“You gonna want a croissant?” yelled a voice from the kitchen.
“Excuse me?” Trevor asked, half actual question, half shock at being yelled at.
“I said, ‘You gonna want a croissant?’ They just finished, but I ain’t carrying a hot pan all the way out there if you don’t want one.”
A moment later the man reappeared, wiping his hands on a dishtowel that he slung over a broad shoulder. “So, what do you want?”
“You talk to all your customers this way?”
“Naw, only the ones who act like they’re too good for this place.”
Trevor froze, shocked.
The man smirked. “Yeah, not as dumb as I look. Now what do you want?”
Well, if he was going to be like that about it…
“I don’t know,” Trevor said as condescendingly as he could. “I have a very important meeting later today with some very important people who share my very high standards. Why don’t you just give me a dozen of what you consider your best, and we’ll see if that’s good enough.”
The man glared at Trevor. For a long moment he didn’t move. Then, with a tic of his jaw, he turned and grabbed a cardboard box and started filling it. Trevor leaned back to see what the man was grabbing out of the case. To his surprise, rather than grab a dozen of a single item, he was picking and choosing one or two from each of the selections of cakes and pastries on display.
“They’re all the best,” the man said as he laid a cherry tart carefully into the box. Trevor took a moment to marvel at the skill and delicacy apparent in those large, rough hands, then gave himself a mental shake.
“Best in the goddamn city.” The man folded up the lid on the box. “Those croissants you didn’t want are the best in the goddamn state.”
“I’m sure they are.” Trevor scoffed. “What kind of coffee do you have?”
“Well then, I’ll have a small black coffee too. Please.”
The coffee was, he grudgingly allowed, both poured efficiently—and by someone with excellent triceps, not that Trevor noticed—and of excellent quality.
“Oh, you know what? Throw in a croissant for me too. To go.”
Something deep inside Trevor trilled with delight at the baker’s flat glare. Yes, this review was going to be a delight to write.