From ABRA CADAVER, available now. Holly is conducting experiments with Keane to see how much of his sense of taste has returned to him.
Holly wiped her finger on the towel
she’d brought from the bathroom. “Anything you
really would like to taste? Anything you crave?”
Good gods, yes.
He cleared his throat and focused on the words
necessary to compose an intelligent response to
Holly’s question. “That frozen stuff you eat
sometimes. Ice cream. You seem to really enjoy it.”
“I do.” She pulled him off the couch and dragged
him to the kitchen. Pointing to one of the kitchen
chairs, she said, “Sit.”
Keane did as he was told. Seeing the light in her
eyes, he would have done anything she asked.
Holly opened the freezer and scanned the two
shelves in there. “Cookie dough, maple walnut, or
mocha fudge swirl?”
“You have three kinds of ice cream?”
“I have six, but I’m only sharing a taste of one of
those three. A girl needs to be stingy about her
emergency ice cream rations.” She closed the freezer
door and hugged the refrigerator. She stepped back
and opened the freezer again. “What’ll it be, Keane?”
“Mocha fudge swirl, though I’m not sure I’ll
know what it’s supposed to taste like.”
“Excellent choice, and if it feels as if you need a
cigarette after tasting this ice cream, you’ll know
you’ve tasted it for real.”
Holly grabbed a spoon from a drawer and
scooped up a little mocha fudge swirl. Toting the
spoon, she walked to Keane at the kitchen table and
said, “Where do you want it?” She held her hands
out to either side of her as if offering her entire body
as a serving platter.
He had trouble swallowing, but he managed to
say, “I can choose anywhere?”
Holly nodded. “But hurry, or it’s going to melt.”
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From Firefly Mountain, coming in October. Patrick has just cooked Gini a dinner so she wouldn't eat peanut butter crackers from her purse for supper.
Patrick took their salad plates to the sink whenthey’d finished, and Gini liked how at home he
appeared in her kitchen.
He twirled spaghetti onto her dinner plate thenfilled his own. The bright colors of tomato, broccoli,
carrot, and pepper fancied up the pasta, and he’d
drizzled a light pesto sauce over it all. When Gini
took a bite, she couldn’t stop the satisfied hum that
escaped her.“One brat, thoroughly loving this meal,” she
“Better than crackers, yes?”
“Definitely.” Gini took a few more bites, wipedher mouth, and looked up at Patrick. “Thank you.”
“No problem. It was easy to make.”
“Thank you for back at the hospital too.” Ginifocused her attention on the bottom of her glass as
she took a drink.
“Also no problem.” Patrick fiddled with the forkin his hand. “It was easy to be hugged by you. And to
Gini gazed at him now and forgot all the rules asshe stared into his hazel eyes swirling brown and
green like running through a forest. He smiled and
dove back into his spaghetti. Gini resumed eating as
well and enjoyed the companionable silence that
hung between them, nothing but the sound of jazz on
a piano filling the kitchen.
When the food was gone and the dishes washedand dried, Gini opened the freezer and took out a
“I’ve got dessert covered,” she said. “You’re notallergic to walnuts, are you?”
Patrick shook his head and leaned against thecounter next to Gini to see what she had. “Ice
“Yep. Maple walnut. Made it myself.” Shedropped three rounded scoops into a bowl and
handed it to Patrick.
“Wow. Maybe you’re not the person I originallythought you were either.”
“You mean maybe I’m not a brat?” Gini smirkedas she put the ice cream back into the freezer after
filling a bowl for herself.
“Oh no, you’re still a brat,” Patrick said, “butyou’re a skilled brat.”
For a great tune about ice cream, try Sarah McLachlan here.
That's got to be some serious love to be BETTER than ice cream! Come on! :)
What's your favorite kind of ice cream?