Duncan smiled when he heard the growl and saw the expression on Jonna’s face. He chuckled a little. “Well, it is still a little early for lunch, but by the time they decided on a spot and got to it, they would both be famished. Then again, Duncan was always hungry.
“How about I get you some lunch? I know the perfect place and they are always open - almost always. It isn’t too far away - on this corner of Albuquerque. And .. I am buying. The menu is pretty custom. Just tell me what you’d like and I can place an order in advance. Unfortunately, my Mom got to them, so MY options are limited to healthy stuff. I should warn you that Mom is looking to be a GRANDmom, so don’t let her get that idea in her head unless you want YOUR menu options limited.” He laughed. “If you think I am joking …” He sighed. “I’ll drive.”
He never mentioned what TYPE of food he was taking her out for. He just uses a voice activated Heads Up Display integrated into his windshield. A vid screen popped up and an older blonde haired woman responded. She spoke in a British accent. “Yes, Duncan?”
“Marcy, this is Jane, no … Joanna … no … Jonna! Jonna Thomas? No ... Thomkins … no ...Thomas … no … Thompson! Jonna Thompson! Right?” He turned red and spoke out the side of his mouth while trying to keep an eye on the road. “I’m horrible with names. Marcy, I am bringing her over for lunch. I’ll let her order. I’ll have something … the usual.”
“You mean when I can get you to eat?” Marcy sounded like a battle hardened butler used to taking care of someone who could be a little absent minded.
“Yes ma’am. Something like that. And thank you in advance Marcy.” Duncan gestured to the windshield / monitor. “Oh wait! I know what she likes to eat. According to a reliable source - Mac and cheese. And she detests her veggies - even green beans, especially green beans. Can you work with that? Her stomach is already growling. Mine isn’t far behind.”
“I will let Kevin know. He’s quite the culinary genius. I am glad you didn’t disapprove of him.”
Duncan’s estate was on the northwest corner of Albuquerque - not far from the casino. It was the size of an entire subdivision, walled with a security gate. The exterior had been kept relatively natural though landscaped - pretty much the law in the area. Water was simply too scarce to be used on fancy lawns and flower gardens. But he did have his own biodome .. and what looked like a dome for a telescope. Lord only knew what some of the other buildings were for.
Duncan hadn’t even known why he bothered with such a large estate at first. Eventually he discovered it had its uses. He had adequate space to put up a number of guests - visiting brass and such. He had his own conference room and mini theater. He loved his library and geologic museum. Most of all he loved the privacy.
The gate opened for him and he drove up the path to the garage. It opened for him as well. “No automatic. None of my security is. We are under surveillance. You wouldn’t believe I grew up dirt poor. My biological mother and stepfather lived on a military income with 5 kids. We were on those free lunch programs all the time. The clothes we wore were from flea markets, hand me downs, and even dumpsters. And as much as I know that is news material, I’d prefer it not become public knowledge. I’m not looking for anyone’s pity. There are several stories of rags to riches that are more newsworthy than mine. At least we had a home. Homeless to Harvard? That’s a story. Real one too.”
He led her to the dining area - the real dining area. He would have preferred to just sit at an island in the kitchen or in his study, but Marcy or one of the butlers she had trained, would have frowned or harrumphed to make him feel guilty. And the wait wasn’t long at all. Kevin was a master at whipping up simple meals that were to die for.
(FYI, I added a link to Kevin and some of his friends in the Character section)
The meal was brought out by Kevin followed shortly by … a female sex object dressed like a maid / butler named Kaylee. Kevin was just starting to announce the first entree when Duncan almost choked.
“Has Marcy seen that?!” He was staring at Kaylee.
Kevin seemed unimpressed. “She was bored.”
“It’s a surprise for Xander,” Kaylee purred. “He has too many brains. I am going to get rid of them so I can understand half the things he says.”
Duncan laughed. He was doing his best not to stare, but turning a little hot under the collar himself. “Why … thank you. But seriously, Marcy might give Kevin some troubles. He did vouch for you.”
“Relax, Marcy DOES know. I promised her I’d keep this away from any of your distinguished guess like all the military brass - and not give any of those Nobel Prize winners a heart attack. Although I think they would be grateful for me stirring old - very old - memories.” She looked directly at Jonna. “Xander and I are engaged.” She stood behind Duncan and looked down. “I you ever want to borrow the outfit …”
Duncan actually stood slightly straighter in his seat.
Kevin got everyone’s attention once more. “For lunch was have some fine comfort foods. First we have:
Makoun, a pasta and cheese casserole also known to the Swiss as Älplermagronen. It has macaroni, cheese, cream, onions and potatoes.
Four Cheese Haute - macaroni, basic cheese sauce and bacon with an astounding cheesy kick as I added Gruyere, Fontina, Gorgonzola and Parmesan cheeses.
Simple Mexican - mustard and curry powder with a plenty of grated Mexican blend cheese.
Spicy Mexican - exotic spices of coriander and cumin mixed with Jalapeno chilies do wonders with Monterey Jack, extra sharp cheddar and Parmesan.
Seafood Mac and Cheese - lobster meat complemented with cheesy Gruyere and extra sharp cheddar.
Veggie Mac and Cheese - Four Cheese with Feta and Spinach.
And the Millennial special - Mac and Cheese with weenies.”