L'amore Che Viene dalla Paura (Love that Comes From Fear)

Chapter Two

Teris Xenite

Disclaimers: I own them not. I play with them out of love, and should you wish to sue me it would be far more profitable for you to let me pay off my student loans first.

He groaned. "Does everyone in this damned town know I was in military school?"

"Let me think…Yeah I think your mom's told pretty much everyone. She probably put an ad in the Spectator. " She smiled, and then felt bad when she saw his unease.
"Relax, only a very few people know you by sight. You've got a little while to make your impressions before the gossip catches up with you."

"How reassuring." He said dryly.

"Well if it helps any, you just got yourself on the good side of the two biggest families in Salem. If you want I can introduce you to all my family, and then you'll have some more friends in Salem?"

"I'd like that." He paused. "I forgot to ask, where do you live?"

"Sycamore St."

"I was right, my place is closer. We can stop off there first, so you can call your parents and get some ice. Unless of course that makes you uncomfortable?"

"Who me? Of course not, I follow strange men home all the time. I invite guys carrying battle axes in for coffee too." The small smile softened the sting of her sarcam turning instead into a gentle joke. He chuckled softly, and she felt her stomach turn a flip as the street light flicked over his smile. "What's so funny?"

"It's just…you're different from the girls I know. They'd be nervous wrecks right now, you're cracking jokes.."

"I'm not most girls."

"No you aren't." He saw her shiver from the corner of his eye as they walked. He reached out and found that she was beyond cool to the touch. He promptly shed his jacket and wrapped it around her. "You're freezing, why didn't you say something?"

"And accomplish what? You being cold too?"

"Well you do have to give me some opportunity to impress you with my good nature and selflessness you know." His words sounded sincere, but the look in his eyes as he said them let her know that though she thought those things to be true about him he didn't believe it.

"You already impressed me. It's been a long time since someone stood up for me like that."

"Really, somehow I can't imagine that." His hand came around to stop her as she tried to take his jacket off to give it back to him. "What are you doing?"
"I don't want you to be cold, I'm fine. Take your jacket back."

"Actually…I'm fine and you're freezing. Besides we're almost to my place, but I'll tell you what." He smoothly put his arm around her and pulled her closer to him.

"There, now this way we can keep each other warm." He smiled as her protests dimmed and a soft pink blush colored her cheeks. Well I'll be damned, she really is an innocent isn't she? "Does this bother you?" He looked down meaningfully at the arm he had surrounding her. "Because if it does all you have to do is say so, and I'll stop."

The color that deepened further on her cheeks had nothing to do with the cold, but to his surprise she smiled shyly. "No it's ok. It feels kinda nice."

"Only kinda nice?"

"Well, more like really nice, but I don't really have much to compare it to."

"Really?" He raised an eyebrow. "I might just have to see if I can do something about that." He stopped and turned her towards him. He leaned in slowly, giving her plenty of time to pull away if that was what she wanted. Then his lips pressed against hers so very softly. He tested her reaction as he moved his lips over hers, so careful to be gentle, because he could tell that she was untried in the games of love.

The softness of her lips, and her innocent reaction to his passion threatened to undo him. She was so warm, so soft, so tender, so responsive. She looked at him with the trusting eyes of one who had never been betrayed, or embittered by love. And as he looked into her deep blue eyes, and saw the innocent flush on her checks, the soft swell of her lips, he knew that she wasn't like the others at all.

She couldn't, wouldn't be just another conquest, a notch on his bedpost after the fleeting moment of pleasure was gone. No, this slight girl had the ability to bewitch him, if she chose to do so. And even though he knew he should be concerned, somehow he couldn't bring himself to care. She was in his arms right now, and that was all that really mattered.

AN: Thoughts about this story would be gladly welcomed if you will simply hit the review button. Also if you are a Lumi fan and haven't checked it out yet, stop by Second Chances. It's one of the best sites out there for the pairing.