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Another Candlelit Romance

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There were candles everywhere. The linens on the bed were silk or satin or some other slippery material native to Trion, Sarah couldn't tell. At least they'd had the decency not to spray the place with scented anything. "You didn't-" No, it really wasn't Vislor's style. He liked his comfort but this was just silly. And judging by the look on his face, he was more horrified than she was.

"I think someone's been watching too many bad soap operas," Turlough gave her a rueful glance. They both knew it was his younger brother who had decided for reasons known only to himself that they made the perfect couple. "Sorry about this."

'Malkon thought he was being thoughtful- I think." Sarah shrugged. "Though I would worry about those filmy draperies among this abundance of candles. Unless it's fireproof."

"I'm not sure I want to find out," Turlough started blowing out the candles and Sarah followed suit.

What happened next, no one could have expected. There was a knock on the door, and they both turned just a little too quickly to answer it, knocking over several of the candles in the process. The resulting flame nearly burned off Sarah's eyebrows, but she jumped back in time. Meanwhile, the flare had triggered the fire suppression system and the room was filled with a light blue mist of fire retardant.

"Just leave it Laine." Turlough took the plate of delicacies - presumably involving one or more aphrodisiacs, or foods thought to incline one in that way.

Laine frowned at the blue powder which was already dissolving. "Is there anything else I can do for you tonight?"

"I think you've done enough," Sarah said, more diplomatically than she felt, and closed the door carefully before either of them vented at him. After all, he was only following Malkon's orders. "At least the spray put the rest of the candles out." Sarah sat down on the bed with a little too much force and immediately slid off.

Turlough snorted at her, but he also reached out a hand to help her up. "There should be non-slippery bed linens in the drawers under the bed." He matched his actions to his words and within minutes the two of them were stripping the offending linens off the bed and throwing them on the chair along with two-thirds of the over-abundence of pillows, before remaking the bed. Ignoring the scorched canopy, he pulled Sarah onto the bed beside him and bounced a bit. "Much better."

"If I wasn't starving." She had to admit that being able to stay on the bed helped. "I don't suppose any of that is edible?" She stood anyway, and wandered over to investigate.

"Bring it back with you," he commanded lazily. "Laine's too proper for Malkon to suggest even the Trion equivalent of oysters. He'll be sticking to canapés and other bite-sized snacks. Supposedly it's romantic to feed each other."

Sarah made a face at him. "Spare me." But she brought over the tray and laid it on the bed, before sitting down beside him cross-legged.

The mood, if there was one, was spoiled at this point by the simultaneous ringing of her mobile and his comm unit. Rolling her eyes at Turlough, Sarah stood and walked over to the window to peer out at the storm as she evasively answered Nat's questions about her whereabouts whilst trying to tune out Turlough's impatient replies to whatever minor government official he was talking to. Finally, she convinced her friend that she'd decided a rest cure was in order after thwarting Hilda Winters' plans and no, she didn't want company and after promising for the fifth time that if someone attempted to kill her again, she'd call Josh, she finally hung up.

"A rest cure?" Turlough asked as she sat back down on the bed.

"What was I supposed to tell her? That I'd run off to spend a few weeks on another planet with my alien lover? Putting aside her almost assured disbelief, she'd probably be as bad as your brother if she thought I was seeing someone."

Turlough snorted. "If you were truly on holiday, you'd turn off your mobile."

"Said the pot to the kettle. I take it your crisis has been solved." She picked up a canapé and ate it absently.

"For the evening. Have we really turned into those people who can't leave their work behind for an evening?"

"It's that boarding school training," Sarah joked. "All those lectures about duty and honour."

Turlough made a face at her. "Help me finish these off before they get cold. Or Laine decides we need more food."

Sarah started to do as she was told when there was a huge crash of thunder and the lights went out. For a second there was silence and then they both burst out laughing.

"I've got a lighter." Turlough lit a few of the candles nearest the bed.

She grinned at him in the dim light. "Should we be going around and sharing the rest of the candles?"

"Nah. There are plenty in the storerooms and the emergency generator should kick in soon. Unless that was the emergency generator." Turlough sprawled back across the covers. "We were contemplating food. Such as it is." He popped a canapé in his mouth. "Not bad."

The lights still hadn't come on by the time they finished off the contents of the plate, having thrown only the bare minimum at each other, and that only under duress. It had led to them both finally turning off their mobiles, though, which could only be counted as a plus.

"Is this where I tell you that you're lovely in the moonlight?" Sarah asked, as she finished off the last cream puff. Another crash of thunder. "Or perhaps the lightning?"

"Given that I don't believe either of the moons will be visible tonight, lightning would have to do." Turlough placed the plate very carefully on the side table. "Sex by candlelight?"

"We've already nearly burned down the room once. I don't think we should risk it." Sarah blew out the candles on her side as he did the same. "There's nothing wrong with the dark."