Ian stirred the beurre blanc sauce he'd just finished one last time.
"Giselle," he said. "Come here."
He heard the stool scrape against the floor as she pushed it back and then walked over to him. He picked up a clean spoon, dipped it into the sauce and held it up. He blew it slightly then pushed the spoon toward her lips.
Giselle smiled as she opened her mouth and wrapped her lips around the spoon.
"Mmm," she moaned. "That is...decadent."
Ian leaned forward and kissed her lips. "First course will be ready soon."
"This is just the first course?" Giselle asked as she went back to her seat and picked up the wine he'd poured for her before he started cooking.
"Of course it is."
He seasoned the scallops he'd pulled out of the industrial fridge and dredged them in a bit of flour before putting them it the hot skillet. He seared them on each side for a couple of minutes and then he placed them on their plates. He went back and got the sauce he'd made and drizzled it around and on top of the scallops. He added some chopped chives for the final touch and then carried the plates over to the island.
"Are you ready for a seafood extravaganza that will have you melting in your seat?" he asked, sitting her plate down in front of her with a flourish.
"This looks amazing."
He'd never cared about impressing a woman with his cooking before. But tonight, Ian sat on the edge of his seat, waiting as Giselle cut into the scallop covered in beurre blanc sauce. She bit into the food and her body sank further into the seat, as a look of rapture covered her face.
"Good?" he asked, with a satisfied smile, before he began eating off of his own plate.
"'Good'?" Giselle shook her head. "Ian this is amazing. I can't wait to see what the next course is."
They quickly finished and Ian took their plates and put them in the sink.
"So what's next?" Giselle asked.
"Brown butter risotto with lobster," Ian said.
He'd put the lobster tails in a pot to boil before he sat down to eat with Giselle, and now they were ready. He drained the water out and set the lobster off to the side to cool. After he put a pot of chicken stock on to boil, he turned back to the island and began quickly chopping an onion.
"It always amazes me how cooks can chop so fast like that," Giselle said.
"It's actually not that hard."
"Yeah, right," she scoffed.
"I'm serious," Ian said. "Come here, I'll show you."
Giselle went to the sink, washed her hand and after she dried them on a clean towel, went and stood next to Ian. He pulled her in front him and wrapped his arms around her body.
"First of all, a good quality knife is key."
"Of course a chef would say that," Giselle teased.
Ian playfully swatted her on her backside. "Pay attention. The date will be ruined if you chop off of a finger."
"Yes, chef," Giselle crooned. The sexy way she'd just said that had his dick stirring to life. This woman was something else.
"Pick up the knife," he ordered.
When she had it in her hand, he moved her fingers around. "Hold it like this...that's right."
He wrapped his hand around her wrist. "This is the motion in which you chop." He guided her wrist a few times and when he felt her doing it well on her own he let go.
He then took her other hand. "You'll keep your fingers curved...like this. So they stay out of the way of the knife. Your knuckles will rest against the flat part the knife. Make sure they stay parallel."
He guided her again, this time his hands on both wrists. When she seemed to have the hang of it, he placed the onion in front of her.
"Give it a shot," he said.
He watched over her shoulder as she quickly chopped the onions.
"Perfect," he said.
She sat the knife down and turned around in his arm. He was startled for a moment when he saw tears in her eyes.
"Now what is the trick to keep from crying while chopping and onion?"
He pulled the small handkerchief out of his vest pocket and dabbed the moisture from her cheek.
"Breath through your mouth, not your nose."
"I'll keep that in mind."
She went back to her seat and he started working on the risotto.
"I have to redeem myself with since you caused me to screw this dish up the last time I made it."
"Me?" Giselle asked, confused. "How did I cause you to screw it up when this is the first time you've cooked for me."
"I was cooking it for myself one night at home and was distracted."
"I see," she said, quietly.
He didn't know why he'd admitted that to her. But he felt like he could be completely open and honest around her.
"Since we're being honest," Giselle said, in a tone that made him look over his shoulder at her as he stirred the rice. "You were a distraction to me even before we met."
"I saw the video of your fight in Vegas."
Ian rolled his eyes and turned back to face the stove.
"Of course you did."
"Thomas showed it to me at lunch one day."
"Of course he did," Ian scoffed.
"Okay," Giselle said. "What is the deal between you two? Obviously you have some kind of history."
Ian turned away from the stove and sat the wooden spoon down before looking up at her.
"When we were teenagers, there was this girl–"
"Of course, it was over a girl," Giselle teased.
"Anyway," Ian continued. "She liked me, but apparently Walsh had it in his mind that she was his already. Sound familiar?"
Giselle ignored his smart remark and asked, "So what happened?"
"He called himself trying to confront me on it. Tried to get physical."
"What did you do?" Giselle asked, slightly shocked. Walsh probably never seemed like the confrontational type to her, until Ian had shown up.
"I broke the bastard's nose."
"Look now that that's out in the open, can we not discuss Walsh anymore? I really can't stand that guy."
He turned to check on the risotto. "So what did you think about the video?" he asked, curiously. He wondered if her opinion of him was any different now.
"I was strangely...turned on by it."
He looked over his shoulder again. He hadn't expected that for an answer.
"It was obvious you were defending yourself. That guy hauled off and hit you first."
"Yeah," Ian sighed. "But with good cause, I suppose."
"What's the story behind that?"
He paused from stirring the risotto and hesitated.
"No judgement here," she said, in a tone that had him wanting to tell her his entire life's story.
"It seems that I, unknowingly..." He made sure to put emphasis on that. "Slept with his wife."
"Whoa," she said.
He shook his head. "Yeah."
"Still not judging, but...how?"
"A lot of women come to Vegas looking for a spontaneous hook up."
"And you were willing to oblige."
"I was before..."
He turned when he realized she was standing directly behind him. He studied her. What was different about her? He'd been with more women than he could count. Lots of them were beautiful, or smart, or funny or great in bed.
But Giselle was all of that and more.
"Before you," he finally said, quietly.
"Before me?" she asked. "Why me?"
"That's just it!" he said, animatedly. "I have no idea. I don't understand what the fuck is going on between us. I've never experienced anything like this before."
Giselle looked down, but Ian grabbed her chin and lifted it so her eyes would meet his.
"But I do know one thing. I'm willing to explore it, see where it goes, if you are."
Giselle nodded and smiled. "I'm definitely willing."
He pulled her closer to him before wrapping his arms around her waist and lowering his mouth to hers.
Her arms slid around his neck as his tongue tangled with hers. Her own sweet flavor mixed with the savoriness of the meal.
"Ian," she moaned against his lips.
"Hmm?" he said, still kissing her.
"You're going to burn your risotto again."
He chuckled and pressed his forehead to hers for a minute and then turned back to the stove.
He wasn't about to ruin his best dish again.