romantic-dinner

“I’m kind of an old-fashioned guy, and I understand why you want to meet me at the restaurant and it’s fine, as long as you know I’d much rather ring your doorbell.”

“Noted,” she replied.

“I’ll see you there at seven.”

“Yes, you will,” she smiled.

She’d ended the call with her butterflies fluttering, and a few hours later she stood staring at her closet full of clothes, convinced she had absolutely nothing to wear.

“I’m such a stereotype,” she lamented. “Okay, let’s narrow this down. Dress or slacks…dress. Skirt maybe?”

So it continued, until finally satisfied she was dropping her lipstick and brush in her handbag and walking out the door.

Traffic was light and the restaurant wasn’t far. She’d not eaten there before but had been curious; from the outside it looked inviting and she’d been delighted when he’d suggested it.

Hmm, I wonder if this means he doesn’t live too far away, or maybe he chose it because it’s relatively close to the cafe. It doesn’t matter! Lord, I’m so frickin’ nervous.  

Parking was easy, and stepping from the car she discovered the air had the slightest nip, a promise of a dip in the overnight temperature, and she pulled her jacket around her shoulders as she hurried down the short block. Pushing open the door her eyes quickly scanned the room; dimly lit, waiters with bow ties, white tablecloths, booths lining the walls, cozy and warm.

This is perfect. Just what I imagined. 

“Hi there.”

She turned to see his smiling face, and the butterflies proceeded to do the polka. Out of his leather jacket and wearing a grey sports coat and light blue shirt he looked every bit the dream date.

“Hello, Troy. This place is lovely. I’m so glad you suggested it.”

“I’m glad you think so.”

The energy between them was sparkling, and not sure what else to say she was relieved when a dapper looking man strode towards them carrying menus.

“Troy, good to see you. Your table is ready,” he said cordially, and walked them to a corner booth by the window, a choice location.

“How are you? Staying safe?” the host asked as they sat down.

“Yes, good,” Troy replied.

“Giorgio will be right over to take your drink orders, and here is your wine list.”

As Troy took the leather-bound folder and the man moved away, Felicity leaned her head forward.

“Safe? What did he mean, staying safe?”

“Um, I’ll tell you later,” he replied.

She sensed his discomfort, but the moment was quickly forgotten as he ordered a bottle of Meritage, and the smooth red wine helped them both to relax.

“I neglected to tell you how lovely you look,” he smiled as their entrees were placed in front of them. “I should have said so the minute I saw you.”

“Oh, thank you,” she blushed, “and I should have told you as well, that you’re handsome, I mean, you look handsome, very, in that coat. Good grief, now I’m just totally embarrassed.”

He laughed, a full, deep, happy laugh, and she hoped it meant her awkwardness had been charming, not clumsy. Though her dinner was delicious she couldn’t stop thinking how badly she wanted him to hug her, to completely engulf her in his arms. She wanted to dissolve into his chest, and as their empty plates were cleared she prayed he’d take the plunge and kiss her when he walked her to her car.

“I don’t know about you, but I’d love some dessert. Are you game?” he asked.

“Sure, pick something, something really decadent,” she answered rolling her eyes, “and that’s the wine talking. One glass and-“

“and that’s when I get to meet the real Felicity?”

“I’d like to tell you my real name,” she said softly.

“Ah, progress,” he grinned. “I’d like that, and for the record I am Troy.”

“I’d already figured that out,” she said raising her eyebrows. “I don’t think you’d use a fake name with a restaurant host.”

“Oh, right…so, whose company have I enjoyed tonight?”

“Belinda, my name is Belinda,” she smiled.

“Belinda, that’s a kind name, a warm name,” he nodded. “I like it. So, Belinda, let’s see what kind of decadent things they have on this menu.”

He ordered a creamy, chocolate, coconut thing that was insanely rich and very sexy, and when the plate was empty he reached across the table and asked for her hand.

“There’s something I have to tell you about me,” he sighed as he wrapped his fingers around hers, “but it has to wait.”

“Okay,” she said, thinking his hand felt exactly as she’d imagined; dry, warm, protective. His fingers were large and she could imagine them sliding over her body; she could also imagine them slapping her butt.  “Should I be worried? You’re not married, or engaged or something?”

“No, no, of course not,” he said quickly.

“So tell me. Why wait?”

He paused, and made a decision. He knew it was selfish, but…

“I’ll tell you when I say goodbye at your car. Shall we?” he asked, standing up but keeping hold of her hand.

Grabbing her jacket and bag she followed him outside filled with apprehension; the air had kept its promise; it was cold.  Helping her into her coat he put his arm around her shoulders as they headed down the block.

“We’re here,” she said. “I know I’m stating the obvious, but you’ve got me really curious.”

She turned to face him, and as their eyes touched she knew immediately what was about to happen. She heard herself lightly gasp, and when he placed his large hands on either side of her face her heart came to a total and complete stop.

Lowering his lips to hers, lingering his mouth, he kissed her softly and gently, making her stomach flip and her toes curl.  Slowly withdrawing he gazed at her, then taking a deep breath he said,

“Are you ready?”

“Yes…” she breathed. “Please tell me…”

“I…

“Wait!  Will you hug me first?”

Before his arms were even completely around her she was sinking against his chest.

I don’t care what it is, I don’t care. I never want to leave this hug…never…except to feel that kiss again. Ooh, this is absolute heaven. 

“Belinda,” he whispered, “I’m a stuntman.”

 

https://www.amazon.com/author/maggiecarpenter

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