The Bed You Make
~ When Mama's not happy ~
“That was fascinating,” Stefan observed.
“ You ,” Dara gave Stefan a tight smile, “should really concern yourself more with trying to salvage the evening.”
Stefan's brow rose. "You find me at fault for Jacqueline's ill behavior?" His cultured voice held mild disbelief.
Dara's gaze could have cut diamonds. "I'm sorry. Did I miss the part where you acted like you remembered you had a wife?"
"I allowed the situation to continue because I was curious as to your reaction. I must say, however, you are strangely indignant for someone who constantly reminds me that ours is a marriage of expediency."
"It's a woman thing. I would have expected you to know that – with your superior intellect and all that."
"I see that the entertainment portion of the evening has begun." The droll comment was uttered by a trimly built gentleman standing beside their table. He pointedly glanced around the restaurant at the other diners, all of whom were staring at Stefan and Dara with rapt fascination.
"Hello, cousin." The chef ignored the hand Stefan stood and extended, choosing instead to engulf the other man in a warm but brief hug. "And you," Philip rounded the table and affectionately bussed Dara on both cheeks, "must be the new wife so many of the family have told me about!"
Stefan made a mental note to ask his cousin just what the family had to say about his marriage to Dara. "Yes," he formally introduced the pair, "this is my wife Dara Jensen Cassadine. Dara, my cousin Philip Gottorp."
"Of course. It is a pleasure to meet you, Chef Gottorp," Dara replied.
"Please call me Philip." The chef snapped his fingers impatiently and after a few minutes a young waiter came bustling from the kitchen with a chair for his employer. The restaurant was at full capacity; there were no empty seats.
"I see that," Philip spoke directly to Dara, "you had an encounter with the Countess de Mardors. From where I was standing, it seemed as though you handled her without difficulty. Although," the chef glared briefly at Stefan, "you shouldn't have had to. Really, Cousin!"
Dara made a rude noise. "My husband and I were discussing that very subject right before you walked up."
"Let me guess… He was waiting for you to handle things?"
"Close," Dara confirmed. "He was studying my reaction ." She minced the words in a biting imitation of her husband.
The chef shook his head. "In his defense, he's been that way quite a long time. Almost since we were children."
"According to most of Port Charles, he was never a child."
"Oh, he was," Philip nodded. "I know it for a fact. Has Stefan told you about his childhood?"
"Not very much."
Chef Gottorp stood and offered Dara his hand. "Then you're in luck, new cousin Dara. What do you say I show you my kitchen? I can tell you tales about your husband in between sampling some new dishes I want to try."