New York City - the West Village
Chapter 2 - may I have this dance
It was a beautiful, crisp fall evening. The leaves had already changed and were lining the street and sidewalk in the most magical way. Sam arrived first. He was wearing a dark blue button down shirt, sleeves rolled up, dark jeans, with a single white rose in his possession. His hair had that “just rolled out of bed” look.
He was waiting outside, like the gentleman he is. Feeling nervous but excited, this girl was a game changer. He’s never met anyone like her before. And now that he’s found her, he wasn’t gonna let her go. Did he believe in love at first sight? Not until he met Caitriona. Sam was fidgeting he was so anxious to see her, and they’d only parted ways in the park not 4 hours prior.
Caitriona’s cab pulled up. The door opened, and Sam rushed right over while trying to play it cool as he took her hand and helped her out of the cab. With his other, he handed her the rose. Cait beamed and took a long sniff of the flower. She let out a huge sigh.
“You look beautiful,” Sam said, staring her right in the eyes. The same way he did on that park bench. Like she was the only person in the world. His expression was soft. He was vulnerable.
Cait was wearing a black cocktail dress with an open back, and a slit up the right side. She was donning black pumps and holding a red clutch. Her hair was soft and down, with wavy loose curls framing her face. She was wearing her favorite black leather jacket. She felt pretty. She felt grown up. She can’t remember the last time she had an opportunity to really dress up and go out. Especially with someone she truly wanted to go out with.
“You don’t look too bad yourself,” she gushed, as she inadvertently reached up to fix his shirt collar.
“Shall we?” He had his hand on her lower back as he opened the restaurant door and followed her in.
The restaurant was dimly lit, and soft music could be heard by a man playing acoustic guitar in the corner. There was a candle in the middle of each table, which made the ambiance feel even more warm and intimate. Sam pulled out her chair. As she sat down he caught his breath as he noticed her bare back as he helped her remove her jacket. He wanted desperately to reach out and caress that bare back with his fingertips. But he resisted...for now.
Sitting across the table from her he was completely mesmerized and happy to be.
“So I don’t even know anything about you,” she finally said after getting swept up in his gaze.
“Aye, ye’re right. Well, like I said when I asked ye out, you can ask anything of me and I’ll tell you all you wanna know. But then I get to ask all about you. Fairs fair,” he said with a boyish, yet wicked grin.
“So mr Scotsman, what’s a guy like you doing in a big city like this?” Cait closed her eyes and shook her head at how cheesy that line was.
Sam laughed out loud and gave her a wink.
“I’m actually in NYC for the next 3 months working on an indie film. Then I head to South Africa to film a comic book action movie. It’s kinda top secret tho,” he winked. “If I told you, I’d have to kiss you.”
Caitriona, with a curious look on her face replies...”wait, kiss? Isn’t it supposed to be...”
Sam interrupts her in mid sentence. “Well, I think kiss is much more fun, don’t you think? And much less sinister.”
“When you’re right, you’re right,” Cait says as her face begins to flush.
3 months. Caitriona’s heart briefly sank at the thought of him leaving. But she wiped that clear out of her head and told herself just be in the moment.
Embarrassed and blushing, Caitriona quickly asks him another question.
“So I take it you’re an actor?”
“That I am, but I do like to dabble in a number of various creative pursuits.”
“How about you?” Sam asks as he leans forward, trying to get as close to her as humanly possible. The waiter hadn’t yet arrived, but neither of them even noticed.
“You’re gonna laugh, but I’m an actor too! Well, an actress, that is.” She says with a grin. “I used to model for many years, but acting was always my #1 passion and what I truly saw myself doing.”
Suddenly their server arrived ready to take their drink order. They both perused the wine list and decided on a bottle of Sancerre.
“I’ve actually traveled the world when I was a model, which was pretty amazing. But it’s also quite nice to just be in one place.” Caitriona felt so comfortable talking to him. Like she’d known him for years and not just met him earlier that day. She’s never felt such a connection with a man this quickly. He had a warmth about him. And a real interest in everything she had to say. Caitriona was a very good judge of character, and she got the sense that Sam was a genuine guy with a kind heart. She felt extremely lucky.
“Traveling the world must have been amazing. So have you ever been to Scotland?”
“Aye.” Cait said as she raised her eyebrows, causing Sam to swoon.
“Verra good, milady.” Sam’s face lit up, but then again he couldn’t hide his joy being with her even if he tried.
Suddenly the waiter appeared with their bottle of wine and healthily poured two glasses. They were so caught up in each other from the moment they sat down, they were not yet ready to put in their meal order so the waiter dispersed.
“I’d like to propose a toast,” Sam said as he raised his glass.
“I know we only just met today, but my heart is full at the thought, and blessed that I ventured my way to that park bench. I believe in fate, and I believe we were supposed to meet.”
Caitriona was silent. How did she get so lucky. Is he real? Too good to be true? No matter. He was here right in front of her saying these words, and she just wanted to climb over that table, press her lips against his, and melt into his arms.
“Wow.” She almost didn’t know what to say. “Ok so that was far less poetic than those beautiful words you just uttered, but I’m quite speechless. And that doesn’t happen often,” she nervously giggled.
Sam reached across the table and gently touched her hand. Caitriona automatically lifted hers and they locked fingers. His thumb began to rub her knuckles back and forth and back and forth as they spoke some more.
“I guess we should look at the menu and order some food, aye?”
“I am quite famished.” The look she gave Sam was one of utter want.
The waiter appeared again, and Sam and Caitriona put in their order. They didn’t once look at the waiter, as they couldn’t take their eyes off one another.
They began to talk more about everything. Their childhood. Jobs they’ve had. Family. Hobbies. Passions in life. Relationships.
They were so in tune with one another. So in sync.
“How is it possible we only met this afternoon?” Cait said, in almost a whisper, not believing it herself.
“Sometimes you just get lucky. Sometimes the stars align,” Sam professed with a smile as he gave her hand a tight squeeze.
They’d already been at the restaurant for 2.5 hours sipping wine, sharing tapas, talking, giggling, smiling, swooning into each other’s eyes, and even the silent moments were perfect. They didn’t need words to communicate.
There was a crackling fireplace along the wall in the center of the restaurant, with a musician strumming his guitar ever so softly throughout the night.
“Cait?” Caitriona repeated.
“Has anyone ever called you Cait?”
“Actually no. I’ve been given quite a few nicknames over the years, but that one I suppose never stuck.”
“Well consider it stuck,” Sam said grinning from ear to ear, super proud of himself.
“Haha. Ok, you have now shortened my name.”
“May I have this dance?”