Bits and Bites


Flare advertises itself as fine dining in an elegant atmosphere, and it's not false advertising. The foyer, the dining room and even the bar are done in creams and neutrals, teak woods and ash, with the occasional dark panel for contrast. Etched glass panels hang from the ceiling and disappear into the taupe carpeted floor; some separate the tables, some are merely decorative, reflecting the white recessed lights that shine through them from the ceiling. There are splashes of Egyptian blue color throughout to break up the possibility of monotony: sprinkled in the carpet, accenting the wood panels, decorating the tables as glass candle holders.

The foyer has an elaborate mosaic pattern of dark and light browns highlighted with blacks and darker blues swirled into the floor tiles. The seats are eggshell white leather. The accent wall has a vertical waterfall, the water streaming down etched panes of glass into the marble pool to be recycled and begin the cycle anew.

The bar holds the motif, but fetches in more colors to the palette. The recessed lights behind the bar are a mixture of blue and red, white and yellow. Colorful bottles line the bar shelf, and a huge mirror hangs at angle over the bar, reflecting the marbleized bar top and the bar area, depending on where one stands to look into the mirror. There is seating here too, and starters as well as drinks are provided in the bar.

The wait staff dresses formally: servers in crisp white shirts with Egyptian blue bow ties, and slacks (or skirts) to match. Flare does not require reservations, but they are suggested to avoid long wait times. However, given its location, clients without reservations are as common as though with and the staff is able to juggle both magnificently.


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Aidan Corrie

Aidan is giving his due diligence at Flare. Tonight, he's actually in the kitchens, and though he's not the floor chef, he will provide back up if needed. The vampire is trying his hand at a new recipe, a very subtle variation on crawfish etouffe. It's for the themed book signing and he enjoys the challenge of spinning out a new dish. Aidan has a quiet spot to himself where he tries to stay out of the way of the hustling and bustling for serving actual customers and requires work by the chefs on duty tonight, though he has a few times grabbed one of the sous chefs on a down moment to get a bit of assistance. And, as is tradition, at the end of the night, the staff will get to partake in sampling the new entree - for either compliments or criticism.

He's dressed to work in the kitchen: dark slacks that aren't made of a too heavy material, light cotton t-shirt beneath the white chef coat that he wears. On a high shelve, out of the way of accidents, an iPod plays a light mix of jazz and blues music.


Corrie is livid. More so because she's had to wait to even come to Flare, because there's no point in being here during the day to yell at a man that doesn't come in until the evening. Her movements are tense, agitated, and she snaps at least one server to tell her where the manager is now.

Someone tried to point her at Kim, and she just rolled her eyes and made her way to the kitchen. Aidan's not in his office, he's not at the bar, and he's not out front, and she knows he's here tonight, so that leaves only two places — the kitchen, or the secret upstairs apartment.

When she spots him across the kitchen, she feels a wave of something that causes her to forget why she's angry. But it passes quickly and she marches right toward him. "We. Need. To. Talk." Beat. "Now."


Aidan catches sight of Corrie walking - no, stalking - toward him out of his peripheral vision long before she reaches his side. It's a testament to either the discretion of his kitchen staff, or the frequency of such an occurrence - (though typically such rampages are reserved for Kim) - that she's truly only given a passing glance as most to the staff simply move out of her way. It's only the greener ones who blink curiously at the fiery red head before being nudged and encouraged by another staffer to distract themselves.

Not having a clue as to what could have set Corrie off, Aidan keeps his attention on what he's doing, opening the lid to stir the simmering dish. It's nearly ready, and after stirring, Aidan grabs a clean spoon to scoop up a taste size of the brothy mixture.

"Try this," Aidan responds to her demand with the spoon extended. "Tell me what you think."

Irate women demanding he leave the kitchen is really nothing new for him.


"I don't want to try anything," she snaps at him. Still, she tastes it curiously because she's never been one to really pass up a taste test — it's why she knows not to trust Christian's cooking, or Jordan's cupcakes. Licking her lips when she's done, she raises her brow.

"It's delicious."


"But it's not going to distract from the fact that we need to talk."


Aidan grins smugly when she takes a taste despite her protests to the contrary. "Thank you." He grabs another spoon, and does his own taste test, licking his lips before nodding. "Almost perfect… just a few more minutes to simmer, I think."

Twisting around, Aidan motions to Jules. "Jules, could you please give this about five for more minutes, keep it on the low simmer. If I'm not back by then, take it off and serve it over the rice which should come up any minute now." He pauses, giving a quick dip of his head toward Corrie, and grabbing a wet paper towel to wipe his hands. "Let everyone sample it."

"No problem, Aidan." Jules gaze flickers curiously to Corrie, but she's been around long enough that the gaze doesn't linger and she knows better than to ask.

"Office?" Aidan offers to Corrie, curiosity a bit piqued. He's pretty certain that he hasn't done anything to piss her off - not that he can recall - but he supposes that simply rising in the evening might be enough to tweak her. One knows that it's enough to tweak Kim sometimes.


"Do I get a hint or do I have to wait to find out what this is about?"


"Is it for the signing?" Corrie can't help but ask, because she's fairly certain it's not something she's tasted before, and it's not usual fare. She shoots a quick glance to Jules, and then smiles. "Would you mind saving me a small sample if you've enough left?"

Then she turns back to Aidan, there is no sign of the smile on her face.

"Yes, office. Unless you'd rather I say what I've got to say here in front of your staff." Beat. "Which you likely don't."


"Yes it is for the signing. Crawfish etouffee." Aidan's nothing if not proud of his work.

"I'll put one aside," Jules says with a smile, her eyes flickering between Aidan and Corrie. The vampire has no doubt that there will be questions and an entirely new set of gossip come the morning, but he doesn't care. It's typical, and it only lasts as long as it takes for something new to come along.

Aidan gives an inward sigh. Now I know where this is going. The whole 'it was a mistake and won't happen again' conversation. It doesn't surprise him really - the first time that they slept together Corrie did a complete one-eighty and turned as cold as ice then too. "Office it is," Aidan motions for Corrie to lead the way and follows behind her, throwing an exaggerated eye roll over his shoulder back at Jules.


"Crawfish etouffee? That sounds decadently French." Corrie is happy that one of the dishes for the signing has turned out so superbly. There's no doubt that it'll pass muster with the guests, and the guest of honor herself. "Thank you, Jules."

Questions and rumors can be dealt with. For all that anyone knows, it's a muck-up in the plans for the signing, or a conflict in a job, or a rather large issue with a tabloid. Corrie is good at dealing with questions and rumors — it's part of her job.

She's silent though, until they reach the office, and then she spins on him and waits for him to close the door. Then the skirt she's wearing gets hiked up and she points to her thigh.

"You bloody well bit me!"


Aidan's surprised confusion at the hiking of her skirt is quickly heeled when she lobs her angry assertion at him.

He blinks at her.

Then blinks again.

"Yes," Aidan drawls in his typical fashion. Leaning back against the door, he folds his arms across his chest. "Yes, I did." A slight confused tilt of his head is given as he regards her, surprisingly enough watching her face more instead of leering at the tableau she's presented to him. "I'm relatively certain that I didn't glamour you into forgetting anything, and you weren't in your cups, so … I'm not clear on what the problem is?"


"It heals quickly," Aidan says, wondering if it's a vanity thing. "It's already fading. It should be fully healed by tomorrow night at the latest."


"The problem is that you… you bit me!"

Corrie glares at him darkly, frowning. "I don't care how quickly it heals! It's the bloody principle of it all. You said you wouldn't bite unless I asked, and I honestly don't recall saying 'Aidan, please bite me'."

She takes a deep breath and drops the skirt so that she can step toward him. "And I don't actually recall you doing it! Imagine my surprise when I found that," she says pointing to her thigh, "In the shower this morning."


Another slow blink comes and Aidan draws a breath.

Releases it slowly. "No you never said that, but you did ask me to do it." He doesn't shift from his lean against the door, and the temptation to laugh is strong. Somehow, Aidan resists; no laughter, not even a hint of a smile. He rolls his eyes and rakes a hand through his hair. "I should have guessed that you were far too lost in the moment to have the faintest of ideas of what you were saying."

Now the grin does come, a half-turn of the right side of his lips upward. Not mocking, but certainly appreciative and a bit suggestive. "I'm going to guess that the whole 'lost in the moment' part is why you don't remember it or exactly what you said to me, either."


"Oh, now if that isn't the typical male excuse. Heat of the moment and all that." Corrie rolls her eyes and points her finger right at his chest, going so far as to actually poke him.

"Don't. Do it. Again."

Cheeks quickly flare up to a deep crimson and she has to quickly look away from him. "You realize after all that I left the journals at your flat." She sounds agitated about that, but she's really trying not to focus on what 'all that' entailed.


Aidan's gaze flickers down to the finger poking his chest. His arms finally unfold and he grabs her hand between both of his. "Do you need a recap? Just to be clear on what you said?"


"I won't do it again, if you don't ask."

A low, soft chuckle comes at the blush and the words. "You were a wee bit distracted, I think."


"I. Didn't. Ask." Corrie glares at him, and then reaches her free hand up to slap at his arm. "And we're not recaping that here in your office."


Exhaling a sigh, she looks down at her feet. "Could I trouble you to bring them tomorrow evening?" After a second's pause, she looks back up at him. "And possibly into letting my hand go if you're done with it?"

Her heart rate is excelerated now, and she's trying very hard not to let him effect her.


Aidan is growing more amused by the moment. The witch's embarrassment combined with her annoyance at him is just far too entertaining. Better than the telly, at any rate. "I didn't say re-enactment. I said 'recap.' Possibly to fill in some gaps that you might have in your memory."

"Yes, I will bring them tomorrow evening." Pushing off from the door, Aidan does ask she requests and releases his grip on her hand, but the action of stepping forward brings him more deeply into Corrie's personal space. Aidan grins deviously down at her. "We were on the couch, and you had asked about my preferred places to bite …"


Once he's let go of her hand, she brings it up as though to slap him again. Only, she stops before it makes purchase. Corrie stares at him silently for a few moments before taking a step backward and nearly tripping over one of the chairs. Setting her hands on it, she blinks and then shakes her head to clear it of that odd wave of lust she got earlier in the kitchen.

"You were reading from the journal, yes. I recall that. One can't help being curious about such things, you know. It's hardly my fault you took that as me asking you to bite."


No pursuit is given. If the witch wants her space, Aidan will grant her that reprieve. He's alert to her body's signals, and at least technically aware of what she's likely experiencing right now. His gift is a useful tool, and one that he's used often to get what he wants, but Aidan isn't going to take advantage of it at the moment. Corrie is skittish at the best of times, unpredictable at the worse and dealing with her is a fine juggling act.

Skirting around her, and keeping a comfortable distance between their bodies, Aidan slides gracefully into the chair behind his desk. "You did say, 'just don't take too much.' Apparently we have a difference of opinion on how that should have been interpreted." Leaning back, Aidan laces his hands behind his head. "I did say that I won't do it again… unless you actually say the words 'bite me.' "


There's no hiding the sigh of relief when he moves around her to seat himself. Corrie keeps facing the door for a few seconds longer before she twists around, keeping both desk, and chair between them.

"I did." To be fair, she was a bit lost in the heat of the moment, and doesn't even know what she meant by it. "Okay, but maybe next time I say something you're not sure of… ask. Because really… you bit me. Me."


"Is it always like that? Not feeling it?"


"I didn't mistake you for your identical twin sister, that's certain." Aidan rolls the chair back and props his feet up on the desk at the ankles. "I feel the need to point out that stopping to play twenty questions might just kill the mood, but," blue eyes twinkle and shine in the flourescent lighting and Aidan moistens his lips, "To avoid future misunderstandings, I'll ask for clarification."

The serious question banishes - at least temporarily - some of the smug amusement rolling off of him. Aidan considers it and gives a nod. "It can go unnoticed if you're extremely aroused, caught in the moment, or otherwise engaged. I can also glamour you into not feeling it … but I didn't do that last night."

He shrugs, "Of course, there are people who actually like to feel it …" Probably more information than Corrie wanted, but Aidan couldn't help himself.


"That's quite likely a good thing, seeing as how I don't have an identical twin sister, and if one suddenly appeared…" Well there'd be some explaining to do. "Might just kill the mood for…" Oh. "Oh. I honestly just meant in general. It takes two seconds to ask 'are you certain' or 'did you mean that'."

Corrie nips her teeth onto her lower lip and leans against the chair. "I know you didn't glamour me. I would've fought against that." Her cheeks are, once more, very red.

"Really? Such as?" Beat. "Gwen? I did read that in her journal while you were getting the laptop."


"I know that you would likely have fought it. You tend to do that." Aidan doesn't add that it's been quite irksome to him in the past. "I do hope that we're past the need for me to do that … unless of course it's a biting thing." Aidan hand waves the last bit away nonchalantly.

He nods, "Gwen was one of those people. There have been others." Beat. Aidan's not really planning on giving out any names, mostly because Corrie wouldn't know a majority of them, but as long as she's asking, he changes his mind and offers up one just to gauge her reaction. "Kim."

It probably is a bit more information than the witch ever wanted to know about Aidan's 'personal assistant.'


"I suppose."

Are they really past that? Corrie's not at all certain, but she'll let it drop. He's a vampire. He's an arse. It's surprising that he didn't just glamour her and bite her multiple times, really. She should be thanking her lucky stars.

"They actually enjoy it? Without anything to stop the pain?" Corrie quirks her right eyebrow upward slightly, then blinks.

"Well that would explain her jealousy then."


"You know what they say about there being a fine line between pleasure and pain." Aidan shrugs again, as though he lacks an opinion one way or another. He's well versed in that school of thought, and has run to both ends of the spectrum.

A shake of his head is given and a laugh. "It's not what you think. Kim and I aren't lovers. We have an arrangement." Beat. "It's complicated."

Another beat and Aidan adds, "Kim is a Queen Bee. She doesn't like anyone she hasn't explicitly approved to be part of her beehive. Just … grin and bear it. The frost starts to wear off after a while."


"Actually I believe the fine line is between love and hate," Corrie points out. "I've never actually heard it mentioned that way." Moving forward to sit in the chair now that she's past that weird wave, she nods.

"I don't need you to get into the specifics. It's honestly not any of my business." Period. She doesn't need to hear the complications of Kim's life, anymore than Kim really needs to hear of the complications in Corrie's.

There's a smirk as she says, "Aidan, I honestly don't give a rat's arse what Kim is used to doing, or whether she approves or disapproves of what I'm doing. I'm not technically part of your staff, and she's more than welcome to dislike me. As long as she remains professional when I need to get information, or get paperwork to you in regards to promoting the restaurant, that's all I really care about."


Aidan slides his feet off the desk and leans forward to rest his arms there. "You mean that you've never heard that pain and pleasure are closely linked and may, in fact, be part of the same continuum? That pain can intensify pleasure? Or alternately, that an overabundance of pleasure can roll into pain?"

"Then, I don't think that there should be any problems," Aidan nods, with regards to Kim and Corrie getting along. No matter what her feelings, Kim is always capable of the highest level of professionalism. Aidan wouldn't have her responsible for the day-to-day management of the restaurant otherwise.


"I never said that, merely that you were misquoting a saying."

Corrie shoots him an odd look, and asks quite bluntly, "Are you trying to get me to ask you to prove it?" Moistening her lips with her tongue, she leans back in the chair, and shifts her eyes to the side wall.

"If there are, they won't be from me." She doesn't outright dislike Kim, she just doesn't really trust the woman.


"I'm making conversation." Aidan draws out the last word as though it should be obvious. "You are too sensitive and untrusting. You should know that I'm far less subtle when I'm trying to push your buttons and get under your skin." That doesn't stop his lips from curling up at her response to his words.

"By the way," Aidan tosses out idly, "I like the knickers."


"I'm not too sensitive, though I am untrusting, yes." Corrie is still well aware that he's a vampire (in essence — a lying, manipulative arse). "I'm assuming by the fact that you know so much about such things, it's your preference," she adds, somewhat dryly in regards to the whole pain/pleasure continuum.

"My kni — " Looking down at herself, she quickly crosses her legs and shrugs. "One can hardly go wrong with a classic color."


Aidan merely smirks at the woman across from his desk, but doesn't give an answer. "I couldn't really see your knickers now. I could see them when you decided to flash your bite at me." Beat. "I liked the gold ensemble better, anyway."


Corrie keeps her legs tightly crossed, and glares at him. "Yes, well, I figured I'd accuse you and give you a chance to tell me whether it was actually you, or if I'd run into another vampire somewhere that decided to have a spot of fun."

Rolling her eyes, she laughs. "The gold is only a sometimes set. Classic colors are far better when dressing for business."


"Do you make a habit of that?" Aidan props his chin up on his hand, blinking blue eyes mischievously at her. "Running off with other vampires for a spot of fun? Here I thought I was special." Yes, now Aidan is messing with her. He's been rather well-behaved, and really he can only be restrained for so long.


"I should hope that I don't." Beat. "I don't actually run off with a great deal of men, merely for a spot of fun." Corrie is a relationship girl at heart. "You're teasing me," she says, as the realization strikes her. "But the truth is, another vampire could glamour me into thinking it was you, and so coming to you about it rather than freezing you out for a week seemed most prudent to me."


"Yes, I'm teasing you." Aidan lowers his head to rest on his folded hands, smiling at her across the desk with brilliant blue eyes. "Don't sound so surprised."

He raises his brows at her assessment. "You're assuming that there is another vampire out there who is that interested in my life … or yours." Beat. "Don't take that the wrong way, but I don't think I've crossed anyone that terribly in recent years, and aside from a few badly aimed spells at sorcerers, I don't think you have either.

"Thank you for not freezing me out. Much better to face these things head on."


Good lord, those eyes! Corrie looks quickly away and starts fiddling with a piece of dust on her shoe. She keeps her focus there until the pump is pristine again. Even then, she doesn't look up at him.

"Why would another vampire have to be interested in your life to mess with mine?" A quick lift of her head, and she's glancing at the floor again. "My spell was hardly badly aimed. It was aimed perfectly fine. It knocked him back a few steps." Beat. "He just used a reflection spell on me." Her lip juts out in a slightly insulted pout at recalling that, and then she just lets it go.

"I'm still upset that you bit me without my knowledge." Beat. "Though I suppose I should thank you for the… er… distraction bit of things. I was well, and truly distracted."


He doesn't know why she's avoiding looking at him, but it's not an issue that Aidan is going to press. There is amusement however as she cleans her shoe, and then keeps her gaze focused on the floor. "I just didn't think that you'd angered any vampires lately. Other than your usual attempts to drive me quite rather mad."

The pout is cute, though Aidan knows better than to tell her that. Unless he wants to rile her up, and ruin one of the very rare and cordial conversations that they're having.

"You're welcome," Aidan's grin turns wolfish. "I quite fancied the distraction myself." Beat. "Next time I'll make certain that you're fully aware."


"It's not as though you lot walk around with flashing signs to announce what you are. Chances are likely good that I've angered someone lately." Corrie glances up at him and shakes her head. "There's also a good chance that it could've been a vampire, just as much as it might not've been."

The moment his look turns wolfish, she drops her head to study her shoe again. "It won't happen again."


The vampire bites his cheek to avoid laughing at the predictability of Corrie's response. He waits a beat, then another.

Finally, his voice tinged with nothing more than idle curiosity. "The biting or the other bits?"


"Biting or bits? Did you honestly just say that?" Corrie doesn't look up from her shoe as she shrugs. "Both. Either. I don't know."


"I should go. I don't want to keep you from the kitchen, especially when you're working on recipes for Celia's signing."


Aidan snorts and laughs. "It wasn't intentional." He straightens in his seat, and gazes over the desk at her. "You know where to find me when you figure it out." Meaning that he's not going to shamelessly pursue her or harass her in any way. If she comes to him, it's going to be willingly and on her own terms.

He can't deny that he really should get back to the kitchen. "Yes, it probably is a good idea that I get back. I do have another few recipes that I want to try my hand at before the night is over." Aidan pushes to his feet and begins to cross around from behind the desk.

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