Claire sat there with a stunned face on.
“Are you sure it’s the same person?” She asked.
“Who else would it be?”
Just as he was about to put the newspaper down and shout Cynthia, the phone rang.
“Hello?” Rufus answered.
“Hi, it’s mum. Seen the paper?”
“Yeah, what’s with that?”
“Well, apparently Steig is running for Mayor.”
“Well, fuck,” Rufus exclaimed, then yelped.
“Thanks, Cynthia,” Gloria laughed, knowing it was her who smacked Rufus on his head.
“Anyway, you lot should get to work, I’ll see you all tonight, just wanted to let you know.”
“Okay, thanks. I’ll see ya later.”
Rufus hung up the phone and then turned around, a smile widening on his face.
“Mind leaving me with Claire today?” Cynthia asked.
“Right, that thing!” Rufus smiled.
“Okay, I’m off to the restaurant. Might as well make sure it’s actually still there.”
Rufus said his goodbyes and left.
“Finally alone,” Cynthia said.
Claire looked around nervously, not wanting to look at Cynthia for too long.
“Go and get a shower, I’ll still be here. Resist that urge though!”
“What urge, Cynthia?” Claire blushed, playing the innocent.
“You know the one.”
Claire went off to have a shower, but couldn’t stop her blushing. She shivered with excitement, hoping that this day would be going the way she wanted it to go. It had been so long since she was with another woman, she was beginning to forget what it was like.
“Oh, and don’t bother getting dressed. Or dried, just bring the towel out and I’ll do it for you,” Cynthia shouted through the door.
It wasn’t long until Claire came out, soaking wet and naked. Meanwhile, Rufus was inspecting his restaurant, making sure everything was running smoothly.
“Wow, Rufus makes his return!” Vlad said, high fiving, then man-hugging Rufus.
“Yup, decided I’d make a visit. How’s the place running?”
“Not too bad. Had some idiot complaining that the food was bad, but managed to get rid of them. Fool thought because we were a tiny wee place, he could just fuck us about.”
“Ah, was that that damned critic? He’s been trying to shut us down for a while.”
“Yeah, he’s annoying,” Vlad sighed.
“So, how did you get rid of him?”
“Oh, your mum sorted him out.”
“Yikes,” was all Rufus needed to say.
Vlad told Rufus that there had been some changes to the menu, and showed him the revisions. Rufus furrowed his brow, but then looked closer.
“Oh, that’s the changes I was gonna implement anyway, ain’t it?”
“Good guy. I’d fall apart without you.”
“More than likely.”
“Rush hour’s coming up. Need an extra chef?”
“You ready for it again?” Vlad laughed.
“Piece of cake, what’s the menu today?”
Vlad handed Rufus the menu. Perusing it, Rufus got straight back into the swing of it, preparing the meals in double-quick time. As always, he went through a couple of towels, mopping his brow and making sure he didn’t sweat all over the food. When service was finished, he sat down and sighed, laughing heartily.
“That was fun!” He smiled.
“You looked right in your element, Rufus.”
“Ah, it’s great to be back.”
Rufus poured a shot of vodka for everyone and congratulated them on a good evening.
“Ready for the same madness tomorrow?” He bounced around.
“Oh, balls, Rufus is back!” A staff member laughed.
“Ach, shush, or you’ll wind up without a job!” Rufus joked.
“Sir!” The staff member saluted.
Rufus helped clean up and got the accounts settled.
“Pretty good day,” he said to himself, “home time.”
When Rufus got home, his smile widened once more, as he watched Claire and Cynthia lounging on the floor and lazily kissing one another.
“Are you two still at it?” He smiled.
“Yeah, we’re so tasty!” Claire giggled and then kissed Cynthia, her hand gravitating downwards.
“Save some for me!” Rufus smiled.
Just as he was about to kiss Cynthia, a knock came at the door. He looked through the peep hole and saw a face he didn’t particularly want to see.
“Girls, fun time is over. Best get dressed, Steig is here.”
“Already? He doesn’t waste time,” Claire pouted.
“I was having fun!” Cynthia pouted too.
Reluctantly, everyone got dressed and Rufus opened the door. When Steig stepped in, the atmosphere changed. He seemed to turn everything black and angry.
“So, you’ll have heard about my mission to become Mayor.”
“Don’t get in my way.”
That was all he said, and then walked away. As soon as he went, Rufus decided to boost the Ritgom spell, just in case.
“I say we leave him be. We don’t know his intentions,” Rufus said.
“I agree, but we need to keep an eye on him,” Claire said.
“How?” Cynthia asked.
“I don’t know. Let’s just go to bed.”
Cynthia and Rufus headed to their room, Claire to hers. A few minutes later, she came to Rufus and Cynthia.
“Can I sleep in your bed tonight? I’m just so spooked by that Steig character.”
“Come on, then,” Rufus patted the bed and pulled the covers up to let her in.
Claire, Rufus and Cynthia held each other close, and fell asleep with one another. Amy watched from her place in nowhere-land, kicking the ground and sobbed softly. When was she going to be allowed to re-join them?