Artichoke, Lettuce and Mayo

 

“I can’t do this anymore.” I let my carving knife fall to the floor. “Do you know how exhausting this is?”

“What is?” Your eyes, beautiful. Like two deep bowls of gravy.

“Pretending that I’m not in love with you.”

 

I don’t even know how we arrived at this point, you and I. I have always needed so much. Attention. Care. Smiles. Answers. Answers more than anything. And food.

 

I found carrots. I found steak and worcester sauce and mushrooms. I found different types of pasta. I learned that potatoes never float and that different oils have different boiling points and that, for the love of god, don’t be scared of salt. I found double heavy cream and real butter. I found non-stick pans and the best recipe for pizza dough. I learned how to crack an egg with one hand and which season produced the nicest onions. I found food.

 

And I found you. When I bought my own restaurant you came with it. That first year, beloved, I hated you. You seemed to bring me the best produce at the worst of times. I couldn’t cook everything. There was never enough time. And people? People are cruel. It doesn’t matter if I did my best. People would never like my carrot and strawberry stew. People would never enjoy my pizza with artichokes, mayo and lettuce. Of course I knew this. You didn’t have to tell me.

 

I wanted to invent something new, I wanted to find that revolutionary spark and run with it. But maybe I shouldn’t have done trial and error with several thousand dollars in the balance. I didn’t care. I wanted to figure it out. Taste, smell, sight, touch. Stomachs.

 

You, a simple food runner, decided to teach me, the chef. I hated it. Your most resistant student. More Darth Vader than dutiful padawan.

 

You taught me to roast garlic. To grill the perfect medium rare burger. When I wanted to serve fries with risotto, you wouldn’t let me. You wouldn’t even let me eat it myself. You didn’t care that I thought that herring completes any lasagne or that liquorice smoothie should be on every menu. You didn’t care that every fermented snail I wanted to boil was organic.

 

And I’m the weird one.

 

At times I likened you to leprosy. You bound my arms, my mind. You made me blind in the kitchen.

 

And then you made me blind in other places. It was probably instinct. We’re human after all. We need food and air. We developed a nose to breathe and to smell. Taste buds to taste. Sweet, sour, bitter, umami. But humans have other needs to. I had known about that, in theory. But I had been too obsessed with finding the perfect sweet potato I hadn’t cared for anything else.

 

But then you kissed me. Beautiful idiot you called me. Crazy, crazy woman. And “What have you done to me?”

 

To you, I wondered. I didn’t know I had done anything to you. It had never even occurred to me that two women could share a kiss like that one. I thought you were the one who had changed everything. You had kissed me. Not the other way around. I was innocent as a summer potato. Small. Fresh. You were more like a devilled egg, maybe innocent on the outside, but strangely spicy and aromatic inside. A stable on any buffet table. You had taught me that.

 

The first time you took me to bed, I felt like I had gone out of the frying pan and into the fire. My skin bubbled and cracked, like pork belly in the oven, every time you touched me. But instead of cooking, it felt like every time you nipped at my skin, the more raw I got. Not just my skin but on the inside. My lungs and my brain and my heart. I had thought my organs ran on glucose and fat. I was wrong. My fuel consisted on one stubborn and patient food runner.

 

That led us to this day. I had been wrong, I realised that now. Carrots works best in carrot cake, not chocolate cake and you can’t make meringue out of whipped barracuda. You were right, I was wrong. I’m ready to admit that now.

 

I shed off my apron and my big white puffy hat that I had once thought I was entitled to. I had nothing left. If you wanted me to sell my restaurant, I would. Everything I am… is and was yours.

 

“I don’t want to talk anymore.” The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them. It doesn’t matter. Not anymore. All words are said. I don’t have any left. “I don’t want to be alone anymore either.” I let my carving knife fall to the floor. There is nothing left of me. “Do you know how exhausting this is?”

“What is?” Your eyes are empty, like the sky.

“Pretending that I’m not in love with you.”


Author note: Don’t ask. 😛

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Bubble and Squeak (short lesfic, romance)

Beta read by my lovely friend K.

 Hannah glanced at the tall figure next to her. Seeing Jane on her feet, smiling and alive was more than fantastic. If it wasn’t for the scrapes on her cheek, the black eye and the left arm resting in a sling, Hannah could almost pretend that everything was normal and that the past couple of weeks hadn’t happened.

 She reached for another potato to peel and in the same moment Jane reached for another egg. Their fingers brushed over the counter.

“Oh, sorry.” Hannah blushed as their eyes met briefly and she hurried to focus on the potato in front of her.

No. Nothing was normal. Nothing would ever be normal again. Everything was new and exciting and terrifying, all at the same time.

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What Have You Done To Me? (short lesfic, erotic romance)

Or The Queen of Fire and the Empress of Ice

“I knew you would come.” Rafaela, queen of the Reattlen, couldn’t keep the smirk of her face as she looked at the intruder in her chamber.

Talanamar, the leader of the Eibmoz – a people made up of only mercenaries – walked towards her on visibly stiff legs. Rafaela hated the way Tala walked, it reminded her of old injuries, and yet it was something she wouldn’t change. It was part of Tala, part of her past and her present. Probably her future too.

 Not that Rafaela would know of Tala’s future. Their time together was over now. Rafaela had called for help across the five domains and Tala had answered. She had, together with over five thousand soldiers, come to the Reattlen’s aid. The threat was gone. The Eibmoz had to return to the Frozen Lower Islands now.

“Yeah well… You made it clear, my queen.” Tala sounded pained. “You made it clear that you wanted me to come to you. I couldn’t find it in myself to refuse.”

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Jules’s Midwrite Crisis (short lesfic)

 

Dear Ms Pearson,

Thank you for the opportunity to review your manuscript, however we will not…

Jules’s vision blurred as she stared at the little words on the screen. How many rejections was that in the past six months alone? She pushed her chair from the desk and got up. She didn’t want to think about it. Not anymore. She looked at her laptop and the stack of notebooks and pencils next to it. She didn’t want to write either. What was the point if nobody would ever read it?

You could write just for the sake of writing, a little voice in her head said. You know, like you used to? She sighed. It was true. She didn’t write to publish. She wrote because she was a writer, it was just who she was.

 The constant setbacks didn’t help her though. She wanted writing to be her job. She wanted her life to revolve around books, not rejection letters and the impending end of her sabbatical which was creeping closer and closer. And with not even one book published she just couldn’t justify not going back to work.

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Happy birthday Samantha (free lesfic short story (erotica) )

Happy birthday, Samantha!” Sam looked up from her place by the desk. She was still new enough to not know the woman’s name, even less how her co-worker could have known it was her birthday.

Thank you,” she said, only quickly glancing up from her computer screen hoping that it wouldn’t be taken as an invitation for further conversation. It didn’t work.

So, do you have any grand plans after work today?” The woman came into her office and walked right up to Sam’s desk. “I know you’re new to London, so me and some of the guys were thinking that we could take you out.” Sam resisted the urge to growl at the woman to leave. She didn’t want to celebrate her birthday, and definitely not with this woman.

Actually,” she said, trying to sound as polite as possible, “I’m kind of tired, I was looking forward to just going home, taking a bubble bath and drinking some wine.” The woman looked as shocked as if Sam had told her the sun had stopped shining.

Well,” Sam’s co-worker said, “it’s your own choice of course, but I think we could have a good time.”

I’m sure we could,” Sam said, “but I also have a lot of people to call, and…”

Ah,” the woman replied before letting Sam finish, “say no more. I understand.” She winked at Sam, making her wonder what the co-worker thought she had understood.

Wha-?” Sam started to say but then another one of her co-workers stuck his head through her doorway.

Samantha, what are you still doing here?” Sam almost groaned out loud.

I’m working,” she said, “the thing you pay me for.”

You Americans are always such workaholics,” the man said, “it’s your birthday! No one expects you to stay at the office past five on your birthday!” Sam didn’t know which part to respond too. Americans are always workaholics? Who had told them it was her birthday? What did the woman think she had meant? She gave up.

Well, I’ll pack up and go home then, thank you,” she said even though she would regret not finishing her report later. This just wasn’t her day.

Sam missed her old work back home in the US. As cool as living in London could be, it just wasn’t the same. She even missed the stupid pranks they used to play on each other. But more than anything else, she missed Maura.

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