Chapter Ten

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Loren smiled at Craig as he appeared in her office, much as he had done every lunch time for the last two weeks. This time, he didn't have a lunchbox in his hand. Quickly, she tied up the phone call and turned to face him.

"I've found the perfect flat." He said, holding his hand out towards her. She placed her hand in his and let him pull her to her feet and into his arms. "Oh, and Hello."

His lips met hers and she felt herself shatter into a million pieces before her feet hit a solid floor. If it weren't for the strong arms holding her upright, she would have hit the floor. "That was awful." She groaned, taking a deep breath to ease the queasiness in her stomach. "Where are we?"

"My flat." He admitted, letting her go. "I took the day off once I found the flat, couldn't take you to the office."

"This is nice." She smiled, looking around the minimalistic kitchen. Everything was white and merged into one. "Very masculine and clean."

"The white helps with my nightmares." He admitted, Loren's heart bled for him. "When I'm not fully awake, I can tell straight away nothing is there."

"My flat would be awful." She smirked, trying to lighten the mood for him. "I have a different pattern in each room, shelves upon shelves of books and coats everywhere."

"Coats?" he asked, taking the change in direction as he led her to the door.

"I like coats, I get a new one every year and never throw away the old ones – there's nothing wrong with them." She admitted with a shrug.

"I've never seen you wear a coat." Craig said, taking her hand as they hit the street.

"I'm always in the car." She laughed, "I don't wear them that often."

"Is this good enough?" Craig asked, stopping Loren in the middle of a Georgian crescent.

"Are you kidding me?" she asked, staring up at the yellow stone buildings. "The flat is in one of these beasts?"

"Told you it was the perfect flat." He smirked, climbing the stairs to the front door and giving it a knock.

"The Hollands?" An older lady asked, opening the door.

"Yep." Craig nodded, glancing down uneasily to Loren who was biting back laughter.

The stiff posture, the cultured accent and the hair, gave Loren the impression that their estate agent was a stickler for propriety. And showing a one bedroom flat to a couple who were not married, was not going to happen... even if it was just for her.

"The House was built in the peak of Georgian Britain; the flat I am showing you contains original features and is listed. So, don't even consider removing anything." She lectured as they made their way to the first floor.

Craig crossed his heart as she turned around to unlock the door, Loren had to bite her lip to stop the laughter pouring forth. They followed the estate agent into the flat and Loren fell in love straight away. The walls were painted grey, the floors were the original wood and everything else had been glossed white. It looked pristine, it looked perfect. It was perfect.

"The windows are in the original sash design, shutters have been reinstated within the walls as well as the damask curtains which the owner does not want you to touch." The estate agent stated.

"So if I were to rent the flat." Loren asked, "I'd not be allowed to touch the curtains, I couldn't dust them, clean them... fluff them up of they fall."

"Not unless you are a fully trained conservator."

"I am." Loren lied, "Why else would I want to live in a place like this?"

"Then you will still need permission from the owner." The woman sniffed, turning on her heel and stalking into the next room.

"Does she get under your skin?" Craig whispered, grabbing her waist, and pushing her on.

"That obvious?"

"And finally, the rent is Eight Hundred a month." The estate agent smirked, "Which you may find a little high."

"And the parking?" Loren asked, "I've just ordered the new Audi."

"There's allocated spaces behind the gardens." The estate agent said, looking less sure about her assumptions.

"I think you could pay that by yourself, Loren." Craig smirked, leaning against the door frame.

"I think I might take it, for now at least." She played right back, earning a laugh from him. "While we're waiting for the new roof on the manor."

Craig grinned and pulled Loren's hand into his before glancing at the estate agent, "Send the paperwork to my office we'll complete it tomorrow."

Loren gaped up at him as they left the flat. "Send it to my office?" she repeated.

"Rebecca owns the estate agency." He admitted, "She'll sort it out for us."

"Rebecca owns...?" she gaped. "Are you all freaking rich?"

"We went to a good school." He shrugged, blushing slightly. "And with our skill set, we normally end up at the top."

"Jesus." Loren laughed, shaking her head. "And I thought I'd done well getting to my job at twenty four."

"Speaking of which, I need to take you back to work." He sighed, taking her into his arms and pulling her into an alley between two houses.

"Oh!" Loren pouted, knowing that he meant to teleport her again. "I hate this."

"You've done it once." He laughed, leaning down, and capturing her lips with his in an attempt to distract her once more from the process.

"Still hate it." She pouted falling into her desk chair as she took steadying breaths. "Did you want to come over for dinner tonight?"

"Sure." He smiled, leaning down and kissing her again. "I'll see you later."

---

Walking around the flat, Craig understood why Loren had been so impressed by his kitchen, by his super modern and minimalist kitchen. Loren's flat was the opposite. Her kitchen was worn and full of wood, tea towels were draped over handles and odd mugs hung on hooks above the kettle which itself was made to look like a teapot... to mirror the actual teapot on the windowsill.

The living room continued the eclectic pattern with an odd armchair and sofa, the wallpaper was floral and only matched the paint on its sister walls; well what he could see behind the books and ornaments. He was tempted to slip into her bedroom and see if it too was colourful and busy, but he had sisters; who knew what he'd find.

"Well look who beat me home." Loren called out as she stepped into her flat. "How did you know where I lived?"

"The HR system, I had your address and then I googled it some more and then popped over." He grinned, watching as she made herself more comfortable. "What are you cooking me then?"

"Thai curry?" she suggested, walking to the kitchen, and throwing open the cupboards. "After seeing your kitchen this morning, I feel ashamed of mine."

"Don't be." He grinned, following her into the kitchen and leaning against the work surface. "It's cute, reminds me of a student kitchen."

"What kind of student were you." Loren laughed, pulling out spices out of a cupboard. "Did you go to a snob university?"

"Durham." He nodded and Loren's jaw dropped before she smiled. He realised that they still had a lot to cover. "Where did you go?"

"Chester." She smiled with a small shrug. "They only wanted a C."

"A C?" he asked with a laugh, "Just one?"

"Yep." She laughed, "What did you get?"

"Four A's."

"Of course you did." She scoffed shaking her head before looking up at him. "You took normal a-levels?"

"Oh, no." he smirked, "If you want to go onto normal university, they give you the exams to take."

"Of course, why wouldn't they."

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