Blinded by the Lights

North Portland 
For Kaiden Seo/Lissita

After her assistant Antonio returned from meeting with the client, Gracie finished off the paperwork for the next major event - a tech promotional - and soon clocked out for lunch. The restaurant kitchen was a busy place but there was usual someone stationed in a corner where the foot traffic wasn't as bad. That's where she found Mac, one of the Sous Chefs. A few of the servers glanced her way though at this point she was a common face around here and just awkwardly moved around her. "Hey, Mac-N-Cheese! Could you possibly make me the special today. Oh! And I'd love to try what you're making right now." The young man winced slightly as he glanced down to the chicken breast he was chopping up. It was for an order he was working on for the chef.

Gracie offered him a beguiling smile as she tilted her head at the young man and he eventually got a small plate and placed some of the chopped chicken on it and nudged it her way. Straightening up, her nose raised in triumph as she munched on the chicken. It was so good! They used that sauce she loved so much. "What's the special today, anyway Mac?" He was a good human boy, so she normally went to him for these kinds of things. He always looked anxious when he came around though. She really wished he would smile more. "Sticky marmalade chicken over a rice pilaf and mixed vegetables." he murmured, his tone quiet and unsteady. Oh! That sounded absolutely delicious. She wondered if they used those cute little cherry tomatoes for the dish. They were like little grapes. Definitely a party in her mouth.

She continued to much on what was left on her plate, amused by Mac's nervousness. The other cooks seemed to glance between him and Gracie though Gracie didn't seem to notice. She tended to turn heads when she walked into a room. This wasn't any different though most of them kept their mouths shut. Suddenly a few them glanced away in unison and even Mac seemed to chop faster and more frightened. Blinking, she realized that someone tall was standing beside her now, their shadow darkening her carefree features as she turned to face the chef and popped another piece of chopped chicken into her mouth with a smile.

At the time the intruder entered the prepping area, the lunch rush was coming to an end and Kaiden was in the storage room searching for something. Squatting down to check the bottom shelf he heard the voice of one annoying person in particular. Elbows on his knees he hung his head and rested them in his hands. She was a grown adult and should be able to make herself something to eat or at the very least, have the ability to go out and buy herself lunch and breakfast. Instead, she would always come into his kitchen and help herself to whatever was on the menu for the day.

Sighing in frustration, Kaiden stood up, grabbed a small container from the top shelf near the door and walked out of the storage room towards the prepping station where his employee was being harassed by the pest. He made sure to approach her quietly and just stand there, watching as she spoke with “Mac” and stole a piece of chicken.

Mac soon fell silent when he glanced up and noticed Kaiden standing behind the vermin and he began to work harder. It wasn’t until the rest of the kitchen focused on their tasks and glanced occasionally in his direction when the young woman finally turned around. He smiled back at her with annoyance, “Why don’t you ever bring your own lunch?” He asked her and tossed a microwavable macaroni and cheese cup he had recently bought just for her.

He wasn’t going to allow her to eat the food that was meant for their paying guests. “Or just go find yourself a table and someone will sure you, so I can make sure you pay for what you eat.” She didn’t work for him and so she shouldn’t be treated like one of the kitchen staff with a free meal. She’d still be able to get her discount, but that was just about all she deserved.

Ugh, why did Mac have to work for the Crypt Keeper? She might as well call him Kah-reen. "I dunno, Seo, why do you always get butthurt when people eat your food." she answered before rolling her eyes. Man, he had a stick all the way up his ass today. How did his employee's stand him. That being said, she noticed his animal form near him - a cuddly looking wild cat of some sort. She wasn't a zookeeper so she didn't recognize it beyond that - it had spots though so maybe it was a Leopard, but who really knew. "It's good to see your little friend though. Does he bite?" she asked curiously before glancing at the little fellow.

Mac seemed to grow uncomfortable as she spoke but she figured it was because Kaiden was lurking. "That involves waiting though and I am a very busy person, Seo." She wouldn't give him the liberty of addressing him by his first name. Why couldn't he sit in his little corner with his play-mate culinary set and continue hissing at his employees like that British chef did on tv? It was so much easier to come here directly and it wasn't like she was annoying any of the employees here. Mac always enjoyed her visits, he was just shy and didn't say much.

"Why, are you jealous because I'm not ordering from you directly?" she asked, a ghost of a smirk playing on her lips as she tilted her head at him. Mac seemed to move his cutting board over to a different station. Smart boy, he didn't want to get too involved in this if Seo decided to be a stick in the mud like he always was. "You know, I hardly see your little friend. I'm sure he's a lot easier to get along with." Cuddly cats usually were. How he of all people had become a kitty cat shifter was beyond her.

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