Relationship Mind Games

It was almost time. My eyes darted to the window and back down to the grill; no sign of movement outside. I flipped the steaks over and checked on the vegetables in the oven. I wondered if he would even eat vegetables. I’d never cooked for someone like him before. The steaks made a fantastic sizzling sound as the oil and juices squished between the meat and the hotplate. It smelled great, I thought. My eyes jumped to the wall clock reminding me that I had approximately ten more minutes to serve up and make myself presentable. This was my chance to impress and it would be my only opportunity. I sprinkled a small assortment of spices and herbs over the steaks, allowing the flavours to cook into the pre-seasoned meat. Everything appeared to be going well. I reached for two wine glasses and placed them gently onto the counter. They had hardly seen the world outside of the cupboard and were mostly used to make non-alcoholic drinks appear fancier. I pulled out a well-aged wine bottle, gifted by the man who would be attending dinner tonight. I couldn’t believe the date on it – it was centuries old. Although, it did make sense for the kind of man he was. The bottle read: Established Tastes, and I was certain he had very well-established tastes indeed.

They warned me not to do it. Not to accept his gift and invite him into my home like that. They feared for me like it was the end of life itself. I was offended by their stances, my own friends dissuading me from a potential romancer with such chivalry. They were jealous, surely. Though, the pit of my stomach churned with each passing second. He was a stranger and quite a charming one and if my suspicions about his affection towards me were correct then I would surely be safe.

I quickly took the steaks off the heat and placed them on a warmed dish, covering them and letting them sit until my long-awaited guest arrived. The vegetables were soft on the inside despite the crunchy, roasted exterior and as I pulled the tray from the oven, the entire house became aromatic with the delightful scent of delectable herbs and spices.

Suddenly, I noticed the front gate swing open. Time was running out. I rushed to my bedroom and checked my makeup. Everything was still perfectly in place and, to my surprise, not smudged. I felt pretty but my confidence began to drop as I knew he was approaching the door. How should I greet him? Do I act excited or play it cool? Do I have the food already served on the table or do I serve it to him after he’s seated? A million and one questions began racing in my mind as I anxiously fixed the stray strands of hair falling from my head. Three loud knocks. I took a deep breath and allowed the wave of excitement to wash over me. It was time. I paced myself on the way to the door, reminding myself to act with some composure. I reached out to the doorknob with a genuine grin and pulled it open.

“Evening,” he said, with a gorgeous smile. I was taken away into a fantasy with his beautiful, grey eyes.

“Come on in,” I invited, gleefully. He nodded softly and stepped inside. I observed as he inconspicuously made judgements on my home.

“I love your style,” he murmured, gently stroking the frame of one of my favourite paintings. My heart skipped a beat. He was already enchanted with my home. Could this night be any better?

“Thanks, I bought it from a local artist in my hometown way back when.”

His smile said everything. I awkwardly pointed him to the table and announced that dinner was ready. I had never opened a bottle of wine or poured it before. In truth, I hated wine. I always thought people who drank it were such distinguished adults, but I could never enjoy the taste.

It wasn’t long until we were both seated with our food and digging in. He commented on the seasonings, guessing almost all of them on his second bite and commending my handiwork.

“Not often do I have a meal made for me…” he said, pausing between bites, “I haven’t cooked for others much either, now that I think about it.”

“Maybe we should do this again at your place sometime?” I suggested, with apparent eagerness. His eyes dashed to meet mine, petrifying me instantly.

“I would like that.”

I could feel myself blushing, and tried to focus on eating. It was hard to ignore the tell-tale signs beneath his charm and beauty, but I was certain I had gained his approval for the time being. And that’s all I needed to keep my dream alive and thriving. All I could see were his eyes, close to mine. His face close to mine. His lips close to mine. His body close to mine. I had the entire scenario playing out in my head as we ate in silence. I wondered if he knew. Surely, he knew. It was all mind games between us for now. He carried on eating without a hint of suspicion of or discomfort from the lusty scenes of my mind.

“How long have you been living here for?” He piped up, interrupting the part where I lead him back to my bedroom.

“Oh, about six months now. How about you?”

My question was met with a playful expression, “Hard to say, I’ve been here for such a long time…”

I could feel my pulse rising. Was he hinting at my suspicion?

“Speaking of, how did you get a bottle of wine that old?” I piled on.

He flashed a wider grin revealing two particularly sharp canines. I felt in my soul that he knew that I knew. I wondered whether he would take it well. He finished his meal and downed his wine completely. I slowly finished my food and sipped, uncomfortably at my wine. He calmly collected our plates and took them to the sink, “You’ve quite the imagination, you know.”

Culled from by Karmissa Ariadne

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