There were roads last night too potentially slick to make getting home quick. Brilliant person I am, I forgot to schedule my blog post. Ah, well! Here it is! Umm, it takes a slight turn into a bit of sci fi. I can't believe it! But, hey! :)
If you're debating Rogue One, you can quit. It was a great movie and the ending was epic.
Now to post this and finish up today's story. Which may be an epilogue to this whole mess. Ahem. Might be. :) Stay tuned!
The Eighth Date
No sooner had Delaney decided this date, the last, the worst, could not be more terrible, their waiter arrived.
“Good evening,” Tim said with nary a hint of knowing her.
“Where’s Craig?” she demanded as officious twit examined his cufflinks.
“He went home early. Sick.”
“Is he ok?” A glance at the twit before she said, “I should go home and check on him.”
“He’s fine,” Tim assured her and she was not thankful. “I promised to keep an eye on you.” He winked.
Just in time for the twit to look up and notice him for the first time.
“Don’t waste your time with the specials. And I don’t want that other person fetching anything for us. You are here to wait on us, not some unskilled immigrant.”
Delaney glared at the twit, but before she could stand and storm off, Tim laid his hand on her shoulder. He left it here as he assured the twit, Darren, that he would be taking extra care of them tonight. She made a note to not drink or eat from his meal. Not only did she room with a waiter, she’d been one as well. Darren’s meal would not be what he expected.
“You can unhand me,” she whispered.
To her surprise, Tim did, but only after the tips of his fingers brushed against the side of her neck. This, she did not need. If he thought one passable night watching a movie in the dark meant she didn’t know he was a jerk, he was so wrong.
Darren went on about himself as they waited for their drinks. She hadn’t bothered with the menu. She ate here at least twice a week and knew even the specials by heart. Which was why she was annoyed when the twit tried to order for her. He actually told Tim what she would have. He handed the menus back and Tim took them, but then he looked at her.
“Surprise me.” Ha. Let him try to not be a jerk now. No one wanted to be told that and Tim would be unable to resist doing something crazy.
“You associate with odd people.” Darren stared at his water glass.
Delaney didn’t quite know how to respond. She was much too busy regretting this date. A friend at work had set her up and she wondered why. Maybe Darren had been bugging her and she was trying to unload him? Whatever the case, Delaney was thankful he was number eight. All she had to do was survive dinner and there was a warm, quiet, uninhabited beach house in her future. She could do this.
Well, she could survive. Even that became a chore as the meal continued. Darren complained about everything. Tim smiled through it all and didn’t touch her again for which she was quite thankful. At least the meal was good.
Or would have been if the company had been better. The food was exceptional and nothing she’d tried here before. Well, the cooks liked her and maybe Tim had told them to take pity on her. She said no to coffee after he’d said no to dessert. He’d had the gall to look at her in a disapproving manner when it had been offered.
If there had been wine left in her glass she might have spilled it on his immaculate gray suit. Instead, she said something about having a lovely time and left before he could get up from the table. Tomorrow, she knew, she’d have to send Craig to work with a tip for Tim. There was no way Darren left a good one. And, as much as she disliked him, he had done an exceptional job.
Ugh. Why had he been so good? He should have just been an ass. Darren deserved it and the owner wouldn’t care.
“Where are you going?” Darren grabbed her arm from behind right after she’d started her car. The battery must be low because she’d had to get closer to start it tonight. Well, she had bought new ones- Oh, he still had her arm.
“I’m going home. Because I lied. It was not a lovely time. You’re an odious jerk. Good evening.”
Her tug to free her arm didn’t work. His fingers dug into her coat and found her arm underneath. Darren moved from annoyance to something more.
“I paid for your dinner.”
“Did you tip?”
“I don’t believe in tipping.”
“Of course not. Let me go.”
“Not until you pay for my time.”
Fury sprouted in her blood and began to spread. Too fast, but if anyone deserved it, this was the jerk to unleash her repressed anger on from the last week. Delaney tore her arm from his grasp and turned to face him. He barely had time to gasp before someone else was there.
“Get in the car, Delaney.”
Tim. Because, of course, Tim. He interposed himself between her and the twit. “It’s cold. Go on. I’ll talk to you in a minute.”
He sounded reasonable. How odd. Even as she felt her blood pounding in her ears she walked to her car. What the hell?
Tim spoke quietly to Darren. What he said, she didn’t know because between the closed door and the heater blasting her she couldn’t hear. Soon, she watched Darren turn and walk away. Tim watched him cross the parking lot before he went around her car and slid into the passenger seat.
“Fuck it’s cold.”
“What did you do?”
He’d done something. She was sure of it. The question was, would he tell or deny?
“I told him to go call the police and confess every terrible thing he’d ever done. Every law he’d broken, everything he’d done he knew or suspected was wrong. I imagine it’ll be a long list and they’ll pick him up before he’s done.”
“Only on my father’s side. Your Parith comes from your mother’s side, yes?”
And here was why she’d never felt comfortable around him. Fucking Faleaz and their ability to pick up on things no one wanted picked up on. He stretched his legs in front of him and reached over to adjust the heater to blow on his feet.
“Doing the odds?”
“Heh. What are those odd?”
Everyone thought that about Parith. As if their brains calculated odds and chances all the time. Her brother had succumbed to the affliction. He spent his time in one casino after another, always just one hand away from being truly down on his luck.
“My mother’s grandmother,” she finally said.
“Huh. Only one quarter?
“He didn’t tell me.”
“Craig. He didn’t tell. I knew.”
“So?” Fucking Faleaz and their leaps from one random thought to another. All to trap you into succumbing to their suggestions.
“I want you to know. Because I know you two are close.”
She was sure he didn’t lie. The percentages didn’t add up to him lying. And here was the other reason to not like him. Around someone else like her, even if he was Faleaz, made it harder to deny her mother’s blood. And she tried very hard to deny it. Even after so long there were plenty who didn’t want trust someone with alien blood.
“Thank you for your help tonight,” she began, but he stopped her.
“I had fun last night. We should go out. For real. Stop dating idiots from the ‘net.”
She said nothing.
“I’m doing the percentages.”
“You’d break my heart. The odds are not in your favor.”
“And you’re enough Parith to live by the fucking percentages?”
Why was he angry?
“Do you want a ride home?”
“No, Del. I’d hate for your precious numbers to make you miss my place. I’ll walk.”
“Don’t be stupid. It’s too cold outside. And where’s your coat?”
“Have a good night, Del.”
“Fucking Faleaz.” But she only whispered it after he’d left and she was halfway home. In her mind, she halved the tip she would send with Craig tomorrow.