Esmeralda the cook stepped in front of him, blocking his way. Stephan stopped and looked at a woman who had a cold look in her eyes and a rather large cleaver in one hand, the square-bladed kind with a big handle, used for chopping large pieces of meat.
"I want to say something to you, Senor Gomes," she said firmly. There was steel in the voice as well as in her hand. "You are a guest in this house, and I respect that. But, if you do one thing to harm my girl, that I will not accept!"
Stephan was shocked. "Whatever are you talking about?" he asked.
"You know perfectly well what I'm talking about," Esmeralda retorted firmly. "I saw your picture in the newspapers and on television. And I saw that monster thing of yours. I expect it to stay firmly zipped up inside your trousers. If it doesn't, there will be serious consequences!" With that pronouncement, she slammed the butcher knife on its sharp, bladed edge, slicing about an eighth of an inch into the wooden cutting board in the island. Stephan stared at the knife for a few seconds.
"My husband feels the same way, young man. So don't cross us and don't do anything to harm Maria Elena!" With this last comment, she pulled the cleaver out of the wood and brandished it in front of her face.