She cooks. Always cooking. Itchy fingers, she says.
This morning – Christmas Eve Eve – I woke up to find her side of the bed empty and generic Christmas spice scent wafting through the door.
I padded naked – foolish, foolish child! – to the kitchen and found her at the hob, stirring her pot of festive cheer, also naked but for an oversized apron, her pinchable bum and smooth terracotta skin of her back peeking deliciously at me from behind the creaking folds of oilcoth. George Michael was nursing his broken heart through song on the radio.
“I’m making mincemeat.” she said without turning around.
“And why is that?” I carefully put my hand on the small of her back, easing my fingers up through the cords.
She set the spoon down and rested her hip against the counter top.
“I woke up with a craving. I needed mince pies.”
“The Co Op opens at ten.” My hand curved round onto her stomach. Her tender, beautiful stomach. The faintest sigh escaped her lips as I moved closer, the convex of my body fitting neatly into the concave of hers.
“I’ve been up since six. I needed to feel useful. Create. Get my hands dirty. Pastry’s chilling in the fridge. So rich and buttery.”
Finally she turned her chin to face me, her short black hair pushed back with a length of shiny red Christmas ribbon. Her smile was as deep and breathtaking as the ocean at sunset.
“Aren’t you cold?” she asked, running her nail over the duct of my nipple.
“You can help me by rolling out the pastry then.”
I wanted to kiss her, but instead opened the fridge and navigated the pots of cream and packets of salmon and cured meats to locate the square package. She’d cleared a space on the work surface next to her, and ceased her stirring once more to watch me apply the rolling pin. I knew she was admiring the flexion of my arm muscles.
“Don’t lean over too far, you’ll get your tits covered in flour.” She admonished.
“They’re clean!” I retorted, slicing circles and placing them neatly in the baking tray. “And don’t be stingy with the filling. Tis the season after all.”
Mindful of the potentially dangerous temperature of the mincemeat, I stepped carefully out of her way as she filled the cases, covered them with little pastry hats and slid the tray into the oven.
“20 minutes, says Delia.” she commented, setting the timer and gazing slowly, deliberately at me as she undid her apron. “Lie down.”
“Here. Now. Twenty minutes. Nineteen minutes. Lie down.”
She knew the floor tiles were icy. She knew how uncomfortable it would make me. She didn’t care. I didn’t care either; I lay down on the floor, sprinkled with plain flour and cinnamon and watched as she tossed the apron to one side and knelt between my parted legs.
“Kiss me.” I said.
She ducked her head and kissed my upper thigh, leaving a sticky red print surrounded by a field of goose pimples. She paused for a moment, before kissing higher; the point where thigh flesh squeezes pubic mound, her perfect lips a bridge between the two. Mariah was on her fourth incantation, her words mimicking my own thoughts.
She was kissing even higher now (my beloved, not Mariah Carey); under the swell of my breasts; my neck. I arched and ground my back into the patina of flour on the tiles and by the time she reached my mouth, I could have devoured her love whole and still craved more, pressing buttery fingerprints into her hips as she bit and pulled at my lips and her hands moved lower, lower.
She tasted of cinnamon. Rum. Sour cherries and brown sugar. She tasted of drunken pelts through a mossy forest at midnight. Of 3am dances with old friends beside a bonfire of sandalwood and pine. She buried her face in my neck and moaned.
“You smell of sex. Of clean pillows and unwashed sheets. You smell of….Fourteen minutes” She shifted on the floor, gritty sugar under her knees as she cupped my vulva and bit my neck, easing her fingers into me, retracing her journey over my body and biting, kissing and licking my skin until I watched her casually work spit to the tip of her tongue and felt myself become even slicker between the thighs.
Flicker. Swirl. I know she smiles every time my hips jerk upwards to meet her. She laps and strokes and I grow sticky and taut – the heat of the oven makes my skin flush and prickle but not as much as her insinuating mouth and hand
My buttery fingers in her hair now, drawing her closer, no pretence now. I am twisting and turning and the dry ingredients under my body turn to glue; ankles hooked behind her body. More. More. I want to come. I want to fuck her face and she lets me catch my dirty fingers in her sweet ribbon alice band and crush her closer to my cunt. Still her fingers reach and turn. And I whimper, grinding my clitoris against her lips and tongue.
The timer begins the final sixty second countdown and I half laugh half moan, striving to beat the clock, angling my hips with my palms smoothing the hair above her ears, my little finger hooked through hers, holding her in place as I shiver, shake and pant. My ears are ringing even before the buzzer commences, alerting us to the sweet, sticky pastries within.
With some reluctance she releases me, licking her fingers as she kneels. Her brow is damp with sweat. Her lip damp for quite another reason. I am not sure I’ll be able to remove myself from the sticky floor tiles without some kind of industrial adhesive remover. I no longer felt sexy, but I did feel sated.
“Need a hand?” She giggled, leaning over me and reaching under my waist, rescuing me from a lifetime stuck to her kitchen floor.
Upright, I kissed her again – her taste still sour and sweet and jewelled whilst creamy with almonds and bitter sweat, until the unrelenting heat of the oven reminded me we had a job to do. As she donned the oven gloves I pinched her bum, then escaped to the bathroom, ensuring the bathroom was warm, the shower temperature just right – enough to cleanse her but not erase the sugary and sinful scent of her. Not yet.