Fake Marriage with the CEO(10)

By: Amanda Horton





That confession was surprising, but something in her believed it. We can’t just leave without trying something. “There’s a kitchen at the back. I can scrounge around for something to eat. It may not be enough but at least everyone will get something.”



“You can cook?” He asked with a look of surprise.



Miranda snorted. “I was born with an apron around my waist. Tell me what you want, and I’ll make it.”



His steely eyes glittered and he nodded. “Something that goes far, like a bowl of soup, or porridge…”



“I can do that. We have a sack of rice someone donated. There must be onions, ginger, and other condiments I can find.” Miranda’s face fell. “But I’ll need chicken meat and liver.”



“That’s all?” The man straightened. “Leave it to me.” He turned, barking rapid-fire instructions to his men.



Miranda blinked. Before she’d taken in what had happened, two of the burly men were dispatched with instructions to bring back as much chicken as they could find. They shot off down the street.



The man turned, mingling with the waiting crowd. Miranda’s warning died unspoken on her lips. She stared as the hungry crowd responded to his air of authority, listening to him speak. Miranda made her way to the kitchen without obstacle. Gotta hand it to him. The man gets things done. She took a deep breath, sizing up the kitchen. The rice and condiments were there, exactly where she needed them. Good.



Miranda reached for the largest pot. After her disconcerting encounter with the rich kid, she looked forward to getting to grips with something she was familiar with. Cooking never lets me down. But cooking never sent her heart into overdrive either.



Miranda filled the pot with water, trying to ignore her curiosity about the man who’d appeared out of nowhere, calming the chaos, but as she caught his voice from outside, her heart fluttered. Delayed reaction. After all, his fast rich kid car almost killed me!



Miranda soon had the pot boiling briskly. As she set down her chopping board, there was a knock at the door. The men who stopped the truck filed into the kitchen. They had a distinctly sheepish air. The leader cleared his throat. “Mr. Hawkins sent us here to help.”



Miranda raised an eyebrow. Have any of these muscle men ever set foot in a kitchen? “Anyone know how to prep onions? What about ginger?” They shook their heads. Miranda rolled up her sleeves. “Then you’re about to learn.”



She demonstrated, and soon the men were peeling, dicing, and slicing the ingredients. Miranda walked around the kitchen, checking on their progress. They might not be experienced, but they’re working hard, that’s for sure. She caught sight of the leader, crying into his shirt, and turned away to hide her laughter. Should I have warned him about peeling onions? ... Nah!



It was all quiet from the dining room. Miranda decided to take a quick peek.



A circle had formed around the boss man as the homeless listened to him. She leaned in the doorway to watch. It looked like he was exchanging stories. He looked perfectly at home, with no sign of apprehension or disgust on his face. Suddenly, he looked up. Miranda flushed as their eyes met. She lowered them immediately finding it hard to meet his gaze.



A sound behind her called her attention back to the kitchen.



“The chicken’s here!” The two men set it down and she hurried over to look. It had already been diced into bite size pieces. “Perfect!” Miranda felt a burst of exultation. We’re going to save this situation yet!



Soon the savory rice-porridge was bubbling away, the smell filling the kitchen and wafting to the others waiting patiently outside. Miranda searched for bowls and utensils. She sent her assistants to do a headcount, as she lined bowls up on the kitchen counter ready to be filled.



“Miranda, need any help?”



Miranda jumped.



The man stood beside her. He frowned at her surprise. “I hope you don’t mind me calling you that. They told me that’s your name.”



Miranda suddenly felt extremely conscious of her damp clothes. If only I could brush my hair! Inwardly, she was surprised at herself. Since when do I care about my appearance? “Yes, I’m Miranda Okafor, your designated cook for the day.”



His eyes locked on hers. “I’m sorry for putting you through all this. You probably didn’t expect to be here now, going to all this effort.”



Miranda fought the urge to tug at her hair. “I’m sorry for barking at you earlier. I know that’s a hungry crowd out there. Ben would probably eat an old shoe if you placed it on a dish.”

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