Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Side Dishes - Chapter 2

Behaving just like a true product of her mother’s upbringing, Sage began to subtly pursue the thirty-year-old landlord who had been void of romance for most of his life and now spent endless hours in moneymaking ventures. Two of which was to acquire new bakeries for his family’s chain and to buy lots of real estate.

Realizing that a man of Mr. Ryder’s girth couldn’t possibly concentrate on just business all day and probably spent a fair amount of his time in front of a plate of food, too, Sage prepared a tempting meal on that hot June 1st afternoon. The same afternoon that Delane was due to collect the rent. And wouldn’t you know it, it was also the very same afternoon that Sivilla deliberately made herself scarce so that her daughter could work her charm on their overweight landlord.

Although he could have hired a manager to show his tenants around and collect the monthly rent payments, Delane chose to do that himself because it helped to fill up even more of his time and because it made his life less lonely. Plus, he looked forward to seeing a certain buxom young lady today.

Although Sage had secretly watched Delane drive up from her covert position near the vertical blinds of the oval-shaped living room window, she waited until he rang the doorbell to go to the door. No need to let him know that she’d been waiting for him.

“Good evening, Mr. Ryder. You’re looking good today,” Sage said, thinking that it wasn’t a total lie. The tailored nut-brown suit and white buttoned down shirt he wore did look good against his mocha complexion, even if the suit did look big enough to fit an elephant.

Concentrate on his handsome face, girl, she told herself, focusing on the man’s attractive facial features instead of his wide frame. Delane’s smooth mocha skin, dimpled right cheek and caramel-colored eyes made him look gorgeous from the neck up. From the neck down was another story.

Delane felt heat crept upon his neck at her compliment. He hadn’t expected it and thus hadn’t been prepared for it. “Th…thanks. You look good, too,” he stammered in reply, thinking that Sage looked good every time he saw her, and she definitely knew how to accentuate her curves. The fuchsia-colored mesh buckle top showed off her generous bosom and the white flat-front Capri pants showed off her shapely hips and thighs. In fact, Sage looked so good that Delane began to unconsciously lick his lips.

“Ah…I see you’re licking your lips. I guess you must smell my cooking, huh?” she inquired in an innocent voice, knowing full well what he thought was so appetizing. Delane’s eyes hadn’t ventured too far from her chest area since she opened the door, the same as the first two times he’d been in her presence.

Embarrassed to be caught lusting and feeling slightly awkward to be caught lusting for someone eight years younger than him, Delane looked away for a moment to compose himself. He sniffed the air as he did, inhaling a delicious whiff of lasagna and garlic bread.

I wonder why I didn’t notice that aroma before, he asked himself, thinking that this was a first. No woman had ever distracted him from food before.

“It does smell pretty delicious,” Delane replied, trying to cover for his previous lapse in etiquette.

Sage smiled wide. “Why don’t you come in and have a taste. I have to go in the back and get the rent money anyway,” she suggested, opening the door wider for him to enter.

Sage loved to cook and she loved feeding people. And with a big man like Delane around, she could see herself cooking all the time. Suddenly she realized that nothing would please her more. If only I could get paid for cooking all the time, Sage thought, convinced that a career in food service would be the perfect career for her.

Delane readily agreed and followed her inside, noting how clean the women kept the apartment, unaware that Sage handled all of the household and culinary chores since she cooked like a chef and cleaned like a maid service. And since Sivilla couldn’t even boil an egg right or barely lifted a hand to even clean her own bedroom.

Although Delane would have loved a taste of Sage, he ate the food she offered him instead. And it was good, too. So good that he ate a second and third helping while they talked and just got to know each other better.

“You should be a chef,” Delane announced as he stood up from the small, oval-shaped mahogany table to leave an hour later. The time he’d spent there had flown by and not just because of the quality food, either. It was the quality fellowship he’d enjoyed most of all.

Sage found herself blushing and telling him something that definitely wasn’t in the script of seduction. “I’ve always wanted to be a chef. But there hasn’t always been enough money or time to do so. My mother and I move around a lot.”

Delane nodded, recalling that Sivilla had listed salesperson as her occupation on the lease agreement. That meant that she traveled a lot and which was probably why she wasn’t home today. Inwardly he was glad that the older Ms. Etheridge wasn’t around for his visit. Something about Sivilla just didn’t sit right with him.

“Too bad, because you definitely have a gift here and would make a great chef,” Delane said with sincerity. Then having a quick thought, he retrieved the rent money out of his left jacket pocket and handed it back to Sage. “Consider this my tip for the delicious meal you served me today. Hopefully, you’ll use it towards your college fund.”

Sage was momentarily speechless. As she received the money, her hands trembled and she could not, would not stand up for anything since her legs were almost like jelly with emotion. This man had done more for her already than any other man ever had, and without coercion or manipulation either since she’d dropped the seduction act within the first ten minutes of his visit.

“Thank you…Mr. Ryder,” Sage finally said with glossy eyes of appreciation. I’m not telling Mama anything about this money, she mused, thinking that it was time she started saving for her future, particularly her future day of liberation from her mother. Sage was determined to make this her last gold-digging scheme, despite Sivilla’s insistence that she would probably change her mind once she got a good chunk of their landlord’s money and started living the high life again.

Delane smiled, revealing that endearing right dimple of his. “Please…call me Delane from now on.”

“Okay…Delane,” Sage replied, trying to talk over that sudden lump of emotion in her throat.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

1 comment:

internet dating said...

Most interesting comments although I'm not sure I agree with them all but certainly make you think...i'll be back christian online dating services