I nodded, rearranging the pillows so I can lay down to enjoy the sunlight, my eyes closing on their own as I let the sound of birds chirping lull me to sleep. As I drifted off, I heard a soft laugh echoing as I faded out into unconsciousness. I was pulled out from my nap to a hand stroking my hair and someone humming softly. I stretched and rubbed my eyes before opening them, only to look at sparkling blue eyes.
“Did the party tire you out that much?” Daniel asked, still stroking my hair softly. I smiled sheepishly and bite my lip, nodding my head a bit.
“I suppose I should apologize for coming so early.” He said regrettably, making me shake my head.
“You came at the right time. If I kept on sleeping, I wouldn’t have gotten anything done then.” I replied, my voice still heavy with sleep. He nodded, his hand still playing with my hair.
“Your hair gets all messed up when you sleep.” He pointed out and my hands immediately flew to my hair to tidy it up, only to find tangles. I sighed and sat up, my dress hiking up to mid thighs.
“I’ll treat you out for lunch.” He suddenly said and I looked at him in confusion.
“As an apology.” He clarified.”
“You don’t have to do that, really.” I protested lightly.
“I want to.” His eyes is sincere and honest, making me sigh and smile slightly.
“If you insist.”
He stood up and offered his arm. I hooked my arm with his and we strolled out the gazebo.
“Do you mind waiting in the parlor? I’m going to freshen up a bit.” I asked when we got inside the house.
“Of course not.” He smiled and sat down on the couch then gestured for me to go.
“Five minutes.” I promised and bounded up the stairs into my room. I stepped into the bathroom and brushed my teeth then went back to my room. Hurriedly, I brushed my hair, sprayed some perfume on my neck and wrists, applied some eyeliner and wore my white sandals before going back to the parlor where I spotted Daniel on the phone. I took a seat nearby and retrieved some lip-balm from my bag, applying it to my lips. He wrapped up the call soon enough.
“Something wrong?” I asked.
He pocketed his phone, and then shook his head. Afterwards, he stood and offered a hand to pull me up. I took it and we headed out to his car, a black R8. I gasped in admiration and nearly threw myself onto the car if it wasn’t for Daniel’s hand holding mine. And my dignity, of course. I let my eyes wander all the over the car: its sleek body, the shiny black coating. We came to a stop next to the passenger seat, the car being unlocked and him pulling the door open for me to get in.
“Why thank you, kind sir.” I curtsied before going in.
He hurried to the driver’s side after I settled down, starting the engine and pulls out from my house. I messed with the radio as we got into the highway, full of cars with people ready to spend their weekends.
“I take you like the R8?” I hear him ask, pulling me away from my thoughts. I smiled sheepishly and feel warmth on my cheeks, looking down to my lap and nodding in confirmation.
“Do you have any car of your own?” He asked, glancing at me.
I shake my head, “I can’t drive.”
We were quiet for a few moments before he spoke again. “May I ask why?”
“I haven’t learned how to drive, that’s it. No phobias or trauma, if you’re curious.”
“That explains it.” He smiled, putting the right blinker on before turning right. The car entered a posh restaurant and I frowned, looking at my attire then at the restaurant again.
“You look great, don’t worry about it.” He said as he killed the engine.
“But this restaurant is very high class.” I protested and crossed my arms on my chest. “There’s no way I can enter dressed like this.”
“You’d be surprised. Come on.” He had opened my door and offered a hand. I sighed and took it, pulling out of the car before walking towards the restaurant.
“Ah, Mr. Haverford! Good morning!” The maî-tre d greeted us as we entered the restaurant.
“Good morning, Jacques. Is my parents here already?” he shook hands with him as we walked inside, people dressed formally as they enjoyed their lunch. I frowned and hid behind Daniel.
“Your mother is here now consulting with the chef.” The maî-tre d replied. Daniel nodded and pulled me from behind him.
“Vanna, you look fine. Don’t fuss about it.” He bent down so he could look straight into my eyes.
“But…” I started to protest only to be stopped by a finger held in front of my mouth.
“No buts.” He said and took my hand, leading me to the kitchen where I can see his mother and the executive chef talking to each other.
“Good morning, mother.” He greeted with smile and kissed her cheeks, leaving me to stand behind him while wringing my hands together out of nervousness.
“Ah Daniel!” She brightened and hugged him.
“Picking the courses for dinner, I suppose?” He asked.
“Why yes, of course. I was hoping you could help with it. Oh, hello there.” She said when she spotted me. Daniel went back to my side and pulled me forward to greet his mother.
“Mother, may I introduce Ms. Charleston?” I held my hand out and put on a polite smile. She surprised me by giving a hug, one I immediately returned tightly.
“Your dress last night was magnificent. Was it a vintage?” Mrs. Haverford asked after we pulled away from the hug.
“I think so, it was my mother’s.” I replied as I went back to Daniel’s side.
“Vintage always brings the good couture.” She smiled, looking back to Daniel. “Would you take a look at the menu before the both of you enjoy your lunch? I need an opinion on the drinks.”
Daniel nodded and looked at me, “Do you mind?” I smiled and shake my head, heading out back to the dining area and chose a table near the window with a view of the park close by. A waiter came by bringing a bottle of wine with him.
“Mr. Haverford said to bring this and your lunch has been ordered.” He said after he poured the wine into both of the glasses.
I nodded, “Thank you.” He went back to the kitchen entrance as Daniel walked out and headed towards our table.
“I hope you’ve worked up quite an appetite since I ordered a lot.” He said as he sat down.
“I have an appetite nearly all the time.” I patted my stomach and giggled.
“I like a woman who can eat.” He said softly and I colored, looking down on my lap in embarrassment. He laughed softly and held my hands, making me look up at him.
“Don’t be embarrassed, I’m just stating a fact. You can’t find many girls who can eat without being worried about their weight afterwards.” He smiled and squeezed my hands before finally letting go when our food arrived.
“Enjoy.” Our waiter bowed then hurried back to serve another diner. We unfolded our napkins then lay it over our laps before opening the lid covering our foods. I inhaled deeply, savoring the aroma of my lunch.
“Are you going to tell me what food you have chosen?” I asked teasing as I start to cut the meat down.
“Grilled sea bass with hollandaise sauce, accompanied with sautéed asparagus.” He smiled before taking a bite. I copied him and moaned in pleasure as my taste buds exploded.
“Oh goodness, I would kill to own the recipe of this delectable food.” I exclaimed.
Daniel laughed and shook his head in disbelief. “You would be saying that for every dish I ordered then.”
I raised an eyebrow, “Oh? You’re that confident about this restaurant?”
“My family and yes, I am quite confident at that particular subject.” He smirked.
“Hmm, very well then. I suppose you wouldn’t mind if I up the ante then?” I challenged, leaning forward.
“Bring it on. If I win, you’re going to be my plus one at a party tonight.” He held out his hand, silently challenging me to shake it.
“Done and if I win, I could take you anywhere I wanted to go.” I shook his hand to seal the deal.
“One exception: it has to be by the law.” He added, me nodding in reply as I ate, chewing considerably to get more flavors from the food.
“Well what course do we have next?” I asked as I wiped my mouth when we finished the first course.
“Soup. Mushroom cream with chicken, accompanied with baguette.” Daniel said as he took a sip of his wine. The waiter soon came with our dishes and refilled our wine. I took the first taste of the soup and groaned.
“Yes?” He asked amused.
“I’m going to lose our small bet at this rate.” I complained as I take another spoonful of the delicious soup.
He smirked, “Music to my ears. Now finish up, we still have desert to follow.”
“Goodness.” I grumbled under my breath and finished the soup, taking a few sips of water to clear my mouth and throat. Soon another waiter cam carrying covered dishes that would be our dessert.
“So are you going to tell me what you ordered for our dessert?” I leaned forward and rested my head on my hand, smiling sweetly.
“Hmm, maybe I will, maybe I won’t.” He said in a sing-song voice. I pouted and crossed my arms across my chest childishly as the waiter placed our dessert on the table.
“Aww, I’m sorry.” He chuckled before opening the lid covering our final dish. I groaned in pleasure when I see my favorite dessert on the plate.
“I declare defeat.” I raised my hands up and smiled sheepishly. Daniel smiled smugly and leaned back on his chair.
“Eat up.” Was all he said, me doing so happily.
I scooped an unhealthy portion of my chocolate lava cake and added ice cream before eating it, my eyes closing in bliss.
“Thank you.” I smiled when we’re finished with lunch, sipping the remnants of our wine.
“For what exactly?” He asked as he signaled the waiter for our bill.