I sat behind the steering wheel of the car taking deep, deep breaths. I was sitting in the parking lot of Olive Garden waiting for the clock to strike eight. Right now, it was 7:51. If I went in there now while he wasn't there, then it would make me look too eager. Too desperate. That may turn him off. Then again, if I arrived there a little passed eight and make him wait…that might make him think that I don't care and that might turn him off, too. The only real option I had was walking through those doors on time, but then what if he thought that I was too much of a perfectionist by arriving EXACTLY on time?
I placed my sweating palm against my forehead as I started growing dizzy from all the thoughts and just the heat itself starting to get to me while I sat in the car with no air on. I knew I was totally overthinking all of this, but I couldn't help it. I was nervous. This was the first date I had been on since my ex and I broke up and I wanted to make a damn good impression on this guy. I wanted him to call me again for another date (even though I would probably put myself in another panic attack for that one, too).
I snatched my phone out of the cup holder and glanced at the time. 7:57. Well, it was either now or never. I flipped down the sun visor and checked my hair and make-up in the mirror. Everything checked out ok. I just hope it didn't rain in the two minutes or so it took for me to walk up to the front doors. Knowing my luck? It just might.
I opened the car door and slid out of the seat. I made sure my shirt covered as much midriff as possible, but it kept sliding back up to expose my bellybutton. I sighed in defeat as I slammed my car door shut and locked it. Heaven forbid I didn't lock the car and somebody wanted to steal it. Natalie would kick my ass if that happened. It was her "baby" even though she was constantly complaining about wanting a new car.
My heels clicked softly against the asphalt as I made my way to the entrance of Olive Garden. Upon stepping inside into the cool, air condition Italian restaurant, I glanced around hoping that he might still be waiting to be seated. My eyes roamed the waiting room/ lobby area looking for those familiar ice blue eyes or disheveled black hair. All I saw were two teenagers waiting on the bench to be seated, an elderly couple talking over by the faux tree, a tall man waiting in the corner with shades on, and a group of 5 or 6 people chatting away in front of the main desk as they waited to be seated.
I hesitantly approached the main desk and cleared my throat to get the hostess's attention. She glanced up at me with a large smile.
"May I help you?" she kindly asked. Her dark green eyes shone with happiness like she had just won the lottery.
"Um, yeah. Is there a gentleman possibly here that is waiting for me…?" I inquired softly. My gaze traveled passed her to the tables that were visible to me. Maybe I would be able to see him from here…
"I don't recall anyone that has been seated that have claimed to be waiting for someone," she answered in an apologetic tone.
"Oh, that's alright. I guess I'll be waiting for him," I chuckled waving aside her concerned words.
Her smile brightened as she wrote something down on the board she had in front of her.
"Then follow m—"
"Leighra," a familiar deep, British voice called out. That voice sent shivers down my back as I turned around to come face to face with the man I had spotted earlier in the corner wearing shades. This time though, Luc had removed his shades to reveal those mesmerizing ice blue irises. My eyes darted up at his hair.
"You…you got…" I stuttered wondering how he had grown sexier just from a simple haircut.
A devilish smile curled those plump lips upwards. "Indeed, I got a haircut," he finished for me.
My gaze raked over the outfit he was wearing as I did my best not to fall over from how ridiculously hot it had gotten in here all of a sudden. Or maybe that was just me?
Luc was wearing a white button down dress shirt with the sleeves folded all the way up to just past his elbow exposing the lean, tan muscles of his forearm. A couple of the buttons near his neck were popped open to expose a teasing V of his chest. Over his top was a tailor fitted pinstripe vest with the bottom button left undone. The vest helped to accentuate the subtle slimming from his broad shoulders to his narrow waist. My gaze drifted further down to his dark grey slacks that clad his long, muscled legs all the way down to his polished black dress shoes.
I quickly glanced back up into his eyes when I realized I had been standing there ogling him for a good couple minutes.
"Shall we?" he inquired with a slight tilt of his head.
I snapped my jaw tightly shut and nodded. I really needed to stop going so fangirl over this guy. Sure, he was strikingly good-looking and turned every single female head in the restaurant, but I was better than them. I had to act like I went out on dates with guys like him all the time. I had to be cool about this. It's not like he was a huge celebrity or anything.
The hostess led us to our table and handed us our menus as we sat down. Her gaze never left Luc once.
"Would you two like a sample of our Pinot Grigio-Sauvignon Blanc that comes from Berta—"
"Actually," Luc said cutting her off. "We'd like a bottle of your Amarone, if you don't mind."
The hostess's eyes widened although I'm not sure why. What was Amarone? When the hostess had yet to leave to get our wine, Luc glanced up at her and arched a single brow.
"Now, please," he ordered. The hostess nodded vehemently and scrambled to go find the bottle he had ordered.
"Um…what's Amarone?" I softly asked leaning over the table a bit so no one else could overhear me and laugh at my lack of knowledge when it came to wine.
Luc smiled across the table at me. "It is a rich, Italian, dry red wine. Heady and mostly bitter to the taste buds, but it is absolute perfection once you work passed the bitterness. Also, it is the most expensive on the menu pricing at about $100 a bottle," he tacked on.
I nearly choked on the air I was breathing. $100 a bottle? Holy…who was this guy? Was he rich or something?
"And why are we ordering something so expensive?" I asked hoping that he wasn't planning on splitting the bill after adding something like that to our dinner. I had only brought $50 for emergency purposes.
Luc blinked a few times before a deep, hearty laughter emitted from between his lips. "Don't worry. I'm paying for dinner tonight since I'm the one that asked you out so suddenly. There's no need for a beautiful woman, such as yourself, to pay for her own dinner when on a date," he winked.
I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks from his compliment, but I quickly stomped it down by telling myself that he had probably said that to plenty of women before me. That I wasn't anything special.
"Here you are, sir," the hostess smiled setting two wide mouthed wine glasses down on our table. She poured a small amount of the wine into each glass before setting the bottle itself on the table. I was reaching in my purse to show her my I.D. so she knew I was of age when Luc spoke up.
"Thank you very much. That'll be all," he said waving her off. She nodded at him with a bright smile, but just as quickly turned and glared at me before walking off.
And here I had been thinking she was a sweet girl…
"My name's Caroline and I'll be your server for this evening. What can I get you guys to drink? Or is the wine all you will be having?" An overly perky blonde waitress asked us as she approached our table.
"I'll have a glass of water," I ordered trying to get her attention, but she was too fixated on my date.
"I'll have the same as her," he ordered smiling up at Caroline. I sneered when she giggled like a schoolgirl.
"Two waters it is, then. I'll be right back," she flirted touching his bicep before bouncing happily away.
Luc laughed. "The people here are so nice," he noted with a playful gleam in his eye.
"Yeah, to you," I mumbled closing my menu. I already knew what I was having. I ordered it every time I came here. I was ordering the unlimited soup and salad. My mouth started watering at the thought of their salad and bread sticks. Oh god, that stuff was pure Heaven in my mouth.
While Luc was glancing over his menu, I took the chance to admire his new haircut. Gone were his long, black locks and side bangs. He had cut his hair fairly short on the sides, possibly less than an inch where it almost looked shaved, but not quite. Along the top of his head, his hair was much longer, but styled up in a disheveled manner. Like he had taken his fingers, filled them with mousse, and then raked them back and up through the top of his hair.
Having his hair short and styled away from his face, it really accentuated his strong, square jawline and revealed just how incredibly blue his eyes really were. My eyes dropped to his lips where I just noticed his lip piercings were gone. I could see the tiny holes of where they went, but he had removed them for our date. I couldn't help but feel slightly happy at that fact. Even though he looked good with the piercings in (great actually), he looked even more handsome with them out. Seeing his face without his piercings in made me realize all over again just how stunningly handsome he was. His face had been crafted perfectly like God had taken special care when He created him.
"So, do you know what you want?" he asked setting his menu aside.
I snapped out of my thoughts and met his eyes with a smile.
"Yeah. You?" He nodded in agreement.
Caroline came back with our drinks, took our orders (flirting with Luc the entire time), and left again. Luc swirled the wine around in his glass before taking a small taste of it. He closed his eyes and emitted a low moan that caused the table next to us to glance over at him. My cheeks flushed red with embarrassment.
"Try some," he insisted holding his glass out to me. I glanced down at my own untouched glass.
"Oh, I have some right—"
"I know you do, but things always seem to taste much better when they come from somebody else," he quietly replied.
"I-I'm not much of a wine person," I stammered, a bit flustered under the intensity of his gaze.
He pulled his glass back with a smile.
"I see. You'll get accustomed to it over time," he sighed into his glass.
My head snapped up. "Over time?" I repeated. Was he saying that we were going to go out on another date after this one was over? Was he saying that he was willing to meet up with me again?
"I'm glad to see you are wearing the necklace I bought you," he said smoothly switching topics.
"About that…" I began touching my fingers to the locket. "What was up with that poem you wrote?"
Luc arched a dark brow in curiosity before setting down his glass.
"You intrigue me. Out of all the mortals I have come across…there is something about you…something…pure…" he cryptically answered.
"Mortals?" I quietly asked myself. What in the heck was that supposed to mean? And how was I pure?
"Here you guys go. Would you like cheese on your salad?" Caroline asked.
"Please," I answered my gaze never leaving Luc's.
"Alright, there you are. Your orders will be out soon," she assured us. Luc waved her off. Something she was not very happy about.
"The look of confusion on your face is absolutely adorable," Luc flirted leaning forward to lace his fingers together and rest his chin upon them.
"Who are you, Luc? Why is it that you won't tell me anything about yourself, but yet I have the feeling you know too much about me?" I snapped as I started getting angry at this enigmatic persona he was playing.
"I need to know if you are ready for the truth or not before I just simply tell you." His grin reminded me too much of the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. His smile was wide and full of mischief.
I narrowed my eyes as Luc continued to gaze at me, that wide, irritating smile never leaving his face.
"You know, hiding things isn't a good way to start off a relationship," I informed him.
"That might be true, but why ruin all the fun before we've even had a chance to begin?"
"If you don't start telling me some things about yourself, then I am leaving. I don't care how gorgeous you think you are," I threatened slamming my cloth napkin down onto the table and standing up out of my seat. The sudden sound of my chair scooting back across the floor made a few people glance up from their meals.
All Luc did was lean back in his chair laughing. "You're feisty…and dominant…I like that," he complimented with a deep, hungry tone of voice.
"Screw you," I spat turning to walk away.
"You really want to know THAT badly?" he called out. My footsteps slowed to a stop. I whipped back around to face him.
"Finish this meal with me and I will take you somewhere and show you exactly who I am," he bartered.
"Where? To your secret lair where you will seduce me with your words, capture my heart, and eat my soul?" I scoffed stepping up to the table, my dark eyes glaring down at him.
"Maybe not quite in that order…" he teased.
I angrily sat back down in my seat when I noticed the waitress coming with our food. I hadn't even touched the salad she had brought. She laid our orders out in front of us and then left once more. She hadn't even bothered trying to flirt with Luc this time.
"Fine. I'll finish this meal and then you take me to this place of yours and you will tell me EXACTLY who you are. No more games, no more cryptic answers, no more bullshit," I told him bluntly.
"Your wish is my command," he answered with a crooked grin.
Why did it feel like I had just sold my soul off to the devil?