About half an hour later, Robert was setting the plate in front of her. She couldn’t help the crazy grin that spread across her face.
“Yum,” she said as he sat down opposite her.
He watched in vague amusement as she ate her dinner.
“I’m taking you out to dinner on Friday. Special treat,” he informed her.
“But...” Beth blushed. “I thought you were going to lock me up on Friday.”
A wicked smile spread across his lips and Beth blushed as she remembered the things those lips had done to her.
“Plenty of time for that after dinner,” he said quietly.
Beth’s mouth went dry and she took a sip from her glass of water. She needed to change the subject. Now.
“What day are you going to need to go and, um, you know...?” Beth blushed again.
“Wednesday,” he replied.
“What time will you be leaving?”
“Late afternoon. I’ll pick you up from school and I should be back before you wake up.”
Beth continued to eat in silence. She was confounded by how relaxed she was about all this.
“Can I come with you?” she asked quietly, looking up through her lashes, knowing it was a risky question.
His eyes instantly narrowed and his expression turned steely and guarded.
“No,” he said simply.
His eyes widened slightly in surprise. He’d probably been expecting an argument. Usually, he would have got one, why not today? Beth asked herself that question and her subconscious simply shrugged back.
“You could feed from me, you know,” Beth said quietly.
“No I couldn’t,” he said immediately.
“You do sometimes,” she pointed out.
“For your pleasure, not mine. Besides, that’s not feeding, not by any standards. Think of it as a love bite.” A small smile pulled at the corners of Beth’s mouth. “What’s so funny?” he asked seriously.
Beth shook her head and bit her lip to stop her giggle. She herself didn’t know why she wanted to laugh. Robert sighed and held her hands, taking her by surprise.
“My little china doll,” he said gently, and in that moment Beth realised how much care he had to take with her.
Beth squeezed his hands and smiled comfortingly at him. He returned her smile but it didn’t reach his eyes. What was he thinking?
“Eat your lasagne,” he said softly.
He kissed her forehead and left the room. She shouldn’t have asked if she could go with him. Did she even want to? She was curious, but did she really want to see that side of him? Probably not.
She ate silently, wondering how she was going to bring Robert out of his mood. She didn’t like it when he closed up like this, when he shut her out. ‘For your pleasure, not mine’, those words swirled around and around in her head. He didn’t like it when he bit her. Of course not; he might hurt you! her subconscious screamed. Robert would hate himself if he hurt her, she knew that.