>> Thursday, December 23, 2010
I told you about him, but I'm all for you deciding for yourselves. Be warned. There is a preponderance of references here on his overthinking and feelings regarding Tessa. That's because it's central to the story and because depth of feeling does not bring along with it innate knowledge on what to do when something really matters. I personally find that both charming and humorous.
From Chapter 2
Dylan was not the slightest bit melodramatic, even emotional, as a general rule. He didn't see his response to Tessa as romantic or fantastic at all but as a single irrefutable and immutable fact. He loved her and she had changed his world into something worth living.Chapter 3
Tessa said nothing, but held herself stiffly. She did have a temper. She waited until they were halfway through the school before hissing, "I could have taken care of that myself."Chapter 5
"I haven't the least doubt that you could have nor that watching you kick his rather pansy ass would have afforded anyone of taste no little satisfaction. But I wanted to do it and I was faster," he replied. Not to mention that no one—no one—man-handled Tessa and walked straight for a week. Tessa could have taken him down, but she would have been less inclined to make it painful and humiliating.
"I don't need a bodyguard, Dylan. Seriously. I'm quite capable of taking care of myself. Right now, they'll likely think I kicked him in the balls, not that you hit a pressure point that I know as well as you do." She did know the pressure point and many others. Dylan had made sure of that personally. He also knew, first-hand, how effectively she had learned it since she had tested her knowledge on Dylan—at his own insistence. He sincerely hoped she never used it on him in earnest. At least he hadn't screamed.
"I expect anyone who saw I was there will have no doubt who hurt him. If you are called into the office, as I highly doubt you will be, you need only have them contact me. I'll take full responsibility."
"And you'd do the same if you were halfway across the school. If I get called into the office, I'll take care of it myself, Dylan. I don't need to be insulated from all ugliness. Have you so little faith in me?"
He was genuinely shocked at the notion, so shocked he stopped dead. "No, Tessa. Of course not! Who better than I to know what you're capable of. You're incredible, talented, brilliant, and driven. I know you could have taken care of him and half a dozen like him," he told her, earnestly.
She sighed and grabbed his arm as she so often did, laying her head on his shoulder. "But?" she prompted, tugging him forward.
For Tessa, ever and always, the truth. "But, I wanted to do it." Just like he wanted to protect her, give her every opportunity, and make her happy. Did she need him to? Perhaps not. But he wanted to do it anyway. “I'm not altruistic," he assured her with perfect honesty. "Everything I have ever done has been done to suit myself.”
His mind dispassionately contemplated hiring a professional to ensure he would be an skilled and careful lover for Tessa. Despite an instinctive antipathy to the idea, he evaluated several positive aspects. He considered proposing it to Tessa until he realized that, if she endorsed the idea, she would likely expect the same type of instruction for the same reasons. His revulsion at that notion was sufficient to make him realize that the idea was very unlikely to find favor. Better not try it.From Chapter 7
He'd hardly slept. She liked him, perhaps loved him. He hadn't even allowed himself to expect that. After hours of tossing and turning, he'd looked for distraction.
In the interest of furthering his knowledge, he looked to the internet in search of more detailed sexual instruction, and found far far more than he had bargained for. Perhaps such things were of intellectual interest, but they were, across the board, a far cry from what he had envisioned with Tessa.
Feeling a bit disoriented, he cleared registers, cookies and history, shut down his browser, ran a virus scan, and vowed to be far more selective in his terms for any future searches he might contemplate.
Then he thought he should get her something. If they were dating, surely, he could buy her things outright, no? No more passing by a jewelry store or clothing store, frustrated because the perfect item for her beckoned and he had no right to buy it for her. He recalled a set of tanzanite and another of sapphires that would have suited her exceptionally well. And a lovely dress, full length, of deep blood-red silk. She'd need rubies for that.
Perhaps that was too much? Overwhelming? He had to admit he had a tendency to overkill when it came to Tessa. No sense scaring her silly. Perhaps going slow was a good idea in every aspect.
He contemplated an on-line retailer, like Amazon.com, then realized he had absolutely no idea what he should buy her. He could buy her any number of things, but what did she want? Shouldn't each gift mean something, reflect his deep understanding of who she was as a person? If so, why was he stumped on what to buy her? Shouldn't he know?
He was overthinking things again. She didn't care about stuff. He'd ample proof of that. Or prestige. Or travel, or not much. She liked books and learning new things and trying new things, and challenges and him. He'd known that, of course, he'd always known she'd liked him. He'd just had been too afraid to read too much into that, afraid of expecting something from this lively fascinating person he could never earn as he was relatively dull and uninteresting.
That's it! He could make something for her. She made presents for him every birthday, something crafty and clever and perfect in every way. Each one was a work of art and treasured. He just wasn't crafty. Oh, he could probably make something, but it took some time to develop a skill, and special materials. And they frequently took time to create, too, like the crewel work she sewn that hung over his fireplace or the needlepoint on the opposite wall.
For the first time, he regretted his inability to create meaningful poetry or fanciful stories. He could write in rhyme and rhythm, but the facility to make them alive, to touch the heart, that was beyond him. He'd have to think of something else.
They should go on a date. They could head out tomorrow, just the two of them, to spend time alone together . . just like they always did, but, somehow, more romantical.
In his whole life, his brain had never been this sluggish and unresponsive. Instead of the dozens of destinations it should have provided (which would be nerve-wracking enough), his mind was completely blank.
He almost called Lawrence [his chauffeur] for advice before realizing it was three in the morning.