Ein felt a little intimidated with Henry's manners as they shook their hands.
The photo on Henry's CV paled in contrast to the genuine article. Henry's ephemeral beauty had smitten Ein's female colleagues, the man also had a natural aura of seduction and his overall demeanour reflected it on their handshake.
‘Well, shit. Looks like this one is not just a lady killer… he might be a maneater too.’
Ein maintained his amiable business smile as he shook Henry's hand. It wouldn't be wise for him to show his apprehension towards Henry on their first meet.
"Henry, let me introduce to you our GM and our Deputy Manager." Ein turned his head towards Monique and Seori who were still gawking at Henry's charming appearance.
"Monique, do remember that you have Diether in your life," Ein whispered softly to Monique's shoulder.
"Shush Ein, why can't you just let girls be girls." Monique softly replied and winked back at Ein. She then gave Ein a pat on the back and turned her attention to Henry.
"Nice to meet you, Mr Rivers!" Monique shook Henry's hands warmly. "Monique Moss-Salva, GM of Hotel Citron, London. I look forward to seeing you work with us." She then showcased her radiant businesswoman smile.
"Henry Rivers, a pleasure to meet you as well." Henry reciprocated Monique's smile with an equally beaming one to match.
"I-I'm Seori Avery! D-deputy Manager for Hotel Citron… Uh… Glad to meet you as well, Mr Rivers!" Seori stuttered as she felt weak in front of good-looking men. She then extended out her hand for a handshake.
"Likewise, Ms Avery." Henry then toned down his smile to a casual one as he saw Avery's flustered face.
Ein then turned his attention to Emery who was observing the entire tryst near the door. Ein then grabbed two cups of coffee from the dispenser and handed one to Emery.
"Chef, where did you meet that guy? He seems familiar… did he work here in the past?" Ein asked Emery in a hushed voice and then took a sip of his coffee.
"I met him five years ago, during my Christmas holiday in Spain." Emery sniffed the coffee for a bit and then took a sip. "The kid just quit his job in Ell Bolli, he said that he wasn't thriving there anymore. We talked for a few hours regarding kitchen management and we really hit it off. We've been friends since then."
Emery then drank half of the coffee in his cup and stared at Ein inquisitively.
"He also did work here briefly as our humble dishwasher for a month, I think it was four years ago." Emery chuckled as he recalled his nostalgic memories in Hotel Citron.
"I see… Then that must have been why he looks a little familiar, I must have seen him at some point." Ein set aside his coffee.
"Well, you didn't eat your meals at the cafeteria that much in the past… in fact, you and Seori barely even show up, just during dinners or if Monique drags you both to eat." Emery chuckled. "Maybe you might have seen Henry just passing by in the pantry haha!"
"I don't recall the faces of passersby, Emery. So your suggestion might be off." Ein groaned.
"Emery, tell me honestly, the way he acts now... is it different from his real personality?" He looked at Emery with a curious expression.
"Really... Ein, you're sharp as always." Emery sighed and finished his cup of coffee. "Why do you need to ask me for validation if you can easily deduce it Ein?" Emery snickered as he threw the cup to the nearby trash bin.
"Just… be careful not to get swept away, Ein. That's all I can say."
"What do you mean?" Ein gazed at Emery with a puzzled expression.
"You'll know when both of you get to know each other more. Working with him will be a breeze, you'll probably enjoy it too since he's reliable and efficient." Emery winked at Ein and whispered to his shoulder. "Henry is like you Ein. I hope you can confide with him if the going gets tough."
"You mean to say, he's also gay?" Ein raised his brows as he whispered back to Emery.
Emery nodded. "He is quite open about it. That kid… what do you call them overseas? Oh, I remember, Liberals! Haha!"
Ein sneered at him, Emery's dry humour wasn't amusing.
Emery gave Ein a sincere smile. "I'll be heading down to the kitchen to give some of the boys the coffee. It was an excellent pick too, good job Ein!" He then gave Ein a pat on the back and went to the coffee dispenser to make servings.
'That old man… He really cares a lot.' Ein sighed as he saw Emery leave the room while carrying several cups of coffee with a happy expression.
Chef Emery Gauche, he was Hotel Citron's kitchen manager since its establishment. He retired a few months ago and is now living a carefree life travelling around Europe.
Emery was one of the hotel staff members who knew of Ein's predicament, he is also aware of Ein's real persona. They got acquainted due to Ein and Seori's poor eating habits back when they started out in Hotel Citron. Emery had developed a habit of doting on anyone who skips meals, hence why Ein and Seori had a special place in his heart.
Ein checked his wrist for the time and saw that it was 9:45 AM. It was now time for him to adhere to his schedule. He then went over to Monique to seek permission to leave.
"Managers, I'll be going on ahead for the morning inspections." Ein glanced at Monique and Seori.
"Oh right, the morning inspections! I should also go ahead too, GM. We'll be having an Adhoc with the Financial Affairs team before lunch." Seori replied as she checked at her schedule on her tablet.
"Of course, business as usual as always." Monique waved her hand to Ein and Seori, a gesture she does when she wants her staff to carry on with their tasks.
Ein and Seori saw Monique's sign of approval, they then gave a quick nod then started to walk towards the door.
"Oh, by the way, Ein!" Monique gave chase and tapped Ein's shoulder.
"Since you're doing morning inspections… Kindly show around Mr Rivers to our facilities, as he will officially start tomorrow."
Monique gave Ein a sly smile and whispered to his shoulder. "We can't have him getting lost around on his first day, unlike someone we know here."
"Shut it, Monique, that's all in the past, I'm a changed person now," Ein mumbled back to Monique while maintaining his business smile.
"Sure, I can show him around while I do my rounds."
"Alright, thanks so much Ein! I'll leave that to you then." Monique gave Ein a pat to the back and whispered to him. "Good luck and have fun!"
To be Continued.