Danielle sighed as she changed the channel on the television. She was tired of the couple in the movie she had been watching. Their relationship was so conventional, so predictable. She rolled her eyes a bit when the telephone rang.
“Hello?” she answered.
“Danielle?” said Katrina, Danielle’s best friend of ten years.
“Who else would it be, Kat?” Danielle joked.
“Yeah, yeah,” Katrina said. “Hey listen… remember that friend of Mark’s you met? Tanner Evans?”
Danielle smiled at the thought of Tanner. She remembered him well. “Yes,” she said as she absent-mindedly ran her fingers through her long brown hair.
Katrina giggled a bit before speaking again. “Well, he asked about you the other night. I was wondering if you would like to hang out with him, Mark and me? You know… like a double-date or something.”
Danielle though it over for a moment. A double-date sounded very cliché. It also didn’t help that she was going to be with Katrina and Mark, who had already become comfortable with each other, as they had been together for three years. Danielle was afraid this might create pressure. However, she did not want to pass up a chance to see Tanner again, so she decided to agree.
“Awesome,” said Katrina. “I’ll let him know.”
“When?” asked Danielle. “When do you want to do this, I mean.”
“Are you free tomorrow night?”
“Yes,” Danielle replied. She had to work a short, four hour shift in the afternoon at her part-time second job at Denny’s, but she would be home with plenty of time to get ready.
“Cool,” said Katrina. “Is seven good for you?”
“Yes,” said Danielle. She was starting to get a bit eager.
“Perfect, Meet us at the house at seven, then.”
“Will do, babe.”
When Danielle hung up the phone, she sighed. She never though she would see Tanner Evans again. He had made a very good first impression. Danielle smiled as she remembered his dark eyes and charming smile. She had liked the way he presented himself: confident and in control. He gave off a dominate vibe, and that had aroused Danielle’s interest, along with something else.
Danielle bit her lip in an attempt to control herself. She was getting worked up, and didn’t want to.
The next day, Danielle dashed home at four-thirty when her shift at Denny’s was over. She unlocked the door to her apartment anxiously, and walked down the hallway and into her bathroom, where she started to get undressed. She turned her shower on and stepped in once the water was warm enough for her.
Danielle tried to keep her mind off of what she was getting ready for. She didn’t want to let her mind wander, and she didn’t want to get her expectations too high. She also didn’t want to work herself up again.
Once Danielle had gotten every inch of her body clean, she stepped out of the shower and grabbed her towel to dry off a bit before walking down the hall to her bedroom to get dressed.
Since the four of them were only having dinner at Mark and Katrina’s house, Danielle picked out a pair of slightly snug jeans and a nice blouse. She sprayed a few squirts of perfume and brushed out her hair, blow-drying it before pulling it back into a long ponytail.
When Danielle went into the living room, it was five-fifteen. That gave her enough time to paint her finger nails and put make-up on once they dried.
At six-forty-five, Danielle go into her car and made the short drive to Katrina’s house. Once there, Danielle parked her car on the curb in front of the house. She unbuckled her seatbelt, and turned the car off. She took a moment to compose herself before stepping out of her car. She walked up Katrina’s driveway and took a deep breath as she reached the door to ring the bell.
Katrina smiled when she opened the door. “Hey, Danielle,” she said as she stepped aside to let her in.
“Hey, Kat,” said Danielle. The butterflies-in the-stomach feeling increased when Katrina shut the door. Danielle looked around the small living room and smiled a bit when she saw Tanner sitting on the couch. His eyes met hers and he stood up. Mark, who had been sitting in an armchair, cleared his throat.
“Tanner, You remember Katrina’s friend Danielle, right?” he asked. Tanner nodded.
“How could I forget?” he said as he smiled at her. Danielle blushed. She walked closer to him and shook his hand.
“You look very pretty, Danielle,” he said. Danielle blushed again and Tanner chuckled.
“Thank you,” she said.
Tanner indicated the couch, “Please sit,” he said. Danielle nodded and sat down, and Tanner sat beside her, close enough to talk to her, but far enough away to make sure she was comfortable. Katrina stood up to get Danielle a drink, and Mark was watching Katrina. Danielle knew that Tanner was looking at her. She turned her head to look at him. She smiled at him, a nervous, yet genuine smile. Tanner smiled back, a look of amusement on his face.
“You didn’t seem this shy when I first met you,” he said.
Danielle blushed yet again. “I’m usually not,” she said. Tanner studied her, still looking amused. Danielle looked him over as they sat there, taking her eyes away only to take the glass of iced tea from Katrina. She mumbled her thanks and looked at Tanner again as she took a sip.
“So tell me about yourself,” Tanner said, “What do you like to do?”
“Danielle looked around before speaking. She noticed that Mark and Katrina had gone into the kitchen to finish making their meal, and, she guessed, to give her and Tanner some time alone.
“Well I like to write,” she said quietly.
Tanner nodded, still smiling. “Creative girl,” he said. “I like that.” Danielle blushed again.
“What do you write?” Tanner asked.
“Stories mostly. Romances.”
“I’ll have to read one sometime,” said Tanner. Danielle nodded and took a sip of her iced tea. She looked away from Tanner. She was feeling nervous again. This was very unlike her. Danielle was usually a very confident person. She jumped slightly when she felt Tanner’s hand brush her knee.
Tanner chuckled again. “You say you’re usually not this shy?” he said, and his eyes moved from her face down her body as he took in every feature: the curve of her neck into her shoulder, her full chest, the curve of her torso to her hip. He let his eyes trail down her long legs, wishing they weren’t covered by her jeans. His eyes returned to her face as she started to speak.
“I’m not,” she said. “I’m just feeling slightly nervous right now.”
Tanner smiled and rested his hand on Danielle’s knee. “We’ll have to fix that,” he said. Danielle smiled shyly, looking away just as Katrina came into the living room to let them know that dinner was ready. Both Danielle and Tanner stood up to walk into the kitchen. They sat down next to each other and plated their food.
“Did you two get to know each other?” Mark asked.
Danielle took a bite of her spaghetti and nodded. Tanner spoke, and as he did, Danielle felt his hand on her knee. She took a deep breath.
“Well I learned that Danielle writes romance stories,” he said. Katrina nodded.
“She’s a very good writer,” she said. Tanner caressed Danielle’s knee. Danielle took another bite of spaghetti, keeping her eyes on her plate.
“I wouldn’t doubt it,” said Tanner. His hand moved higher on Danielle’s leg. Danielle gasped a bit as Tanner rubbed her leg gently.
Tanner looked at Danielle and smiled knowingly as he moved his hand to her upper thigh. Danielle smiled weakly and finished her food, trying to keep her composure as she felt Tanner’s fingers on her inner thigh.
She listened as Tanner and Mark chattered away about work. She looked over at Katrina and smiled. Katrina smiled back, happy that Tanner and Danielle were getting a long so well. Danielle was happy too. She felt like she and Tanner had a connection. She felt she may have finally found someone who could keep up with her. She smiled at the thought, then bit her lip as Tanner’s hand brushed against her. She shot him a look, and he simply smiled.
After everyone had finished eating, Katrina led them back into the living room for a few moments before Tanner and Danielle would have to leave. Tanner looked at Danielle as she stood up.
“I only live down the street,” he said quietly. “We could walk there and I’ll make some coffee, and we’ll see where things go.” Danielle nodded and Tanner stood up to leave. Katrina smiled at them and told Danielle to call her the next day.