Virginia’s conversation with Emile (cont’d)


“Tell me, Mademoiselle, what do your tastes lean towards?”

His double entendre was delivered with the slightest grin and a definite twinkle in his eye. “Tastes, Monsieur?” She refused to give him the satisfaction and knowledge that his magnetism intrigued her.

“Does your palate crave sweet treats or salty delicacies?”

She’d have to choose her words carefully lest she get caught in the fine web he cast. “Given the choice between confections or say, fresh-baked bread, I would gravitate toward the bread.”

Victoria could tell by the slight pause that he was looking for another way under her skin.

“Then I think you would enjoy this pinot noir from Burgundy. With this particular label, you can detect a hint of cherry, as they integrate cherry trees along with the pinot meunier vines. Now, this is how I want you to experience the taste. First, close your eyes.”

Monsieur…” She’d played this game before and the results were less than permissible.

“Do not be afraid.”

“I am not afraid, I assure you.”

“Then close your eyes and open your mouth.”

“What are you going to do?” she asked and peered at him. He had yet to win her trust, after all, and with what happened with Monsieur Leroux’s other guests, she supposed she should attempt to be cautious.

Emile sighed and took his seat. “All right. We shall compromise.”

This made her feel a thousand times better.

“Here.” He reached over, plucked a small chunk of yellow cheese from the platter and fed it to her. “Just after you swallow, I want to you take a sip of your wine, shut your eyes and tell me what you taste.” He pressed a glass into her hand.

With one last assessing glance, she did as he told her, feeling silly that she’d suspected him of indelicacies. This tasting that Emile had set up seemed harmless enough. And she wouldn’t spit, either. It was rude for Rory to even suggest such a thing.


“Tell me,” he nearly whispered close to her ear.

Her eyes popped open and found him cosying up to her side, but not touching her. “The wine made the taste of the cheese come to life in my mouth!”

“And what a beautiful mouth you have.”

Beautiful mouth? She couldn’t help the giggle that escaped her lips. “What an odd thing to say.”

“Not from where I sit, Mademoiselle.”

Virginia had no idea how to react to his statement.

“Now I want you to compare this next wine with the first one.” He removed her old glass, poured the next selection into a new glass and handed it to her.

She sipped. “Hm. Richer. Fuller. Is this an older bottle?”

“It is, however this Bordeaux is made from cabernet sauvignon grapes as opposed to the pinot. Any red wine will enhance well-flavoured meats and will do the same for them as what you experienced with the cheese.” Emile tossed back the wine in front of him, then leaned his head towards hers. “Tell me, Mademoiselle, where do your friend Rory’s tastes lie?”



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