The Nightingale RisesBy: Cynthia Dane
“What? Does he usually give you less?”
“Hm.” Robin crossed her slender, waxed legs. I need to shave mine. She started shortly before going to The Crow’s Nest the first time, and she still wasn’t used to it yet. It was a miracle Vincent never mentioned her stubble. Oh, right, guys don’t actually notice that shit. Yet here Nala was, staring at a woman’s smooth legs. “No matter. We’ll get you squared away. He said that you have a big business dinner tomorrow night and you needed a new outfit. He also mentioned getting other similar outfits and some… well, you already know.”
Nala caught a hint of blush on Nala’s face. “No. What? He hasn’t told me anything other than something about a dinner.”
“Oh?” Robin’s lips were especially pretty when she formed that round letter. “He said you wanted to go to that lingerie boutique. You know, the one.”
“No, I don’t.’
What are you doing? Don’t blow your cover, girl. “I don’t go shopping much.” Nala forced a smile intended to save her current relationship. “And I only moved here a few months ago. So I’m afraid I don’t know much about what’s available, shopping wise.”
“That explains a lot,” Robin muttered, studying Nala’s clothes again. “You’re always done-up so pretty – albeit simply – for the club. I figured it’s what your Master liked best, but now I see you really are plain-styled. Not that it’s a bad thing!” She held up her long, manicured nails in defense. “It really suits common styles around here. At least you’re not lumberjack-chic, though. There’s only so much I can do with that.” Robin grinned. “I have a degree in fashion consultation and cosmetology, you know.”
“I had no idea.”
“Yup. That’s how I met Lucian.” Robin tossed her hair behind her shoulders as they approached a bridge into downtown. “His daughter is thinking about going into cosmetology and stopped by my school a long while ago. He came to pick her up while I was stepping out… the rest is history. Guess I’m really his type to make him stop and look.”
“He has a daughter?”
“Yes. Eighteen, from his ex-girlfriend.”
“He doesn’t look old enough to be a father of a teen…”
“To be fair, the mother was close to the same age…”
“I see.” Teenage Lucian knocking up his equally teen girlfriend of the time didn’t seem too farfetched. “Do you get along well with her?”
Robin shrugged. “Well enough. She lives with her mother in Colorado, so I don’t see her much. I don’t really feel like a stepmother, which is fine with me. I’d rather be like a big sister.”
All right, that’s weird.
“Do you have kids? Or does Vincent have kids?”
Nala pursed her lips. “I don’t have kids. We don’t have kids,” she corrected herself. I don’t think he has children. Did he want them? Did Desirée want them, and were they planning to have kids by thirty-five? They could afford it. Not many, like Nala, could say that. He’s a loose cannon downstairs, though. Coming and going in whatever pussy he pleased. Some men got off on that thrill, though.
“You two haven’t been together that long, have you?”
“What gave that away?”
“You’re both a bit reserved, even around each other. Plus the way you both talk about the other, as if you’re talking about a distant roommate instead of someone you’ve been with for a long time. Not that it’s bad. It’s rather obvious that you’re still getting used to each other.”
“I suppose it hasn’t been that long in the realm of the world.”
It was about a month since they met, Nala falling down the stairs of The Crow’s Nest and Vincent grabbing her in time. Everything changed after that. The Aviary. The bondage. The sex. Nala always knew she liked it a little rough, a little dangerous – and Vincent offered both. Underneath that cool exterior lurked a beast waiting to take her to new heights. Nala still didn’t know how to process it.