Word Count: 645 words
Summary: When Natalie gets an offer to work for someone else, she struggles between her affection for Mr. Monk and the opportunity of a lifetime.
Author’s Note: A birthday fic for languagejunkie, the wife of bretzysdude.
Abandoned: Couldn't work out the rest of the plot. :(
The deviled egg shifted ever so slightly, a few degrees counterclockwise. A moment later, the egg to its right moved in a clockwise direction. A tap here, a push there, and the silver file moved away. Adrian Monk stepped back to inspect his work.
And nodded. The two deviled eggs were in perfect alignment. Although the filling in one seemed a bit higher than the other...
Over his shoulder, a voice drifted cross his subconscious mind. He didn’t pay the words any mind, although his perfect memory was filing it away for later retrieval. What had his attention now were the eggs. He took a fresh knife from the crystal holder a few yards away, and began to scrape away the first millimeter of extra filling.
“I was very impressed with your no-nonsense attitude and pleasant demeanor...” Senator Markus complimented. “...not to mention your ingenuity.”
With a blush that was nearly audible, Natalie Teeger answered, “That’s very flattering, Senator.”
“Have you ever considered a change of scenery?”
Natalie didn’t speak for a few moments. “My daughter and I are pretty happy here in San Francisco...”
Just then a figure came to stand directly beside him. His concentration for the eggs was almost total, however. He nodded once again – they were perfectly even and perfectly identical. The person beside him, a woman dressed in a gray suit, cleared her throat. “Excuse me?”
“Yes?” he answered, bending to adjust yet another egg on the tray. The deviled eggs were part of a buffet table, and he had spent the last twenty minutes on this corner alone.
“May I have one of those, please?”
“Just a moment...” He touched another of the eggs with the metal file. “There.”
The woman reached down to take one from the tray...
“Wait!” Monk said urgently, and her hand froze mid-grab. “Not that one.”
Her face screwed up into a puzzled frown, but then she reached for one on the other side of the tray. “Aa–!” She looked into his face, and he shook his head at her with an odd tilt. “No.”
“Which one can I take then?” she asked, growing annoyed rather quickly.
He scanned the tray once again. “None of them. It would make it… unbalanced.”
As the woman pushed past him in a huff, he again caught the edge of Natalie and Senator Markus’ conversation. “...would be willing to pay relocation costs for you and your daughter. Think about it. Sacramento isn’t San Francisco, but it has its own charm.”
Monk turned toward them. Senator Markus held out a business card to Natalie. She smiled shyly, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “I really couldn’t... I’m–” She noticed that her boss was now watching. “I’m needed here.”
The senator, despite her refusal, pressed the card into her palm and closed her fingers over it. “Then keep this someplace safe... for later. I could use people like you on my staff.” After giving her a charismatic smile, he walked in Monk’s direction.
“Mr. Monk,” he said pleasantly, and continued toward a knot of his supporters who had gathered beside one of the tables in the banquet hall.
“Senator,” Monk returned, but the man did not hear him, already greeting the group.
He drifted up to Natalie, who was studying the card in her hand. “What was...?” he began to ask, when the overheard conversation finally entered his conscious mind. “Was he offering you a job?”
“Yes...” she sighed, and then quickly stuffed the card into her purse. “He did, but–”
“But you work for me. Right?” he affirmed nervously.
“Yes, Mr. Monk.” She patted his shoulder with a smile. “I work for you. Are you ready to go?”
He shifted his shoulders uncomfortably, and her hand dropped. “Uh, yes. I’m a bit hungry.” They walked toward the exit doors, a fully-stocked buffet left behind.
A/N 2: The idea I got from the prompt demanded a bit of a longer story, so this would only be the opener to a longer fic. What do you think? Should I continue if I have time?
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