Free Gift With Purchase

Free Free Gift With Purchase by Jackie Pilossoph

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Authors: Jackie Pilossoph
Tags: Romance
getting to know each other.
    “This is awesome,” said Preston about the salsa, “Where’d you get it?”
    “I made it.”
    He seemed surprised. “Really?”
    “Yeah,” I said. Then I opened up the fridge, took out another container and took the lid off. “Try this.”
    Preston dipped a chip in the container and then put it in his mouth. “Wow, what is this? It’s really good.”
    “Eggplant salsa,” I said with pride. I realized right then that for the first time in what seemed like years, I felt proud of something I’d created, other than my daughter, of course. Feeling gratified simply by making salsa that I knew deep down really was good gave me a sense of self-confidence I’d been missing for a long time.
    Cute naked guy had another bite. “This is like really amazing and I’m not just saying that,” he said.
    “Thanks. If you want to take some home, feel free. I’ve got plenty more in the fridge. I also have black bean salsa, and I think, fusion peach salsa.”
    “What’s with the salsa obsession, Baby?” he asked.
    “I have no clue,” I replied, “I’m just into making salsa all the time. All different kinds. It’s crazy!”
    “Do you just make it, or do you eat it, too?”
    “I definitely eat it. I joked, “Actually, I read somewhere that cilantro can act as an aphrodisiac. Maybe that explains my attraction to you.”
    “Give me a little more credit than that,” he teased.
    “Here’s my theory,” I said to my date, who looked oh so sweet right now, his cute little cheeks moving as he continued to chew, “I think for a long time, I’ve felt numb, unresponsive to anything or anyone besides my family.”
    Suddenly, my eyes filled with tears as I realized how much Preston Christiansen had actually done for me in this short time, not just with his hard abs, but with his unrestrained attitude and his soft-hearted demeanor. I literally had to take a deep breath so I wouldn’t break down.
    I continued, “The taste of the lime juice that I use in every salsa I make is so tart and so sour, and I like the sensation…the pain almost…of the acid on the insides of my cheeks.” I felt a tear spill out of my eye. “Feeling that makes me realize that I can still feel. Does that make sense?”
    Preston looked into my eyes and nodded slowly. Then he gave me a big bear hug, I think because he didn’t really know what to say.
    I let his strong arms temporarily protect and shelter me from my hideous past, and I realized right then just how much baggage I was carrying around. I still had so much to work out, so much to understand, so much to accept, so much to learn. And gardening and making salsa, although therapeutic diversions, couldn’t even make a dent in my healing process. I was starting to think, however, that Preston Christiansen was the catalyst who was bringing me to the beginning of my road to recovery. And I adored him for that.
    I pulled away from the hug, wiped a tear, looked at him and said, “We have a thing, you know.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “You’re seven years younger than me. And let’s be honest, my body isn’t half as good as most of the girls you’re probably used to dating. It doesn’t matter, though, does it?”
    “First of all, that’s not true about your body, but the age difference…no, that doesn’t matter.”
    “We lead completely different lives. We spend our days and nights doing extremely different things. You have a social life, I have a child. You have a time-consuming job. I have salsa. We’re polar opposites.”
    I wanted to ask him if our relationship was more than sex, but I didn’t, because I knew he would say yes, whether it was or it wasn’t.
    “In some ways, yes, we’re polar opposites,” he smiled, “But you’re right. We have a thing.”
    I realized right then, Preston had just answered my question. This was more than sex.
    We put the salsa away and headed back upstairs. And we slept. And I rested in a peaceful way that I

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