Fiona and Dechlan finally consummate their relationship, making one another very happy. A few days ago, Cole met a lovely woman named Tielle, the insurance adjuster who is dealing with the claim on his apartment. Now, they just need to find a woman for Hugo.
We made another pot while we contemplated what to do about dinner. His phone rang.
“It's Cole. Yes?” he answered, stroking my breast as he spoke to our friend. “Yeah, we were thinking about dinner. No, I don't think Fiona feels like cooking, why?” He listened for a moment, grinning. “Yeah, that sounds good. You're sure she's cool with this?”
I could hear a female voice and assumed it was Tielle. Dechlan grinned again, laughing.
“Okay. We'll meet you at seven. Thanks, Dude. Tell your lady friend we'd be delighted. What can we bring?” He nodded, listening. “Okay. Now, what can we really bring?” Chuckling, he hung up. “Dinner at Tielle's with Cole, Hugo and Indira—to welcome her to the fold.”
“What a lovely idea. I wish I'd thought of it.”
He took me in his arms, holding me close. “Babe, you invited her to put her possessions here. Just because you didn't think of a welcome party, it's okay. Besides, Tielle wants an excuse to entertain and impress us.”
“We're Cole's family, of sorts. I think she feels a little strange being the non-actor.”
I hadn't thought of it that way. It was quite possible she did. “Then we need to take something really nice.”
“I agree. Cole said we didn't need to bring a thing, that Tielle had it all set.”
“But you know differently.”
“Obviously. What do you think? Wine? Dessert?”
“We don't know what's on the menu, nor do we know any food allergies. Therefore....” I thought for a moment before putting my empty mug in the sink. “Come.” I grabbed up my purse and sunglasses.
Dechlan caught me around the waist. “I did that already. Couple of times. Where are we going?”
“You'll see. Come with me.”
He nuzzled my throat, holding me close. “I will come with you anywhere, anytime, any place you like. As often as you like. I will also join you on your errand.”
Taking him by the hand, I led him to the elevator. We drove to a nearby department store. It was near closing, but I knew exactly what I wanted. Walking over to the dishes, I reached for a box. Dechlan lifted it for me, carrying it to the checkout.
“What is this?”
“You can read, can't you?”
A disgusted look and a sharp huff of breath were my only reply. The clerk rang up our purchase.
“Would you like it gift wrapped?” she asked.
“Not this near closing,” I replied. “But do you have a gift bag, maybe?”
“We don't have those, but we have these cloth shopping bags. Will that do?”
“Sure. How much?”
“You can get them for free by purchasing fifty dollars or more. It's close enough.” She winked, handing me the bag.
“Thank you. Dechlan, we'll come back sometime when it's not so near the end of the day.”
“Sounds good, Babe. Whatever you want.”
“A man who doesn't mind shopping for house wares?” The clerk laughed as she led us to the door to let us out. “Where did you find him?”
“Australia,” Dechlan said, laying the accent on thick. He kissed her hand, his aquamarine eyes meeting hers.
The young woman melted. Who wouldn't? He's had that effect on me since I met him. He's immortally gorgeous and can turn on the charm like a fire hose. I felt it, too, and he wasn't even directing it toward me.
“I'll have to go there sometime.”
Dechlan smiled, kissing her hand once more. “You do that.”
“Are all Australian men as gorgeous as you?”
“Nah, better. I'm dead average.” He smiled, blinking slowly as he lowered her hand.
“Oh, my God!” Letting go a shuddering breath, she unlocked the door, shutting and bolting it behind us.
We walked back to the car, Dechlan carrying our purchase casually. His swagger showed how proud he was of himself.
“You're positively evil, Dechlan Albright.”
“Me? How? I made that girl's day!”
“Because the man she goes home to isn't you. If she goes home to any man at all!”
“At this point, doesn't matter what the blighter looks like. He'll thank me.”
© 2015 Dellani Oakes