Being woken with a kiss from someone special must be the best way to start a new day. Diana blinked and struggled to focus on Danny’s face; it was tired, and looking a little drawn but he was smiling nevertheless.
“Good morning, my love.” he said. “I don’t need to ask if you slept well.”
“Did I drool – or snore?”
“No, although I probably did. My throat feels pretty sore. Are you hungry? I was just about to order breakfast.”
“Starving, not for a fry up though. Aren’t we going down to the restaurant for breakfast?”
“The privileges of wealth. I’ll get room service and charge it to my account. Toast, juice and coffee? Stuff like that?”
“Yes please. Have I got time for a shower? I need to be packed and out of the room by ten o’clock.”
“That might be a problem. We’ve been asked to stay on so that the detective in charge of last night’s incident can visit and ask more questions. Are you really in such a rush to get away from me?”
“No! I mean, there’s usually coffee in the dining room, and a dreadful team building exercise that everyone hates, followed by thanks from the sponsors, before the mini bus takes us off to the train station. Then I have a two-hour train ride home.”
“Do you have to go? I’m the main sponsor for this event. I can think of dozens of ways to thank you.”
“Well, my train ticket is only valid for today…”
“…We will take you wherever you need to be. Unless you’re desperate to rush off?”
“I – I don’t know what to do. I still need time to pack and vacate the room.”
“Go and get a shower. We have all the time in the world as far as I’m concerned. That’s one of the things we need to discuss over breakfast.”
“Don’t say ‘Oh’ like that. I’d like to find out what the future holds for us – starting with the next few days at least.”
“I’d better get that shower then.”
“Can I come and scrub your back for you?”
Diana looked horrified.
John would never have dreamed of such a thing. She started to feel slightly panicky at the thought of such intimacy, and her feelings must have been very obvious.
“I was joking!” Danny laughed. “Go and get your shower, I’ll order breakfast, make a few calls, and jump in when you’ve finished.”
Danny kissed her again, touched by her initial shyness, but encouraged by the way she responded to him, leaving no doubt that yesterday’s rosebud was most definitely in bloom. Diana picked out some clothes and underwear, and hurried into the bathroom, she almost locked the door but the newfound devil within stayed her hand, and she left it slightly ajar.
This small, but significant point was not lost on Danny and made him smile even more; as he set to work with a mobile glued to one ear, while ordering room service breakfast on the house phone. Despite the trauma of the night before, and the ensuing problems that would need to be sorted out, he was feeling supremely optimistic about life today. By the time Diana emerged, wearing her team building outfit of jeans and a much-loved old navy sweater, Danny was sitting in one of the armchairs with breakfast set out on the coffee table, buttering a slice of toast, and doing some more negotiating on his mobile. Rather than take up time drying her hair, Diana had put it up in a loose ponytail using a scrunchy she had borrowed from Caroline’s dressing table. Danny grinned at her, and pushed the toast rack in her direction. She sat down in the other armchair, and helped herself to fruit juice and toast, trying to concentrate on what she was doing rather than thinking about what was happening next.
Danny put his mobile down.
“First things first, my love. There is no need to rush out of this room. I rather like it, I’ve booked it for another couple of days, and asked housekeeping to leave us in peace until I ask for them. I’m paying. You are still frowning, Diana. Eat your toast? Please?”
She decided that there was little point in arguing, as she was extremely hungry. Of course, they would have to be interviewed by the police today, and there was also the fact that they’d both promised to visit Debbie in the hospital. Danny poured a cup of coffee, and having handed it to her, finished his toast and got up to go in the shower.
“Before I go, will you promise me something?” he asked.
“Yes, anything. Everything. What do you want me to do?”
He crouched down by the side of her chair and took hold of her hand.
“Same as last night. Please don’t run away? I know that this is something of shock to you, and I’m pretty blown away by it myself, but I want you to stay here so that we can talk.”
Diana smiled, relieved that she didn’t have to make any immediate life changing decisions.
“Okay, I promise.” she said, trying not to choke on her toast.
He kissed her hand, took a bite from her toast and shook his head, trying to put aside the need to pull her up into his arms and kiss her properly. Understanding what was wrong, Diana ran her fingertips down the side of his face in a gesture of tenderness that made him take in a very deep breath and raise his eyebrows.
“I would really like to drag you back into bed right now, my love, but I suppose we would inevitably be disturbed by Mike, or a detective, or your friend Alice wondering if you are alright. I’ll take a shower and then I promise, we’ll talk but I may have to sit on the sofa with you, rather than these extremely uncomfortable chairs.”
With a swift, but impressive kiss on her lips, he threw off his boxers and Ben’s tee-shirt, and made a very naked dash into the bathroom, leaving the door wide open, and giving Diana her own reason to smile.