I promised you an excerpt. Here’s the opening chapter:
“I don’t like rice.”
Emmanuelle froze, her face registering surprise and consternation at the same time. She was standing in her kitchen, trying to put finishing touches to a meal she had nearly lost through sheer nervous stupidity. Not only had she put a some oil to heat on the burner, but she had forgotten about it and had had to turn it off to let it cool. The stupidity came in what she did next: she put the lid on the pot. Minutes later, when she attempted to lift the lid, flames shot out at her, nearly singing her eyebrows. Only quick reflexes and lots of luck had saved her from disaster. She had slammed the lid back down, knowing eventually the fire would suffocate from lack of oxygen.
Now she was starting over, determined to prepare a delicious Caribbean meal for her guest.
Ryan was a guy she’d met online, not on a dating site, just a forum where people chatted with each other. When she found out he lived nearby, she decided it would be cool to meet someone she’d only known as a nickname in a virtual cafe. He had accepted the invitation.
The first time, they had met at the Hard Rock Café. She had enjoyed their dinner and the conversation, though she had felt a little awkward the whole time. She was not an experienced dater. In fact, she had never really dated. Not that this was a date, but meeting new people one on one… it was the same principle.
They had gone for a walk after the meal, shooting the breeze. Eventually, they had spotted a Cheesecake Factory.
“I’ve never been there!” she’d exclaimed. “A place that sells only cheesecake? Sounds like heaven!”
“You want to go?” replied Ryan. “We could grab a little desert.”
“I’d love to!”
So they had gone in, found a table. She stared at the menu, nonplussed. So many choices! Finally, she chose something with caramel, he ordered chocolate, and waited impatiently for their treats to arrive.
Her first bite practically made her orgasm in her seat.
“Mmmmmm,” she moaned and closed her eyes in sheer ecstasy. The confection did a slow melt in her mouth, no need to chew here. It was perfect.
“Mmmmmm mmmmm mmmmmmmmm!” she exclaimed. “Wow! Best. Cheesecake. Ever!”
She opened her eyes to find Ryan watching her with fascination and a little lust in his eyes. Clearly her little Sally moment had affected him, too.
She smiled. “This is the best cheesecake ever, and I know my cheesecake. It’s my favorite desert in the whole wide world. This,” she indicated the wedge in her plate with her fork, “this is by far the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Wow! Thanks for bringing me here!”
“My pleasure,” smiled Ryan.
“I’d say the pleasure’s all mine,” she smiled back, her eyes communicating the extent of her pleasure.
Needless to say, the evening had ended in her bed.
That had been two weeks ago. This time, she had invited him to dinner at her place. The plan was to feed him from her own talent. What happened afterward… well, she’d play it by ear.
She had set out to prepare a traditional Caribbean meal of fried pork, rice, gravy, and boiled plantains. She even had some pikliz, a home made hot sauce, if he felt adventurous.
Now as she stood in her tiny kitchen, ready to serve the rice, all she could do was stare at him, consternation registering on her face. Ryan answered her unasked question.
“It reminds me of maggots,” came the startling answer.
She looked at the rice in her pot, puzzled.
“Have you ever seen maggots?” he asked. She shook her head no, realizing her plan had just gone to hell in a hand basket. She couldn’t very well eat rice in front of him either: if the stuff reminded him of maggots (”Maggots!” she thought in shock), then watching her eat it was going to ruin his appetite. She also realized if ever there might have been a relationship here, it had just gone down the drain along with the burnt oil she’d disposed of in the earlier mishap. She couldn’t imagine never eating rice again. Most cuisines practically required it as a staple, for Pete’s sake! To switch to a potatoes-only diet as a starch… that was inconceivable.
Meantime, she had a dinner guest, and she needed to feed him. Time for plan B.
“Ummm… ok, well… how about pizza? We could order from wherever you like.”
“Sure,” he answered. “How about Pizza Hut?”
“That’ll work! I love their pan pizza, but what do you like?”
“I’m good with a pan pizza. You like the Supreme?”
She smiled. Maybe this could be saved after all. “Perfect. That happens to be my favorite.”
They’d ended up in her bed again. But she never saw him again.