The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(17) by Lynsay Sands
“The soup,” Sherry said, pushing past him to get to the stove. She turned off the burner and quickly picked up the pot, intending to shift it to a cool burner, but just as quickly dropped it back down with a yowl of pain.
“Here.” Basil was immediately at her side, urging her to the sink to run cold water over her hands. The pot had been hot, he guessed.
“It’s all right, they aren’t burned,” she assured him, but didn’t fight his putting her hands under the tap. “It just hurt and surprised me.”
Basil nodded and patted her arm. He then moved to take care of the pot himself, saying, “Still, keep them under the water for a minute or two to be sure.”
He moved the pot as she’d intended to do, wrinkling his nose with disgust at the stench coming off of it. The soup had smelled quite good when he entered the kitchen earlier, but now . . . Basil shuddered at the thought of anyone trying to eat it. Finished with the pot, he moved to the windows and began opening them to allow the smell out.
“How are your hands?” he asked as he worked.
“Good,” Sherry assured him, and he heard the water shut off. “A little tender but that will go away.”
Basil glanced over his shoulder as she finished drying her hands with a dish towel and leaned to open the windows above the sink to help him out.
“There,” Sherry said a moment later when every window was open. “Hopefully the smell will leave quickly.”
Basil nodded and hoped she was right. Immortals had a better sense of smell than mortals and this was just horrible to him.
That cry came from Sam as she rushed into the kitchen and hurried to her soup. “Damn,” she cursed, grabbing a large spoon and checking the bottom of the pot before sagging with defeat.
“Maybe we can save it,” Sherry said sympathetically as she moved to the woman’s side.
“No, there’s an inch of burnt crud on the bottom,” Sam said unhappily. “The flavor will be all through the soup.” Sighing, she set the spoon on the counter and carried the pot to the sink. As she poured the soup down the garbage disposal, she shook her head and muttered, “I only stepped away for a minute to go to the bathroom, but then little Gemma started crying and I stopped to check on her. Leigh came in then and I was about to come back down, but of course then Luka started fussing too and . . .” She shook her head helplessly. “The next thing I knew a really bad smell was drifting into the room. God, it stinks, doesn’t it?”
Sherry smiled crookedly as the woman waved her hand in front of her face, but didn’t want to insult her by agreeing. It did smell, though. To change the subject, she asked, “Who are Gemma and Luka?”
“They are Leigh and Lucian’s babies,” Basil explained, leaning against the counter next to her. “They are twins and their birth was part of the reason I came up for a visit. It gave me an excuse to visit Katricia without her thinking I was checking on her.”
“Ah,” Sherry said with amusement. “But you were? Checking on her I mean.”
“Of course. I am a father,” he said with a shrug.
Sherry smiled and then glanced back to Sam. Seeing the slouch to her shoulders and her unhappy expression as she ran the garbage disposal, Sherry patted her back sympathetically. “It smelled amazing the first time I came into the kitchen. I bet it tasted even better. I’ll help you make more if you want.”
Sam grimaced as she turned off the garbage disposal and tap. “I don’t have the ingredients to make more. Well, I have the beer, I only used one of them in the recipe, but I don’t have any cheese, or cream or . . .” She shrugged with disgust and dumped soap into the black-bottomed pot, and then began to run hot water into it. “I guess it’s pizza again tonight.”
Basil saw alarm cross Sherry’s face, and then she moved to the refrigerator saying, “There must be something here to—Holy crap!”
Curious, Basil moved over to see what had brought that reaction. Sherry had the fridge door open but was standing in the opening, gaping at the contents, so he had to move up behind her and peer over her shoulder. He winced when he saw that aside from milk, butter, and one wilted celery stalk, the fridge held only a six pack of beer with one missing, and bags and bags of blood.
“Sorry,” Sam said with a grimace. “Tonight is grocery shopping night. I usually go to the twenty-four-hour metro at around midnight to avoid lines. Besides, Mortimer likes to go with me and he’s so not a morning person.” She glanced around and added, “Justin is constantly eating. It makes it hard to keep food in this place, but there are some frozen meals in the freezer if you’re hungry and don’t want to wait for pizza.”
When Sherry glanced his way in question, Basileios shook his head. “The smell has completely killed any possibility of my wanting food, but if you are hungry . . .”
Sighing, she shook her head and closed the door. “I’m not hungry. I had a couple bites of pizza at the restaurant. This was just to see if—” She broke off with a self-conscious glance toward Sam, and then asked in a near whisper, “Are there other ways to know?”
All immortals had superior hearing, so Basil wasn’t surprised when Sam asked absently, “To know what?”
Sherry bit her lip and met his gaze briefly, and then admitted, “To know if he’s my life mate . . . or if I’m his, I guess.”
“Oh.” Sam winced. “I suppose this has put a wrinkle in the enjoying food test, huh?”
“I fear so,” Basileios said gently.
Sam nodded. “Well, then there’s always the shared pleasure bit.”
“Shared pleasure?” Sherry asked curiously. “What’s that?”
Sam opened her mouth, closed it, blushed, then quickly dried her hands, murmuring, “I think I’ll let Basil explain it to you, or show you. That’s really more effective anyway. I’ll leave you two alone.”
Sherry stared after her with surprise when the woman rushed from the room. When she then turned to peer at him, Basil smiled weakly.
Clearing his throat, he began, “Food is not the only pleasure we lose interest in over time. Sex too, becomes . . . er . . . boring?”
“Boring?” Her eyebrows rose at this news. “You’re kidding, right? I mean Stephanie mentioned something about life mates making sex mind-blowing, but—”
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