Some Like It Hot

by Karen Mason-Richardson


Wavering candlelight ebbed and flowed from beyond the curve of rock. Just out of its range, darker shadows defied that dancing illumination, masking the presence of a human figure leaning against the uneven tunnel wall. Bending minutely forward, the person listened intently, focusing all senses on that lighted area.

In flickering silhouette, a huge masculine shadow loomed over a kneeling feminine form. Slowly, the two forms merged as they sank towards the ground. Sounds of rustling cloth, and a slight metallic click, softly punctuated the silence, followed by the distinct crackle of plastic being torn.

"You seem like you know what you're doing," Catherine's surprised comment echoed softly from beyond the tunnel bend.

"I've looked forward to this for some time," rumbled the gravely male answer. "I must admit to having... practiced I was sure it would be difficult with my..."

"Claws?"

"Yes."

"Here, let me help."

Thank y--... Oh, Catherine! What is...? Oh. Ohhh. Mmmmmmm."

The masculine moan of pleasure was punctuated by a gasp of indrawn breath, a sound bordering on pain. Soon liquid, sucking noises drifted through the air, punctuated by delicate gasps and appreciative sighs. Eventually the moans of enjoyment gradually segued into murmurs of satiation.

"Catherine, you were right. I'm sorry for doubting you."

The listening figure in the tunnel straightened decisively and made his way to the source of the warm light. Before him, reclining on soft cushions and partially covered with a blanket to ward off the chill that permeated the tunnels, Catherine curled within the circle of Vincent's arms. A stray tear made its way down her face as she turned to regard their visitor with a satisfied smile.

"Was everything all right?" asked the man.

"More than all right!" she sighed as she swiped away the wetness on her cheek. "It was wonderful, wasn't it Vincent?"

"Amazing," came the low response, as Vincent surreptitiously brushed a tear from his eye as well, drawing inadvertent attention to the glisten of drying sweat on his brow. "I've never thought to experience anything like it. But, I must concur, it was truly wonderful."

The shadowed figure stepped further into the light, revealing Oriental features. Approaching the couple, he bent down to deposit two small cellophane-wrapped packets on the blanket. "For later, if you so desire," said the man. "Don't hurry. I'll straighten this place up tomorrow morning."

An anticipatory gleam in his eye, Vincent reached greedily forward to pick up the packets. With a smile of indulgence, the man rose to depart the intimate chamber.

"Henry - wait!" called Catherine. At his inquiring look, she continued. "Tell your new chef that we both send our compliments. He makes the best Szechwan food in Chinatown!"

"Thanks, I'll pass that on," Henry replied with a grin, as he sauntered off.

Leaning back against Vincent's warmth, Catherine pushed the dirty dishes away with her toe, inadvertently knocking his used chopsticks, scratched but intact, along with their discarded plastic wrapping, onto the rocky floor. The rumble of his voice shivered through her spine, as he held out one of unopened packages.

"Fortune cookie, Catherine?"