A/N: Sorry for taking so long to update, but my health has really gotten out of hand lately. Hoping surgery proves to be the definite solution!

X xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx X

Stella held her breath and she marveled at her own brazenness. If Flack felt like it he could slap her with a sexual harassment lawsuit and her career would be over faster than she could finish stating her own name in court.

"Is this okay?" she asked softly.

Flack swallowed hard and nodded. He didn't trust his voice not to betray exactly how very okay his body was with the whole thing. If only his stomach would stop bugging about being hungry…

Feeling more at ease, Stella set out to fulfill her plan. She carefully lifted a small piece of chopped peach from the liquid contents in the bowl and lifted it to his mouth. She rubbed the plump flesh of the fruit against his lips, allowing him to feel the gooey texture of the syrup until he instinctively darted out his tongue to lick it. Stella pulled her hand away, giving him time to get used to tasting something again; hoping the sensuousness of the whole thing would stop his gag reflex for the time being.

He had a vague idea that it had been a fruit (peach, maybe?) she had teased him with, and he could recognize the taste of syrup with no problem. Feeling it on his lips had evoked a million sensory memories: his childhood days at his grandmother's house, tiptoeing into the kitchen and stealing some of the preserves she used to make while they were still warm. The time he'd kissed a girl wearing flavored gloss and finding the taste arousing instead of gross. The first time he'd eaten out a lover, uncertain if he was doing it right, marveling at the taste and the emotions it provoked in him…

Stella moved the peach closer to his mouth again, and this time his tongue was quicker than her hand, quickly sweeping the fruit inside. He moved it inside, allowing his taste buds to explode with the tangy flavor; allowing the membrane alongside his cheeks to marvel at the texture, enjoying the experience of actually looking forward to swallow something and being able to do so.


His demand caught her by surprise. She hadn't expected her plan to work so well and yet she had hoped it would. Still sitting on his lap, she twisted her body to get a small piece of toast covered with strawberry jam. He was so eager to taste something again that his mouth sought the food, too impatient to be willing to allow her to tease him. His eagerness, however, startled her, and a couple of drops of jam ended up on her collar bone.

"Damn" she murmured, looking around for something to clean herself up.

"What happened?" asked Flack, swallowing his piece of toast, that to him felt like a piece of Heaven.

"I got some jam on me…" she said, trying to reach out to the counter behind her for a kitchen cloth.

His hand darted out, holding her still. "Where?" he asked.

"On my collar bone, but I can…"

Before she could finish her sentence, she felt his hands on her shoulders, which wasn't that surprising. What got her nearly jumping out of her own skin was his tongue sweeping the expanse of her collar bone, taking away the offensive jam alongside half her thinking ability. The remaining half had to pull in a double to stop her from moaning and demanding some more herself. The idea, apparently, had it merits, as it was him who muttered "More" against her neck before pulling back, waiting for her to feed him again.

It took Stella a moment or two to catch her breath and get her mind back on track enough to consider her next course of action. Should she pretend that he just hadn't licked her or should she act accordingly? And what should she feed him next? There was the salty cracker with some butter on it, the slice of bologna rolled up, the slice of apple, the tuna roll? And how should she feed it, whatever she decided it was, to him?

In the end, she decided to keep it simple. Grabbing the slice of apple, she lightly sprinkled it with salt and chili powder, knowing it would bring out the tanginess of the fruit, which would make a nice balance after two sweet treats…

She swore she intended to hand feed him when she took the slice in her hand. Actually, it was his fault she'd changed her mind; if he had kept his hands on his lap instead of wrapping them around her waist… Much later he claimed he felt she was sliding down, and his hands were merely trying to aid her… not that he minded much the turn things had taken, either.

Last minute decision, with the last bits of non X-rated thoughts she could muster, for who knew his thumbs slowly circling the skin between her waist and hips could bring out such vivid carnal images, she decided to grasp the fruit between her teeth. Swiftly crossing her arms behind his neck, she leaned forward, gently nudging his lips with the tip of the slice.

Flack could be many things, but dense when it came to the matters of the flesh (or food for that matter) he wasn't, and he understood the silent invitation when he felt something moist and firm brushing his mouth. His nostrils flared with the smell of apple and juice and salt and chili and… Stella. If he weren't so hungry he'd simply knock the darn thing off her mouth and kiss her already, but his stomach was still calling the shots, although not for long.

He took the tiniest of nips, just enough for his taste buds to explode with the mix, just enough for his face to feel the nearness of this woman who was slowly driving his crazy. He took another one, taking great pains to avoid touching her lips. Food felt good, dear God it did, but if he didn't actually taste HER in the next 15 seconds he was going to die, nourishment be damned.

The next bite and his mouth was on hers. The remaining apple was swallowed whole, for there was no room in there, between them, for it. His tongue was too busy invading her mouth to care for any other taste, his teeth careful as not to bite the tender flesh on her lips… her lips that still had the taste of apple and salt and everything tangy and he was addicted before the first ten seconds had passed. His arms were wrapped around her body, his hands pressing her against him, all of him, the naked expansion of his chest and the swelling urgency of his erection.

But he needed more, and more he would have, and before Stella had a chance to react, he was clumsily getting off the chair, arms still wrapped around each other, mouths still fused to each other and he was headed for his bedroom where he very much intended to feast on her whole body. The constant denial throughout the day, throughout the years of wanting her and not having her, were stoking his actions, giving him all the stamina he needed for the task at hand… and mouth and skin and…

He had acted like a scared child most of the day, allowing his imagination to get the best of him, hiding behind the comforts of a woman who always felt like home to him, and he mentally send a prayer of thanks to his own personal guardian Angell.

He was acting like a horny teen even then, rejoicing on the fact that he was coping a feel, and then some, of the woman he came to associate with everything sacred about love, and he was still in awe that he was actually holding and kissing Stella Bonasera the way he had always dreamed of… albeit rather clumsily at the moment.

But the moment he had her in his bed, he was going to show her just what kind of man he was, the kind of man who was not only in lust but in love and willing to show both to her then and there; just what kind of hunger he needed appeased and that she was the only thing he needed to stay alive.

His stomach's rumbling and protest were a thing of the past, something he'd see to in a couple of hours. If they were too tired to even consider cooking, well God had invented fast food for that… a part of his brain that was quickly shutting down marveled at the fact that the thought of take-out wasn't making him queasy, and he found yet another reason why he should show Stella his appreciation…

The third time had been the charm.

X xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx X

A/N: My apologies to those who had been expecting a smut fest (see the big fat T next to Rating?) but the muse is still not up to that kind of emotional turmoil just yet…