Like the characters who cook in my Natural Gift series of paranormal romances, I am always experimenting with food and writing new recipes. Today I’d love it if you would join in on the fun and help me name this dish.
Your first question is probably, “What’s in it?” Right? What you see in the pic is mushrooms, onions, red bell pepper, zucchini, carrots, rice, and a vegan sausage we tried for the first time that night made by Beyond Meat. We liked it and will buy it again. What’s harder to see is the garlic cashew cream sauce the casserole baked in, forming a crunchy crust. It was so good!
So, what do you say? I’m looking forward to hearing your suggestions.
Another of my great loves is writing about food. Check out No Yesterdays to see what the group is cooking up and to enjoy heartwarming romance.
“I didn’t come here with this in mind. I just wanted to see you, and to thank you for getting mad at me.” He sat on the toilet, mesmerized.
“I’ve been mad at you more than I’ve been anything else since the day we met.” She swirled water with her fingers, breaking up clumps of bubbles, drowning others. “What’s on your mind now, Jason?”
He shook his head, laughed. “You know what I’m thinking about.”
“Sex, Jason? Sex with me? Wet, slippery, bathtub sex?” She splashed him with enough water to wet his pants.
“Lina,” he warned.
“What? Mr. I-don’t-want-to-tie-you-down is afraid of a little no strings sex?”
“The minute you showed up in my life there were more strings than a yarn warehouse. I’ll wait for you out in the living room.”
Walking out of there was actually harder than talking to his mom about what a cheating, lying asshole his father had been, but he did it.
“Hi.” A pair of huge gray eyes in a pretty oval face was the first thing he saw when he came out of the bedroom.
“That’s Deb, she’s Tanya’s friend.” Rain pointed to each of the women as he introduced them.
“I didn’t know you were bringing a friend along for Deb.” Tanya threaded her fingers through Rain’s. “That’s so sweet.”
“Oops, misunderstanding.” Jason smoothed it with his voice. “I’m with Lina, Rain’s roommate. It’s nice to meet you both. I’m Jason Carapelli.”
The newcomers couldn’t know that he was saying his name with a whole new level of pride.
He’d been proud to be a Carapelli because his mother was one, too. When she’d married Joe and became a Jacobs, he was still proud to be a Carapelli.
It was when Carter and Brittany found their rhythm, then Rowan and Jenny jumped right into happy times, that he’d started to wonder about what effect his father had on him. It had chipped away at him until he came to the ugly, and wrong, conclusion that he couldn’t be with his own soul mate because he was his father’s son.
It had taken that special person, the woman who had just tempted him beyond reason, to help him see that he was his mother’s son as much as he was his father’s, and that she’d always had more influence on him because she’d always been there. His father had left long before he died when he and Jenny were ten.
Lina came in wearing a robe that covered everything but was way sexier than Jason considered fair.
“Hello.” Lina greeted their visitors. “I’m Lina, Rain’s roommate.” She turned to Jason. “Do you want anything to eat or drink? I was going to heat up some veggie pasta from the center.”
“Sure, thanks.” He smiled.
“We’re heading out to a movie, grab some pizza after. You want to join us?” Rain asked before Lina reached for plates.
“Jase?” Lina leaned against the counter, asking his opinion.
So his choices were to be here alone with her, or for them to go out with Rain and his company. It was time to rip the band-aid off. “I think we’ll hang out here, if that’s cool with you, Lina.”
Rain nodded, high-fived Jason. “Right on!”
Tanya and Deb were naturally confused.
“Thanks.” Jason told him, grateful for his support. “We’re sort of making up.” Jason explained for Deb and Tanya.
Tanya nodded. “That makes sense. We need to go, Rain, or we’re going to be late for the movie.”
“Cool, yeah. See you guys.”
“Does Rain ever have trouble with dates when you walk around looking like that?” Like a wanton sex goddess.
“It doesn’t happen too often. He’s only been on a few dates since the breakup. You want some juice, or water?” She glanced in the fridge. “I have carrot, or mango. I can mix them if you want.”
“This is weird, Lina. Isn’t it weird for you?” He made himself stay across the room from her.
“You turning me down in the bathtub that was the weird part. This feels pretty normal compared.” She shrugged.
“I think we should date-” He broke off. “Fuck, Lina, please go put some clothes on.”
When she reached up for the plates, the short robe rode up and showed that she wore a black G-string for panties.
“Sure.” She turned, threatened to untie the belt at her waist.
“In your room,” he groaned.
“You’ve already seen me naked,” she argued.
“What do you want from me, Lina? I’m trying to be a good guy here.” He held his hands out in supplication.
Gina Briganti writes paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance in north Texas. Her constant companion is a special soul who masquerades as a dog.