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While driving from Germany to France, Lucilla Daglish asks Pascal Fournier about his first sexual experience.
Pascal paused, as if remembering. “The widow Jacques stood behind a table that was dusted with flour. She wore an apron, decorated with flowers, and a cap over her hair, of the same fabric. She didn’t wear these things in the front of the bakery. It is hard to explain. It was as if I saw her in a negligee, to see her in these items that she wore for baking in her own place, where none saw her.”
“I understand,” Lucilla said, remembering the first time she’d seen a man other than her father or brother in shirtsleeves.
“She asked after my studies, and told me that she herself had left her home in Picardy to marry Monsieur Jacques when she was just sixteen, and she had never regretted this decision. She did not think I would regret it, either.”
“No. She was the first person who had told me this.” …
“Tell me what happened next,” Lucilla said.
“She asked me for help in removing her apron. The knot was too tight.”
“You believed her?”
“I did,” Pascal said. “I did not see myself as she did. I went to help her.” He paused. “She smelled of baking bread. Her nape was bare. I wanted to lean closer and lick it, perhaps even bite. I could see myself bent over her. I had never had such a desire before. I had to look away, but I could still smell her. When I touched the knot of her apron, I also touched her skin. It was hot and damp, from the heat of the ovens. As I untied the knot, I could not help but touch her with my fingertips, again and again.”
c. Victoria Janssen 2009
My blog post on food in fiction.
Read more food excerpts at these blogs:
Michelle M Pillow