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 Matthew Cox
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#13356
There were no words. Words didn't matter. They were superfluous and pointless. All there was was Cora. Her breath, gentle against his skin, perfumed the air he breathed with her scent mingled with her toothpaste. Even the dusty smell of her makeup blended with the tones of her body, the fabric she wore, her shampoo and conditioner...she just smelled like home to him.

When she broke the kiss, he moved to reclaim it, but stopped as the car slowed down. With her forehead pressed to his, Matt felt oddly submissive and peaceful. He wanted nothing more than to live in this moment forever.

"My perfect angel...I love you so much. I love you..."

It felt like he fumbled the words, but he had nothing else except that pure love. He followed her out of the car and tried to gather himself back together as he slipped his glasses on. As if they were a mask, he tucked himself back into control as the driver took their bag to the front desk. Matt still couldn't find his words, though. The smile on his face said what his voice couldn't: this was perfect.

"Monsieur, Mademoiselle, checking in?"

With a smile and a nod, Matt finally found his voice. He reached into his jacket pocket and withdrew a paper that had their reservation number printed on it. One corner was dog earred; he felt it and knew how to orient the paper as a result.

"Yes, one night and one day, thank you."

They continued the little rituals of checking in and receiving their keys before being escorted to the elevator to their floor. Matt exchanged small pleasantries with the aide, but fell silent again as they headed to their room. Finally, he spoke.

"I think I'm the luckiest man in the world, to be so loved by you...and to get to love you so much."

And he was, wasn't he? He opened the door for her and swept her into his arms, carrying her through the threshold of the sumptuously decorated room.
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By Coraline Larson
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#13357
His words, his profession of his love, it was all so perfect. A balm for the injured soul that she was. Cora breathed a soft sigh of pleasure as his love washed over her and made everything they had endured worth the fight, the suffering, and the survival.

Cora gently kissed him again before sliding gracefully out of the car when the driver opened the door for her, thanking him softly for his assistance. He returned her gentle smile and carried their bag to the front desk once Matt had exited as well. Automatically, Cora threaded her arm through the crook of Matt's elbow and walked with him to the desk to check in, gazing at the splendor of the hotel in awe.

She continued to follow along as they were escorted to their room by a friendly concierge, though Cora remained quiet and thoughtful as they made their way to their suite. Once the concierge left them and Matt spoke at last, Cora felt her heart skip and a shy smile tugged at her lips. This was perfect. Just perfect.

"This has to be heaven, mo ghra. I died and somehow went to heaven," she giggled as he carried her into their room.
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By Matthew Cox
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#13358
Matt buried his face in her neck, inhaling her scent and nipping lightly at her skin.

"I must have died as well, love, because I'm also in heaven."

The smooth tone and return volly was back, but there was something about his gentle speech that still held onto the shared vulnerability from earlier. He cherished that...she saw him and thought he was something precious. He loved it, loved hearing her love for him, and wanted to hold onto that for the rest of the night.

"Now...is there anything you need to do to freshen up before dinner? I may shave...unless you'd rather I didn't?"
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By Coraline Larson
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#13360
Almost instinctively Cora tilted her head to the side to give him access to her neck, sighing and squirming slightly at his playful nips. She loved when he buried his face in her neck like that. It was possessive and intoxicating and almost primal, and Cora loved it. She loved even more the vulnerability they had shared with each other so far tonight, perhaps because it showed how far their relationship had truly evolved since the beginning. From hatred to heaven in the span of a little more than a month.

"Hmm? Oh," she fumbled for a moment, having been lost in her thoughts. "Well, since you're asking... I do like the slightly scruffy look on you, mo diabhal. Especially in that tux," Cora added with a cheeky smirk, kissing his jawline playfully.
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By Matthew Cox
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#13363
"Then it stays, my dear. I'm going to brush my teeth and change my socks and I'll be ready. I bought some perfume for you, if you're interested in wearing it."

His lip twisted into a roguish smile at the mention of the perfume. It was a bolder, sexier scent than her normal body spray. It held deep notes of vanilla, lasting tones jasmine, and and a hint of lime. It reminded Matt of the Cereus blossom smell that had driven him nearly mindless with lust. Maybe she'd catch the reference when she put it on. The rogue smile grew more devilish as he considered the message he was trying to send her.

Socks and shaving kit in hand, Matt headed to the bathroom and took a moment to appreciate the sculpting and molding decorating the room. The whole living space was fine art; he'd chosen well, it seemed. Matt freshened up, checked his hair, refreshed his cologne, and then changed his socks into something more comfortable for the evening. When he came if if the bathroom, he took a moment to just stare at Cora and enjoy the feel of her under his radar.
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By Coraline Larson
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#13364
"Did you?" she asked with delight when he mentioned a new perfume. With his heightened senses Matt was adept at choosing scents that complimented her and Cora simply loved it, and the pleasure he seemed to derive from it was just as enjoyable.

She inhaled the new scent and couldn't help but smirk as she recognized the subtle similarity to the Cereus flower. It was a far bolder scent than she would have thought to choose for herself, but she did love it as she dabbed a few drops on either side of her neck and either wrist. The vanilla-jasmine-citrus was exquisite; she hoped he enjoyed it as much as she did. Before Matt exited the bathroom Cora took a moment to check what little makeup she had put on and see that her hair was still pinned up properly. She turned and smiled at him when she noticed him watching her.

"This is truly stunning, Matty. The room, the view, the gifts... everything is just amazing."
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By Matthew Cox
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#13365
Scent was tied so strongly to memories. His nostrils flared at the way the perfume mingled with her scent, aroused and entranced immediately. He rocked slightly, enjoying the battle of wills between saying 'forget the plans' and having his pleasures now and holding the course to ensure that the fairytale date stayed on track.

"Its a good thing I'm hungry and anticipating dinner in a few hours, otherwise we may never get out of the room to go enjoy the city..."

A husky note had entered his voice and he licked his lips. She was enticing and he was hungry for more than just food.

He pushed off the wall and stalked over to her, hunting her form in the still evening. One hand went to he small of her back, the other went to her face, and he kissed her deeply.
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By Coraline Larson
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#13366
Butterflies set to fluttering in her stomach as she watched him inspect her with that almost predatory look. The way he was looking at her reminded her of a confident wolf looking over his mate and the statement that followed only cemented that idea for her.

Cora felt her cheeks warm in a rosy blush at his boldness, her own attention grabbed by the subtle action of him licking his lips. Oh Merlin's beard, but the man was so enticing! She watched him stalk across the room toward her, her arms automatically coming around him as he pulled her in for a searing kiss.
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By Matthew Cox
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#13367
She tasted wonderful. Matt savored the kiss and broke away with only a twinge of regret. With one arm still on her elbow, he pulled back towards the door.

"There are roses in bloom. I smelled them when we came in...I also heard moving water on marble. Shall we go see the fountains, my fire?"

Matt escorted her out slowly, taking into consideration both her delicate state and her fancy attire. These weren't athletic outfits and deserved the care and preservation of grace and serene slowness.

As they headed to the exit, Matt regaled her with stories.

"The last time I was in France was a Remembrance day celebration with my unit. We color sergeants were tasked with doing presentations for our units of some sort. I wound up doing a poetry recitation on the beaches of Normandy...'In Flanders Fields'."

His mind wandered back. There was something hallowed and powerful about that poem in that location. He could hear the waves crashing in his mind still.
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By Coraline Larson
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#13369
Cora simply melted in her lover's arms, a small sigh of contentment huffing out of her as she reveled in his kiss. A slight pang of disappointment zinged through her when Matt broke the kiss and pulled away, but was quickly overridden by his suggestion to explore the gardens.

"Oh, the gardens here are beautiful, mo diabhal! The roses weren't blooming the last time I was here, but the lilies were," Cora answered with a delighted smile as she let him lead her out the door.

As they made their way out toward the gardens Cora couldn't help but notice they were getting some admiring attention from other guests of the hotel, most likely due to their formal attire. Men and women both took note, though her hearing wasn't good enough to make out their whispers. It was a little unsettling for the former assassin, if she was being honest, but it was unlikely they would be recognized here she had to keep reminding herself. Still, a small knot of anxiety formed in the pit of her stomach as they approached the garden.

"I, um... probably shouldn't mention my last trip to Paris," she chuckled quietly. It had been a reconnaissance mission to test the security of a rather well-known museum not too far from here after all... Cora listened to Matt's story and smiled.

"Oh, that's one of my favorite poems," she sighed appreciatively, imagining the scene he described. Reciting that work at Normandy itself? "It must have been a moving recitation, my love."
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By Matthew Cox
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#13814
They moved like a stately pair of swans through the foyer, gathering a trail of compliments in their wake. Matt's smile twisted at the words, finding not only glee, but pride in how awestruck onlookers were. Cora gave the impression of leading, as was appropriate with his 'disability.' The glasses were back in place as an armor of sorts. Nobody here would be likely to attack them, but it was still comfortable to have the façade.

Once outdoors, Matt breathed deeply and released the breath slowly. At least four varieties of roses had hit his palate. Cora would tell him all about the roses momentarily. For now, he'd continue to delight her with poetry talk.

"Every man had a poppy pinned to his uniform. The waves were crashing and, except for the recitations of stories, letters from soldiers, and poetry, not a sound could be heard save the ocean and the gulls. It was ethereal and haunting, as if time was thin there."

She was relaxing, he was delighted to notice. Matt smiled gently as they crossed the road and entered the manicured and orderly French royal garden. White marble paved the walkways and bloomed into elaborate fountains while hedges of roses dripped with blossoms nearly as broad as the length of his hand. He purposefully slowed at a bench and guided her to sit.

"Here. Let's enjoy the feel of the Stars and the light, the scent of the flowers, and you can describe the evening for me. I want to hear more from your perspective, mo tine."

He angled himself towards her as he sat and clasped her hands in his, letting a small and eager smile bloom on his face for her.
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By Coraline Larson
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#13919
Matt had been correct: the gardens were breathtaking with the roses in full bloom. Cora’s eyes drank in the different varieties and colors like a dehydrated woman in an oasis, soft noises of admiration and contentment escaping her without her noticing. She was not so lost in her surroundings that she didn’t appreciate what her companion was saying, however, and nodded at his description of the ceremony he had been talking about. His words painted a clear picture for her, both hauntingly solemn and beautiful in its dedication. She could almost hear the waves crashing and see the soldiers with their poppy adornments in her mind.

Although her health had made some strides to recovery in the last few days, walking still tired her easily, almost embarrassingly so. Cora was glad that Matt had guided them over to one of the lovely little marble benches tucked into a small shrubbery alcove next to the path they were on. She smiled when he asked her to describe the garden for him and chuckled a little playfully as she teased him. “You’re asking a gardener to describe the flowers in a professional garden for you? So you want the scientific version then?” Cora giggled softly and squeezed his hands affectionately when he clasped her hands in his.

“Let’s see…” she started as she looked around at the well-manicured gardens. “Well, the roses that make up the hedges in the little bench alcoves like this one are one of my favorite varieties, called ‘Floribunda Roses’. They’re a hybrid variety, so the blooms themselves look more similar to the Hybrid Tea Rose while their scent is closer to that of the Polyantha. The rigid little shrubs they tend to grow in make them real easy to trim into hedges like this or even just keep in a decorative planter. The rest of the hedges look like they alternate between two other types,” Cora mused thoughtfully, happily getting lost in the delightful explanation of the plants. “So the larger, more upright sections of hedges? Those are Grandiflora Roses. It looks like most of these are a crisp white, but I’ve seen them in pinks, reds, yellows, and even peach colors too. And the short, maybe knee-high sections around the fountains over there, those are Groundcover Roses. Looks like Avon and some Flower Carpet Corals too from here. Each fountain has a ring of them around the perimeter and each one is a different color too. The one just over to our left is white, over on the right it’s a pretty pale pink, and the large fountain at the far end of the garden is a darker coral shade…”

Inhaling the intoxicatingly romantic smell of the roses around them, Cora let out a small gasp of delight when she noticed another type of rose near the closest fountain. “Oh! Do you smell that, mo diabhal? Of course you do, what am I saying…” she giggled, pressing on in excitement. “That light, sweet, almost musky scent? Those are called Hybrid Musk Roses. It looks like they gardeners have planted them at the crossroads of each path and near the fountains, almost like navigation markers, how clever! The Buff Beauties are my favorite; such a lovely peach color with a darker orange in the center, or sometimes even a yellow center too…”
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By Matthew Cox
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#13923
She was so passionate about the roses; in her delight, she seemed to forget about the ache in her chest and the sorrow in their last week together. Perfect. Matt smiled attentively as she described the varieties around them, nose flaring appreciatively at their scent.

"You are so beautiful."

He spoke softly and raised his hand her face, gently caressing her cheek. He wanted to propose to her right now, but it wasn't the right time yet. That was supposed to be the pinnacle of the evening if he decided to do it tonight at all. The plan was to get to the restaurant and have her sit by the bay window that framed the Eiffle tower, then get down on a knee and give it to her. If the mood was right. If he was brave enough. If it wasn't too soon. Too many ifs. Matt swallowed and smiled, trying to steel himself and calm down his nerves.
Last edited by Matthew Cox on Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By Coraline Larson
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#13930
So lost in her own delight in the roses and the garden as a whole was she that Matt’s sudden compliment took her by surprise. Her cheeks turned a delicate pink as she realized she had been rambling on about the plants and she looked down a little sheepishly.

“Oh… I, um…” Cora stuttered over her words in embarrassment, clearing her throat lightly before she continued. “I’m sorry, Matty. I’m rambling, aren’t I? Um… sorry, love…”

The raven-haired witch trailed off quietly, still a little embarrassed at herself for going on and on like she had. He had asked her to describe the night for her, not go into the detailed history of each type of rose in the garden, for Merlin’s sake! Cora peered up at him from under her lashes, biting her bottom lip softly.
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By Matthew Cox
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#14030
The heat rising to her skin told Matt she was blushing, but he could only respond with a gentle smile to her flustered response.

"Were you? I was enjoying your description too much to notice if it was rambling or not. Please, continue."

He leaned in and pressed his forehead to hers briefly in an affectionate gesture. He wanted her comfortable and happy. She was both, here, under the stars and amid the roses. The night was warmer here than in London and the city noises were different, but Matt wrangled his focus to pay attention to Cora completely.

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