Casey wore a black dress that fit her body to a T. Ronan had insisted though she hated it. She'd always wanted to go baby bat Goth, here was her chance. Lack of a bra irritated her breasts, causing her nipples to peak rubbing against the layers of flimsy material. Beneath her dress, she wore sheer black stockings, matching lace garter belt and, just for him, no panties.
A shiver raced through her at the contact of bare skin against the wispy dress. What the fuck did she think she was really doing? Everywhere were those little nigglings of doubt that plagued her life.
A deep shuddering breath left her lungs as she tried to calm herself. She could do this, she would do this. She wanted to do this. She wasn't going to turn around and run.
Strappy two inch heels adorned her feet. She still cringed when she saw herself in the mirror, all her insecurities wanted to rear their ugly heads but she wasn't listening to them tonight. She was thinking positive, he'd made it a point that self degradation was out period. So she thanked the Goddess for her dark auburn hair and aqua blue eyes. They were her prettiest features and she hoped he would at least approve.
Nervously sitting down before him, she swept her waist length hair aside. She was more accustomed to the weight of it tangled up into a non-fussy braid pulled back from her face rather than letting it hang free over her bare shoulders. Every little sensation made her want to squirm, specially the intensity of his gaze, which she hadn't mustered the courage to meet yet. Not that it was proper either.
Lowering her eyes, she looked down at the leafy green salad he'd ordered. There were lean thin slices of steak on it. The sight of it made her mouth water; she wasn't as used to such refinements.
She wasn't used to a lot of things.
"You may look up at me now," his voice was steel, neutral and deep.
Beneath half lowered eyes she could see him moving about nonchalantly arranging his napkin in his lap and his silverware in their respective places, as if everything were perfectly normal and he'd had dinner with her on a normal basis. But this was their first meeting; it'd taken her a while to let him talk her into it. So much fear had controlled her life.
She lifted her uncertain gaze to him, noticed how his long platinum blonde hair framed his handsome narrow face. Penetrating silver eyes peered at her through half open lids. Long eyelashes fluttered over round eyes. His lips were plump, kissable. Pale skin contrasted against the dark shirt he wore that covered a massive frame. She was captivated, her heart fluttered all the faster.
Casey suddenly wondered what he looked like nude, the more naughty part of her nature coming through despite her coyness. She'd seen a few pictures of him in a tank top, knew he had strong well defined shoulders. She could see her dainty fingers splayed across the rippling mass and the thought alone started her mind to wandering.
"I thought you said I was dieting?" Her voice was very soft as she poked at a tantalizing slice of meat, the center still slightly pink.
Ronan waved an elegantly long fingered hand dismissively, "Dieting is bullshit, sweetheart."
He narrowed his eyes, tilted his head slightly to the side while he studied her. "I don't want you to lose weight."
Lowering her gaze, brows knitted together, her hands grabbed for the table cloth in her lap. Kneading the silken material nervously her skin crawled with goose bumps as he assessed her body with those piercing eyes.
He can see through me, she thought wringing the cloth tightly, already her teeth gnawing without pretence into the meat of her lower lip at the right side. Her stomach was one big knot at that lingering glance. He was appraising her and she knew it.
It was all there in his eyes, the play of emotion across the breathtaking shades of metallic grey, the thoughtfulness, the eagerness and excitement of a new potential conquest. A little irritation at her apparent fidgeting and something that burned hotter and brighter. That sparked and rapidly sped to its target like a bullet from a gun.
"You're beautiful the way you are," it was the same neutral tone but something tender had underlain the tones, sent another shiver through her body. Those bright metal eyes had gleamed with desire and affection.
"I want you to be healthy." He'd reached for his glass, taking a small sip of water, her eyes focused on the small bits of dew that were left behind, the craving to reach across the table and lick them from his lips ran through her mind as subtly a smile pulled the corner of his mouth.
She blinked innocently; let the movement flutter her lids closed as she tried to take her mind out of the gutter. She was torn between her want of him and the fear threatening to overpower her.
When in doubt, laugh it up.
"And steak is supposed to be healthy?" a smirk touched the edge of her mouth, a hint of her usual self.
"Yes." A wicked grin crossed his kissable mouth. "The protein you get there will keep you awake all night for," he clasped his hands together, "other things."
Her heart thudded faster at the last bit of his sentence, "This is the part where you should be making some crass comment about me eating your meat or such but you aren't?" She blinked slowly again expectantly as she watched him carefully, "Are you?"
"Go on, eat." He brushed his hand in front of her plate. Hints of flames danced within silver eyes that spoke of fervor, sending tightening waves tickling in Casey's lower region.
It was cooked perfectly and lain out on a bed of arugula. The spicy flavors of the greens mixed with the hints of black pepper in her mouth. Normally she disliked pepper but it was just the right balance of flavors across her tongue. She chewed the meat, tasting all the succulent juices from the tender cut of beef.
"Mmm," she swallowed and took another bite, a smile pulling at the edges of her mouth in pleasure. It'd been so long since she'd had such high quality cow that wasn't a pair of boots.
"You're not going to eat?" she arched a brow questioningly, fork half lifted to her mouth as she spoke and watched for his response.
Ronan merely shook his head; another elegant movement of his wrist brought the wine glass into his grip as he raised the cup slightly. "I have wine."
"We're beginning your lessons now though." The glint in his eyes held desire and spoke of more things that Casey wondered about. All those looming threats and promises between them that had never been expressed in anything more than text words and brief playful phone calls.
A slow shrug of the shoulders had Casey taking another bite. And another until the steak was gone from her plate and only crumbs left. Food had always been her weakness, she liked good food and he knew that about her. She glanced over her water glass at Ronan, seeing his approval. A momentary thrill of pride welled up inside her, a brief flare that for once she'd done something right.
"One might think you're trying to fatten me up for slaughter," her casual tone was more joke than sarcasm but she was adjusting quickly to being face to face with him. Becoming more comfortable in such a personal position.
"One might think that statement was impertinent as well." His tone remained neutral enough to hide the hidden annoyance. But he couldn't hide it in the jerky movement of his hand through his hair, pulling it back and away from his face to tuck carefully behind an ear.
Casey swallowed another sip of water, lowering her eyes, wishing for something else to put her lips around, something that would put him more at ease and forgive her for her blatant cynical streak. Nerves welled up as the waiter brought another bottle of wine for Ronan along with a second glass.