(1937-11-03) At Clover's Recommendation
Details for At Clover's Recommendation
Summary: Macnair House Warming: Veruca and Clover finally catch up for a word before Keenan gets a tour of Macnair Mansion.
Date: 03 November 1937
Location: MacNair Mansion (formerly MacCurry)
Related: House Warming Party at the Macnair Mansion Rue and Ginger (Nice 'n Easy), other Keenan/Veruca scenes.

When Clover said she was going to dance the night away, she meant it. Once the dancing has opened, she has yet to leave the floor. Several dances have been with Zephyr, though some others were saved for her father, and father-in-law and other important people. By the time she is able to pull herself from the dance floor, she finds a near by chair and sits, letting her tired feet rest for a quick moment. Her hair is still up off of her neck and looks just like it did when she arrived, but her cheeks are now a little flushed, either from her beverage, or from her dancing.

Being momentarily devoid of her dance partner, Veruca dutifully noted the mistress of the house coming off the dance floor. By the time Clover secures a seat Veruca is walking toward her, a glass of water in hand. A pleasant smile is on her lips as she offers the cool glass to Clover. "I do believe this is your first break since the dancing began, Mrs. Macnair."

Clover may be a little breathless as she sits down and takes the glass of water and drinks a good portion of the liquid before she sits it down. "I see that you also have been just as busy on the floor as I have." She says as her eyes sparkle with a hint of amusement. "I did not know that you'd be bringing Healer O'Shea as your date."

Veruca remains standing, attention angling down to Clover. "It was a rather late invitation, but since he was going to attend anyway…" She lets the thought taper off, being a bit less genuine than she could be. For any of the small events they have had since Veruca's employ, she has never brought a date, she's never mentioned dating anyone. "A very lucky coincidence," she adds with a smile, then deftly redirects, glancing around. "Everyone seems to be having quite the time. I would call your housewarming an utter success, Mrs. Macnair."

"True, you both were going to be here, you might as well have someone to enjoy the night with." Clover says as her eyes scan over the dance floor. "But if I know anything about Keenan, he doesn't date very often. So tell me Ms Max, who charmed who?" She asks as her brows slowly raise. "But yes, this is a successful party, I hope that means that I won't be burned at the stake for ruining the family name." Carefully she does a double check to make sure that Lucianna is far far away.

As Clover looks over the dance floor, Veruca's gaze turns as well, taking in those moving over the pool. She spies what might be her cousin, but if the singularly flaxen hair of the Malfoy is around she doesn't see it. This people watching affords her a splendid opportunity to assume that Clover's question is rhetorical. Conveniently. Instead Veruca comments on the senior Mrs. Macnair. "It's seemed to me that she's been warming up to you of late." As much as granite warms.

The healer under previous discussion reappears, and it appears he is bent on making sure Miss Max imbibes plenty of liquid happiness this evening as both hands are holding two more champagne flutes. When he sees her talking to Clover, he gives a smile and makes his way over. "Here ye are, Miss Max. Clover, I see ye've finally let the menfolk have a rest," he adds with a grin. "Sorry I haven't been over sooner, I was unavoidably detained by a beautiful woman… and then a glass of whisey, ye have my favorite, I notice."

"Well of course she is. I'm carrying her grandchild, I am sure once I deliver it she'll be back to being her normal chipper self." Clover says quietly, and she smiles as her co-worker comes to her table. "Well, I could not keep them all from their wives all night." When he mentions the scotch, she'll smirk as she takes a sip from her water glass. "Who me? Get your favorite whiskey? Would I do that?"

Keenan's return is greeted with a smile, and a warm thank you at his thoughtfulness to bring another drink. Again, Veruca's fingers brush his as she takes it, then takes a sip as he exchanges greetings with his co-worker. His excuse at not having been sooner in greeting Clover brings a lightly spoken, "There are beautiful women here in abundance this evening, but even I could forgive the whiskey for keeping you away so long."

Tipping his head to the side thoughtfully, his fingers having given a little twitch to maintain the little contact as the glass is handed over, Keenan considers the women on the dance floor. "Aye, that there are, but somehow I've not noticed that yet." He takes a sip from the champagne. "Aye, Clover, ye must be the culprit. Miss Max has gone to great lengths tae assure me that she merely made sure ye had everything ye wanted for this shindig, that ye have been responsible for /all/ the planning. Therefore, she could not possibly be responsible that bottle of 1608 Bushmills." He raises his glass to his lips, the green of his eyes gleaming to Clover, with a sly glance sideways to his date.

"Well I guess you have found me out then." Clover says coyly she says as she looks between the two of them. "I will say that Veruca was a great help, and organized things when I got flustered. She also provided me with a copious amount of chocolate. I believe she is due for a raise just because of that." Talking up her husbands assistant? You're damn right she is.

Veruca raises her glass to her lips once more, but stops with it poised, looking to Clover. "Surely you know that Mr. Macnair had 'keep my wife in chocolate' as one of the contract clauses?" There is a quick wink, and her smile is hidden by the glass as she now takes that sip. She very purposely does not add comment on how that particular whiskey happened to have been procured.

Somehow, even though he hasn't been guzzling, Keenan's champagne has almost disappeared already. "Aye, I can see how Miss Max would be handy tae have around when ye're getting flustered. She doesnae seem tae be one that can get her feathers ruffled tae easily." He places his glass on the tray of a passing server. "I daresay she'd be brilliant in tha Trauma Ward. People dyin' all around her, an'she'd make sure they all get where they need tae be tae be patched up in time. Clover, I would love to ask ye for a dance, but Miss Max offered me a tour of yer lovely home. I'm afraid if I don't take her up on the offer, she'll change her mind. May I ask for a rain check?"

"I would not put it past him. I know he prefers me to be relaxed by the time I get home, or when he gets home which ever happens first." Clover comments as she nods her head. "I am sure she would have been fantastic in the truama room, but I do not think healing is Miss Max's calling." When he offers the dance, Clover shakes her head. "I will be here all night, by all means get your tour. Besides, I think my poor feet still need a rest."

Although the words come easily, there is clearly truth in it when Veruca says, "Alas, I'm afraid it is not my forte." There is still a good measure of bubbly left in her own glass, which she is content to nurse along a while longer. "I'll have a quick word with the steward as we pass, and insure he takes proper care for anything you want, Mrs. Macnair." Her eyes turn to Keenan, and if his arm is offered, she will slip her into it cozily.

Grinning, Keenan of course offers his arm. "Ah, well. Perhaps it's just as well. If she were, I wouldnae been able tae ask her tae accompany me, aye?" he gives a wink to Clover. "I'll be around tae take my leave before I go, promise." Then he looks to Veruca, and turns slightly to let her lead the way.

"I am fine on my own for a few hours Miss Max, you don't have to pester the poor steward on my behalf." Clover says as she lifts her water glass and settles into her chair to continue her rest. "You two have a good time, and be sure to check out the library on the second floor, it is my favorite room so far." She'll wave to them as they leave,and turn to the next guest who wants her attention.

Veruca nods to Clover, once more with a smile, "As you wish, Mrs. Macnair." Even so, as she turns to lead Keenan on their way, she gives a very purposeful look to the steward, and then shifts her eyes to Clover briefly. He would have to be a complete idiot to not interpret that look correctly, and Veruca is quite sure that he got the meaning. As they move off, she begins pointing out some of the artwork of interest to Keenan, leaning lightly toward him.

There is a lot to point out as one wanders through the Macnair manse. Rooms upon rooms, elegant furnishings, art, sculptures. Thankfully, this far into the evening most of the guests have already taken their tour, so Veruca and Keenan are on their own as they walk through the lavish residence. Their steps now bring them to the library which Clover had recommended, and Veruca releases Keenan's arm to step forward and open the twin doors to the room. The library certainly lives up to it's name, with shelves filled with books lining the walls. It's a large space, and Veruca reaches for Keenan's hand to bring him inside.

Keenan waits patiently as she opens the doors, and when she first takes him by the hand, he can't help but look around and give a low whistle at the size, and the sheer number of books. But it honestly only holds his attention briefly… after seeing so much lavishness upon lavishness, it begins to be repetitious after awhile, and so his charming tour guide has very little competition for his attention any more.

As they cross the threshold and get into the room, a charm on the doors swings them shut with a soft whisk behind the couple. She keeps her hold on his hand, her fingers soft and warm tucked with his, until they're well in the room, and then she'll let him go if he wishes. Turning to face him, her smile holds a wryness. "I would never know what to do with myself in a house of this size."

Keenan doesn't let go of her hand unless she really tries to wriggle it away. He gives a sigh and a nod, not even looking around at the size again. "I have a preference fer cozy places, myself. Somehow, echoing footsteps in tha hallway do not say 'cozy' tae me. I'd always think someone was following me around my own home," he grins at the jest, and lets his thumb brush lightly along her palm, just where it joins to the wrist.

With her hand still comfortably holding his, Veruca keeps her eyes on her date. She's been in this room enough to welcome something so pleasantly different to look at than books upon books. Standing close enough for their arms to hang comfortably, Veruca directs a look that's clearly assessing at the wizard. "If I might be so bold as to say, you do look rather like a man suited to cozy." It's clearly shown this is meant in a favorable manor as she goes on, bringing her other hand up to lightly trace along his clean shaven jaw. "Especially when you're a bit more scruffy than you are currently."

Keenan grins. "Aye, ye may so bold, especially as tis has the ring of truth to it. A place like this is nice tae visit, but a lad can't help hankerin' fer home an' his favorite chair after awhile." He tilts his head, a barely perceptible lean into her hand. "An' ye, Miss Max? I have tha idea ye appreciate tha finer things around ye, but don't feel a need tae drown yerself in them."

Veruca lets her hand drift down from it's touch to his skin. "You would be absolutely correct, Mr. O'Shea. That's very perceptive." She turns, skirt rustling softly, and gives his hand a light squeeze with a soft tug to move him to follow her. There is a large desk that dominates the center of the room, and off to one side, in an alcove, is a large globe, in a wooden floor stand. It's to the globe that she guides Keenan, reaching out as they're near and giving the wooden world a light spin. It moves easily, perfectly balanced, obviously well crafted. "Even the best world money can buy," she says, turning to him with something of an impish cast to her smile.

The man follows along where he's led easily enough, and reaching the alcove, he leans his back lightly against the wall. There's a light chuckle to the joke cast on the globe, and perhaps a wistfulness. "If only it were that easy, aye?" he counters, his fingers tightening a little on hers. "Tell, me, Miss Max. Are ye findin' what ye were lookin' for when ye studied me at tha Royal Wand?" There's still a playful gleam in his eyes as his eyes follow the light on her skin of her face, neck and shoulders.

Reaching out again, Veruca lets her fingers lightly skim the surface of the wooden orb, watching it as it slows, until she lifts her hand and turns, taking a step toward Keenan smoothly, eyes raising as her head tilts to look up at his face. Her look is direct, as it was that night. "No, Mr. O'Shea, I don't believe I'm finding what I was looking for that night at all." Her head tilts slightly, and she goes on, moving perhaps a bare inch closer. "A woman in business learns to look for the deceit, for warning signs."

Keenan raises his eyebrows at the first statement, and his eyes go from her fingertips on the globe to her face. When she continues, he can't help the chuckle that accompanies the dimples creasing his cheeks and the glow in his eyes. "Usually, when a lady answers in tha negative, I think a lad is supposed tae apologize fer disappointing. In this case, though, ye'll fergive me if I don't apologize, aye?" He finally does lift his hand, to brush his knuckles along her cheek, allowing himself the one liberty as she comes closer. Although he does narrow one eye curiously. "Not anything ye're lookin' fer?"

Veruca's voice is little more than a murmur at this close proximity. "No, nothing to apologize for in the least." She moves no closer, and accepts the touch without protest, still regarding him with a level, direct gaze. "I would more say… things I didn't expect to find, rather than anything I was looking for." While the words aren't hard to find, they are still chosen with a measure of caution. She is not one to let people in, and the concept of doing so is still something she does not entirely have faith in. The mere fact of this date makes him vastly different from any man she's seen in a number of years.

Keenan gives a lift of his chin in acknowledgement. "Aye, well, lass," he answers in similar lower murmur that puts a little more gruffness to his voice. His fingers stray under her ear for a moment before he lets his hand slowly fall to his side. "If it's something akin tae a surprise ye've been finding, then that would make two of us."

Veruca cannot help the reaction to his touch that makes her eyes close for a moment, a soft breath released slowly as the touch falls away. When her eyes open they seek his to hold with an intensity and desire that are not hidden. She resists doing anything impulsive by making her eyes drop and moving to step back, out of the immediate proximity of the temptation he presents. Still a step can only go so far without releasing his hand, and she is loathe to break that contact.

There's a slight tightening of his fingers again, as if to encourage her to not break the contact, but not tight enough for her to not be able to break out easily if she really wants to go. The gleam in his eyes has darkened a little, the teasing has shifted from one of a genial, friendly nature to a more enticing sparkle. But the smile is still there, lingering around his lips, and keeping a bit of boyish rakishness to his countenance. It's a combination of a double dog dare to do something, but still leaving an escape with honor route.

Veruca's undoing is looking back up into those eyes, seeing that unspoken challenge and although it is her inclination to hold back from acting on impulse, as her eyes drop to linger on his lips she finds herself recovering that step backwards. More than that, she moves boldly to press warmly against him, the hand holding his moving to slide around her back, drawing his arm around her, her other hand sliding up the lapel of his jacket and twining lightly into the hair at the nape of his neck. She pauses there, a breath separating their lips, her eyes half closed as she feels his warm exhale on her skin, and then she finally leans forward to close that last fraction of space and press her lips to his.

As soon as she draws his arm around her, his hand opens and strong fingers clasp the small of her back, and now he holds her closer, tighter. His fingers return to where they rested under her ear, but this time they slide under her hair without exerting pressure. Even with her wrapped tightly in his arms, he waits and lets her make the final decision on the kiss. When she does, though, there is nothing shy, or stand offish about the way he responds. Warm and lingering, with a hint of passion, he draws her in as if they'd just both been waiting for this moment, and he's not going to disappoint her.

There is nothing even remotely disappointing in this first kiss, from the tightening of his grasp around her, to the moment of anticipation before her advance was set forth and so warmly welcomed. With Keenan's arm securely around her waist, Veruca's hand lifts to his upper arm and absently finds purchase on his sleeve, holding as if he might slip away without that grip, and that is truly the last thing she wants at this moment. The kiss isn't exactly tentative to begin, but what starts as a soft experiment catches that hint of passion and deepens as her own desire flares.

The hand on the small of her back shifts slightly as his head tilts to explore her lips from every angle. He flirts along the edges of desire, fanning flames without passing into true 'hunger'. Even so, it's still enough to set his breath shaking slightly, and a lock of smooth hair finally swoops down across his forehead. He slows a little, but seems reluctant to bring the kiss to even a pause, much less a stop.

Veruca is no stranger to kisses, let's be honest, but the intuitive way that Keenan dances along the edge of what could prove to be a heat dangerous in it's intensity is a singular experience. She has met many men who think themselves a gift from the gods, but every one of them pale in light of this new sensation. As his hand at her back shifts it sends a tingle up her spine, resulting in her finally being the one to break the kiss, a small gasp coming against his mouth as her back instinctively arches.

Keenan doesn't follow up as she breaks the kiss, but his nose drifts along her cheek, letting her,- letting both of them catch their breath. "I think, perhaps," he murmurs huskily in her ear, "that I should allow ye tae call me 'Keenan' whenever ye want." There's a hint of a chuckle in his voice. "I have a feeling ye won' let me kiss ye again if I don't." He waits another moment to catch his breath, before he turns his head to kiss her cheek, moving his lips closer towards her for a gentler kiss, one to affirm the passion of earlier, but possibly slow the fires down to a simmering coals that are waiting to flare again another time. "I'd very much like tae kiss ye again."

Softly nuzzling her nose against his skin, Veruca's fingers lightly play against the back of Keenan's neck, her voice soft in return. "It seems, also, that it would only be right for you to call me Veruca." A hesitation, before she adds, "Or Rue, if you'd like." Probably not a familiarity the typically formal woman allows willy nilly. She makes no move to take a deeper kiss as his lips brush her skin lightly, returning his ministrations with a gentleness not exactly typical of her. His last words bring a pleased smile. "I'd be very disappointed if you didn't."

Keenan slides his other hand down to join the one at the small of her back, his fingers lacing to cradle her close still, without crushing her to him. "Rue sounds nice fer when we're alone together, like this," he mentions quietly. He gives one exhale, and rests his forehead to hers and that lock of hair tickles at her skin. "So this means ye'll still respect me in tha mornin' fer lettin' ye kiss me on our first date?" he asks, the teasing creeping back into his voice.

Releasing the light grip on his sleeve, Veruca's hand absently smoothes the wrinkles she may have caused. Kisses she has had before, although none to match the intensity of the one they just shared. A moment of this kind of closeness though, standing comfortably, heads together, is not something she is at all familiar with, and it has as much of an impact on her as the kiss did. And then his question brings a soft smile. "We could consider this the second, if it would make you feel better." A noise from the hall brings back the reality that there are still others about the house, and Veruca reluctantly moves to step away. "We should… get back." That's not at all what she wants to say.

Keenan grins as he waits patiently for her to set him to rights again. He releases a hand from behind her to reach up and push his hair back into order, and then chuckles at her offer. "Ye are being too kind tae me. No," he gives a suffering sigh. "I will just have tae face tha fact that when it comes tae the lovely Rue I'm helplessly loose and easy." The sound draws a green gaze towards the door, although he doesn't make a move to let her go until it's past, and then he nods at her words. Turning, he takes her hand, and this time he does draw it completely to his lips before he tucks it through his arm. "Aye. Even though ye had so little tae do with tha planning, I've kept ye from yer duties overlong." He gives her a wink, and leads her out, opting to just open one of the double doors for them so they can 'squeeze' through the opening, and back to the ball room. Perhaps some more champagne, and definitely more dancing, before he takes his leave for the evening.

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