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Prince of Food Ep 18: Cheesy Meatball Sub


Jackson Young



This first day of the Night Pulse was quiet, the boy and I have got to our hotel a bit late in the day. The sun was just starting to set when we made out way to the hotel my uncle had recommended. Being that my uncle is one of the organizers, he suggested one of the closer hotels to where the festival was going to be taking place. It was nice, a bit over the top if you ask me honestly. We got a room towards the top, it was a spacious 4 person suite type. Each bedroom opened to the main living room/dining area. There were separate bathrooms to each bedroom, high ceilings, and elegant wooden flooring.

"Wow... this place is fucking amazing." Jacob said in awe as he looked around.

I had to agree with that. I wasn't expecting something like this when my uncle recommended this place but now I'm happy he did. And given the price of the room per night, I was also happy that we wouldn't be staying too long. Jacob ran off to claim his room like a child while Hayden calmly walked into another room. After we had all placed our collective luggage down, I threw myself down on the couch. It was pretty comfortable which really put me in a good mood.

"Are you tired already? Weren't we gonna walk around for a bit?" Jacob whined as he looked down at me from the top of the couch.

"Just give me a second Jac. Driving all the way here left me a bit stiff." I said in a mumbled, still a bit tired from the drive over.

"But Jackson~..." He whined further like a three-year-old.

"Enough Jacob, come on let's go see what else this hotel has to offer. I think there was a swimming pool being shown in one of the pamphlets downstairs." Hayden called to Jacob.

I didn't have to have my eyes open to know that Jacob was still pouting like a kid but grumbly agreed to Hayden's request.

"Text us when you want to walk around Jackson." Hayden said before leaving with Jacob in tow.

The soft click of the door was the last thing that sounded before the room lapses into silence. I felt myself drifting between awake and sleep for a while until suddenly a buzzing from my phone jolted me awake. I looked down to see a text message sitting in my inbox and let out a small huff. I didn't even get to rest for ten minutes and already they were messaging me? However, when I opened my phone I was pleasantly surprised to know it wasn't the boys.

'Hey kid, you here yet?'

A small smile comes to my face as I see my uncle's name at the top of the message. I quickly reply back to him and wait for his reply. It doesn't take longer than a sec.

'Good! I'll come and see you in a bit!'

I frown a bit not quite expecting that and quickly dial his number. He answers on the second ring.

"Hey, Kiddo, what's up?" His gruff voice sounds from the phone.

"I thought you would be busy today? Isn't set up happening right about now?" I ask as I check the time again.

He had mentioned beforehand that the first day he might not be able to really meet with us due to setup. It was about 2 pm and I was almost certain he should be still setting up about now.

"I actually ditched for today. My sec will take care of most things anyway. It's been too long since I have last seen my little nephew!" He responds almost mischievously.

I let out a small laugh and shake my head. It never fails to surprise me how different my father and his brother are. Where my father is level-headed and calm, my uncle is wild and sometimes a joker. It's because of this that my grams are always super apprehensive of having the both of us together "unsupervised" as she would put it. To quote her verbatim, she states that we "share a single brain cell" to which I take great offense.

I believed between the two of us there is at least 1 and half a brain cell. Whichever one has the greater portion is up for debate, however.

"Uncle, you know someday he's going to kill you right?" I said thinking about his secretary.

My uncle laughs joyfully like I wasn't talking about his death. His secretary, Lyon, is a rather interesting fellow. Well, when I say interesting I  mean it's that it's interesting that he took the job working with my uncle given their ... clashing personalities. Where my uncle is rather a... free spirit I guess to say. Lyon is more or less a stick in the mud, kind of like Hayden in a sense. He's got that vaguely disappointed stare-down pack whenever my uncle pulls some kind of disappearing act which is basically once every day. He's a stern, by-the-book type who hates when my uncle tries to dodge work. However, no one can really say anything since my Uncle is still godly as a producer. The talent he finds is something only a talent ear would be able to know.

"Which floor are you on?"

I can hear some background noise in the back which I assume he enters into the hotel.

"Ah, I'm on the 10th floor, Hayden and Jacob went off to check around though."

"Ah, well we can hang out until they come back then! Gives us time to catch up."

I just nod my head still with a smile on my face. I talk with him for a few more minutes, going through the mundane day-to-day stuff. Nothing about the mess that I've been in obviously. It was nice, just to talk with him. He always had a way to make me laugh in some manner. Soon I hear a knock at the door. I open it to see him grinning widely.

"Jackson!" He said in a cheer and drew me into a tight hug.

"Hey, Uncle Vance." I responded back, hugging him back.

It was good to see him after so long. He's usually busy and traveling so Night Pulse usually is the few times I get to see him and chat. Vance is a slitting image of my father, a tall broad shoulder. Short trimmed hair with a slight fade. Dark brown eyes look almost black in the night. His beard had grown a bit since the last time I had seen him though.

"How have you been uncle?" I ask him as we walk back over to the sofa

"Ugh, so tired. It has been too much going on!" He let out a huff as he sinks into the couch with a sigh.

"I do have to ask, how the hell did you get N1U to come here? I knew they were doing some overseas stuff but here at Night Pulse?"

"It was a bit of a lucky deal, to be honest. The other location they were going to do was canceled last minute and they had the open time. So I did a couple of calls and boom."

"Seriously? That easy?"

"Ah, you don't believe me, Jackie? That's so cold... Your uncle did so much work~!" He whines to me like I offended his pride.

It's not that I don't believe him, I just found it was rather convenient is all. He looks over to me as if reading my mind and lets out a small laugh.

"Seriously it was just a lucky deal. It was more unfortunate for them if anything. But since they were already here I figured why not? I mean I know Night Pulse isn't too overly well-known but I'm hoping with this it will gain some popularity." He said with a smile.

I nod in agreement as it was a lucky deal. Might as well take advantage of it. He suddenly gave me a serious look which gave me a bit of a nervous feeling.

"So... I spoke with you grams recently..."

I let out a groan as I could already tell this wasn't gonna be a conversation I want to have. He let out a small chuckle as if expecting my reaction.

"Oh relax, she just told me to keep an eye on you is all. She wanted to make sure there weren't another other...ah incidents." He said trying to put it gently but failed either way.

I had a feeling I knew grams wasn't gonna just let me go without some conditions. Well, this could have been worst so there is that little silver lining.

"She also told me that you are opening up a restaurant?" He askes with a positively perplexed look on his face.

I do laugh at that and nod to him.

"It's a bit of a long story but the short answer is yes. I am opening up a restaurant."

"Wow, I'm so sorry." He said like it was a fate worst than death.

"Haha, don't worry I'm not cooking or anything. It's a ... test I guess to say? Grams has had enough of me and it either runs the restaurant or she's selling the club."

He winces in my stead which I honestly greatly appreciate.

"Ouch, that's rough."

"Hmm, I working with Adria actually." I said.

His head snaps over to me with practical stars in his eyes and a wide grin on his face.

"Oh, my Dria is back??!" He asked excitedly like a child.

"Hmm, she arrived back in the states I think a couple of months ago. She just got settled in Cloushire."

"Ah, that's good. Wait..." He said as he thinks about what I just said before turning to me with a pinched look.

"....Is grams trying to get you killed? You two are worst than cats and dogs?"

I let out a huff and shake my head.

"We've actually managed not to kill each other yet and only got into 5 arguments over decisions so far. I'm just mostly letting her choose stuff. I'll handle management and accounting mostly and she is in charge of the cooks, dishes and such things like that. I'm a tragedy in the kitchen after all."

Vance nods in understanding. He just as everyone else know that I couldn't even properly boil an egg if I tried.

"Sound like you have your work cut out for you."

"Hm, yeah. She's actually gonna be here at some point if you want to see her."

He looks at me a bit shocked before realizing something.

"Ohhh so that who you were asking for the extra ticket for?"

"Hmm yeah. She was begging for them. Said she tried to call you a few times but you were busy."

He lets out another sigh and scratches the back of his neck.

"Yeah, it was a bit of crunch period then. You're actually lucky you got ahold of me when you did."

"Haha yeah."

We were going to talk some more but stopped suddenly at hearing the door open up. Hayden and Jacob had returned and were surprised to see my uncle.

"Hayden! Jacob, it's good to see you boys again!" My uncle said with a good-natured smile.

They greeted him back and joined in the conversation. We continued through the night just catching up. It was a nice feeling and truly put me at ease. The sleep afterward was especially good, I must be certain to give this place 5 stars after this.

As one would expect the next day I get a text from my uncle stating that he was scolded by Lyon and was now stuck working so he would be able to meet me again until later on. That was fine since the boys and I were going to be walking around today anyway since Saturday was when the festivities truly started up. We had gotten breakfast that morning and then began walking around afterward. Jacob was speedrunning directly towards anywhere that had N1U merch. However, he was slightly disappointed to find most of the booths were picked clean. I had to practically console him as he was whining nonstop about it. I felt like if I didn't, Hayden was surely going to murder him outright.

"Hey don't worry about it Jacob. My uncle told me there is going to be a booth later on that N1U will be at and doing pictures so-"

"What?! This is vital information Jackson!!" He effortlessly cut me off as he stares at me like I just withheld telling him the secrets of life.

He was then typing away on his phone I think to his group that he mention before. Hayden who had walked off earlier had just returned with some more food in his hand. Considering we have been walking around for a few hours already and hadn't eaten anything else since breakfast, I was thankful. And from the smell is it was going to be divine.

"Thanks Hayden." I said taking what I believe to be a sub from him.

Unwrapping it confirmed my guess. It was a cheesy meatball sub at that too, one of my favorite kinds. Hayden almost throws Jacob's his as he was still talking nonstop about his group while Hayden had been holding out his food. We walked as we ate, and the day went onward. It didn't take long for the full festivities to start in full swing. The large stage put was much bigger than the last time we were here.

"Looks like there been a good upgrade since we were last here." Hayden commented looking around at the area.

"My uncle did say Night Pulse is getting more and more recognition each year. Having N1U here may just sky rocked it upwards."

"Which mean open mic night will get some more talent coming its way to King's Caravan."

I nod to him in answer. We walk around a bit more, the sound of talking and background music echoed around us. It was at that moment I noticed something.

"..Where did Jacob go?" I said looking around.

I was certain I heard him mumbling something about a group not too far away from us but looking around now, I don't see him at all. Hayden lets out a sigh after also confirming this as well and pulls out his phone. But after the 2nd no answer phone call, I gently suggested we go find him seeing the rather dark expression forming on Hayden's face.

"That idiot better not have gotten lost or something!"

"I'm sure he's fine Hayden. Did he mention something about his group meeting or something like that?" I said, trying to remember what Jacob said last.

The two of us walk around a bit, we actually even bumped into Adria who was with her friends. She looked like she didn't really want to get too caught with us and after telling us that she met with Jacob earlier, we went off in the direction she pointed. Apparently, he had already located the N1U booth and was assembling his group for a picture was what she told us. It took a little while longer to find the booth as there were a lot of people crowding around the area. I just happened to notice Jacob over to the side with a little group of people nearby to him.

"...Jacob! There you are man, Jesus I was calling your phone and you weren't picking up!" Hayden calls out to him after I point him out.

Jacob looks over to us with a happy smile on his face.

"Oh, Jackson! Hayden! I found my group, we were just about to take pictures!"

We walked a bit closer to the group before an oddly familiar face comes into view. I almost stumbled at seeing the very unfriendly look staring back at me. A frown formed on my face almost immediately at taking in the person before me.

"...It's you..." I say unhappily.

Jung-Hee I think his name is doesn't look any happier to see me either. In fact, he looks at if he stared hard enough I would disappear or something. Jacob jogs up to us a bit confused at the rather charged looks being exchanged between the two of us.

"Wait you know him?" He asks.

Hayden, fortunately, pulls him aside and reminds him of who Jung-Hee was. To which Jacob gives a completely shocked look and points at Jung-Hee.

"...So you are the guy Jackson kissed!!" He practically yells.

I close my eyes with a sigh as Jacob's unhelpful reminder. I didn't need to open my eyes to know I was being glared at.

"...Hey! You're blocking the way!"

My back tenses up as I heard a familiar voice. I mean honestly, my luck can't be that bad right? Surely my life isn't that much of a cliche? Hayden was tense next to me I'm sure. And I didn't want to look up at Jacob. I turned slowly and wasn't surprised by what I saw behind me.

Standing there was a familiar face. Short dark brown hair and equally dark brown eyes. She didn't look too much different than what I remembered. She recognized me as soon as she saw me as well. And there behind her was Jasmine, who looked like she was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Apparently, my life is just one big joke, and I'm still waiting for the punch line.

"Jackson? Holy shit, is that really you?" The girl said in shock.

"..Hello Abby.." I finally said with an extremely unhappy look on my face.

Now I remember why the name Abby was so familiar to me. Abby was one of Jasmine's friends, one of which who unfortunately I wished dearly not to meet ever again.

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