Clarisse didn't know any of the songs, but they were all hard, driving, sexy rhythms, certainly Spanish influenced. Joseph was magnificent – giving himself over to the music, he seemed to be truly in his element. Occasionally his gaze would leave the guitarist and stay towards Clarisse. She met his gaze, her eyes lingering on him even after he'd returned his full attention to the song. She couldn't believe she'd never know this side of him. He was so at ease with the drums – able to give life to his creative side. Yet, the creative nature of his passion was so obviously in line with his character. It was efficient, exotic and tinged with a bit of darkness and danger. Clarisse was completely enchanted.
When the set ended, he stood and slung his jacket over one shoulder. He shook hands with Victor and jumped lightly down off the stage. He took Clarisse's arm without even sitting down and pulled her to her feet.
"Joseph! That was incredible! Don't you want something to drink?"
"Later. We're leaving. Now." His voice indicated that this time there would be no argument. Not unless she wanted to be slung over a shoulder as unceremoniously as the leather jacket and carried from the premises.
She sighed and waved good-bye to Victor on stage. He tipped his hat to her and continued to play. In moments they were outside and headed back towards the limo. He was silent as he held the door for her and made sure she was securely locked away inside.
As he sat down behind the wheel, he noticed she'd raised the partition between them. He drove in silence for a bit. Then he heard the electric motor lowering the glass between them. He looked up.
She was sitting back in her accustomed seat, neatly dressed in the clothes she wore to parliament that day. She smiled at him as she adjusted her jacket.
"Thank you, Joseph," she said seriously. "I had a wonderful time."
"You are quiet welcome, Your Majesty." He smiled warmly at her. "I have to admit, you're Diana certainly made for an interesting evening. I, for one, was not bored."
She laughed quietly and turned to look out the window. They rode in companionable silence all the way back to the palace, each lost in their own thoughts.