You Don't Know Me

By: Georgia Le Carre

I grin at him. ‘I thought you’d never ask.’

He grins back and I stare at the beauty of the man. I have never seen him smile with his teeth showing before. He is spellbindingly handsome.

Unaware of my appreciation of him, he jackknives upright and, naked, walks to the dressing room. He comes back wearing track bottoms and holding a shirt in his hand.

‘Wear this,’ he says, holding it out to me.

I slip into it and fold the sleeves up.

He gazes at me.

‘What? What are you thinking?’ I ask.

‘How fuckable you look.’

I blush and he laughs.

‘Come on,’ he says leading the way. We go downstairs in our bare feet.

‘What’s there to eat?’ I ask, sliding onto one of the creamy yellow stools. His kitchen looks like it is hardly ever used. Every surface is gleaming with newness.

‘I don’t know,’ he says opening the fridge.

‘You don’t know. Who does the shopping for you?’ I ask curiously.

‘I have a woman who stocks my fridge and my cupboards.’

I get up and join him in front of the fridge. We study the contents together. His fridge is well stocked with unopened packets of food. Fresh vegetables, salad in a plastic bag, cheeses, meat, fish, jars of condiments and containers of cooked food.

‘You’ve got Khachapuri,’ I exclaim, my stomach rumbling at the thought of the crusty bread shaped to look like a boat, the middle filled with different types of melted cheese and baked with an egg thrown on top of all that cheese. Mmmm …

‘Shall we have one?’ he asks.

‘One? I’m not sharing my Khachapuri. Get your own.’

He grins down at me and for a second there is something soft in his eyes, then it is gone and replaced by something slightly distant and unreadable.

‘Fine, we’ll have two. I was just thinking you might want to save some space for the Morozhenoe,’ he explains in an amused voice.

‘Morozhenoe?’ I echo, my eyes bright. I love creamy Russian ice cream.

‘Uh … huh,’ he says, taking two portions of half-baked crusty bread filled with cheese and putting it on the granite counter top.

‘Oh my. A midnight feast with Morozhenoe. I used to have it direct from the carts whenever I went to Moscow. Now that I know you have it, I’ll have to come here more often,’ I say with a laugh, and suddenly realize what I have said.

There is no expression on his face as he unpacks the bread. ‘Do you want yours with an egg on top?’

‘Yeah,’ I say softly, walking back to my stool. Somehow the mood has been ruined.

I watch him crack two eggs on top of the bread boats and put them into the oven. He has big powerful hands. There are stars tattooed on them. I think of those strong, tanned hands on my body and the thought arouses me, makes me want him inside me all over again.

‘You don’t cook often, do you?’ I ask.

‘Almost never.’

‘So what happens to all the food if you don’t eat it?’

He shrugs carelessly. ‘I think Irina takes it home.’

I nod, my body going cold. When I asked him for one night it never even crossed my mind that he might have a girlfriend. Just because I saw him alone all the time I just naively assumed that he didn’t have one. Have I just had sex with someone’s boyfriend?

‘So who’s Irina?’ I ask as casually as I can.

He frowns. ‘Sort of my housekeeper.’

‘Sort of?’

‘It’s complicated.’

‘Complicated as in girlfriend?’

He looks surprised. ‘No, I’m not with anyone,’ he says.

Getting information from him is like squeezing blood from a stone, but it is a strange relief to know there isn’t a girlfriend lurking somewhere. He pulls open the freezer and takes out a bottle of Tovaritch vodka. My father’s favorite. Putting my elbows on the smooth cold surface and supporting my jaw in my palms, I watch him pour us a couple of shots.

He brings them to me.

‘I don’t want to get drunk,’ I say.

‘Want a raw egg?’

It is a Russian tradition. If you don’t want to get drunk have a raw egg before you start drinking. I shake my head.

‘Drink it in one go and don’t exhale through your mouth,’ he advises.

Top Books