November 6th 2018
One moment she was excited to have dinner with him and then the next, her fingers itched to text and cancel the date. As much as she hated to admit it, that would be taking the coward’s way out and she wasn’t particularly fond of referring to herself as a coward.
Pathetic was more accurate.
He had texted her earlier, and that was what had set her off.
I’ll pick you up at 7
Wear something casual and come hungry
Upon initial excitement, Audrey had jumped into the shower but once she had scrubbed herself clean, she couldn’t help but think about what a bad idea this was.
Joe had so brazenly admitted that he wanted to sleep with her and was willing to settle for nothing more than friend with benefits if that was all she could offer him. However, she couldn’t help but think that he wanted so much more, especially since he had admitted that to her, too.
It was almost as if seeing her the morning after having spent the night with another man had made him jealous. She understood that he was interested, but surely it should have been a turn off that she was sleeping around – she wasn’t, but it wasn’t like he knew any better – and not make him want her more.
Perhaps she hadn’t been convincing enough.
So now, Audrey sat on her bed dressed in nothing but a robe, small droplets of water dripping onto her comforter and wetting it, but she couldn’t bring herself to care.
Audrey truly couldn’t make up her mind. She was immensely conflicted, going back and forth between both arguments, as if taking turns to sway her mind in each direction.
Almost as if he could sense her panicking, her phone vibrated in her hand as another text came through.
And don’t even think of cancelling
Rolling her eyes at the message, she scowled and her fingers tapped against the screen as she messaged him back, uncaring of the fact that she was responding very quick.
I don’t think I can make it, sorry
I feel sick
Just after she had hit send, she saw that he was indeed online and typing. She didn’t have to hold her breath for long as his response came through in mere seconds.
You’re going to have to do better than that
Audrey pursed her lips but couldn’t keep the smile off her face.
I have diarrhoea
Not at all stumped or fazed with the disgusting picture she undoubtedly had just painted in his head, Joe continued typing.
Well, it’s a good thing that there’s a bathroom where I’m taking you
Come on, hit me with your next excuse
She was running out of excuses now.
I’m not home
Even she could see that her latest response was in fact weak, and that he would very easily be able to debunk it so she wracked her brain for something else. Anything else. Absolutely anything to get her out of this date.
Just then, a knock sounded on her front door and Audrey glanced up. It couldn’t be him, could it?
No, it couldn’t. He was nearly an hour early.
She glanced down at her phone and saw that he was now offline.
When another knock sounded, she tightened the robe around her and walked out of her bedroom to the front door. The closer she got to the door, the more confident she was that it was him.
Audrey didn’t even bother peering through the peep hole before opening it. She was completely certain now.
“Oh, so apparently you are at home.” He leaned against the doorframe and grinned at her; his arms crossed over his chest. “I hope you didn’t rush home on my account.”
Audrey resisted the urge to roll her eyes and squared her shoulders as she stared at him. Instead, her lips twitched as a smile threatened to take over her face.
“I just walked in.” She lied, though was confident that he saw through her transparent façade.
“You don’t look quite ready for our date.”
She frowned. “I never agreed that this was a date.”
“You didn’t deny it either.” He smirked. “So, what does a guy have to do around here to get invited into a pretty lady’s apartment?”
“You think of me as a pretty lady?” She asked and smirked, hoping to turn the tables around on him.
Joe was always so cool and collected, and always had multiple funny verses under his sleeve, ready to pull out and put into action whenever the perfect moment arose – which it often did for him – and she couldn’t help but wonder how he would react if for once, the spotlight was trained on him.
“You know I do.” He smiled cockily and his eyes shone triumphantly when she huffed and turned around, allowing him to let himself into the apartment. “You look far from ready.” He noted aloud as he followed behind her, gently closing the door behind him.
“How observant of you.” She sent him a pointed look over her shoulder. “Seeing as I’m suddenly feeling better,” she pressed a hand against her stomach for added effect. “Do you mind waiting while I get dressed?”
“No, I’m good to wait here.” He pointed at the sofa. “But first, is it safe for me to use the bathroom or have you completely destroyed it?”
Audrey chuckled at his joke, having deserved it for her lie earlier and gestured for him to follow her into the bedroom where her only bathroom was located; an ensuite.
Joe whistled quietly and slipped his fingers into his pockets as he followed behind her, his eyes scanning over her bedroom and all of its contents before he finally turned to her.
“I usually wait until the third date before I allow a lady to entice me into her bedroom but for you, I’m willing to make an exception.”
“At this rate, we’re not even going to make it past the first date.” Audrey joked and laughed, the sound only growing louder as he played mock hurt. “The bathroom’s over there.” She pointed towards the second door in her room which led to the ensuite, and the only bathroom in the apartment.
“Are you going to get dressed in here?”
“Yes, why?” She asked warily, slightly confused.
“I’ll be sure to knock before I come out then.”
“What a gentleman.” She remarked, a small smile on her face.
“Only for you, lady.” He winked before heading into the bathroom.
When the door closed, Audrey rushed over to her wardrobe to pick out an outfit. He was dressed in a pair of jeans and what appeared to be a thin sweater under a borg-lined black acid-washed denim jacket. Also, he had mentioned for her to dress casually hence, she picked out a pair of black and white checkered dress pants which ran tight down her thighs before flaring out from just under the knee. She paired it with a silk black blouse and grabbed a pair of simple black heels which she would slip into just before leaving.
Her eyes remained glued on the door as she untied her robe and slipped it off her shoulders, allowing it to pool on the floor around her feet. She picked an olive green lacey matching bra and panty set and was quick to slip them on before the trousers which she shimmied into before zipping up in the front.
When the tell-tale knock sounded, she was in the middle of buttoning up her blouse. Not wanting to give him an eyeful or a free show, Audrey was quick to call out to him in hopes that he wouldn’t open the door just yet.
“Just a minute!”
Once she was done, she called out to him again and when he finally opened the door and stepped out of the bathroom, a delicious shiver ran down her spine at the way his eyes settled on her body.
When her eyes travelled up, she was met with a small smile, almost nervous.
Joe was smart enough to control his desires and reign in the hungry look in his eyes, having no doubt that if he pressed too hard, she would go running for the hills and he would be left to eat her dust and from past experience, he had learnt that, that was not a very filling meal.
When it looked like he was about to leave the room to wait for her, she called out to him again. When he turned around with a questioning look in his eyes, she shrugged, hoping to come across as indifferent and nonchalant when she felt the exact opposite inside.
When his smile grew larger in size, she knew she had failed.
“Why don’t you sit here?” She pointed to her bed before taking a seat on the desk chair herself. “I just need to do my makeup, but I promise I won’t be long.”
Joe smiled but didn’t comment as he backtracked his steps and took a seat on the edge of her bed. When she began with her makeup, he sighed and inclined back on the bed until he was lying down on it, his feet still planted on the floor as his legs dangled off the edge of it.
“You were really going to bail on me, huh?” He mused aloud, his voice quiet.
She paused with her concealer wand in hand and glanced at him, but he was too busy staring up at her ceiling, his hands now braced behind his head.
“Don’t take it personally. That’s just the way I am.” She shrugged.
Joe merely hummed in response.
Light conversation passed between them as she finished getting ready. As promised, they were stood in front of the door as she finished strapping on her heels less than 10 minutes later.
“You sure you don’t want to visit the bathroom one last time before we leave?” A teasing smirk played on his lips a she watched her carefully, wanting to get her back for her earlier ploy of trying to evade him without so much as a warning.
“Just go!” She laughed and stood upright before pushing him out of the door. Turning around, Audrey locked her apartment and accepted his awaiting hand before they began walking down the hallway.
A look of momentary surprise washed over his face as she had accepted his hand, having expected her to just brush him off. Instead of questioning her on it, he smiled and gave her hand a squeeze as they made their way out of the apartment building and into his car.
Audrey didn’t blame him. She had surprised even herself.
“So, where are you taking me?”
He spared her a sideways glance. “Just dinner. Nothing too serious.” Nothing to worry or panic about, was what he truly meant.
Just dinner. That, she could handle and of that, she was sure. If not, then she would suck it up and see through the rest of the evening and then not call him back, as that was the honourable thing to do.
As promised, Joe pulled up into a parking lot and ushered her into a homey familiar diner, somewhat similar to Darcy’s Diner, his diner where she had first met him.
“Why this place?” She asked curiously as they were ushered into their seats by the hostess.
Joe grinned over his menu. “I’m staking out the competition.” He explained, and she briefly remembered him mentioning that he would be opening a new diner in town, one which followed a very similar theme to his previous one back in the city.
“When does it open again?”
“In less than 2 weeks now. Will you be there?” He asked, failing in keeping the hope from seeping into his voice.
“If you want me to.”
“I do.” Joe smiled softly, but then cleared his throat when the waiter approached the table to take their order.
While he ordered a burger, regular fries and Coke, she ordered the same but opted for sweet potato fries instead of regular.
Once the waiter had noted down their order and walked away, Audrey turned her head to face him. She felt her cheeks begin to warm as she found him to already be looking at her.
“I’ve been thinking about this morning and what you said…” Audrey began but he was quick to cut her off.
“Let’s not talk about anything serious tonight. Let’s just enjoy each other’s company and get to know the other better.” He suggested, not wanting to scare her even more than he had already done so. “What do you say?”
Audrey nodded and smiled, her shoulders suddenly feeling much lighter.
“I like the sound of that.”
“Good.” He hummed, before proceeding to make fun of the many excuses she had utilised just to get out of one date with him.
They had spoken for so long and shared three desserts before they decided to call it a night. By the end of the evening, her cheeks hurt from laughing so much and she didn’t want it to end but It was nearly midnight already. She wasn’t even sure where the time had gone.
If it wasn’t so late already and she didn’t have work the next day, Audrey would have suggested that they take a midnight stroll but instead, he drover her back to her apartment building and walked her all the way up to her door.
They would just have to leave the midnight stroll for next time.
“I had a great time with you tonight.”
“Me, too.” She admitted honestly, speaking nothing but the truth. Surprisingly, she had much more fun with Joe than she had expected, and all they had done was talk while enjoying some comfort food.
“Maybe we can do this again sometime?”
Audrey nodded and her eyes closed briefly when his face descended towards her. Her lips parted in anticipation but instead of planting a kiss to her mouth where she so desperately wanted him, she felt his lips press against her cheek, lingering there for a few seconds longer than necessary.
To say that she was disappointed would be a grand understatement.
Her eyes fluttered open and he gave her one last smile. When she saw him begin to walk away, she couldn’t help but start to panic, not yet ready for him to leave.
Before Joe could get too far, Audrey called out to him and a flicker of hope sparked inside of her when his retreating body stilled and he sent her a confused, questioning look over his shoulder.
“Maybe tonight doesn’t have to end.”
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