In August I posted a scene with Lysandra and Edward to show where they are after the events of Linchpin. I gave you their last date, here is there second. I have actually written up all five dates. Here is a summary:
1st – Art gallery opening.
2nd – A private dinner on Edward’s yacht (below).
3rd – Private dinner at Edward house, no one else home.
4th – Private box at the opera
5th – Movie night at the house
I have another scene where Lysandra gets black out drunk and ends up at Edward’s but I’m not sure where to put it their timeline. It would have to be closer to the start of Iteration, whereas these dates are closer to Linchpin. I may post it eventually. I’ll think about it.
DISCLAIMER-Whenever I post these scenes, they have not been through an editor.
“Miss Carlisle.” He greeted her with the tip of his hat. “My apologies for the wait.” He unlatched the gate and swung it open for her. “I’m Captain Noble.” He held his hand out for her.
“Thank you.” Lysandra gladly took it and they inched down the steep grade. “Is uh, Mr. Drake arriving soon?”
“He’s already on board. Dinner won’t be long. The chef has been cooking all afternoon.”
“Wow.” She looked around as they passed between the lines of boats. Having someone work hard for her all day was meant to be a compliment but it only made her feel bad. “I don’t want to be a bother to anyone.”
“Absolutely not. It’s what we’re here for.”
A cold breeze blew through the harbor. She zipped up her leather jacket to ward off the chill. It was no surprise to her that dinner was being prepared, she was glad it wasn’t at the house. She did not relish the idea of seeing Nolin and L’heilh just yet. Not until she and Edward figured out what they were. At the very end of the pier, a large ship, the only one with lights on, bobbed gently in the water. She took the captain’s hand again as they ascended the gangplank up to the main deck. After a few turns and one set of stairs, the captain guided her into a spacious room.
The room was cozy with soft lighting and lots of plush seating. Faint music filled the space. A bartender behind the bar cleaned glasses, he nodded as they made brief eye contact. Edward stood as she came into the room. He wore a charcoal suit with a mauve button down shirt that brought out the undertones in his skin. His green eyes sparkled as he smiled and bowed slightly. “Miss Carlisle.”
Heat flushed in her chest at the sound of his voice. “Nice to see you again, Mr. Drake.” Being on a date, a second date, doing something so mundane and normal was weird. Should they hug? Kiss? Their first date had been so formal and proper, she had no idea what was expected.
“May I take your coat?” Edward approached her.
“Sure.” She unzipped her jacket. He moved behind her and helped slide it from her shoulders.
Lysandra had to shop for this occasion. A few video chats with Kristy resulted in her current outfit, a dark green halter top and simple black skirt. “Classic and classy” as Kristy has put it. Now with the jacket gone she was very aware of her bare arms.
Edward hung her jacket up and returned to her side. “You look beautiful.” He leaned in and kissed her lightly on the cheek.
“Thank you. You’re looking handsome, as usual.”
“Would you like something to drink before dinner?” He glanced at the bar.
“Hmm,” she pivoted and scanned the bottles lining the wall. She was too nervous to think of anything interesting. “I’ll have a whiskey sour.”
“Coming up, Miss.” The bartender got to work.
“Would you like to sit?” Edward asked.
Lysandra looked around the room. It was warm in here. Really warm. The room had windows on all sides. She picked a section of couch that faced the water. Edward sat after her, leaving a respectful one foot of distance between them. “How was your day?” He asked as he settled back.
Lysandra shrugged. “It’s all very routine. With our new location patrol actually feels meaningful now.”
“That’s good isn’t it?” He stretched his right arm across the back of the couch and his left hand rested on his knee.
That’s when she saw it. The absence of his recently severed pinky finger stopped her heart. The events of that day flashed in her mind. She had been through some traumatic shit in her life but that… her vision blurred.
“Lysandra.” Edward moved next to her and took her hand. “Why are you crying?”
She reached up and felt the wetness on her face. Her eyes immediately went to the missing digit on his hand. Instinctively he moved his hand out of sight. “It’s okay.” He wiped tears from her cheek. “Talk to me.”
After a couple of deep breaths she found the words. “I’m so sorry. It’s all my fa–”
“Stop.” Edward’s voice was a command but soft with compassion. “What happened to me is on Xander and no one else. I will not let you take the blame for his actions.”
“But if I–”
“There wasn’t a single thing you could have done to change what happened.”
She knew that was true. She had rehashed the events of that week several times, trying to find where she could have changed their course. If she hadn’t been there, all of it would have happened to someone else, probably Matt or Kristy.
She nodded, conceding his point. Drying her eyes, she felt the wave of grief pass, and met his gaze. “Does it still hurt?”
Edward held up his hand and turned it a couple of times front to back. “Sometimes. Esben helps control the pain. It will get better with time.”
Lysandra reached up and took his hand and held it in her lap, caressing his palm. “Still, I’m sorry it happened.”
“I’m not.” His right hand resting on the back of the couch grazed her shoulder.
The bartender cleared his throat and appeared with their drinks. He set them on the glass coffee table in front of them.
“Thank you,” Edward nodded at him. “Please let us know when dinner is ready.”
“Yes, sir.” He bowed and left the room.
As soon as the door closed, Lysandra leaned forward, eliminating any space between them, and hugged him. With her face flush against his neck, she locked her arms around him and breathed.
Edward’s arms pulled across her back and held her tightly. She could feel his heart pounding through his chest. A month ago she would have kicked his ass, but now being with him was the most right thing in the world. The only place she wanted to be. She thought about his last statement, and a few good things had come from everything Xander had done.
“Maybe you’re right.” She said into his neck.
“You’re not sure?” She could hear the amusement in his voice.
She turned her hips and eased herself back into his lap. She combed a few of his dark curls with her fingers, trying her best to avoid staring at his lips. “You can’t be right all the time, Mr. Drake.”
“I must disagree with you, Miss Carlisle.” His arm around her waist tightened, drew her in.
“Don’t do something you may regret.” She traced her fingers along his jawline.
“I have no regrets when it comes to you, Lysandra.” His hand slid up her thigh.
Her stomach dropped at the warmth of his palm against her skin. She tried to repress a full body shiver and failed miserably. Lysandra pursed her lips. How had this devastatingly handsome man become the most important thing in her world?
Cupping his cheek, she pressed her lips to his. It was a slow drawn-out kiss. Neither wanting to rush, they luxuriated in each other’s presence. This time with nothing between then, no more lies, no more expectations, they could simply enjoy one another.
There was a knock on the door. Edward pulled away to see what it was.
“Hungry?” He green eyes bright.
Lysandra didn’t want to leave this moment. The warmth of this room. The nearness of Edward. She gave him one last kiss before reluctantly she slid from his lap. “Sure.” She picked up her drink and swallowed it down quickly.
[Conversation over dinner where they determine that if Lysandra could do one thing, it would be to travel for fun.]
Edward engulfed her in a hug, shielding her from the breeze as they watched the waves in the moonlight. Lysandra leaned into him, soaking up all his heat. Craning her head back, she looked up at him. “So dinner, drinks, and deep conversation. Anything else we should be doing on this date?”
“There’s no bowling alley onboard, if that’s what you were hoping for.” He swayed with the rhythm of the ship.
She went over all the things they had talked about over dinner about hobbies and interests. The wine and rocking of the ship made her feel like she was floating. She gasped with an idea. “Is there a hot tub onboard?”
Edward pursed his lips as his hands gripped her hips. “There is. Did you bring a bathing suit?”
Lysandra arched her eyebrows at him. “Are clothes vital to its function, Mr. Drake?”
“Not at all, Miss Carlisle.” He smiled and took her hand.