SUMMARY: This is in response to the challenge, "Laura's confession to Steele, in his apartment after dinner, in 25K or less."
RATING: Humm...I hate ratings. PG? NC-17? Nope. I'm not going to rate it. You decide.
DISCLAIMER: This "Remington Steele" story is not-for-profit and is purely for entertainment purposes. The author and this site do not own the characters and are in no way affiliated with "Remington Steele," the actors, their agents, the producers, MTM Productions, the NBC Television Network or any station or network carrying the show in syndication, or anyone in the industry.
"How was it?"
I hope I didn't just cringe. 'How was it?' he asks. How was it? I'll tell you how it was. It was horrible. I don't think I've done anything so disgusting since I took that swim with the eels.
Dinner was fine, as usual. Necking in front of the fire was nice. But why'd he have to go and convince me to try this? I told him I didn't particularly want to. I should have been more firm than that.
I dare to glance up at him. Terrific. He's staring at me. Those blue eyes starting to look all anxious due to my hesitation to answer.
"Laura?" he asks, looking down to me.
"Yes?" I manage, trying not to appear overly obvious as I use my palm to wipe away the wet, sticky traces from my chin.
"Did you like it?" he asks.
*No!* My body screams. But luckily, my mind locks my jaw in place.
I feel absolutely horrible. What do I tell him? I don't want to disappoint him.
But how do I get past that awful experience I had so many years ago? It tainted my view on the subject forever. I can't do it again without that same stomach-churning feeling settling into my gut. It still makes me sick to this day...right now, in fact.
When Mr. Steele was sitting in front of me, half reclining on the sofa, coaxing my lips closer to it, I was fighting the urge to wretch the whole time. I was wondering how he could lounge so comfortably while I was feeling so tense, but I realize he had no idea how it was bothering me. I should have stopped. I should have never wrapped my lips around the very tip, because he gave it a slight nudge forward, deeper inside my mouth. My first reflex was to gag, but I forced it back.
Thankfully, it was over fast. The hard surface quickly gave way and I found my mouth full of that awful substance with the strange consistency and a very salty flavor.
I wanted so badly to spit it out, but that would certainly have offended him. So I swallowed.
And here I am now. A horrible taste in my mouth and Mr. Steele looking at me expectantly.
I have to be honest with him. I don't want to do this again.
"Well," I begin reluctantly. "I...uh..."
"You didn't like it," he tells me flatly.
I sheepishly meet his eyes with mine.
"It's okay, Laura, I wasn't sure if you would. It's okay."
"No, it's not that I don't appreciate the thought...it's just..." I don't know how to tell him this.
He reaches out and caresses my cheek. "Tell me."
I sigh. "I just had a bad experience once."
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have forced you."
"No...no. It's okay. I'll be fine. I just...I just don't like corndogs at all anymore. I got such a bad case of food poisoning from one once that I just can't make myself eat one anymore."
"And here I thought the circus fan would love a corndog."
"I used to," I assure him. "Really. Until that one time...." I remember the bite of corndog in my stomach and decide to change the subject. "Cotton candy is what I have now."
"I understand." He rises to his feet and heads for the kitchen. "It was just an impulse buy at the store the other day. They're just frozen. I'll pitch them out."
I hear him dump the remaining portion of corndog in the trash can, open and close the freezer and dump a box into the trash as well.
"I'm sorry," I say again as he returns.
"Laura, don't be sorry. I understand. I'm the same way with Mongolian beef."
I have to smile at that. "Really?"
"Oh, yes," he confirms, holding out his hand to me. "That's one night I'd prefer to forget."
I grasp his hand and rise to my feet. "I know the feeling."
He leads me to the door.
"Where are we going?" I ask as he helps me into my jacket.
"To see if we can't find a circus out there with some cotton candy instead."
Author's Note: "Wiener Schnitzel" is actually (according to the dictionary, anyway) a breaded veal cutlet. Close enough, I say.