Dinner Small Talk

We sat in our own little worlds content to be together like it was old hat. Like something we’ve done a million times before and it was only the first time. I wrapped my fingers in his and that made him look down at our now clasped hands. I saw a smile creep over his lips as he relaxed. Maybe it had been a little more awkward than I thought it had been. But this felt right – even more right than the guy in my dreams.

The thought seemed to pass and make Alex tense again but when I squeezed his hand and whispered “You’re here.” He relaxed a little. He had this uncanny way of knowing what I was thinking and I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. Not that I was hiding anything but I just wanted him to be happy and comfortable. Like I was.

The train finally stopped forty-five minutes later. We’d only talked for half of that trip. Alex sighed when we got to the top. “God I missing driving.” 

I grinned, “You have a car?”

Alex nodded, “Her name is Serenity. She’s a 2016 Black Chevrolet Corvette StingRay.” He said it all with reverence. Like it … she was the love of his life. But I had no clue what she looked like other than she was a corvette and they went fast. Sports cars weren’t my thing. Cars weren’t my thing. 

But I wanted to know things Alex liked, “I’d like to visit her sometime. Maybe you can take me somewhere where you can drive her around a bit.”

Alex laughed, “Presumptuous much?” He shoulder checked me as we walked shoulder to shoulder still holding hands. Alex was being chivalrous, having switched so he was on the outside of the sidewalk by the cars rushing past us. 

He opened the door for me, his hand touching the small of my back and my body ignited with lust and desire and need. My body knew his touch – at least that’s how it felt. My breath caught in my throat and I waited for Alex to talk to the hostess. I’d been to Fiore a few times. The place looked familiar, I hadn’t been in the past eleven weeks. I couldn’t afford it, but I knew I’d been here. It felt like home. Like I’d spent a lot of time here. But I couldn’t remember a thing.

“Right this way, Mr. Kennedy.” The hostess said leading us into the Italian villa that was the decor of Fiore. It was fancy without being over the top. Like you were actually in an Italian villa. The murals on the wall were grand landscapes of the owners home land. I didn’t know how I knew that but I knew there was a house on the hill that had once been his home.

Alex pulled the chair out for me and I sat down. There were no illusions about who wore the pants in this relationship so to speak. I would let Alex call whatever shots he needed to to feel like he was in control. He was that sort of man. I didn’t know how I knew but I knew. He had not objected to anything thus far.

The waitress came and Alex ordered a bottle of wine, “I know it’s not your favorite thing, but I’ll make sure you have plenty of lemon water too.” He smiled after the waitress had left. “Everything here is great. The chef is remarkable.”

“I’ve been here before – in another life though. I don’t recall ever coming here, but I remember it well. I’ll have whatever you are having.”

Alex smiled, “Good choice.” He took the menu from me and set it on the side. “So you don’t drive.”

“I can drive. I don’t own a car though.” I pulled out my drivers license and flashed it at Alex. “And I’m old enough to drink.” I grinned.

“I know that.” He smiled. “I hired you remember.”

“You named your car?” I asked Alex.

“Doesn’t everyone?” he smiled.

I shrugged, “I guess, I wouldn’t know I’ve never owned a car. I’ve lived in New York all my life.”

Alex nodded, “I’ve lived everywhere.”

“Like where?” I asked before he could say anything more. Some how I felt like I needed to prompt him to continue or he might stop talking about himself. And I got the distinct notion he didn’t like talking about himself. I added, “But it’s okay if you don’t want me to know.” I smiled half playing at what I said. “I get you are a man of mystery.”

“I don’t like talking about myself.” He admitted. “I’d much rather hear about you.”

I shrugged, “There is nothing more to me than what you see. I live in Harlem. I work at a coffee shop. I like to draw, recently I did take up the hobby of painting on a wise man’s words, Though I’ve not actually started yet.”

“What do you do when you aren’t working?”

I looked down shyly, “Mostly I’m doing yoga and running. I don’t have time for much else. Abby likes to keep me company and we watch a lot of TV which I don’t really sitting still so I’m making up for it by keeping moving when Abby’s not around.”

“She treats you like family.” Alex said. Though I don’t think he meant to say family. It was as if there was another word on the tip of his tongue.

“Everyone is keeping things from me.” I said bluntly.