I mind my speed driving home, pulling into the garage at 7:00pm. Plenty of grooming time before Pete arrives. I go into the house, the garage door opens strait into the kitchen. I cross the room to the fridge and store my sandwich away. The little cabinet over the fridge is where I keep my vases. I have to get on tip toe to reach the handle but manage to get a vase down. Wow, dusty with a dead fly in the bottom of it. I guess you would say it has been a while since I got flowers. Prom corsage perhaps? I laugh out loud as I wash out the vase and add fresh water. I quickly arrange the flowers and place the bouquet in the middle of my little dining table. They look perfect. I walk out of the open concept kitchen, across the great room to the stairs and quickly climb them. I pass the little alcove I use for my home office and drop my purse on the desk top. I go into my bedroom and strait through to the bath. I quickly undress and shower.
Once through the shower I wrap my long hair in a towel and grab my robe from the hook on the back of the bathroom door. As I pass thru the bedroom I get a slightly dirty look from Linus he had been happily napping on my bed until I so rudely disrupted his slumber. I head to my room-closet. My happy place the second bedroom of my place is my closet. One does not own a ladies clothing store and not have a few things of her own. I start in the light dresses not finding what I am looking for. I glance at the clock 7:25pm. Black dress emergency. Going to have to go with the safe bet, the sure thing as Lindsey would put it. Problem, I have five of them. Which little black dress? The ‘v’ neck? The scoop neck? The empire waist? The “omg its short”? Or the square neckline mid thigh one with the lace overlay? Do I go with hair up or down? Or half up only in front?
After a few minutes deliberation I went with my square neck with the lace overlay, feminine, easy to accessorize and classic. I decided hair down and allowed to curl naturally into waves. Light touches of black eyeliner and gray and black eye shadows give me sultry eyes, the natural blue color accented not hidden behind the shadow. I choose to wear a fresh water pearl necklace, my father gave me when I turned 21, paired with some silver stud earrings as my only accessories. I grabbed a small black beaded clutch, basic black heels and whoalah I was as ready as I was gonna get. I stop at the alcove and grab the essentials out of my daily bag as I head down stairs
Once down the stairs the wait starts for the bell to ring. I go into the kitchen, checking the fridge, for what I don’t even know. Nervous fridge stalking I guess. I fiddle with the pearl necklace and an image of my dad pops into mind. It only last a second I am not going to let thoughts of dad darken my night. It happens when I least expect it, the chime of the door bell. I attempt to walk calmly to the door, when I really want to run arms in the air screaming ‘He’s here’. I open the door.
Wow comes to mind when describing the man standing outside my condo. He is dressed casual in some grey slacks and a button up collared shirt that he left untucked. The shirt has flecks of blue, green, gray, and a rust color in it that complement his eyes and skin tone wonderfully. He looks wonderful. His wavy hair dancing around his ears mischievously giving him a rascally look of fun.
“Hi Sophie you look great.” He smiles at me and I feel a piece of my heart melt.
“Thanks, hey ya know you look really good too. Would you like to come in for a minute, or do we have a reservation?”
He checks his phone. “Actually we better get going we don’t have a reservation but who knows what traffic will be like crossing to Vancouver, I don’t want a speeding ticket.” He smiles. His smile is irresistible, contagious.
“Let me grab my purse” I smiled over my shoulder leaving the door ajar as I trot over to the end table for my clutch. “Yeah you know cops in this town they are brutal, they never cut you any slack. Take you to dinner maybe but no slack on the ticket.” I smile up at him as I walked out the front door, pulling it closed and checking the lock behind me.
“Really? That could be considered scandalous stalking of speeders. You would think that would be frowned upon by the department. The speeder must have been worth the risk the officer took in tracking her down.” He places his hand at the small of my back as we walk out to his truck. He smells so good not heavy with cologne but musky and delicious. My whole body so acutely aware of him as we walk together it is like we share an electric current that only we feel. Well, I hope he is feeling it too. That would be bad if it is just me. I look up into his face and see my confirmation. He feels it to, he lowers his face to mine, I know he is going to kiss me. I reach up and pull him closer to me I can feel the warmth of his skin through the fabric of his shirt. The strength in his arms as he pulls me close makes me feel safe. I know kissing this man in this moment is the most important thing I have to do. The kiss is too short but while walking to the truck it is the best we can pull off without falling.
“I have never been to the Crab Shack, I have heard great things about it.” I say trying to think of something other then him.
“Well that makes two of us. I have only been in Portland for a year, when I asked the guys at work where to go for dinner, I got lots of suggestions but I thought this place sounded interesting.” He opens the passenger door to his truck for me, a chevy, well no body is perfect, I look around the truck. I pop the lock for him so he can easily open his door.
As he climbs in I can not help myself. “I see your driving a chevy, how’s that going for you?” Not able to keep the sarcasm hidden.
“You’re a ford girl huh? Honestly I am not particular at all. So long as I get from point A to B. I am good.” He turned the ignition and the truck roared to life. Well it started, point for the chevy.
We ride for a while in comfortable silence holding hands listening to soft rock on the radio. Once across the Interstate Bridge we exit the freeway heading to the Crab Shack. Parking is easy, and we hold hands as we walk across the lot. There is a small line in the lobby of the restaurant. Pete put our name in and we went off to a corner to wait to be called. We make small talk as we hold hands. A few minutes pass.
“Shaw party of two.” The host calls Pete’s name and we follow him to our table.
Once seated the conversation flows easy between us. Pete tells me about his family. He has a sister, she lives in Iowa, she is a biologist involved in crop growth and soil conditioning. His parents are retired and live in St. Thomas. They were lawyers, they still own their practice in Chicago, thats where Pete grew up and went to school. Where he lived until a year ago. He was on the Chicago Police Force, a vice detective, the work was disheartening so many lost souls, he wanted a fresh start and decided to move here.
“So vice in Chicago was depressing, and you thought working Homicide in Portland would be what, a breath of fresh air?” I ask.
He laughs at my comment. I love, love, love this mans laugh.
“No dear, but the crime rate here compared to Shy town is like child's play. Chicago is a much rougher city then Portland. Remember we live in the capital of weird. What about you, whats your family like?”
Ugh crap. The family question. I so want to tell him ‘I am a test tube baby born in a lab on Mars’ vs. the truth. Well, only one way to go about this and thats strait forward.
“My family is not nearly as settled as yours. I have a brother I have not seen or heard from in twelve years. He is two years older then me. When he was 18 he moved out and got into trouble with drugs and booze. My father would not tolerate such behavior from his son and attempted to strong arm Lance into obedience. Lance took off, and that as they say is that, never a word.” I took a breath and looked to Pete for a reaction. Amazingly he is just listening to my story. Now for the hard stuff. “My mom did not forgive dad and walked out on him for driving Lance away. She swallowed a bottle of pills when I was 20. Dad and I are all that is left of my immediate family. I have some cousins, uncles, and the like spread around, but, we are not close.”
“Where is your father now?”
“Well dad did not handle mom’s death or Lance’s rejection very well. He owns a trucking company in Eugene, but spends the majority of his time and money in the local bars. We talk every few months when he remembers to call or decides to answer when I call him. Sometimes a card at Christmas. Last real thing my dad gave me was this necklace for my 21st birthday.”
“No wonder you are so independent. You have taken care of yourself for quite some time.”
“ Oh man I almost forgot Linus. He is my cat and I either take care of his needs first or there is hell to pay.” I laugh to myself. Linus after all is a bit of a conceited, jackass of a cat.
“You have a cat named Linus?” Pete is chuckling at this point.
“What is wrong with Linus? It is a great name. Besides, he looks, as well as, acts like a Linus. Wait till you meet him you will so understand my pain.”
“Watch out we may be moving too fast. We are talking about the dreaded meeting of the cat, on the first date.”
I look up at him and smile. “You are so lucky your cute, if you weren’t I would just let Linus have his way with you.”
“You think I am cute?” He did it. The one brow lift when he asked. “Define cute. You mean like a puppy?”
Oh what have I done. I must come up with a quick come back now, or else I will loose the upper hand.
“No not cute like puppies. They drool and chew on things, you have done neither of those things, yet.” I give him a slightly crooked sly smile.
He just stares at me for a minute. We have been done for a while with dinner and he decides at that moment to grab the check from the edge of the table.
“You ready to get out of here?” Pete is on his feet asking me if I am ready to go. Oh damn, did I cross an undisclosed line in dating do’s and don’ts?
“Yeah sure.” I reply as I get to my feet. Pete reaches out and takes my hand as we make our way through the restaurant to pay the bill. Pete seems to be in an awful hurry. I so must have made a huge mistake. I am rusty with this whole dating thing, what the hell went wrong? He holds the door for me as we exit the restaurant. Once again I feel the heat of his touch at the small of my back as we make our way across the darkened lot to his truck. He pushes the button unlocking the truck as we approach. I start to reach for the handle to the door. He reaches out and takes my other hand turning me to face him. I look up into his face not sure what to think.
“So, you think I am cute huh? How cute?” He is smiling his eyes twinkling in the low light of the lot.
“You have no idea officer Shaw.” I let go of his hands and move closer to him. I reach up and pull him to down and kiss him. The kiss is warm and tender...for about 2 seconds then the heat takes over and I want to throw him to the pavement and jump on him cave woman style. Pete pulls me into his arms as the kisses deepen, next thing I know I have my back to the side of the pick-up and Pete and I are about to put a body dent in it. He trails kisses across my jawline and down my neck as I begin to whither against his rather superior male form. This man has muscles, oh my god, they are everywhere. My hands, I cannot help myself I have to touch him and they begin to roam over his back and along his pant line. He pulls back slightly and looks down into my eyes.
“We are in a restaurant parking lot right now, quite possibly on security camera’s that the owners may review at their leisure, I am thinking we had best continue this conversation somewhere else.”
“What conversation were you referring to I do not recall saying much of anything in the last few minutes.” I say with a smile.
“Exactly my point. So unless you want to be the latest hit on youTube lets continue this conversation at your place.” Pete opens the door to the truck and I hop inside.
He goes around to the drivers side and climbs, in starts the truck, and throws it in gear.
“You know the drive to my place will probably kill the mood. Kissing you may not be nearly as much fun in the privacy of my own home. Perhaps I like an audience.”
“Sophie if you are the kind of woman who likes an audience I am going to run for president. As far as killing the mood, it is so not going to happen. I have wanted to kiss you like that sense I walked up to your hot rod this morning. I have not gotten you off my mind all day. Kissing you has become my new favorite pass time.”
I Sophie Johnson, am speechless. I have no quick comeback. My mind is completely blank, except for the memory of his mouth on mine. Speech may have failed me but sassy should be my middle name. I look over at Pete, he is looking at me. I lean over and plant a kiss on him, a kiss that weaker men would have fainted from. Hell, controlling my own breathing is a challenge at this point. The sound of a horn is all that keeps me from loosing all sense of time and place.
Pete hit the gas tearing his lips from mine as we head for the freeway and my house. You know I do believe officer Shaw is speeding.
“You so do not play fair. Kissing me at lights is not in the guidelines for first dates.” He says.
“I just decided the book needed a little editing.”
“So you are saying you are changing the dating do’s and don’ts?” He questions.
“As needed to fit the situation yes there will be revisions.”
“Excuse me?” Pete seems to be confused.
“If the situations should arise that require changing the rules then I am not above playing editor. Rules as you know, they are made to be broken. Hum sure seems like we arrived here rather quickly, were you speeding?” I say as we pull up in front of my place.
Pete is around the truck and opening the door before I can gather my clutch and reach for the handle. He helps me out of the truck. I allow him to go first up the walk way.
“Yup it is a mighty fine sight.” I say as I check out his back side. “Rule editing in process, checking out the dates butt as he walks up the sidewalk is now a new step in dating do’s”
“You are not allowed to walk behind me again, ever.” He stops and moves to the side on the walk so I can move past him and unlock the door. You know how they say pay back is a bitch? You have no idea. As I fumble for my keys and attempt to turn the lock I have a very gorgeous officer of the law behind me kissing my neck and wrapping me up in his arms from behind.
“You do realize you are slowing down my key turning abilities right now?”
“Oh sorry about that.” He mumbles against my skin. “Really really sorry just adding my own edits to your rule book.”
I pop open the door and Pete has to loosen his hold on me so we can move through the door. I walk into the great room and over to a lamp and turn it on. I turn to face Pete. He is standing about two feet from me. I walk over to him and put my arms around his neck drawing him down for a kiss. We stand in that place kissing for a considerable amount of time. Pete reaches up and grabs my wrists. Moving slightly back. He rests his forehead on mine and looks into my eyes.
“All kidding aside where do you want this to end tonight? Here and now or over morning coffee?”
“Do you like cream with your coffee?” I ask him as I drag him up the stairs to my bed, the rule book just got tossed out the window. I throw open the doors to my room, Linus gives me one of his patented dirty looks. Caught off guard he flies out the door as I shoo him from the bed. I turn to face Pete as I begin pulling at the buttons of his shirt. Through a series of pulls and tosses we are soon naked in each others arms.
As we lay spent, butterfly kisses to cheeks and face, Pete smiles at me.
“I like mine black.” He says.
“You like what black?”
“My coffee.” He moves and rolls me to my back as he kisses me and the fire begins to burn between us again. It is going to be a long night before coffee.