He smiled at her. “Good. That’s what I was going for.”
“And who is Amelia?”
“She’s the head chef.”
They ordered their food and several people stopped at their table to chat. The one thing that Flynn liked about Ninety-Two was how friendly everyone was. And he made a point to make himself accessible to his patrons. So he signed a few autographs, took some pictures and chatted with a few fans. After they left the table, he focused his attention back on Mia, who was grinning at him.
She shrugged. “I just never think of you as some big-time sports star. You’re just my dumb brother.”
“No, I’m your smart brother. And the best-looking one of the bunch.”
She rolled her eyes, then picked up her glass of wine. “If that’s how you can face yourself in the mirror every night.”
He laughed. “Smartass.”
“So you’re playing Grant’s team this weekend?”
“You know they’re playing exceptionally well this season.”
He arched a brow. “Which means what, exactly?”
“Don’t get your panties in a twist, Flynn. It means that I’ll get to see a good game. I wouldn’t want to watch a game where you steamroll the other team.”
“I’d like that.”
“I’m sure you would. But I’ll be more entertained if you have to work for it.”
“You’re mean, Mia.”
She waved her hand in dismissal. “Yeah, yeah.”
The salads arrived and they dug into those, jabbing verbally at each other through the course. There was nothing he enjoyed more than having one of his siblings visit. It made him miss the family dynamic, when he and his brothers and sister would sit at the dining room table and toss barbs at each other through dinner. His parents would mostly laugh as long as they weren’t truly mean to each other. And since all the Cassidys had a healthy sense of humor, no one’s feelings were ever hurt.
Mia had had to toughen up at an early age since she’d grown up with four older brothers, but she had the best sense of humor out of all of them, and had learned to hurl insults at them from an early age. It was sink or swim in the Cassidy family, and Mia had been born a champion swimmer.
The main course arrived. It didn’t surprise Flynn at all that after their discussion last week Amelia had already incorporated the caramelized bluefin tuna into the menu, so as soon as he’d seen it he’d ordered it. Mia was having crab ravioli.
He dug into the tuna, which was tender and delicious.
“Oh, my God, Flynn,” Mia said after taking a sip of her wine. “This ravioli is incredible.”
“I’m glad you like it.”
“Now let me have a bite of your fish.”
He sliced off a piece and laid it on her plate. She took a taste, her eyes widening. “Do you eat here every night? I would eat here every night.”
He laughed. “No, not every night. But I do come here a lot.”
“I can understand why. This is amazing.”
He knew she was being nice, but his sister was nothing if not brutally honest. If she didn’t like the food she’d tell him. He felt good hearing her praise and he knew Amelia would, too.
He glanced toward the kitchen, wishing he could see Amelia, but the restaurant was super busy right now and the last thing she needed—or wanted, he knew—was him sticking his nose in her kitchen. He could wait.
But he really wanted to talk to her.
Besides, he had Mia to keep him company for now.
They finished their meal and opted for dessert, even though Mia protested she was already too full to eat anything else. She had sorbet and he had cheesecake. By the time they finished dessert it was a lot less crowded in there.
“Excuse me for a minute. I need to dash into the kitchen to talk to Amelia.”
“Sure. Oh, and have her come out here,” Mia said. “I want to praise her cooking.”
“I’ll see if she has a few minutes to spare.”
He headed over to the kitchen. Everyone was busy, so he stepped inside to see Amelia reviewing orders. He moved up behind her.
She spun to face him. And there was no smile on her face. “I need to talk to you.”
Uh-oh. Something was up. “Okay. Sure.”
“Stefanie, take over. I’ll be right back.”
Amelia stepped out of the kitchen and Flynn followed. He expected her to talk to him there in the hall, but he was surprised when she made a right turn out the side door.
Ah, okay. Maybe she wanted a kiss. Now, that, he was on board for.
She pulled him down the sidewalk, midway between the door and the back patio. He leaned in close but she put her hand to his chest.
“What the hell gives you the right to fire one of my cooks?”
He blinked. This was not romantic, and definitely not a kiss. “Huh?”
“You fired Jeff. My prep cook. The one I told you about the other night. The next day, you went and fired him.”
“Oh. Right. I figured I’d deal with that so you didn’t have to.”
“And I told you I’d deal with it. So what did you do? You dealt with it without discussing it with me first.”
She cut him off before he could say anything else. “Before you hired me I made it very clear that the kitchen staff would be mine to hire, supervise and fire. You and Ken both agreed.”