Ginny did a little dance after she asked out Stephen and he said yes. And when she said she’d meet him at Cilantro and Sage, he laughed.
“That place is impossible to get reservations for.”
She shrugged. “I have my ways.” She did, but it took 22 different, tumultuous ways of asking Kate, her older curmudgeonly sister, to let her have a table.
“You won’t ask for discounts?” Kate asked.
Crap, Ginny thought. You own the restaurant and you won’t give your sister who makes $18 an hour at a poopy job a break? But she nodded. No discounts.
If the napkin had been paper rather than linen, she’d have torn it up by now. She sipped her Moscato and watched the door. God, she was so stupid. Why did she think he’d really come? She was a dumpy administrative assistant and he was a writer, a lead writer. He was funny and brilliant, handsome and sexy. God, whatever was she thinking?
The waitress appeared. “Are you going to order anything?”
“Do you have personalities on the menu?” Ginny asked.
“Damn, girl, if they were on there, don’t you think I’d ask for another one?” She laughed.
Ginny nodded, eyes shining a little too brightly. “I understand.”
“Man stood you up?”
“I guess so. It’s not the first time. No pity party.”
“Damn, straight. Just order yourself something nice and celebrate being you.”
“Woohoo,” Ginny said, twirling her finger. But she didn’t feel woohoo. She didn’t even feel woo much less hoo. How had she misunderstood Stephen? She was sure there was a connection. Actually, she was sure she felt love at first sight no matter how hokie it sounded. She had been certain he was her One. Evidently—wrong.
She glanced over the menu. She’d eat regardless or Kate would never forgive her for taking a table. Pan-seared halibut. She could do that.
She was taking a bite of the gingery fish when Stephen appeared.
“I’m so sorry,” he said. “You wouldn’t believe what happened to me.”
She hesitated mid-chew, her eyes taking him in. All of him in. Every sexy, very well formed bit of him in. “What?”
“Crap, that sounded like a drama queen. Nothing happened to me. Let me start over. Crap, it’s too late, isn’t it? I already sound like a douche.”
She reached out and grabbed his hand. “Just tell me what happened.”
“Nina had a heart attack and I saved her.”
Well, that wasn’t what she was expecting.
“How did you save her?”
“CPR, mouth to mouth.” He shook his head and looked away. Laughed slightly, in a way that was not quite laughing. “Who’d have ever thought that I’d laid lips on Nina before you?”
She laughed. He grinned.
Why was the first thing she thought to say was: “So, you’ve thought about laying lips on me?” rather than ask about poor Nina?
But Stephen didn’t notice. He just replied with: “Pretty much every day since you started working there.”
“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
“You haven’t been exactly approachable.”
Ginny wouldn’t say it was Kate’s fault, but it was. Kate raised her. Kate raised her to be prickly and standoffish and succeeded beyond all expectation.
“Am I approachable now?” she asked.
“God, yes, and more.”
“Do you think you could lay lips on me?”
“How much garlic is in on that halibut?”
She smirked. “A lot.”
When the waitress reached their table, he asked for the halibut.
When Ginny glanced at him, he shrugged. “If we have the same amount of garlic, the kisses can only be sweeter.”
Yeah, she thought, he was definitely the One.
I have never tried pan-seared halibut, but the one I have tried that works is weight watchers recipe, follow all of the ingredients but when it comes to cooking, put it on a sheet pan in a pre-heated oven set for 450F and cook for 15 minutes.