***Part 6***

Daniel heard the footsteps as they approached his chamber. He smiled as he took a sip of his warmed brandy. He wore a black silk smoking jacket with a hunter green and russet paisley print on the lapels. He wore a white cotton night shirt underneath and nothing else in anticipation of this visit. He and Caroline seldom had more than an hour or two together. Each night she visited him clandestinely it was harder and harder to fight the urges of the flesh he knew were meant to be shared between a man and a woman only after they had exchanged marriage vows.

His father was being unexpectedly difficult about supporting Daniel's desire to marry Caroline. The merger of the two plantations would result in Daniel owning the largest plantation in three counties. His father was breaking, though. Soon, Daniel hoped, he would be able to have Caroline as his bride and as a man was supposed to have a woman.

His body hardened in anticipation of the feel of her soft skin. She never allowed him to touch anywhere her corset prevented him from seeing, but they both seemed to enjoy finding out just how low the corset could go. He ached for her, if his father did not agree to the marriage soon Daniel was not so sure eloping would be out of the question where he was concerned. He would have no other but Caroline and no one but he would be a suitable match for her.

"I thought you'd never get here," he whispered before turning to face her. He almost choked on the brandy when he saw her. Her brown hair was an array of curls and bordered on making her look as if she had just gotten up from a tussle, her hazel eyes were fixated on him, and she had applied rouge to her cheeks and color to her lips. The green damask day dress was at her feet. A white cotton shift which left very little to the imagination was all that stood in the way of being completely naked. He swallowed quickly, the brandy burning as it traveled along his throat.

"I'm sorry I kept you waiting," she whispered, her voice containing a note of huskiness, wantonness he had never heard her emit before.

"I'm not so sure that you need to apologize," he whispered.

"Perhaps a display of how sorry I am then?"

He dropped his gaze, feeling it was somehow rude to stare at her. He had never seen a naked woman before. He had planned on Caroline being his first, just not before they were married. "Yes, I'm sure that might be in order." He had never thought of her being the aggressor, taking the step to bring their relationship to fruition.

"Am I unpleasant to look at then?"

He did not need to be looking at her to know averting his gaze had hurt her. "Of course not," he replied, swallowing hard, forcing his mouth to work. He watched as she walked the few steps to his bed, the white silk stockings a contrast in color to her pale skin. She sat on the bed and removed her stockings, rolling them delicately along the length of her leg and off. "Can I help you then?"

"I was beginning to think you'd never ask," she whispered. That was all it took. It was not the tone of her voice but the look in her beautifully expressive and inviting hazel eyes that made him rush to his bed, the snifter of brandy fell to the carpeted floor with a dull thud.

Riley woke with a start. He groaned softly as he realized he was having another one of his dreams. This one left him in a bit of a predicament. The images of the nearly naked woman and the mood of the liaison he was witness to had left their mark on him. There was no way he could head to the showers now. He sat up in bed, folding the spare pillow in half and stuffing it behind his head. The dull ache of need in his body led him to thoughts of Buffy.

Parker had hinted she was a tiger in bed. Riley had punched him for it because he thought it was rude of anyone to kiss and tell. He did not like to think about Buffy falling for a guy like Parker's lines, but he knew Buffy was not to blame. Freshmen girls were vulnerable to the lines and lures of the experienced upper classmen.

His eyes scanned his room and he realized, belatedly, that she had cleaned up some. He must have really crashed and burned quickly. Professor Walsh had them out late the night before searching for the missing hostile as well as the werewolf that attacked her a short while ago.

Riley had been looking for a way to talk to Buffy outside of class for weeks. So when she had approached him, well, he could not turn the chance down. If only he had not fallen asleep. He also needed to work on getting a better assortment of movies in his collection. Nothing like movies as old as he was, if not older, to really impress the girls.

He sighed, his thoughts having strayed enough from sex by now that he was no longer suffering from the plight the same as all men did first thing in the morning. She was different, special. Riley was not sure what it was about Buffy but she was the first girl in a while he had actually cared about impressing. The Initiative and classes really kept his plate more than full. He had never given much thought to adding a girlfriend into the mix. He was not a deceptive person by nature and to have a girlfriend would mean keeping secrets from her, something Riley did not believe in. Anyone he dated he considered to be someone who thought he could potentially end up with for the rest of his life. You did not lie to your husband or wife.

His thoughts drifted to the man and woman he had been dealing with. He was only being granted entrance into the man's mind. Riley was sure that should mean something, but dream analysis was not his forte and he could not ask Professor Walsh about it. She would want to monitor him and he did not want to be put on a leash, especially now that Buffy seemed to be showing interest in him.

He got out of bed, determined to put the odd dreams and thoughts of Buffy out of his mind. The dreams were easy to slide to the back of his mind, Buffy was a different story. He saw her everywhere now that she had been in his room. She had sat on his bed, her head had been against a pillow. "I'm so whipped," he said and could not help but noticing the smug grin on his face when he glanced in his mirror. He knew whenever he fell it would be hard. He was just that type of guy, his heart was open and receptive to a relationship. He had been waiting for the right girl for a long time.

He just hoped he was not putting the cart before the horse where Buffy was concerned. The fact of the matter was she had gone out with Parker. Maybe she was a tiger in the sack and wanted to get into as many sacks as she could. She certainly had not behaved that way last night. He could not even say whether or not she was interested in him as more than a friend. He would have to keep an eye on her, though, wait and see if he was placing his heart in capable hands.

Until then, he would go about his routine as normal. For right now that included taking a shower and going to chow with Forrest and Graham. They probably would think he was nuts for falling asleep with Buffy not just in his room but in his bed. He was not sure he would ever live it down. As their commanding officer he decided it was best not to tell them. He was not going to lose their respect out in the field because of a girl in his civilian life.

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