I wrote this a while ago. It doesn't include any explicit sex at all, but I hope it is erotic - and romantic.
"You see," he said, "or at least, I expect you do. Most women seem to know what I am thinking better than I do. So I expect it's no surprise that, that is, or ... er ... well,"
He paused, looking at her face. The expression there seemed to say quite plainly, "What the hell are you on about?"
"You see, I want to seduce you." She was going to speak, but he hurried on. He didn't want an answer yet.
"You see, well, after what you said the other night, I didn't think that I stood much chance. Once bitten, twice shy they say and although you didn't say much, well very little at all really, but I rather thought that it sounded as if you hadn't just been bitten, more like chewed up. So. Er."
Once again he came to a halt. Her expression had changed. Not a lot, but maybe, "What the hell?" had softened very slightly. Maybe now it only said, "What on earth?" It still didn't look too encouraging!
"You see," he said. Though it was fairly obvious that she didn't. "You see, it rather sounded as though that affair...
"Well, you didn't actually say it was an affair, but you did say...
"Actually, I can't remember just what you did say, really. But it was definitely something about sex. Er, that you hadn't enjoyed it. Or something like that. I do remember thinking it seemed a waste, not fair. I mean ..."
Her expression had definitely gone back to, "What the hell?" and might easily be adding, "And what business is it of yours anyway?"
"Well, anyhow, I mean, it all sounds like a perfect set up doesn't it? You staying here just now. Both of us living in the same flat. Nothing to get in the way. Not even locks on the doors! But I mean, it just doesn't seem to work that way when you come down to it. Instead of making it easier, it all just seems to be more awkward. And so you see, I thought. Er. Well..."
Her expression had changed again. Now it seemed to say, "I still don't know what you're on about, but whatever it is I wish you'd get on with it!"
"Look, just listen for a moment please? I mean if I had just asked you for a date, well maybe you'd have said yes, but then, I mean it sounds a bit odd, doesn't it? Here we are. Living in the same house. We eat our meals together anyway, most nights. How do I ask you for a date for just another meal? Not even going out? But that's how it would work - and it really could work you know!"
She was still looking sceptical, but perhaps, "What the hell?" had gone back to, "What on earth?"
"I mean, maybe you'd have said yes, but it would all have been fairly obvious, wouldn't it? And after one bad experience already. And there's been all this stuff about date rape in the papers and on the radio. And if it was rough for you last time. I mean, being frightened isn't the ideal start and it isn't as if you could walk out and go home. This is your home just now, so you couldn't do that and so. Er."
He looked at her again. Even the "What?" seemed to have disappeared now. He knew that if that expression got into words, he really had blown it!
"No, wait. Just a moment. It needn't be like that!
"Just say that you did say yes," though that looked unlikely. "If you did, well, we'd make it a Saturday so I wasn't at work. During the afternoon, I could cut some wood for a fire. We've got plenty, but it needs cutting up. You know, small enough to fit the grate.
"Then I could have a bath first - you'd be surprised how much of a sweat you work up sawing wood. Then after I'd done, you could have your turn while I got the food ready.
"I thought we could start with a glass of sherry. Yes, I know that's not food, but it still seems part of the meal. In a way, that is.
"Then I thought we'd have melon for starters. It's not very exciting, but I could get it all ready in the fridge - and it is nice and refreshing.
"After that, there's this thing I learnt to do in France. It's very simple, but ever so good. Just fried goose liver, but with a lettuce salad done with mustard and wine vinegar dressing, with some white wine. Oh, and just bread. They do some good bread at the supermarket now. They have a bakery in the store. The bread's really fresh. You know, nice and crusty, but lovely and soft inside. Sometimes it's still warm when you get it off the shelf. And there's some really nice stuff with seeds on top. Not the light coloured ones, dark ones. I don't know what sort of seeds they are, but..."
This time her expression clearly said that while bread could be an interesting subject for conversation under some circumstances, just now really was not the time!
"For pudding," he hurried on, "there's something I came across ages ago. I was staying overnight with my flat-mate's family and there was an old family friend of theirs staying too. He was a bachelor apparently and they were telling him how easy it was to make: 'Even you could make this,' they said. 'You just take equal amounts of whipped cream and advocaat and mix it together.' But it tastes wonderful, real ambrosia.
"Then coffee and brandy to finish with.
"No," he said, anticipating what her face was saying now.
"No, not to get you drunk. If you're drunk it isn't much good anyway, but a drop or two helps you relax. Well, it helps me anyway." And he wished he'd had a drop or two right then. Or even three.
"We'd take that through to the sitting room.
"You see, I thought we could have the meal in the kitchen. There's room enough for the little table. And we could have a candle. In that candle stick, you know. And then while I was cooking the liver - it only takes a couple of minutes - then I wouldn't have to go away and leave you. I could put another couple of candles by the cooker. So I could see what I was doing.
"Oh, and I'd've lit the fire before we ate. In the sitting room. So it would have burned up well. And I'd nip through to put some more wood on while the kettle boiled for the coffee.
"And then, like I said, we'd take the coffee through and sit in front of the fire and drink it. And talk. And I'd put my arm round you and we could just cuddle for a bit. And, er, kiss. And, er... "
He couldn't see her expression at all now. His eyes were fixed somewhere about three weeks the other side of the wall.
"You see," he burst out, "it isn't fair! It can be good! So good! If. If you're not in a rush. And there isn't anything to interrupt. And, if you trust each other so you don't have to be frightened. You know, frightened of what's happening. Or frightened to say no. Or frightened of not saying no.
"It can be so good to stroke and be stroked. To hold. The feeling of skin on skin."
He laughed quietly. "It's funny. 'Skin!' It's such an unromantic word, so not sexy! It sounds almost ridiculous, 'Skin!' But the feeling. The sound. You know, the touch of skin on skin. Soft and smooth. Sometimes warm and wonderful, sometimes cool and... And. And, well. It can be really something!
"And then, after a while, we could, well we could...
"But don't think you'd have to. I mean I know that 'No' means no, so
"So you mustn't say no if you don't mean it.
"I'm not playing games, but,
"But I hope you don't.
"That you don't say, 'No.'
"I mean I'd,
And there he stopped.
He stopped because he couldn't speak with her lips against his.
So it seemed that she did see...