Summary: Booth and Brennan visit an upscale restaurant in order to question a suspect and Brennan's culinary curiosity garners a strange reaction from Booth.
Notes: I don't own Brennan or Booth or anything Bones related. Much thanks to miss1nformation LJ for the beta. hugs
At mid-day the upscale restaurant was empty of patrons, which made it much easier for them to track down their suspect. The manager led them through the double doors to the kitchen, where cooking implements hung from the walls above stainless steel counters. Even though the restaurant was closed, there were a few chefs inside, working hard within the cavernous confines of the gleaming kitchen to prepare for the coming night.
"That's him right there." The manager pointed out a well-built man with sun-streaked blond hair at the far end of the kitchen, who was vigorously stirring some dark liquid while adding handfuls of powdered ingredients.
Booth nodded thanks to the manager and they made their way over to the chef. "Mr. Stefan Damar, may we have a word with you?"
The man didn't look up from the saucepan, but continued stirring instead. "You're here to ask me about Lisa, aren't you?"
She interjected before Booth could reply. "We were wondering if we could ask you a few questions about the night she disappeared."
At the sound of her voice the chef suddenly looked up from his preparations and examined her with a warm smile. "And with whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?"
Booth cleared his throat with obvious irritation, although she didn't understand why, and flashed his badge. "Special Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan. We spoke to Lisa's sister yesterday and she mentioned that the two of you had been in a relationship. A relationship that had gone sour."
"Contrary to popular belief, the break-up was mutual, if that's what you want to know." Stefan replied, his eyes still fixed on Brennan as he spoke in a tone of voice that seemed to increase Booth's irritation. "Dr. Brennan, would you like to try a taste of this?" He grabbed a plate of grapes to his side and gently dipped it into the saucepan, then offered it to her. "It's my specialty: Tudor Premium grapes dipped in a luxurious concoction of dark chocolate, paprika, and ginger extract. My customers have told me it's one of the most sensuous foods they have ever had."
She looked at the grapes blankly. "No, thank you. I just ate."
The chef smiled and took a step closer to her. "You sure you don't want a taste? You won't regret it-"
Booth interrupted, trying to gain control of the conversation. "So there was no bad blood between you and Lisa? We've been told you have a bit of a temper."
Stefan turned to look at Booth with a stony gaze, putting down the plate. "Even if I did, I would have never hurt Lisa. Why anyone would want to destroy something so beautiful is beyond me." He glanced back at Temperance with a knowing glance, and she suddenly had the impression that the chef was trying to tell her something through subtext. But she was never good with subtext.
"We would like to take a look at your knife set, to rule you out as a suspect in our investigation." She said, wondering if any of his knives would match the tool marks found on Lisa's fifth and sixth ribs.
Stefan nodded at her. "Anything you need, Dr. Brennan. I am at your disposal." Opening a nearby drawer, he pulled out a large cloth pouch containing an assortment of cutting tools and handed it to her. At that moment, the manager called for the chefs from the double doors.
"If you'll excuse me, it's time for our daily debriefing." He looked at her significantly. "It was a pleasure meeting you."
Booth glared at the man as he walked away with the rest of the chefs. "Not to speak ill of the dead, but I really hope he killed her. Putting him away would make my day."
"Only the bones and the evidence can tell us if he's the murderer or not." She replied, looking at the chocolate covered grapes still sitting on the counter. She held out the case of knives to him. "Hold this."
"You're not going to try those, are you, Bones?" Booth asked with that irritation she didn't understand, taking the knives from her outstretched hand. "We just had lunch, remember?"
She shook her head, picking the small bunch of grapes off the plate. "I was just using that as an excuse. I didn't want a potential suspect to distract us from the task at hand. I've never heard of putting paprika in dark chocolate before. It sounds interesting." She loved trying new foods. One couldn't travel around the world and mingle with different cultures without being adventurous in a culinary sense.
Twisting a single grape off the vine, she licked the surface of the fruit with her tongue, tasting the chocolate tentatively. Mmm, that's actually quite delicious. She swirled the grape between her lips, sucking off the dark chocolate, enjoying the sensation as it melted in her mouth. The ginger gave the chocolate a distinctive exotic taste that she rather enjoyed. Pulling the grape off the stem and biting it, she realized that a generous amount of chocolate had dripped onto her fingers. Oops. Licking the confection off with satisfaction, she thought it would be worth Booth's while to try something so tasty as well. When she turned to speak to him, he was staring at her with a slack-jawed expression.
"It's really good. Do you want a taste?"
"Ah... what?" She had the impression that he had become distracted somehow. His fingers had curled into his palms, and if she wasn't mistaken his voice sounded strangely choked. Maybe he really didn't like that chef, more than she had initially estimated.
"The grapes. They're really good. Do you want some?"
"Uh... no. No, thanks. We should, um... get these knives back to the lab." And without another word he rushed past her and headed for the doors. She sighed and followed behind him, wondering if the day would ever come when all things unspoken didn't fly over her head.