Rare art book, “Ong’s Passion: Allure of the Sweetroll”,
depicting healthy unclad Imperials holding artfully placed sweetrolls.
(from the item description)
“Make yourself at home, it won’t take long.” Saying that Circe disappeared through the doorway leaving him in her small, but cozy apartment in the Belkarth inn.
“Might’ve as well waited in the common room” he muttered more to himself, feeling slightly awkward surrounded with her belongings and a faint smell of jasmine – so distinctively “hers” that it made him dreamy and dizzy at the same time. Alastair sighed and looked around. A stack of books on a small shelf got his attention, and he moved closer – history, poetry, something about cooking. Cooking? Alastair shook his head, Circe definitely knew how to cook, but reading a cooking book – that was new! “Allure of the Sweetroll” – even the name sounded tempting. Snatching the book from the shelf he flipped through the pages.
The room suddenly seemed much smaller and way hotter, and he felt treacherous bright red color creeping up his neck to his cheeks. Alastair shut the book with a loud snap. That was not a cooking book! Oh, there were sweetrolls in it, sure, plenty of them actually. Held by and placed on various body parts of young Imperials.
Suddenly he remembered lingering looks Circe gave him several days ago when he was eating one of the sweetrolls she brought. No. Oh, no! Or? The blush that started to disappear was back. Could it be that she made those on purpose?
He dared another peek in the book, opening it in the middle and flipping some more pages. Oh. Oh! His breath caught, and he paused looking at the two portraits of a young woman. The first showed her holding a sweetroll in both palms as if offering it to him, and on the second she was biting in the plump pastry’s side, still looking straight at the viewer, her smiling lips lightly smeared with the white icing. She didn’t look like Circe, except for, maybe, the color of her eyes – but it didn’t help. All Alastair could see was Circe smiling like that and biting the sweetroll.
“Here’s the letters I wanted to… Oh!”
Alastair spun around facing her. Circe’s looked at his burning face, then at the book in his hands and at his face again tilting her head to the side in surprise and amusement.
“I thought you were more into huge Redguard guys!” he blurted out trying to hide his embarrassment.
“I… What? No! I… What are you talking about?” Circe’s turned the most lovely shade of pink. She took a step closer, looking at the book’s cover. “That’s not what you think it is! It’s an artbook!”
“Yes. Right. Art…” His voice trailed off.
“But it is! It even says so in the foreword.”
“I… I think I’d better go now.” Trying not to meet her eyes with his Alastair scooted over to the door.
The first thing he saw getting back home was Garzur… lazily chewing a sweetroll. Alastair choked on a greeting and froze at the doorstep, looking at his friend. Orsimer vampire rose his eyebrows and after a brief pause broke the pastry in two, offering half to him. Blood rushed back to the young man’s cheeks.
“By the Divines! I think I had enough of those today!” With that he stormed upstairs, leaving puzzled orc to wonder how an innocent offering of a sweetroll might’ve caused such reaction.