Twin Hearts

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Chapter 4

Chapter Four

Danny pushed back her plate her stomach pleasantly over full for the first time in a long time. The food had been the best she’d ever had and plentiful, the appetizer had been jumbo shrimp and mini crab puffs with the main course consisting of a selection of porter house steak, crab stuffed flounder or herb roast chicken. The sides had been twice baked potatoes or herbed rice, with tossed salad, steamed broccoli and baby carrots.

Danny had been trying to decide which of the three main courses to try when Liam had ordered the waiter to bring her one of each and then gone to fetch her a huge salad and both potatoes and rice. She’d managed to make a good dent in most of her food but there was still half a steak to finish and more than enough potatoes and salad to give her a lunch and a dinner.

“Do you think it would be bad manners to ask for a doggy bag?” Danny asked looking up to see Liam polishing off a third steak. “It’s just it’s all so delicious and I normally don’t eat so much.”

“Not at all.” Liam had watched Danny with amusement as she sampled a little of each of her entrees with obvious delight, it had been a long time since he’d seen anyone enjoy their food as much as she had. Liam after his long life had become jaded with life and humanity; sometimes it was only his vow to protect humanity that kept him from slipping through the portal and leaving Earth forever.

“Your kind, I must seem like a country bumpkin or a misanthrope I rarely go out and never to any place fancy. I’m a bit of a penny pincher.” Danny confessed.

“Neither actually, my mother grew up poor and was of a frugal nature even after father became, well rich.” Of course his mother had been born ten thousand years ago, but for the thousand years of her life she had always encouraged Liam and Keith to spend wisely and live within their means even though their father had been considered a noble in all his earthly lives. “It is nice to meet someone who is carful with their money, unlike.”

Danny followed Liam’s gaze across the room to where Rita was leaning against the bar drinking another glass of champagne. “I hate to sound like a catty female but Rita is known around the offices as being something of, well.”

“You need not censor yourself on my account, I don’t like her, so what is said about her?” Liam asked as the waiter freshened their drinks. Before the waiter could leave Liam motioned him over and whispered in his ear, the waiter nodded and then hurried away. “Sorry I was asking him to bring you some boxes, you were going to tell me about Rita?”

“Oh, it’s no secret, she likes rich men. When I first started working with the police several years ago she was dating an older lawyer, dating is being polite, she was his mistress. She ended up breaking up his marriage and then dumping him for a judge.” Danny paused as the waiter set several tinfoil containers and a stack of lids beside her, she gave him a smile before he hurried away. “She dated the judge for a bit, then moved on to a doctor that use to come in and be an expert witness.”

“I’m guessing she dumped him too.” Liam said not liking what he heard.

“Yes after getting some enhancements out of him.” Danny replied feeling wicked for dishing dirt on Rita.

“Enhancements?” Liam asked.

“Well, like her hair other parts of Rita were, shall we say purchased. I know I sound like a shrew now.” Danny suddenly wished she’d not drunk so much wine, she probably sounded like a horrible person. “I’m sorry I’m usually not such a terrible gossip, I blame it on the wine.”

Liam shrugged. “Not at all I asked you a question, you just happened to be brutally honest.”

Danny was saved from answering by the clinking of a glass, she turned towards the front table to see Galen on his feet tapping a glass with a spoon. “ I’d like to thank you all for coming at such short notice, it means a lot to Theo and I. Now that being said I’m told it’s time I take my wife out for a dance, and then cake.”

There were hoots and claps from the men sitting around the room as Galen held his hand out to Theo and helped her up then around the table leading her down to the dance floor. The band began to play and after a moment Danny recognized the piece they were playing as the Sleeping Beauty Waltz. Danny watched as Galen spun Theo about the dance floor, her long off white gown of silk and chiffon floating about her making her look like a princess.

Danny felt a pang of jealousy at how happy and beautiful Theo looked, Galen from the smile on his face was deeply in love with tiny Theo. The waltz finished and there was more applause as Galen led Theo to the side of the room where two waiters rolled out a huge five tier wedding cake covered with tiny roses made of icing.

“Do you like cake?” Liam asked as Galen and Theo began cutting the cake. “If you don’t I understand there is also chocolate chip cheese cake and key lime pie.”

“I like them all.” Danny replied trying to remember the last time she’d had key lime pie or cheese cake, being constantly broke was wearing on both her mind and her soul it would be nice to be well off one day.

“Then you shall have one of each.” Liam said making Danny cover her mouth as she laughed softly.

“I couldn’t I’ll be huge.” Danny protested even though she liked the sound of one of each.

“You need not eat them all tonight, you can take them home.” Liam replied seeing the corners of Danny’s mouth lift up in a quick smile. “And you look pretty thin to me.”

“You’re very kind and pie for breakfast, I like that idea.” Danny said as she began slipping her uneaten food into the boxes.

Across the room Galen and Theo cut the top of the cake followed by more clapping and then four waiters stepped forward to begin cutting the rest of the cake and put it onto plates and then whisk it off to diners.

The band began playing another tune, a foxtrot and couples began moving towards the dance floor. Liam watched his friends escort their dates onto the dance floor and he looked over at Danny who was watching the couples take the floor.

“Would you like to dance, I mean if you think your ankle is up to it?” Liam demanded.

“My fox trot is rusty but I think I could manage, were a bit of a height mismatch though.” Danny replied happy at the thought of dancing, as a child she had loved to dance and had been pretty good at it, not as good as her dead twin but still more than adequate.

“I promise I won’t step on your toes.” Liam replied standing and offering Danny his hand.

Danny slipped her small hand into his plate sized one and gave him a quick smile. “I’ll take the risk, but if you crush my toe I won’t hold it against you.”

Liam adjusted his stance to the much shorter one of Danny as he led her to the dance floor, stepping onto the floor he turned and pulled her into his arms placing his left hand in the small of her back while taking her tiny right hand in his huge one. Liam eased Danny backwards adjusting his stride to her much smaller one, careful not to step on her toes, and after a few moments of adjustment they were gliding about the floor to “I got rhythm”.

“You’re a very good dancer.” Liam said as he spun Danny about then eased her back into the basic pattern.

“Thank you, you’re pretty good yourself, the truth is I had ball room dance lessons till I was ten. I’m a bit rusty but I remember the basics, and you’re a good lead.” Danny replied feeling the subtle pressure on her back as Liam changed their direction to avoid crashing into another couple.

“Thank you, I’m surprised you parents had you take lessons so young, ball room dancing has become a lost art these days.” Liam replied guiding Danny into a side by side step move before spinning her under his arm and then resuming the basic pattern.

Danny concentrated on her steps for a moment then nodded. “ I know, but my parents had been ball room dance champions for several years, I guess they were hoping my sister and I would follow in their footsteps.”

“You didn’t I see, were they upset when you stopped your lessons?” Liam asked as the song came to an end and Liam whirled Danny to a stop before him.

“They and my sister died before my eleventh birthday, I suppose if they’d lived I might have kept dancing.” Danny replied softly, she didn’t like to talk about her past but as her therapist often said the only way to move on was to deal with the past.

Liam released Danny as she saw her face fall, around them several couples left the dance floor as the band began another song.

“I’m sorry.” Liam said.

“It’s all right it was a long time ago, but thank you.” Danny replied.

Liam was about to ask Danny for a second dance when Bowden appeared beside them .” May I cut in?”

Liam shot his friend an annoyed look. “Don’t you have a date?”

“Nope, couldn’t find one, so may I?” Bowden asked smiling down at Danny.

“It’s up to the lady” Liam replied squashing his annoyance.

The band was just starting a waltz, Danny looked into Bowden’s face and saw a rather plaintive look, so she nodded and held her hand out to him. “Of course, Liam don’t let anyone steal my desert.”

Danny turned to Bowden as the music swelled, she felt his huge hand settle on her back then he spun her away.

Liam fought an irrational surge of jealousy as Bowden whisked Danny away, he stalked back to his seat and motioned for the waiter to bring more desert as he dropped to his seat. Keith pulled the chair out to his right and dropped into it then grabbed one of Liam’s pieces of cake earning a growl.

“She’s a good dancer and cute.” Keith said as he grabbed a fork and dug into the chocolate wedding cake.

“Yes she is, where is Rita?” Liam demanded in annoyance.

“Ladies room I think, she got mad because I told her she was drinking too much.” Keith replied as the waiter set more cake and pie on the table.

“Ah, will you be taking her home?” Liam demanded grabbing another piece of cake from the several set on the table.

“Probably, but I’ll call a cab, let you use the limo. So how’s it going with the little doc?”

“Well, thank you, she’s just gotten a doctorate in ancient studies, she has written several papers on Sumerian culture and is fascinated by ancient Egypt.” Liam replied.

“Wow, she’s perfect for you and your lion likes her?” Keith demanded pushing the empty cake plate away and wiping his mouth clean with a napkin.

“It was fairly purring when we danced, what do you think of her?” Liam turned from watching Keith to where Danny was finishing her dance with Bowden.

“Cute, a bit short for my taste’s but she’s got a nice ass and a killer rack, I’m going to ask her to dance and see if anything click’s.” Keith rose smoothly and hurried to the dance floor as the music ended.

Liam watched with mixed feelings as Keith approached Danny and Bowden, he saw them talking and then Danny placing her hand in Keith’s as the band started what sounded like a tango. Bowden stepped up to Liam and dropped into the chair Keith had just vacated.

“You have a keeper there, classy lady and smart.” Bowden said.

“And you got all that from a four minute dance?” Liam demanded unreasonably annoyed Bowden liked Danny.

“That and the fact Theo spent about ten minutes telling Galen and I how nice and intelligent the doc is, apparently the doc wrote a couple of papers for some academic journal that Theo think’s highly of.” Bowden replied.

“Ah, thanks for telling me.” Liam replied and Bowden shrugged.

“If there is a chance she’s the one I wouldn’t want you to miss your chance at happpiness, and if she isn’t she’s cute and a nice lady. I know you haven’t dated anyone in like a decade it wouldn’t hurt you to start dating again.” Bowden turned to watch as Danny and Keith were now setting the dance floor on fire with their tango.

“Thanks.” Liam rose and stalked to the dance floor and stepped up to Danny and Keith as the music ended.

“If your ankle is up to it how about another dance?” Liam demanded holding his hand out to Danny.

“Of course, I think I can manage another dance or two.” Danny replied, she was having more fun then she’d had in years. She’d enjoyed her dances with both Bowden and Keith but while dancing with them had been great there hadn’t been the same strange rush of excitement as when she’d danced with Liam.

Liam slipped his hug hand about Danny’s back and pulled her against him as a waltz started, a moment latter they were spinning about the floor. They danced two waltzes and a fox trot before Liam had to jerk her about suddenly to avoid a mid-floor collision with another couple and her sore ankle protested loudly.

Liam pulled Danny against him hard, heard her sharp gasp of breath and felt her knee buckle, with a curse he caught her and swung her up into his arms and carried her back to her seat.

“I’m fine really.” Danny protested as Liam deposited her in her chair.

“I saw you wince, I’m sorry I pulled you too hard.” Liam fought the urge to grab Danny’s foot and put it in his lap.

“It’s okay, you didn’t want us to collide.” Danny replied though her ankle was screaming at her. “I’ll just need a minute, I’ll eat some cake and we can have another dance if you want.”

Liam was saved from answering by a loud clinking sound and he looked towards the head table where Galen was standing tapping a water glass with a spoon. Silence settled over the room and people hurriedly returned to their seats.

“It’s time to throw the bouquet before Theo and I call it a night, there will be no garter toss though as I’m told that it’s a sexist practice.” His remark was met with boos and laughter from the men present. “Well when you all get married you can do what you want, now if all the single ladies want to stand on the dance floor.”

Danny saw Rita and about three other women make their way to the dance floor and she considered what to do, her ankle hurt but part of her didn’t want to let Rita the man-eater catch Theo’s flowers.

“Let me help you.” Liam said as if guessing her inner turmoil, he stood beside her and held out his huge hand.

With a nod of thanks Danny took it and let Liam help her up and then onto the dance floor to stand beside Rita, when he was sure Danny was alright he took several steps back as Galen escorted Theo onto the floor. Theo her face beaming with happiness turned about.

“Okay on three, one, two, three.” Theo said and then the bouquet lofted into the air in a high arc.

Beside Danny Rita with a drunken giggle leapt for the bouquet and missed, the bouquet went through her hands and landed squarely on Danny’s chest, where she grabbed them reflexively.

“Give them to me.” Rita hissed spinning on Danny.

“No.” Was all Danny said as Liam appeared beside her placing a hand under her left elbow and glaring at Rita as Theo thanked everyone for coming and asked everyone to stay and enjoy the food and music.

Rita opened her mouth to say something when Theo stepped up to Danny with a smile. “I’m so happy you caught my flowers, I’ll know they will go to a good home. Would you do me a favor and take home some of the flower arrangements as well, I remember you liked flowers as much as I do and I’d hate to think of them going in to the trash.” Theo said.

“Of course I’d be happy to.” Danny replied.

“Wonderful, and I’m sorry we didn’t have time to talk, I asked Bowden to get your email if it’s all right I have a new research project I could use your help with, maybe we could discuss it in a few days?” Theo said as Galen appeared beside her.

“I look forward to it.” Danny replied earning a smile and a nod from Theo before Galen gave her and Liam a polite nod and whisked Theo away.

“ Let’s go back to the table, you can have your cake, and then let me know if you’re up for more dancing.” Liam said.

“I’d like that.” Danny replied, holding the bouquet of tiny pink roses and red carnations tightly. Liam his hand under her elbow helped her back to her chair, then took the flowers from her and set them on the table.

Sitting on the floor beside her chair were three large white handle bags full of covered aluminum containers, Danny gave Liam a puzzled look.

“What are they?” Danny asked as she started on a piece of chocolate wedding cake that Liam had slid to her.

“Left overs, I paid the waiter to box up some of what was left over. There was rather a large amount of food left, I gathered from our conversation earlier than you had been too busy to go grocery shopping this week. You also seemed to enjoy everything so much I thought, well, if I was too presumptive let me know.” Liam replied.

“No, no not at all, you don’t think anyone will mind do you?”

“No, Galen would probably be happy to know it didn’t go to waste.” Liam said.

“Thank you for your thoughtfulness then, I won’t have to go shopping for at least a week.” Danny replied thinking happily of all the free meals she now had, and not just an meals but shrimp, steak and crab.

“Your welcome, I was wondering if perhaps you would like to go out tomorrow. I have to go for a drive in the country to check out several properties that are up for sale, see if they could be developed. There is a wonderful old fashioned burger place I was planning to stop at for lunch with the best onion rings and milk shakes.” Liam paused as he watched emotions cross Danny’s face.

Danny wasn’t sure what to think or how to answer, she’d come with Liam on the spur of the moment, partly because it was raining and she’d not wanted to stand in the rain waiting for the next bus and partly because she’d never had a drop dead gorgeous man ask her out before. She’d not thought that he’d want to see her again, she’d presumed he’d asked her out because he’d knocked her down and he was being friendly and nothing more.

“I promise I’m not a creep.” Liam offered giving her a tentative smile.

“No, no you just surprised me that’s all.” Danny protested. “A drive in the country sounds wonderful, what time would you want to leave?”

“Say ten, we can make it a day.” Liam replied trying to tamp down on his joy that Danny had said yes.

“Sure, sounds good what should I wear?” Danny asked reaching for a fork and her cake.

“Jeans, comfy shoes, we will be walking around a bit if you think your ankle will be up for it.” Liam said.

“I’m sure it will be fine by morning.” Danny experimentally flexed her foot and tried not to wince.

Liam saw Danny wince. “Perhaps we should call it a night, let you rest up, besides it looks like the party is starting to break up.”

Danny looked at her watch seeing it was almost ten and nodded she was usually in bed at ten. “Your probably right.”

“Finish your cake, I’ll text Franky to come help carry your things to the car, once you have finished your cake we can go.” Liam pulled out his phone and quickly sent off a text.

“My things?” Danny asked.

“You promised Theo to take the flowers home, you wouldn’t want to disappoint her.” Liam nodded towards the head table where there were two huge flower arrangements that had to be three hundred dollars each of roses and carnations.

“Oh yes, thank you.” Danny replied and saw Liam smile.

“No thank you, if you hadn’t of come I would of spent the night alone drinking and watching Keith argue with Rita. Now finish your cake while I grab your flowers.” Liam gave Danny a dazzling smile then rose to walk towards the head table to take the two huge arrangements there.

Danny shook her head in amazement the arrangements had to be worth three hundred dollars each, she glanced back at the bags of food truly hoping no one would mind. A day that had started horribly had ended with an amazing meal, flowers and the possibility of romance.

She saw Liam nod to Franky who had stepped into the back of the room and she marveled at how huge and handsome Liam was, and why he was interested in her. Well she would take the chance to go out with him again, she knew he wasn’t evil or mad, perhaps he was just lonely like her. It was time she took some chances to see if there was more to life then death and pain, her gaze settled on Liam as he handed a bouquet to Franky and then grabbed one off an empty table. Liam was either crazy or trying to impress her, either way her apartment would be full of flowers, her fridge full of food and for the first time in years she wouldn’t be alone for the weekend.

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