Summary: A short examination of Laila's and Michel's relationship from both of their perspectives. Written because this pairing deserves more attention.
Disclaimer: We must all pay homage to The Great You Higuri for creating Gorgeous Carat. ::gets on knees and bows::
White Version of Darkness
She knew that her love for Noir would never go away, but she also knew that he would never care about her the same way that she cared about him. Laila was a practical woman, who didn't want to waste her life pining over a man that would not return her feelings. She couldn't ever love anyone more than she loved Noir, but believed that she owed it to herself to try to find a man that she could love at least half as much. Maybe that man would actually love her back.
Michel was as good as any man to attempt a relationship with. He seemed genuinely interested in her, was fairly charming when he wasn't being a snob, and liked to travel so - even if his adventures weren't as exciting as Noir's – time spent with him wouldn't be boring.
Laila told herself that her agreement to give Michel a chance had nothing to do with the fact that he looked like a white version of Noir. Her mental insistence about the irrelevance of their similarities would become the most fierce when she kissed Michel and imagined it was Noir's dark hair she was running her fingers through.
He'd never met a woman like her. Laila was brave, passionate, and stubborn about most things, but when it came to romance she was a blushing maiden. It was an intriguing and attractive contrast.
He supposed her embarrassment came from the fact that no man had properly courted her before. Michel didn't blame most men for not bothering since Laila clearly already had feelings for Ray. However, Michel did blame Ray for not returning Laila's affection. How could Ray reject a lover as pretty and loyal as Laila? Well, Ray's loss was Michel's gain. He'd make Laila see that he was a better man than Ray, and that she shouldn't waste her heart on a loan shark.
It took months to gain her trust, but Michel didn't mind. He enjoyed her company as well as the challenge. When they finally made love, Michel discovered that Laila was as passionate in bed as she was everywhere else. He was so pleased by this that he didn't question why she'd called out for the colour black when she'd climaxed.
Laila was truly delightful, and Michel thought it was a pity that she could never be more than his mistress. After all, he was part of the respectable French aristocracy, and couldn't marry an Arabian servant that didn't have a title.