Five minutes later they entered the charming restaurant Rainie had never been before. When she had dressed up to go out it had always been to places within her budget, even with Jason. He would not have stretched to a swish charming restaurant like this.
“Do you know this restaurant?” Draven asked as they walked through a pillared courtyard.
She shook her head but not before giving him a venture glance. Evidently she had not been here. As a matter of fact the longest distance she had traveled in her life was the journey from her mother’s place to her first foster parents and it had been only less than twenty kilometers away.
Draven shrugged lazily. “Yeah well, not many people know this restaurant also.” He told her. “It’s a rather a private place.”
“That’s what I see.” She agreed.
It was a private place indeed and quite expensive too. Here, as she took a quick glance, the clientele was rich, wearing expensive outfit but still looking casual and less formal.
Almost immediately a white uniform appeared out of nowhere, his face beaming. “Good afternoon, Sir, Madam.” He greeted politely. “How can I assist you?”
“Yes, could we have a table for two please?” Draven requested mild-manner, quite obvious with this kind of treatment. It was normal for him. Perhaps he even had a butler who made him lunch.
“Certainly Sir. Would you like to have a table indoor or outdoor, Sir?”
Draven tilted his head towards her. “Where would you like to sit?”
How the hell I know, she answered him silently. “Anywhere is fine with me.”
Draven considered for a moment or two before he made a decision. “Outdoor please as it’s not that cold yet the weather.”
“Certainly Sir. Please come this way.”
Draven lifted an avuncular arm to usher her. They glided past large pillars before they reached the garden and it was not at all what she expected.
It was magnificent, simply breathtaking. Small wrought iron tables and chairs were spotted around, between unruly flowerbeds and scented bushes, several trees providing welcome shade from the winter sun in some places. The garden was on slope cascading down to the bank of river. There was a fence to provide protection for the children from deep water. Ducks, pelicans and swans scattered a long the bank making picture postcard scenery of the estuary.
The maitre d’ halted at a small table for two set slightly apart from the others, under the shade of a tree which overlooked the glittering water.
Draven pulled out a chair for Rainie gentlemanly. He waited for her to take her seat and once she sat, he then moved and gracefully he lowered his lean frame into a chair across her comfortably.
“I’ll be back in the moment.” The maitre’d excused himself after giving both of them the menu.
“I thought that we’re only to have few drinks.” Rainie said without opening the menu.
“Yes, but I was thinking it might as well we eat here.” He replied. “What do you think?”
“Okay.” She agreed, though the food was the very lasting on her mind right now.
She opened the menu and the list of beverages and foods seemed endless according to her. Not liked she cared though. Because her mind was somewhere to the place when they had kissed and how would have felt if they continued.
She could not help to look at him and how her imagination went wild. Hmm…Instead of food laid on the table, she envisaged it was him, Naked…Then probably she would have enjoyed every morsel of him who would have covered with mushroom gravy, then…
“Fillet mignon with mushroom gravy seems delicious.” Draven said suddenly, glancing up from his menu before she had a chance to avert her gaze.
Rainie blinked. It took a few split second for her to receive a message, nevertheless she was not able to shake away her imagination of Draven covered with the gravy.
“Mmm…Yes it seems delicious.” She began to choke, trying to swallow and talk altogether.
“So it looks good to you?”
What looked good to her, she thought, he would be better not to know although nothing in the world could prevent her from imagining doing it.
“I don’t know. I can’t decide.” She hedged.
“That’s interesting.” He countered slickly, his eyebrow arched beautifully. “Since you don’t look at the menu, I presume you’ve made your choice.”
A surge of heat hummed through her at his softly, thistle down, prompted voice and she had no idea how to respond.
Thankfully a different waiter came to their table deferentially, saving her ass and her face from another embarrassment.
“So would you like fillet mignon with mushroom gravy?” He repeated the question.
She groaned inwardly. She had enough imagination already without adding the mushroom gravy in the sentences. “Fillet mignon it’s good for me.” She finally said though there was a lump expanding like dough in her throat.
“Excellent.” There was a glint in his eyes. “Now any particular reference for drinks?”
“Mmmm…” She looked down trying to focus her attention to the menu only to find out it was useless. She couldn’t concentrate while he was around. Who was she kidding? She always had dirty-minded whenever his concern.
She jerked up staring at him, eyes wide, cheeks flush, everything she was thinking on display. It had to stop. Making herself a fool in front of him. And to give her honest answer would only make things shoddier.
“What drink do you want?” He paused significantly. “Fancy for wine or champagne?”
“At this hours?” She asked dubiously. “We’re still another about two hours driving.”
Draven gave a Gallic shrug. “No, it’s for you. I’ll just have a sip.”
“To loosen up a bit. You need to relax.” For a moment longer his eyes held hers in that incredible, heart-stopping gaze, then, like a switch turning on, he smiled teasingly. The verbosity he had voiced the ‘you need to relax’ went a long way toward remedying that meticulous predicament.
“What do you mean about that?” She asked.
Another smile lifted the corners of his mouth. “No meaning at all.” He paused minutely for a thought. “Unless you have one, please enunciate me. I want to know.”
“I don’t.” She replied evasively.
“Good.” He concluded, closing the menu. “So we have no problem then.” He took his attention to the waiter, giving her to reel.
Really, it was getting harder and harder for her to breath.
The waiter hastily scribbled down their lunch orders as he gave them an amazing feat as far as she noticed and she did not bother to take the interest what she ordered.
The sky was very blue at the back of him and somewhere down the river she could hear ducks quacked stridently. The light autumn breeze stroked her face with its warmth. Being near him prudence, discretion, caution and being sensible all seemed qualities that had nothing to do with was happening to her. She wondered what his reaction would be if she told him to make her imagination becoming reality. Since every fibre of her wanted it.
Fortunately, she could control her mouth to inform him everything and the words hovered only on the tip of her tongue. Nevertheless she had to say anything to alleviate the frantic of her heartbeat.
And the lady luck was at her side again when Draven took matters out of her hands by making first speech.
“So what’s your plan to face Jason?”
It was the last thing Rainie had expected to hear from him. Well at least not now. Jason in her mind was in another planet, out of orbit, nonexistent planet. While with Draven, as she looked across, she was falling more and more under his spell, which meant sadly she could not find the answer of his question.
“Why do you ask? And more important what do you mean about that?”
He lifted his shoulders and let them fall in a shrug that was in no way casual. “Don’t you have a plan? I don’t know what he did to you that night, but the way I saw it, it was quite tense. I didn’t like when I couldn’t have protected you back then” He leaned forward, resting both elbows on the table before folding his arm one over the others. It was a harmless action that seemed very intimidating somehow. “And now as we’re here.” He continued. “It’s the best we discuss about what your plan is, so I won’t make the same mistake.”
Well…Well…Well…Why she failed to notice this one she did not know. Draven was a continual surprise to her.
She just looked across at him, a little stunned by his speech. She wanted to say that he would not make any mistake. She had been the one that had false step. The step she should have done three weeks ago. A Herculean step to be precise, just when she had thought of him as Draven, the handsome, supremely clever and the overused cliché word sexy, instead of Draven the annoying and distant friend.
The waiter appeared unexpectedly, bearing a tray with a bottle of champagne nestling in an ice bucket, smoky fumes curled from its opened neck and two crystal glasses.
“Your champagne, Sir.” He said as he carefully poured a little amount into one of the flutes on the tray, then proffered it to Draven, who elegantly inhaled the bouquet and took a considering mouthful.
He nodded, then the waiter proceeded to pour out her glass then fill the reminder of the other one.
As soon as the waiter concluded his duty, he went away.
Draven picked up her flute and offered it to her, retaining his own. She took hers tentatively.
“Cheers.” He clinked his glass against hers.
“Cheers.” She lifted the glass to her lips for a simultaneous sip then lowered her glass.
The champagne was golden, smooth, rich, and mellow, but it was nowhere near as invigorating as golden, smooth, rich and mellow look in his eyes.
“What do you think of the champagne?” He glanced at her.
“It’s good.” She said. Being refined, classy and chic were not her best personality. She did not know a bit about champagne and she realized that ‘good’ was not the word to describe a taste of it.
“Do you know why champagne is a special drink?” He asked. His voice was pure temptation meandering languorously through her entire body. “Besides it’s produced only in the elite champagne region of France, it’s also that every champagne has distinctive character. It’s totally unlike sparkling wine.”
“Distinctive character?” She interjected. “So champagnes are having different kind of character, like human being?”
“Yes.” He replied then after a moment’s thought he shook his head. “No, actually not all human.”
She eyed him genuinely puzzled. “So if isn’t human being then what?”
He leaned back in his chair, fingered the base of his flute in a way that set her heart to race again. He had nice hands, she noted as her eyes went to them. For a briefest moment she had a vision of their tips just touching her face instead of the glass.
She dragged her eyes away, preparing herself to concentrate what he was going to say.
His mouth twisted into its almost habitual sexy smile. “It’s not all human. Champagne characters are like a woman, There are warm, dazzling, magnificent and smooth. It needs special tender, loving care to produce one. However when you drink it too much, it can give you the illusion. The kind of illusion you’re willing to take a risk, pulling down your pride. Now matter how many time you say you don’t want to drink it anymore, at the end you just couldn’t resist the enticement. You’ll be drawn by its charm, its passion and its magic to make the same thing over and over again. So to keep in charge you’ve to taste the champagne sip by sip, then, not only you’ll find the quality of it but also it keeps you at the edge. And for me, in my mind, woman is like that.”
She refused to blush because she knew exactly what was in his mind. She also rebuffed to dwell on the smoky quality to his voice and the way he was looking at her. “Is it how you see a woman? Like a champagne?” She reached for her glass of champagne and had a few gulps. There, that’s better. The sizzling in her blood was under control again. “Isn’t it little bit capitulated?”
His eyes stroked over her face and her pulse quickened. “Do you think so? Do you object yourself to be described as dazzling as champagne?”
Oh boy… really, really dangerous zone!
The way he asked making a quiver of heat dance around her body and she did not trust herself to say anything more. Draven, however seemed not to share her problem, since he continued to eye her expectantly as he took another savoring mouthful, his gaze, never, ever, not even for a second leaving hers. She was powerless to be captivated by the way his strong throat working over to swallow nor could she prevent the high temperature she felt creeping into her face as she watched.
And to make things worse, was the fact he smiled, very alluring smile that made his attractiveness totally lethal as he placed his glass back to the table.
Elegantly, he leaned forward again and his long fingers that were cradling the golden flute of champagne now reached hers and entwined with hers. His touch made her feel a thousand feathering sensation in every millimeter of it. She inwardly growled at her lack of willpower.
“Your skin is smooth exactly like champagne.” He murmured. “Soft and smooth. A gentleman could lose himself in such of smoothness. Do you know that?”
Rainie gulped. She wanted to say some light throwaway comment, something clever that would defuse the moment without mortification. But she was bereft for words. His charm rendered her breathless and her heart thundered in her ears.
“No gentleman could resist you. Just like he couldn’t resist the temptation to taste rare vintage champagne. It’s elegant, sweet, expensive and most of all the quality. You’re just like that.” He told her huskily. His voice was warm and melting through her like honey. “A gentleman would go insane just to have you. To taste you. Because once he make love to you, he wouldn’t remember anything else. There’s nothing in this world he wants but you.”
Oh God…Hasn’t he looked himself lately in the mirror, she immersed. The way he just had described that actually accurate to his effect on her.
Especially right now when his thumb was stroking the back of her fingers. Every shimmering cell in her body that was happening to her now was making her reaction and sensation she had felt to him before seemed like the palest shadows of alertness.
This is crazy!
This man teased her effortlessly and that was a damn thing. She needed to put a hard break of her heartbeat high race and sent the awareness away.
“Well Jason didn’t think that way.” She finally said. Her voice was a thread of breath, sounded cracked and dry.
He smiled moving his hand now to push back a dark curl from her forehead. “It’s because Jason isn’t a gentleman. He doesn’t know how to appreciate a rare beauty.” He then settled himself back in his seat. His eyes left her and his voice suddenly shockingly changed into casual arrogance. “But I do. That’s why I know. By the way the food is here, enjoy the mignon…” He paused. “Mignon.” A grin formed in his lips as he emphasized it. “You know what’s mignon means?”
Rainie shook her head. “No, but I bet it’s French.”
“Yes.” He nodded. “It means dainty and that’s what you are, Rain.”