Stalker Quality


dante_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Stalker Quality
Synopsis A very observant man comes for dinner
Date June 03, 2010

Harlem at The Windsor Knot restaurant

Evening at The Windsor Knot is a moderately busy time now that the city is thawing out. A comfortable Thai restaurant with booths, intimate tables, a bar and a patio for seating, the lighting is dim, the decor is deep reds, blacks and hints of gold. At the front, there's a host to seat people, and waiters and waitresses flit to and fro.

There's one in particular who seems a little ambitious, carrying a series of plates in hand and up her arms, a bright smile on her face as she flawlessly delivers her burden to a large family seated around a round table. There seems to even be some humorous banter between the customers and the waitress, who is nothing but smiles for the people. And there's that feeling that she's going to be getting a healthy tip when all this is over.

In one of the more secluded booths where the waitresses put the customers they don't want the others to see, Dante is earning himself some wrinkles as he pores over the menu. His vinyl jacket wrinkled around the shoulders, he hunches forward with one hand slipped into his hair. He's the picture of the distraught customer, lips moving slowly as he reads to himself.

In the middle of his distress, that very waitress comes over to his table. Her name tag dubs her Monica and she's got a ready smile and a notepad and pen in hand. "Well, you must be trouble," she greets with a playful tease, her accent giving her away as a Southerner from the first syllable. "They give me all the troublemakers. What can I get you tonight?"

Dante's furrowed look of concentration shifts up to Monica, the perpetually stern set of his mouth quirking up slightly at the friendly smile he sees directed his way. "I'll try not to be /too/ much trouble," he says dryly, turning the menu up towards the waitress. "You tell me. I just can't decide anymore. I thought I wanted yellow curry, but I'm looking at all you've got and… What do you recommend?"

"Be sure to, I've got a mean right hook and the ability to cry on command," Monica says, still teasing it seems. "Well… Personally, I like the Golden Chicken. It's marinated with spices, then stir-fried with onion and carrots and some hot peppers. Or, if you like the vegetarian route, we have a great spicy veggie tofu."

"Careful. Those are serious threats where I come from." The waitress's banter drawn a slow smile from the man, one that looks like it's pulled out only by force. At her suggestion, he pulls the menu back up, frowning once more and flipping the menu over a few times. "Ummm…hmmm." Seems he's not convinced. "What about Panang? How much panang do you put in your curry?"

There's a bit of a pause at that question, then Monica's smile turns crooked, "Just enough. How's that for an answer? You really /are/ trouble, aren't you?" And yet, she doesn't really seem bothered. Amused, perhaps. "How do you feel about Chu Chee Curry?"

Dante gives Monica a bit of a bemused smile. Half "Sorry for giving you a bad time" and "What was wrong with that question?" Maybe it's because he's not exactly from around here, as his accent hints. Somewhere west… "I'm not really sure. Is it good?"

"Well, I think so. But I grew up on N'awlins cuisine," Monica says, pushing her accent for the city's name, for emphasis, "so I'm no stranger to spice. How… adventurous you feelin'? I could always surprise you. You're not allergic to anything, are ya?"

"Adventurous?" If adventurous were a middle name, Dante would be the exactly the wrong kind of person to have it. He even /looks/ safe, in a dark and broody sort of way. So the thought makes the man look worried for a moment, glancing over to the empty spot across from him a little wistfully. Finally, he shrugs and holds the menu up to her. "Why not? Surprise me. You seem the trustworthy sort."

"Oh, well, good instincts you've got there," Monica notes, as far as her trustworthiness. "I'll just skip back and bring you something super delish. It'll change your life." Taking his menu, she gives him a little wink in return before she heads off toward the kitchens.

"Change my life, will it? You should put that on your flyers. Can I have something to wash it down with as well? I'll trust you on that, too." As she wanders away, Dante reaches into his pocket, pulling out his phone. The well-dressed man, still in his rumpled work clothes, refreshes the screen and just stares at it for a while. He shakes his head. "You're late again, Isa," he mumbles.

"Maybe we will," Monica says with a crooked smile. "Don't worry! I'll take care of everything," she notes before she disappears. And he's left to ponder his phone for a time, as Monica can be seen delivering other dishes here and there. She does drop off a drink for him and one point, which seems to be a mix of a clear soda and some sort of berry juice. It's good! But, when she does come back to stop for a bit, she sets down what turns out to be a seafood dish, shrimp and mussel and squid, even, in a red sauce with some onions, peppers, peapods, carrots, baby corn, bamboo shoots, even mushrooms and basil leaves. One can practically smell the spice. "This is called Soldier in a Red Sea. all sorts of fun stuff in there. Keep the juice handy, though, just in case."

Dante sips at the drink, dubious at first. He's never liked fruity stuff…hmmm, but this ain't bad. In fact, he's already finished half a glass by the time Monica comes back with his meal. All ready to accept some simple dish with a smile on his face… But woah nelly! Look at that spread! Dante rears back a little, blinking at the plate in surprise. "Wow. I'll try to remember not to tell you "surprise me" with the check." Taking a fork, he carefully scoops up a large mouthful, giving the steaming bite a sniff. "Why of the Red Sea?"

"Don't worry, I didn't grab you the most expense meal on the menu," Monica says with a chuckle. She leans her hip against the table, her foot lifting to rest against the inner thigh of her opposite leg. Flexible! "It's the sauce. The spices make it red, and there you have it, red sea."

"Red seafood from the red sea. Well, how about that." Dante chuckles and raises the bite towards his mouth, but he glances over at Monica's legs. Something about that seems to catch his attention and he slowly turns his eyes up along her body to study her face. It's still with that same, relaxed attitude, but he seems to be rather intrigued. "You're pretty flexible, but you're not a gymnast," he notes. "And you don't do yoga. At least not often."

"Red's a good theme in food. At least, if you ask me." Monica blinks when he looks her over, and her leg drops back down to the ground as if she just noticed she was doing it. "Well. I workout. Keep loose. But you're right, I'm not a gymnast. And yoga's… a bit too slow paced for me. I pull it out when I want to relax sometimes, though. My posture giving me away or something? Not as graceful as I could be, huh?"

"It's just the little things," Dante says, gesturing to her hips with his full fork, "You just don't have the muscle tone for a gymnast or someone who does yoga. You're more…well, closer to a fighter's physique, actually." Monica's? He must be crazy. "But softer and leaner. Actually, you seem plenty graceful to me. I can't even touch my toes."

"Well, I've always thought girls should know how to defend themselves. New Orleans hasn't been all jazz and gumbo, ya know? And this city isn't all Broadway and floppy pizza. Well, you know." Who doesn't? Monica actually smiles a bit toward the end. "Well… thanks. I think."

"Everyone should know how to defend themselves. But yes, women in particular. The number of random assaults on women travelling alone on the streets is disgustingly disproportionate, compared to men. …And that probably doesn't help your sense of security at all, I sorry." At her smile, Dante actually looks a little embarrassed. He quickly takes that big bite of food. Chew chew chew chew chew. Chew. … Hurk! And he's going for his drink.

"Don't sweat it. My sense of security's pretty hard to topple." Monica flashes him another smile, and as he goes for his drink, she slips off for a moment, only to return with a full glass, which she sets down near the first. "How're you liking it?"

Dante is a stoic statue, his jaw set even as he chews, his back straight and his eyes set firmly on some spot beyond the far wall, focusing on chewing. Stoic, stoic, stoic… Even as he's breaking out into a sweat. "A little spicy," he says, though he didn't mean for his voice to tighten like that in front of the pretty waitress. "Very good though." Swallowing, he pounds a bit at his chest, giving her a grateful smile for the extra drink. "Good choice."

"Well, I'm glad you like it," Monica says with a smile. She seems to not notice the sweat or tightening voice, as if she's really buying into the stoic mask. Or just good at pretending like she is. She does lean over to ask in a quieter voice, "You want some rice with it? Just white rice? With a sweeter sauce, maybe?"

"White rice would be good." Dante's not about to pass up a little help when he gets the chance, though now that he's swallowed a bit of the meal he's starting to recover. Putting a hand to his throat, he clears it and waves his fork about the plate curiously. "And a sweeter sauce. How hot is this, exactly?"

"No problem," Monica says, patting his shoulder a little. As she straightens, his question makes her smile crookedly, "It's in the top five, I'll tell you that." And then she's off! Presumably for rice! He might notice her tending a few other tables here and there, too, but only after a stop by the kitchen.

Dante opens his mouth to respond… Oh, but she's off! And so he sighs. Again and again, his tongue lolling out now that she's not looking his way. Though the family at the round table is giving the man a curious look. To his credit, Dante spends most of his time stoically working through his meal. Particularly when he notices she's in line of sight. He seems to /always/ notice when she's in line of sight now, flicking glances her way.

Monica seems to pick up on those glances after a few times, and she even throws him a thumbs up once before she disappears into the back. When she comes back his way, she sets down a bowl of rice and a bottle of sauce to go with it, as well as another drink refill. "There you go. Anything else I can do for you?"

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