|4| Walk on a Moonlit Path||
Daisy didn’t even try to keep the stupid smile off her face and she recalled the morning’s activities. If she had to call out success and failures, she’d say that day was a huge success. See the man and his charge with such joy, such bliss after being introduced to the dark, heavy, sadness that hovered over the manner when she arrived was only a miracle. She knocked on the door frame to Dyan’s office. It was strange seeing the door open, and despite the fact that it was night time, the room was lit with a couple well-placed floor and table side lamps. She frowned when she saw Dyan’s desk empty.
She brought her attention to a corner of the room near the fireplace where she found the handsome man sitting with one leg resting on his knee, a glass of some dark fluid in a small glass, a book resting on his lap, and smart looking glasses on his straight slender nose.
“Ms McMann. I thought you’d had enough of me for a week at least.” Her employer’s voice sent her insides to swimming. There was something about his calm easy presence that made her pay more attention. In that moment he looked like a scholar like a college professor that she was stepping in on during office hours.
She laughed, crossed her arms and made her way inside. “Oh dear, Mr. Lane. I’m quite certain I’m just getting started.” She stopped her approach a few feet away from him and leaned on the back of an adjacent chair. Getting too close might be problematic because her thoughts, as of late, were anywhere but chaste which is the only place they should have been. “I don’t want to take up any more of your evening than necessary just wanted to say you were brilliant with young Ms. Bell this afternoon.”
He presented a kind smile and placed his glasses in his book and closed it on his lap.
“It was fun.” He frowned in thought. “Unexpectedly so, might I add.” The corner of his mouth lifted as he recalled the day in his mind. A fond memory. That’s what was made that day and she was apart of that. Her chest filled with warmth. That was why she did what she did. Sometimes she lost sight of it all, but that was why she kept on moving house to house, never settling down anywhere too long, not having a family of her own.
“See I knew you would your young charge once you got into it. She has that energy about her doesn’t she.” She met his eyes.
“Like her mother.” He said simply.
She could see the hurt in the man’s face as he looked away. The sting of loss just at the mention of the little girl’s parents. It was clear to Daisy that Irene wasn’t the only one struggling through the loss.
She cleared her throat mostly to stop herself from charging into a tender spot. Healing could only happen when the person was ready. She knew that more than most and he wasn’t ready. Not quite yet. “I’ll go then. Perhaps we could have some time during lunch. I was thinking in the rose garden. The day is supposed to be nice.”
Her insides twisted around itself at the sound of her name playing off his lips. She paused and turned back to face him. She gasped when she had to look up at him, standing so close she could feel the heat rolling off his body. How did he get her quickly? How did his long slender limbs clear the safety of distance with so little effort, so little time? “Yes?” She whispered, trying to gather her sense that had somehow left her feeling frazzled, unsteady. She was certain she hadn’t felt those feelings in what had to be years. Her chest burned at the pain that followed the buoyancy of affection. She knew better. Wisdom was growing from your mistakes not repeating them.
“I-I’m glad you’re here. That you came to, uh help us, uh, Irene.”
“It’s my ple--” She broke off when soft lips pressed into hers. He pulled away leaving the crisp sound of their lips pulling apart echoing in the air.
She should have thought, but there was no time. Before the man could get his apology out she cleared the space between their lips, was on her tiptoes, with her arms linked around his neck.
He moaned and melted into her, pulling her body flush to his. He cupped her cheek with one hand and angled his face over hers.
Dear sweet baby Jesus she’d not felt that kind of rush in-- well, it’d been a very long while.
Slowly their searing kiss ended and she reluctantly pulled out of his arms and started toward the door. She glanced back at him when he held her hand for an extended period of time before letting it drop and stuffing his hands in his pocket.
She cleared her throat at the door. “I, uh, Harriet and I put Ms. Bell down for the night.”
Daisy laughed. “That’s what Harriet said too. Indeed. I was able to convince my young charge that getting enough rest for another day full of magic was the only way to go.”
His amusement made her smile too.
“I spoke to Harriet. She said the little one was seeing a therapist right after the accident.”
He nodded his mood darkening with the furrow of his brown and piercing together of his lips. “For about six months.”
“I think she should go back. Trauma is funny in that it comes in waves sometimes. A therapist can help create a safe place to talk through some new feelings.”
He nodded. “If you think it’s best, I’m okay with it.”
“Great, I’ll set the appointment tomorrow, and remember lunch in--”
“The rose garden, yes. I won’t miss it.”
“Very good. Have a good evening, Mr. Lane.”
“You too, Ms. McMann.”
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