Love You Senseless
Susan Mac Nicol
London’s saucy up-and-coming chef, Eddie Tripp has just the right recipe to drive tragedy from the mind of Gideon Kent—and leave him senseless with desire.
From Soho to Norwich, there’s no escaping love.
A TASTE OF FOREVER
An award-winning chef with his own restaurant and an inexhaustible passion, Gideon Kent once had everything. Then came tragedy. It stole more than Gideon’s home. He hasn’t cooked since.
Until Eddie Tripp. Fun-loving and vivacious, the Norfolk redhead’s a real up-and-comer in Gideon’s kitchen—and other places. Slim where Gideon’s broad, easy-going where Gideon is growly, he and Gideon seem polar opposites, and yet Eddie conjures flavors that would tempt anyone with a taste for perfection. The sauce of love is already simmering, and this pair is about to dine on the most delicious dish they’ve ever prepared. Because Eddie’s been Gideon’s missing ingredient all along.
Gideon had been a fairly heavy smoker before the accident and had enjoyed it. Now that the pleasure of inhaling the smoky odour of a cigarette and the woodsy taste of it on his tongue had disappeared, he’d decided there was no point in doing it anymore. Like a martyr, he’d given it up. It had surprised him just how quickly he’d been able to stop-with the help of his gum.
He frowned, gave up on his pity party and lost himself in menus, bookings and details for his accountant. Finally he’d had enough. It was close to eleven pm and time to do the rounds to ensure everything was shut down for the night. There was a soft knock on the door and he looked up to see Eddie standing there diffidently, looking ready to leave, his blue wool beanie jammed over his thick red gold hair, his slightly protuberant ears looking endearingly elf like. A fleeting thought passed through Gideon’s mind that he would make a great Legolas with his fine bone structure and dimpled chin. Albeit with hair the colour of flames and thick enough to run a hand through, long enough on top to wind it around a fist and pull that luscious pink mouth down towards Gideon’s-
And there the fuck I go again. God, get a grip.
Gideon groaned inwardly as he regarded Eddie with narrowed eyes, shoving all thought of sexy elves, blowjobs and a naked Eddie Tripp out of his crazy brain.
“Uhmm, Mr. Kent, before she went home earlier, Carmen said that you wanted to see me before I left?” Emerald green eyes stared into Gideon’s. Eddie stood firm as he hitched his backpack tighter to his shoulder and met Gideon’s gaze unflinchingly.
Gideon tapped the pen on the desk in nervousness at having Eddie so close. Not for the first time he wished he could smell him, see if the man’s scent was sweat or cologne, or soap or sweet scented sugar from the creations he made.
It was around seven o’clock when he made his way back from a quick meeting with Sarah and heard giggles and deep masculine laughter from Carmen’s office. He’d thought about Carmen’s words earlier and decided that perhaps he might have an early night and get upstairs by eight pm tonight. He wasn’t going to Bon Appétit, not on a Goth night – Gideon shivered at the thought -but he might start that DVD box set he had of Game of Thrones. A night in sounded like a plan. He had plenty in his kitchen to eat and he was sure he could knock up something nutritious if not tasty. He still cooked for himself as it was plain simple food that didn’t need much effort. Eating nowadays for him was a means to end and no longer any form of enjoyment.
He wandered over to Carmen’s office, jacket slung over his arm, and stood at the door. He stopped dead, his heart beating like a pacemaker gone wrong and his dick instantly standing to attention at the scene before him. Eddie stood with his back to him, in black skin tight leather trousers, and Gideon could hardly drag his eyes away. The leather fabric hugged a taut, round backside, clearly defined in its two parts and leaving little to the imagination. His feet were encased in high heeled, studded boots that made his normal five foot five or six height closer to eye level at Gideon’s just over six foot. Eddie wore a black, silky skin tight tank top, showing off well defined arms and pecs that Gideon didn’t even know he had. Eddie tended to wear loose tee-shirts and baggy jeans most of the time.
This strongly muscled, very sexy figure was miles away from the Eddie that cooked in the kitchen.
Gideon felt faint.
He reached out and caught Eddie’s hand, holding it tightly and pulling him down onto the bed. Eddie hitched a breath as he plonked down and stared at him with wide eyes.
“Eddie, about what I said today. I’m sorry. I was out of line. It’s your business what you do with your job. I had no right to say those things to you.” His fingers slowly caressed the warm skin of Eddie’s palm. It felt so right.
Eddie exhaled a deep gust of warm air that caressed Gideon’s face. He supposed wryly that one of the benefits of not being able to smell anything was never having to experience anyone’s bad breath. Although he wagered a bet that Eddie’s breath was sweet, like his mouth would be.
Eddie shrugged. “It’s all right. You were pissed by what Andy said about you. He shouldn’t have really said that, that’s your personal business.” He watched as Gideon made slow circles on his palm with his thumb.
Gideon noticed his pupils were wide and dark. He chanced a long lingering caress up Eddie’s wrist and felt the shiver run through his body. His dick swelled in spite of the drink and he stared at Eddie’s mouth, visualising those pink full lips around him, driving him crazy and making him blow into the sweet, warm cavern that was Eddie’s mouth. Eddie was staring back at him, his chest heaving.
Despite his inebriated state, Gideon felt a sense of longing. His mouth ran away with him, his inhibitions at not wanting to get close to anyone disappearing like smoke.
“I wish I could smell you,” he whispered longingly. Eddie’s eyes darkened. “Smell your sweat and what makes you, you. Taste your skin.”
Eddie stood up swiftly. “You’re drunk and you don’t know what you’re saying,” he said roughly. “I should go. Get some sleep.” He turned to go.
Gideon sighed heavily as he closed his eyes. “It’s the only way they stop sometimes,” he whispered as his head swum. “The only way to forget what happened…” The world went black and he spiralled down thankfully into his darkness.
Two days later Gideon could bear it no longer. He was a nervous wreck. He was hyper sensitive to Eddie’s presence, watching him stride across the floor of the restaurant from stock room to kitchen, seeing him go into the kitchen staff-room to change before catching his train home, and catching sight of his studious frame hard at work every time Gideon went into the kitchen. Eddie did his best to ignore him too, but Gideon knew he was watching him. He’d felt Eddie’s eyes on his back and when he turned around, they’d be elsewhere.
Eddie must have the quickest damn reflexes, Gideon mused darkly. He was like some bloody sneaky ginger haired tomcat that spat and clawed and then simply affected an air of disdain as if a person wasn’t there. Gideon snorted. Typical cat. He was a dog man himself.
It was driving him completely crazy and there was no way he wanted this friction between them. So Gideon did what any red blooded man needing to fix things in a non- relationship would do. He waylaid Eddie in the staff- room one night late after work, when all of the rest of the kitchen employees were gone.
Eddie’s habit was generally to be the last one to leave. He’d disappear to get out of his smelly kitchen clobber into comfortable jeans and sweatshirt and then wrap his old suede jacket round his lithe body before he hot-footed it for his train. It was easy enough for Gideon to wait and then make sure no one else was in there before sneaking in behind him and locking the door.
I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. This is my bloody restaurant and they can deal with me if they don’t like it.
At the click of the door closing, Eddie turned in surprise and his face darkened when he saw Gideon standing there, trying to look as contrite as possible. He even fixed a smile on his face in the hope Eddie might feel more susceptible to his charms.
“Gideon? What are you doing here?” His voice was husky and Gideon heard a slight wariness.
“It’s my restaurant. I can be here if I want to.”
Oh so damn smooth you stupid tosser.
Susan Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, UK, and left for South Africa when she was eight. She returned to the UK thirty years later and now lives in Essex. Her debut novel Cassandra by Starlight, the first in a trilogy, was published earlier this year by Boroughs Publishing Group in the US. Sue’s latest story, Saving Alexander is her second m/m romance.
Sue has written since she was very young, and never thought she would see herself being a Romance writer, being a horror/psychological thriller reader all her life. But the Romance genre is now something very close to her heart and she intends continuing the trend.
Sue is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Romantic Novelists Association here in the UK.