How to Tame a Dragon Ch. 08bytotallyatease©
She only agreed to do it as a favour to her sister – but He more than made up for the inconvenience...
The next couple of weeks were wonderful for Izzy, she found that there was indeed plenty of work for her and the whole community seemed to welcome her, almost with open arms. Her days were nicely filled as she went round the small companies, doing filing and accounting and even some typing for them.
The business men and women, who had secured her services, were quite able to do this work for themselves; which was what they had actually been doing, ever since Mr. Reynolds had retired. However they were very busy people, and so were more than happy to pay her to take over.
She would return to her home late in the afternoon and cook herself some dinner... something that Daniel had not been happy about; when she had declared her independence, and intention to feed herself – in her own home.
She returned home on this Thursday afternoon, feeling tired but happy that she was finished for the weekend. She had passed Mrs. Coats in the village who had voiced her concern over how pale Izzy looked.
"I'm fine Mrs. Coats!" Izzy laughed. "It's just been a long week and I'm a bit tired, that's all."
"Are you eating enough?" that lady asked worriedly. "You look like you're starting to waste away again..."
"Yes Mrs. Coats, I'm eating plenty," Izzy responded dryly.
Mrs Coats had not looked convinced, but there was nothing more that she could do or say, and so the two ladies had parted company.
She entered her little cottage, and opted for a nice soak in a hot bath, before deciding on what she would eat for dinner.
An hour later she walked into her kitchen wearing a deep blue soft woollen dress, which hung down around her legs.
She looked in her cupboard and for lack of inspiration, or energy; elected on the uninspiring but filling enough – beans on toast.
She took out the tin of beans just as there was a knock on the door; and so still holding the can – she went to open it.
Daniel stood outside with a large basket over his arm.
He looked with disgust at the tin in her hand. "If that is what you've been living on, no wonder you're wasting away."
"Good evening Daniel," she smiled politely.
Daniel sighed. "Mrs Coates thought that you were looking a bit under the weather, and since you are refusing to eat at my house; I persuaded her to pack up enough for the two of us, and I've brought it to you."
Izzy gave a delicate little sniff as the aroma from the basket hit her nostrils. She gave him a huge grin which caused his heartbeat to do weird things. "Please do come in!" she gushed enthusiastically. "You are most welcome here tonight."
Daniel blinked at her a couple of times, and then taking a deep breath he stepped inside the cottage for the first time in nearly two weeks.
"If you bring it into the kitchen, I'll get some plates and things..." Izzy murmured as he followed her down the hallway.
Daniel heaved the basket onto the table, and started to remove the containers of hot food. He found himself wanting to hum as he moved around Izzy in the little kitchen. He'd missed her, these last couple of weeks, as she had been left to find her feet.
When Daniel had made his proposition to her, and offered her the use of this cottage it had been with the vague idea of being able to see her every day. But following their argument Izzy had decided that she wanted some space to settle down without being reliant on anyone else.
"Give me a couple of weeks to see if I can make it on my own," she had demanded. "You overwhelm me Daniel, and I find it hard to think straight with you constantly breathing down my neck..."
The images and urges which had shot through Daniel at such a harmless, little comment, had convinced him to stay away until he could control himself better around Izzy...
They sat down at the table together and they both thoroughly enjoyed the meal that Mrs. Coats had prepared for them.
"Hmm that really was delicious," Izzy sighed contentedly.
"Probably one of her finest meals," Daniel agreed.
They gathered the pots together, and washed and dried them in a compatible silence.
"Coffee?" she asked casually.
"That would be nice... Thank you," he nodded.
"You go and sit in the living room, and I'll bring it in." She ordered.
When Izzy curled up next to him on the sofa, it was all he could do not to reach out and take her into his arms.
"So how have you been?" he finally dared to ask.
"Great!" she lied enthusiastically. "I've managed to get twelve clients, all needing a couple of hours a week or so. People have been so kind and helpful towards me..." she grinned, refusing to admit how much she had missed Daniel.
"Good, I'm glad," he told her sincerely.
They drank their coffee, and Daniel got up to go.
"Be sure and thank Mrs. Coats for such a wonderful meal," Izzy told him, as he stepped out onto her path – holding the large basket.
"Goodnight Izzy," Daniel said quietly as he stared down at her.
"Goodnight Daniel," she responded softly.
She stared up at him, with a quiet yearning she was unaware of, and with a little defeated sigh; Daniel placed the basket on the ground and took her in his arms. He kissed her gently on the lips, but knew better than to linger there too long.
The kiss had barely begun when he was pushing her away and picking up the basket once again.
"Be sure and lock your door Izzy," he instructed as he backed away
Izzy did just as he had instructed, and pulled the bolt across the door.
It was only when he heard that final barrier between them, that he turned and went home to his large empty house.
When Izzy went down stairs the next morning, it was to find a plain white envelope on her front door mat. She opened it immediately to find an invitation from Daniel to dine with him that evening. "Oh my Daniel, how formal we have become!" she giggled softly to herself. "But how am I supposed to respond? Should I pop a note under his front door I wonder? Or do I just turn up?"
She opened the front door to find Daniel leaning against the wall.
"Good morning Izzy, did you sleep well?" he didn't move just stayed where he was, and smiling just a little.
"Good morning Daniel, I slept wonderfully thank you," she grinned at him. "Would you like to come in for some coffee?"
"You look like you've just got out of bed?" he observed still not moving.
Izzy put her hand up to her tousled locks; she'd not pulled her comb through it yet.
"Yes," she laughed self consciously. "That's probably because I have – just got out of bed." Something in Daniel's eyes flickered, and he muttered softly to himself.
"I won't come in thank you Izzy... I was just wondering if you would have dinner with me this evening – at my house."
She held up his letter. "Yes I got your letter... and thank you, I would love to have dinner with you tonight."
"Excellent... I'll see you at six then," he moved then, to walk away from her.
Izzy stood on her door step watching him. 'Don't go.' She wanted to shout at him. 'Don't leave me again... I miss you so much!' she stayed silent and so he left her alone, to enjoy her solitude and loneliness.
She pottered restlessly through her day, trying to keep busy, but not being able to settle on anything. She was impatient to be with Daniel again, and he was all she could think about. She dug through her wardrobe looking for something special to wear; but she didn't have much luck.
Finally she settled on a little tight fitting black skirt, which she topped with an ivory coloured satin blouse. She was so tempted to hook in those earrings, but she thought better of it in the end, and instead went for gold hoops. She brushed her hair out so that it framed her face in soft shiny curls.
At five forty five there was a knock on her door, and Izzy went to open it.
"I'm early I know, but I thought that I would come down to fetch you...." Daniel began cheerfully. His voice trailed off as he looked her up and down.
"Good evening Daniel," Izzy murmured uncertainly.
Daniel stepped over her threshold, and leaned back on her front door as it locked behind him. His eyes blazed down at Izzy, as she stepped back nervously.
"Is everything alright Daniel?" she asked worriedly.
"Beautiful," he murmured softly. "You are so beautiful Izzy."
Izzy felt the colour flame her cheeks, and she lowered her head shyly.
Daniel stepped forwards as if in a trance, to where she stood waiting for him, her heart beating like a drum.
He brushed her hair away from her face, and his hand went to the back of her head to support her, while his lips crushed hers.
He pulled her against him, and held her tight as his lips devoured hers.
All Izzy could do was to hang on for dear life, and not let go.
"That is for making me wait for so long," Daniel finally told her huskily.
Izzy looked up, her eyes glazed over. "If that is some form of punishment, then I'll have to try life as a criminal," she whispered with a shaky sort of smile.
"The penalty would become more severe, if you were to continue down that dark route." he warned her solemnly. He opened the front door and stepped outside. "Shall we go and see what Mrs Coats has cooked for us tonight?"
They walked hand in hand over to the main house, and had a very special and romantic dinner, prepared with a loving hand by Mrs Coats.
"I'll walk you back," Daniel told her soon after Mrs Coats had left.
She looked at him in surprise, and he smiled a little ruefully. "I'm hoping that you'll invite me in for coffee," he told her quietly.
She laughed softly, as she walked with him over to her home. "Of course Daniel the house has felt a little empty this week; especially in the evenings, so you are most welcome."
She unlocked her front door and left him to follow her inside at his leisure. Daniel strolled into the living room and sat down on the sofa, whilst Izzy went into the kitchen to make the coffee.
Izzy put the steaming mugs onto the coffee table and curled up next to Daniel, the length of her bare leg pressed against him.
It was the final straw for Daniel, as he turned and took her into his arms once more. He held her tight to him, as his mouth met hers in a soft kiss; and as he felt the tentative tip of Izzy's tongue on the edge of his mouth, his control began to crumble slowly away, he wanted her so very badly!
"Easy," Daniel murmured as he drew back slightly. He looked into her eyes as he concentrated on his breathing for a moment. "Izzy if you don't ease up a little bit, this will get out of hand very quickly."
"I'm sorry Daniel," she sighed. "I know that you're right; it's just that I've never felt like this for anyone before... and I... I don't know what to do!"
Daniel relaxed back against the sofa taking Izzy with him, so that she was resting against his heart.
"There's plenty of time Izz, let's just take it nice and slow for a bit..." Daniel thought it was one of the hardest things he'd ever had to say, but she was worth it – of that he was certain.
Izzy lay listening to the steady beat of Daniel's heart; he seemed totally relaxed, but she wasn't fooled for a moment.
She felt a little shot of mischief go through her, and squirmed slightly rubbing herself against Daniel.
Daniel's heartbeat picked up a notch.
She sighed gently and moved again, just a little, nothing dramatic...
Daniel gave a soft growl as his arms tightened around her.
"You are a little tease Izzy; and you are not ready for this yet!" he told her softly.
He pushed her away gently and stood up. "I think it's time I went," he said regretfully.
Izzy followed him to the front door.
"Goodnight Daniel," she said quietly as she looked down at the ground.
Daniel cupped her chin gently, so that he could look into her eyes. He stared down as if searching for something, but in the end he shook his head slightly. "No," he murmured, "not yet Izzy."
He stepped out onto the path. "Be sure and lock your door," he ordered firmly.
She gave him one last lingering look, before closing the door on him and sliding the bolt across. "Goodnight Daniel," she sighed through the door.
Izzy was awoken the following morning, to hammering on her front door. She crawled out of bed and peered out of the bed room window.
Richard's car was parked outside and Jessie was banging on her door. She opened the window and stuck her head out.
"Jess... What are you doing here? And why so early?" she looked at her watch to see that it was only just after eight o'clock.
Jessie grinned up at her; totally uncaring that she had obviously just dragged her from her bed. "I've come to spend the weekend with you!" she declared happily.
"Oh lord!" Izzy sighed as she pulled the window too, and dragged on her dressing gown. She scurried down the stairs to open the front door. "Come on in then," she said shortly, and Jessie stepped through the door – followed by a grinning Richard, and then followed by Daniel.
Izzy pulled her dressing gown tight, and flattened herself against the wall as Jessie walked down the poky little hall, and disappeared into her living room, with Richard hot on her heels. Daniel closed the door slowly and also made to walk past Izzy.
He didn't even attempt to keep some space between them.
Looking down into her eyes, he deliberately pressed himself fully against her.
"Good morning Izzy..." he murmured softly into her hair, as his fingers gently stroked her jaw line. Izzy felt the now familiar shudder run down her spine whenever he touched her and Daniel smirked at her briefly. "That is for last night; you little minx!" he told her with a touch of satisfaction as he walked away from her.
"Jess... why don't you put the kettle on – while I go and get dressed," Izzy called as she headed for her stairs.
There was absolutely no way that she was going to sit in front of Daniel, in just her night clothes!
By the time she had showered and dressed; and got back down the stairs, the other three were sitting sipping coffee and chatting happily together.
Jessie looked up at her as she entered the room.
"Your coffee is just here on the table Izz."
Izzy curled up on the floor in front of the fire, since all the seats were taken in her tiny living room.
"Daniel had this brilliant idea about going to the beach for the day," Jessie gushed enthusiastically.
Izzy looked out of the window at the gloomy April sky. "I hope he wasn't thinking about bikinis and swimming in the sea," she said without thinking. She caught Daniel's eye and just knew that he was picturing her in a little skimpy bikini, and she blushed furiously as he smirked at her – again.
Izzy lowered her head and sipped demurely at her coffee.
"Come on Izz... it'll be great fun!" Jessie encouraged.
"Oh... alright!" she finally agreed. "Just let me grab a slice of toast or something and then I'll be ready to go."
"Excellent!" Jessie exclaimed. "Izzy you can travel in Daniel's Aston martin, rather than all of trying to cram into just one of the cars.
"Wonderful idea Jessie," Daniel jumped in before Izzy could respond. "It'll be good to give it a run, since I don't seem to have much opportunity these days."
Izzy just gave a little snort, as she left the living room to go and get some breakfast. She popped some bread into the toaster and stood waiting for it to jump out again.
"See you a bit later Izzy!" Jessie called and then there was the sound of the front door opening, and a second later it slammed too.
"Oh brilliant!" Izzy moaned to herself. "Deserted and abandoned."
"Oh... I wouldn't say that exactly," Daniel said behind her.
Izzy jumped, and threw the toast she was holding up in the air. It came back down and fell buttery side down onto the floor.
"Now look what you made me do!" she snapped at him.
"Hey! I didn't ask you to go about throwing your breakfast around, so don't blame me!" he grinned at her, looking so much like a cheeky little boy that Izzy just couldn't stay angry at him.
She laughed softly as she felt her ill humour melt away. "I'm sorry for being such a grump Daniel," she sighed.
"No worries babe," he told her easily. "Why don't you go and sort yourself out ready for our day trip and I'll make us both some more toast, and fresh coffee."
Izzy reached up and kissed him on the cheek. "You are such a love Daniel!" she grinned whimsically, as she walked away.
An hour later, Izzy was climbing into Daniel's little sports car.
He turned the engine on with another of those boyish grins, and Izzy could feel the power straining to be released.
The beach that they travelled to; wasn't a huge distance away, and the car ate up the miles with a great appetite. It was a cool, blustery, wet kind of day; and the beach was deserted.
"Come on you," Daniel said holding his hand out to her. "Let's go for a walk."
They walked hand in hand up the beach; to where Richard had parked his car; and he and Jessie were sitting in the little restaurant close by.
Richard must have noticed them, because Jessie who had her back to them suddenly turned and waved at them.
"Now isn't that just typical of her, to find the cosiest spot to curl up in!" Izzy said as she stamped her cold feet to keep the circulation going.
"Oh I don't know..." Daniel murmured with a little smile. "I seem to remember finding you curled up in some of the oddest places, in my house when you first came to stay."
"Yes... well..." she blushed. "I was convalescing at the time!" she defended.
"That's as may be," Daniel grinned. "But I felt like I was on a treasure hunt, searching every nook and cranny for Izzy."
Izzy blushed a little deeper, but didn't respond to his teasing. "I suppose we should join them," she said instead.
"That would be the polite thing to do," he laughed. "They are after all our siblings and they might be a little offended if we were to just ignore them!"
"So you don't think that we can pretend, not to have seen them then?" she half begged.
Daniel laughed. "They know that we've seen them... and right now – Jessie is on her way to find out what is holding us up."
"Izzy what are you doing standing out there in this weather?" Jessie all but shrieked to be heard above the wind.
"Nothing Jess... just talking," Izzy sighed, feeling a little impatient with her sister.
She allowed Jessie to lead her to the table that she had been sharing with Richard, while Daniel went and fetched them both a coffee.
"Did you have a good drive down here then Izzy?" Richard asked cheerfully as she sat down opposite him.
"Yes... it was super. Daniel's car is really comfortable," she told him lightly.
"Yes, and really fast, I'm surprised that it took you so long to get here," his eyes twinkled knowingly at her as she looked away in embarrassment.
Daniel sat down beside Izzy, and slid a mug in front of her; and she cupped her cold hands around it thankfully, and stared down into the steaming coffee – allowing the other three to take charge of the conversation.
"So now that we're here – what are we going to do?" Jessie's voice broke into Izzy's introspection.
"Well... we could take a walk along the beach..." Richard suggested. "Or there's that new shopping arena, just across town, we could go and take a look around there."
"Ooh shops," Jessie grinned. "I vote we take a look round there."
"If you all don't mind, I think I'd like to walk along the beach," Izzy said quietly.
"I'll keep you company Izzy," Daniel told her. "I've seen the shopping centre and would much prefer a walk on the beach."
"Excellent!" Richard chimed in, before either of the girls could protest. "We'll meet you for lunch... back here... in say – an hour?" he looked at Daniel who nodded in agreement.