Dalliance Chapter 3 {Not Cannon}

She paid the driver and stepped out of the cab, pressing the button on Simon's entry-phone. While she waited for his response she leant against the wall, drawing her shawl around her to stave off the inevitable chill of the hour and the season. She really was stupid to have gone out without anything warmer to put on.

"Hello?" The unmistakable voice of Simon Lloyd queried. She smiled at its roughened-from-tiredness state.

"Simon, it's me. Can I come up?"

"Of course." He answered, and she was sure he was smiling just from the sound of his voice. The buzzer sounded and the door released, leaving her free to make her way to her best friend's apartment.

"Thanks. I know it's late."

"No, not at all. Any time."

Amanda laughed softly in incomprehension. "As long as it's not later than it is now?"

He shrugged sheepishly. "Can I get you something to drink?" He offered, dodging her question.

"No, I should abstain at this point in the night." She declined his offer.

Simon's eyes lit with entertainment. "I meant tea."

"Oh." She said, a little embarrassed, but more amused. "Tea would be nice."

"How was the party?" He asked, minutes later when he returned to the room with two cups of tea in hand. Amanda had kicked off her shoes and was reclining on his couch.

"Nothing special." She said breezily and thanked him for the tea.

"So, what brings you here, then?" He asked, seating himself in an armchair opposite her.

Amanda exhaled deeply, studied him at length, smiling with complete satisfaction. "Just savouring the lights flashing and the music playing."