The various homes, flats, and other dwellings of London are located throughout the city. You can visit a friend at his home or even have one over or enjoy an evening in with yourself. Your choice!
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by: Coraline Larson
#16248
Matt's encouragement to continue was enough to convince the witch that her rambling wasn't unwelcome. Cora moved closer to Matt and snuggled against his side as she looked around at the rest of the garden, wanting to move on from the roses. She smiled when she noticed the lily fragrance underneath the stronger rose scent as a gentle breeze wafted the smell to her.

"Do you smell the lilies on the breeze, mo diabhal? They're over by the gazebo at the other end of the garden. It looks like there are several large containers with Trumpet Lilies surrounding the gazebo! They're gorgeous.... large pure white trumpet-shaped blossoms with pink-ish purple streaks on the outside and golden yellow throats inside. They're one of the most fragrant lily varieties..." she trailed off as she inspected the other planters as well.

"Oh and over there," she pointed to another recessed alcove to their right, "are several Golden-Rayed Lilies. Personally, I think they're the prettiest lilies of them all, but that's just my opinion..." Cora paused to inhale deeply, trying to catch a whiff of the spicy-sweet scent of the plants. "They have a distinctive fragrance, spicy and sweet. The blooms are huge too. About ten inches across, more traditionally lily-shaped white blooms with a central golden band and crimson freckles dotting the inside of the petals. They're my favorite," she finished with a soft sigh. Cora snuggled against Matt happily, just enjoying the evening with her love.
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by: Matthew Cox
#16698
When prompted, Matt lifted his nose to the breeze and closed his eyes. Each variety of rose that she had described was adding to the heavy fragrance of rose, but...yes, he smelled lilies too. And grass, and the green scent of the cut leaves on the trimmed bushes, and the cars, and the guy who had garlic with dinner and-just focus on the flowers, Matty. He smiled and nuzzled Cora again as she launched into a description of the looks of the flowers. They sounded pretty. He'd not really paid attention to flowers in his past life. In fact, before Cora, they'd just been plants. It was funny how the things you cared about changed because of the influences of the people you cared about...

"Your favorite lily? Then why don't you have any in the greenhouse? Or did I miss them, somehow?"

Golden rayed lily...he made a mental note to remember that particular flower if he ever needed to get her something.

"I don't think I have a favorite yet. Maybe this tree that I saw in south east Asia...big glossy leave, small creamy white and yellow blossoms...smelled like perfume. I don't remember what it was called, but I'll remember how it made the entire street smell." He grinned and gestured self deprecatingly. "And that was before I became a bloodhound, so I bet it's even more intense now..." Matt finished with a chuckle.
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by: Coraline Larson
#16759
“Hmm? Oh, no, there aren’t any in the greenhouse,” she answered with a slight shrug. “Honestly, I don’t have many just decorative plants at all. Just about everything but my orchids have a use in either herbal remedies or potions…” It wasn’t worth mentioning the reason behind why she had a purely functional greenhouse rather than a decorative one. It wasn’t worth the risk of ruining their trip by talking about the Dark Lady and her utilitarian ways. Besides, Matt could probably figure out the reasoning anyway if he really thought about it.

Her attention was brought back to the present when Matt talked about a certain flowering tree he had encountered in Asia. It sounded familiar, but Cora couldn’t place the name of it at the moment. “Maybe once things settle down a little, we can take a vacation and you can show me?” she offered gently. “I haven’t been to Asia in a while, and never without… work obligations,” she trailed off again, mad at herself for bringing up her past when they were supposed to be enjoying themselves.
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by: Matthew Cox
#16859
She was edging on tender territory. It was awful brave of her to do so and Matt took it for what it was: a sign of trust and vulnerability. He smiled for her and placed a gentle palm on her lower back to provide the sense of support. She was delicate yet, but he was going to give her the benefit of his love and support as she recovered.

"Would you be okay if I planted a scent garden? I like working with you in the greenhouse and I'd like to try my hand at your hobby, if that's okay."

He chuckled at he remark about visiting Asia as if it were a mundane comment instead of a reference to what she used to do. Their past was their past. A smile warmed his face and he nuzzled Cora lightly.

"I haven't been to Asia safe for work either, love. I think a vacation there and playing the tourist would be a grand thing. Hopefully all this settles down quick enough that you and I can play world traveler before our fifties. Remember when we were in the greenhouse talking about all our travels?"

It was still one of his fonder memories. When they first started treating each other like friends, his life had changed for the better. It had been the lifeline needed to address his depression. Not that it was fixed, or better even, but he had his gloves on and he was fighting it. Matt attributed part of that fight to her.
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by: Coraline Larson
#16874
Stupid. Why had she even thought of that? Here, on a beautiful vacation that Matt had planned for her no less, and here she was thinking about her fucked up past and -

Oh. He wasn’t upset. In fact, it seemed like he was… understanding? Merlin, she didn’t deserve this man…

With Matt’s gentle support Cora looked up at him and felt a tentative smile bloom on her face when he asked about starting his own garden in the greenhouse. “A scent garden?” she asked, smiling as she nodded her agreement, “I think that would be lovely, mo diabhal! We can clear some space near the pond and the orchid bed if you like. I’d love for you to have your own space there…”

When he brought the topic back to Asia and visiting as tourists at some point, the knot of anxiety that seemed to have taken up lurking in the pit of her stomach tightened once more, making the witch feel a little sick at the thought of why they needed to let things calm down before enjoying their trip. Guilt and regret filtered through her mind not for the first time on the subject, but Cora made an effort to push the emotions down in the back of her mind so she didn’t ruin their evening any further. Thankfully Matt brought up a more pleasant memory a moment later.

“Aye, I do,” she answered softly. Cora squeezed Matt’s hand gently and leaned against his side for a moment as she remembered the day in the greenhouse he was referring to. “It was the first day you came into the greenhouse and I showed you the plants…”
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by: Matthew Cox
#16879
"I was so skittish and conflicted. That was the day I really decided how I felt about you. Seeing your heart like that, seeing how you trusted me into your special place...it meant a lot to me. I'm still in awe of your garden, to be honest."

He thought back to the cereus incident and grinned ear to ear.

"Of course, that didn't end quite how I planned...but better than I'd hoped."

The ear to ear grin changed into a softer smile and he bent to kiss her.

"How do you feel about dinner, my dear? There's a carriage waiting for us on the other side of the garden to take us to the restaurant."

He waited for her answer before moving. They could have taken a cab, but carriages were available; it was more romantic and it was open topped, so it was a win-win, right?
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by: Coraline Larson
#17202
Cora chuckled softly at his reply. Skittish and conflicted? Yeah, she didn’t know anything about that…

“I know you were,” she answered gently, squeezing his hand lightly, “I was too. You had been so combative and resistant up until that point that I was so afraid you were going to hurt something in there.” Not that he didn’t have plenty of reasons for his combative behavior previous to that day, but even still, it had been a huge surprise for him to let his guard down like that and actually let her see the softer side of him. That day in the greenhouse had been a learning experience for her as much as it had been for him too, she knew. And the cereus pollen had certainly ensured that part too. “Definitely not the outcome I had expected,” she agreed, returning his kiss gently.

“Dinner sounds good, Matty. I’m sure I’ll find an appetite by the time we get there,” Cora replied with a smile. Anxiety was still gnawing at her stomach a little, dampening her desire for food, but he had gone to all the trouble of putting together this trip that she wouldn’t disrespect Matt and his effort by not eating at least a little bit. She stood carefully and threaded her arm through his once again as they set off toward where he had indicated the carriage was waiting for them. “So… a carriage ride under the lights of the City of Lights? You are a romantic aren’t you, mo ghra?” she teased him playfully as they walked.
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by: Matthew Cox
#17243
The night embraced them both. Matt could feel that the air was warmer here than the average London night. On top of that, the air was perfumed with bakeries, restaurants, gardens, clean flowing water, flowers, people, actual perfumeries...Matt smiled gently when Cora threaded her arm into his. This was how they were meant to be: Together, peaceful, happy, and hopeful for the future. The roses and lilies still dominated his senses. Even the breeze rustling the leaves caught his ears, sounding musical. He breathed in slowly and released it just as slowly.

"So...I went to Tava's funeral yesterday. The agent who...who we did the check for his family? I delivered the flowers. Cole was there, too..."

He mentioned his former team member and now temporary director for the division. Their discussion had been tumultuous. There was one, ringing question that had been left in Matt's mind: what if he went back? He'd asked Cole and been told 'not yet'...but he needed to breech the idea with Cora, too. And then there was the ring box in his pocket. That was weighing heavily on him, too.

The scent of horses trickled in through the perfume of roses. Matt leaned into Cora gently and hummed. The carriages were ahead. He almost didn't want the walk to end of the path and end this part of the night. They would ride to dinner, not able to talk openly with the driver so close. Then at dinner, he wanted to steer the conversation to their future and where they were headed together, then maybe...just maybe...ask her one of the most important questions he'd ever asked.
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