The chefs had cleared out. Front-of-house, Candy and her crew were clearing the last of the tables.

Max had one rack of glasses going through, the last dishes set to go. Three pots were soaking. There were cooktops to wipe down and the grill to drain. He might have been the best in the business but at the end of the night he was still a dish pig.

Candy came in with the linen. ‘Still stinking hot outside.’

Max grunted.

‘Cheer up Maxy.’ Maxy! —Was she having a go at him again. ‘Table eight left half their booze. We’ll be down at the pool when you’re done.

The place was a mansion on 20 acres. The pool was right out of Hollywood—strictly out of bounds. Max crashed through the last of the cleaning up—tried not to look too desperate. But only Candy and Miko, and Hans, the security guy, were left when he emerged. It wasn’t until he was close that he realised the girls had stripped out of their dinner suits. Their hair was dripping. A Great Gatsby setting, Candy in translucent underwear, free beer and the night sky. It wasn’t such a bad job.

Miko said she had to leave. Hans went to see her out.

‘One more swim,’ said Candy. ‘C’mon Maxy. You only live once.’

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