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Edith enjoys sex with Liz and two new friends.
That was the first night in more than a decade that he slept peacefully through the night. And when he awoke, he felt better than he had in a long time. He'd gotten so used to being tired all the time, he'd all but forgotten what a good night's rest was like.
What little he remembered of his conversation with Fiona soon faded away.
"So," Liadan said, tapping the table with her palm for emphasis. "Who'd you talk to?"
"Just checked online," he said. "Yelp, UrbanSpoon."
"Not the restaurant, silly," she said. "Which, by the way, I'm going to pretend I didn't hear. I chose this place, remember? That's all you needed to know."
Cahill laughed. He didn't even know this girl. Nor did she know the restaurant! How could that possibly be all that he needed to know?
"I meant about me," she continued.
"What makes you think I did?" he asked, feeling genuinely confused.
Before she could explain though, the waiter came back with their appetizer. It didn't look all that appetizing to Cahill, but then it hadn't sounded like it would be either. They'd only ordered it because Liadan had insisted that they get the third item from the top before she'd even opened the menu. He'd asked if it mattered what it was, and she'd insisted that it hadn't. Apparently, nothing was more exciting in her eyes than acting on impulse, chasing her every whim wherever it might take her.
Cahill wondered if that was just some bad first date strategy or if she really lived her life that way. With the advice some women's magazines gave, it was hard to tell.
"Yesterday, you came on kinda strong," she said. "Now you're more reserved. So. Something changed. My guess is that you talked to a friend or a family member or someone who told you that I sound like someone you shouldn't get too excited about. No?"
He pondered that as he reached to sample their experiment in spontaneity.
When he was younger, Cahill had never hesitated to go after what he wanted. Only when he discovered that some women found this off-putting had he learned how to hold back. Of course, then he learned that some women found the opposite equally unattractive. He'd since gotten used to the idea that different women had different attitudes towards aggression. Some practically fetishized it, seeing it as a sign of confidence. Others did not. What he hadn't ever come across before was a woman who described forwardness as "coming on strong" but then grew disappointed when he reined things in a bit.
"Maybe you're making me nervous," he said in a playful tone.
Of course he wasn't intimidated by her. Neither was he disinterested, though, as she apparently believed. He was more than a little attracted to her, and he was quite pleased with the knowledge that he could, and would, have her. Tonight, most likely. Of which there wasn't a doubt in his mind. Whether anything more would come of it, he had no idea yet. But the possibility that she might not be interested in him hadn't even crossed his mind. It rarely ever did. Past experience simply hadn't given him much reason to suspect otherwise.
"Nope," she said, giving the "p" a soft pop. "Something else, innit?"
Suddenly, her bare foot brushed his ankle. He nearly dropped his fork. The light touch of her skin against his sent a jolt of electricity through him. He'd never felt anything like it in the waking world. But he got the same exact feeling every time his dream women touched him. That was the magic touch of the fey.
Her foot quickly retreated, but a naughty grin spread across her face. The slight curvature of those full lips promised wondrous things and offered less than no apology.
"Most girls would start out small. Maybe lay their hand atop mine," he said.
"I'm not most girls," Liadan said.
It wasn't the fact that she'd gone off script that surprised him though. It was how good the briefest contact with her had felt.
Only what he thought had happened couldn't have happened.