She’d walked away the first time he’d brought it up. “The Bond takes away your choice,” she’d said.
“So does not asking me,” he’d retorted. She’d shook her head angrily, making him want to grovel and apologize, but all she’d said, maddeningly, was the same thing she always did:
“You do not understand.”
“Explain it to me,” he complained, but only after she’d shut the door behind her.
When he tried again, he went at it sideways, talking about Porter first. Porter did, after all, need a girlfriend. But, then again, so did Arundel.
“Would you like to have a boyfriend,” he asked her, “me, I mean?”
She’d been surprised, which wasn’t really a good plan – she hated, he already knew, being surprised. She pursed her lips, and he ignored his sudden urge to apologize. “Would you ask that, if I didn’t Own you? Answer me honestly.”
“I would have asked sooner, if you didn’t Own me. Like, the day I fell through your ceiling… okay, maybe not then, but pretty soon after then.”
“In truth?” Darnit, he’d surprised her again.
“You ordered me to be honest,” he pointed out, beginning to get frustrated. He couldn’t win with her. “I want to be your boyfriend. I want to kiss you. I want you to believe me when I talk to you.”
She stared off at the wall, frowning. “That could be the Bond,” she pointed out. “It makes you want physical contact, even if you wouldn’t, otherwise.”
She was going to talk herself out of it. Again. And leave him frustrated and her cranky. Arundel flared his wings, wanting to shout. Shouting was a bad idea. Shouting would only make her more angry.
“So if it’s the Bond,” he said slowly, “then you’re worried I will regret it afterwards?”
“Exactly. You’re acting under the influence. You’re not thinking clearly, cannot think clearly when the Bond is pushing at you.”
“And you’re worried that a Bond-induced need for physical contact is making me want to kiss you.”
She lifted her shoulders and dropped them again in discomfort. “The thought did occur to me, yet. I am not, normally, dating material.”
“The people that let you think that are lying to you,” he flared. “Or you’re lying to yourself.”
“I have never had a boyfriend who wasn’t… I have never had a boyfriend.”
“Well, maybe you should try?” he tried, one last time. “Look, if you’re worried it’s the touch thing, how about an experiment?”
“An experiment?” He had her attention, good.
“Figure out what you think is a Bond-satisfying amount of touch, and give me that for a week. No dating, no kissing, nothing like that. Just touch. If I still want to date you after a week…”
She was nodding. Good, nodding was a good thing. “If you still want to date me after a week of regular touch, then we can assume it’s a genuine want.” She graced him with a small smile and took both his hands in hers. “That’s a clever idea, Arundel.”
His heart soared like he was flying. “I try,” he answered in complete honesty.
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/306678.html. You can comment here or there.