This isn't really anything, just an attempt of mine to get something published in the hopes that it'll help me get back in the writing groove.


"This was so nice," Paige said with a smile as they reached her door. "I really..." she paused. "I really enjoyed myself tonight."

"Me too," Walter said. "Except for when the waiter implied that my seating requests were an inconvenience to the establishment."

She gave a little laugh. He liked that little laugh. "Walter, don't let that bother you."

"It's not...so much...that, that bothers me," he said. "At least not now. Now I'm thinking about how I made a big deal about his comments and that probably detracted from your overall enjoyment of our date."

"I don't think you dwelled on it as much as you think you did," Paige said. She slid a hand up to his neck. "You were very romantic tonight."

His eyebrows lifted slightly. "Really?" He said, the hopefulness evident in his voice. He'd tried. He'd looked up subtle romantic gestures to make on a first date and had selected several to use. He hadn't wanted to go overboard, but now he'd realized he'd employed a few more of the suggestions. Her eyes looked beautiful when they lit up.

She giggled quietly, leaning in close. "Yes."

Her eyelids half closed, and he kissed her gently, his hands resting on her waist. He could feel her body heat through her dress, and when he applied slight pressure to her hips with the pads of his fingers, she stepped even closer. When their lips separated, she smiled and pushed her nose into his cheek. The affectionate bump made Walter suddenly want to hug her, hold her, and he took advantage of their close proximity to draw her against him. "I love you," he said in a low voice.

"I love you," she murmured, and he could feel her breath as she spoke against the crook of his neck. They stood there, quietly, and then she pulled back slightly, not moving out of his arms, but far enough back to be able to tip her head and see his face. "Do you, uh..." she bit her lip. "Wanna come in?"

Walter froze. He might be a genius, but he wasn't stupid. "Uh..."

"I mean..." she pulled back, stepping away from him, looking suddenly flustered. "I mean...if you don't...want to..."

"No, it's..." he hadn't the slightest idea how to respond. He loved her. He was so attracted to her sometimes he couldn't think straight. But... "I..."

"Too much too soon," Paige said, nodding. "I understand."

She was disappointed. He could see it in the eyes he'd spent the last two hours making light up. "Please don't think that, uh, it's..." he stepped closer to her again. It's not you. Oh God, it's not you.

She shook her head. "I don't. It's our first date. I never do this on a first date either."

"But you...you wanted to...on our first date?"

"Well," she said, "I've never been in love on the first date."

He faltered. "Oh."

"But Walter," she said, sliding her hands up to either side of his face, "I don't want to pressure you. Just know that whenever you're ready, so am I."

You won't be waiting long. He reached up and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "Thank you."

"Good night," she said, brushing her lips against his. "I'll see you at work."