It was late as Duncan slipped through the door of the barge. He hadn't intended to be this late, but as things often do when he's with Darius one thing led to another and time got away from them. He’d been to the chapel to help with the project of repainting the common use hall, which had led to Darius asking for his help with something and then dinner and then something Darius wanted his opinion on which of course led to a debate and there were very few things Darius took more pleasure in than a good debate that ended with him looking at something differently than he had before. It wasn't long before it was nearing midnight and he'd promised Tessa he wouldn't be all night. Thankfully she was very tolerant of his time with Darius and knew he would always be longer than he'd told her he would be. He just hadn't expected to be this late.
When he pulled up near the barge, he was surprised to see there were a few lights on. The last thing he expected was for Tessa to still be awake at this hour. Making his way past the sofas he headed toward the raised area that made up their bedroom, he found Tessa curled up on the bed, asleep. Drawings scattered around her and an equal number of balled up drafts of rejected sketches that hadn't made the grade. Kicking the rejects out of the way, he leaned down and gathered up the sketches she had scattered around he on the bed, careful not to bend or otherwise mess up her sketches. Pushing a stray lock of blond hair back, he leaned down and kissed her forehead before moving down and slipping her shoes from her feet. Gently and slowly, he undressed her, leaving her in the shirt she was wearing which look suspiciously like one of his. He knew by the fact she only murmured a few times as he pulled her pants down her legs exactly how tired she was.
She'd been totally absorbed with designing a new exhibit set to open in a few months. The big sculptures were finished as well as the larger paintings but she'd been wanting to try something new and do a few small pieces in a new medium as a highlight and by the looks of the quantity on crumpled balls of paper on the floor it wasn't going well. Although some of the designs he saw on the papers he'd picked up off the bed weren't bad.
Stripping, he pulled back the spread and settled in bed himself, gently pulling Tessa into his arms. She shifted to rest her head on his shoulder, her arm across his chest. He laid there, the scent of her shampoo in his nose, and caressed up and down her arm. He knew she'd been frustrated with her lack of inspiration so as he lay there he thought of places to take her that would inspire her. He knew the normals places she liked to go when she was having a dry spell wouldn't work, especially since they'd already gone to some of the usual parks and museums.
As he lay there, listening to Tessa breathing an idea struck but with her laying on him, he'd have to wait until morning to research his idea of going to a megalithic site. It had to be the right one and preferable in an area with several. She had drawn inspiration from them before when they had gone to Scotland, hopefully this time she would again in her own native country. Thankfully he knew of a couple such sites within a couple hours drive of Paris.
“What time did you get home from Darius’s?”
“Late,” he answered as he nuzzled her neck, dropping a kiss on her shoulder.
“You know Darius,” he answered as she turned in his arms. He gave her a another kiss to distract her before she could point out he was just as bad as the priest. “How's the sketches coming along?” He asked changing the subject.
“Not good. Nothing has the right feel.”
With his hands on her hips, he pulled her closer. “Why don’t we pack a bag and take a drive out in the country and see where we end up. We can stay at a bed and breakfast and maybe something will spark and idea?” he suggested, trying to be casual as to what he had planned.
“You, Duncan McLeod, are up to something.”
“Who me?” he feigned innocence. “Can’t I take you away for a romantic night?”
“What’s going on Duncan? You only rush me out of town when there is another immortal around. What happened with Darius?”
Damn, he hadn’t thought she’d have this reaction. He’d really thought she’d take him at his word to the reason for going. Obviously he hadn’t taken her away just to get away enough. “Nothing Tessa. Nothing happened. No other immortals. I just thought a trip out of town might give you some inspiration.”
“Really Tessa. Nothing nefarious, I promise,” he told her, giving her a kiss before turning her around and with a pat on her back side to encourage her forward. “As much as I love you in my shirt, go get dressed so we can go or else we won’t be going for a long while.”
“Yes, really. But as much as I’d love to indulge, we have plans.” He smiled as she turned and inched up the tails of her shirt, looking back over her shoulder with a sassy smile. It took every ounce of will power not to follow her, grab her and carry her to bed. While it would be nice. It wouldn’t help her solve her problem however and right now helping her was more important. Besides they would have a nice B&B tomorrow night and he could indulge in loving her then.
He stayed leaning against the sofa while she gathered her robe and slipped past him to the bathroom for a shower. He sighed and walked back to the bedroom to grab an overnight bag and add a few items of clothing for the next day, or maybe two, when she returned from the shower he skirted around her, just getting close enough to give her a kiss before heading for his own shower. The sooner they got on the road, the better.
He took a quick shower and pulled his hair back into a ponytail r contemplated just wearing his towel to make one less step, but thought better of it, too tempting if Tessa wasn’t fully dressed yet. He was partially relieved when he saw her standing by the bed, fully dressed, packing her own bag. He quickly dressed and after adding a few last things, he shouldered his bag and looked at Tessa, asking, “Ready?”
“Where are we going?”
“A town north of here with multiple megalithic sites and beautiful scenery,” he told her giving away a little of the plans he made while she was sleeping in his arms.
“Oh Duncan, that sounds wonderful. Thank you.”
Grabbing her as she walked past him with her bag in her hands, he pulled her closer and gave her a quick kiss before leading her off the barge and toward the car. This would be a good trip for both of them even if it didn’t lead to her finding inspiration.