Sunday, July 06, 2008

rottnest romance #9

The only Bills and Moon novel ever to be set on the beautiful island ploughs on. In our latest episode, Larissa has been brooding over a pot of Earl Grey all day after Nick stomped around her bedroom. Now she's looking forward to a nice dinner of spotted dick washed down with a Slow Comfortable Screw on the Beach...

This made the restaurant popular, and a frown crossed her face as she saw the crowded interior. It seemed as though every table was occupied from where she was standing. There were also a few people milling about at the reception desk – they were probably waiting for tables.

She decided to have a word with the head waitress, who she knew well, to see if she could somehow be bumped up the waiting list.

Spotting her by the entrance to the wine cellar, Larissa went over.

“Hi, Linda. Are you really busy tonight?”

“Larissa! Hi. There’s a bit of a queue, yes. Is this a social call, or do you want to eat?”

“I’m starving! But if you’re full then I’d better…”

“I’m sure we can fit you in somewhere,” Linda smiled at her. “Would you mind sharing a table with someone else?”

“No, that would be fine.”

“Let me just have a quick look.” Linda darted into the busy restaurant and returned a few seconds later. “You’re in luck – there’s a spare seat at table seven, by the window.”

“That’s a lot, Linda. I owe you one.”

She smiled, and rushed away. Larissa threaded her way through tables towards her chair. As she neared table seven her walk slowed, and instead of taking her seat she stopped and looked at the diner already seated there.

Nick Montagu looked up from his menu. He looked relaxed in a green shirt, black jeans and boots. “Larissa! A pleasant surprise! Please, take a seat,” he said, standing and indicating the chair in front of him.

Oh no, she thought morosely. Of all the people on Rottnest, I have to share a table with the one I’d least prefer. She looked around, hoping that some miracle would occur and another table would become free.

“It’s pretty busy in here,” he said, seeming to read her mind. “I don’t think another table will be free for a while.” He moved over and pulled out a chair. “Please – allow me,” he said gallantly.

With great reluctance she allowed herself to be seated. It would have seemed churlish of her to refuse, after he had been so polite.

Sitting down again, he asked, “Would you like to see a menu?”

“No thank you,” she coolly replied. “I know what they have here.”

“Of course you would – perhaps you can recommend something?”

“The lasagna is good. And the salads are always excellent.”

He looked again at his menu. “They have a lot of seafood on offer – what would you recommend from there?”

She gave him a level look. “Actually, I’m a vegetarian.”

He raised a brow at that. “Then you wouldn’t know if I should choose the prawns or the mussels. I think I’ll have the chili prawns. I thought you said you had plans for tonight?”

His question caught her by surprise, and she remembered the excuse she had made earlier in the day to his invitation. “Yes, I did, but it finished earlier than expected,” she fibbed.

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