The words over at Three Word Wednesday are hint, lust and sheen.
When, exactly, had it come to this?
She dug the heel of her rubber-coated boot into the spongy earth, trying to remember the last time they’d had sex. The last time he’d run a calloused-covered hand across the smooth skin of her ass, or even touched her hair in a haphazard moment of lust.
Her eyes compress into a squint, hazing out the early morning light, trying to focus.
He was out there, in the heated cab of a tractor, Willy Nelson blazing from the cassette deck he installed. She’d suggested a CD player instead, but he huffed it off as usual, scratched an itch on his shoulder and tottered off bow-legged, which once she found incredibly sexy, when she was still in high school and he was already working his father’s land in Wranglers and pearl snap-buttoned shirts.
Now it was greasy overalls, a well-worn Carhartt jacket and a John Deere hat, which the sun had robbed of its colors, making it a sorry mish-mash of sage and piss-yellow.
A heavy sigh comes out as a cloud of condensation, and she rolls her hair across the collar of her jeans jacket and begins to think about tonight’s menu.
A hint of a smile appears on her lips, carefully lined and glossed with the latest designer color for spring.
Knowing he’ll want burgers torched to well-done hockey pucks on the propane grill, or maybe those horrid egg rolls from the café that doubles as a bowling alley in their tired Nebraska farm town, she runs down the list of ingredients of her fridge and settles on seared scallops with roast tomatoes.
Just thinking about it touches off a warm wetness in her Agent Provocateur tanga shorts.
The first time it happened, she was preparing a seasoned pork roast with mushroom sauce - a near orgasm as she took her first bite in the kitchen and well before calling her husband up from the basement, knowing he’d seat himself at the head of the table, greasy cap still on, and a Gatorade bottle half-filled with spit from his copious Copenhagen chews.
Every night since, she’d committed herself to fulfillment, one dish at a time.
But with everything else in her life, each new menu idea brought with it a little less thrill. She longed for one meal, that one menu, which would deliver unto her a full-on, call-out-Christ’s-name orgasm that had so long ago escaped her life.
And she wasn’t even 40 yet.
The heat of the kitchen washes over her, as a pot of salted water nears a boil on the Viking six-burner stove she’d insisted on during the last remodel of his grandparent’s farmhouse, the one that was rebuilt next to the homestead location, a one-room sodie cast out of bricks cut from the prairie. The cherry tomatoes were washed, sliced and roasted, the pasta rolled and sitting on waxed paper ready to boil. She put her grandmother’s cast-iron skillet to the heat of the blue gas flame and pats dry the scallops and applies just a hint of fresh-ground sea salt and Malabar black pepper.
She drops the pasta into the boiling water, plunges the scallops onto the blackened iron and listens for a sizzle – in the pan and in her tight, tense body.
Alas, there’s just the warm wetness again – which she’s grateful for, don’t get her wrong – as she takes the first forkful. She removes the apron from around her waist, smoothes out the skirt he’ll never notice, and pinches her nipples – she wears no bra – through the silk blouse and calls to her husband that dinner is ready.
There’s a smear of sheep shit painted across the main chest pocket of his overalls; he’s come up without his hat and she studies the liver spots on his nearly bald pate, the whiteness of the hair left above his scarred up ears.
“Seared scallops with roast tomatoes over fresh pasta. I’ve grated some Parmesan cheese, too.”
“Scallop? Like a goddamn clam or something?”
“It’s a shellfish, yes.”
And the meal commences and ends without conversation.
Alone in her queen-sized bed, under an Amy Butler quilt set, she shines a penlight at the cookbooks that litter the bed, open at various spots, hoping for inspiration. She runs a finger across Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” knowing perhaps that it’s the one book where she’ll find her sweet release.
And there it is, Julia’s recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon, so simple and enticing, which she decides to pair with Child’s chocolate and almond cake with chocolate-butter crème icing. Classic, beefy, chocolate-infused.
Pulling back the covers, she adjusts the corset and garters she’s selected for the evening and slinks past the door to her husband’s room, hears the buzz-saw snores coming from his chapped and tobacco-stained lips and tip-toes down to the pantry to take stock. She goes further into the basement, into the root cellar where she’s canned all of last season’s vegetables, and goes to the wine cellar she’s made him construct out of oak slats. With the penlight, she scans the dust-covered bottles and finds the bottle of Beaujolais she’s laid there on her last trip to Omaha to stock up on all things civil and needed.
Bottle in hand, she runs two fingers across the sheer silk of her panties and shudders in anticipation.
Dawn spreads its colors across a gray landscape, and she watches from the window as he walks cockeyed toward the new shed he had built, the one that holds not only the farm’s implements, but the snowmobiles and the expensive tractor he had specially-built for pulls (he was last season’s points leader, despite being well into his 60s and supposedly past his prime, but fuck those young kids and their tattoos and their attitudes).
Bathing in an ancient claw-foot tub, the water milky-white from the imported and scented sea salts, she runs the recipe over and over in her mind. She’s nearly committed it to memory, the added weight to her brain a gift, she thinks, and plans out the entire day.
There would be the one interruption, he’d come home wanting lunch at noon, and she decides to play with his taste buds by giving him fried bologna sandwiches on farmers bread she’d bake fresh this morning, in addition to the meal that would take her most of the day to complete.
Out of a cedar-lined cabinet (he is good with some of his tools, she thinks), she selects a Agent Provocateur Fifi slip and a matching black silk tie-side panty ($450 and $90 respectively over the Internet, delivered in discrete brown wrappers far from small-town prying eyes), which she covers with a simple sun dress in bright oranges and reds.
She preps the vegetables, slowly washing the carrots across cupped fingers, chopping the bacon into exact lardoons from a non-lactating sow they’ve butchered from last year, and sets her coveted red-enameled fireproof casserole on the Viking’s main burner.
Everything is as it should be.
Knives sharpened, she works the carrots, the celery and onion into a fine Mirepoix and sweats the bacon over medium heat. She dries the hunks of beef on cotton towels, adds them to the smoking bacon fat, watches the sizzle as it hits her skin. She works the beef in batches, not crowding the pan to ruin the taste.
Everything seared and sautéed, she returns the casserole to the flame, tosses the vegetables, arranges the next steps. Carefully arranging the casserole, she sprinkles the mess with flour, sets the oven to 400 degrees (turning it down to 325 as directed) and stirs in the entire bottle of wine (save for one small glass which she sips) and brings to a boil over her gas-powered flame.
She slides the casserole into the oven, and switches her attentions to the granite countertop, where the cake ingredients have been laid out, like soldiers on the field of battle.
The cake pans get a coating of butter and flour, coffee and rum begin to heat on the stove. Her mother’s Kitchen Aide comes to life, creaming soft French butter with real cane sugar and farm eggs (room temperature) that have been separated whites to yoke for various uses.
Pans filled, she slides them into her auxiliary oven (who doesn’t need two ovens, really) and checks Hubs progress as he tills the black earth for this year’s corn and soybean crops.
Lunch is a quiet affair. He’s in-and-out in a flash, saying he likes the way the kitchen smells, and she leans into the counter, knees slightly weak as the moment hits her.
This could be it.
Please God, please let it be it.
The cake comes out first, and she cools each layer on wire racks, moving toward finishing the chocolate butter crème frosting, which comes out silky smooth, delicious. Using a long-handled pastry knife, she carefully spreads the cake with sumptuous layers of frosting, leaving the fancy decorations to the food photographers.
This is a meal worthy of her dreams, desires.
The cake rests on a crystal pedestal, dark and rich. The Viking dings, and she rushes with towels to open the oven, lifts the heavy casserole to a burner, opens the lid. The room gets warmer, she thinks, as the heat of the heavy pan mixes with the chocolate, the butter.
The wetness stirs in her; a sheen of sweat appears across her brow. Her heart palpitates, beats ever so faster.
She reaches in with her tasting spoon, stirs the rich beef liquor and takes a taste.
The orgasm rocks her to her bones; a seismic eruption of heat and wetness that radiates through her person, exiting her toes her, fingertips.
Dropping the spoon, she grips the granite countertop and rocks her hips in mock sex, bucking against copper drawer pulls as her orgasm reaches its peak.
And all at once, everything goes white-hot, silent.
She awakens on the floor, crumpled where she fell, legs bent at hurtful angles. She rises to the counter, breathes deep, takes in the scent of the Boeuf Bourguignon, the chocolate and almond.
The scene sets off another round of shaking orgasms, setting her back arching and her nipples on fire.
A cascade of hot, sticky cum-filled moments pervade the kitchen as she tastes the beef stew once again.
She’s panting now, spooning the stew in to serving dishes.
On a whim, she sticks two fingers deep into the cake up to her third knuckle, extracts them and sticks them into her mouth, sucking greedily.
Taking a pastry knife, she smooths over the punctures, and satisfied with the results, brings her hands to her back and unties the apron that’s snug around her hips. She looks at the wet spot that’s seeped through the silk, spread through the fabric of the dress and smiles, deceitful.
She knows she should run and change her soaked panties, the coolness beginning to take hold from her knees to her thighs, but she declines.
Let him smell her sex, she decides, through nasal passages clogged with sheep shit and dark, rich soil.
She feels her hips, her thighs, her ass through the fabric, breaths deep, picks up the serving bowls.
And with tears streaming down her cheeks, announces:
“Honey, dinner’s ready.”
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