I smelled the mouthwatering scent before I saw it. Linguine al dente with shrimp scampi. The presentation was immaculate. “My favorite seafood dish. How did you know?”
“It’s my favorite as well. I guess our tastes match.”
“Maybe with food. But I think we differ on the decor.” I gestured to the Bruce Lee poster sitting in the corner.
“It’s an old keepsake.” He smiled and handed me my plate of shrimp and noodles. “Try this. Tell me if I got it right.”
I took a bite then had to take another one. “Wow this is delicious. Where did you learn to cook so well?”
“When I was right out of college I surfed a lot with a few of my buddies. We had seasonal jobs and worked just enough to support our lifestyle. To save money, we’d buy food for the group and I ended up being the one to cook most of the time; the others weren’t very good at it.” He laughed.
“I can see why they wanted you to cook.” I scarfed down another bite. “That wasn’t too long ago if I’m not mistaken. So what’s it like to go from that kind of lifestyle to this in only a few years?” I gestured to the lavish apartment.
“It’s been a rollercoaster ride. Perfect for a thrill-seeker like myself. Now, instead of being responsible for cooking for a group of guys, I’m responsible for thousands of employees. The stakes are different but fundamentally it’s the same.”
“Do you still keep in touch with those guys?”
“We try to get the group together at least once a year. Everyone’s busy these days, not just myself. A few of them even have kids.” He laughed and shook his head as if remembering something ridiculous. “If you knew them back then, you would think they were destined for life-long bachelorhood.”
The obvious inquiry was on my mind. I didn’t want to ruin an already wonderful evening, but I knew it would bother me if I didn’t ask. “And how about you?”
He paused for a moment which made me almost regret asking the question. “Being a bachelor has its benefits. I travel a lot and do a lot of thrill-seeking activities. Being unattached makes it easy to do those things. But I’m thinking it might be more enjoyable to do things with someone you care about.”
“How about you? The life of a single-female wealth manager, meeting rich, handsome clients seems appealing.”
“I haven’t really given much thought to settling down. I hadn’t really even given much thought to dating in the past few years. Been mainly focused on my career.”
“Are you saying I’m special?”
“Don’t get a big head, Mr. Iron Chef,” I teased. “You’re persistent. I’ll give you that.”
“That’s not the only thing that’s big right now,” he said, his hand settling on my thigh and rubbing slow, suggestive circles with his thumb.
Unsure if I was ready for things to progress further, I tried to change the topic. “What are we having for dessert?” I asked, more as a joke than a serious question. The exquisite dinner he prepared was more than satisfying, and his domestic skills scored major points in my book.
He didn’t answer, but smiled and went to the kitchen. I waited a beat, not sure whether I was supposed to follow or remain seated. When he came back he had in his hand a red cloth napkin. “I want you to taste it. But you’re going to need to put this on first.”
“A napkin? Messy desserts don’t sound like your style.”
His smiled widened. “Try again, beautiful.”
I examined the napkin again, noting that it was folded twice over into a narrow band suitable for wrapping and tying. “Umm . . . a magic trick?”
“I think I must’ve missed a part of our conversation.”
“You’re going to put on this blindfold and I’m going to feed you the dessert.”
“Why do you want me to put on a blindfold?” I’d never done this before and I was a little anxious.
His grin was both mischievous and seductive. “It’ll help you isolate the sensations in your mouth.”
“Can’t I try it without the blindfold first?”
“If you want to taste my dessert, you’re going to have to follow my rules. Trust me. Just like you did in Cape Town.”
“You haven’t been planning this have you?”
“From the moment you pinched my nipple, a lot of things have gone through my mind. This could have been one of them.” I could hear the amusement in his voice and wondered what other ideas he entertained that day. “I noticed you’ve been tense since you left work. I want you to forget about the stress.”
He moved my chair—with me in it—from the dining table and placed it in the open area nearby. He came up from behind me and brought the blindfold in front of my face, preparing to place it over my eyes. My pulse quickened at the thought of having my eyesight taken from me. The last time I trusted him, I ended up holding a poisonous bug. “You’re not going to put a spider in my mouth are you? Because if so, I can’t continue with this,” I asked, half-serious.
“Don’t be silly. If anything, you’ll be begging me to continue.” The dark warning sent a shiver of arousal through me.
He put the blindfold on and tied it firmly behind my head. It was tight enough not to shift around but loose enough to be comfortable. I tried reaching out to touch him to ensure he was still there; he took my hands and gently placed them on my thighs. “Hands in your lap, until I say otherwise.”
In complete darkness, I felt uncomfortably vulnerable. I’d never done anything like this with anyone before. Was I ready to trust him this much? I sensed him leave the room for a moment to go to the kitchen. All I could do was wait for what he would do next.
Then his footsteps returned and stopped in front of me. “Open your mouth.”
Here it comes, I thought. I tentatively obeyed, unsure what was coming. What was he going to feed me? The sound of a metal clink made me think of a belt buckle. Surely not . . .
I wasn’t sure if I should have; I probably should’ve asked him what he was going to put in my mouth. Instead, my lips stretched wider, compelled by the authority in his voice.
“Be careful with your teeth. I don’t want you biting me.”
What? Before I could protest, something slowly entered my mouth and sat heavily on my tongue. It tasted sinfully sweet and creamy.
Without needing be told, my lips instinctively wrapped around it and tightened, suckling the decadent chocolate from his finger.
My murmur of approval sounded more like a moan. As he slowly retracted his finger, I took my time licking the tip, wanting to savor every last bit. I heard him stifling a groan when he finally pulled away. It was one of the most erotic sounds I’d ever heard, and I desperately wanted to remove the blindfold to see his expression.
“That was just the first bite.” His voice registered lustful amusement, his mouth close to my ear. “This time, I want you to really focus on the pleasure in your mouth. Block out everything else.” I felt him brush my hair intimately behind my ear then his tender lips were against my cheek. “Like this,” he whispered, his mouth trailing gentle, sensuous kisses to my ear, drawing soft moans from my lips. “And this.” He pinched my earlobe between his lips and pulled the sensitive flesh into his mouth, sucking it with just enough pressure to make my legs quiver and sex clench in heated anticipation. There was no way I’d be able to block out the sensation of those lips on my body. And I didn’t want to.
“Ready?” he asked.
I wasn’t but I wanted another taste of the dessert to heighten the pleasure from his kisses. “Yes,” I breathed.
Eager, I opened my mouth again. Sweet cream brushed the tip of my tongue and I tried to lick it, but it pulled out of reach. When I sensed him bring it back, I stuck out my tongue to try to taste it but it retracted, teasing me. The next time he touched my tongue, I playfully nipped at his finger.
“You’re so feisty,” he murmured into my neck then bit the skin playfully, sparking a dangerous current of desire. I wanted to grab his hair and pull him in further but was aware I needed to follow his rules.
“That’s because you’re teasing me.”
“Am I? Tell me what you want,” he purred against my neck.
“I want to taste it in my mouth.”
“What do you want to taste?”
“You know what.”
“Good.” He slowly moved his finger into my mouth and I swirled my tongue around it. “That’s it. Just like that.” His voice was oozing with desire, which only increased the growing ache in my sex.
“Are you focusing on just the sensations in your mouth?” he asked, his tongue making slow, sensual licks along the throbbing vein in my neck while his finger was still in my mouth.
“Mmhmm,” I lied.
His breathing was as labored as mine. Suddenly, his lips and finger pulled away and I began to think I had done something wrong. Then his mouth was on mine. I parted my lips for him and his tongue slipped inside, the tip tasting of rich, creamy dark chocolate. The taste of his mouth mixed with chocolate was overwhelmingly sensual. I reached up and ran my hands through his silky hair, grabbing and pulling his mouth deeper into mine, all resistance and restraint gone. I didn’t care for his rules anymore. I wanted him so badly it was physically painful.
“No hands,” he grunted, soft lips becoming rough. I could tell he was trying to act upset because I’d broken his rule and the thin veil masking his desire only intensified my yearning for him.
Suddenly, he wrapped one arm around my torso and the other behind my knees. He lifted me into the air like a bride, mouth never leaving mine. We must’ve entered his bedroom because the next thing I knew, silk sheets hit my back. Hot with need, I parted my legs to accommodate his hips pushing between them.
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