Ellie spoke into the phone impatiently, “Ellsa, are you sure he’s coming?” She hated being stood up, as much as she hated blind dates.
“I’m sure he’ll be there. Have you been watching out for him? He’s pretty hard to miss.” She answered impatiently.
Ellie stood up from the table to leave, “Your definition of a hot guy is very different from mine.” She wasn’t going to wait any longer; she’d just tell Ellsa she did meet the guy. It’s not like she’d interrogate her for details- wait she would. She loved her twin sister for worrying about her, but when it came to her love life, she just wished she’d keep her nose out of it.
“Artists are tortured souls,” Ellsa said, with revulsion, “So your taste in men and how you get them is horrible. So, for once, do us both a favor and do as I say.”
Ellie went quiet for a moment, her grip tightening around the phone. She felt guilty for ruining another one of her sister’s relationships. It’s not like she did it on purpose, but for some reason they just tend to like her better than Ellsa once she’d met and spent time with them. Once, they went speed dating just for the hell of it, and the two guys Ellsa liked seemed to want Ellie more, which was a little surprising.
Ellsa and Ellie shared the same features; dark skin, tall, skinny and with curves in all the right places. They both had average long hair- Ellie wore hers in loose curls and Ellsa wore hers depending what was in fashion. Ellsa was sophisticated with very expensive taste, but Ellie on the other hand was simple and loved the rock- chic style.
“Okay...” Ellie conceded.
“If you hadn’t noticed, I can’t lip read through the receiver! Speak up or text... or better yet, go buy a phone made in this decade!”
“There is nothing...” Ellie yelled. Then she held her phone over her head like she was about to throw it. Arrgh! Ellsa was getting on her last nerve!
“Ellie? Ellie! I bet that contraption is dead! Stupid dial up...” Ellsa’s loud voice came through the receiver.
Ellie brought the phone back to her ear and patiently interrupted her sister’s rants, “Ellsa...”
“What did you do to get it to work? Knock it on the table?”
Ellie bit back a hiss. I need a drink!
She walked to the bar, sat down and took out the piece of paper with the guy’s name on it, “Okay I’ll wait five more minutes, if he doesn’t get here Ellsa....”
“He’ll be there,” she said, sounding very sure of herself, before she hung up.
Ellie put her cell back in her purse before she ordered a shot of vodka. She pulled down her dress when it rode a few inches higher up her thigh. She hated the dress, it wasn’t her style.
She ordered another shot and a beer. Ellsa would disapprove of the butch drink, but with every minute that passed Ellie was sure the guy wouldn’t turn up so, screw it! She tossed back her shot before she took a swig of the beer right out of the bottle.
“Something doesn’t quite fit in this picture,” A man’s voice said, next to her. His tone was low and very seductive.
Taking another swig of beer without looking at the guy, “Oh yeah, what?”
She liked his voice but she was worried his face wouldn’t match it. In most cases they never do.... maybe after a few more shots she thought to herself as she signaled the bartender for another shot.
“You have an expensive dress on, with equally expensive and high taste in shoes and jewelry. Your hairdo must have cost as much as my rent and your make-up is like most rich celebrities. God forbid they have a bad picture taken by the annoying paparazzi.”
Ellie laughed as she turned to look at the man who was boldly taking her facade apart, “Wait, what?” She was gob smacked by the man’s smile. She bit her lip to hide her relief as she looked him over. His face and body did match his voice. Ellie sucked in a breath. He was a tequila fire bomb!
“Don’t get me wrong you are easy on the eyes in that get up, but it doesn’t look anything like you,” Carson signaled the bartender for a shot.
She turned to look at him, one leg crossed over the other. She didn’t mind that the dress rod up a few more inches. She prayed her blind date didn’t turn up! “Considering you’ve just met me, how would you know what I’m like?” She asked, with a smile, lifting her knee more over the other and accidentally grazing his leg.
Carson swallowed hard and smiled. “Well, no one with such expensive taste would be hitting back a beer and shots.”
Ellie laughed, taking another swig of her beer. “She’d probably sip on wine and nurse the glass for an hour. She would not want to be perceived as one who loves her liquor,” describing her sister’s drinking manner.
“Let me guess, your friend dressed you up for a blind date with someone more her type?”
“My sister, and yes, I think she did. The only problem is I don’t think he’s going to turn up. I hate blind dates.”
“Well,” Carson raised his bottle to hers, “his loss, and my gain. I’m Carson by the way, Dale Carson.” extending his hand to her.
Taking his hand, “Ellie Jabari.” They lingered quietly with their hands in warm contact before she broke the silence, “Wait. Did you say Dale Carson?”
“Yeah,” he chuckled, “it doesn’t sound like a black guy’s name huh?”
Feeling a little embarrassed, “Well, not exactly...”
“I can explain that. My dad is Scottish and my mom is black, she’s from Boston.”
“Good to know, but that wasn’t what I meant. My blind date’s name is Dale Carson,” she laughed, more at the awkward situation that was bound to follow after her confession than at herself.
She shook her head looking him over again “You are the guy my sister set me up with... which doesn’t make any sense.”
Carson looked at her with a mix of confusion and intrigue. He knew a lot of women and none of them would set him up on a blind date, let alone with their own sister. “What’s her name?”
“Ellsa. You don’t look like the type she’d hang out with. Well you do, just not for the right reasons.” Her eyes shrunk in confusion. She could see her sister sleeping with this guy. Who wouldn’t? But she couldn’t believe her sister actually wanted her to date her leftovers. Weren’t we trying to avoid these kinds of situations, she thought to herself. But she and her sister looked alike, the way she was dressed, he could have mistaken her for Ellsa easily, but he didn’t. “How do you know my sister?”
“I don’t, how does your sister know me?”
“My sister and I don’t exactly move in the same circles. Maybe someone told her about you... or you might be lying to me?”
“Trust me, I don’t know your sister, I don’t date the stiff type.” He answered, with a charming smile.
Ellie laughed, “She’s not exactly that stiff, just set in her ways. Either way, I’m glad I met you, you’ve made my pitiful boring night very interesting.”
He signaled to the bartender to get them more drinks, “The night isn’t over yet, it could get even more interesting.” reaching down under her legs to get to the frame of the stool, he pulled it and her towards him, trapping her crossed legs between his. There was no way she could move from that position without falling flat on her back.
Ellie felt a little sweaty, the sound of her racing heart beat loud in her ears. She felt claustrophobic, and she could feel her throat dry out under Carson’s penetrating gaze. Even if she wanted to move, she couldn’t. She wasn’t going to risk embarrassing herself in front of this guy, not if she could help it.
Carson smiled, he felt like a predator taunting his prey. He had her bagged. It was a good thing it was the weekend, because tonight was going to be a very exhausting night. He put his hand on her knee and slowly began tracing his fingers up her leg to her thigh.
She caught his hand once it reached the edge of her dress at her thigh, “It’s not going to get that interesting,” shifting his hand onto his own knee. She was very attracted to him, but she also knew he was the type to hit and run. She wasn’t going to make it that easy for him; he’d have to work hard for it. “How about we crawl before we start running?”
He shifted his hand back to her knee, intrigued and amused by the game she’d presented. Chasing only made things even more interesting for him, “Okay. We’ll call this date number one then.”
Ellie laughed at the tip-off, “Dale Carson, I’m not your ordinary kind of girl. I live by my own rules.”
“I have a feeling this is going to be very interesting,” with a smile, tucking his fingers in the crook of her knee as he drew circles lightly with his thumb on her knee.
“You said that already.” Ellie stared at him, fascinated and amused at the man’s arrogance. As much as she didn’t practice it, she wouldn’t mind a one night stand with him. He seemed like the type to blow his horn and live up to it, but this was now a game to him, a game she had every intention of winning.
Two plates of fries and sandwiches were placed in front of them, “Enjoy.” The bartender said, with a courtesy smile.
Ellie shook her head, “Sorry but we didn’t order anything.”
Then he settled his gaze on Carson, as he slid the ketchup, salt and pepper on the counter to them.
“I did.” Carson offered, picking a fry and tossing it in his mouth.
“I didn’t know they served simple food here.”
Carson looked over to the dining area. He’d forgotten to do a complete sweep after the distraction her legs had presented. She was right. The low jazz music playing in the background went well with the dim lights. The waiters in penguin suits quietly moving around the tables like a well organized troop. And of course the fine dinners in designer labels.
“How did you get in here dressed like that?” Ellie laughed.
“I paid extra.” He smiled when her brows furrowed.
“I didn’t pay...” she stopped. Her eyebrows lifted and her lips spread in a smile, “You seduced the hostess, didn’t you?”
Silently, he picked up the ketchup and doused her fries.
He slide fries into her mouth to silence her, “Now I see why you need your sister to set you up on blind dates. Are you going to bring up your ex-boyfriends next?”
Ellie narrowed her eyes at him. She soaked a fry in ketchup then, after wiping it on his lips and cheeks slid it into his open mouth.
She laughed, leaning back and almost falling off the stool. Carson held her waist to steady her, “You are lucky you are so cute.”
She picked up a napkin and wiped the mess off, “No, you are lucky you are so damn cute.”
He rested his hand back on her knee, “Another beer?”
Ellie nodded, glancing at his hand. “Thank you for the fries.”
He squeezed her knee making her giggle. His smile deepened at the sweet melody of her voice, “You can thank me on our third date.” He didn’t mean it as a joke, but it set her off and he had to hold on to her waist again.
She bit her lips together to muffle the laughs when she noted the eyes set on them. He didn’t seem to notice—his eyes didn’t move away from her. “Eat.” She ordered feeding him another fry.