They lay together for a long time, not saying a word. Finally, Khryssa untangled herself from Xavier and rose to put her clothing back on.
"Leave it off."
"What?" She turned in surprise.
"I enjoy looking at you."
With a raised brow, she hung the dress up and turned back to him. "Can I at least put on panties?"
Rolling her eyes at him, Khryssa shook her head. "Shall we go back downstairs?"
"Hm. I suppose I should let you eat." Xavier righted his own clothing.
"Hey!" She protested.
Xavier laughed softly. He did help her dress before they both headed back down the stairs. It took no time at all for Khryssa to finish the preparations on their meal.
Khryssa had prepared something light to start with. It was a seared scallop salad with haricots verts and truffle oil. Searing the scallops right at the table on a small cart, Khryssa was able to turn dinner into a show. She paired the first course with a medium bodied white wine.
“I was expecting a typical American style dinner. This is fantastic. I am impressed with your cooking abilities Khryssa.”
“I didn't grow up in America. I lived the majority of my life in London. Plus, I could not imagine serving you a burger with fries Xavier, so I went for something a little nicer. I had actually had the first thought of doing a traditional Italian meal like my grandmother used to make. There was the issue of the garlic that made it seem like not such a good idea.” It was true; when she started at the market earlier that day she had planned on Italian.
“I rather like burgers. As long as it is a good burger, that is. Your heritage is Italian? I did not know this.”
Khryssa nodded. “My father is Italian. My mother is of German descent.”
“Hart is not a very Italian sounding name, was it changed?”
“Yes, when my grandparents immigrated to the US their last name was Cuore. They changed it to a reasonable facsimile, in their eyes. I am not sure why they chose to drop the ‘e’ instead of keeping it as Heart.”
“I believe you have my ancestry down pat.”
“But of course, it is not often that a woman gets to date a prince.” She gave him a wink.
“Is that what we are doing Khryssa?”
She looked startled by the question. “I suppose. I have no idea what else to call it.”
“I would say that I am courting you.”
“You already have my affections.” The reply was almost shy. She smiled gently.
Khryssa needed this conversation to end. It was far too serious and she was uncomfortable with it. Sex was easy. While most people considered it to be part of love, in her eyes, Khryssa did not. It was a physical exchange for, hopefully, mutual pleasure.
To change the subject, she started to serve the main course of their meal. It was a hearty fare; hence she only made this a three course dinner. The veal rib chops with caramelized fennel and figs had a small addition of roasted fingerling potatoes as well. It was time for a different wine, a Merlot. Khryssa was an artist in the kitchen. The plates she created were worthy of any three star Michelin rated restaurant in the world.
“I cannot believe you went through all of this trouble Khryssa. You said you enjoyed cooking once before and after seeing your kitchen, I believed you fully. This? This I was not prepared for. Perhaps I should convince you to leave your current position and come to my home as my executive chef.”
“Thank you, but I will have to decline. I much prefer my lab to the kitchen, especially when you have provided me with all the latest technology.” She smiled.
“I am at a loss Khryssa. For most women it is easy to impress them with a nice car or baubles. You want the latest gamma-ray knife.” He teased.
Laughing, she did not deny the comment. “But Xavier, a car is nice but the gamma ray knife produces gamma rays from the decay of Co-60 of an average energy of 1.25-“ Khryssa frowned. “Maybe you are right about me working too much.”
It was his turn to laugh. “Does this mean you will quit fighting me when I tell you no about going into the office?”
“I doubt it.”
They sat and talked after the main course was finished. Xavier marveled at the woman before him. She put him at ease. He was comfortable with her near. It had been so long since he was able to truly relax. He did not have to put on airs with her. Khryssa wished to be around Xavier because she enjoyed him. There was one other thing that he had not recognized within himself; he was able to relax because she would fight for him as fiercely as he would for her.
“Would you like dessert?”
“You are spoiling me.”
“No, this was a fairly simple meal. If I would have gone all out you would not have seen me for a couple of days.”
“We cannot have that happening.” The thought of going a day without seeing her was abhorrent to him. “Dessert would be lovely, thank you.”
“Would you like to go into the den? I started a fire earlier. It may need tended to if you don’t mind.”
Xavier kissed her softly, resting his cheek in her hair. “You amaze me.”
“Well hopefully dessert will too.” Wrapping her arms around him, Khryssa held him.
“I shall await for you by the fire.” He stole one more kiss and left to go tend to the fire.
Finding a tray to carry everything, Khryssa placed the 1997 Quinta Do Noval Nacional and two glasses down, linen napkins, silverware, and the white chocolate-blackberry crème brûlée tartlets were added. Picking up the tray, she walked through her quiet home. Stopping at the entry to the den, she paused.
Xavier was seated before the fire. The flames licked upwards illuminating him in warmth. He was breathtaking. Going to him, stopping only to put the tray down, Khryssa kissed the nape of his neck. With the fire having warmed his skin, he felt like heaven on earth against her lips.
He smiled with her kiss. Reaching for her, Xavier pulled her onto his lap. “Now this is the perfect place for you.”
“Best seat in the house, quite possibly the world.” Khryssa laid her cheek upon his shoulder. She was tired all of a sudden.
“I have not been letting you get any rest recently have I?” He could feel the weariness that took over her.
“I could always tell you no.”
“But you wouldn’t”
“Only if I had to.”
“Allow me take you to bed and then I shall take my leave of you for the night.” Brushing back a strand of her hair, Xavier kissed her with the devotion that he felt.
“It is early yet. You do not have to leave.”
“Alas, I must my darling. While the dinner you prepared for us was magnificent, I have other dinner requirements.”
Ah. She had not thought about that. Khryssa smiled gently and kissed him. “I understand.” She started to slide from his lap so that he may leave; Xavier pulled her back against him.
“I thought you needed to leave.”
“I do, but I wanted to do this first.” He kissed her. It was a long soul searching kiss that took both of their breaths away. Khryssa wrapped her arms around his shoulders, her body pressing tight his. Xavier could feel his need for her growing, reluctantly he pulled away.
“I must leave.” He had not fed in a while. With the desire for her body settling over him, the need to feed was growing stronger.
Khryssa rose from his lap and he stood when she did. Xavier touched her cheek lightly. “I will see you in the morning. Do you wish for the driver to pick you up?”
“I think I can drive myself.” She chuckled and kissed him once more time. “Good night.”
“Good night my darling, until tomorrow.” Slowly he pulled back and then with just a charge in the air, Xavier disappeared into the night.
Khryssa stood there for a few minutes. She smiled softly while looking out the large bay window and at the stars. Collecting the tray and turning, she went back inside to clean up from dinner and get ready for bed. Sometimes the realities of life became even more strange when you were dating a vampire.