This post is part of the June 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, the prompt is “Bugs.” Incidentally, this is also a continuation/play on my response to the April Fool’s prompt, which makes it “Heather & the French Chef Part 2”.
By the the way, my French is very rusty– French gurus: kindly leave corrections in the comments section.
Pierre’s loud and uncharacteristically high-pitched voice echoed through the apartment. “Heather, come to the kitchen. I need your help.”
“Umm…Hmm…” Heather replied as she swiped the screen on her ebook reader and loaded the next page. The Alpha of the Prairie Wolves Clan was undoing the laces on Lily the Werewolf Hunter’s leather vest. His lips were creating a path of hot wet kisses down the column of her neck. Whatever Heather’s real life alpha-male needed help with, it could wait.
“Woman. Get your butt in here right now.”
“Uh huh. Yes, I’m listening.”
Lily felt the alpha’s hands against her naked breasts. Her top as now a tattered pile of leather and cloth. The alpha’s lips moved lower. Lily’s back arched as she–
Heather’s ears pricked. She heard what sounded like a yelp followed by a series of crashes. “Merde! Heather. Viens-tu ici! Maintenant! Vite!”
She shrugged. What Pierre said was pretty much gibberish as far as she was concerned. He should know better than to talk to her in a language she didn’t understand. Besides, things were just heating up.
Lily’s back arched as she raked her nails down the alpha’s back. His body was all smooth skin and corded muscle. He made a growling sound as his hand closed over her–
“Stop reading, woman! If you don’t, you will never get a single piece of cake from me for as long as I live.”
Heather lowered the ebook reader and whipped her head around to face the kitchen. Her favorite chef and roommate was scampering onto the stove-side counter. His face was deathly white. He wore a horrified expression. There was a skillet in his hand that looked as if it were being aimed at the floor. It wasn’t exactly a macho or sexy pose, but the sight still made her heart skip a beat.
A sheen of sweat covered Pierre’s forehead. His curly black hair was plastered against the sides of his face. His pristine white T-shirt fit him snugly. It accentuated the breadth of his chest and shoulders. The Alpha Werewolf in her book might be hot, but this man was real and all hers.
That said, he knew better than to interrupt her while she read. “Can I help you?”
He launched the skillet straight at the floor. It made a loud crashing sound. A spatula was in his hand a moment later. “Yes, you can help me. You left the sugar canister open.” He visibly cringed. “Get over here and deal with the results.”
She rolled her eyes and trudged over to their kitchen. The white linoleum floor was covered in sugar granules and countless black ants. She wasn’t exactly a huge fan of bugs, and the sight made her take a long step back. “Eeew. You deal with it. That’s gross.”
She cast a quizzical glance at the man whose back was pressed up against the cabinets. His bare feet were in the air, and he looked like he was about to have a panic attack. He wasn’t exactly lean, and the counter had seen better days. Not only did he look ridiculous, there was also a good chance she’d have to get the kitchen remodeled if she didn’t talk him off the ledge quickly. “I’m guessing you’re not a huge fan of bugs either.”
She hadn’t thought it possible, but Pierre’s face whitened by a few shades. “Ants are the most disgusting creatures on this planet. This is all your fault. You left the sugar out on the counter. Now, get them away from me.”
She vaguely recalled dumping a couple of spoonfuls of sugar in her tea before heading over to the sofa to read. It felt as if that happened only a few minutes ago, but, judging from the ant infestation, in must have been hours. Her expression turned guilty. She didn’t remember screwing on the canister’s lid.
Heather looked at the floor. The sight of all those black ants sent a shiver down her spine. “I think we should handle this as a team.”
“Non. Pas possible. I am not going near–,” he pointed at pile of bugs with his spatula, “that.”
Pierre only interspersed French into statements when he was genuinely upset. Heather looked down and squared her shoulders. She guessed some sacrifices were required in order to keep her favorite chef from breaking her kitchen counter.
She rolled up her sleeves and went in search of a broom and dust pan. Once she scooped up every last ant, she rose to dump the contents in the sink.
Pierre, very literally, screeched. “Arrete! What do you think you are doing?”
Heather frowned. “Getting rid of the ants. Once they’re in there, all I need to do is turn on the tap and wash them down the drain.”
“No, you are not. They are not going down my sink.” The man somehow managed to look formiddable while on the verge of having a nervous breakdown.
She would have patted his knee, but she was holding a dustpan full of ants in one hand and a broom in the other. “Technically, it’s my sink, but I’ll let the comment pass. Can I flush them down the toilet?”
He shuddered. His expression could only be described as pleading. “Dieu, non! Take them out to the dumpster.”
It suddenly occured to Heather that she could milk this situation for all it was worth. “What do I get?”
His deep blue gaze narrowed. “You’re blackmailing me?”
On purpose, she moved the dust pan an inch closer to his face. He yelped. “No, I’m just mentioning, very generally, that I could use a back rub. I did a lot of bouncing last night, if you don’t recall.”
He lifted a dark eyebrow. “I also recall you very much enjoyed this bouncing.”
Heather shrugged. “That’s besides the point. Now, do you want these bugs out of here or not?”
He scowled. “Fine. Back rub. 30 minutes. Please take those things and leave.”
She looked down at her feet. She’d been doing a lot more standing than she expected today. And there was, of course, that walk to the trash shoot. When she lifted her head, the follow-up request must have been written all over her face.
“Yes. Foot rub too. But that’s it. Remember, the ants would not be here if it weren’t for you.”
He had a good point. She tossed the broom in his direction, and, with a swish of her hips, Heather sauntered out the door.
When she returned, it was to find a stern-looking Pierre in the kitchen. His arms were folded, and the spatula was still in his hand. But the glimmer of amusement in his gaze made her breathe easy. “We should talk. You have been a very naughty girl.”
Heather sashayed over and stopped less than an inch away from him. He smelled like aftershave and cookie dough. He also happened to look good enough to eat. “Really? How naughty was I?”
The corners of his lips shook. It was a clear indication he was suppressing a smile. “As naughty as can be. How many times have I told you the kitchen rules. This country,” his nose scrunched up in disgust, “is full of vile insects all trying to enter our house. We must work together to keep them out.”
Heather batted her eyelashes. “Must we? I thought we had a nice division of labor. I make a mess–you clean it up.”
He snorted. “I do not know how I agreed to such an insane arrangement, but yes. However, you offered to give me certain services in exchange. It’s been a while since I’ve received my due.”
Her eyebrows rose. “What do you call last night?”
Pierre’s eyes smoldered. Her payment had been on the acrobatic side. He had expressed his satisfaction using a number of colorful French phrases. She hadn’t understood them at the time, but he offered translation later. “That was in exchange for the creme brulee. I also recall doing all the dish-washing and cleaning.”
Heather pouted. “You don’t let me cook or do the dishes.”
“The last time you did, nothing was edible and very few dishes survived.” He chuckled. “Now, where were we? Yes, I’m afraid I’m going to have to punish you for breaking the kitchen rules.”
She heaved a dramatic sigh. “Can’t we cancel the back rub and call it even?”
He turned her around and closed his hands over her shoulders. His thumbs drew concentric circles just above her shoulder blades. With a satisfied purr, Heather leaned against him and let her eyes roll into the back of her head. The man knew how to use his fingers–in more ways than one.
He leaned down and murmured against her ear. “Do you still want an entire thirty minutes of this?”
Answering would take too much energy. “Umm…hmm.”
“In that case,” he pressed his lips to the back of her neck, “you should figure out a better way for me to punish you.”
Heather’s toes curled. “I have a few ideas.”
Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:
Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Diem_Allen – http://mindovermistakes.blogspot.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
articshark – http://www.drslaten.com/blog (link to post)
Lady Cat – http://randomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.ca (link to post)
U2Girl – http://ancatdubh.org (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (ME)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
robynmackenzie – http://iwanttobeawesomewhenigrowup.com/ (link to post)
Sunwords – http://susannedoering.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
susanielson – http://somesemblancethereof.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
HistorySleuth – http://historysleuth.blogspot.com (link to post)
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
xcomplex – http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
milkweed – http://www.thistlequill.blogspot.com/ (link to post)