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You receive a text signaling that the car is outside waiting for you. You expect it to just be a car service or maybe his manager but no; when you slide into the back street, you slide in next to [HN]. He smiles, takes your hand and kisses the top of it.
“I hope you don’t mind, I was anxious to see for myself that the two of you were alright.”
You blush and duck your head, “Thank you. Yes, we’re fine.”
As Lee climbs in he extends his hand over to her with a slight bow;
“Good to see you again Lee.”
“Same, thank you for inviting us to dinner.”
“My pleasure. I don’t often get to enjoy the company of two beautiful foreigners.”
“Foreigners being the key word, but don’t you mean specifically ‘Americans’?”
He laughs, “Yes, quite true. My apologies.”
When you arrive at his home Lee gives a small gasp. You elbow her in the ribs with a shh look. However, she ignores you and does a spin in the middle of his living room,
“Wow. Your place is absolutely gorgeous, but you know that right?”
He smiles and nods, “Compliments are always appreciated; thank you.”
You turn, embarrassed that you’ve been here before and can't remember if you said anything the last time. You don’t realize how close he is behind you as you bump into him while trying to turn. He grabs you by the arms to steady you, smiling down into your face. As you start to say ‘sorry’ or compliment his home, he puts a finger to your lips and whispers,
“Sorry and compliments are not necessary from you.”
With that he lets you go and joins Lee in the living room.
You can still feel his touch on your arms; your lips are tingling from his finger being placed there. As an automatic reaction, you raise your hand to your lips. Snapping out of it you turn to face the two of them, only to find him watching you. There's an interesting look in his eye that you don’t want to examine yet but it’s sending butterflies to your stomach. Swallowing you look away and over to Lee,
“The best view is from the balcony. Do you mind if I show her?”
“Please do, I’ll just check on dinner.”
When the two of you are alone on the balcony you begin talking to her in a low voice. “I’m so glad you’re here with me, I don’t know if I could do this on my own.”
She is too busy looking out over the spacious view of the city.
“Wow, you were right, this is amazing!”
You grab her so she looks at you, “Lee! You have to help me.”
She finally acknowledges your panic stricken face,
“Hey, what’s wrong? Are you not feeling well? Do we need to go?”
“No, I just need you to make sure you keep yourself between [HN] and I.”
“Between you? Well that shouldn’t be too hard but why? I thought you said the two of you were just friends?”
“We are. But I’m afraid I might be reading more into things than is there. Especially with the way Chad’s been acting or not acting lately. I don’t want to embarrass myself, please, just help me.”
She glances back towards the sliding door,
“Well he is pretty dishy and I’m not attached.”
“But he is remember?”
“Oh yeah, bummer." She shrugs, "Still, no problem, leave it to me.”
The door opens and he steps out onto the balcony with you.
“Enjoying the view?” He asks as he comes to stand between the two of you, slightly closer to you. Lee moves in a little closer as she points out to the horizon,
“I’ll bet its mind blowing watching a storm from here.”
“Yes, it is pretty spectacular. They just delivered dinner, would the two of you like to eat out here?”
“Is that possible? That’s so sweet, thank you.”
You look over at the patio table and breathe a sigh of relief seeing there are only three chairs.
“Let me get grab it, why don’t you ladies go ahead and grab a seat.”
Lee grabs the seat in the middle and you leave him the seat next to her, facing you and the house. He pops his head out the door quickly,
“Where are my manners, what would you ladies like to drink?”
He returns a minute later with the glasses and disappears again for the food. He stands while he un-bags the food, putting plates in front of each of you. With a smile he brings out cutlery as well as chopsticks,
“I wasn’t sure how well you ladies could use these.”
“I'm totally willing to learn,” Lee chimes in, “right [YN]?”
“Well, I’m not horrible with them, I’m sure I could use some pointers.”
He nods and takes his seat; “Please, go ahead and begin.”
He keeps the conversation going through the meal, just as funny and charming as the last time you were here. About half way through the meal he reaches over and shows Lee how to hold her chopsticks. The three of you get a kick out of watching her try to pick her food up when she then challenges you. You can at least get the food into your mouth, maybe not a lot of food but better than her. He shows you a better hand placement with his own chopsticks and proceeds to pick up a bite of food and hold it out for you to eat. His eyes challenging you to deny him.
“Much better no? You were close, this is better.”
You allow him to place the food in your mouth, offering a small “thank you”. Lee pretends not to have seen anything and then makes the biggest mistake of the evening.
“Oh, are those storm clouds moving in?”
He turns in his seat to look behind him, shielding his eyes from not having the complete shade.
“Yes, I think we just might get a storm tonight. It will be quite a show if you ladies are still here when it rolls in.”
He slides his food over to the empty spot on the table, rises and moves his chair over next to you. As he settles back into his chair he smiles and states,
“Ah, much better. Now we can all stare at the same things and I don't feel so left out.”