|7| Gurgling Fountain||

“Ms. McMann?”

Daisy started in the middle of taking off her sweater and found Mr. Lane’s handsome face in the reflection of the mirror. She frowned and looked back at him shrugged back in the piece of cloth. That was the first time she saw him that day. He was locked in his office under heated discussions all morning and into the afternoon. It was no never mind. She understood the man had to work. And by the sound of things, he was good at what he did. She spent the day with her beautiful little charge doing all manner of things, and finally got her to have some quiet playtime in her room after dinner.

“Mr. Lane. I wasn’t expecting to see you today.”

“Yeah.” He rubbed the back of his neck and leaned on the door frame. “Apologize for that. The meeting went far longer than I expected. I hope Irene wasn’t too mad at me.”

“Oh, not at all. What’s there to be mad about? You were working.” She faced him and set her hands on top the other in front of her. “Now, what can I do for you this evening?”

He laughed in an awkward way and rubbed the back of his neck again. Did he need a neck massage? Seems as though he might. She wouldn’t mind--

“I realize you’ve already had a full day, but it’d be nice to take a short stroll around the rose garden with you. Maybe hear about your and Irene’s day?”

A polite smile found her face, but her insides were taking flight at the idea that’d he’d come out of his way to spend time with her. It was a silly thing to want, to notice, but she couldn’t help it any more than she could help her attraction to the man. “I’d love that.”

“Oh it’s temperate weather. You won’t need a jacket.”

She paused with her hand on her outerwear before standing straight and walking toward him at the door. He offered his arm and she rested her palm on it with a small smile up at his smirking face. “Well don’t you clean up nicely, Mr. Lane.”

His pale cheeks flushed with color. “Thank you, Daisy.”

“What? You didn’t think I’d notice?” She laughed and bumped him with her hip as they descended the stairs.


“No such luck. Observation is what I am best at. Speaking of observing, I have to say, I think Young Ms. Bell is doing a fantastic job. I couldn’t be happier with the steps she’s taken.”

“They said you were a miracle worker.” He pushed open the door that led out to the gardens. The cooling air hit her.

“Oh no. I can not nah, will not take all the credit. This was you and her doing all of this I was merely a conduit to work through.”

“You don’t give yourself enough credit.” He soothed, glancing over her way. She took a deep inhale when the blossoming roses hit her olfactory senses.

“Oh my goodness. Look at this place!” Giddy joy filled her when she looked around all the colors bursting around her.

The man’s steady amusement brought her starry-eyed gaze to look at him. “I’d been wanting to get you out here. I thought you’d like it.”

“I love it. It’s beyond lovely.”

“As are you.” She stopped walking and he turned to face her front on. “I probably shouldn’t have said that.” He swallowed a lump in his throat and his eyes fell to her throat. “But I meant it all the same. It’s been--” He rubbed his neck. “There’s been a joy since you came here that I find strange yet the very thing that’s been missing. I know that it’s your job, but still I-- It’s--”

She squeezed his hands and he looked into her eyes. “It’s not just my job Mr. Lane. I rather enjoy my charge. Young Miss. Bell is a breath of fresh air.” She shivered.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” He took off his heavy sweater and wrapped the warm thing over her shoulders. “I seem to have misinformed you. It was warmer an hour ago when I was out here.”

“Thank you.” She whispered, looking up at him from under her lashes. She was pretty much wrapped in his arms at the moment as he was still holding fast to the two sides of the sweater. “Well isn’t this silly? Sweater over a sweater.” She let out a ridiculous laugh before finding the man’s serious face. He used the sweater to pull her close against him. He slid his hand around her waist and the other one he cupped her cheek and brought their faces together.

She exhaled and let her eyes close slowly and just focused on feeling his lips massage hers. All the shouts of worry, warning of pending sorrow to come was sucked somewhere back in her head. Deep in the recesses of her mind.

All she cared about in the moment was the feel of his body against hers, heat from his hand seeping through the fabric of her cloths. The measured caresses of his tongue. The alluring fragrance of his aftershave. She linked her arms around his neck and settled against him. She ran her fingers up the back of his neck and tangled her digits in the hairs at the nape of his neck. She felt a shiver rack his body before he pulled away but still kept her in his arms.

“I might shouldn’t--”

“It’s okay.” She stroked  along his jawline as he rested his forehead against hers.

“If I’m crossing a line--”

“You’re not.” She pushed up on tiptoes to claim his lips. She moaned into him when he pulled her close against him. She only noticed that somewhere in there his sweater was no long on her shoulders when the wind whispered on her neck. She was far from cold with him so close. He set her down on the edge of the fountain that gurgled away behind her.

He kissed along her neck and pulled her panties and leggings down at the same time. For some reason she wasn’t bothered by the fact that she was spread bear on the bottom on a concrete fountain edge with someone about ready to bury their face in her most private place. It all seemed to make sense. Probably because her proprietary school girl training was shut off at that particular moment and she was running on pure, raw emotion. Something that she spent so long turning off, ignoring, sending back to the far reaches of her mind because things didn’t make sense.

She gasped when his lips made contact with the yearning buzz nestled between her legs. She rolled her hips to meet his mouth. He clasped her waist more securely and suckled with more intention.

She combed her fingers through his hair and let her head fall back against her shoulder blades as he tasted her. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been in a position of pleasure, but it was sending long ago feeling through her. The familiar yet oddly foreign feelings licked the back of her head with a sweet temptation from long ago. They filled her with a need that she had no clue was there but seemed ancient seemed prehistoric. It seemed some monster awakening from a deep sleep rising to awareness, pushing to the surface from a dark abyss. Her breathing was difficult at the creature approached the surface charging there with the vengeance of an ion awaiting in the unknown to be shown to feel the sun the break the surface of the the heavy liquid that held it captive for so long.



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