The Way To A Woman's Heart
by Jennifer-Oksana

Being the richest young woman this side of the Inland Empire looks good on Virginia Bryce. After she'd settled out of court with her father, she could have spent the rest of her life sleeping in, spending leisurely afternoons at a spa, and evenings dancing attendance at various cultural events, premieres, and parties. Possibly she could play some tennis and take on a fringe charity if she wanted to be thought of as well-rounded.

Instead, the redhead is in bare feet and capris in a homey but well-stocked kitchen based on a fabulous bed-and-breakfast she'd been to in the South of France, offering Miss Lilah Morgan, nouveau riche lawyer-type and Type A with rabies, a taste of the soup she's making. Chattering brightly about how she's just signed a deal with a New York City publisher for a travel book about food. Because money doesn't solve boredom; finding a hobby does.

"Kitchen Witchery," Virginia says with a laugh, a rich garlic scent wafting from one of the copper pots that's going on the gas range. "I think it's cheesy, but my editor says we've got a market and that if we spin it right, we'll be one of those little books people buy at Urban Outfitters. She says I have the right look, even though I'm not pagan or, you know, much of a magic fan."

Lilah snickers cynically. "You're the younger, hipper Nigella," she says, trying not to glance at her watch and wonder what she needs to be doing. Lilah's whole life is based on schedules she creates in Excel, tapes to her walls, exports to her PDA, and CC's her assistant, along with the assistant's own life schedule. "I can see that, actually."

"Meanwhile, you're chomping at the bit," Virginia teases, brushing the bread with the garlic goo, which is clearly clarified butter infused with roasted garlic oil and smells amazing. "What exercise in corporate success are you missing tonight, Lilah?"

"Power yoga class," Lilah admits, and Virginia laughs and laughs at her. "Hey, it keeps me supple."

Virginia, wooden spoon in hand, swirls the mixture in the stockpot, pivot step steps, and holds the steaming glop of almost-ready soup to Lilah's lips. "Taste this."

Lilah accepts, and the resulting brew slides down Lilah's throat as easily as a good red wine. More easily, since Lilah hasn't been able to drink wine since Darla and Drusilla painted Holland's cellar red, literally. "Tasty," Lilah says lightly. "What is it?"

"Roasted red pepper," says Virginia, licking the spoon clean and giving Lilah the eye. They have been play-dating for three weeks, since Virginia tripped over Lilah at Saks when they were both in the market for new La Perla. "Well, actually, my secret is to roast a yellow pepper with the reds, because it's a little bit sweeter, and it gives it a kick..."

Lilah grins at her, grins like she doesn't grin for most people, because for most people she is The Bitch From Hell, and don't you fucking forget it, or you die die die. But Virginia saw through the facade on their first date: "I'm not out to feed you to Wolfram and Hart. Calm down" and Lilah figures that if Virginia is out to get her? She'll be as clumsy and forthright as she is about everything. It'll give Lilah enough time to eliminate her.

And besides, what does Virginia have on her? It's not like the girls are a secret to anyone paying attention. Faith, Bethany...Lilah seems to have a way with the ladies. And dating Virginia Bryce would probably please the firm, especially in a casual sense. At worst, they'd have a socialite lesbian couple for PR, and that was a long way from being bad in LA.

"Do you want me to make the Emeril joke, or should I wait for you?" Lilah asks. They will eventually have sex; neither of them needs to be awkward about it because it's not that big of a deal. They are young, attractive, and sexual, and they don't take relationships that seriously. With the "I work for an EVIL law firm" talk out of the way, Virginia and Lilah are free to enjoy themselves.

"I'm playing hostess here. Let me," Virginia replies, putting the spoon back in the pot. "Wait for it...BAM! It kicks it up a notch."

Which is even better because Virginia turns and lifts her t-shirt when she yells bam, and Lilah gets a nice flash of perky breasts, tight nipples, and flat, smooth stomach to catch her attention.

"Indeed it does," Lilah replies, standing up gracefully and gliding over to Virginia, circling her waist before sliding one hand under her shirt. "So it's a Cajun soup?"

"More like a pretentious foodie soup," Virginia says, arching back against Lilah without missing a beat. "It's almost done simmering. And before you ask, not a sex metaphor."

Lilah brushed her mouth against Virginia's shoulder and ear. "Well, damn," she says, pinching the nipple in her grasp. "I like food-sex metaphors. Except if there's a vampire involved, because again, I like metaphors. Not their literalizations."

"Yeah, those pretty much suck," Virginia agrees vaguely, adding a dash of black pepper. "The soup is actually done, and I don't want the bread to burn..."

Lilah lets Virginia go, and sits back down at the table, looking as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. "I'm very excited," she says. "There are few things I'd rather have in my mouth right now."

Virginia's eyes widen, but instead, she ladles out two bowls of soup. "You are so just like my last boyfriend," she mourns, walking catlike on the balls of her feet as she presents Lilah with her bowl and a nice view of her ass. "He seemed a little uptight and straight-laced, but get him going and everything was sex. And I do mean everything."

Lilah chuckles. "Sounds like my type of guy," she murmurs as Virginia gets the bread and a pair of spoons. The soup is pale red, thick and creamy, and as much as Lilah is aching to fuck Virginia already, she will take her time with the food.

"Well, he also thinks work is the most important thing, so maybe so," Virginia replies, settling down in her seat with a smile. "As for me, I tend to think there are more important things than seventy-hour work weeks."

"Must be nice to have the money to think exactly that," Lilah says, blowing on the soup. Virginia rolls her eyes and for a few slurps, there is silence, and the ecstatic warmth of sharp, tangy soup. The garlic oil burns against Lilah's nostrils, and the crisp crunch of the bread compliments the soup, and the crumbs tumble onto Lilah's silk shell messily.

"Here," Virginia says, leaning over to brush them off, her fingertips catching just so, and they are kissing then, carefully keeping the bowls from overturning, mouth against mouth, and Lilah's tongue is clever at catching the softness of Virginia's lower lip, tasting the soup and the cheap flavor of waxy Chapstick, her elbows trembling from the effort of staying upright, but she doesn't want to stop yet.

When Virginia pulls back, her pupils are dilated, and a flick of her tongue wets her upper lip. "You know how to kiss," she says, hand rubbing over her shoulder absently.

"It's a gift," Lilah agrees, taking up her spoon and a slightly cooled slurp of soup. She makes sure she licks the spoon clean, smiling wickedly. "Do you mind if I finish this? I'm still hungry."

Virginia gapes, but recovers nicely, pushing back a stray ringlet or four as Lilah flirts with obscenity, eyes half-closed as she wraps her lips around the spoon and sucks it clean, not even bothering to lick. Then she gets another spoonful and does it again, punctuating her swallow with a little breathy moan.

"See, now you're just being unfair," Virginia said. "You've actualized the metaphor in a new and cruel way, where the food is as effective as sex."

Lilah smiles dreamily, and then gets the last drops of the soup with her pinkie finger, popping it into her mouth audibly and daring Virginia to do something. Virginia shakes her head and stands up, stretching out and making sure Lilah watches her every move before taking off her t-shirt with a smile and backing out of the room.

"Where are you going?"

"I'm ready for dessert," Virginia says coyly. "If you're done using soup as a flirtation, maybe we can get to some serious metaphor literalization. You still hungry?"

She runs her hands over her breasts, cupping one in each and continuing her backward glide toward the bedroom. Lilah watches her, a slight twist to her grin as she decides what to say. Sighing inside, Lilah goes with the obvious, because hey, why not? Either way, she's getting dessert.



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