Affections

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"You need to stop doing that so impulsively," I commented, feeling all the heat rush to my face as I guarded my lips with my fingers.

"Do what exactly?" 

Darius leaned away and took a sip of his wine, I couldn't help but see a smile on those teasing lips as he drank to his heart's content.

"You know what," I grumbled.

Darius scoffed, "I'm sure you wouldn't have any objections if it was Elray."

I sat back in my chair and looked down at the table arrangements, funny how I only realised the flowers that were arranged in the middle. Looking around, most tables had them anyway. I sighed, thinking back to Xavier.

"Why are you guys so complicated?" I scratched the back of my head in annoyance.

"Perhaps because you women overthink too much."

I opened my mouth to say something, my eyes hit his gaze as they landed on my lips. I quickly grabbed the glass of water, causing Darius to chuckle.

"Relax," his voice dripped thickly like honey, "next time there won't be any surprises."

"Thank God," I whispered out.

"Perhaps because I wouldn't have to do so," he smiled once again causing something strange to stir in my stomach.

"I honestly don't get you," I leaned a hand under my chin and observed the man who seemed like such a tyrant, but was actually able to show some kind of . . . softness? I wasn't sure how to pinpoint him; he was still a mystery.

"Oh?" He replied mimicking my movements, "how so?"

"I-I don't know, I just don't get you. I mean sometimes you're like this raging dragon who gets upset and angry over any little thing and then you're showing such affection like some kind of big puppy."

I just spoke my thoughts out aloud, not knowing when I had felt so at ease with the very man that was so full of rudeness. He stared at me with interest as his smile broadened, turning into a fit of laughter.

I was surprised at how hearty and full his voice was when he laughed, I actually liked the sound of how deep and loud it was. It was that sort of laugh which you would enjoy hearing, wanting to know what the joke was or even joining in with the contagious sound that came out from this burly man.

"So it's true, you do see me as a dragon?" He spoke with the strange smile on his face.

I looked down at how his long lips curved, and how those aging lines added a sense of maturity to him. 

I placed my hand on my lips again, feeling all the more abashed, "w-well I can't help it and anyway where did you hear that from?"

"Never you mind about that," he leaned forward and twiddled with some of my curls again. "You know your hair looks really good like this, you should keep it natural more often."

I felt my cheeks grow bright with heat, "thanks," I mumbled as he began stroking my face, his callous fingers against my soft skin felt quite prickly. "But it can be quite hard to manage."

"So? You should still keep it natural, you look beautiful."

Something hit me in the chest, I blinked a few times wondering if I had heard that correctly and pulled back from his grasp.

"Stop it," I mumbled and looked down at my hands.

"Why?" He asked, softly.

"I don't like this," I flayed my hands in the air, "all of this, going behind Xavier and Reina's backs and-"

"And what?" 

I snapped my attention towards him, not believing what he was saying.

"I-I don't understand," I shook my head, "Xavier did something terrible to you all those years ago, are you trying to get some kind of revenge by taking me out? What about Reina, does she still not mean anything to you, even if you don't seem like a matching couple, but still . . . "

I looked away solemnly, feeling the tears prickling against my eyes.

Darius huffed a huge sigh, "come here," he beckoned with his hand. I nudged him away and he spoke once again.

He sighed again and ruffled his hair, "told you, you women always overthink."

I bit down on my lip and glared at him, "what do you mean?"

"Let's get out of here and I'll tell you everything."

I looked down at his open hand, and then glanced back at him. The solemn look in his hazel eyes made it seem like he was looking back at me in pity; I was unsure.

He grabbed my hand when I didn't reciprocate his gesture and had me standing beside him, though it felt more like I had fallen on his chest. My hands were sprawled on him as he wrapped his arm around my waist.

I bit down on my lip, clenching a hand on his jacket.  

"Careful now," he whispered into my ear, "you might just add another year onto your contract."

I gasped and almost let go, when he pulled me once again.

"Relax," his voice soothed and rested his warm hand on my back. "I've got Lex to pick us up, let's go home and then we'll carry on with this conversation. There's definitely a lot you need to know, if you're to spend the next few months with me."

I let out a small sigh as he led me out, "you seemed relieved to think so." Darius mentioned as he handed his card to the waiter.

"Well we didn't exactly start on good terms, in fact my first few weeks were quite a nightmare."

"I wonder why," Darius hummed as I followed him out of the restaurant, giving him death glares behind his back.

"Hi Lex," I greeted and stretched inside the car, feeling my muscles contract. I was tired. 

"Nice seeing you too Ms. Downy, working hard as usual." He smiled through the mirror, I nodded back at him as he pulled up the divider between the two seats of the car.

"I won't be needing any help tomorrow." He mentioned as he flicked through his phone.

"Mm?" I rubbed my eyes, "do you mean I have the day off?" I asked, quite unsure.

"I was thinking of maybe giving you a week off, that is . . . if you're up for it." He pushed his phone in his pocket and turned to face me, waiting for an answer.

I scoffed, "who would miss a chance on a break? Of course I'd love time off and especially this week when I-I mean yeah I need time off. Thanks." I stammered, not wanting to tell him of my family's death anniversary, he needn't know.

Darius only looked on in confusion, "Great, well relax up until we get home."

I groaned and sunk into the seat, "why can't you just tell me now?"

"Because that way I wouldn't have you dying in suspense."

I sighed and punched him playfully on the arm, "you're very mean you know that?"

He stared at my hand and then glanced up at my face, "did you just punch me?"

I bit down on my lip and quickly turned towards the window, not daring to look at that handsome face of his. Gosh I was beginning to feel like a stupid teenager (no offence teenagers) and how giddy I just felt when he flashed his eyes so playfully.

I sighed and rested against the window, feeling the coolness on my warm cheeks.

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