After exchanging contact information, Jade had assured Patrick that she would email him the details and the contract that evening, and with that promise, Patrick left with a smile. It seemed that his new job would not be as bad as he had feared.
'Yes, despite my initial apprehensions, he's a nice young man.'
Even when multiple issues needed to be dealt with, just one being resolved was often enough to remind yourself that everything would be okay, that it would all work out eventually. Despite needing to work out a better commute after work, despite her friend and trusted employee leaving, despite her shortage of customers, Jade could feel that she would muddle through it somehow.
That one weight being lifted from her shoulders truly made her feel so much lighter.
At this moment, Bernie came out with a conflicted expression on his face.
"Are you alright, Bernie?" Jade asked with concern.
"Yes. What did that lad want? Why didn't he order anything?" Whenever Bernie was not dealing with an order or prepping, he would watch the goings-on in the cafe through the hatch. Thus, he had seen Jade's interactions with Patrick and had guessed what was going on.
"Oh, you know the handsome older gentleman who visits every few days? That's his son. He's going to replace Harry."
"I thought so." The frown between Bernie's brows deepened.
"Bern, come on, what's wrong?"
"No, it's nothing."
"Bernie?" Jade demanded sternly.
Bernie rolled his eyes and stammered, in a tone Jade had never heard before, "It—it's just that… we're partners, right?"
"Yes," she answered, unsure of where he was going.
As he continued speaking, a deep red flooded his wrinkled face. "Since we're partners, shouldn't I at least meet the new hires?"
"You can if you want, but you've always said you weren't interested in admin work and the like."
"Yes, but…" Bernie sighed. "Never mind…"
Without giving Jade a chance to say anything else, he retreated into the kitchen.
Jade was flabbergasted. That was something she had never in her wildest—okay, maybe in her wildest—but certainly not in her normal dreams imagined happening.
'What on Earth was that about?'
At that moment, a customer left. After bidding them farewell, Jade sauntered over to clean up, still deep in thought.
'He's always said that he didn't want to be involved in admin work; he said that he only wanted to cook. Since I don't mind doing the administrative tasks, I'm happy with the arrangement, so I never once questioned it.
'But why would he…'
Jade suddenly thought of something.
'Wait, is his issue that he was not asked? Is he upset that I didn't even offer to introduce him to Patrick?
'Sometimes friendly, sometimes cold. Irritated easily but won't tell you why. Slow to warm to people. Never tells you directly what he wants…'
Jade's mouth started twitching. 'Oh my goodness! I'm in business with a tsundere!'
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