(1937-10-11) Testing Boundaries
Details for Testing Boundaries
Summary: Cassius gives Eden the tour of his mansion, and tests the boundaries of their budding relationship.
Date: 11 October, 1937
Location: Berylwood
Related: Dancing in the Street, among others

Early evening and Eden has gotten the tour of the mansion save for that large indoor pool that carries the echoes of her footfalls as she moves. She smiles faintly in the dim lighting that reflects of the water and throws the light about towards the ceilings and walls. That fluctuating glow steals across her features as she turns to look down at the water, that rich green dress she wears shifting with her movements, the full skirt swaying about her hips. Dark eyes lift then, looking back over her shoulder towards him, "Impressive, Cassius." She looks somewhat rueful before turning her attention forward again, continuing to take lingering steps along the length of the pool, her small clutch purse held in her hand, lifted to be grasped by the other across her stomach.

Click. Click. Click. And then she stops, drawing a breath. "So then you live here alone?"

Cassius strolls along a few steps behind Eden, letting her take in the sights as they tour the house. It doesn't hurt that he can appreciate the sway of her hips better from here. "As a permanent resident, yes. But I make a make a point of having house guests regularly. I like to think of Berylwood as a sanctuary for those I consider friends and family." He lets that thought sink in for a moment before adding, "Incidentally, you are welcome here at any time."

That statement has her turning slowly, first to allow her gaze to slip over her shoulder and then her body follows him the rest of the way. Eden smiles at him, head tilting to set her dark hair into movement against her cheek. "You are very kind, Cassius, to extend such an invitation to me. I wish I had something similar to offer, but I fear all I have a townhouse. The family home is in Scotland. But that is but a wand flick away if you ever care to visit the sprawling estates." Her smiles warms and she looks to the pool once more. "I didn't peg you as the swimming type either…though I think I am learning quite a few things about you I never would have thought of previously."

Cassius dips his head appreciatively at her offer of hospitality. "I find the water very relaxing, and an excellent way to stay in shape. I believe firmly in exercising both the mind and the body. But you've piqued my curiosity. What has you so surprised about me? Had I given you a misleading impression?"

"I guess it was misconceptions, Cassius, old ones. We are becoming acquainted all over again, so don't be too surprised. It has been quite a few years." Dark eyes study him and she offers a light smile. "I am certain I am surprising you, but you are not voicing it." There is an amused quirk of her lips and she taps her clutch purse to her hand, "Don't deny it." She intones and then starts to walk again, trailing around the pool slowly, as if drawing her thoughts out slowly.

Cassius allows a devilish grin to widen his lips. "Oh…perhaps. Ah, who am I to try to play games? Of course you surprise me. You have become a strong, independent, beautiful woman. I hope you take no offense when I say you've come quite far."

"You play games all the time, Cassius, playing coy does not suit you when you have revealed too many of your cards." Eden chides him lightly in humor. There is a faint laugh that escapes her lips and she shakes her head, "No, I do not take offense, not one bit. Though maybe I should but I enjoy the compliment too much. I am not above taking them gratefully for what they are." She smooths a hand up to settle her hair back in place.

Cassius chuckles as he strolls along behind her. "Good. I want you to know that I hold you in the highest respect. Not merely as a compatriot in the Unity Movement," it seems he has already adopted the new moniker, "But as a woman. I find you quite remarkable."

That stops her again and Eden turns to face him with something of a brilliant smile one her features. "Truly?" She wonders of him aloud, her head turning just so that she glance at him sidelong with growing interest. "Remarkable in what way? And yes, I am searching for a few kind words in my favor. I won't deny that." She says and motions her hand through the air as steps closer to him.

Cassius steps in to meet her halfway, suddenly standing well within her personal space. He keeps his hands clasped behind his back, but leans in so he's hovering a bit. "You are unafraid of expressing your opinions, creative, intelligent. I confess, I find a woman that can rise to my intellectual level very attractive. And you, my dear Eden, are very…very attractive." One hand comes free to brush two fingers through her hair, along her cheek.

Eden holds her ground as he leans in to hover, searching his face in a rather open study. Her brows furrow just a little, obviously intrigued by his statement and she smiles a bit more at his mention of intellectual level. Though her lips part in mild surprise as his hand moves to her hair and cheek. There is a light rush of color to her skin, drawing with it some heat. "Also very kind of you to say," her voice grows softer and she dips her head a bit, lowering her gaze to the floor and finally the pool with quiet contemplation.

Cassius drops his hand, tilting his head at her. "Have I overstepped my bounds?" He is still smiling, but there is concern in his voice. "Forgive me if I am too forward. Is it…Regulus?"

Name dropping brings her gaze back up, "Mister Black?" Mild shock paints her tone and her dark brows furrow. She wets her lips and shakes her head, "You have not overstepped your bounds…just allow me a moment to adjust to the intimate touch, Cassius. You flatter me." Her smile warms again but that bright flush of color remains. "Why would you bring up, Regulus?" She does not draw away, but her curiousity is apparent.

Cassius allows her a moment — but only a moment — and his hand seeks hers to lift to his lips. "You regularly work with the man, do you not? I have seen your names together on case files many times." So much from other departments eventually trickles to the Wizengamot, so it's easy for Cassius to keep a finger on the pulse of the Ministry. "When you work that closely with someone of the opposite sex for so long…well, feelings can develop. I am simply trying to determine what competition I may have."

Eden's eyes remain intently studying Cassius, even as her it falls to gather her hand and lift it to his lips and she tenses a little. "We have only a working relationship, Cassius. It is best kept that way considering how often we work together. Besides he can be rather…unpredictable. I enjoy…predictability to a certain degree." She admits and draws a long breath. "We did have dinner together, but that was my own attempt at an apology help our working relationship. I was overly..sensitive to past grievances between us."

Cassius flattens his hand under hers, his other hand drifting fingertips over her knuckles, delicately exploring her skin. "I hope that was all sorted out, then." He is clearly enjoying the flirtation, and her mixed reactions to it. "And what of other…competition? Surely, you have gentleman callers lining up outside your door."

Something like fascination briefly slides across her face as dark eyes search his and she shakes her head faintly. Eden seems a mixture for sure, though of shock, amusement and enjoyment. "You surprise me again…if I did have a list of names, what would that serve you?" She asks with a curiosity collected on a quickened pulse he might feel against his flattened hand, her hand twitching a little as he feathers her skin. Her eyes look down at his hands making a play at her own and then returns her eyes to him.

Cassius meets her eyes every time she looks at him, never averting his gaze. "I always like to know who I'm up against. If I am to explore a relationship with you, I should like to know if there are others contending for the same." His finger has begun to trace a little figure-8 on the back of her hand.

"As much as I would like to extend to you a very long least of those interested, I fear there is only you. So it looks like you will not have any healthy competition at the moment," Her dark eyes seek his, finding them ready as they always have been. "I will be sure to let you know if that changes…as soon as I can." Pause, "Is that what you are doing then with your fingers, exploring?" Its a question edged with wry mirth.

Cassius lets out a soft laugh. "Yes, exploring. Women have sensitive reactions, often in unexpected places. I rather enjoy finding them." He gives her a rakish grin. "For the record, it is a crime that you don't have a caravan of suitors. A woman of your calibre is deserving of worship. But, I shall consider myself fortunate, for now, that I have discovered the best kept secret in desirable women."

"I think you quite enjoy exploring all my reactions to both your touch and words," Eden seems amused but the color of her cheeks deepens at his continued persistence. The touch of innocence is only cut through by the sharp keen edge her eyes offer in turn. Her hands continued to twitch lightly in his at a certain apex of that figure eight she finally draws a breath and turns her hand around her palm is up and her knuckles rest against his palm.

Cassius gladly begins to explore her palm now, drawing seemingly random patterns along her lines. "I do, and I am not ashamed to admit it. Women are delightfully sensual creatures, and you are most delightful of all." Once he finds a reaction in her palm, he pauses, bending to place a gentle kiss on that spot, otherwise cupping her hand against his cheek.

Fingers curl instinctively to the small patch of flesh near the mid of her palm. Eden catches her breath as her gaze becomes intent upon his and she exhales very slowly. The warmth of his cheek finds its place there next, there is a moment of hesitation before her thumb brushes his chin and her fingers lightly trace over his cheekbone and the area right before his ear and into his hair. "Is that so? Why I am I most delightful of all, Cassius?" Her voice is a hushed tone pitched just above a whisper.

Cassius lifts his gaze to meet hers, intensity shining in those jade orbs. "Because you are not the least bit intimidated by me, and that is worth everything to me." Emboldened, he snakes an arm around her waist — testing a moment, should she pull back — before tugging her in toward him.

"Perhaps it is because I have known you for so long..because all I have to do is picture you as a young boy in that school robe," She teases lightly and she tenses at the hand about her waist but does not pull away, her heels sliding a little on the tiled floor with a soft scuffing sound. When she finally comes to a halt, hand still against his cheek, she lets out a held breath. Dark eyes study his face and her smile grows just a fraction as her thumb traces the edge of his chin again. "But you are no boy any longer," she admits readily, a quick breath indrawn.

Cassius's face hovers mere inches from Eden's, leaning into that cupped hand. "No…I am not," he breathes softly, "And you are no mere girl." He tightens his grip on her waist and leans in, slowly, savouring each agonizing moment before bringing his lips to touch hers.

That light teasing and levity starts to fade at the sound of his voice and the tightening of his grip around her waist. Eyes become more intently focused, looking from his own gaze and then to his mouth as he leans in. There is a moment as her pulse jumps and she draws a quick breath before his lips brush her own. Its a questioning kiss, perhaps one to ascertain where they stand and Eden does not pull away for a moment or two but finally does but only just enough so she can look at him once more, nose brushing his and breath heated.

Cassius's cheshire grin forms after the kiss is broken. "Definitely not a girl," he whispers. Gradually he releases his hold on her, sliding his hand around her waist before letting it drop. "Forgive my knavish ways, if you can. If you cannot…I hope you will accept them," he adds with that devilish smirk.

Eden gives him a faint smile and nods her head, "They are accepted, never forgiven…nothing to forgive. After all, you stole but a simple kiss and I was not unwilling." Amusement colors her tone as does the red touch her cheeks. She leans slightly into his side. "Had you done more than we might have had to start bargaining for forgiveness, Cassius." There is a challenge in her tone as she grins in return to that smirk.

Cassius offers her his arm, ready to continue walking. "Bargaining? Oh, I think I like the sound of that. Should I misstep, I can negotiate my way out of it?" He gives her a teasing smile.

Taking that arm of his, Eden laughs. "Every cunning man should have a way out, I think its only fair, otherwise what good is wits?" Her eyes sparkle with her own amusement and she settles to follow at his lead next to his side. Continuing their conversation softly.

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