The restaurant Evan has chosen is a cute little place called “Aloha Aloha.” It’s definitely a ‘local’s favorite’ from the looks of it. It’s small and set right on the beach’s edge. He chooses an outdoor table, and I’m glad he did so the second I sit down. The sun is setting and is oh so beautiful. The pink and crimson colors overlap, the orange hue illuminating the entire sky. I get lost in the sight, my ears becoming lulled to the soft sound of waves lapping up against the shore. It has the most calming effect on my shaky nerves.
A short plump waitress approaches our table. She has a ring in her nose and lots of make up on her face. She pulls a pad of paper and a pen out of her large front pocket, tucking a strand of her long hair behind her ear. Her hair is the darkest and silkiest shade of black I’ve ever seen on a human before. How lovely.
She looks from Evan to me and then smiles.
“Hi my name’s Tania! I’ll be taking care of you folks this evening. Our specials for today are at the bottom of your menus and anything else you wanna know, just call me over and ask! Can I start you off with something to drink?”
Her voice is loud and her timbre is surprisingly low in pitch. I glance at her shoulders and notice how broad they are. My eyes move up to her thick neck and I do a double take as I realize that yes, she does have an adam’s apple. Perhaps her name wasn’t always Tania. Maybe it used to be Tanner. Or Trevor.
Evan doesn’t seem to be phased by her appearance and points at the alcoholic drink list.
“I’ll have the Captain’s Remorse and – actually just make that two of them.”
Did he just order my drink for me? I raise a brow at him and he does that smile that gets my butterflies stirred into a frenzy.
The waitress nods and scuttles back into the kitchen.
“It’s their specialty drink here,” Evan explains, not missing a beat. “They’re known for it. And if you don’t like it, I’ll just have the rest of yours and we can get you something different.”
I purse my lips but finally nod. My mom always told me to never let a man do something for you, unless indicated otherwise. If they got used to doing things for you, they’d start to become controlling. At least, that’s what my mother said. I always believed it was a load of hogwash, but as I think of it now I wonder if there’s any truth behind it.
The drinks arrive only moments later and as I take my first sip, I’m surprised by how tangy and tasty it is. My expression must be giving away my thoughts, because Evan cracks a smile and starts to laugh.
“You look surprised that something so visually unappealing tastes so good. Am I right?” he asks, his eyes warm and happy.
“Well, not entirely. I’ve seen drinks far less appealing than this before. But to say I’m surprised by its pleasant taste, yes, I’d say that is true.”
Evan cocks his head to the side and his eyes scrutinize my face.
“You’re different from most women around here, ya know that?”
Oh buddy, you have no idea. I shrug and take another sip. I’m shocked I can’t taste much of the alcohol but there must be a lot in it. This is only sip two and already I can feel my insides becoming warm and swirly.
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” I say in response.
I sometimes wonder how I come off on a first date. I may look the part of a twenty-first century gal, but my mindset is far from normal.
“And I’m sorry I didn’t mention it earlier, but you look positively radiant tonight,” Evan adds.
He glances at me from across the table and I flush as his eyes trail the length of my chest and torso.
“Thanks,” I respond and automatically grab for my drink to take another much needed sip of my Captain’s Remorse.
As dinner winds down, I’ve found that I’ve been able to loosen up and relax. To my utter delight, Evan is very charming and very funny. Despite the alcohol, he has made me burst into a fit of laughter too many times to count. He is just so witty!
I wonder why he’s single. And then it dawns on me. There’s a chance he isn’t.
My stomach drops to the bottom of the floor and I furtively glance up at him as he wipes his plate clean with his spoon.
“Evan, are you single?” I ask, the alcohol impeding my otherwise courteous form of questioning.
He frowns and then laughs as if my inquisition is preposterous.
“Yea I’m single Stella. You really think I’d ask you on a date if I wasn’t?”
I shrug. Guys nowadays aren’t the same as they used to be. They’re shadier, not as reliable. Maybe I’m just too negative, too jaded. Nevertheless, I always like to be sure…just in case. His face becomes serious and his eyes darken a degree.
“Are you single?” he fires back at me.
Whoa. Talk about a change in demeanor.
“Yes of course I am,” I snap back.
I haven’t even been on a date in over a hundred years! Evan holds up his hands in defense, shaking his head slowly. His eyes lighten back to their original state and he whistles low under his breath.
“Ok, ok. Jeez. I’m not trying to get you upset or step over any personal boundary here, Stella. But you did ask me first. And – in my defense - I showed up at your house to pick you up for our date and your ex-husband was chillin’ in your living room. That doesn’t exactly scream ‘I’m single.’”
His voice is layered with accusation and suddenly I feel like I’m on the defense again. Or maybe it’s just the alcohol. My head feels like it’s swimming. No more drinks for me, that’s for sure. I should have stopped after two. I know that’s my limit. But they tasted so good…
“Do you want another?” Evan asks, tilting his head to the empty glass planted firmly within my hands.
I stare down at it, the cubes of ice looking naked without their proper liquid drink to cover them up.
“He really is my ex-husband,” I mumble, ignoring his question about the drink. “And I haven’t seen him in years.”
“Yes,” I confirm. “Not until tonight.”
Evan leans back in his chair, the bottom of his shirt lifting ever so slightly to show his lean hips and muscular stomach. He looks delectable. I feel a stirring within a region a bit below my stomach and I can’t help but lick my lips.
He sees my reaction, and blushes himself.
“Do you think your ex is still at your place?” Evan asks as he waves the waitress over to give her his credit card.
I can’t feel his presence like I could earlier, so my guess would be no. But he hides himself well nowadays, so I could be way off.
“I have no idea,” I answer honestly.
Desire burns in Evan’s eyes as I stand from the table. I haven’t had a man look at me like that in quite some time. Well, at least not one that I wanted to look at me like that.
“Well, do you want to come back to my place?” Evan asks timidly.
Suddenly he looks far younger than his age – which I would guess to be around thirty or so. He looks vulnerable, innocent even.
A slow smile creeps onto my face but I shake my head.
“I appreciate the offer. But I have some things to do at my place tonight anyway, the first of which will be kicking out my ex.”
Evan’s shoulders sag but he nods in understanding.
“Alright. I’ll take you back then.”
I look at him, suppressing a childish giggle, and playfully run my fingers down his arm.
“I said I wouldn’t stay at your place tonight Evan. But I have nothing against you staying at mine….if you want to that is.”
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