Chapter 77 - Kindred Spirits

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∞ 77 ∞


While Valentina was serving the tarte, Lucius ducked into the vacated room behind the red curtain and returned with a rather nice silver pen that he found dropped down between the towers of moving boxes. (Valentina had given it to Jerremee in early days, hoping to add some refinement.)

"Was this his?" Lucius asked holding it in a piece of copier paper as if it were a bit of forensic evidence.

"Oh... yes," Valentina nodded, squinting at the pretty object that a colleague's secretary had supposedly stolen soon after it was given.

"I'll bring it back," said Lucius, doubling the paper around the pen without touching it and slipping it into his pocket.

Valentina might have asked why he needed the thing, but Lucius leant over and kissed her on the forehead, putting an end to any inquisitiveness that may have been budding on the matter (or any other matter apart from that he had kissed her again! even if it was only on the forehead).

To lighten the mood Valentina changed the music on her laptop and Lucius changed the subject, asking if she had considered anyone

new romantically. Valentina explained that she had found her handsome doctor fairly interesting and mentioned Lucho as well, but confided that neither of them were really "right" Not knowing that Lucius already knew many of the details of her past, she spoke about her few past relationships – some that she had fond memories of and others where she had been hurt quite deeply. This naturally brought the conversation around to the subject of 'Dogsname' to Lucius's dismay:

"It's really strange, because sometimes you remind me of him actually – sometimes quite a lot. I don't know how to explain it, but..." She said stopping short, forcing a smile and if Lucius was not mistaken, moved slightly back in her chair away from him.

"What, a 'posh bastard?'" asked Lucius and gave her a little wink. He had been labelled as such enough times during his Muggle immersion to understand the term. It made Valentina giggle.

Because Valentina now felt free to continue speaking candidly that was just what she did: She had had bad luck in relationships in general and was fed up with "settling" for a start. 'Anyway, there was nothing wrong with just being "romantic friends", or "kindred spirits" even... People jumped into sexual relationships too readily, and those sorts of vapid connections lost momentum quickly. She wasn't even certain if humans were meant to keep sexual relationships long term in view of the world population's track record.' Although she did not express it to Lucius directly, as far as he was concerned, she thought that she'd much rather be the one that had the true connection with him – the one who would still be there when all the short-sighted affairs with emotionally vacant, fashionably-unconscious Claires & Carolines and intellectually challenged, over-enhanced hoochie chicks had come and gone. (At least she assumed there was not already a wonderful woman, who fit him just right as a romantic significant other, or he would have mentioned her by now. Wouldn't he?)

She added that she thought she herself had been unsuccessful in love because she intimidated men. She knew she had quite a strong spirit and that she had quite a lot belief in herself (or rather HAD had, once upon a time) and that she knew these were not traits favoured by many men – "except for the ones who are looking for a mother" as she put it, but they had already discussed that. 'Most of the other sorts who were not trapped in boyhood, seemed to expect the "sweetie, cuttie, pretty girl" side of a woman to be all that was ever there. The ones she met anyway, felt she was being challenging when they were the ones who had put her in a position where she had had to "act like the man" in the first place. The double standard was ridiculously unfair!'

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