She thought she’d eaten something that didn’t agree with her — some slab of off fish buried in sweet rice and wrapped in seaweed — because her stomach seared with hollow cold, then clenched so that she felt compelled to clutch at it. But when her tremulous hand met the soft swell of her abdomen, it felt no telltale rumbles, no painful spasms. In fact, the moment her fingers began to probe her midriff, a not unpleasant warmth spread through the tips into the surrounding flesh, then shot like a bolt of electricity throughout the rest of her body. Her blood beat out an insistent rhythm on her eardrums. She finally understood what it meant for a pulse to race; she could feel the turbulence in the delicate veins lining her pale wrist, and it was strong enough that she feared it would tear through the tender skin. She wrapped her arms around herself, hugging her vulnerable parts hard.
Desperation drove both her words and deeds: “What is this? What is happening to me?”
She finally dared to lift her gaze and met what could only be described as her dining companion’s hungry eyes. There he was, still with a delicate piece of sushi pinched expertly in splintery wooden chopsticks, held halfway between his dish and his open mouth, but looking at her as if to devour her whole. And she wanted that too then, to be pinched and held and intimately and utterly consumed, his lips, his teeth, his tongue on her.
He grinned, popped the slab of tuna into his mouth, and raised his hand at a passing waiter. “Check, please!” he choked out, and even that boorishness proved arousing to her in her current heightened state.
He’d baited the hook, and she’d bitten. Now he was really reeling her in.