Because there must be a date night.
2nd in 4 part series
'Tale as old as time
True as it can be.
Barely even friends,
then somebody bends
The music played full blast in the kitchen as Chloe grabbed a container of cut tomatoes from the fridge to add to the salad. Doing a little twirl in time to the music, she started singing along as she threw them into the bowl.
And of course it had to be since Martin was coming for dinner tonight. And it was going to be just him and her for dinner and a movie, much to the disappointment of Arthur, the amusement of Douglas, and the raised eyebrow of Carolyn. But this was going to be different than the usual dinners (or what they assumed was dinner) they had while taking flights on Gerti.
This time, she was cooking.
And it was chicken for supper.
First time making it too.
Fingers crossed that it turned out fine.
Turning off the music, she stepped back and thought for a moment. The chicken should be done in about 30 minutes and she'd keep it warm in the oven until Martin was due to arrive another 45 minutes later. She still needed to change out of her jersey and sweats into something more 'date-worthy', but there was plenty of time for that, she decided as she let out a yawn. Stretching out on the sofa, she took a deep breath as she snuggled down into the pillow. Just a little cat nap before finishing up dinner. Before she had realized it, she had fallen into a deep sleep...only to be woken nearly 2 hours later by the smell of something burning.
"Oh god! The chicken!" she nearly screamed, wide awake now as she took off towards the oven. Grabbing the oven mitts, she threw open the oven door only to have the room quickly fill with smoke and the smoke detector going off in her ears. The noise was so loud, that in the midst of opening a window she could hardly hear the thumping on the door and the frantic calls of 'Chloe! Are you alright?' It was when she started to cough that she heard the sound of her door being flung open and a familiar voice calling her name as it hurried towards her.
"Martin?" she coughed.
Things then went very quickly as a flash of ginger rushed past her, quickly pulling the smoldering pan out of the oven and tossing it into the sink before dousing it all with cold water. The water hissed and bubbled at the contrasting hot and cold, causing Martin to wave his hands back and forth to clear the steam. As the last of the steam and smell of smoke started to clear, his attention turned back to Chloe, still battling a bit of cough from the smoke.
"Chloe! Thank goodness! Are you alright?" he asked frantically as he grabbed her shoulders.
Slowly, she nodded. "I'll be alright... But...it's ruined..."
"The dinner...it's ruined..." she cried. "Martin, I'm so sorry."
"What do you mean?"
"I...I wanted to cook a nice meal for you since you're always eating pasta and toast, so I thought I'd try making a chicken. Except I've never done one before so I didn't know quite how long to cook it and then I overslept and now the chicken's brunt to a crisp and soaking wet..." She looked down at her oversized sports jersey and sweats. "And I look like a wreck..." she sobbed as he wrapped his arms around her.
"Well I think it's very sweet that you tried, you look absolutely lovely whatever you're wearing and I like water-logged chicken just as much as the next chap." he smiled as he squeezed her tight.
She let out a chuckle. Martin always seemed to know the right thing to say to make her smile. "Don't be ridiculous. I'm not making you eat water-logged chicken." She looked over at the burnt chicken floating in the sink and sighed. "No use crying over brunt chicken. I put some garlic bread and some salad together already. I guess I can throw something else together to go with it."
He smirked. "I know just the thing."
Thirty minutes later, the two of them sat on the sofa, watching a movie while eating spaghetti.
"This is really good." Martin said as he shoved another forkful in his mouth.
"Come on Martin... You eat this all the time."
"Yeah, but I usually don't get all the extras and sauce along with it. Usually it's just butter and noodles."
She smiled. It didn't seem to take much to make Martin happy, even if it was just some meat sauce and a bag salad. "Well, maybe next time you'll get the chicken to go along with it."
"Next time?" he grinned.
"I don't see why not."
For the next few minutes they ate in silence, content with the glances that passed between them as they both cleaned their plates of their meals.
"What are we watching anyway?" he asked, changing the subject and desperate to break the silence.
"Titanic." she replied with a grin.
"Really?" He gave Chloe a look. "A movie about a ship? Couldn't we watch one about a plane?"
"Martin, for the past 6 trips I've had to watch 'Airplane' there and back. If I had to watch it again, I was going to scream. Besides, a chick flick would do you some good."
"Fine..." he replied reluctantly, deciding to watch it for her but determined that he wouldn't like it.
But within a few minutes, he was deeply involved in the story of Rose and Jack; holding his breath as Rose lost her footing on the railing, smiling at the party in third class and fidgeting rather uncomfortably when Rose said that she wanted Jack to draw her wearing only the 'Heart of the Ocean' around her neck.
"Martin, I do believe you're blushing." she had grinned as the drawing scene played over the screen while he tried not to notice.
As the final scene played, Martin wiped the unshed tears from his eyes, hoping that Chloe wouldn't notice and that he wouldn't have had to admit liking the film. He needn't have worried. Leaning on his shoulder, she had fallen asleep; a smile on her face as she was lost in sweet dreams.
Smiling, he gently kissed her temple, causing her to stir ever so slightly in his arms.
"Is the movie over?" she mumbled.
"Mmmhmm... Just finished." He thought her next move would be to get up so he could head home, but she made no attempt to move.
"Aren't you going to bed?" He asked.
Slowly she shook her head. "Too comfortable..." she mumbled as she drifted back into sleep.
Chuckling, he managed to grab a pillow by the couch, gently positioning it under her head so he could slide out. Then grabbing a throw from a chair, he draped it over her, making sure she wouldn't be cold. He was just about to walk out the door when he turned back to her sleeping form on the couch and crouched down next to her. Brushing the hair out of her face, he leaned over and left a kiss on her cheek.
"I...I love you Chloe Price."
Finally he had said it. True he said it when she was asleep, but to say it at all was the greatest feeling in the world. He was just about to get back up when he felt Chloe grab his hand as she said his name. Instantly his heart stopped. Had she heard him? He had never made that confession to anyone before... What would she think? But instead she pulled him closer and kissed his lips, leaving him surprised as he wrapped his arms around her. She was the one who broke the embrace first and smiled up at him with a perfectly dazzling smile.
"I love you too Martin Crieff."
Relieved, he let out a breath. It almost seemed to good to be true. He had always figured that after hitting 30 that finding someone wasn't going to happen and yet here he was; with a girl who cared for him as much as he did for her.
"So...Sydney?" she spoke up.
"Hmm...What?" he asked, slightly dazed.
"Sydney." she repeated, trying not to laugh. "Don't we have a job for Carolyn early tomorrow heading to Sydney?"
"Oh! Right, right, right! You're completely right. I really should go... Captain's got to be ready and rested for the flight. I had a great time tonight."
"So did I." she agreed as she snuggled back down into her pillow. "We'll have to do it again soon."
"Definitely." Gently, he pulled the covers back over her, but not before stealing one last kiss.
"Good night Chloe." he whispered as she drifted back into sleep, taking extra care to close and lock the door quietly behind him. Once he was sure no one was watching, he gave a silent 'YES!' and a little jump of joy before walking toward his home.
Wait until he tells Douglas...