���� When Kaycee heard the subtle knock on the door her heart began to rapidly beat and her stomach took a quick nosedive to the soles of her feet.� She was clearly giddy and nervous.� Although the air conditioning was running, she could feel the nervous perspiration creep up on her.� She wiped the unexpected beads from her forehead and inspected herself in the mirror one last time.� Satisfied and suddenly wishing she had some much needed vodka she opened the front door.
���� Is it possible that he's even better looking than he was only a few minutes ago?
���� His dress was as casual as her attire of jeans shorts and a pink lace camisole.� She instantly noticed that his tanned skin was deeply enhanced against the bright white of his tank top.� His smile was reassuring and breathtaking; clearly able to knock her off her own feet.
���� "I called room service and told them to deliver my dinner here," he started "I hope you don't mind."
���� "Of course not," her voice trembled "please come in."
���� "Thank you."
���� She shut the door behind him.� "I would offer you a drink but the only thing I have is a bucket of ice."�
���� Okay Kaycee, you can shut up now.
���� Laughing, he said "If it's any consolation I did add a bottle of wine to my order."
���� Her voice had shut down and she was unable to utter a single word.
���� "You really are nervous aren't you?" he alleged.
���� "Yes, I guess I am.� It's just been a long time since I've been on a date."� As soon as the words came out she wanted to suck them right back in and swallow.� This isn't a date you idiot!� It's a simple dinner between two people.
���� "A date huh?"� He teased.
���� "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to assume…"
���� "Actually," he interjected "I'm quite flattered that you would consider this a date."
���� This is not starting off too well.
���� It wasn't long before Kaycee heard the quick knock on the door and found that she was more than thankful for the intrusion.�
���� "Excuse me."� She walked passed him and opened the door, desperately wanting that vodka.
���� The attendant advanced into the room maneuvering a silver cart.� He appeared to be in his late teens or early twenty's.� He had short dark hair and matching eyes.� His facial appearance bared a striking resemblance to the elderly lady.� Probably a grandson, Kaycee thought.
���� He parked at the small round table across the room and removed the two plates of food along with a bottle of Cabernet and three cups filled with clear liquid, and then nicely arranged everything.
���� Before Kaycee had a chance to reach into her handbag and retrieve her credit card, Nick handed cash to the attendant to pay for both meals, along with a generous tip.� When the boy left, he turned and faced Kaycee.
���� "I wouldn't be a gentleman if I let you pay for your own dinner, now would I?"
���� "Thank you," she said "that's very generous of you."
���� "Believe me, it's my pleasure."
���� He couldn't believe how easy this was turning out to be.� She would be putty in his hands before the night was over.
���� "Can I pour you a glass of wine?"
���� "Actually, I think I need something a little stronger to start."�
���� That's good Kaycee!� Let him think you're a drunk now.
���� "I mean…"
���� "No need to explain," he told her "I'm going to assume that's not ice water in those cups?"
���� "No," she laughed "vodka, I wasn't anticipating company tonight so I ordered enough to last me the entire night."
���� "Mind if I join you?"
���� "Not at all." She handed him one of the filled cups and then took a liberal swallow out of her own, determined to alter her case of juvenile nervousness.
���� After they had finished with their drink they made the decision to split the last cup between the two of them before eating.�
���� It was working, she realized.� The soothing liquid had done its job.� She was relaxing quite a bit now and was enjoying his company, suddenly hoping that the evening wasn't going to end anytime soon.
���� "Hungry?"� She asked after she swallowed the last of her vodka.
���� "Actually, yes I am."� He quickly followed and finished off his own glass then removed the lids that covered their plates of food.
���� "Great minds think alike." He said.
���� "Dinner," he laughed "It seems we've ordered the exact same thing for dinner.
���� "So it seems."� She joined him and laughed.
���� Dinner was delectable and most of it was spent in casual conversation.� When they had finished, Nick poured two glasses of wine and handed one to her.�
���� It was time to step up the small talk.
���� "I'd like to make a toast," he held up his glass and clanked it into hers "to spending more time together and getting to know one another on a more personal level."
���� "I'd like that."� She took a sip of the pale red liquid and swallowed.
���� "Are you from around here?"
���� "I guess you could say that."
� ���"You guess?"�
���� "To put it simply, I use to have a house on the beach, but for some reason my so-called best friend Brenda got a wild hair up her ass and sold it."
���� Shut up Kaycee, he doesn't want to hear about your personal problems. ��
���� "Wow!� I'm sorry to hear that."� He consoled.
���� "Look, I'm sorry;" she suddenly said "I'm sure the last thing you want to hear is someone else's problems so I won't bore you with the details."
���� "Really it's okay.� Besides, I like hearing you talk."
���� "So tell me," he continued "just exactly how did this Brenda person sell your house?"
���� "It's a long story."� Although he knew the story perfectly well he couldn't help but wonder if she would share the details with him; a virtual stranger.
���� He poured her another glass of wine then said, "I have all night if you want to talk."
���� "Thank you."� She said, and then took a sip of wine.
���� "I guess what it boils down to is I went away for awhile and Brenda basically had power of attorney over my house.� She said there were too many memories for me to live there and that's why she sold it."
���� "You don't believe her?"� Keep the wine coming, and she'll talk all night.
���� "Well, there are a lot of memories I guess you could say."
���� "Good or bad?"
���� "Why are you so easy to talk to?"
���� "Maybe it's because you're drinking yourself into a stupor."� He wanted to say, but didn't.
���� "Sometimes it's easier to talk to someone that you don't know very well and doesn't pass judgment on others.� And because I'm a good listener."� He smiled.
���� "Most of the memories are very good," she continued "but it's the bad ones that I want to forget."� He watched her for a moment and could see the tears beginning to form.
���� "I'm sorry Kaycee."� He moved closer to her and held her in his arms.
���� "Five years ago, I went for a jog on the beach.� When I came back, I found my husband and two kids dead.� After I spent two years mourning them the pain was still too heavy to bear so I checked myself into a private facility to help me come to terms with their deaths."
���� "I'm so sorry."� He almost did feel sorry for her.
���� He didn't know what else to say so he kept her in his arms while she continued to let her tears fall.
���� "I spent three years there."� She blurted out.
���� "Maybe your friend was doing you a favor.� It sounds to me like she did what she thought was best for you Kaycee."� He suggested.
���� She pulled away from his chest and wiped her eyes.
���� "You're probably right," she cried "but that doesn't help my situation.� I'm still homeless!"
���� "Maybe what you really need is a fresh start in a different place."�
���� God this was going to be so easy!
���� "Maybe you're right."� She agreed.� "God, listen to me, you probably think I'm a nutcase.� I'm sorry if I ruined the evening and if you want to leave I understand."
���� "Don't be silly.� I'm glad I got to know this part of you and I was actually going to suggest that I stay with you tonight.� You're upset and with good reason, and I wouldn't want you to be alone."
���� "You would really stay with me tonight?"
���� Don't be stupid Kaycee!
���� "I would stay with you tonight and every other night, if you wanted me to.� I'm growing very fond of you Kaycee."� He looked into her face and wiped a lingering tear away then found her lips.� They embraced in a passionate kiss.
���� "I have an idea, how about we order another bottle of wine and watch a movie.� They do have free HBO here," he laughed, "Maybe a movie would get your mind off of your situation, for now anyway."
���� "That sounds like a good idea."
���� "Besides," he said, "I may have the solution to all of your problems."� With that, he once again planted his lips on hers before she had a chance to say anything.