Influenza leaves Kirsty alone in the kitchen to prepare all the food for the day's menus. Her day goes from bad to worse when the new hotel manager appears and demands to know what's going on.
Reeve arrives in the kitchen and looks in disgust at the untidy state of the work surfaces. Things get off to a bad start but when he discovers the reason for the untidiness he strips off his jacket and lends a hand.
Despite their truce, Reeve must discover the cause of the hotel's loss of profits. He feels an attraction for Kirsty but work must come first. His investigation shows Kirsty is the major reason for the loss.
For one second Kirsty considered hurling a flour-covered pastry ball after the retreating figure. It would make such a satisfying white mess in his perfectly groomed dark hair. Before she had time to act on the temptation the stranger left the room, the restaurant doors swinging in his wake.
"What does he think I am?" Kirsty muttered as she headed for the staff cloakroom. "Some sort of lackey? Who the heck does he think he is, giving me orders?"
She washed the flour from her hands, smoothed down her white linen jacket, and straightened her trousers. After inspecting her appearance in the mirror, she wrinkled her nose at what she saw, and carefully wiped the streak of flour from her forehead. She placed the cap back on her head, tucked her wayward hair inside, and marched through the doors to do battle with the stranger.
The man sat at a table in the bay window with several ledgers open before him. Kirsty's eyes narrowed as she took in his sun-tanned features and the well-muscled body. She hesitated for a moment before walking quietly across the room, her scrutiny becoming more intense as the distance between them narrowed.
Mmm, not bad looking. Probably in his late twenties or early thirties. Rugged good looks with a cute bend in the nose. Who the devil is he?
Kirsty shivered as she remembered the cynical way those grey eyes had looked at her. He was attractive maybe, but a dangerous being lurked beneath those handsome features. She finished her appraisal with a decisive nod and made up her mind. He's a salesman, probably with a few years experience under his belt. Well, I know exactly how to deal with stuck-up salesmen!
She sailed across the remaining distance, her trim figure crisp and businesslike. The stranger glanced up as she reached the table. His eyes flickered with annoyance.
"The head chef? I wanted to see him." He tapped his pen irritably on the table.
"So you said, but Chef sees people at his convenience." Kirsty looked down at him, her eyes sparkling with enjoyment at this battle of words. "You can't see him today. It's his day off. I'm the sous-chef."
"You'll have to do then."
Did he have to make her sound second best?
He glanced down at the ledger books. "Now you're here -- please sit down."
"I'll do no such thing. Come back another day when Chef's here." She marched back to the kitchen with her head held high.