|5| The Appropriate Thing||

“How long is she going to be in there?”

“It’s an hour session. Would you please stop pacing.”

Dyan stopped walking around the waiting room and stuffed his hands in his pockets instead.

“There’s nothing to be nervous about.”

“I’m not nervous. I’m just--” He ran his fingers through his hair with a sigh. “What is she in there saying you think? Probably the truth. I’m a horrible guardian.” He plopped in the seat next to her in the narrow hallway. It was a small office and the waiting space was empty save for them.

“Don’t worry.” She rubbed his back. She hated the defeated look on his handsome face. He’d cleaned up a bit, and by that she meant he washed his hair and threw on lean cloths. “Whatever is being worked through is not a poor reflection on you.”

His azure eyes met his. “How could it not?” He took a deep breath and stood up again. “Do you think I’m traumatizing her?”

“No.” She said pulling him back to sit next to her. “But you are traumatizing me.”

“Sorry.” There was a long silence that they settled in. It wasn’t the peaceful kind though. She could feel his brain moving at a million miles and hour and it was still driving her crazy. She prided herself on her self restraint however, so she set back straight proper in her chair just like she trained for years. Slouching was, well it was what heathens did and she was a well-bred well read, well--


Her insides move at the quality of his voice and his use of referring to her in the familiar. She knew in America is was quite common to address someone by their given name, but it felt more intimate with Dyan--Mr. Lane than with other employers. “Yes, Mr. Lane.” She met him with a cool steady gaze of her own. She would not be tempted like she was the other night under the haze of firelight, warmth, and the man’s irresistible late night facial scruff.

He eyes traced his face, but she made a concerted effort to stay away from his mouth. She would not under any circumstance look at his-- Damn it.

The corner of his mouth lifted when she failed at her own mission. “I don’t really want to talk about Irene.”

“No?” She glanced down at his shaking leg.

“No.” He stood up and wandered over to a window at the end of the hall. He stood silent over by the window for a while just looking out. He was a moody sort wasn’t he?

She stood up and approached him making sure to leave an appropriate amount of space between them. “What is it that you would like to discuss?”

He glanced at her over his shoulder then faced her. “The other night.” In my study.

“Oh, that.” His pained look didn’t go unnoticed even though she kept her face impartial. She was hoping he would let it go, but since he didn’t she had to do the right thing and that was nip it in the bud. “That was an ill advised lapse in judgement that should not happen again.”

She brought back her breath with his brewing eyes met hers. “How the hell do you do that?”

“What exactly are you referring to?” She meant her voice to sound stronger, but he stole her breath.

“The, the upright indifference thing that you do. The proper English snobbery.” He put his hands on his hips and paced a few steps. “Look, I know that you didn’t come here for-- you came here for Irene I get that. I’m not asking for--” He broke back at the window. He rested his palms there. “I-I was there that night. I saw you I felt you. Say, say you want to be professional, that you’re thinking about the best interest of Irene, but don’t say--”

His words fell away because Daisy pressed her lips against his. There was something moving about his emotional turmoil. His anxiety that made her want to assure him that she was more than an upright prudish governess. When his arms closed around her she melted into him and deepened the kiss angling her face under his. His tongue slipped between her lips and her inside started on fire.

He was so close, so hot, so deep. She wanted more, more of him, more kisses, in other places. Places that made her blush thinking about anyone being down there, seeing her bare, exposed.

They pulled apart chests heaving struggling to regain composure, senses, their surroundings of anything besides the other. He hadn’t released her; in fact, in thumb was massaging her spine in such a way that made her shiver.

He closed his eyes when her fingers, of their own accord started playing with the hair and the nape of his neck.

“Daisy.” He whispered he name like it was a love poem he was reciting to the woman of his dreams. There was yearning, desire, need, and the possibility of denial and loss. “I thought--” He took a few breaths to steady his rising chest. “I thought you said it wouldn’t happen again?”

The corner of her mouth lifted and she stroked his cheek. “I said, it shouldn’t happen again.”

He leaned down and kissed her, gentle, soft, lingering then pulled back.

She pulled away and he released her reluctantly. “It shouldn’t happen again,Dyan. You know that. My stay here will be over in a few months and my focus should be young Ms. Bell. She will need both of our attention in this process to healing.”

He took a long breath, placed his hands on his hips and looked down at his brown dress shoes and tan colored pants. “I know. You’re right.” He looked up and met her eyes. “Thank you.”

She frowned and looked at him from the mirrored surface of her compact. “For what?”

“Reassuring me I’m not crazy.”

They held each other’s eyes for a while before she nodded then brought her eyes back to her reflection. “You’re welcome, Mr. Lane.”



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