Leator Eiskrem hummed as he finished tiding up his work space and made it ready for his next client. It was nice having his own private studio in which he could work without being disturbed… and as much as he missed having his family around, he was not going to let Galben and Brun move into the basement…. Yet.
Hearing a knock on the front door, Leator left his work space and went to answer it.
Opening the door, a smile broke out on his face as he saw his ‘sister’ Rosie standing there, a slight blush on her face and fidgeting a little. Leator was not ignorant to the fact that Rosie had a huge crush on him but he had been kind enough to not tease her about it… too much. He had left most of the teasing to Bethany and the twins. Because of her crush and the fact that their family were always running around, he had never had a chance to paint a portrait of Rosie on her own before so he was looking forward to this as much as she was.
Taking her hand and placing a kiss on the back of it, Leator gave Rosie his most charming smile. “You look beautiful Rosie,” he said honestly. “Please come in.”
Rosethorn could feel her blush deepening and scolded herself for it. She should be better than this! She was acting like a lovestruck schoolgirl with her first crush!
...Okay, that actually wasn't too far off the mark. A deep sigh echoed through her mind. Why did Leator have to be so good looking and so nice? It wasn't fair; how was she supposed to think straight?
"Thank you, Leator." At least she was able to keep her voice mostly level, with only a few slight tremors in it. "Are you sure?" she asked, hanging back still. "I don't want to bother you if you're busy...I can come back another time..."
Leator shook his head and linked his arm into Rosie’s, leading her into the house, making sure to push the front door shut afterwards. “Even if I was busy, I’d never turn you away,” he promised. Family was the most important thing in the world to him and he always made time for them. Plus, he would feel like a monster for turning away Rosie and he knew she would be disappointed and saddened if he did.
“I made sure that I had the whole day free so it’s just going to be you and me and no one is going to disturb us,” he explained as they made their way to his studio. “By the way, is that new dress?”
Rosie's face lit up with enthusiasm. "Yes, it is! It hasn't even been officially released yet, but Amelia let me wear it; she wanted me to try it out and give her feedback on what I thought of it and how other people liked it."
Rosethorn was, so far at least, the only other member of their family that truly shared Amelia's passion for fashion. Some of the others had some interest in it, but only Rosie and Amelia were truly into it. It gave them something to bond over and talk about, and it gave the rest of the family an out from being dragged to fashion shows and out shopping for clothes.
"So...what do you think of it?"
Leator stopped and took his time looking Rosie up and down, enjoying the heavy blush that formed on her cheeks as he did so. Rosie was built in the same manner as Auntie Kalte, tall, skinny and small chested but with a lot of strength behind her that her frame hid. The dress that she was wearing was a shimmering silver colour with a mixture of blue and gold mixed in. The top was very low cut while the bottom just reached Rosie’s knees revealing the matching shoes she was wearing.
“I think you look amazing,” Leator said honestly. “That dress suits you perfectly… but then again, I think you’d look amazing wearing nothing at all,” the green haired Kerryn said with a wink.
Rosie could practically feel steam coming out of her ears as her whole head turned crimson, even more noticeable because of her pale skin. She punched Leator lightly on the shoulder, trying to frown severely at him even as her lips tried to grin.
"You," she told him sternly, "are horrible flirt and tease. You're worse than the twins even; at least with them, you know it's coming." She gave up the fight and smiled shyly at him. "But thank you for saying so. It means a lot to me."
A laugh escaped Leator as he pulled Rosie into a hug, the heat from her face warming up his cheek. Rosie was adorable when she was embarrassed but he knew not to push his luck as she could be very dangerous if she wanted to be. Thankfully given her crush, she was less likely to actually hurt him. However she also got on very well with the twins so she could be very devious when she wanted to be.
“Well, at least with me, I’m just going to compliment you till your head pops, the twins will probably attack a ‘kick me’ sign on your back,” he pointed out.
"Please," Rosie scoffed in amusement, reveling in the hug, the feeling of affection, and Leator's body pressed against hers. "They would never go for something as ordinary and obvious as that. And they know that if they tried, I would get them back."
She and Leator, she knew, shared the distinction of being among the few people the twins' age that they had respect for and would listen to on occasion. Neither of them used their influence very often, reserving it for when it was truly important or they were very serious about something.
Leator chuckled and ruffled Rosie’s bright blue hair, enjoying the slight pout that appeared in response.
She was too cute sometimes.
“And then they would get you back and the war would just escalate until Auntie Amelia and/or Amelia Kalte got involved and schooled us all,” Leator pointed out, linking arms with Rosie again as he lead her into the studio where everything was already set up. Even the twins were careful when pranking those two as they knew that as good as they were, Auntie Amelia or Amelia Kalte were much dirtier fighters.
Rosie shivered, remembering the last prank war that had gotten that out of control.
It had taken three showers to get all the slime out of her hair, and even now, several months later, each of the twins still flinched when they saw glitter.
Kalte and Amelia were easy to underestimate; Amelia loved playing up the blonde bimbo attitude in public, and Kalte was still a very quiet person by nature. Then things like that happened, and everyone remembered why they were feared and respected.
"Don't remind me," she muttered before smiling and changing the subject. "So are you working on anything new or exciting?"
“Well, I am painting a very beautiful woman today,” Leator replied smoothly.
"I said something new and exciting," Rosie replied with a roll of her eyes, sounding affectionately exasperated. "That's what you normally do, if you aren't painting beautiful landscapes."
Leator chuckled and placed a kiss on the side of Rosie’s head as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder. There was Auntie Kalte’s sarcasm shining through. “Well, this is the first time I’m painting you privately and you are a pretty exciting person,” he reasoned before walking over to his lighting set up and fiddling with it. Rosie definitely did not lead a boring life, that was for sure.
“However I do have something ‘different’ planned for today if you’re interested… once I’ve painted you in that beautiful dress of course.”
Rosie felt her interest peak at that. "If it's with you, always," she assured him, wondering what he had in mind. Was he going to strip her naked and tie her up? She felt her heart beat faster and her breathing quicken. Would she be able to endure something like that without melting into a puddle of embarrassment?
She shook her head sharply, getting a hold of herself. It was way too soon to be jumping the gun like that. If it happened, then she would deal with it in a mature manner. She was better than this.
“Alright, there we go,” Leator said as he finished adjusting the light to a point where he was happy with it. It might look okay to some but he was very particular about his work and he could tell when the little details were wrong.
He then turned back to Rosie. “Ready to begin?” He asked, indicating a spot between the lights in front of a large screen. He had been looking forward to painting this for a while and did not want to mess up this special moment.
Nodding, Rosie took her place in the indicated spot. She didn't strike a pose; she knew that Leator would have her adjust her body into the desired position that he wanted to immortalize. She couldn't wait to see the finished product; he always took extra care on the portraits of the family, making sure they were the very best he could produce.
Leator quickly realised what Rosie was waiting for and decided to humour her while having a little fun in the process. Knowing she would not mind, Leator walked behind the Ice Elemental and placed his hands on her hips, his body pressed against her. This might be a little meaner but unless Rosie complained, he would keep going.
“Okay,” he said, his warm breath teasing Rosie’s earlobe. “I’m thinking of something that shows of your ice powers and your beauty at the same time,” Leator explained. “A fitting portrait for a powerful beauty such as yourself.”
Biting her lower lip to keep from whimpering, Rosie was torn between leaning into his body even more, or running off into the night.
She opted for a little of Column A, leaning just a very little bit into Leator. "That sounds wonderful," she said, voice almost entirely normal. She was proud of her powers, less so of her beauty. Oh, she knew she attractive enough, but compared to some members of her family?
Slowly Leator’s hands wondered over Rosie’s body, moving her arms and legs into a better position as she let out soft moans despite her best efforts to stifle them.
"So mean..." Rosie told him, voice considerably more breathy than it had been. She wanted more, she wanted him to stop...she didn't know what she wanted.
“You love it.”
"...Yes...but you're still mean..."
Leator chuckled and placed a kiss on the top of Rosie’s head before ruffling her hair. He really adored her; she was not stubborn and hard headed like Bethany or chaotic like the twins, she was very pleasant and fun to be around without being overwhelming.
“There we go, that should be pretty good for a painting,” Leator said as he stepped away from Rosie and gave her a nod of approval. “Just channel some ice into something pretty and hold it please,” he requested.
Rosethorn nodded; she already knew what she wanted to create.
Over the years, Kalte had refined her ice rose trick, getting better and better at it, adding new touches and details, and she had taught Rosethorn all she knew as well. Now, Rosie put them into action.
An entire bouquet of ice roses formed in her hands; by introducing slight variations in the ice, she was also able to get different shades of color, making the stems, thorns, and blossoms all look noticeably different.
It was the best she had managed yet.
“That’s amazing, Rosie,” Leator said as he looked over the ice bouquet and ran his hand over the cold creation. He knew that Rosie was proud of her abilities and she had every right to be. She was very good. Leator had noted that while Kalte’s creations were more combat and defensive based so lacked detail unless she focused on it, Rosie’s were more intricate and decorative based.
‘Products of their environments.’
“That’s definitely your best one yet,” Leator praised out loud as he walked over to the easel had set up. “It’s almost as pretty as you,” he said with a grin. He really could not help himself sometimes.
"Thank you, Leator; that means a lot, coming from you," Rosie told him, yet another blush adorning her cheeks. And she meant it; the Kerryn was quite the talented artist, so for him to praise her own efforts was a lot more meaningful. He had the experience and knowledge to be something of an authority on the subject.
It was harder to accept his compliments of her. While she knew that he was sincere, he also complimented almost every pretty girl he met. So while she had no doubt he considered her beautiful, she also knew that he treated several women in a similar manner.
Leator blushed a little bit at Rosie’s compliment before he picked up the paintbrush and slowly began to work on the painting. He knew that his reputation preceded him when it came to Rosie but he really did mean it. She was very beautiful to him and he never tired of spending time with her.
“Thank you Rosie,” he replied before grinning. “Now, think you can hold still for a while?” He teased. Thankfully, Rosie took more after Auntie Kalte in that regard than Auntie Amelia. the Ice Elemental was used to staying still and waiting around while the Succubus was impatient and fidgeted a lot.
"I think I can manage," she joked back, holding her position with ease. She had been quite good at hide and seek when she was younger, frustrating her fellow family members, who claimed that being able to hold really still and use cold to reduce her scent was 'cheating.'
She had promptly reminded them that, in their family, 'cheating' was encouraged.
That never went over well, and was the start of a good many friendly brawls.
“Well, if your muscles start to get stiff and you want me to help you warm up, let me know,” Leator replied, his attention shifting the easel before him. When he worked, he focused solely on what was before him, blocking out other sounds and sights around him. He made sure to take his time which when combined with his focus, meant that a painting could take hours to complete but his subjects usually felt that the final results were worth the wait.
"Don't make promises you can't keep," Rosie shot back, smiling at their byplay. This was one of things she liked about Leator: they could tease and banter with each other, both of them knowing that it was just some harmless fun.
She also loved watching him work. There was an intensity to him when he was in the zone of painting, the look of someone who was pouring all of his being into what he was doing right at that moment.
Three hours past as Leator painted Rosie, only occasionally glancing upwards to look at his subject but he did not say a word as his brush danced across the paper. It was an unintentional habit he had when working that he tended to consciously forget that there was someone in the room. Eventually, he placed the final stroke on the page and then placed his brush down.
“Done,” he said proudly.
Rosie finally let herself relax, her joints popping and snapping; she was careful to move slowly, not wanting any muscle cramps. After all, just because she could hold a position for hours at a stretch didn't mean it was easy for her. "May I see it now?" she asked eagerly, though she stayed where she was, just in case Leator wanted her to wait.
Leator nodded. “Sure,” he said waving her over. Hopefully, she would like it.
Rosie walked around to the front of the canvas, eyes wide with anticipation.
Then she simply stopped, and stared.
Leator fidgeted on the spot as Rosie looked at his latest work. He was very good at what he did and he knew it but that did not make him any less nervous. The painting, though still, almost seemed to be moving, Rosie’s multi-coloured bouquet almost seeming to shine and refract the light.
“So, do you like it?” Leator asked nervously.
Abruptly she turned and hugged him fiercely, burying her face in his shoulder. The hot wetness of tears soaked through his shirt.
"...it's so beautiful..."
“I just painted what I saw in front of me,” Leator said sincerely as he hugged Rosie back, gently rocking her back and forth in his arms to comfort her. It was not the first time a client had been reduced to tears by the sight of his work but seeing Rosie like this hurt him. He knew that she was happy but still, he did not like seeing someone to important to him cry like this.
She hugged him for a few moments longer, then gently pulled. "You must think I'm being silly," she sniffled, wiping her eyes in an almost childlike manner. She gave him a watery smile. "Thank you so much, Leator; it's absolutely wonderful. I love it so, so much."
Leator hugged her again. “Well, if you’re being silly, then we’ll keep it between us,” he promised, kissing her forehead. “And I’m glad that you like it. I think it’s one of my best works so far.”
"I think so too, but I'm kind of biased. Besides, I think every one of your newest works is your best yet," Rosie told him. "You keep on getting better and better." Her eyes shone with sincerity.
Leator blushed at the praise and ruffled Rosie’s hair, making her pout. He then turned to look back at the painting he had just done, one armed wrapped around Rosie’s shoulder. “It’s like looking in a mirror, isn’t it?” He asked proudly. He always felt really good once he had finished a painting but a family painting made him feel just that much happier with himself.
“So, I know I said I had a surprise for when we were done but I don’t want to waste that dress just yet so how about I take you out to dinner?”
Rosie smiled at the painting, then at her crush. It was a beautiful portrait, and she would treasure it for the rest of her life.
She felt her familiar friend, the crush blush, stealing across her cheeks at Leator’s invitation. "Oh? Y-Yes, I would like that a lot," she told him, cursing herself for stuttering like that.
“If you don’t mind waiting a bit, I need to shower and get changed and then we’ll head out,” Leator said, his tail waving behind him in excitement. “There’s a new five star restaurant that’s opened up on the other side of town, you’ll love it,” he promised.
Rosie shook her head and smiled brightly at him. "I don't mind, though I think you look wonderful as you are right now. And as long as I'm eating with you, I'm sure I'll love the meal."
Perhaps it was the beautiful painting that made her feel so bold, but she didn't regret what she had said.
Leator rolled his eyes and gave her another kiss on the forehead. “Now, who’s being the horrible tease,” he said playfully before leaving the room to get changed.
Half an Hour Later…
Leator re-entered the studio where Rosie was still looking at her painting in awe. It was moments like this that he loved, just watching a client study their portrait and enjoying the sight of it.
“Ready to go?” he asked, holding back a grin as he wondered how she would react to seeing him in a tuxedo.
Turning, Rosie opened her mouth to reply, and then it stayed open as she gaped wordlessly at him.
Pleased at the response, Leator walked over to Rosie and placed a finger under her chin and pushed her jaw closed. “My eyes are up here Rosie,” he said, poking her nose to try and get her to snap out of her stunned state.
Rosie blinked at him, then realized what she was doing.
Blood rushed into her face in a flood; with a squeak, she whirled around, burying her face in her hands and feeling it burn against her skin. She was mortified.
Leator shook his head and sighed. Rosie’s crush on him was cute but sometimes it was a bit of a headache. Once more pulling her into a hug, this time from behind, Leator placed a kiss on the back of her head.
“You have a crush on me,” he said out loud. It was not a secret that he knew, it was very obvious. “However that doesn’t mean you have to get embarrassed around me,” he said. “Given our family, I don’t think there’s a lot that we don’t know about each other.”
Rosie had stiffened at first, but quickly relaxed. This was Leator; he would never hurt her or be cruel to her. Sighing, she turned in his arms and smiled sheepishly up at him. "I know," she assured him. "Just...sometimes, it catches me off guard, and I over react. Sorry about that; I'll do better, I promise."
“I know,” Leator replied, content to hold Rosie for the time being. She was a very sweet girl and thankfully, was very open to physical contact, especially with him. “I won’t lie, it’s very cute to watch and very flattering,” he said. “Just like you.”
To make her feel better, Leator decided to bring up one of his embarrassing memories. “Remember how I used to act around Claire when I was younger?” He said, his cheeks turning red. “I was shy enough to start with but when she was around…” he groaned and buried his face in Rosie’s hair. “The twins have never let me forget.”
Rosie's giggled bubbled out of her before she could stop them, and then she couldn't stop, not that she wanted to. "I remember," she said mirthfully. "You practically passed out every time she was around."
Feeling much better, she squeezed him tight. "Thanks, Leator. And don't worry about the twins. One day, one or both of them will fall in love, and we'll be able to tease them about it. And we have plenty of embarrassing stories about them."
Leator grinned. “That we do,” he agreed, before he slipped out of Rosie’s grip and linked arms with her. “So, are you ready to go to dinner my lady?” he asked.
Snuggling into his side, just a little, Rosie smiled warmly back at him. "I am, my lord. Lead the way."
Then both of their stomachs rumbled loudly.
Leator started laughing loudly. “Well, there goes our sophistication.”
Rosie laughed with him, enjoying the release of tension. "I won't tell if you won’t."
“Deal,” Leator replied, happy to hear Rosie laughing and now past her embarrassment. The fact that he had been able to help put that smile there was just an extra bonus as far as he was concerned. His arm linked with Rosie’s, the two then left the studio and out into night. Thankfully, it was a nice cool night so they could take their time and enjoy the walk and each other’s company.
They walked in companionable silence for a while, before Rosie asked something she had been idly pondering for a while. "Hey, Leator? Do you ever wonder about the future, what you'll be doing? I mean, our family is really rich and powerful; we wouldn't have to work another day in our life if didn't want to. So, what do you see yourself doing with your life?"
“Painting,” Leator replied. “I always feel like I can improve and get ever better than I am now. But aside from that, I’d like to open a museum one day and have my art in there, maybe find some other artists and have them display their paintings or whatever form their art takes,” he explained. “After that? I’d like to have kids of my own one day, maybe adopt, and show someone the same kindness that Caldura showed me.”
Rosie listened attentively, nodding occasionally. Leator's response had been what she had thought it would be; he loved art more than almost anything, and she knew it would always be a big part of his life.
"That sounds wonderful," she told him, before sighing. "The reason I'm asking is...I don't really know what I want to do. I have some interests, but nothing I'm really passionate about, nothing that I can see myself dedicating my life to." She looked up at the stars, a thoughtful frown forming on her mouth.
Leator thought about that as he tried to decide how she should answer Rosie. This was obviously something that had been bothering her for a while. “Well, you have a long life ahead of you, you don’t need to decide that now, just try different things and see if there is anything that jumps out at you,” he suggested. For him, he had always loved painting and had never had to think twice about what he wanted to do with his life.
“If you want, I would be happy to hire you as a muse for a while,” Leator offered. “You’d get free paintings and I’d cut you in on the profits for every painting sold.”
Rosie looked down from the stars to give him a warm smile. "I really appreciate that, Leator, and it's an honor to be asked...but I want to find something of my own. I'm worried that if I start working with you, I'll never want to strike out by myself, and see if there is anything else I want to do." She shrugged, the material of her dress making a soft, shifting sound. "And who knows? It may very well be that what I most want to do is help you with your art."
Leator gave her a proud smile. It would be a shame that Rosie had turned him down, he really did want to spend more time with her if possible but he respected her reasons. They made a lot of sense and the last thing that he wanted to do was to hold her back. “Well, whatever you want to do, you’ll have all of us behind you,” he promised. “And if you ever want to talk or just bounce ideas off of, then I’ll be here for you.”
"Thanks Leator. And really, it's not bothering me, per say. It's just that almost everyone else seems to have found their thing. You have your art, the twins have their pranks, Bethany has her gardening...I feel like the odd one out sometimes." She sighed, then brightened up with a smile. "But like you said, I'm still young, and I have lots of time to decide what I want to do and to find my passion."
Leator nodded in agreement and the two lapsed into a comfortable silence as they continued to walk through the streets. It was a relatively quiet night and the lamps were all lit so they could easily see where they were going. Leator had chosen this neighbourhood because of its reputation as a crime free area and being very green and friendly. After nodding to a few people that he recognised, Leator glanced down at Rosie.
The Ice Elemental was leaning against his arm as they walked, her eyes closed and a blissful smile on her face. Knowing that she would be embarrassed if she caught him looking, Leator looked away and back down the street. Rosie trusted him to guide her and he would not steer her wrong.
Quiet and peaceful times like this, Rosie knew, we're to be treasured. She loved her family, but their ability to get into trouble, either on their own or from outside force, was practically legendary.
So she kept quiet and didn't say or think of anything; she simply was, totally in the moment and letting the tranquillity fill her up.
“You know, you’d make a great nude model if you were ever interested.”
Rosie promptly tripped over nothing and would have fallen if it hadn't been for Leator's arm supporting her. "...you did that on purpose."
Leator just whistled innocently, grinning in a manner similar to Galben and Brun.
So, just like she would do with Galben and Brun if they were to pull a similar stunt, Rosie smiled sweetly at him, then dope slapped Leator lightly upside the head.
In response, Leator gave Rosie a cute pout before he laughed and spun the Ice Elemental to face him. Quickly, he lifted her up and threw her onto his shoulder before setting off down the street, reaching up to give her a light spank.
Rosie squeaked, and then narrowed her eyes in playful defiance. Oh, so that was how he wanted to play it, was it? Well, one good turn deserved another. She reached down and gave him an equally light spank on his ass.
In response, Leator gave her a slightly harder spank before rubbing the spot that he had just hit. Even though it was not a busy night, there were still people walking down the street. Leator chuckled at the doubles take some of them did.
“Not a lot of people out tonight but I’m sure they’re enjoying the view… I know I am,” Leator said cheekily, his hand continuing to rub the spot he had spanked.
Yelping at the harder spank, Rosie smirked and replied, "So am I." She blushed terribly after admitting that, but had resolved not to let her embarrassment stop her from being herself. "And if you spank me again, I'll freeze your cute little tail off." She gave him a short burst of cold, just to make her point.
Of course, she wouldn't really freeze his tail. She knew how sensitive they were for Kerryn. Still, it made for a good threat.
Despite knowing that Rosie would never actually freeze his tail, that short burst of cold was enough to send a shiver through this body as it made contact with his tail. Shaking his head, he made to respond when his phone went off in his pocket. Reaching in, his face lit up as he saw the caller ID.
“Hi mom,” he said. “Busy? I’m taking Rosie out to dinner tonight, she’s being lazy so I’m having to carry her to the restaurant,” he said, knowing that she could hear him very easily.
Twisting around slightly, Rosie raised her voice so Caldura could hear her. "Hi Aunt Caldura! Don't worry, I'm not being lazy; Leator was just getting fat from being in his studio all the time, so I made him carry me so he could get some exercise." She smirked wickedly, even though her voice didn't change. "He still has a long way to go, so I'm thinking of asking the twins for help."
Leator snorted at that before quipping, “To be fair, you didn’t protest to me sweeping you off your feet,” he pointed out. Rosie was definitely enjoying having him carry her about, even if it resulted in her ass stuck in the air for anyone walking by to see. “And if you want to help me exercise, well, we do have the whole night to ourselves,” he said cheekily. “We could probably burn off a few miles.”
Rosie hid her face in her hands, partially in real embarrassment, and partially to help play up her next bit of banter. "Oh, woe is me, a poor, innocent Ice Maiden, at the mercy of a lecherous Kerryn who plans to seduce me and have his wicked way with me!"
She kept her voice quieter for that part, not wanting get Leator in trouble with any bystanders watching or listening.
“As if you’ve not has fantasies about this moment,” Leator responded playfully. “I know I have.” Rosie was a very attractive girl and he could not help but think about her like that sometimes. He then looked down at the phone and frowned before pulling it back to his ear. “Sorry about that mom… ask Rosie about the whipped cream and strawberry fantasy she had?” He repeated.
Rosie rolled her eyes and raised her voice again. "Aunt Caldura, stop trying to embarrass us. You know very well that fantasy is only about Leator baking me a strawberry cake with whipped cream, not anything lecherous like you're implying." Honestly, sometimes it felt like the adults in her family were just as childish as the actual children.
Leator’s smart remark was cut off as Caldura said something that made Leator’s face turn bright red. “O... okay mom, nice talking to you, bye,” he said, ending the call and putting the phone away. “So, you want me to make you a strawberry cake?” He asked, trying to change the subject. He was not a bad cook but cooking was something that his mother did a whole lot better than he did.
Rosie nodded, and then blushed when she realized Leator couldn't see what she had done. "I do. I've heard how much better your cooking has gotten, and I want to try it out for myself." Her voice turned teasing. "I still remember how we had to replace the stove the first time you tried cooking; I'm sure you've improved since then."
“I blame Galben and Brun.”
"They were in another dimension at the time."
“I still blame them.”
"...fair enough. That's usually the safe way to go anyway."
Leator chuckled. “So do you want me to put you down or should I keep carrying you?” He asked. He did not mind either way. Carrying Rosie like this was nice, she was not very plus it was giving him a great view of her backside.
"Well, you've already carried me all this way; you might as well finish the job," Rosie decided. She might blush and get embarrassed regarding her crush on Leator, but like the rest of their family, she wasn't easily embarrassed in public. "So, has Laura gotten you back yet for helping the twins pull that prank on her?"
It had been the twin’s idea to prank Laura and see if they could get away with it. Leator was not sure how he had wound up getting involved in their mischief but he had. Thankfully, Laura was used to the twin’s ways and had not gotten mad, instead she decided to get even… on them at least.
“Nah, we worked out a deal, I painted a portrait of her and she wouldn’t get payback on me,” he explained. There was a little more to it but Leator kept quiet on that. Laura had wanted a very specific painting and had forbidden Leator to tell anyone the contents of it.
That raised Rosie's eyebrows, but she knew better than to ask. If Laura wanted something to stay private, not even the twins would pry into it. No one was scared of Laura, exactly, but they had all been told of her past, once they were old enough to understand, and with Laura's permission.
"Lucky you," she said instead. "I think the twins are still recovering from her payback on them." Which was quite amusing to see, and the rest of the family found it equally hilarious.
“Well, it was their idea,” Leator pointed out. “Laura was willing to assume the best of me and show mercy,” he explained. No one in their family wanted to cross Laura, she would never hurt them but she was not above unleashing her own pranks and payback. Leator got on very well with her and had done since they had met. Caldura still enjoyed bringing up how he always used to sit on Laura’s lap when she first joined their family and make her read to him.
"Good thing for you that you were actually innocent. Heh, remember the first time the twins tried to lie to Laura and Cassie? That was hysterical." Laura had simply raised one eyebrow while Cassie looked disappointed in them, which caused the two to crack like an egg. "Still, it's probably good for Laura that she got pranked; keeps her from getting too serious."
Leator nodded in agreement at that. Laura was a product of her upbringing and she found it difficult to relate to normal people… thankfully their family was not normal so it had helped. To give Laura credit, she had really tried and over the years she had made a lot of progress but she would always be a serious and alert. Of course, that just meant a greater challenge for the twins.
“Here we are,” he said, putting Rosie back down on the ground and turning her around to see the large restaurant before them.
"Wow. You weren't kidding about this restaurant being fancy." As rich as their family was, Rosie, and all the kids for that matter, had spent a number of dinners in any amount of high end restaurants. This wasn't quite the most opulent one she had ever seen, but it was up there. "I just hope the food is as good as the restaurant looks."
Not always a guarantee, as they had all also found out on numerous occasions.
Leator grimaced as the memory of some of the food that they had tasted in the past from ‘High End’ Restaurants. Usually those places ended up getting shut down as Amelia was not very subtle when it came to things she disliked. Amelia was also not very subtle when it came to things that she liked either to be fair.
“I have heard good things about this place and the food so here’s hoping,” Leator said, slipping his arm into Rosie’s and leading her inside. Being part of the Tempest family meant that getting a reservation had been very easy, even if a restaurant that was booked out months in advanced.
Rosie walked with him, smiling at the people who smiled at her, ignoring the people who looked at her disdainfully or with jealousy. It wasn't worth getting upset over; they weren't anyone who's opinion she cared about.
First impressions, and smells, were promising. The restaurant was as fancy on the inside as it had been on the outside, but the food looked and smelled delicious. Even the snobbiest eaters looked like they were enjoying it.
“Not bad, huh?” Leator asked as they were escorted to their table which was located by a window giving a perfect view of the city. He had chosen this place specifically as the view was said to be the best and he knew that Rosie would love it. As though walked through, Leator was amused to see various women looking at him longingly while their male companions glared at him.
Such was his life.
"Looks really promising so far," Rosie agreed, equally amused by the looks they were getting. She gazed appreciatively out of the window before smiling at Leator. "You didn't have to go all of this trouble for me, but I'm glad you did." Face only a little pink, she leaned in close to kiss his cheek.
Feeling mischievous, Leator turned his head so that Rosie’s lips met his briefly.
Blush deepening, Rosie pulled back and flicked his nose softly, a gentle scold for teasing her like that.
Leator grinned. “Your seat, my lady?” He asked, pulling the chair out.
"Thank you, my lord," Rosie replied primly, taking her seat with grace and dignity, only slightly spoiled by the impish smile on her face.
Taking his own seat, Leator sat down opposite Rosie, smiling at the look on her face. She was clearly very happy at being taken out like this. It was rare that they got to spend time alone like this so both were savouring it as much as they could.
“Enjoying the view?” He asked knowingly.
"Very much so," she said, smile widening. "Mother wouldn't care for it very much, of course." Kalte had gotten better at dealing with heights, though she would never like them. Ironically, Rosie loved flying and being up high; one of her greatest goals was to create ice wings she could use to fly. She hadn't succeeded yet, but she got closer every time.
“Auntie Amelia would though,” Leator responded with a small roll of his eyes. His aunt had never grown up when it came to using her wings. She still loved to fly about, especially if she could take someone with her. Whenever she had gone flying, Galben and Brun had always demanded to come with her.
Speaking of never growing up…
Rosie giggled, remembering the same memories. "I wonder if that didn't have something to do with how the twins turned out? They were so sweet when they were younger; of course, they're still sweet, just also evil." And capable of holding grudges for long periods of time, and not always knowing when to stop.
“Well to be fair, I can’t think of a member of our family that won’t fight dirty if necessary,” Leator replied. Even his own mother Caldura could be mean when she wanted to be… she only had/needed one threat; Misbehave and you don’t get any of her cookies.
It was very effective.
Rosie nodded. "We did learn from the best after all." Between Kalte, Cassie, and especially Laura, the closest anyone in their family came to the words 'fair fight' was in a dictionary or playing Scrabble. And Gloria had taught them on the business side of things, which was no less cutthroat than physical fights.
“That’s true,” Leator agreed. Auntie Kalte, Auntie Laura and Auntie Cassie were very kind people but they were also very well versed in how the world worked and how harsh it could be. They had not raised the children to be cutthroat but they had taught them how to look out for themselves and make sure they could always come out on top. Auntie Amelia and Auntie Gloria had done the same thing but in a totally different way.
“And we turned out pretty well for it,” Leator commented. “Especially you, a fighter with beauty and grace and a kind heart.”
Rosie flapped a dismissive hand at him, a pleased blush on her face. "Thanks for the kind words, but honestly, you could say that about almost all of us. Not a bad looking one in our family, and we all know how to fight." Some of them didn't like to fight, but everyone knew at least the basics.
Well, the basics according to the expert fighters in their family, which was probably higher than most people would consider basic.
“Even Galben and Brun, which is a terrifying thought,” Leator mused. The twins were chaotic enough however nobody knew that they could fight as well. They were a dangerous combo and their coordination was very good. That coupled with their mischievous minds made then one to watch out for.
“But don’t forgot, they can’t freeze people with a touch,” he pointed out.
"That does come in very handy at times, though it was kind of a pain growing up. I still remember how mad Bethany got the first time I froze one of her plants by accident." Luckily it hadn't been one of Beth's favorite or more expensive plants, but her sister was still plenty upset. It had taken a lot of bribery to get back into her good books again.
Leator remembered that as well. Bethany was as stubborn and as hard headed as her element so when she was upset or mad, it took take a long time to get her back into a good mood. Leator had avoided upsetting her when he could and Bethany found him to cute to be annoyed at.
“So, shall we order?” He asked. “See if this place has good food?”
"We shall," Rosie agreed, opening the menu and scanning it critically. They had a wide variety of appetizers, entrees, and meals available; most were quite fancy and expensive, as expected of a high end place like this. They also had a lot of very delicious sounding deserts, which she knew would tempt her later.
"Hello." A pretty blonde, smartly dressed in the restaurant's uniform, appeared on near silent feet. "My name is Amber, and I'll be your hostess for this evening. While you're looking over the menus, may I take your drink orders?"
"I'll have a glass of the house white wine, please," Rosie requested.
"Very good, ma'am. And you, sir?"
A Few Hours Later…
Leator smiled down fondly at Rosie as the two walked back towards his studio. The Ice Elemental was once again cuddled up to him, her eyes closed as they enjoyed each other’s company. The meal and the dessert had been very good and the two had enjoyed themselves a lot.
“So, have you had a good night?” Leator asked Rosie.
"Mmhmm, it was wonderful." Rosie smiled up at him, feeling pleasantly sleepy and lazy after such marvelous food. "Thank you very much for dinner, Leator. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did." Leaning up a little, she kissed him on the corner of his mouth.
“Well, I enjoyed the company more,” Leator replied, blushing a little before he leaned down and gave Rosie a kiss. “But the food was very good, yes.” He would have to recommend that place to the rest of his family to see what they thought of it. The staff had been very nice as well so it had a pleasant atmosphere but at the end of the day, Rosie was what he had been focusing on more.
Rosie nodded, snuggling deeper into his side. "It was nice, with it just being the two of us. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love our family, but they can definitely get..." She tried to think of a diplomatic way to put it. "Rambunctious," she decided.
It was kind of funny; they had several quiet, reserved people in their extended family. It was just the wilder ones had a way of sucking in everyone else into their antics.
“I agree,” Leator replied as he unlinked his arm from Rosie’s and instead wrapped it around her shoulder. There not many quiet ones but he and Rosie were definitely in that category. Rosie was an Ice Elemental so by her nature, she was quiet, happy but quiet and he just liked to paint and enjoyed the silence while he worked.
“So, what do you want to do next?” Leator asked. “We can go back to my studio or we can just keep walking around and see what happens?” He suggested.
"Let's keep walking, please. I don't want this night to end just yet." Rosie had really enjoyed herself, and wasn't ready to call it quits just yet. Besides, she had heard that this town could be very exciting at times; not really dangerous, but there was usually something happening somewhere.
“As you wish, my lady,” Leator replied.
Two Hours Later…
Leator shook his head a little as he reached his studio, Rosie in his arms. The Ice Elemental had fall asleep during their walk half an hour ago so Leator had carried her home.
Rosie mumbled softly in her sleep, clinging tightly to Leator as she snuggled into his arms, a smile on her face.