The house felt colder than usual at this time of year as I found myself alone for the weekend. The boys were at their friends’ houses and Mr Divine had been called away on business, a late night at the office that had turned into a long haul excursion when an overseas client had called into town.
With the promise of making it up to me, my husband had left me to my own devices. The romantic dinner I had planned to prepare for us looked a little sad on the kitchen side, while one of the bottles of wine I had bought in seemed far more appealing.
It was that first sip of the bright, crisp white wine in my glass that planted the seed of an idea in my head; perhaps my dinner plans wouldn’t have to go to waste after all.
My invitation to Sophia was innocent, not that it really mattered if there was another meaning behind it; my husband had made it clear that Sophia and I could embark on something a little more than friendship.
When I called her I felt the familiar kaleidoscope of butterflies fluttering in my stomach, although a few more sips of wine softened their wings.
“Dinner?” Sophia repeated my offer, as if trying to suss out any hidden meaning within my words.
“I thought I might put some of our cookery knowledge to good use.” I replied breezily to hide my anxiousness. I willed her to say yes, and perhaps she read my mind as she agreed to come over the following evening.
That morning I rose early to primp and preen myself, putting on the same summer I dress I wore on the final day of our culinary weekend, wondering if she would remember.
I began prepping our meal in the early afternoon, when there was a knock at the door. Still wearing my apron, I answered the door and was surprised and slightly embarrassed to see Sophia standing there. She was wearing a sophisticated woollen coat that revealed her equine legs, suitably stockinged for the weather.
“Sorry I’m a little early… I thought I could help you prep.” She sheepishly pulled a bottle of wine from her bag. “I thought this might help, too.”
In the kitchen, I apologised for my appearance as she took off her coat, revealing a figure hugging wrap dress.
“Nonsense, you look beautiful.” She smiled, then flushed slightly. “I must admit I was getting a little fidgety at home… I’m really glad to be here.”
“I’m glad you are.” I said, sincerely as I poured us each a drink. We clinked glasses and both took a quiet sip, giggling in acknowledgement of the atmosphere of nerves and excitement.
“How can I help?” Sophia asked, her heels tapping delicately against the kitchen tiles as she came to stand closer to me.
It felt just like it did on our weekend away, Sophia and I making a good team in the kitchen, only this time our bodies flowed together with ease. While the actions were still arguably flirtatious, it didn’t feel unnatural to feed her morsels to taste or to slip strands of her golden hair behind her ear while doing so.
The wine flowed with ease, as did our conversation, and it felt wonderful to share laughs together, to simply be with her in this intimate setting.
When the food was ready I asked Sophia to lay the table, and instead of setting our places opposite each other, she paired them on one of the corners on the kitchen table, which made me smile as I realised that she, too, was enjoying our intimacy.
I placed the food on the table so we could help ourselves, and ensured that our glasses were filled. Just before sitting I realised to my dismay that I was still wearing my dowdy kitchen apron, which I quickly shrugged it off and put it on the counter. Sophia smiled broadly as I joined her.
“I like you in that dress.” She said, “You look exquisite in it, just as you did in the moonlight.” I felt my cheeks flush with warmth, stroking the bowl of my wine glass with a lazy thumb as I watched her help herself to food.
Towards the end of our meal, Sophia’s hand snaked across to mine on the table and our fingers entwined, the tip of her thumb gently caressing the skin of my hand.
“I’ve had a wonderful night.” She smiled, looking up at me through her heavy eyelashes.
“Me too.” I said quietly, and just like the night of the wine tasting we found ourselves leaning in closer and closer, only this time I didn’t pull away.
Her plump bottom lip caressed mine, and I felt a shiver up the back of my neck as we kissed. She was as soft as I had imagined, but she kissed me back with ardent fervour that was firm. I leaned in closer to her, our knees gently touching under the table, enhancing the intimacy of our embrace. She delicately combed her fingers through my hair, pulling my face closer to her own eagerly as our tongues engaged in a gentle dance of warmth and passion.
Her free hand grasped my knee, and as our kiss became more intense, her fingers gently eased their way up my thigh. I felt that familiar fire ignite within me, but my skin tingled through nerves and the unfamiliarity of her touch.
My fingers came to her wandering hand, and I gently stopped her exploring any higher; I didn’t want to rush things, I wanted to savour them, to appreciate them fully.
We broke away gently, of hair cascading down our faces, framing us in a perfect intimacy.
“What a perfect end to a perfect evening.” I said quietly, hoping not to disappoint Sophia.
“Yes, Jo. It’s been wonderful.” She pulled back slightly, slipping my hair behind my ear with delicate fingers. “Perhaps next time we could have dinner at mine?”
I smiled softly, “It’s a date.”