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Romance

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It was Saturday night and Melendez had decided to take Lim out on a nicer date tonight. Normally, they would just go to their favorite bar to watch whatever sports game was on, but tonight, he wanted to do something special. He wanted to tell her something that, quite honestly, he didn’t know if she felt the same way, but he was going to tell her anyways. He wore the blue dress shirt that she loved, the one he had been wearing the night they had first slept together. He put a suit coat on over it and grabbed his wallet and keys before he drove over to Lim’s house. When he arrived, he went up to the front door and knocked. Lim answered a few moments and she let him into the house. She was wearing black dress pants and a short-sleeved blouse almost the same shade of Melendez’s dress shirt, so she said, “Oh God, I have to go change.”

“Why?” Melendez asked and chuckled.

“Because our shirts are the same shade of blue,” Lim called from halfway up the stairs.

“So?” asked Melendez.

“Neil, we’ll look ridiculous!” she shouted.

Melendez followed her up the stairs and stood outside her closed bedroom door, “I think we’ll look cute,” he said and smirked.

Lim opened the door, now only dressed from the waist down and said, “Neil, we’re never going to be one of those couples who wear matching shirts. Understand?”

“Understood,” he nodded.

She reemerged a minute later, wearing the same blouse only it was plum colored, “If we were going Crowley’s like we normally do, I could just wear jeans and a t-shirt,” she scolded jokingly.

“And I’ve told you, we have to change up our dates that way we don’t get bored,” said Melendez lightly, “But no matter what you wear, you look beautiful,” Lim eyed him and Melendez waved his pointer finger at her, “I told you, I have the right to think my girlfriend is pretty.”

Lim huffed, “Alright, I’ll let you have that,” she pulled on her black leather jacket and grabbed her bag before she went towards Melendez’s car, “So where are you taking me tonight?”

“Well, since you admitted to me it’s been awhile since you’ve had good seafood, I thought we could try Scott’s Seafood downtown. Then we could go back to my place for a nice quiet evening,” he gave a seductive grin.

Lim grinned back, though there would be nothing quiet about it if they were performing properly. She grabbed his hand and said, “Maybe in the next few weekends, we can get away and go hiking in the Redwoods or something. Make a day out of it, it’ll be away from San Jose, so there would be less of a chance for people to see us.”

Melendez nodded in agreement, “Agreed. Maybe we can look into it,” the couple arrived at Scott’s Seafood and Melendez went up to the hostess and said, “Reservation for two under Neil Melendez.”

The hostess looked it up on the computer and smiled cheerfully, “Of course sir. Right this way,” she led them up to the sixth floor, which had a beautiful view of downtown San Jose. She handed them their menus and said, “Your waiter should be with you shortly.”

“Thank you,” said Lim and then looked at Melendez, “Neil, you really didn’t have to go to all of this trouble.”

“It’s no trouble at all. I told you that first night you were out of the hospital you’ll discover how romantic of a guy I am because I save it all for the women I love,” he slipped out and then his face fell. He hadn’t meant to say that until the end of the evening. Lim bolted her head up, “I mean…”

Lim took his hand and stopped his stuttering, “Well, I’m glad you do,” Melendez had no idea what she thought of his declaration. She was being way too casual about it. Maybe she didn’t love him back and she saw the relationship as nothing more than a friends with benefits situation. They ordered the Perrier Jouet champagne to complement their meals: cups of lobster bisque as a starter for the both of them, jambalaya for Lim, and a filet mignon for Melendez, “You take me to a seafood restaurant and you order steak?” she asked jokingly.

“Hey, you have your taco and beef noodle soup addiction, I have my steak addiction,” he joked back. They split a bread pudding for dessert and Melendez paid before he drove them back to his house. He opened the front door and put his keys in the bowl on the table in the living room before he stuck his hands in his pockets, “Listen Audrey, about what I said earlier…”

Lim shushed him and laid her hands on his shoulders, “Hey, it’s okay,” she said.

“But I told you…”

“I know. But I wanted to be in a private room before I told you how I feel,” she admitted.

Melendez nodded and asked, “So, how do you feel?”

Lim gave him a small smile, “Like this,” she leaned in and passionately kissed him. While he was enjoying every moment, Melendez still didn’t know how Lim felt deep down. Lim pulled back and asked, “Do you want me to show you how much I love you?”

Melendez raised his eyebrows and asked, “So?”

“Of course, I love you, you asshat. I just didn’t want to say it at the restaurant because then I would have wanted to clear the table and have you make love to me right then and there,” she answered, “But now that we’re in the privacy of your home, we are free to show how much we love each other,” Melendez groaned at the prospect. They had been together a little over a month and he still couldn’t get over how beautiful Audrey Lim was no matter what she was wearing (or not wearing). She grabbed his hand and led him up the stairs, shutting the door behind her and then giving him a seductive look, “Now where were we?”

“You were going to show me how much you love me,” answered Melendez.

“So I was,” said Lim, “So I was.”