Rowena was dressed in clinging pink slacks and a pretty, flowered shirt that looked like a throwback to the Seventies. The creamy, gauzy fabric was gathered just under her breasts, showing enough cleavage to get my juices flowing.
“You look lovely,” I said as I wheeled in my cart.
“Thank you. You look—delicious…..” A smack of her palm on her forehead, she blushed. “I’m so sorry. You look very nice,” she corrected herself.
“I like delicious better,” I murmured right next to her ear.
Rowena shivered as my breath teased her throat. I gave her a very chaste kiss on the cheek, my nose brushing the sensitive area just below her ear. She shivered again, leaning into the caress. I smiled, my lips just close enough to flutter across her skin. Her sigh was long, low, full of desire. Were I a different sort of man, I’d forget about dinner, and get right down to dessert. Instead, I left that little appetizer with her, straightening up. Opening her eyes, she smiled.
“Kitchen is this way.” She led me to the left.
Her apartment is one of the updated buildings near downtown, in a less pricey neighborhood. Built sometime in the Fifties, the layout is like the apartment in the old I Love Lucy series. The kitchen was off to the left, through a swinging door. A louvered blind covered the area between the kitchen and living room, opening up to a broad bar. There was a short hallway, that I assumed led to the bathroom and bedroom. Her living room was spacious, not something that featured in more modern apartments.
I walked into the kitchen and fell in love. It sported modern appliances, but they all looked like their Fifties counterparts. It was huge, nearly the size of the living room, and had a big dining table that had already been laid with dishes, glasses and silverware. A small flowering plant sat under a yellow globe light, adding its cheery magenta petals to the festive array.
“Is that real Fiestaware?” I stepped toward the table.
“Yes. It was my great-grandmother’s. As the only girl, I inherited it. She favored the peach and aqua. I bought the yellow pieces, but I avoided the red. It’s beautiful, but….”
“Radioactive,” I contributed.
Rowena grinned. “Yeah. I don’t fancy glowing in the dark.”
“Only after good sex.” My turn to blush. Face, meet palm.
Her laugh burst out, and she nearly fell over with the power of it. Infectious, it got me laughing too. Once we calmed down, some of the sexual tension had eased. I could see a decision in her eyes, which I hoped included me—soon. I’m a guy. I like sex. And after Bernie, there’s been a bit of a dry spell. I have a few beneficial friends I can call, but she did a number on my confidence. I was a little afraid, even with a woman who had few expectations, I’d have trouble.
“What’s on the menu?”
“You like Italian?”
I was rewarded with a fair impression of my own wry smile.
“Dumb question. I’ve got the fixings either for chicken alfredo, or pasta primavera—either shrimp or chicken. Lady’s choice.”
“Chicken primavera. Not much for seafood. Terrible for a Gulf Coast girl, huh? But I seem to have a disagreement with things from the sea.”
“Duly noted. No shellfish for the lady. How bad an allergy?”
“Bad enough I can’t even tolerate it second hand.”
“I can’t kiss anyone who’s had it, or I break out in a rash.”
“Rats. I love shrimp. But in deference to the lady, it stays in the container. Any other allergies?”
“Cats and dogs….”
“I meant food. I’m not cooking Felix or Fido.”
“Sorry! Of course you aren’t.” She paused, scrunching up her face.
I waited. She looked like she had something to say, but was afraid how I’d react.
“I’m not a fan of mushrooms,” I supplied, taking a guess. Many people don’t like them. “I think they taste like erasers. And I hate beets.”
Visibly relaxing, she seemed to make up her mind. “I’m not a mushroom fan either. Beets taste like sweet dirt, and I’m not good with raw tomatoes. I can have sauce or ketchup, but not fresh.”
“Got it. Don’t be afraid to speak up. I won’t be offended. I want to fix something you truly like, not something you just have to say you like.” I grinned, unloading plastic boxes from my cart.
The chicken was already cooked and diced, the vegetables cut up, the pasta freshly made the day before. Herbs were already chopped, except for those that I keep for garnishes. I laid out everything, unpacked my cooking utensils and approached her stove. Gas. My favorite.
“Can I help?”
“Yes. You can get the wine out and pour us each a glass.”
She pulled out the chilled white wine and took two glasses from the table, filling them about half full. After a toast, we each took a sip. Rowena closed her eyes, savoring the wine as she rolled it across her tongue and breathed over it. I’d never thought watching someone do that was sexy, but her actions made me sweat. Here was a beautiful, intelligent woman who appreciated the little things in life—a crisp glass of wine, a well cooked meal. She wasn’t high maintenance, stupid or vapid. I could fall hard for a girl like this. Unable to resist, I gave her a little kiss as she swallowed the wine.
©2021 Dellani Oakes