Summary: On the eve of her fresh start in New Orleans with Taste the World, MC (Abby) takes a familiar look at the past.
Notes: While reading the first chapter of Slow Burn, I couldn’t shake that Everett reminded me a lot of Flynn O’Malley from Veil of Secrets so I decided to make the MC the woman Flynn dated before the Veil of Secrets MC arrived in Birchport. Also, I just can’t resist a crossover because if my fics aren’t all part of some massive universe, I’ll combust (probably, I don’t know).
Abby collapsed onto her bed, closing her eyes so as not to see the hurricane of clothes around the bedroom. It was getting late and production was sending a car at 5:30 AM to take her to the airport, but her bags were finally packed. She still couldn’t fully believe that today had happened, but the car was coming at 5:30AM to whisk her away to the airport to fly to New Orleans for Everett Flynt’s show.
Everett Flynt. Abby felt a familiar tightness settle in her chest that had nothing to do with the famous chef himself. She knew why he’d affected her the way he had in the kitchen. Those smoldering eyes. The tattoos. The short temper. Everett reminded her so much of Flynn, and it was infuriating that she’d gone all the way to LA for a fresh start, only to wind up working side by side with someone just like him. She opened her eyes and stared up at the ceiling.
“What the fuck?” she asked aloud.
The ceiling said nothing.
Abby sighed. It’d been three years since she last saw Flynn and she felt pathetic when everything continually circled back to him. According to Kate’s Instagram, Flynn had moved on. So why couldn’t she?
Already hating herself, Abby reached for her phone and opened Instagram. Each time she swore it would be the last, but it never was. Flynn was far too cool for social media, but his sister wasn’t. Kate’s feed had been overwhelmingly filled with baby photos for the last few months since she’d given birth, but there was one from a couple weeks ago that Abby couldn’t stop staring at. In the picture, Flynn was holding his tiny niece in his arms, looking down at her with more tenderness than Abby had ever seen on his face before. However, the part that really got her was the caption.
Daddy in training!
The comments offered no further explanation and Flynn’s girlfriend’s account was set to private or Abby would’ve already scoured it, hating herself every step of the way. She felt pathetic, but she couldn’t seem to get over the one she’d left behind in Birchport.
She dropped her phone on the bed and sighed again, still staring at the ceiling as if it might offer advice. Abby thought of the dessert tasting she’d gone to with Julian that afternoon and wished she could fall for someone like him.
“Maybe I can,” she said out loud. “You moved out here to change your life, Abby, so do it already. Stop obsessing over your ex, focus on your new job, and get your shit together.”
Abby sat up, determined. She scooped up the clothes that hadn’t made the cut and put them away, reigning in the chaos of her packing spree. She brushed her teeth, washed her face, and changed into pajamas before setting her suitcases by the front door. Satisfied, she plugged in her phone and climbed into bed.
This is it, she thought as she turned out the light. A new job, a fresh start, and no more Flynn O’Malley. But as she drifted off, her thoughts ebbed and flowed with thoughts of food, of Everett, of cryptic captions, and of Flynn. Always of Flynn.