Thanks A Million to my wonderful beta - Clglover
Tony's: An Italian bar that while is quite romantic and appropriate for a first date, it is also crowded enough on a Sunday evening that if this goes bad it may deter all parties from making a giant scene. God, I prayed she wasn't that type.
I sat in the foyer of the familiar restaurant waiting on my life to start. Tonight would either bring about a new relationship; a relationship I had been fantasizing about for two months now, or a new distaste for dating altogether. I hadn't "dated" in years. Who needed the stress? Two people trying to get to know each other but only showing their best qualities, which are often times exaggerated. Dating and relationships were overrated, but I was prepared to set all those prejudices to the side for Alice. After all, even before I laid eyes on the beautiful woman I now so impatiently waited for, I decided that my life needed a change.
Nervous wasn't a strong enough word to describe my state. I was sure I was scaring the hostess as she kept looking up at me, likely gauging my sudden movements or bouncing knee. Being overly anxious was bad enough, but thanks to Rosalie's doing my hair, I was also unbelievably uncomfortable. The one hundred hair pins holding my massive brown hair up was ticking away at an already fractured nerve.
"All this hair covers up your gorgeous face. Let the girl see you."
I loved Rosalie. She knew I was a mess behind this date and because of that she happily provided the evening's liquid courage: Patron. Nothing better to ease the mind like ultra smooth tequila.
"You tell this fairy of yours that if she hurts you I will pluck her wings clean the hell off."
"She's a pixie, Rosalie, but I will pass that message on," I said as I sent back a shot of the wonderful burn, while Rosalie continued to assault me with deadly hair weapons.
I was feeling more confident with each drink I took, but that confidence was gone as soon as I saw the white lights of the giant neon sign of my current location.
"Is this your party approaching now, ma'am?" the hostess asked.
I quickly stood facing the tinted oversized window. It was none other than the women of my dreams. I couldn't help but notice she looked just as nervous as I felt. For that, I was grateful.
We were escorted to our table. I trailed behind Alice taking survey of how her green dress fell. It was just long enough to cover all essential parts but teased immensely. The waitress leading the way must have known this was going to be a date that required much privacy as she led us to a table away from the remaining patrons. The table was actually a four-person connected booth tucked away in the corner of the dinning room, but close to the bar. I was sure to tip her tremendously when the night was over.
Alice slid into the booth, still not uttering a word besides her initial "hello." I was no better in the realm of communications to that point as I was no longer feeling the effects of the Patron. We each remained on the outer edge of the booth, leaving the center vacant, only occupied by the tension between us. We had slept together, we had danced, snuggled, and drank together, but never had we eaten together; this was showing proof to be the trying of the events shared between us.
I couldn't read Alice enough to know if it was her nervousness keeping her quiet or if she was regretting accepting this evening with me. She made little-to-no eye contact and her nails seemed to fascinate her immensely.
"You look beautiful this evening," I stated trying to break the Titanic size iceberg between us.
"Thank you. I designed this myself." Alice was bashful.
"Really? You're into fashion?" The conversation was beginning the progress smoothly.
"You can say that. I have my own clothing line. It's called Foreseen Fashion. I just did a run way show. That's why I was in New York."
"Oh," was my wonderfully crafted response. I wasn't sure why I didn't have anything after that but my brain stopped working. Why didn't I tell her I had heard of her line by way of Rosalie? Why didn't I continue to compliment her or even tell her why I was in New York? The possibilities of conversations should have been endless, yet the capability of my brain to construct educated sentences left me entirely.
With that, the awkward silence returned. Alice picked up her menu, keeping her eyes diverted from me. I was grateful for a moment. I tried to gather my thoughts. I already knew what I was going to order.
"Good evening. My name is Jessica and I will be your server. Can I interest you in a bottle of red wine?"
"Yes!" Alice and I both spoke up at the same time. The server began pouring the drink in our glasses looking back and forth between Alice and me. She was a pretty girl; if you like the girl next door look, but I wasn't getting the sense that she was checking me or Alice out. She obviously didn't play for the team we were on. Not to toot my own horn but I was looking pretty damn hot and Alice was absolutely ravishing. If she wasn't into us, she wasn't into girls. No, there was something else behind her smile; I just didn't know what that was.
I didn't know what the red wine would do to my already elaborated body thanks to the several shots of Patron but I was willing to take the chance.
"Would you like to order now or would you like another minute to look over your menus?" Jessica asked leaving the wine bottle on the table.
"I'm ready if you are, Bella," Alice stated looking me in the eye for the first time. Her seductive mysterious shadow that made her eyes even more enticing, that which I witnessed our first night together, was back. Something was different this time; behind the sexy shading was a meeker person; not the seductress I had met on earlier accounts.
I was struck dumb yet again by the sight before me and the sound of her enchanting voice. I was able to shake myself out of my drooling state long enough to speak, "Yes, I'm ready. Go ahead, Alice."
"I'll have your Lasagna with a Caesar Salad but with Italian dressing instead," Alice handed her menu to the Jessica and giving the server a toothy smile.
"I'll have the same, only with a garden salad with Ranch dressing."
"I will return shortly with your order," Jessica said as she walked away.
And the silence returned. It lingered between us for what seemed like forever. We had both finished off our first glass of wine and were working on our second. We each stole glances, quickly averting our eyes when the other noticed.
Knowing this night couldn't constitute as a date if we didn't actually speak to each other, I swallowed the fear that built up in my throat and sought out to do what was needed. I wanted to be with Alice in every way possible, but before that could happen we had to get pass the events of our first encounter. It was not the night I regretted but a morning that lived on with me everyday since. It was that which would set the course for the rest of this evening. While I thought it was best if I held out till after we ate, I could no longer take the deafening silence between us. If she walked away I would understand, but I had to try.
I took advantage of her averted eyes, as she gazed at the remaining patrons. I slid the infamous note in front of her, wide open, revealing its message.
The note didn't look as it did the day it accompanied me in bed. The paper was stained with more tears. The stationary had been folded and refolded multiple times, in incorrect fashion, giving it multiple creases. The creases were all stained with the oils of the hand that handled them, also causing the paper to look dirty. Some of the ink had even smeared as it mixed with the said oils and tears. The paper was worn, and appeared to be abused and mistreated, which was to be expected as it followed me every single day since I received it. It had hitched a ride in every single pair of jeans I owned, not that the hard copy was ever needed. The words of that very note were tattooed across my mind and I could see it in my mind's eye whenever I dared to blink. The rumpled note was a mirror image of how I felt inside ever since that dreaded morning.
Alice looked down at the note unmoving, not speaking. I didn't dare break her concentration. I wasn't sure what I expected her to say. Did I want her to apology or explain her self? I just wanted, I needed, to hear it, whatever it was, in her voice. I wanted her to acknowledge it was a mistake and that she wanted to stay with me that day. I wanted her to say she was not sorry and that she still felt the same way. I wanted her to do something just so that I knew where I was to go from there. She had the ball in her court.
What I did not want was what I got.
Alice slowly lifted her head and looked somberly at my face. Tears were streaming out of her eyes collecting the makeup on her skin as it traveled down her cheeks and landing on the paper before her. The note had caught many tears. I was broken by the sight before me. I could feel the sharp pain that shot through my chest as I realized I had hurt her unintentionally. Her tears prompted me to act.
I slid into the middle of the large booth. Once I was in arms reach of her I pulled her to me so that she pressed her side against mine. As my body connected with her, the flood gates opened and the tears streamed down her face constantly, each one slicing my heart.
"I am so sorry I promised I didn't mean it, it was just I was so afraid you wouldn't want me, I mean, I heard how you did other girls and though I so wanted to be with you, I wouldn't have been able to bear being left alone by you, I have admired you for so long and I figured if I just left you before . . ." Alice was talking so fast I wasn't sure I heard every single word but I knew I heard enough.
"Whoa! Whoa! Alice, slow down. Now, what do you mean you knew me?"
I listened intently as Alice explained to me how she had seen me countless times at various bars picking up women. She had heard all about my one night stands and conquest, but of all the things Alice said, one thing stuck out above all the horrible truths she knew about me.
"I knew you were more than what everyone was saying. I wanted to be with you regardless of all of that. I wanted the real you. I still do."
She knew me. Alice knew my reputation and was afraid I was going to burn her the way I had burned dozens of others. I shouldn't have been surprised. My reputation did always precede me. I should have known I was the fault for my own torment. I was elated to know she wanted to be with me; still wanted to be with me.
Just then, Jessica returned with our food and another bottle of wine. While she had been smiling since she showed us our table, mine and Alice's new position closely seated in the middle of the over sized booth please her based on the growth of her smile. Looking at her cheesing like a Cheshire cat made me want to smile as well. And why not smile? The girl that I couldn't shake for months just told me that she wanted to be with me, and I was going to tell her the same thing.
"Alice, I want nothing more than to wake up to you morning after morning. I want to be with you, too. My life has been hell since you left me." I wiped away the dreaded tears that continued to escape her. Her breath caught as she registered what I said.
"Sorry for being such a coward. If only I had stayed," Alice said as she cupped her right hand on my cheek. I could see the light returning to her eyes as she listened to my declaration.
I slowly leaned closer into her, watching her as I made my way to kiss her full lips. My eyes beg for permission and I was so granted as Alice closed her eyes and pressed herself closer into me. What began as sweet pecks turned into pure passion as we greedily consumed each others mouth. I licked her bottom lip and she granted my access to consume her more. Alice moaned into my mouth; a sound that ignited the flames of lust in me. I reluctantly began to pull away from her, remembering we were in a fairly crowded restaurant where children were present.
Alice leaned her forehead on my shoulder, "God I imagined that for so long," she whispered slowly returning her gaze to my face.
"Yeah, me too. No more wishing." I was just as breathless.
"No more wishing."
Alice and I completed dinner and opted to share a more private desert. The cab ride back to my place was the return of the awkward silence but I was better equipped to handle it. Alice never let go of my hand as we climbed into the cab and began making our way across town. I slid her closer to my side, wrapping my arms around her as I leaned her into my chest. I began to nibble on her earlobe and placed soft kisses down the line of her neck.
"You are the most beautiful woman in the world," I said between seductions.
"Isabella . . ."
My toes instantly curled at the sound of my name. Why her? Why was she able to do things to me with a simple word I had grown up hating?
We found our way upstairs never losing contact with each other. I fumbled with the lock with the anticipation of having Alice in my bed. Not a foreign bed in some hotel across town that was shared by hundreds of strangers, both my conquest and others. This was going to be intimate, our first night together and I didn't want to have her anywhere other than my bed. Once inside I pulled her back to my arms, kissing her passionately.
"I've missed you so much, Alice."
"I will never leave you again. I promise Bella," the look in Alice's eyes was of devotion and honesty. It made me want her ever more.
We hungrily undressed each other as I pulled her to my bed. Her body was more gorgeous than I remembered. I consumed every ounce of her cool skin. I worshipped her body repeatedly. I wanted to know every curve to her. I pleasured her warm center, tasting her, rubbing her, pleasuring her core sending my name from her lips countless times. I never wanted to remove myself from her hold.
We lay in the bed facing one another, body parts tangled together. Alice laid sleeping, succumbing to the exhaustion of her body, and I lay watching her, softly rubbing my fingers through her soft jet black hair. Slowly my own sleep claimed me.
I awoke the next morning to an empty bed. Panic gripped my body as I began to think that I was left alone again. I stilled my body, to afraid to look at the pillow next to me unsure of what I would find there. I wouldn't be able to pick my self up after this again. Before confirming my fear, I felt the tears burning their trail down my face.
"Morning, babe!" Alice said bouncing into the room with two cups of coffee in her hands, wearing my sleep shirt I kept draped across the chair in my room. How she managed not to spill a drop of steaming hot coffee as she spun around required a skill that I was sure few possessed.
"Alice . . ." her name rolled off my tongue with a mix of questioning and relief. I closed my eyes taking deep breaths to steady my pounding heart.
"Oh darlin' what's wrong," Alice hurried to my side of the bed, putting the coffee cups on the night stand and straddled my lap.
I let out a not so convincing laugh, "I though you were gone again." I was so ashamed of my lack of trust in her I kept my eyes closed, not wanting her to see the distrust and likely fear in them. I laid my head on her shoulder as she wrapped her arms around my neck and began weaving her fingers through my hair.
"Isabella, I am so sorry I scared you but I promise I will never leave you again. I couldn't survive if I left you again. Please forgive me for making you feel this way." Alice was almost to her own tears. I couldn't bear to see her cry as well.
"I do, Alice. I really do. This is just all so new to me. I haven't felt this way about someone . . . ever." I had to be honest with her; I wanted Alice to know everything about me. I wanted her to know the things that were both expected and unexpected. I wanted her to know me beyond my night club reputation. "Okay no more crying," I said wiping my tears away with the back of my hands. "Let's grab some food, my little pixie."
Alice giggled as she leaned her lips to mine.
The return of her smile proved to me that we would be okay.
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