It's overcast, which means James doesn't have to be all "careful" while walking around outside, so he can in fact just walk around outside! It's nice to do that every now and then. And then there are a couple of packages he's expecting so he might enjoy this lovely unsunny day to visit the Post Office, why not.
"No higher than in any other romantic overtures, I would hope. My mind control is my problem."
"Well... yes, it is, but I don't precisely want to leave you in the lurch, either? It's not as casual as it would be with someone else. Because if I walk away from some other guy, he'd presumably eventually meet someone else and find happiness without my involvement at all, whereas with you..." She looks away. "So. Higher stakes."
He shrugs. "I understand, and I love you for it. But I do believe it would be... better for us if you did treat me like any other superpowered man getting to know you. This is admittedly partly because I am confident of the end result and want you to have a, shall we say, smooth going of it," he says, the corner of his lips tugging up a little at the end.
"Okay. I can try to do that in the future. But, uh, to be fair, if it wasn't for the knowledge of um, breaking your heart forever..." she trails off and winces. "That opener was nnnnot the best and if I hadn't been worried about breaking your heart forever that. Probably would have just been it. Sorry."
"You don't need to apologize, it's definitely justified. But if I weren't in magical love with you, that opener would not have happened in the first place, I think."
"That makes sense." She makes a face. "So the mind control doesn't account for itself in its... matchmaking thing. That's annoying."
"It seems to not, no."
"Bah. I actually wouldn't mind mutual mind controlled love if we both got to get there on our own first. But having extremely devoted singularly focused mind control love out of nowhere, with no foundation of mutual trust to speak of, is ludicrously dangerous and terrifying, with potential for all sorts of twisted power dynamics in both directions. And also kind of a twisted mockery of what I think love, uh, is?"
He shrugs. "I think most vampires don't deal with humans most of the time, so they are more likely to mate to other vampires."
"That's.... tidier?" she attempts. She can't actually call it better, considering the mind control. "Probably pretty comfortable for both parties, but still. Ick at the whole prospect."
He just nods.
She nestles closer in his arms.
"Okay. Dating you without considering the mind control. That'll be... tricky, but I'll try? This is hard to model, if I randomly met someone that was as into me as you are I'd freak out and flee because stalker, but that's... not the situation here. So."
"I can pretend to be less into you, if it would help."
Snort. "Not really. I'd still know, I don't really want to ask you to pretend something other than the truth, and... I did mention that I kind of like being the target of your affections?"
"You did mention that, yes."
"Mhmm. So let's not pretend you're not." She hums. "I suppose I can just... watch for whether or not you make me happy. And remind myself that despite the mind control, your happiness is not my responsibility, and that you'd rather I be happy than with you."
She presses a kiss to his cheek. "I wasn't planning to not do that, but it's helpful to put it in those terms and think of it in that way."
"Glad to have been of use."
"Aw, if you say it like that you make it seem like I'm using you for something," she teases. "For shame."
"No objections from these quarters."
She snorts again, and readjusts herself in the marble snuggles.
"So I don't think we should keep our relationship at all a secret, even if we do go and do things ordinary human couples can't do. The easiest way to explain my sudden departure from Lancaster and possibly England is, uh." She looks away, a little embarrassed. "Running off to marry some American. And that wouldn't scare anyone that cares about me like an inexplicable disappearance."
"Luckily, I happen to be some American, so it all works out."
"Yes, that was the implication, James, well spotted."
"Thank you, thank you, I do try."