I accidentally posted A Willing Slave snippet you’ve already seen. Here’s some fresh meat…
…The phone woke her two hours later.
Groggily she fumbled for the cordless. “Hullo?”
“What took you so long? What were you doing?”
“Are you feeling all right?”
“Yeah,” she yawned. “Just tired. What’s up? I’m up.”
“We’re having salmon for dinner. Don’t get up. Sleep.”
“I like salmon,” she said into the Charlie scented pillow.
“I was thinking mashed potatoes and something green. Salad?”
“Are you asking?”
“Beans?” He suggested.
“Baked apples for dessert?”
“What else? Ginger beer?”
“Hibiscus tea. Are you at Whole Foods?”
“Get some bubbles for the tub.”
“Good thinking,” he whispered. “Put the potatoes on, will you?”
“I thought you wanted me to sleep,” she teased.
“Well, you weren’t going to were you?”
She just laughed. He knew her too well.
When he got to the house 40 minutes later, the spuds were boiling merrily and Christina was examining her belly.
“What are you doing?”
“I burned myself,” she said into her navel.
He cursed and abandoned the food to go on his knees before her. He examined the tiny mark.
“It won’t blister, but no more naked cooking for you. From now on you cook fully clothed wearing an apron and mitts.”
Christina laughed at him. “So, you’re lifting the naked clause, then?”
“Yes,” he said. “While you’re cooking. Sit there,” he told her fiercely when she would have moved. “I’ll get Neosporin and a bandage.”
“A Band-Aid will do,” she called after him. The last time she hurt herself, a splinter she’d needed two hands to remove since it was in her finger, he’d wrapped her in so much gauze you’d have thought her hand was in danger of falling off.
He returned with two large Band-Aids and the disinfecting ointment, and Christina forced herself not to smile as he washed the little mark gently but thoroughly with a clean dish towel and carefully doctored her.
“I’m cooking tonight,” he told her, and turning away he cut the potatoes off and reached for the strainer she’d laid ready on the counter.
Except for unpacking the grocery bag and cooling the drinks, Christina sat and watched as Charlie prepared their dinner.
“I can get dressed and help,” she said, but he just shook his head, warm espresso eyes running over her lush brown bareness before he turned to wash and season the fish.
“At least let me mash the potatoes.”
This he allowed, after he set her up far away from the heat of the stove.
Christina rolled her eyes, but she enjoyed his fussing. She grinned at the bath oil, bubbles and soap sitting near the end of the counter. The all natural products he’d chosen smelled powdery and clean and faintly of jasmine. The scent appealed to her, and she wondered why he’d chosen it. Perhaps he’d just picked what he liked, and their tastes matched? She wished she had the guts to ask him, but it seemed too personal somehow, despite the fact that she was naked and had been all day. Why she didn’t know, but she hadn’t even put her clothes on while he was gone.
He asked her if she had while she mashed the potatoes, and she said no without looking up. He’d kissed the side of her neck in silent approval and slipped both hands beneath her arms to gently caress…