The great british baking contest

Chapter 4 - Week 2: Biscuit Week (Part 2a)

Shana had texted her the address of the curry house, a small place set amongst a labyrinthine jumble of buildings in Flidditch, a market town a half hour from filming and a five minute walk from the contestants' hotel. She hadn't told any of the crew she'd be going. For some reason, though it had never been explicitly said, she had the idea in her head that she wasn't meant to fraternise with the subjects of what Will sometimes called (particularly when drunk) their 'baking documentary'.

She wore the dress she'd worn that morning because she hadn't brought her date clothes (this wasn't a date) but with tights instead of leggings, and had shoved the one pair of earrings she owned through her earlobes (even though this wasn't a date). Inside, the waiter took her coat and ushered her to the table.

She was the last one to arrive, which she supposed made sense if everyone else had arrived together. For it being only the second weekend, the contestants all seemed very chummy, chatty, and cheerful, especially considering the tempers Rebecca had seen flare in the tent that morning. Even more touchingly, someone had left two spare seats: one for herself, she supposed, and the other (marked by a placard that someone had made from a hotel room service menu) marked with the name of their fallen comrade: VERONA.

A chair emerged from the table. 'Hi,' Robert said.

For a moment the rest of the room ceased to exist. The other diners, their table-mates, the waiters rushing through with hot plates and napkins dangling. The lava-lamp walls and the neon Taj Mahal over the bar. All she saw was Robert sitting sideways on his chair, smiling at her and wearing a shirt that brought out the blue in his eyes and the gold in his skin.

'Hi,' Rebecca said.

'Rebecca!' Shana broke through Rebecca's blissful tunnel vision. She was dressed in an immaculate silk blouse, obviously braless, with her tight curls piled high on top of her head. She looked just as stunning as Robert, and Rebecca felt suddenly underdressed. 'So glad you could make it. Have a seat. Champagne?'

Rebecca sat. Robert was still smiling at her, his intense blue eyes set on hers. At her other side, Shana was pouring her a glass.

'Oh, sorry,' she said. 'Are you doing alcohol right now? Does that go with your diet?'

Rebecca frowned at her, breaking away from Robert's silent attention with reluctance. 'Did I blab about that to you, too?'

Shana pursed her lips and rolled her eyes in the manner of someone either trying to remember something or attempting to lie.

'Must've,' she said.

'Oh,' Rebecca said. She took a long pull of her champagne. 'No matter.' The glass clinked as she set it down. 'Diet's over.'

An unexpected cheer went up from their end of the table.

Shana laughed. 'Bunch of feeders!' she shouted at them. 'But good on you. Dieters are so boring.'

Shana's attention soon turned to showing pictures of her two young daughters to Odette, and Rebecca (finally) was able to turn her attention back to Robert, who had been deep in conversation about lamination techniques with George but cut it short once he felt Rebecca lean in closer to him.

'Well,' he said with a sheepish smile, his ears red in the odd curry-house lighting. He grabbed his water glass and tilted it toward her. 'Here we are, finally on equal footing.'

'Says the man who's twelve feet tall.'

He slumped down in his chair. 'You tower over me in your little makeup stool, you know that. I feel above five in that thing.'

'I like to be able to see whether I need to powder bald spots.'

His grin was gorgeous. 'Oh, aye, you should see my da. I'll probably be completely hairless by the final, if I make it that far. Ah, poppadums?'

The chutneys had arrived, followed by a plate piled high with crispy, golden poppadums the size of a platter. Robert nudged the plate toward her. Shana's laughing proclamation that table was full of feeders bumped around in Rebecca's head.

She took one.

'There're two each,' Robert said.

She took another.

'So what happened to the diet, then?' Robert said, taking a poppadum of his own and breaking it into shards on his side plate.

'Oh,' Rebecca said. Her mouth twisted at the memory. 'My sister rang earlier.'

Robert's curious smile widened. Rebecca remembered his purported fondness for his own sister and loved him for it, though she wondered if his was less annoying than hers.

'Ex was cheating on me,' she said plainly. 'She saw him shopping with some chubby woman who was at least eight months gone, which happens to be about the same time he left me for - what he said at the time - was me getting too fat. So you know?' A wedge of poppadum broke into crumbs. 'Fuck it.'

'Aye,' Robert said. 'Fuck it indeed. What a wanker.'

'You have no idea.' Rebecca emptied her champagne glass like it was water. Robert poured her another. The bottle was still nearly full.

'Is no one else drinking?' she asked, noting the water glasses dotted around the table.

'Nah,' Robert said. 'No one wants to come in smashed tomorrow. Our necks are on the line.'

Rebecca coloured, embarrassed for forgetting that while she'd be seeing the show through to the end, one of these lovely people was about to be sent home. She sobered slightly and piled more onion and coriander onto her poppadum.

'So,' she said, turning on Robert with a full mouth. He was still looking at her in spite of her brief recess into her appetizer, like he existed only to please her. 'You're single, then?'

His eyebrows shot up. 'Is it that obvious?'

'I read your file.' God, she was already drunk.

He laughed. 'Aye, I'm single.'

'Why?' she said thickly.

'Lord, you're a lightweight,' he said, dodging the question and instead pouring her a glass of water. 'Why don't you hold off on the champagne until your food gets here?'

'Oh God, are they taking orders?' Rebecca spotted the waiter at the other end of the table.

'What are you getting?' Robert asked.

'Everything,' Rebecca said, shoving another shard of poppadum in her mouth, ravenous. 'I'm getting everything.'
15 chapters, created StoryListingCard.php 5 years , updated 10 months
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Comments

Alex_Quinn 9 months
It’s amazing to see this updated after so long! Please tell me it’s continuing!
Dicklovesbabs 3 years
I forgot how sweet a story this was
PrincessBlurmy 3 years
I'm so glad to see this story continued.
Akwolfgrl13 3 years
Cant wait for more
Akwolfgrl13 3 years
I love this!!!
Alex_Quinn 3 years
This is one of the best stories I’ve read on here, and it sounds like we’re not even halfway through! Can’t wait for more chapters!
Jazzman 3 years
Masterpiece. So glad for the new chapters
Juicy 4 years
I love this story... and I’d really love to see the rest of it.
SilkySunshine 5 years
Oooh so good!
Jazzman 5 years
This is Art. So amazingly paced and crafted with scintillating imagery. "You could get fatter" Wow.Just perfect!
Jazzman 5 years
This is exquisite writing.Artistic language and imagery.Reminiscent of my favorite British writer Swordfish on the Dims Weight Board.Amazing Pacing!
HighEnergy 5 years
Can't wait for the next chapter!!