Maya was not a big holiday person, but New York for Christmas was a sight to behold. Even for the more jaded like herself.

She had a conference in the city for work. It was a shock for her to be invited to such a corporate invention. She'd been working from home for years, but it was fine—and a free trip to New York City!

Exhausted from the day’s nonstop meetings, Maya wandered to a designer pop-up hot chocolate shop nearby the hotel, where the conference was being held and where she was staying. ‘Gourmet marshmallows and whipped cream to die for’ she was promised. She read about it in the morning paper. The novelty of it lured her, and so she found herself outside of a whipped cream-shaped structure waiting in a long line, but she had come this far, so she tried to rustle up some patience.

The cufflinks of the man in front of her glittered, and his long graceful fingers—without rings of any kind—lured her even more than the promise of designer hot chocolate. But she wasn't going to try anything, she was tired and probably looked it.

He stopped rubbing his face and clutched his suitcase tighter. She could not help but smirk, she worked mostly from home now, but she remembered all too well going to work and holding everything too tightly.

When she got to the cashier, whose hair was done like a whipped-up confection, she got a simple hot chocolate, but could not resist eggnog-flavored whipped cream sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon.

She stood at the window looking out at all of the people on Fifth Avenue—the people walking by and the people trying to procure a hot chocolate like herself.

“It is pretty, but overwhelming, no?” A male voice resonated behind her.

Maya turned to see the man with the glittering cufflinks—snowflakes she saw now—still clutching his suitcase while holding his hot chocolate in another hand. His upper lip was moustached with whipped cream.

She licked her lip, like you would do for a young child to indicate the whipped cream there, and then realized as an adult woman that that could be read as something entirely different.

The man smiled, as he wiped his lips with a whipped cream shaped napkin in understanding.

“Thank you, that is a delicate thing to tell a stranger.”

Maya smiled.

“How is your hot chocolate?” he asked.

“Amazing! I was looking forward to this all day. I have been in a conference nearby and this is just the way to unwind on a winter day.”

“That was what I was hoping.” He said. Maya gazed at him as she took another sip of her hot chocolate. “This is my pop-up shop. And I do not mean to be too curious…but are you referring to the conference at the Metropolitan Hotel?”

Maya nodded. “Yes.”

“I am doing the catering for that—have you had dinner?”

“No, I was thinking this might be dinner!”

“Oh no, you have to try some of the things that we are planning for tomorrow. You picked my favorite hot chocolate combination, so I trust your taste.”

The test kitchen was a dream kitchen. The perk of working from home was that Maya could feed herself well and cook as much as she liked.

Clive, the formerly whip-cream-moustached man, offered her a small plate of pan-roasted chicken with a crisp rosemary and sage skin. She closed her eyes in appreciation.

And that was just the start.

Clive was impressed with her cooking acumen, and he conversed with her about everything on the menu and let her try it. Her hot chocolate grew cold as she walked around the test kitchen with him. In the kitchen, he looked more in his element.

“I want everything to taste like the holiday without screaming holiday, you know?” He had taken off his tie, and his suitcase, which he had clutched for dear life, had disappeared.

“I know, I am not a big fan of the holidays, but I love all of the food!” Maya said.

They smiled.

He seduced her mercilessly with gourmet food, and Maya was helpless. But had he just invited her to taste the food? Or did he want to taste her?

She could not be sure.

When he guided her out of the test kitchen, his moves were more polished than the surfaces of the metallic, minimalist kitchen.

“Are you staying in the hotel as well?” he inquired.

Maya nodded.

“This is my room card; I would like to spend more time with you, but nothing is assumed. You do not find people who will tell you that you have whipped cream on your upper lip every day." Clive said.

“You can follow me if you want, and tell me if the options in my hotel fridge are gourmet enough?” Maya answered.

Clive smiled broadly.

“Give me a bit to take up my stuff to my room and then I will provide my professional opinion…” Clive answered. He picked up his suitcase with a looser grip and smiled back at her.

Maya stayed in her business attire in her hotel room—there was no expectation and as she had tasted the decadent food in the test kitchen, she knew she did not want the night to end. She would dream of the rosemary and sage pan-roasted chicken, if nothing else that night, as her great sensual experience.

A knock at her door indicated that Clive had arrived—with the bottle of the wine she had admired in the wine closet downstairs. A red blend that came from her home state of California.

“I want you to feel at home.” Clive mused.

“It is an experience, New York. I saw pictures, but I never imagined it would be like this. It’s amazing…” Maya mused.

“I never imagined I would meet such an elegant gourmand in my pop-up shop.”

Maya smiled, as he leaned in close to her. He smelt like sage.

His kiss was slow and soft—she could feel he wasn't rushing her. It was nice to go slow. Did he really smell like rosemary and sage or was she just anthropomorphizing the chicken?

Clive took his time, and it made her greedier for him, but she pulled from the patience that she had waiting in the line of the hot chocolate pop-up.

Their kissing got heavier, so much so that she curled on her side and brought him down to the mattress with her. His kisses remained greedy, but his fingers were even greedier, searching under her skirt. She wore a simple thong trimmed in lace, and he cupped her vulva through it. His warm fingers massaged her there, and she heard the tiny thwick of how wet she was as he massaged her.

Maya reached for him. He did not resist as she unbuttoned his shirt and kissed his clavicle. He responded as if she had kissed him somewhere lower…

They started to wrestle on the bed and every time they turned someone lost a piece of clothing. Naked and panting, Maya knew that he knew she was ready for him. But she wanted to drag out her pleasure. She damn near came when he was just massaging her, so anything more would drive her over the edge.

A man, who savored food was always a good lover, and Clive was no exception. She wanted him inside of her.

When it was imminent—the sound of the condom wrapper louder than the bells outside on Fifth Avenue of various Santa Clauses—she stopped him as he entered that first little bit of her.

“Wait, I just want to savor you for a bit,” she said reaching for his hand behind her.

Clive stopped, but continued to caress her bottom. Maya loved the pleasure from that first intrusion inside of her. That first little bit on the threshold of her, like teasing a suitor at the door in the Victorian era.

But she wanted him the more she denied herself, and coming onto all fours she whispered a plea-filled command:

“More.”

Clive filled her, and it was so good that she wanted to burst. She wanted every bit of him to almost go through her. He touched all of her sweet spots with every movement. On her knees, she knew that he would have easier access to her G-spot and he did not miss it. Like a bullseye, he found her spot and she went wild.

So wild she flailed and knocked over the unopened wine they had not gotten to because they were so busy talking.

They both laughed at the crash.

The next morning at the conference, there was an addition to the coffee and tea. Mayan hot chocolate. Maya took a sip and wished that she could take credit aloud for the hot chocolate that everyone was so delighted by.

Lunch was rosemary and sage chicken with potatoes. Later when Clive stopped by with a new bottle of wine, he grinned at her:

“Try not to break this bottle.”