaf of bread and an extra plate in his hand. Gina smiled as he entered the room, then turned off the burner and brought the skillet to the table and placed a larger cutlet on Carlo's plate as he placed a portion of the pasta on her plate, then she placed her cutlet on her plate. Gina then went to the counter and got an extra glass and utensils, placing them close to her plate. Carlo poured some wine into Gina's glass, and they both sat down, the aroma of the food was very tempting. Carlo raised his glass of wine to Gina and Gina raised her glass to him. "Salud!" Carlo toasted. "Bon Appetit!" Gina returned, and they clinked their glasses. Carlo took a big sip from his glass, then picked up his fork and knife and cheerfully began eating his meal. Gina took a small sip from her glass, and began picking a little pasta and a piece of the cutlet from her plate. She watched as Carlo attacked his plate, thoroughly enjoying his meal. Gina cut a big piece of bread and placed it on his plate. Carlo nodded thanks and bit off a big piece of bread as he continued to consume his meal. Carlo knew he was hungry, but didn't realize how hungry he really was as he continued eating from his plate. Gina took another small bite of pasta and sipped a little wine, smiling and enjoying the sight of the large, handsome round man in front of her as he ate his dinner.

"Ahhh, that was good!" Carlo grinned as he patted he large belly with satisfaction. Gina smiled at the sight and turned her gaze to the empty plate in front of him. "Very good, your Mother would have been so proud, finishing your plate like a good boy!" and Gina clapped in approval. Carlo grinned shyly, then spotted Gina's plate. "You didn't finish all your plate", he said, eyeing her still filled plate hungrily. "I wasn't as hungry as I thought", Gina said with slight grin. She then pushed her plate towards Carlo's side of the table. "You finish it for me, like a good boy", she smiled. Carlo eyed the plate, his stomach still grumbling. He turned his gaze back to Gina. "I already ate a lot. You sure it's not too much for me?" he asked uncertain. Gina smiled back sweetly. "No, it's not too much for you. Please eat. Mangia!", she coaxed. Carlo grinned, then picked up his knife and fork and began digging into Gina's plate. As he ate, Gina refilled his glass of wine and refilled her glass too. Carlo took a big sip from his glass, then went back to the plate and continued to eat. Gina took a sip from her glass and rested her head on her hand, the wine making her feel a little lightheaded, as she happily watched Carlo eat away.

Carlo wiped his mouth with his napkin and gave out a small burp. "Please, excuse me!" he apologized. Gina smiled as she picked up the almost empty wine bottle and refilled his glass, then refilled hers. "It's OK", she smiled with a tender look on her face. Her gaze then strayed to Carlo's belly, the buttons on his shirt showing some strain. Her eyes went back to the second empty plate on the table. "You mother would be so happy you finished your plate" she smiled. Gina paused for a moment. Then, looking at Carlo, she said, "and I'm happy too". "Yes?" Carlo replied, his head spinning a little from the wine. "Yes", Gina answered. She rose from her chair and walked unsteadily to Carlo's side of the table. She gently placed her hand on his stuffed belly and slowly began to rub it. "So nice and round", she said quietly, then bent her head down and kissed Carlo's belly. She looked up to see Carlo smiling, his eyes slightly dazed. Gina placed her hand on his round face, tenderly stroking it. "You're a very handsome man, Carlo, very handsome", she said. Carlo cleared his throat and in his gruff accent softly replied, "and you're a very beautiful woman, Gina. So beautiful", his words making Gina blush. Carlo's large hand tenderly caressed her face, drawing it close to his. Gina looked at Carlo, trembling. Then, they embraced and their lips met and they kissed. Carlo stood up, and carefully, gently took Gina up in his arms. Carrying her, he slowly walked toward the back of kitchen where his room was. Reaching the door of his room, he tapped the door open with his foot. The light from the kitchen dimly revealed his bed inside the dark room. He looked at Gina's lovely, young face and she lovingly returned his gaze, tenderly touching his cheek. In his deep accented voice, Carlo said softly, "We go to bed now?" Gina kissed his cheek, and quietly replied, "Yes Carlo, we go to bed now". Their lips met again. Carlo carefully carried Gina into the room. With a short tap of his foot, the door closed softly behind them.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:23 PM   #10
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Default Chapter 10: An Early Morning Decision

Chapter 10: An Early Morning Decision

The glow from the early morning light crept through the open door of Carlo's room. The large man groggily opened his eyes and began to raise himself by his elbows off his bed. He felt a dull throbbing inside his head and dropped back down on his pillow, placing his hands on his forehead in an effort to stop the pounding he felt. "Ah", he muttered to himself, "Vino!" and rubbed his forehead with his hands. He was about to close his eyes again when a thought suddenly flashed through his mind. "Gina!" Carlo then opened his eyes wide and painfully raised his body off the bed and sat on the edge. He was shirtless and wearing nothing but his undershorts, his huge belly overflowing over the edge of the shorts. He looked about the room. Everything looked normal. 'Was it a dream?', he thought. He looked at the edge of his bed and saw his black pants draped on it but not his white shirt. Then he spied the chair standing close to the bed with Gina's clothes neatly folded on it. Carlo blinked, then he heard the sound of a woman in the kitchen merrily singing to herself. He was fully awake now, and he sat thinking on the edge of the bed, nervously drumming his fingers on his knee.

The door gently swung open and Carlo saw Gina pushing one of the dining carts into the room with a big plate of freshly cooked eggs and sausages piled on it, with a pot of steaming coffee next to it. Gina was wearing Carlo's huge, white shirt, which draped over her slim form like a tent. She cheerfully parked the cart next to the bed and walked over to the stunned looking fat man. "Good morning, My Darling Carlo", she smiled as she bent over and kissed him on the cheek of his wide face. "Good morning", Carlo mumbled. He looked at the hot breakfast and coffee on the cart. "Ummm,...." He started to say. "I'm keeping tabs on the cost of the food", Gina smiled, intercepting his question. Gina then reached for a plate, piled some eggs and sausages on it and brought it to Carlo. She took a fork and scooped some eggs on it and brought it to Carlo's mouth. "Here, My Darling", she cooed, "You looked like you could use some breakfast". Absently Carlo opened his mouth as Gina place the food into it, and he began to chew. "It's good", he managed to say with his mouth full. Gina then fed him a couple of more forkfuls of breakfast and then poured a cup of steaming, black coffee and brought it to his lips which he sipped, Carlo's eyes still staring at Gina's smiling, happy face. After a few minutes, a sizeable dent was made on the plate of eggs and sausages, and Gina took a napkin from the cart and playfully wiped Carlo's mouth. Then she sat next to him on the bed, resting her head on his broad shoulder while her hand gently patted and rubbed his large belly as she happily hummed. During all this, Carlo was still nervously drumming his fingers on his knee.

After a few silent minutes, Carlo finally spoke up. "Are you feeling OK?" he said slowly and nervously. Gina hugged his large arm. "I feel wonderful!" she beamed, reaching over and placing another kiss on his cheek. "Good", Carlo said quickly, his gaze fixed to the far side of the room, as his fingers still continued to drum on his knee. Another few minutes of silence followed. A small frown crossed Gina's face and she looked up at Carlo who was stilling staring straight ahead. "Carlo", she asked with concern, "are you feeling OK?". Carlo's fingers stopped moving, and he took a deep breath and cleared his throat. "Yes", he said cautiously in his gruff accent. "I mean, No. Um, I mean,....", then Carlo carefully raised himself off the bed and began to nervously pace the room. He looked quite comical, this large fat man, shirtless and in his shorts, his huge belly and body wobbling and jiggling with each step he took. Despite her concern, Gina put her hand to her mouth to keep from giggling out loud at the sight, which she found both endearing and thrilling to the point of blushing.

Finally, her concern took over and Gina stood up and blocked Carlo before he took another turn around the room. She looked at his face and saw a strange sadness in his eyes. She gently took his large hand and held it, tenderly rubbing it. "Carlo, My Darling. Please, tell me, what is wrong?" Carlo looked back at her, his eyes beginning to get misty. He took a deep breath, and with emotion in his voice, said, "I-I'm not a Gentleman!" and he turned his gaze away as if ashamed. Gina's small hand cupped his face and she gently turned it back to face her. Carlo looked at Gina and exhaled sadly, "The vino, the wine", his voice cracked, halting. "I-I wasn't thinking clearly. My parents taught me to respect women, to treat them honorably. Last night, I took advantage of you, I didn't treat you with respect. I was dishonorable, I wasn't a gentleman", and Carlo lowered his head, tears coming to his eyes.

Gina's small hand touched Carlo's large chin and she gently lifted his head so he would look at her. "Carlo, My Darling', Gina said tenderly, tears coming to her eyes. "Please, listen to me. You did nothing wrong, do you hear me? You did nothing wrong. You didn't disrespect me and you didn't dishonor me. Quite the opposite, My Darling Carlo. The way you loved me last night told me how much you respect me. The way you loved me showed me how much you honored me. The way you touched me and held me in your arms made me feel safe, secure, loved. And the way you loved me...." she smiled, a warm look on her face. She lowered her head and softly rested it on his wide chest. "So gentle", she murmured, "So gentle". Carlo slowly raised his large hand and tenderly placed it on Gina's head and began stroking her soft, brown hair. Gina spoke in a low whisper, "you loved me like a gentleman, My Darling. You are a gentleman", and she planted a small kiss on his chest, and rested her head on it again.

They stood that way for a few quiet minutes. Then, Carlo took her by the shoulders and tenderly pushed her back a little so he could look at her face. He cleared his throat before he spoke. "Still", he said in his gruff accent, "if I were a gentleman, I would do what was right", and he backed away from her and began to pace the room again as he spoke. "If I was a gentleman", he continued, "I would do everything I could to honor you. If I was a gentleman, I would do all in my power to show you the respect you deserve. A Gentleman would say 'I Love You'. And a Gentleman would say I want to marry you. That's what a Gentleman would say!"

Carlo stopped pacing the room, then slowly and nervously turned his head toward Gina. Gina had her hands over her mouth to stifle a surprised scream of joy. Carlo gulped and in a nervous voice said, "So, what do you think? Yes?" Gina lowered her hands from her mouth to reveal a glowing smile on her face. "Yes, Carlo", she said warmly. "Umm", Carlo began again, cautiously. "Do you mean, 'Yes', that's what a Gentleman would say? Or, do you mean yes as in, 'Yes'?" Gina stepped towards Carlo, touching his face and gently reached up and kissed his cheek. She gazed back into his eyes and softly answered, "Yes".

Carlo cleared his throat, then took Gina by her hand and in his gruff accent said, "OK, let's go!" Carlo then walked out of the bedroom, pulling a surprised Gina behind him by the hand, and striding surprisingly fast for a man of his bulk, headed for the front door of the restaurant. Carlo was about to open the door when he felt a sharp tug from his other hand. He turned to see Gina desperately dragging her feet to force him to slow down. "Carlo, please stop!" she shouted frantically. Carlo stopped in his tracks, a pained expression on his face. "What's wrong?" he asked nervously. "Don't you want to get married?" Gina caught her breath, "Of course I want to marry you, My Darling Carlo. But, don't you think we should get dressed first?" Carlo blinked and saw that Gina was still wearing his tent-like shirt, while all he had on was his shorts! "Oh", Carlo replied, trying to sound dignified. "Yes. Umm, let's get dressed and then we go get married, OK?" "Yes, My Darling Carlo!" Gina laughed. Carlo chuckled, and gently putting his arm around her, they walked back to the bedroom to get dressed.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:18 PM   #11
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Default Chapter 11: Epilogue - Happiness and Love

Chapter 11: Epilogue - Happiness and Love

Bill ate the last bit of his cake and sipped his coffee as he and Iris sat across from Carlo and Gina at their table in the empty restaurant, listening as Carlo spoke, Gina sitting closely next to him, holding his hand. "So, after me and Gina got dressed, we called Miss Iris to meet us at the City Hall while we got our marriage license and to be the witness for our wedding". "It was a beautiful little ceremony", Iris said to Bill as she picked up the story. "A few days later we held the reception here in the restaurant, Carlo and Gina put together the menu and it was outstanding. It was the first major reception we had here at the restaurant and it started the theme of this place being a spot for spouses and their 'chubby hubbies' to enjoy a nice, romantic meal together. And that portrait of Carlo and Gina was taken here and was the first one to be displayed in the restaurant", Iris said as she pointed out to Bill the portrait photo of Gina and Carlo taken years before when Carlo was 80 pounds lighter. Then indicating another photo next to it, Iris added "and that's the older couple who helped to inspire the creation and introduction of 'Ladies' Request' here at the restaurant". Bill grinned as he looked at the portrait of the smiling, matronly woman standing happily next to her 'more than beyond plump' husband.

"I figured that Gina's formula was where 'Ladies' Request' originated", Bill said as he turned and faced the table again. "But, how were you two able to get the word out to other woman out there about it?" "Remember how we first met online and began chatting on that website for larger folks and their admirers?" Iris grinned. Bill nodded his head. "Well", she continued, "After Gina's formula was tested and found to be safe, we placed a discrete ad on that site and similar ones that catered to 'people of size' and those who loved them. We worded it so that women who liked their husbands or boyfriends to be a little 'heftier', would understand that when they came to our restaurant, that they could ask their servers when ordering some wine to add something a 'little extra special' into their male companions' glass. And as you already know, that's how we came up with the name 'Ladies' Request'". "And I congratulate you two again on the brilliance of your unique 'marketing ploy', Ladies!" Bill grinned as he raised his coffee cup to Iris and Gina. Then, looking at Gina and Carlo, Bill raised his cup towards them. "Nice story, Carlo", Bill smiled warmly, "May you and Gina continue to have many more happy years filled with love". "Thank you, Bill", Carlo replied in his gruff accent that betrayed a bit of emotion in his voice. Then Carlo, Gina and Iris raised their cups along with Bill. "Happiness and Love", Iris said smiling. "Happiness and Love", the two couples said in unison, clinking their cups together.

Bill looked at his watch and exclaimed, "Ooh! We better get going Iris or we're going to miss our flight". Bill and Iris rose from their seats and hurried to the entrance of the restaurant, Gina and Carlo following close behind. Outside, Bill opened the car door for Iris, then he swung around to the driver's side. "We'll give you a call when we get to Hawaii", he said to Carlo, "and we'll see about giving you and Gina some vacation time, too". "Very good, Mr. Bill!", Carlo smiled, giving his friends one of his funny little salutes. Bill laughed and saluted back before entering the car and starting the motor. "Goodbye Gina, Carlo. We'll see you in a couple of weeks", Iris called out as she and Bill waved and their car drove off into the night.

Gina and Carlo stood on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant and waved at the departing car till it was out of sight. They stood there for a few minutes, then Carlo felt Gina's small hand grasp his large, beefy hand. He turned to her and brought her hand up to his lips and tenderly kissed it. Gina then reached up, kissing Carlo on his lips, and they embraced. They then turned and reentered the empty restaurant, and Carlo locked the door. They walked slowly, hand in hand, back to the kitchen to the back area where the living quarters were. The bedroom door was open, a lamp on the night stand illuminating the room in a warm glow. Carlo turned off the kitchen lights, so that only the light coming from the bedroom shone. He looked at Gina, then bent down and carefully picked her up in his large, strong arms. Cradled safely in his arms, Gina looked deeply into Carlo's eyes, stroking his hair. "So gentle", she smiled, "so gentle". She brought her face close to his and they kissed deeply again. Their lips parted and Carlo looked into Gina's eyes lovingly. With her free hand, Gina reached down and unbuttoned Carlo's shirt, then softly rubbed his big belly. He smiled at her and quietly said in his gruff accent, "We go to bed now?" Gina kissed him on his wide face, then looking back into his eyes, softly said, "Yes, Carlo My Darling. We go to bed now". They kissed again as Carlo tenderly carried Gina into the bedroom. Inside the room, Carlo softly kicked the bedroom door so that it quietly closed behind them.

Fin

RVGleason, 2013

{For the story of Bill & Iris, read the companion story 'A Little Out Of The Way Place'.

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=100271

RV}
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