Walk me home in the dead of night
I can't be alone with all that's on my mind
Once they entered the aromatic café she had half expected him to release her hand, to put some distance between them in the light of the public eye. Not that there were terribly many outside eyes in the shop, mostly the wide ones of the girl behind the counter staring unabashedly at the prince. Still a foreign term for Carolina to apply to the suave Englishman at her side, but he was a big boy and well capable of making his own decisions on how he acted and as always she was content to simply enjoy their time together. The last memories of their time together were altogether impossible to ignore, remembering herself nestled in the vampire's lap in the darkest corner booth. Her blood fresh on his tongue as she could not help inquiring about what she tasted like to him. To find that same desert printed in such bold type on the menu of the creperie was so pleasantly fortuitous she simply had to order it. The knowing smile on her face as she relayed that order to the young woman who waited so patiently more than enough indication to Sebastian that she knew full well what she was hinting at, the rise of his brow showing very clearly that he also had not forgotten that night.
It seemed but a moment later that the boxes with that delicious desert inside were ready to go along with the two cups of tea the suave vampire had requested. His thanks and endearment to the worker were innocuous, but Carolina could see the look on the girls face and it was enough to prompt the soft jest from her lips for Sebastian's ears alone. There was nothing jealous or possessive in her tone, knowing full well that he was not hers to be jealous of. He knew full well the feelings he was capable of bringing out in others even without trying she believed, the light laugh he gave in reply rather confirmation of that. She snickers slightly at his response, "Just think of the headlines!" Her soft voice filled with mock horror as they returned to the dark security of the awaiting car, its engine still warm and thrumming never having been turned off since their arrival.
Slipping inside its cozy interior she cradled the warm beverage in her hands, the exterior of the cup only tepid to her palms though its contents warmed her bones as she sipped it. Voicing her approval of his choice as they pulled away from the restaurant and began the drive towards her apartment. Her hooded eyes studied that cup as the smooth tones of the vampire's voice filled the car's interior. Only when he inflects that tea makes everything feel better does her gaze flutter up to meet his once more. Curiosity and a touch of zeal in their hazel depths as she wondered what exactly he meant that to encompass. Instead she took another pull of that warm liquid, tasting a hint of honey that the girl had added and finding she enjoyed it.
The sound of her name wrapped in the distinctively English lilt of his voice gave her pause though, lowering that cup from her pink lips as her head canted to the side slightly in intrigue. There was a seriousness to how he had said it, so unlike how she had heard it leave him before and she wasn't sure what would follow. Perhaps she should have expected the question that he finally asked, one she didn't doubt he had been dwelling on since she had first returned to the city all those months ago haggered, scarred, barely more than skin and bones. Especially after tonight when he found her in the grips of a veritable panic attack clinging to the roof of that bar for dear life. In that moment the blithe mask she so often wore around him slips, that cup lowered to rest in her lap once more as her fingers drew circles on its checkered exterior. That motion something that always seemed to calm her when she could feel the anxiety bubbling just below the surface.
Did he realize how loaded that question was, and that she had been both yearning and dreading the day someone would ask it after her return to Sacrosanct? No doubt she owed him an answer to it beyond anyone else, always finding the distraction she so desperately needed in his company. When she finally spoke her voice was small, her dark brows knitting together slightly but she focused her aquamarine eyes on his sculpted face as if using it as an anchor in the storm. "Most days." A rare moment of vulnerability for the bartender who so often hid behind the safety that sarcasm provided. The answer was honest enough, for the most part her job and the relative family she had begun to find in the Ark as she settled back into life in the city kept her so busy that she had little time to dwell on the things that plagued her. She rarely had the nightmares anymore, ones which left her covered in sweat and her face stained with tears she didn't know she had shed in the wake of those repressed memories. Yet it was always there, lingering in the back of her consciousness simply waiting to be triggered as it had been tonight. "I thought I heard someone in the bar tonight... A man from the time I left Sacrosanct." A shudder ran through her slightly at the familiar sound of the laugh that had rung out across the bar, the sheer terror she had felt at the thought that he might have found her attempting to resurface. Instinctively a part of her fought to shut down, to quell the feeling and simply move on but her own ability flared to life in response dampening her inhibitions and allowing her to continue.
Taking a shaky breath she pushed on, wondering at the reaction she might find hiding in his crystalline eyes. "He's not someone I'd like to ever see again." An understatement as she broke off her gaze from his, taking slow breaths as she watched the street lights flickering by outside the deeply tinted windows of the SUV. It was the most she had ever said to anyone about her time before she came back, as if never so much as mentioning it might erase it from existence, but how much more was left unsaid. It seemed so outside of the realm of what a Prince should concern himself with, she had gotten herself into that trouble and she had gotten herself out. Self-sufficient, self-reliant, as always and she had convinced herself since then that it wasn't worth it to form connections, to allow anyone in. If you didn't take risks you didn't get hurt, right?
Carolina Grace Bedford.