Xavier set the fork down on the plate, realizing he had taken three bites before Svetlana even sat down.
She eyed the gap on the plate as she sat but simply smiled.
“You’re a fantastic cook,” Xavier said. “I’ll bet your mom taught you some amazing old country dishes.”
Svetlana's eyes narrowed. She put down the fork she had just picked up and grabbed her wine glass. She didn’t gulp it, but she wasn’t dainty about it either.
After the wine, she managed a pleasant smile.
“My mom didn’t emigrate with my dad. Her family has been in the US since before World War One.”
“ Still, I bet she was a good coo-” Xavier started, but went silent when Svetlana shook her head.
“How’s the asparagus?” Svetlana asked. “I did this tarragon butter thing I’ve never tried.”
Xavier speared a piece of asparagus and in a rush to try the sauce jammed the spear into his epiglottis. He gagged but managed to inhale through his nose and mitigate it.
Svetlana noticed but didn’t say anything.
After a few bites, a few normal sips of wine, Svetlana asked “Everything ok?”
“The asparagus is a delight,” Xavier answered. “Perfectly cooked, delicately-”
“I meant in your life, Xave. I heard you outside, screaming on the phone while I was cooking.”
Svetlana made a little mental note. At least he’s embarrassed by it.
“One of my sales reps completely fumbled a deal in Lincoln. He cost us at least twenty grand. It’s a college town and-”
“I know what Lincoln is, thanks. Sounded like you were really lighting the guy up.”
Xavier smiled. “I gave it to him pretty good.”
“Was it worth it? Is he going to be able to recoup the twenty?”
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