We hope you’ve enjoyed Chris Kuhn‘s blog tour stop as much as we have, and wanted to thank her for the fun quotes, brand new poem, and never-before shared scene from her book, The Muse Unlocked, which we’re sharing with you *drum roll please* right now! But wait! Before you scroll down to read this yummy (and we’re not talking about the wine) scene, Chris has a few words to share about this bonus excerpt. Take it away, Chris!
For those who have read THE MUSE UNLOCKED, you may recall a reference to this event in a later chapter from the book. However, the scene itself does not appear in the novel and has never been shared. That is, until now… I hope that readers will enjoy another small glimpse into these characters’ lives.
And for those who have not yet read the book, never fear. There is nothing here that will spoil a later introduction to the book for you but you’ll get a chance to meet screenwriter/author Cate Mullen and film and TV actor Oliver Sand in this slice-of-life scene that you will, I hope, enjoy, as well.
– Chris Kuhn, author of THE MUSE UNLOCKED
Oliver stretched out on the chaise lounge and flipped through a pamphlet as Cate stepped outside to join him, drying her hands with a towel, and then turning to two filled wine glasses to carry them out to the patio. “What are you reading?” she looked at him quizzically as she handed him a glass.
He sat up in the chaise, smiling as he took the glass from her hand, “Thanks. Just a little something I found in the pantry.” He took a sip and cocked his head to one side. “Mmm. This is good. Merlot?”
Cate sipped her wine slowly, peering at him over the glass and smiling to herself. “Close. You’re getting better at identifying them. This is actually what’s known as a vintner’s blend – cabernet merlot. But nice job.” She nestled into the Adirondack chair, tucking her feet under her body. “So you still haven’t said? What is that you’re reading?”
Oliver laid the pamphlet on his lap and sighed loudly. “When were you going to tell me, Cate? Were you really going to keep this bit of information from me?” he stared down at the screenwriter, offering up a stern look that couldn’t completely mask the playful smirk beneath it. “Did you really think I wasn’t going to find out?”
Cate lifted herself away from the chair, shaking her head and chuckling. “What the hell are you talking about? Did I pour you one too many drinks tonight?”
Oliver swung his legs over to one side on the chaise and pointed to the pamphlet. “This, Cate. I found this in the pantry along with a cleverly concealed piece of equipment that I think somebody was trying to keep hidden from visitors. But I being the inquisitive and clever guest that I am found it,” he said proudly, his smirk completing the cycle and transforming into his signature beaming smile. He held up the pamphlet now for Cate to see. “Pasta, Cate? You like to make…pasta?” What started as a low, slowly building snicker escalated into outright laughter that Cate found completely endearing and sexy as hell.
Cate leaned forward and snatched the flimsy product manual out of his hands and joined him in the chuckles. “Yes, you caught me. I have a pasta maker. I received it as a gift one year. But I don’t use it. It’s far easier to go down to the store and buy it.
“But it’s much better fresh,” Oliver shot her a scolding look laced with a grin.
“And you know this because you’re a world renowned pasta chef, right?” Cate dipped her head down to sip her drink, smiling as her lips hit the rim of the glass.
“Well,” Oliver paused and shrugged his shoulders then lifted his lean but muscular frame off of the chair, stretching as he did. Cate couldn’t help noticing his exquisitely carved abs sneaking out under the tight-fitting black T-shirt as he raised his arms. “It just so happens I am an excellent pasta chef. I’ve made it many times. But not with some crazy machine.”
Cate looked up at him, sipped her drink once more then set it beside her on the end table. She rose up to meet him or at least stand next to him since he had six inches in height on her. “Are you telling me that you, Mr. Movie-Star-on-the-Rise, rather than hop on your motorcycle and head down to the grocery store like everyone else and pick up a ninety-five cent box of pasta, you are at home in your apartment kitchen sweating over the stove making pasta from scratch?”
“Well, I don’t get that sweaty but yes, I do make it myself. And it’s really not all that hard. You don’t need much. Do you have eggs, Cate?”
Cate looked at the handsome actor who had once again managed to surprise her. “Huh?” she said distractedly. “Oh, eggs? Yes.”
“Do you have unbleached flour?”
“I think so.”
“That and some salt, and we’ve got everything we need. In fact,” he moved in closer to Cate, pulling her body against his and circling her waist with his arms. “I’m going to show you exactly” he kissed next to her right ear “how to” then kissed her left ear “do it” and punctuated the playful pronouncement with a kiss on top of her nose. “Right now.” He leaned down to kiss her on the mouth, and Cate could feel her entire body turn to mush as he lingered on her lips.
When he finally pulled back smiling at her but keeping her in the grasp of his firm arms, she stumbled a bit to respond. “Um, right– right now?”
“Yes,” he nodded confidently and enveloping her hand in his, guiding her back into the screenwriter’s kitchen. He pulled down items from cabinets and out of the refrigerator – each ingredient measured out and poured into smaller bowls, a big mixing bowl here, a whisk there – and before Cate knew what was happening, the two were standing beside each other at her butcher’s block in the center of her kitchen in what could only appear to others peeking in as a cooking demo set-up. She wondered when Martha Stewart would walk through the door.
“Okay, Cate. Are you ready?”
Cate looked around for her glass of wine, chuckling to herself. “I can’t believe we’re really doing this.” She finally spotted it on the counter and happily took one final swig before returning to her post beside her handsome instructor. “Okay, teach. Fire up the lesson. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”
As he walked her through each step of the pasta-making process, Cate found herself entranced with the man beside her, both patient and playful, yet serious about each step and keeping his doting student interested and entertained. Each time, they’d finish the next step in the process, he’d lean down to kiss her on the lips while caressing her bottom with his flour-covered fingers. She was pretty certain by now her ass must look like a powdered donut. Oh, Oliver. You don’t have to worry about me staying interested. You just have to show up and breathe, and already you’ve got my full attention.
By the time the two had mixed, whisked, blended, rubbed, patted, kneaded, folded, balled, sliced and flattened each inch of dough before them, his black shirt was covered in white-speckles of flour, front and back. And Cate was doused in every possible way, both on the surface of her flour-covered blouse and jeans as well as down below in her Oliver-arousing, soaked panties, stimulated by each fondle and show of affection the actor integrated into the cooking lesson. Yes, by the end of Pasta 101, Cate found herself more twisted and wound up than the spirals the two had just painstakingly made. She looked down at the floor beneath them as he finished placing the last set of flour-covered utensils in the sink to begin rinsing them.
“Have you looked down lately?” she laughed out loud after discovering the tile floor beneath them was as covered with flour as the two pasta-making lovebirds.
Oliver stopped his work at the sink to glance at the floor. “Oh wow, Cate. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for us to make such a mess of your kitchen. Where’s your broom? I’ll clean up.” He started to head for the closet and she stepped before him reaching out to grab his arms.
“Don’t.” He stopped in his tracks before her and looked down into her eyes. “Don’t worry about it, Oliver. I’m not. I only noticed it. But I really think there’s a much bigger problem at hand.” Her face turned more serious.
He moved in closer to her, a look of concern sweeping across his face. “What, Cate? What’s wrong? Did I do something to upset you?”
Her serious look softened. “Just look at you. You are a mess. And I am a mess, too,” her face transformed into a shy smile, tinged with a bit of rose in her cheeks. She reached for the bottom of his T-shirt tucked into his jeans and began pulling it out and upward to remove it. “You can’t stay wearing these messy things. You’ll trail flour throughout my house.” She shot him now a broader, more confident smile as he raised his arms and removed his shirt enthusiastically in response, returning her beaming smile yet remaining quiet the entire time. Occasionally, he would let out a soft chuckle as he watched the woman before him muster up the courage to unbuckle his pants and kneel before him to slide his jeans down to the floor, for which he cooperated eagerly, stepping out of them once they reached the ground. After peeling each layer of clothing off of his lover, Oliver gently picked up Cate in his arms and delivered the two of them to the bathroom for a shower. Kitchen clean-up could wait.
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