Ooh, my 'tempting taste' title takes on new meaning! This week's teaser is from my contemporary erotica story, In the Kitchen. Ever fantasized about being with one of those hot chefs featured in cooking competitions on Food Network? (Or is the food and sex thing just me?) In this story, the kitchen gets hotter and hotter.
Marti Agrassi is taking the biggest risk of her life using her inheritance to open a restaurant. At least she thinks so until she partners with Rigg Anders, a cocky show-off contestant of the hit show Top Chef, and has to get along with him, while somehow keeping it strictly business. But a celebration one night takes things to the next level, and a sneak peek at Marti’s lingerie shows she’s wearing his favorite color. What ends will Rigg go to, to make it work with Marti, and their restaurant?
In the Kitchen is a contemporary erotic romance short story (Approx. 10,200 words). This story is intended for an adult audience only due to graphic portrayal of incredibly hot sex between enthusiastically consenting adults.
“I found the place,” Rigg shed his jacket in a hurry as Marti opened the door. They’d grown used to working together in her home kitchen over the last couple of months. They had their bank loan, and they’d worked out a menu to get the place started. They still had some trouble agreeing on how often to change the menu up. Rigg was a fan of trying new things all the time, while Marti liked to offer the same well-built dishes customers expected. She had a feeling they could find common ground somewhere in the middle, like they had on so many other topics.
Once they had a location, they’d be full steam ahead.
“Tell me about it.”
“No. You just have to see it. I made us an appointment with the realtor. He’ll be there in half an hour. You game?”
“Yeah. Let me change.”
Marti ran up to her bedroom. She couldn’t help thinking about Rigg downstairs while she was naked in her room upstairs. Part of her wished he’d come up and push the issue between them. The sexual tension hadn’t dissipated over the months. But she still couldn’t take that chance.
Marti threw on black pinstriped slacks and a black sweater. She pulled her hair up off the nape of her neck, fastening it in a clip. She added a jade necklace and bracelet, and jogged back down the stairs.
Rigg whistled as Marti retrieved her leather jacket from the hallway closet. “You look nice,” he told her.
She smiled. “So where are we going?”
If it had been her style, she would have whistled. “Nice area. What is that going to cost us?”
“It’s actually a bargain. We’re lucky to find it,” he told her.
He was right.
The place was beautiful; exactly what Marti would have chosen herself. And it was in their price range. They set it up to sign the contract as soon as possible.
“Want to go out for a drink?”
“Absolutely.” After she blurted that out, she had second thoughts almost immediately. Get inebriated in the presence of Hottie McHotterson? This was not at all wise. But she couldn’t exactly back out now, and a big part of her didn’t want to.
They walked north a couple of blocks to a swanky looking bar called the Looking Glass. Heavy black drapes lined the plentiful windows, and the walls were a deep gray that bordered on purple. The rich dark wood of the tables and benches warmed the place up, along with the candlelight flickering from sconces and tabletop lanterns. The eye was naturally drawn to the bar, an expanse of cherry wood stretching almost the entire length of the back wall. The array of bottles reflected the flickering candlelight.
Marti realized she’d been zoning out on the vibe of this place. “What do you think of that bar?”
“Great for this place. As soon as you walk in the door, you’re drawn there. It’s a great focal point.”
Marti was about to agree, when the waitress walked over and took their order for drinks.
“A martini for Martina?” Rigg teased with a grin, nudging Marti’s foot with his under the table. The contact sent a jolt of electricity through her.
“A mojito, actually.” Marti returned Rigg’s smile. “And for you?”
“I do want a martini, thanks.” He nodded at the waitress, who gave him a funny look before she walked away.
“Think she’s seen you some place before?” Marti laughed.
“It is silly, isn’t it? I just cooked on camera. It’s not brain surgery. Is anything more special just because you do it on camera?” He leaned in with that question, like he was really interested in her answer.
“It was brave to be on camera doing what you love. But no, I wouldn’t say it’s more special. It might be less special, because the motives aren’t as pure, are they? Chefs cook for the love of the food and the love of those we feed. Fans muddy up the waters. Strange business for a chef.”
“I agree, one hundred percent.” Rigg said emphatically. His eyes were almost fierce. “You get it.”
Just then the drinks came, and Marti felt bad for the waitress, because Rigg’s eyes were for her only.
“I can understand it must have been strange. But I think you’re also more outgoing than I am naturally, so maybe it wasn’t as odd for you as it would have been for me.”
“It was a rush for a while. Then it got old. Then it got really tiresome,” he told her, leaning toward her again as if in confidence. “My hope is that it was worth it, and it’s changed my path forward.” He held up his glass for a toast. “To the path forward.”
Marti raised her glass. “To the path forward. May it be bright and profitable.”
“Good toast.” One corner of his mouth quirked up, and she had the suspicion he wanted to make fun of her optimism. Well, let him. Tonight was a night for optimism. Marti took another swallow of her mojito, and changed the subject.
“Are you coming in?” Marti asked Rigg a few hours later, when they pulled up outside her house. “I’ll make us a snack.”
“Nice. I’ll take you up on that.”
He walked up the steps behind her, and Marti had the distinct sensation her ass was being looked over thoroughly. She hoped so.
“In my opinion, eggs are the only choice after a night of drinking.”
“Throw in some of your biscuits, and you’ll make me a happy man.” He spoke from just behind her left shoulder as they reached the door, close enough she could smell the spicy aroma of his aftershave.
She resisted the urge to lean back into him, and focused on fitting the key into the door. It was possible she’d had one too many. Luckily, he’d been more restrained. A little bit in the kitchen would turn her around. Right now she was feeling tipsy and foolish, and she was a little worried what she might try in this state. But did she really want to sober up and be responsible? She really wanted to sober up and jump his bones, but she knew that wasn’t the smartest game in town.
She finally managed to get through the door, and let him help her out of her coat. He hung it up along with his own in her hall closet, a gesture that spoke volumes about how familiar they’d become. He knew her house, he knew her kitchen...he knew her.
She led the way to the kitchen, pulling out her favorite knife and setting it on the butcher block. She grabbed an onion and small orange and red peppers to go in the eggs.
Rigg had the knife when she got the veggies back to the butcher block. “You’ve had one too many to do the chopping, lady. We’re not risking those fingers over a late night snack.”
His concern brought warmth to her cheeks. She tilted her head in an attempt at graceful acceptance, surprised it didn’t annoy her more that he was telling her what to do. He just sounded so sensible. And why not let him chop?
“Do you want a little coffee?” She didn’t wait for his answer. Instead she just started brewing two cups worth in her French press.
“Yeah, that’s a good idea.”
When she turned, she caught him watching her with a hint of a smile. “What? Am I rumpled or something?”
“You’re just cute when you’re tipsy. I’ve never seen you like this.”
“Er...thanks? Focus on the chop chop. I’m hungry.”
That warm ‘yes ma’am’ in his southern accent made her skin flush. She tried not to show her reaction, but when she looked up at him again, noticing the knife was no longer chop chopping, she realized he’d meant to cause precisely that reaction, and was now evaluating her response.
“Do you like what you see?” Marti’s voice came out husky, her question less teasing and more suggestive than she’d meant it to be.
“Very much.” He set down the knife, and Marti knew they were both going to forget this midnight snack in what came next.
She stepped closer just as he turned toward her, and they both laughed at the graceless start. Marti threaded her arms under his, and gave in to the urge to lean into him that she’d had all night.