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Early Intermission

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"Well, this is dull," Daryl whispers to you, as Draco and Ralse begin their last performance of the first act.

"You think so? I've been enjoying myself so far." You can't take Daryl's criticism too seriously, you think. She wasn't raised to enjoy opera; it is very much an acquired taste. That is why you bring her to the House, why you purchased this balcony seat for the two of you so that she could have an opportunity to be acclimated to this unique art style in private.

Well, one of the reasons. The others barely require telling, do they?

"You know I'm not the greatest fan of these two," she says quietly, waving at the two men singing about... you're not sure what, actually. Something about a statue in their hometown? "Maybe if Maria had a larger role, I'd have more interest."

"Didn't I tell you that almost all of the entire second act focuses on her, darling?" Or had she been there for that conversation? The past week had been such a whirlwind, between the time you spent with Daryl and Maria and the two of them together, not to mention the business ventures you'd finally managed to pin down. Returning to Jidoor is always so tiring. "Or did I forget?"

She's quiet for a moment, retracing the last few days. "I don't recall," she admits. "Too busy with the new ship."

"Of course." He smiles at her; she thrives on the chaos, just like him. "But the second act will be more to your liking, I think."

"Good," she says, standing and brushing off her dress. "Otherwise I might have to ask you to entertain me in some other way."

You sneak a look at her shapely legs as she stretches. “I would have no objections to that, darling.”

She gives you a smoldering look. “I'm sure you wouldn't,” she agrees huskily. “And if I asked you to distract me from this duet?”

You take her arm and pull her closer. "Absolutely."

She presses her body against you, and you can feel that she's slipped free a bit; you can feel how much she wants this, wants you to keep going. You stopped caring about the externalities a long time ago. Daryl is every bit a beautiful woman, from the golden curls on her head to her muscular arms, from the plump curve of her hips to her long shapely legs.

"You are so beautiful," you whisper in her ear, your hands fumbling for the catches at her back. You pay extra for privacy, after all.

"Flatterer," she says, and her own long fingers are cupping your almost-nonexistent buttocks - you yourself are all pale skin over stringy muscle and bone, but she touches you like you are the handsomest creature in all of creation, like you are the only thing in the room that matters and everything else is a passing concern to be ignored. That focus is the sexiest thing about her, and you love to give into it, to let yourself be the center of the world, even if only for a few moments.

"Maria will be unhappy," you say, as a warning, "if she finds out we missed her aria."

"Well, then," Daryl says in her throaty voice, "we'd best finish before she begins. Or do you think you can be satisfied with that?"

You grin as you finally find the first fastening - she wears these dresses as a challenge, you swear - and work it loose. "It would be enough to tide me over. But I would only want more later."

"Good," she whispers as she leans in to kiss your lips. "Good."