A/N: Ever wonder what made Lara send that plate of veggies Dana's way? Just a little more insight to one Miss Lara Perkins.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the side story I've created. I don't really remember much about the waiter that delivered Dana's veggies but I picture Paul, my waiter, like the flamingly wonderful assistant, Mark, on Ugly Betty.
Lara Perkins opened her groggy eyes as she heard her alarm go off at 5 a.m. The night had been way too short for her. There had been a party at the country club that she had to oversee as the head chef went home to be with his family for his kid's birthday party. She was glad she could help him out but she didn't feel so glad now with only a few hours of sleep in her. She tried to block the sun filtering in from her semi-open blinds with her arm. Groaning, she threw her sheets back and rolled out of bed. She adjusted her shorts that had bunched up during the night and headed into her bathroom. When she got in, she pulled her bright red hair back into a messy ponytail. She opened her cabinet and got her toothbrush and toothpaste. As she brushed her teeth, she turned her head side to side to examine the new highlights she just had put in. The stylist did a pretty good job. Lara had always enjoyed trying new things with her looks and the stylist seemed so confident it would look good she just went with her instincts. The look made her look younger than she actually was, which didn't really help business wise usually but always seemed to help dating wise. Luckily she already had the job she wanted. Now she was focused on the dating aspect of her life. Trying to find a date in the food service industry was insane. Because of the hours they worked, most chefs, waiters, managers and cooks dated someone else in the industry. Lara had tried but she found she could not find someone she was that interested in. It also didn't help she was one of few females in the back of house area and those were the people she interacted with the most. She dated a few waitresses but things never worked out. Lara was on a mission to broaden her dating pool.
She continued to get ready for work, which included putting on her jeans and a white tank top and putting three chef's uniforms, chef hat, and clothes to change into after work in a bag. On her way out, she grabbed a Special K bar and an apple to eat in the car.
As Lara walked into the locker room, she headed over to her locker. She unlocked her locker and pulled out one of the uniforms and set it on the bench right behind her. She shoved her bag into the locker, trying not to wrinkle everything too much. She changed into her uniform hanging up her jeans but keeping the white tank top on to go underneath her chef's coat. As she finished getting dressed she grabbed a brush from her locker and headed over to a set of mirrors in the bathroom area. She brushed her hair into pigtails. She turned to look at it from the back to make sure it didn't look too silly.
'Well, it's not like I'm here to impress anyone today,' Lara thought as she gave her reflection a sad smile.
Starting back to her locker she turned the corner to run right into a damp body, fresh out of the shower.
"Oh God, I'm sorry," the brunette said as she gained her footing back.
"No, no it was my fault. I didn't even know anyone else was in here yet," Lara said glad she didn't get completely knocked over from the collision. She was a bit of a klutz at times and the two had run into each other pretty hard.
The two women didn't really look at each other until they tried to pass the other and did a funny sort of dance together. They both laughed and the brunette stepped to the side and let Lara pass. Lara looked at the woman and smiled. Much to her disappointment the other woman was still looking down and appeared to be muttering to herself as she went into a bathroom stall.
Lara couldn't help notice how tanned and toned the woman was. She stole a glance of the woman's backside before she got into the stall. The muscles in her calves were defined and her shoulder muscles were very prominent. Lara thought she definitely had to be an athlete and not just one of the random ladies who come to play with their friends to get away from their kids or their husbands and share a few drinks afterwards in the clubhouse. Unfortunately, she didn't have much time to wonder as the woman was in the stall and she was going to be late for work if she didn't get going. Quickly she tossed her brush into the locker and put the white chef hat on her head. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath she left the locker room for another day in the kitchen.
Lara had made it through the morning rush unscathed but the lunch rush was taking its toll on her. She knew she should have told them she would come in later today. She was still working hard to be noticed at the clubhouse kitchen in hopes of the older chef realizing it was time to retire soon. If she stuck around and put in her time like she was, she would be a shoe in to get the kitchen. That was her goal, to have complete control of a kitchen. Lara laughed to herself. 'What chef didn't want a kitchen of their own? Wasn't that the whole point of all this craziness, to be completely in charge of the menu of a place?' Lara thought.
"Wow, Lara, check out Miss Dana Fairbanks today. She's looking mighty fine in that skirt."
Lara looked up at Paul, a waiter friend of hers. Paul was infamous for flirting with all the customers to get tips, guys, girls it didn't matter to him. Lara thought he was pretty hilarious, especially the stories he would tell of some of the customers.
"I'm sorry, what Paul?" Lara asked giving him her full attention as she put a salad together.
"I said, you should check out Miss Dana Fairbanks. She's sporting this skirt that shows off that incredible ass she has. I know you're an ass woman, don't try and deny it," Paul added with a wink. "She's sitting at table 11."
Lara went up to the window to place the salad out for an order. As she took the ticket down for the order she looked in the direction of table 11 with mild curiosity. There she saw the same tanned and toned woman she had literally run into earlier that morning. She watched as Dana picked at a garden salad when she saw a gorgeous blonde guy sit down next to her and take her hand in his.
"Of course," Lara sighed, rolling her eyes at the display.
Stepping back from the window and back to her prep table she began slicing some mushrooms for the dinner menu. Paul came back dumping scraps from the plates in his hands. Wiping his hands on his black apron he came over to Lara's station.
"Well did you look? What do you think?" Paul asked excitedly
"I think if you're going to have me check out another customer, especially good looking ones, you could do me a favor and know if I have a chance with them or not."
"What?" Paul asked confused, scrunching up his face. "She is totally single, I swear."
"Well, then why is she being all cute and cuddly with Mr. Perfect Male Specimen out there?" Lara asked as she continued to chop away.
Paul went over to the window and peered out at table 11. Lara looked up when she heard Paul start to laugh. He walked back over to her table holding his stomach.
"What?" Lara asked, thoroughly confused.
"Oh honey, you need your gaydar checked. That is Harrison, her doubles partner. Trust me, personally, when I say that boy is not dating that girl," Paul said giving Lara another wink.
"So then she is…" Lara began.
"She is the typical professional lesbian athlete. Sheuses Harrison to make people believe she is straight. Harrison said he's had to go to all these parties and stuff with her so people think there is something between them, which is fine with him because he has the same issues to worry about but he's just not as famous yet. Anyone that really knows her though knows she's batting for the other team," Paul said knowlingly.
Lara raised an eyebrow now interested. "Why doesn't she want people to know?"
Paul dodged some cooks with trays before continuing his gossip, leaning on Lara's stainless steel table. "Oh you know these athletes, always worried about their image because of the public. God forbid there actually be a famous athlete that comes out and admits they actually sleep with their teammates. It happens all the time but everyone plays stupid about it! Nevermind that it would be an amazing thing for the gay community if one of them came out," Paul said rolling his eyes.
Lara silently nodded, sliding the sliced mushrooms into a plastic container and putting plastic wrap over it.
"Well, I should get back to my tables, unless there is anything else I can do for you?" Paul added with a smile.
Lara looked up at him and then out the window to where she knew Dana was still sitting. She thought back the the vision she got to take in that morning in the locker room. She began to flush a bit imaging what the rest of Dana's amazing body looked like.
"Oh what the hell," Lara said grabbing some vegetables and heading over to the grill.
Paul smiled and grabbed a plate and some sauce bowls and put it on Lara's prep table.