So today, because of the holiday, here's a homey little scene that doesn't give too much away.
Merry Christmas, happy Yule, or just happy hump day, for those who don't celebrate anything today. :)
“It really is just like bacon,” Ri all but wept, as the first crispy piece of slider meat melted on her tongue. She closed her eyes, lost in the wonder of the taste, the absolute thrill of sensation.
Bev took up a piece and tentatively tried it, as well, tears coming to her eyes with the first taste.
“Oh my gravy that’s good!” she whimpered, taking another small bite.
Rom and Erik watched Bev with wide eyes, making faces at her.
“How you can eat this… animal… is beyond me,” Rom muttered. He had dutifully cleaned and prepared the animal, but his hands were red with irritation from the process. Jace was taking notes on the necessary steps for safe processing and had tested the meat each step of the way, until he finally declared it safe to eat.
“If you’d just try it,” Bev told him, offering a small piece. He shook his head, sticking his tongue out much like a child might. Ri grinned and snagged another piece of the meat.
“More for us,” she shrugged, looking at Bev.
“What is that incredible smell?” Sean asked, wandering in from his mother’s room. Aleah followed him, both of them yawning and stretching from afternoon naps. Ri loved how the Thorsani tended to nap when they pleased, and with whomever they pleased. It was not unusual to find several of the men curled up together on a couch or under a tree in the sun, now that the weather was growing colder. Apparently, they kept that much of the cat in them. They saw nothing wrong with snuggling together for warmth, and there was nothing sexual about it. Ri adored that part of their make-up. She wanted for her children to feel so completely at ease that they would find comfort in the touch of others. Considering that the world she’d left behind had come to the point where little girls and little boys were told not to hold hands for fear of being thought gay, seeing grown men in ‘puppy piles’ was welcome, indeed.
“That incredible smell is what we are going to call bacon from now on,” Ri told him, not letting anyone else say a word. “Here. Try a piece.”
Trusting her implicitly, Sean took a bite of slider straight from her fingers. The look on his face was priceless. His eyes widened in shock for jsut a moment, then closed in ecstasy.
“What is that?” he breathed, once he’d savored and consumed his piece and snagged three more from the plate in front of Ri.
“Salted and fried slider,” Rom told him baldly. Sean choked for just a moment, then shook his head. He looked from the plate to Ri and back again.
“Worth it,” he said, crunching another piece of the delight. Ri giggled and hugged his waist. Bev grinned up at him.
“It’s even better with eggs, toast, and shredded, fried tubers,” Ri told him. Sean’s eyebrows went up in disbelief. She nodded, chuckling. “I promise. It’s amazing like that. We had it for breakfast all the time back home. Though the sliders don’t have nearly the fat content that pigs do, the taste is almost identical to bacon from Earth.”
“Now if we could just figure out coffee and chocolate,” Bev lamented. “We’d be set.”
Not to be out-done by his older brother, Hunter scowled and snatched up a piece of the bacon. Jace did the same thing, and both gave equal amounts of awed delight to their comments upon tasting the treat. Erik sighed and capitulated, but Rom, who had been badly wounded by a slider not too many months before, was holding out. But when Aleah, Geoff, and even his own children joined in their effusive enjoyment of the meat, Rom gave in and tried it as well.
Dinner that night was breakfast. Lots of it.
Excerpt from Brothers in Arms, book two in the Hearts of Ishira series, tentative releasing in spring of 2014.