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The Stranger Part II

March 8, 2010

I was used to getting up early so the sun hadn’t reached the horizon when I slipped out of bed to get breakfast started. I figured you’d still be asleep; even for a farmer I was an early bird. Some mornings I sat on the porch where I kept the pottery wheel and messed around with clay and watched the sunrise. I usually did my best work then.

No time for that today; playing with clay always required a long and hot shower to remove. And I had a guest who would be wanting breakfast. The floor was a bit cold against my feet so I slipped on some socks before heading to the kitchen.

I mulled over what I wanted to fix for breakfast. You weren’t little and probably had a big appetite. You were solidly built and tall; plus you were in an occupation that meant a heavy work load. So gravy and biscuits; eggs and bacon. Would pancakes be too much? Maybe some muffins; I had some from a batch I’d made a few days ago. No, I’d taken those to a neighbor who was sick.

I unlocked the door and opened it to look out at the sun beginning it’s climb. I should still have a little bit of time to get this going. I set the sausage on to cook for the gravy and got the biscuits started. I was reaching up on tiptoe to grab a bowl when I heard a sound behind me. My fingers had just grasped the edge it and I felt it falling as I turned in surprise.

I stumbled into you as you reached up to right the bowl. There was that quirk of a smile again. I stepped back and brushed my hands down the front of my night shirt. I closed my eyes as I realized I’d just wiped flour handprints all down the front. I loved looking like an idiot. A glance down and I remembered I was wearing my ugliest sweats too. Way to impress.

“You should probably use a stool,” you said as you handed me the bowl. “A short thing like you, you really should have the cupboards adjusted so you can reach them.

I could feel heat on my cheeks. “I always forget the stool,” I said as I brushed my hair back from my face. “And, I’m not that short. You’re just too tall.” Embarrassment always brought out the snark in me. I quickly took the bowl and moved to the counter, hiding from you. “I didn’t think you’d be in this early; I’ll get the eggs started and go change.”

I looked up as you moved toward the sink, looking back over your shoulder as if to ask permission. I nodded a bit brusquely and went back to the bowl, whipping the eggs hard enough they threatened to splash out. “No need to change on my account,” you said. I sneaked a peek over my shoulder as you finished drying off your hands and caught you watching me. “I really like the handprint on the seat of your sweats,” came the comment with a wry twist of the lips.

I quickly checked and felt the heat rise again. There, perfectly outlined, was a white palm print on my ass. Fuck. Way to show off how big it is. And what the hell was I doing worrying about it?

I turned back to whipping the eggs, examining the things I was feeling. Was I really flirting with you? I’d never been dishonest with myself before and I had to accept that I was very much attracted to you. It was odd, I felt more like a girl now, standing with you in my kitchen, than I ever had before. I swallowed, swallowing my fears down too.

“If they bother you that much, I can always take them off,” I said with a twist of the eyebrow. Take that. Damned if I’d take this like a sissy. If I was going to be attracted to a woman for the first time, I wasn’t going to run from it. All you could do was say no. All I could do was fail miserably. Crap.

“You know,” you said as you stilled my hand. “If you whip those any more, we’ll have meringue. Not eggs.” You took the bowl and dumped the eggs into the pan, expertly scrambling them. “You can leave the sweats on. Wouldn’t want you to catch cold. And I think the biscuits are burning.”

I grabbed a potholder and snatched open the oven. Not burned yet, but it was close. “Hope you like them a bit past golden brown.” My head was spinning and I had no idea where this was going but damned if I wasn’t already enjoying the ride. “Those eggs almost done?” I dished out the biscuits, covering them with gravy and setting our places at the table as you brought your pan to the table to serve the eggs. “There’s some bacon in the microwave keeping warm.”

We sat down together, the silence much more comfortable, the tension still electric but now friendly. There was time to figure out what to do next. You seemed quite happy without needing words, although I was longing to draw you out into conversation. I wonder if you’d always be a quiet man – wait what should I use. Man, or woman or was it something else entirely. I felt a bit flummoxed – none of this was familiar. Whenever I stopped to think, I felt awash in confusion. Then I looked up and saw the way you looked at me. Whatever. Who said I couldn’t figure it out as we went along.

“Please tell me I’m not the only one in this,” I said with a hint of the desperation I was feeling. I watched you finish the bite of biscuit, your eyes holding mine.

“This is good gravy,” you said. “You’ll have to teach me to make it. Then I can serve your breakfast in bed.” Deliberately you took another bite, then a swallow of coffee. “I’ve always said a woman needs to be pampered once in a while.”

I ate slowly, going through the motions but my attention was focused on you. You were lethal – truly lethal. I bet you had women falling at your feet the second you opened your mouth. Smooth slow molasses, that’s what you were. The slight drawl, the quirk of the lips, the hint of devil in your eyes. I was ready to melt in a puddle at your feet. No wonder you didn’t speak much. You didn’t need many words to get your point across.

“I can teach you how to make gravy. It’s not hard.” I couldn’t stop the smile from sliding across my lips. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had breakfast in bed. I’ll look forward to it.” I stood and reached for your plate but you shook your head and followed me to the sink. I was impressed that you’d cleared your place. A gentleman through and through evidently. “You still need to get to Camden. Let me wash these up and then I’ll get dressed. The rain has stopped so it will be an easy drive.”

“I’ll get my things then. I’ll return these to you on Saturday,” you said as you moved toward the door.

“Saturday,” I asked over the water. “What’s on Saturday?”

“A picnic,” you said. “And a tour of the area. I’ll bring the food, you can be my guide.” The screen door shut behind you on the last words. You were already on your way to the barn, your quick confident stride eating up the distance. I caught the faint sound of a whistled tune as I headed up to my room to change. I might need to buy me a dress. Or at least some dressier jeans.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Blazer permalink
    March 8, 2010 8:48 pm

    I can not wait for the next installment! This is really great! I know I keep saying that but it’s true. Looking forward to the picnic.

  2. March 8, 2010 9:10 pm

    I am really liking this story! You have such a way with words. 🙂

    • sweetspice permalink*
      March 8, 2010 9:15 pm

      Thanks for the compliment – these two are definitely my favorite.

  3. March 9, 2010 4:23 pm

    Hm hm.. that’s interessting but to be honest i have a hard time understanding it… wonder what others have to say..

    • sweetspice permalink*
      March 10, 2010 2:26 am

      I’m trying to decide if this was an honest comment or spam. I have no problem understanding it.

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