As Truman watched his sister and her date drive away in the over sized pick-up truck, he couldn’t remember Harp’s ever mentioning an Owen before. He was going to have to ask Grace about him. And speaking of Grace, he needed to get a move on it, or he really would be late.
Heading back into the house, he grabbed his jacket off the couch and shouted a quick good-bye to his parents, who were lingering in the dining room over coffee. The door gave a satisfied smack as he pulled it closed. If there was a dumb ass song from the show Glee playing in his head about a teenage dream, he was laying that solely at Harper’s door, since she loved the show and blasted the musical numbers at near deaf levels.
Contemplating the evening ahead, amazement raised his eyebrows as he realized his palms were actually sweating. Mentally crossing his fingers, he headed for his car.
Grace’s reflection stared back at her from the bathroom mirror, worry knitting her brow. She only had a few minutes before Truman was due to arrive, and she was a working on becoming a nervous wreck. Of course, playing the what if game can do that to a girl. For example, what if this was a mistake? What if when he broke her heart-which she totally knew he would-it ruined her friendship with Harper? What if he hated the way she kissed? What if he decided he didn’t want to kiss her? Ugh. Yep, it was official. She was a nervous wreck.
The peal of the door chime seemed overly loud announcing Truman’s arrival. Grace critically eyed the black skirt and purple long sleeved silk shirt that she’d accessorized with black tights, black flats and silver jewelry. With her stomach a ball of nerves, she grabbed her faux fur jacket off the bed and moved toward the stairs, telling herself to breathe with every step.
Greetings were quick and awkward. Neither Grace nor Truman seemed to know how to act around each other. Truman said goodnight to Mrs. Maguire and helped Grace on with her coat, doing all the things a date might do. He held the door for her and rushed to the car to hold that one as well. Lovely gestures, really, but all very un-Trumanlike. Dejectedly, Grace settled into the front seat and wondered if the evening was doomed for failure.
Sliding behind the wheel, Truman smiled over at Grace and said, “You look really nice tonight.” Putting the car in gear, they headed out.
“Thanks. So do you.” She replied taking in the dark jeans and soft sweater under his ever-present bomber jacket. His hair looked as if it had recently been cut, and his face recently shaved, displaying the dimple in his chin prominently. Okay, ball was in her court, so she really needed to try here. “Um, where are we going tonight?”
Pouncing on the question like a lifeline, Truman smiled at her and answered, “One of the guys I know from school is having a party. I thought we could head over for that.”
Grace’s face fell. A party? Their very first date and he wanted to go to a party? Sighing deeply, she turned her head and looked out the window. The evening was shaping up to be a disappointment. Watching the slide show that was scenery pass by the window, Grace wanted to cry. This was not how it was supposed to go. Why were they so uncomfortable with each other?
Truman felt more than heard her sigh and understanding, immediately pulled into the next vacant parking lot he spotted. Putting the car in park, he turned and looked at her with an abashed crooked grin. “Seems we got this night started on the wrong foot.”
Relief at his statement had her meeting his smile with one of her own. “You feel it, too? I mean, it’s not supposed to be this hard, is it?”
Chuckling, he replied, “Nope.”
Watching Grace nibble on her bottom lip-something she did whenever she was concentrating- had Truman wondering what the end of the evening would hold for them. Oh, he was getting a good night kiss, but suddenly he didn’t want to wait until then for that first taste. Unconsciously, he found himself leaning forward.
Grace looked up and smiled. “I know. Let’s start over. Take the idea that this is a date out of the equation and maybe it won’t be so-“
Truman’s kiss stopped her mid-sentence. It was a quick, light brushing of lips that packed a solid punch. It didn’t last more than a moment, but it was long enough to ignite the fireworks display behind her closed eyes.
Truman pulled back and looked at Grace. He hesitated at the glazed look on her face but smiled when, with eyes still closed, she breathed, “Wow.” Inching forward, he captured her lips in a second kiss that had her young heart singing with glee, and when she felt his tongue dart out and touch the seam, she was positive it would burst wide open.
Five minutes-and car full of fogged windows later- Truman and Grace were once again on their own side of the front seat smiling goofily at each other. Shaking his head to end the stupor, Truman said, “Okay, let’s start this date over again. You look fantastic, and I was thinking we should head down to Oakley’s for dinner. But since I can’t afford Oakley’s, how about we head over to Dante’s for pizza instead? No party, just me and you tonight.”
Grace’s eyes sparked at the suggestion, and Truman knew he was on the right track. Besides, he knew Grace plural, as in Grace and Harper. Tonight, he wanted to get to know Grace without the Harper attachment, because while he dated a lot of girls at school, Grace was someone he knew he could be serious about. Whether or not he was ready to make that commitment was yet to be determined.
Putting the car in gear, Truman said, “Oh and one more thing. This is most definitely a date, no way is that up for negotiation. Got it?” he added with a wink.
Lifting her hand to her swollen mouth as Truman eased out of the parking lot, Grace hoped that Harper’s date was off to as good a start as hers was.
Okay people, you know the drill. Tell us what you think.