Beth turned around to look at Robert, who had been rearranging books across the room. She raised an eyebrow at him. Had he really just told her that she could have the God-knows-how-old edition of Pride and Prejudice?
“What?” he asked when he saw her expression.
“Are you serious?” she asked.
“Of course,” he said, his head tipping to the side, causing a small smile to pull at Beth’s lips.
“Absolutely serious?” Beth asked.
Beth crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes. Robert smiled slightly and walked over. He plucked the book from its place on the shelf as slickly as only Robert could and placed it in her hands. After planting a kiss on her lips, he went back to rearranging the books on the other side of the room without another word. Beth stared after him, still slightly confused.
Beth shook her head and sat down on the floor, carefully and slowly opening the book in her lap. The pages were slightly yellowed with age and some of the words slightly faded. Beth turned to the copyright page and looked at the year it was published: 1815. She glanced up at Robert who was flicking through a book. Beth turned to the first page and began to read.
When she looked up, Robert was gone from the room. She looked around just to double check and he definitely wasn’t there. She set the book on one of the shelves and stood up. The door was slightly open. Beth stepped out and looked around. The house was completely silent.
“Robert?” Beth called.
He appeared at the top of the stairs, fully dressed in his usual black attire.
“You okay?” he asked.
“I was just wondering where you’d gone,” she said, suddenly very aware that all she was wearing was her underwear.
“You’ve been reading for nearly three hours, Beth,” he said as he walked down the stairs. “I managed to reorganize pretty much the whole library.”
“Really?” she asked as he reached her.
“I should probably go and get dressed.”
“Or not,” Robert said quietly as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her towards him.
Beth bit her bottom lip and looked up at him through her lashes.
“You must be starving. Come on,” Robert said, playfully smacking her rear, causing her to giggle.
He took her hand and pulled her into the kitchen. He sat her down at the breakfast and started opening cupboards and the refrigerator.
“Do you want something to drink?” he asked
“What is there?” Beth asked.
“Tap water, wine, beer, vodka, gin and tonic and the makings of a few cocktails.”
Beth raised an eyebrow at him. He simply shrugged.
“You do know I’m not legally allowed to drink, don’t you?” Beth asked.
“You know what they say about rules.”
Beth rolled her eyes. “I’ll have some wine then. White, please.”
Robert opened the cupboard beneath the sink, revealing an assortment of bottles. Robert looked thoughtful as he looked through them but he smiled when he found what he was looking for. His smile turned cheeky as he filled two wine glasses. He handed one to Beth.