Mrs de Lys returned to the classroom after Don had made this promise. We were silent for the remainder of the lesson, Don occasionally kissing me. I was so relaxed I could have fallen asleep, and equally content.
After the lesson, it was break. Don led me to the room containing the staircase going down to the laboratory and we sat on the bench in front of the window.
"Angel?" Don murmured softly.
"Yes?" I replied.
"Can I kiss you now?" he asked, his eyes so intense that they seemed to burn slightly.
My heart began hammering in my chest.
"S-sure," I stammered.
Don leant in towards me, his movements slow and deliberate. His free hand met the other at my left hip and my eyelids fluttered close as his face neared mine. Our lips brushed. Warmth pervaded every cell of my body and I shivered. I kissed back, my lips moving slowly and carefully against his - the gentle beauty of it was fragile; delight seemed to threaten to metamorphose into passion at any moment and I wasn't ready for that yet: this was the first proper kiss and we needed to watch ourselves. I withdrew after a few seconds, opening my eyes to see evident signs of restraint in Donald's form.
"Such an angel," he whispered. With obvious effort, he returned to how he'd been sitting before. "You're not frightened, are you?" he asked softly, no longer regarding me.
"I am a little," I confessed. "But more of myself than of you. I want to be sure of the relationship before I take the next step. When I trust you completely, I won't be inhibited."
Don nodded. "I see," he said, his expression unfathomable. He sighed and reached out to stroke my face, looking at me once more. "You've so much control," he murmured.
"Thank you for being patient," I told him. "It makes things a lot easier."
Don said nothing. We sat in silence. As time stretched on, I found myself comparing the kiss to the kiss that hadn't happened when Lor had come to my house. Was it fair to try to stop the course of the feelings produced by Don when I had completely lost control with Lor? Was this a sign I wanted Lor more - the fact I had let myself be swept up in the tide of emotions at my house but not here with a different guy? Or was it maybe safer to go out with Don than with a guy who could potentially make it impossible for me to stop myself?
I unwittingly wondered what would have happened if I had kissed Lor - if Ed hadn't appeared when he had, if my dad hadn't thought about how long I was taking to come through to the living room. And once again, I was reminded of my guilt at being captivated by Don - perhaps I was acting horribly wrongly and didn't deserve either guy.
How would Don react if he knew I had almost kissed his worst enemy?
The thought made me anxious and I recoiled from it before I had the chance to imagine the scene.
"Penny?" called a voice - not Don's.
I blinked and saw Ed at the door of the room. He looked hurt.
"I thought I told you to be careful."
"What?" I said, frowning in confusion. As I spoke, the memory came to me of Ed telling me that there was something he didn't trust about Don. "Oh, yes, you did. I am, Edward. Nothing bad's going to happen."
Don looked annoyed.
"Why would you tell her to be careful Edward? You make it sound like I'm a monster."
"Perhaps you are," Ed said quietly.
"Oh, go away. Leave us alone if you dislike me so much."
Ed looked at me pleadingly.
"Dating him's a bad idea, Penny. And I thought you liked Lor."
It felt like my heart had stopped. I tensed, holding my breath.
"Of course she doesn't like Lor," Don said, snorting.
I exhaled and my muscles relaxed; my heart restarted.
Ed looked like he suddenly understood something. His expression turned to one of gravity.
"Oh, Penny," he murmured. "I hope you know what you're doing."
With that, he turned and walked away. I fought the urge to cry.
Great, now Ed thought I was a wicked person. There was a strong chance that I was a wicked person. And I was too scared to confess my crime and I liked Don too much to want to end the relationship and everything was a mess.
One big mess.
And yet, I still wanted to attend Lupin Scuela. I still wanted to study Flora and Moon Child Law, and experience Music Appreciation.
I was crazy - I actually was.
And in the depths of my heart, I knew that this could only end badly.