tagRomanceRecipe for Love

Recipe for Love

bydeepemerald©

When other teenage girls were busy worrying about boys and dating I was at home taking care of my parents. When my old classmates went off to college, I had to put off my education as my dad had just passed away and mom was not able to take care of herself as she was blind and going deaf, and in very bad health. By the time I was 20 I was all alone.

My parents weren't my real parents. They were actually my grandparents. They'd been in their late 30s when they had my biological mother -- their only child. She got pregnant when she was 17. She refused to say who the father was and a week after giving birth to me she slipped away in the night and was not heard from again. When I was 5 my parents got a call from a hospital in a town they'd never heard of. Their daughter had been working the streets as a prostitute and died from a drug overdose.

They'd hoped that she'd come back and get me one day, and after she died they started looking for my dad. They talked to all of her old school friends, but nobody knew of her having had a boyfriend. With my distinctive colouring -- fiery red hair and emerald green eyes -- it was obvious that I must take after my biological dad (our family was of Scandinavian ancestry and all family photos showed blonde people), but even with that knowledge, it was impossible to find anyone who could possibly have fathered me.

I didn't have to worry about money, my parents had been quite well off, but with no family left and having spent my teenage years caring for mom and dad, I didn't really have anyone to turn to when they'd passed away. There were no friends who could stop me from isolating myself. Perhaps it wasn't a surprise that I decided to sell the old Victorian mansion I grew up in and move to a new house in a new town.

I decided against going to college. My inheritance and the money I made from selling the old house were enough for me to spend the rest of my life without any money worries, provided I wasn't careless. I decided to find something that I enjoyed, that paid the few bills I had, and that gave me the chance to figure out what to do with my life, maybe even find a man to marry and have that perfect TV-family that I'd watched with envy as a child.

I tried lots of jobs in the first year. I worked at a day care centre, I worked as a hotel receptionist, I was a filing clerk, and I even tried being a secretary. None of those jobs really appealed to me though. I got bored quickly and moved on to the next thing. That's when Ralph's and my paths crossed.

Ralph was 10 years older than me and the local veterinarian. I liked him the moment I saw him. He was a tall and muscular man with very intelligent eyes and a wild brown mop of hair on his head, making me think of a nutty professor. And that wasn't very far from the truth. He was incredibly smart with an immense passion for animal welfare, but he was quite awkward around people and the most absent-minded person I'd ever met. He'd hired me to do all sorts of tasks for him, everything from answering the phone, to making appointments to typing letters.

There were only the two of us working at the clinic. Every so often he needed the help of a veterinarian nurse and then the nurse who worked with a colleague of his in the next town would come and help, but the rest of the time it was just Ralph and me. I found that I liked it that way. I was so used to being alone that I'd found the other places where I'd worked far too busy and chatty. Ralph, on the other hand, had found it hard to keep assistants as it was such a lonely job and he was a very demanding boss. I didn't mind working hard though and we soon got into a routine that suited us both.

I'd worked for Ralph for half a year when we were hit by the worst blizzard in living memory. At the end of the day when I went to drive home I could hardly open the door and my car was covered in inches of snow.

"I don't think you're going anywhere tonight, Heather," Ralph remarked from behind me. "Why don't you stay in my spare room?"

Ralph lived in an apartment above the clinic so we headed up the stairs. He told me to get comfortable so I kicked off my shoes and curled up on the sofa with a book about veterinary medicine that I was slowly working my way through. Ralph disappeared into his office and closed the door behind him. His dog had followed him into the office, but the cat curled up with me.

I'd been up in the apartment to make cups of coffee and tea before so I knew my way around the kitchen. After an hour I felt like a cup of tea and knocked on Ralph's door and asked him if he'd like one. I heard a yes from behind the door. As the water was boiling I looked around the kitchen to see what there was to eat. It was obvious that Ralph was living a typical bachelor existence as there wasn't much in the cupboards to cook with. I did find enough to make an omelette though and I could feel myself getting hungry. As I entered Ralph's office to give him his tea, I asked if it was OK for me to make an omelette.

"Oh... yes... of course," he said, looking slightly confused about the concept of cooking. "I'm sorry, I'm not a very good host. Of course you must be hungry. Do I have anything edible in the fridge?"

"There's plenty for me to make an omelette with," I said with a smile. "I can make one for you too."

"Oh, I don't want to put you to any trouble. Really, I'll just call for a pizza. Can I get you a pizza too?"

I suppressed a smile. "Have you looked outside? There won't be any pizza deliveries tonight. Please let me make you an omelette."

"That's right. The blizzard. I forgot. An omelette, you say? That sounds marvellous."

I went back to the kitchen and rummaged around for some pots and pans. Ralph joined me and watched with fascination when I made the omelettes. It was as though the thought of someone actually using his kitchen to cook was a novel idea to him, one that required investigating. We soon tucked into our food and Ralph smiled at me.

"This is fantastic, Heather," he complimented me. "I haven't had home cooked food since the last time I visited my parents. Mom despairs at me since I've never taken the time to learn to cook. It's not that I'm not interested, there's just so much else to learn, I never seem to have the time."

After our meal he helped me make the bed in the spare bedroom and then he gave me one of his t-shirts to use as a nightshirt. He also managed to find an unused toothbrush for me as well as some toiletries that his sister had left behind the last time she came to stay. We said goodnight and I went to bed with my book. I could still hear Ralph tapping on the keyboard in the office next to my bedroom an hour later when I switched off the lights to go to sleep.

It was pitch black when I woke up. It took me a few moments to remember where I was and then I realised that I needed to go to the toilet. I tried to go as quietly as possible, and I cringed when I remembered how loud the flush was. I cleaned my hands and opened the door and walked straight into Ralph's chest. He obviously slept in only pyjama bottoms as his broad chest was naked in the night and I noticed that it was covered in brown curls. Only his hands on my arms stopped me from falling backwards when I ran into him.

"Heather!" he exclaimed, confused at first. "Oh, the blizzard. That's right, you're staying the night."

"Uh... uhm... yeah, that's right," I stuttered, disconcerted with the feeling of being so close to him. For the first time I saw him as a man, not just the charmingly confused doctor. His surprising masculinity had an effect on me that I'd never really felt before. His hands were still holding my arms tight and I could feel my nipples stiffen against his chest and an unfamiliar tingle between my thighs.

It felt like an eternity that we stood together in the darkness, with the heat of his body spreading into mine like wildfire. His blue eyes looked dark and menacing and just as I thought he was going to lean forward to kiss me, and I knew I'd not only return the kiss but follow his lead to do anything else he wanted, he seemed to wake up and realise that it was not the sophisticated woman of his dream in his arms. It was just me, his young assistant.

"Well," he cleared his throat and let go of my arms. "Everything's alright here then. Better get back to sleep. We have a busy day tomorrow."

With those words he turned around and walked back to his bedroom and closed the door behind him. I slowly walked back to mine, but it took me forever to get back to sleep. What had happened between us out there? All of a sudden Ralph wasn't Dr Jones, my charming but very professional employer. Now he was Ralph, a man that I desired more than any man I'd ever known. All of a sudden my virginity seemed to hang over me like a curse. A more experienced woman would've known what to do just before. I'd seen Ralph with a few women before, and even though he didn't have a steady girlfriend I knew that he dated occasionally and was considered a very good catch locally. He obviously wouldn't think twice of a silly little virgin when he was used to much more experienced women.

After that day our relationship seemed to change. I was sure it was all in my head, but I couldn't help it. It was difficult to be as at ease with Ralph as I'd been before the blizzard when all I could think of was being pressed against his chest and held in his arms. I wanted desperately for him to see me as a woman, but knew within me that he wouldn't.

Two weeks after the blizzard Ralph's parents came to visit. I fell in love with them immediately. They were the kind of parents I'd seen on TV when I was little and secretly wished I'd had. Ralph's dad was a recently retired dentist and his mom had been a teacher before having children and then again for a while before spending the last 10 years before retirement managing the dental clinic. I immediately saw that Ralph got his looks and his ways from his father. It was wonderful to see how handsome Ralph would be when he got older, but also painful as I knew that he'd be growing old with some other woman. His mom was very down to earth and practical. She complimented me on how I was running the clinic and for putting up with her son as an employer. She then told Ralph to give me a raise to make sure he didn't lose me. Little did she know that I would work for him for free just to be near him. The day before they left she called me and Ralph up for lunch.

"Heather," she turned to me when we'd finished our meal. "I hear that you're a good cook."

"I'm OK," I replied. "My mom was old-fashioned and insisted that I learn all the traditional dishes. My tastes are more modern so I like to experiment a little."

"Ralph told us about the gourmet dinner you fixed from nothing during the blizzard."

"It was only omelettes!" I laughed.

"Well, Ralph is 32 years old and it's about time he learns to cook," said his mother and I could see Ralph rolling his eyes at her. "He'll never get around to doing it himself, so I was wondering if you'd be willing to teach him. We'll pay you the going rate for a private teacher if you'll stay after work one day a week to teach him. Nothing fancy, just the basics. What do you think?"

What did I think? Here was a chance to spend time with the man I'd fallen in love with. Some time to get to know him as a man, not just as my employer.

"I'd love to do it," I replied and smiled from Ralph's mom to Ralph. "But only on one condition."

"What's that?" Ralph asked.

"I don't want to be paid."

"But we have to pay you," his mom protested. "We can't expect a young woman like you to give up your time like that for nothing."

"It won't be for nothing," I was adamant. "I'll stay and eat the food so I'll get dinner, and besides, friends don't charge friends."

"Friends?" Ralph looked puzzled.

"Yes, I'll do this as your friend, not as your employee. Take it or leave it."

"It's a deal," he smiled at me and for a moment I wished there was only him and me in that room.

"On one condition," Ralph's mom broke the magic. "If Heather's going to do this without pay, then you will do the grocery shopping!"

I chuckled to myself as I drove home. Ralph's mother treated him like a teenager, but he never once told her off or was rude to her. It was obvious that he adored her. I was hit by a bit of jealousy. I wanted a mom who worried about me like that. And I wanted Ralph to adore me...

The following Wednesday was the time for our first cookery lesson. I'd given Ralph a list to take to the shop the previous day and I was looking forward to our first lesson with nervous anticipation as we closed the clinic for the day. I walked up to the apartment and started examining contents of the fridge and cupboards. I'd decided to start easy with a simple spaghetti Bolognese. Soon I had Ralph slowly chopping onions and grating carrots for the sauce. He was slow, but meticulous and I soon realised that he would make a very good cook if he cared to learn properly. The food was very tasty and I stayed to do the dishes with him. This was more relaxed than the cooking and his arm kept touching mine as he handed me things to dry. But he hardly looked twice at me.

The next couple of months followed the same pattern. Ralph cooked under my supervision once a week, then we ate and then we did the dishes together. It was pure torture to me. As it got warmer and we both wore short sleeves it felt like electric shocks every time our skin touched. But it was only Wednesdays when we had that personal contact. The rest of the week it was as though he was avoiding me like the plague. I knew that I had to play all my cards at once and if it didn't work I'd have to look elsewhere for work. This was becoming too painful.

"You've cooked me so many wonderful meals now," I said to Ralph one night when we'd finished washing up. "I'd like to repay you."

"Repay me?" he looked confused. "It's all because of you. Without you I could only make toast and boil an egg!"

"That might be so," I stopped him. "But now I want to cook something for you. You said the other day how much you love pot roasts so please let me make a pot roast for you."

"On one condition," he smiled that wry smile that I had come to love. "That you let me help you. I'm sure a pot roast is well out of my league, but maybe I can learn a thing or two from watching you."

I agreed to the conditions and we decided that Saturday night was a good time for a pot roast. Ralph would come early to help me cook. On Friday I went shopping after work. Ralph had once said that a green sweater I wore suited me very well as it really brought out the colour of my eyes and I found a nice cotton dress in that very same colour. I also bought some matching sandals and a belt to bring out my thin waist. I normally wore jeans and a t-shirt or sweater to work and I knew that they hid my feminine shape. I then splashed out on some lacy underwear, buying the first push-up bra I'd ever owned. I felt it made my C-cup breasts look huge, but the sales lady convinced me that I didn't look slutty and it really made my cleavage more prominent.

On the Saturday morning I went to the salon to get my red curls tamed and I also plucked up the courage to ask the girl for make-up tips. I never did like the heavily made up look, but I just wanted to look a little bit more confident, and not so much like a teenager. It was all or nothing now. I had to get Ralph to see me as a woman.

As time drew nearer for Ralph's arrival I was shaking. I nearly lost nerve and ran to change into my jeans and t-shirt, but then his BMW pulled up outside. I smiled as I realised that he'd made an effort too. His hair was still unruly, but it was an inch shorter than it had been the previous day. He was wearing chinos and a shirt and with him he carried a bouquet of lilies and a couple of bottles of wine.

"Heather!" he exclaimed, almost breathless. "You look lovely."

For a moment it looked as though he might kiss me, but then he turned around and asked where the kitchen was and if I had a cork screw so that we could have a glass of wine while we cooked. The magic was broken and I wanted to cry out to him. Did he want me or didn't he?

I put him to work and he was soon chopping away like a pro. He'd been a very attentive student and there was nothing left of the awkwardness he'd displayed when I cooked him that first omelette. The wine he'd brought was delicious and I used some of it in the cooking, as well as drinking quite a few mouthfuls. He'd rolled up his sleeves and even though my kitchen was quite roomy, we were soon banging into each other again.

I don't know if it was the wine, but all of a sudden he didn't pull away every time our arms met. I didn't know if I was imagining things, but even though my kitchen was very roomy he worked awfully close to me. And instead of walking round me, he now put a hand on my shoulder and reached around me, almost embracing me. I could smell his masculine scent and closed my eyes briefly.

While the roast was cooking he helped me prepare the vegetables and set the table. He then came out into the kitchen and asked for a lighter and when I took the salad to the dining room I noticed that he'd found mom's old candlesticks and decided to light them. He dimmed the ceiling lights and smiled at me.

"It's much nicer with candles."

I couldn't agree more, and thought to myself that it was probably a good thing since my flushed face wouldn't look so red and my nipples probably couldn't be seen through the material of my dress in the light from the candles. I took a deep breath and brought the pot roast in. Ralph held out my chair for me and like a gentleman he made sure I was comfortable before he served the wine and sat down.

It was so different from all our other meals. The dim light, the wine and the soft music that he'd turned on made the evening perfect. And was it just wishful thinking or did his eyes keep straying to my cleavage? I no longer had much appetite, but as Ralph tucked in appreciatively I followed his lead. As we were clearing the table the CD changed to one of my favourite songs.

"Oh, I love that song," I said and started humming.

Ralph took the pan from my hands and placed it back on the table. He then took me by the hand and walked me through to the living room where he turned up the volume a little and then he took me in his arms and started dancing with me. Halfway through the song he pulled me a little closer. My breasts were touching his chest and I could feel the warmth of him spreading through my body. I couldn't help myself, but rested my head against his shoulder and soon I felt his cheek against my hair.

I don't know how long we stood there, swaying in each other's arms, but then I heard the chorus of the next song. I was breathing deeply as I looked up and found Ralph looking straight into my eyes. His chest heaved with every breath and we just stood there, our arms still in our dancing embrace, our eyes locked.

"Heather," Ralph whispered and then he closed his eyes and lowered his head towards mine.

I closed my eyes and then I felt his warm, soft lips against mine. His lips caressed mine, gently at first and then more demanding. I parted my lips and his tongue invaded my mouth, playing with my tongue, exploring my mouth. I wrapped my arms around his neck and I felt his hands on my hips, caressing my bum, moving up past my waist to my breasts. He cupped my breasts and his thumbs caressed my nipples. We were both breathing heavily when he finally released my lips.

"Oh Heather," he sighed. "My sweet, sweet Heather. What have you done to me?"

"I've done something to you?" I didn't understand what he meant.

"Sweetie, I can't eat, I can't sleep, I can't do my work properly anymore. Ever since I held you in my arms during the blizzard, all I can think of is having you in my arms again. But I know I'm too old for you. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done this."

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bydeepemerald© 3 comments/ 26764 views/ 27 favorites

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