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.”
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.
“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.”
“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.