"Yeah, so said your face that one time I tried to make an English trifle! You didn't even have to say anything, and it's okay if you hated it. Come on, it's been years, you can admit it now."
He snickered, adjusting the frames of his Ray Bans that were sliding off of his nose from the sweat and seawater. Tristan was relaxed, just like she said, and the conversation with smiles and reminiscing old times was such a refreshing moment found in a time where he felt lost or secluded from most people. Granted, he'd done that to himself; King always had a task for him and he always had his nose in his work, but making that impromptu decision to step out of the country and forget about everything revolving around the business was the best thing he could possibly do.
He gave her a cheeky grin and just shook his head when she said she hated surprises. "No spoilers, Cor. I'm banking on you enjoying it."
Once they arrived back at the Villa, the sun was already setting, casting a gorgeous orange glow along the horizon. The sound of the waves crashing against the shore and the walls of the lower floor were relaxing. Tristan had excused himself to prepare himself for the evening, and for some reason, he was nervous about this. Even though he'd spent the entire day with this woman, he was nervous about having dinner with her. Why? They had a lovely lunch, talking about school and exams and whatnot, and he even filled her in on the non-classified stories he could tell her about the time he served with the Marines. It was natural conversation that he used to divert her from talking about anything she didn't want to say about what had been going on with her as of late, since he wanted her to be comfortable expressing any thoughts or scenarios on her own. He supposed he could just do that, try to lead in with topics as if they were picking up where those conversations left off to make sure there wasn't any awkward dead time at dinner.
Tristan had a nice warm shower to wash away the sand and salt from his skin and hair, and groomed himself for the evening. Combed his hair, trimmed his facial hair, the works. He was wearing a tuxedo tonight, which was hardly going to compare to the gown he'd bought Cora... Speaking of, he wondered if the gown was to her liking, and the accessories he purchased to match. Again, he reiterated to himself how bad he was at buying things like that for women, especially when they hadn't had a chance to discuss whether or not she would actually wear something like that. He based it on her tastes throughout his knowing her, and hoped for the best. She had earrings, a shawl, a clutch and even jeweled hair clips to go with her outfit. One accessory, however, a necklace with an Alexandrite pendant surrounded by green garnet and rare green sapphires on a delicate silver chain was saved for last. It was packed away in a small black velvet box that Tristan made sure to tuck into his pocket before leaving his room.
His blue-green eyes looked over to the door to Cora's room but he didn't want to rush her. She'd come down when she was ready. He took a deep breath and walked down the stairs, already entranced by the exhilarating smells coming from the kitchen. Tristan walked over and greeted the cook and housekeeper, thanking them in Italian and telling them that everything smelled delicious. They had already set the table facing the open door and balcony that lead to a beautiful view of the ocean. It was already prepared with the finest china and glassware, and a bottle of their best, locally made wine. Tristan made sure everything as perfectly in place as he lit the candles on and around the table.