Plucking the Pearl - "Nice" Excerpt
“You’re standing awfully close,” she whispered.
“I am, aren’t I?” he whispered back. “Do you want me to move?”
Yes! No! Oh Lord, help me. I’ve never felt so weak.
“Show me the next step—with the oyster, that is,” she said quickly.
“Certainly.” He gripped her hand around the knife again and made deft movements to cut the meat from the shell.
“Cut here and there. That’s all there is to it.”
“You make it look so simple,” she said, realizing he could pull her out of her shell just as easily.
When he stepped away from her, her knees buckled, as if the hardness nestled against her had been the only thing
keeping her upright in front of the table.
He stepped beside her and she watched, fascinated, as he tipped the oyster half with the meat on it to his mouth.
Watching the wet creature slide past the dark hairs of his moustache intrigued her in a way she couldn’t explain.
When he bent forward to kiss her, she felt too aroused to refuse. His pale blue eyes came closer than they ever had,
and she could only stare helplessly into them. She felt as if she floated higher and higher into the sky, never to set foot on
firm earth again.
She felt his moustache first, hot and coarse, and then his lips, cooler and wetter. As his mouth worked over hers,
something pushed between her lips. His tongue? She met it with hers, stroking with an abandon she refused to acknowledge as her
He tasted of the sea. No, not just one tongue. Two? She was too distracted by the heat boiling through her belly to
care. When he removed his mouth, she realized he’d inserted the oyster into hers.
Without thinking, she spit it out and it landed on the floor.
Caleb tipped his head back and laughed—a beautiful male laugh, musical and deep. Unfortunately, she didn’t feel very amused.
“Ernie would have a fit if he saw you messing up his clean floor,” he said. “I take it you don’t care for oysters.”
She crossed her arms. “No, I don’t. I thought you had swallowed it. And you shouldn’t have kissed me.”
He wiped his hand on one of the clean rags nearby and she did the same. Then he leaned an elbow against the table and
looked at her.
“Why not, honey? We’re not married.”
“In case you haven’t noticed,” she said, “we’re not the same color—or social class, for that matter. You’re the owner
of this establishment and I’m just a poor—”
He pressed two fingers to her lips to quiet her. The lingering scent of oysters drifted from them, making her breathe
faster. She was beginning to like oysters…