I have never been one to write romance all that often –– I try to avoid corny scenes at all costs. Or rather, I used to. I don’t know whether it’s wishful thinking (that movie with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, Romancing the Stone, comes to mind), my age, the music I listen to, or for no particular reason, but I find it turning up more and more often.
And, considering that I have not shared anything from this year’s NaNoWriMo, I have decided… I will share my latest scene, which is full of cooking, garlic, and kissing. Yes, kissing. Mushy, stomach-butterfly-awakening kissing. These two will not stop, no matter how loudly I tell them to knock it off so I can keep going with the plot. Anyhow… Here we are… a scene from The Pirates of Hanuen:
Winola woke up in the middle of the night feeling a bit hungry. She wrapped herself in her cloak and started to open her door, but it bumped against something, and she heard a muffled “Ah!” On closer examination, she found that Benedict had been sleeping leaned against the door. He stood and rubbed his eyes.
“What are you doing?” she wondered.
“Keeping you safe.” he yawned.
“By sleeping in the hall?”
“Yes, by sleeping in the hall. No, I was making sure no one slipped past the guards.” he said.
“Right.” she said, “And what about me?”
“What about you?”
“What if I need something in the middle of the night?”
“I’ll come with you.” he offered.
“Fair enough. Mind a walk to the kitchen?”
“I will walk with you.”
“Good.” They did indeed make their way towards the kitchen. Winola set to work, taking a loaf of bread and cutting a few slices, “Want some?”
His stomach grumbled, “Well, I won’t say no to a princess.” he answered, grinning.
“Hold on. I’ll show you how to make my favorite midnight snack.”
“You do this often?”
“I’m a growing girl.” she answered, taking a wedge of cheese and cutting several slices. She then buttered the bread, added a daub of olive oil to each slice, and set to work mincing a clove of garlic. When it was cut, she added some to each piece of bread, then sprinkled dried parsley over that. At last, she set cheese on two of the four slices of bread, along with a few strips of bacon, then flipped the other two slices over them, making a sandwich. Benedict was about to reach for one of them, but she stopped him, “Hold on.” she said, “They’re not finished yet.”
“Apologies.” he said, “Continue.”
She smirked, then found a flat pan and set the sandwiches on it. She eased the flat pan on top of the coals, letting the sandwiches get nice and toasty on one side. When it was browned to her liking, she flipped them with a metal spatula, waiting for the cheese to melt and start dribbling over the side. At last, they were ready. She set them on one plate, knowing they wouldn’t last long enough to need two plates.
“Wait for it to cool a bit.” she said.
“Aye.” he replied, “Wouldn’t want to burn my mouth, now, would I?”
“No, you wouldn’t.” she answered, looking him in the face. She noted that it was a very handsome face, stepping closer without realizing it. He took a step forward as well, leaning towards her. Without thinking about it, she stood on her toes, and he was suddenly kissing her, his arm around her, pressing her closer.
He paused, and she drew away, breathless. He seemed just as surprised as she.
“What… just happened?” Benedict wondered.
“We… uh… kissed.” she replied, her face turning red. Come to think of it, he was blushing as well –– though probably not as much as her. She even felt her ears heating up, “Still hungry?”
He coughed politely, “Starving.”
“That I will.” he said, but he was still looking at her in wonder.
It was her turn to cough politely, “Well, they’re going to get cold.” She reached for one and bit into it, “Mmmmm… Really, you need to try this.”
He finally took the other sandwich and ate his first bite, seeming to contemplate the flavor as he chewed on it. He paused mid-chew, then dug in for another bite, eating as voraciously as a starving lion. Within minutes, the sandwich was gone, and he licked his fingers clean.
“Oh, that was good.”
She chuckled as she took another bite of her own sandwich, “Told you it’s my favorite.”
He held up a hand, “It might actually replace my favorite, but I’ll let you be the judge.”
“Hang on, let me find…” he trailed off, hunting the kitchen for ingredients. After much foraging, he returned with a bowl of what appeared to be a salad.
“A salad?” she queried.
“Yes, a salad.” He separated it into two bowls, “I won’t tell you what’s in it, though.”
She took one bite, chewed on it, swallowed, then dug in to finish off the rest within a few short minutes. It was amazing. She sighed happily. Benedict’s salad was already gone. She caught his gaze again.
“That was delicious.”
He smiled, taking her bowl and looking away only for a second to set it down.
“We should… clean this up…” she trailed off, distracted by his eyes. Benedict barely hesitated, but leaned in for another kiss. It was longer than the first, and she pulled away from it feeling slightly dizzy before throwing her arms around him and diving in for another kiss. After some time, he pulled himself apart from her, both of them bearing sheepish expressions.
They took their time cleaning up, then he brought her back to her chambers, remaining outside the door as she climbed back into her bed. She fell asleep with butterflies in her stomach and a warm sense of security washing over her.
On a sidenote, I really want to try that sandwich….