Some log missing here, to follow
Georgina smiles, her eyes warming, and she gives the waiter a smile of thanks before turning her attention back to him. “Now see, as a sister myself I disagree. We are utterly wonderful, and unutterably worth it.” She sips her wine, looking down at her meal, considering it before picking up her fork. “This looks lovely, Doctor.”
Raleigh Montague picks up his own cutlery. “I’m so glad you approve. Please tuck in.” He chuckles at your statement. “You know, I always wanted a brother. I had a best friend, though, and he was like a brother to me, which was good.”
Georgina takes a bite, thoughtfully, considering the food. “This is very good, Doctor..” The murmur is soft and she reaches for her wine, pausing a moment to ask, “You make it sound as though you do not have him now? Did something happen?” There is a tiny bit of colour in her cheeks as she asks. “If it is private, please, don’t…”
Doctor Raleigh Montague smiles. “People can – and do – change, Miss De Vitis. It is both fortunate and unfortunate.” He takes a bite of his pasta. “Do you know I was actually taught to make pasta on my visit to Brindisi?”
Georgina tilts her head, giving him one of those swift looks with a glimmer of intelligence. “Sometimes it is a wonderful thing but the loss is sad, when someone moves on.” She shakes her head, giving him a smile, “I did not. Tell me about it?” Genuine interest sparkles in her eyes.
Doctor Raleigh Montague’s eyes sparkle in the candlelight. “Ah, it is a tale for another time, but it involves a village, a fair, three old grandmothers, who are called nonnas, and, I am sad to say, a donkey.”
Georgina laughs, covering her mouth with her fingers, her eyes twinkling. “Oh that is unfair, to tease me! I desperately want to know now…” She sips the wine, watching him over the brim for a moment. “I feel I should withhold something until you tell me but I fear my stories are more mundane.”
Doctor Raleigh Montague sees that your wine glass needs replenishing and does so himself, topping up his glass as well. “I am fascinated by your stories, Miss De Vitis. The genuine Genuan, running about free-spirited in the fairytale city, growing up in a space occupied by words.” He gazes into your eyes. “Tell me your stories.”
Georgina returns the look, her cheeks colouring a little. For a moment, she ducks her head, reaching for the glass, her confusion covered with a sip. “I fear most of them involve books, and a few other professional… ” She hesitates, her lips curving into a smile, “One must, of course, consider the families in your dealings in Genua. It makes it both fascinating and dangerous at times…”
Doctor Raleigh Montague finishes his meal and sets his cutlery down, dabbing at the corners of his mouth with his napkin, as his eyes look both amused and – something. “Dangerous, yes. Fascinating in some quarters, certainly.” His grey-green eyes are entirely amused now. “None of the Coffee Nostra like me much, I’m afraid.”
Georgina finishes hers, lifting her napkin to her lips, watching him through her lashes. “I admit I have worked to avoid them, except where I must.” Her lips curve into a smile, and she speaks softly, lowering her voice, “There was one incident when one of the cooks became offended by the Coffee Nostra. To watch that match was amusing…” She pauses, then adds softly, “From a distance.” Her brown eyes are full of laughter at the memory.
Doctor Raleigh Montague smiles back, his eyes amused and interested. “I do not blame you at all for working hard to avoid them, although I doubt very much that any of the Coffee Nostra professes much of a love for books.” He laughs at your story. “Indeed, I wonder how that turned out. But if it’s one thing I have learned, it is this: Never upset the cook.”
Georgina is almost, but not quite, giggling, as she lifts her glass once more. “I believe they consider them a source of useful storage. There was this beautiful book on the art of
sword making. Utterly beautiful, and they cut a hole in the middle of it!” The smile has faded a little at that, the outrage making her look like a ruffled hen.
Doctor Raleigh Montague chuckles at your aghast expression. “Sacrilege indeed!” He laughs, but looks thoughtful. “Storage, hm? Interesting.” His eyes catch Mama and her husband in the background. “Ah, yes. Could I tempt you to try some dessert, Miss De Vitis?”
Georgina narrows her eyes slightly at the hint that he might take a blade to a knife but softens at the idea of dessert. “But of course, Doctor, how can I resist…” She smiles at the couple, adding lightly, “My compliments to the chef. Even in Genua, I have rarely tasted such excellent food.”
The table is cleared away and dessert is served, a luscious concoction of icy gelato wrapped in warm meringue which is then torched so it is toasty, hiding the creamy chocolate ice within. Doctor Raleigh Montague watches as the wineglasses are changed for sherry glasses, and smiles at you. “May I ask what your favourite dessert is Miss De Vitis?”
Georgina watches, her lips parting as she watches the dessert approach. “Oh gosh.” The words are a soft murmur and she glances up, returning that look, her smile returning even as she blushes as being caught. “I admit they have read my mind. I have a weakness for chocolate ice, Doctor.” The words have the manner of a confession, and she shoots him a look through her lashes.
Doctor Raleigh Montague chuckles as he picks up his spoon, which glides through the dessert in front of him. “Now I wonder how they knew that.” His eyes are amused, though.
“Instinct. Some people hone in on weaknesses…” She picks up her spoon, taking a small spoonful, her eyes half closing in obvious pleasure. As she lowers the spoon, her tongue flickers over her lips, catching the final taste. “It is amazing, R..Doctor.”
Doctor Raleigh Montague watches you enjoying your dessert with obvious relish. “I like people who like food. It’s so – easy – almost – to associate with them, and find one point where you can both connect.” He raises an eyebrow. “Please. Call me Raleigh.”
Georgina “Food is such a pleasure. It need not be simply to fuel us, when you consider the amount of …” She trails off, blushing slightly, “Georgina. Do call me Georgina.” The slight confusion is covered by a small taste of her dessert, the woman making it last…
Doctor Raleigh Montague thoughtfully says with a Morporkian accent: Georgina. Doctor Raleigh Montague chuckles. “It’s amusing how one takes time to relearn someone’s first name, no matter if one is acquainted with the person simply by their surname.”
Georgina tilts her head, considering his words, “A book by any other cover… but habits run deep.” She studies his face, looking at his eyes, the dessert melting slightly.
Doctor Raleigh Montague returns the gaze. “Or a rose by any other name.”
Eyes widening for a moment, Georgina meets that look without ducking her head for once. “Raleigh, this is a lovely dinner…”
Doctor Raleigh Montague’s own eyes are interested as he gazes into your deep brown ones. “I quite agree. A lovely meal, a lovely companion. It cannot be perfected.”
She bites her lower lip, watching him, her eyes showing a touch of confusion before she reaches for her glass. “I…” The words seem to get lost, and she takes a hurried sip of her drink, composing herself a little. “The most wonderful food, and the wine, and … the company.”
Doctor Raleigh Montague informs you with a mischievous twinkle that your dessert is melting on your plate.
Georgina blushes, ducking her head, as she reaches for the spoon to take another mouthful. The taste seems to surprise her again, and she shuts her eyes briefly, savouring it.
Doctor Raleigh Montague finishes his own dessert, and sips on his sherry, his eyes on you.
Georgina finishes her dessert, the spoon checking for the final dregs of it, before she looks up at you again. The blush that rises this time is a definite one. “It… it was rather wonderful.” She reaches for the glass, her eyes filling with laughter.
Doctor Raleigh Montague sits back in his chair, enjoying the spectacle of your blush to the fullest, as he idly thinks to himself how beautiful a blush on the face of a pretty woman can be. He smiles at your words. “It has been a wonderful evening, Georgina.”
Georgina lifts a hand, her fingers tucking a stray hair behind her ear, before she replies softly, her accent stronger than ever, “The most wonderful, Raleigh.” The accent makes his name sound a little exotic. “Thank you.”
Doctor Raleigh Montague shakes his head as he signals for the bill. “Thank YOU.” He smiles at Mama and her husband as they arrive, and assures them that the meal was perfection, and pays the bill, adding a handsome tip for the server, who also receives his thanks. He looks over at you. “Shall we?”
Georgina glances up, giving the couple a warm smile, “That was, I think, the most perfect meal of my life.” The slight blush deepens, as she glances to Raleigh, and nods. She rises from her seat, a reluctant movement. “It seems a shame for it to be over.”The soft words are to Raleigh, and she adds, “Every night must end, I suppose.”
Doctor Raleigh Montague offers his arm as you both prepare to leave the restaurant. “An experience enjoyed is a memory made. There will be more to come.”
Georgina slips her hand onto your arm, giving you a warm smile, her eyes warm. “I shall hold you to that, Raleigh.” Her cheeks are definitely flushed now.
Doctor Raleigh Montague smiles down at you. “Please do.”