A French Kiss in London

A French Kiss in London by Melinda De Ross Read Free Book Online

Book: A French Kiss in London by Melinda De Ross Read Free Book Online
Authors: Melinda De Ross
fascinating! I always learn new things,” she remarked, impressed by all his knowledge.
    He returned her smile and the fatigue shadows on his face seemed to dissipate slowly.
    “I could tell you a lot more interesting things tonight, at dinner.”
    She bit her lower lip involuntarily, as her heart gave a little thud of excitement. After a few moments of inner debate, she asked, “Do you like Italian food?”

Chapter Five
     
     
    Linda had learned to cook from an early age. She used to spend hours watching enthralled as Sofia—their cook—prepared sumptuous meals for the Coriola family, which back then was still intact.
    Sofia was a well-rounded woman with ever-rosy cheeks and gray hair, which she always covered with colorful scarves. When Linda had asked the woman to teach her a few simple recipes, Sofia had been delighted with the little girl’s passion for gastronomy. She’d immediately taken her under her wing, teaching her the art of becoming a domestic goddess , as she used to say. And so, in a few years, Linda—who was already in her teens—had gained the experience of a high-class chef.
    At the moment however, it seemed all her culinary knowledge had left her. She’d hired Mrs. Adams to cook for her so she could dedicate her time to sculpting and not bother with domestic stuff. Now she got the impression she’d lost her touch.
    She lined up precisely on the counter all the ingredients she needed, then sat on a chair next to Pirata, who watched the preparations curiously.
    For a few long minutes they both sat, staring at the spaghetti, spices, mushrooms, cheese and ham, all arranged in military fashion. The cat’s gaze was lustful, his nose and whiskers twitching with interest. By contrast, Linda’s gaze reflected a shadow of something resembling desperation.
    Eventually, with a deep, resigned sigh, she stood and got to work. The Spaghetti Carbonara was her favorite dish and was quite simple to prepare.
    Working efficiently, without conscious effort, carried by the rhythm that had never truly left her, she started an animated discussion with Pirata.
    “I don’t know what I was thinking, inviting him for dinner,” she told the cat, barely noticing that he’d just slid a paw on the counter to steal yet another piece of ham. “I mean, look at me.” She gesticulated with the knife she used for cutting mushrooms. “Instead of minding my business, I’m cooking for a guy. And I don’t even know if he’ll like this. As a matter of fact, I know very well why he’s coming to dinner. He’s only interested in the dessert .”
    Remembering the way he’d kissed her the night before, of how incredibly sexy he looked sitting at his desk—unshaven, his shirt nearly unbuttoned—she became aware of her own need and desperate craving for that kind of decadent dessert .
    Ignoring for a moment the fantastic way he was built, she had to admit he was a special man. Noble , that’s how she’d called him, and meant it.
    “Why do I have to complicate stuff?” she demanded again of Pirata, who was washing his paws, satiated. “I’m just going to live the moment, not sit around analyzing every little thing. Giovanni was right. Not all men are a pain in the ass. Some of them are worth the trouble, right?”
    At the end of this one-sided conversation, during which she had been moving like a robot, she was amazed to discover the meal was almost ready. She made the final touches, then consulted her watch and exclaimed in panic, “It’s a quarter to eight! Gerard has to be here at eight sharp!”
    She scrambled toward the door and ran upstairs to her bedroom, under the cat’s placid gaze.
    She quickly applied some basic makeup. After that, she pulled on a white backless dress that reached her knees, splendid in its simplicity and elegance.
    Her only jewelry was the ring she never took off and a pair of delicate pearl earrings.
    Precisely as she descended the stairs, she heard the intercom’s buzz. She pressed the

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