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Disclaimer: I don't own 'em... never did... never will... will never earn a penny... no infringement intended... please don't sue me... life is complicated enough these days.

This is a companion piece to Dropping By For Dessertmatlab mac serial

A Few Words About Ice Cream
by Ginger

I like ice cream... I REALLY like ice cream.

It was one of my first discoveries after my escape. And I could hardly believe it! I could hardly believe that eating something could be such a truly pleasurable experience or, for that matter, that one might consume something just for the sheer pleasure of it. At the Centre, I had been fed simply to sustain my life, like livestock raised on a large, commercial farm. I had never been given anything to sustain my soul. But I digress... back to the topic at hand.

Ice cream comes in so many delicious flavors (and they're inventing new ones all the time!) and I plan to try them all... except for pistachio, of course. I'm allergic to pistachios. And there are so many ways to enjoy ice cream - on cones, with hot fudge or marshmallow sauce or sprinkles. And I love them all.

I've been out here for a while now and figured I had pretty much enjoyed ice cream in all the commonly accepted formats - sundaes, sodas, floats, those fluffy things with the tiny bits of candy bars whipped in, even the fancier treats like Baked Alaska. Boy was I in for a surprise because, as it turns out, I just recently discovered a whole new way to enjoy ice cream and it has immediately become my favorite... hands down!

A while back, I was staying at a motor lodge on the outskirts of Winslow, Arizona. You know - one of those generic places along the highway with the itchy bedspreads and paper-thin towels. I wasn't engaged in a pretend at the time so I headed back to my room early, just after dark. I didn't have anywhere else to be - nobody was expecting me.

On my way back, I stopped at the mini-mart attached to the gas station next door and visited with my friend Mohammed, who runs the place. Nice guy... beautiful wife... great kids. We talked for a while but then he started to get busy so I decided to shove off, but not before picking up a pint of ice cream. So, I went for a container of my tried and true - vanilla - then headed back to my room, running through my mental checklist along the way.

Let's see... check my email... hack into the Centre mainframe to see what sort of mischief I can make... call Sydney... or maybe even...

I smiled to myself. I hadn't spoken to her in a while.

It all happened so quickly when I unlocked the door to my room - the instant recognition of that all-too-familiar-yet-far-from-unpleasant scent, bracing for the sound of a gun cocking, the adrenaline rush as I prepared for the life-or-death struggle about to ensue in the darkness of a nondescript motel room. But, oddly enough, instead of a battle, all I got was a soft, sleepy comment from inside.

"I was beginning to wonder if you'd ever show up."

I flicked on the overhead light and stepped into the room, blinking at the sight I beheld. I set down the bag containing my pint of vanilla ice cream on the table next to the window and, without thinking, kicked the door shut behind me. (I know I appear to be straying off the topic of ice cream, but bear with me, there is a point to all this!)

"What are you doing here?" I remember asking rather stupidly.

"I decided to pay you a little visit. You have been neglecting me lately."

"Have I?"

"Yes, you have. You haven't left behind one single annoying little clue. You haven't played a nasty trick on me in ages and I haven't even gotten so much as a lousy phone call in the middle of the night. I was beginning to think you'd forgotten all about me."

"I didn't... I... I could never forget you," I muttered like an idiot as I fixated on the ivory skin of her bare shoulders.

Oh, I guess I neglected to mention that she was sitting up, in my bed, with the sheet tucked tightly around her, just under her arms and just above her... well, you get the picture. Her arms were folded on her bent knees and her cheek rested on her arms, in a position of complete relaxation, as she addressed me. I was glad somebody was relaxed.

"Well, a girl might be inclined to feel taken for granted," she remarked coolly. I was glad somebody was cool.

I looked over at the chair in the corner on which her clothing - every single stitch of it - appeared to be neatly folded in a pile. On top of the pile lay some lacy, delicate looking things. How efficient, I thought, to fold and pile the items as she undressed - the last items off would be the first items on. I found that admirable and, God help me, actually commented on it. She laughed at me. I was glad somebody was laughing.

Then I did something that would probably seem beyond all comprehension to any heterosexual adult male - I glanced over at the bag containing my already softening pint of vanilla ice cream. I was glad something was softening. (I do apologize for that but I couldn't resist.)

It will melt, I thought to myself.

Now, contrary to all evidence contained herein, I am not a complete imbecile. I have been out here in the world long enough to know that any woman in this situation might be inclined to take offense which means, of course, that this particular woman might be inclined to take a life. I prepared to meet my maker and looked back at her.

To my profound disbelief, not to mention relief, I found her sitting up straight and smiling. I followed her gaze to the object that had so inappropriately diverted my attention. She glanced from the bag to me and, with a quick nod of her head, instantly made me the happiest man alive.

I must have grinned ear to ear as I hastily peeled off my jacket and kicked off my shoes before tearing open the bag and unearthing my treasure, which had now become our treasure.

"There's only one spoon," I explained apologetically as I moved slowly toward the bed, silently praying that my quaking knees would hold out for the duration of the trip.

"Oh, I wouldn't worry about that," she reassured as she patted on the bed beside her, "that is, if you don't mind sharing."

Mind sharing? Me? Never.

I sat down gently on the edge of the bed facing away from her, pulled the top off the container and set it on the nightstand. I then took a deep, fortifying breath and turned around, proffering the container and spoon. When she reached out to take them from me, I momentarily ceased breathing as I speculated on how long it would take for gravity to act on the sheet without her arms holding it in place.

The sheet held. After all, what chance does a puny force like gravity have against a formidable force like her?

"Mmmm... it's very good."

I must have said that line thousands of times since my escape but let me assure you, never to quite the same effect. Then again, I've never broken out in a sweat before just watching someone lick a dollop of vanilla ice cream off a spoon. I swallowed hard in anticipation as she scooped up another.

"You don't need to keep one foot on the floor, Jarod. This isn't a 1950s bedroom comedy and I sure as hell ain't Doris Day."

Huh? (No, I didn't ask! I looked it up later.)

"Come closer... have some ice cream."

Well, as long as you asked.

Heeding her rather cryptic advice about my feet, I swung both up on the bed and scooted over to be closer to her. I was preparing to take the spoon from her but she shook her head no and, instead, fed me a spoonful. The only problem was it was such a large spoonful that I could barely get it all into my mouth. I could feel an errant drop escape the corner of my mouth and begin to run down my chin. I reached up to wipe it away but, again, she shook her head no.

Now here's where it starts to get interesting...

The sheet slid a tiny bit lower, just enough to raise my blood pressure say 10... make that 15... points, as she leaned into me.

"I'll get that for you, Jarod."

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