“I never knew you could cook so well!” I muse at him with a mouthful of spaghetti and my eyes full of wonder. I can feel the warm chilli-infused sauce trickling down my chin but before I can wipe it off, he leans over his plate towards me and rubs it off gently with his napkin, holding my gaze all the while. I can feel my cheeks blushing, tingling even, from this small gesture. My tongue is burning and my mouth seems to go numb, but I can’t figure out whether it’s the chilli or my body’s reaction to this hot specimen before me. He winks at me again and I fall into oblivion, clutching the table with my hand as I peer down at my shaking fingers, trying to keep my mind off the inevitable.
I excuse myself and go to the bathroom. Closing the door quietly behind me, I lean back against its wooden frame in pure delight, agony, confusion. Part of me wants to scream with excitement, to share the feelings bottling up inside me. I notice that my chest is thumping uncontrollably and my head is spinning in giddy circles. Take a hold of yourself Anna, I tell myself, but it’s too late. I have fallen under the Frenchman’s charm and he has wholeheartedly arrested my desires. It is clearer now than ever before that I have become his captive.
I wander back into the kitchen to see that he has cleared away the plates and dishes and it looks like the untouched, glowing creation which first struck me. How long have I been gone? My giddiness has removed all sense of time and space and I scowl at my inability to remain calm, pinching my arm to assure myself I’m not just dreaming. The red mark and lingering pain proves that I am not. I feel a soft hand on my waist and my sanity hisses with anticipation. “I’ve got something for you” he whispers. I nod my head robotically, caught under his spell.