By K.M. Jackson, author of Threads of Desire, Seduction’s Canvas, and Through the Lens
So it’s Valentine’s Day and what’s a couple to do to mark the big day? Do you head on out with your man? Put your game face on and get all dolled up in your fanciest of get-ups (which will no doubt look fantastic and I’m sure be worth the effort, but sadly if you’re like most of us will include some thigh pinching Spanx-like garment and feet throbbing heels)? All to make your way to an overcrowded restaurant where you’re told by a harried maître d’ to grab a drink at the elbow to elbow bar for your short hour and a half wait for your table. What?! An hour and a half? Your heels have a forty-five minute stand life at best. Maybe you just should have just stayed home.
Now I know Valentine’s Day is the ultimate in show it off holidays, but when it comes down to it aren’t you really supposed to be spending time showing your loved one expressions of your love? And what better way to do that than with an intimate dinner for two? And since your sweetheart may have been the one footing the bill for the evening out why not flip the script and give him a chance to show off his skills in the kitchen?
In my latest novel Threads of Desire, my hero and heroine Nick and Gabby are stuck at home during a sudden New York blackout and are faced with a sexy dinner flip situation. Hey, the dinner doesn’t have to be fancy to bring the heat. Sometimes a simple grilled cheese can be all you need to spark the romance…
From Threads of Desire:
“What are you making?”
“Grilled cheese.” His smile was now huge.
She gave him a good side eye.
“Don’t look at me like that, Gab. I’m working the hell out this of sandwich here—and in the semi-dark, I might add.” He turned back to the stove and removed two sandwiches from the pan, placing them on one plate.
Gabby swallowed, her mouth instantly watering.
Nick swept his lashes up at her. “You go and sit, please.” When she made a move for the counter stools he shook his head. “No. Not there. Over to the couch, at least. I want that foot up.”
She let out a long breath. “My foot is fine. I don’t feel a thing. You don’t have to worry about me.”
He pointed to the couch. “Would you humor me then? Come on. Get comfy.”
Now that he mentioned it, she did feel just slightly something in her ankle, but she wasn’t going to tell him. She could feel his eyes burning into her back as she flopped down on the couch. Her head falling back, Gabby closed her eyes and felt her shirt ride up. In that moment she didn’t care. A few seconds later she felt a hint of coolness as he stood over her.
The tray was in his hands and the silhouette of his body was outlined by the candlelight at his back. Nick placed the tray on the coffee table.
Gently, he reached down and picked up her feet, lifting her legs and bringing them up on the couch. He leaned down and kissed the top of her feet then looked up at her and grinned, showing off those perfect, white teeth in the candlelight. Gabby swallowed. Didn’t she have something she was supposed to talk with him about? She shook her head to clear it. Damn her traitorous body. Willpower was a muscle she really needed to work on.
“So, you feeding me or what?”
His grin went wider as he reached over for a triangle of the sandwich. “As you wish.”
She pulled back, colliding with the arm of the couch and put her hand up. “I didn’t mean for you to literally feed me.” Her eyes narrowed, her former anxiety bubbling back up. But still she fought to keep her voice steady and light. “You don’t have to do this, you know. It’s not a game; I’m not a prize for you to win. You’re wasting all your moves on me.”
He looked at her, his eyes hard, his jaw even harder. He spoke through clenched teeth as if he was doing all he could to hold onto his temper. “Then quit blocking me at every turn and just relax and take what I’m offering you. If anyone is treating this like some sort of strategy, then it’s you. Now I know you’re hungry. Take a bite of the damn sandwich.”
His pitch didn’t rise, but his hurt and anger was clear in his tone. Gabby felt shamed and she lowered her eyes.
“No way. I’m not having you do that.” He reached out and lifted her chin, forcing her to meet his eyes. “You are going to taste this good-assed sandwich, and you’re going to smile while you do it, if it kills me.” He picked up the sandwich, spun it a bit then stopped, letting it hover inches from her chest right above her breast. Nick took his other hand and gently tore it in half. Some of the warm cheese dripped down onto her chest.
“You did that on purpose!”
He gave her a playful look then his gaze went to her breast. He raised a brow. “Ya think.”
She smacked his arm. “You are awful.”
“And now you’re smiling.”
He tilted his head and took a bite of the sandwich, making her stomach twist with hunger pains or maybe it was something else. Damn him, it really did look good—or maybe it was him. Her mind and her body were quickly turning into a swirling cloud of passion and longing that she was having trouble separating. She watched him, anticipation tingling on the edge of her senses as Nick leaned down and licked the errant drip of cheese off the swell of her breast. Her nipples instantly hardened to the point of near pain. Damn that man.
He leaned in and kissed her. Gently. His lips soft and playful as they brushed against hers. She fought against the burgeoning smile and lost. He licked his tongue out, swiping it across her lips. She couldn’t help but stick the tip of her tongue out just to get a taste of him. He tasted warm and creamy with a hint of the smokiness from the cheese that she found perfectly matched his personality. Greedily, she stuck her tongue out to stroke his even more. A low moan escaped her throat at the same time that her stomach growled. This time she didn’t care. Turning away from his lips she leaned to the side and took a bite of the sandwich, then leaned back, satisfaction blooming from deep down in her middle. It was delicious.
“God, you are so damned sexy.” Nick let his hand glide along her thigh.
Gabby took the rest of the sandwich from his hand as her eyelids lowered to slits. He looked so good on the edge of her couch in her apron. So freaking hot she could almost believe all his words of flattery. She took another bite of the sandwich. “And you really do make a mean sandwich.”