Baron Friederich von Glower watched as Helga went to where Gabriel sat. The lithe blonde in the tight red dress leaned over him, placing her hand over his on the wine goblet. She guided his hand to tip the glass to her lips, and she drank, staring at him over the rim. Gabriel seemed bemused by this, but not in the least uncomfortable with it.
Helga then leaned closer and kissed him. Friederich heard a slight sound of surprise from his new friend as Helga fed him the mouthful of warmed wine. When she drew back a faint redish tinge glistened on Gabriel's firm, mobil lips, and he licked it off. Von Glower's hands tightened on his own goblet, and he set it down quickly before he could crack the delicate crystal.
"She likes you, Gabriel. Helga doesn't speak English, but she has her own ways of communicating."
"That she does." The New Orleans drawl was as thick and sweet as molasses. Gabriel slid an arm around the girl's waist, his hand coming to rest on her hip.
"Take her." Gabriel looked at him sharply. Friederich continued in the manner of a good host offering hospitality. "A man of your appetites shouldn't deny himself for too long, Gabriel. It isn't healthy."
"I don't want to spoil your date, man."
"Pfft. It's nothing. Helga and I are old friends. We understand each other."
Helga took the goblet from Gabe's hand, setting it aside, and tugged him to his feet. She began to urge him toward the study door. Gabriel was obviously interested, but he hesitated just outside the door, looking back at von Glower. "You're sure you don't mind?"
Friederich waved his hand. "Go, enjoy, and don't think about going back to your place when you're done. You'll sleep here tonight."
Helga had her fingers tucked in Gabriel's belt. He had an anticipatory smirk on his face as he was led away that started a dull burn deep inside von Glower.
Friederich crossed his legs and gazed into the fire, thinking, *Besides, you're not quite ready for me yet, my angel. But soon. Very, very soon.*