Breaking The Ice
By Kristy Nicolle
I stare across the fine table linens and through cut crystal toward her, slouched atop the red velvet of her seat. She’s wearing the denim jacket I gave her last night, a white t-shirt with a smiley face on it, and those jeans that make her butt look like a low hanging peach.
She peers up at the hanging crystal chandeliers overhead, their glisten setting her eyes alight like the sea beneath a star-studded sky. I smile at her, and she smiles back, peering quickly back over one shoulder as she balls her fists in the denim of her sleeves.
I inhale beneath my cumberbund, which matches the turquoise of my eyes and the co-ordinated velvet jacket that is straining against the broadness of my shoulders. My white shirt is ruffled at the front like whipped cream, and my pants are also a light teal velvet as they hang down, stopping prematurely around my ankle, displaying my pure white socks beneath. My assistant, Casey, insisted was the latest fashionable formal attire, and yet I feel a little like a character in some kind of bizarre comic strip as I sit here, my teal-glory clashing against the red and cream décor of the five-star French restaurant.
Everything had felt so intense, so right last night. Tonight however, I’m back to remembering that though I felt otherwise only 12 hours ago, I barely know this girl and we’re from two entirely different worlds.
From behind Patience’s self-conscious hunch, a wine waiter in a black tuxedo appears, his black hair slicked back, and his moustache styled so it appears to defy gravity.
“Evening Sir, Miss. Have you taken a look at the wine list?” he enquires, folding his arms behind him and puffing out his chest.
I watch his expresso hued irises scan over Patience and feel my jacket tightening around my chest as he takes in her beautiful face with growing pupils, barely even looking at me.
“I’ll take a bottle of your most expensive red,” I demand, asserting myself despite the fact he is completely ignoring me.
“Of course, sir. And Hors D’ Oeuvres?” He adds. I look at the woman across from me, who flushes.
“I’ll take the seared scallops.” I gesture to the specials chalk board on the far wall.
“And for Madame?” He bows a little, adding a flourish of his hand, and she blushes deeper. I don’t know whether to find her innocence, her naivety about his intentions adorable or aggravating.
“Uh, the same,” her voice is a squeak and I wonder where the feisty girl who’d thrown ice cream in Titus’ face has disappeared to.
The tall yet waifish waiter lingers a moment, eyes trying to catch with my date’s despite the fact she’s looking at the hands that are now crossed in her lap.
I narrow my gaze, cocking a head to the side and giving a cough that causes the unwelcome mortal to scurry away towards the kitchen’s swinging white doors.
“Patience, uh… is there something wrong?” I ask her, conscious that she might be rethinking waiting for me. I know it’s a lot to ask, and I couldn’t blame her for walking away, even if it did break my heart.
“It’s just… I’m wearing Jordache jeans…” she sighs, eyes darting to the other diners that surround us.
“And very nice they are too.” I smile at her, wondering if she’s mad I have complimented her outfit choice yet.
“Not the point. You could have warned me we were coming to somewhere this fancy, Gideon. I’m completely underdressed.” I feel my brows rise dramatically on my forehead as I suddenly see her point.
“Well, I thought you knew this was a date. What did you think I was going to take you for corndogs on the pier?” I ask her, chortling to myself. I watch her expression remain unchanged, and my eyes widen.
It’s clear that’s exactly what she anticipated.
“You seriously thought that? What the hell kind of dates have you been on?” I ask her, a thick laugh escaping from the back of my throat as I choke back my surprise.
I find myself wishing the waiter would hurry up with the wine, then at least I’d have something to sip on between making a complete idiot of myself.
“Well, the regular kind. You know, bowling, the movies, the arcade… not the kind that you have so clearly have been on. Which was when? Like in the renaissance period. How long has it been since you went on a date?” The fire returns to her eyes as one side of her glossy pink mouth pulls up into a smirk.
“I guess I’m showing my age. Did I at least get the tuxedo right?” I ask her, widening my arms and giving her a good look at my attire.
“Uh, well the whole coloured tuxedo thing is in, I guess. Though you kind of look like a giant human booger…” Her expression lights up, back straightening, and I sigh feeling myself blush instead this time.
A few minutes pass, awkward between us as I trace the rim of my wineglass with my index finger, trying to compose myself. To my relief, the waiter returns with our starters and a bottle of wine upon a wheeled cart that looks older than me. The wheels squeak as it comes to a halt tableside and Patience looks up at the man pushing it, expectant.
He serves us our appetisers which have come out of the kitchen a little too fast for my liking, seared scallops in a rich fruit reduction that’s bloody against the white china, and then moves to uncork the bottle of wine with a bottle opener that he handles without looking. He only continues to watch my date with far too much interest.
She reaches out for her wine glass and holds it out, making me wonder how many times she’s been served wine exactly. I’ve never seen anyone present their glass to the waiter before.
Her youth is attractive, but also problematic. I’ve never met a woman so unconcerned with romance and flattery before. Her expectations are so low, it almost doesn’t seem fair. She’s a catch, but it seems like she doesn’t know her own worth.
Evidence of this flutters through the air in the form of her melodic, uneasy laughter. The waiter has his hand on the back of her chair now as he leans forward to pour her wine in excruciating slow motion.
I see red and not because of the vintage. The way he’s closer to her than he should be, with intentions that are anything but appropriate becomes unacceptable. He is beneath her.
Before I know what’s happened, Patience screams and the waiter lets out a yelp.
Shocked back to attention by the sound, my red mist lifts, and I discover the chaos I’ve unwillingly caused.
Patience’s wine glass has shattered in her hand, the wine within it expanding as it had frozen solid. The soft flesh of her palm is torn wide open, red blood and wine mixing over the table.
I find the waiter has suffered the same fate, only this time it was the wine bottle that smashed in his hand and not a glass.
“Shit!” I cuss loudly, eliciting a gasp and a tsk from an older female diner a few tables down, not that I care. I guess I forgot how my emotions can cause my power over ice to act of its own accord. After all, this level of emotion has evaded me for a long time. Centuries even. Until her.
Grabbing a napkin, I rush from my seat to her side, kneeling down and pressing the linen to the gash on her palm. The napkin turns red slowly, and I realise the cut is a lot deeper than I originally thought.
“Come on, we need you to get to the hospital, this looks like it needs stitches.” I assess the injury quickly, unnerved suddenly by her evident mortality. Shards of glass scatter the table linen, a melting red slush the colour of blood turning the fine linens vermillion.
“Wait, no. I wanna eat this first.” I cock my eyebrow as she picks up a fork, ignoring the waiter who is scrambling on the floor beside her and the mess of glass and frozen wine next to her plate.
“Are you serious right now?” I almost choke, the blood continuing to seep from her palm, its coppery spice coating the inside of my nostrils fast.
“Are you crazy! This appetizer was twenty bucks. I’m not leaving it without at least trying a scallop.” She rolls her eyes at me, exasperated as she spears a scallop haphazardly with her left hand. It drips with sweet fruit reduction as she raises it to her lips.
I watch as she pops it in her mouth and chews thoughtfully.
“Worth twenty bucks?” I ask her as she swallows.
“I prefer corndogs from the pier…” She looks disappointed and I chuckle, making her smile.
“First, the hospital,” I remind her with a stern glare, blood continuing to spread across the napkin bunched against the gash.
“Is that a yes to corndogs on the pier afterwards then?” she hints, a hopeful look growing in her eyes as I roll mine.
“Sure. If that’s what madame desires.” I give her a flamboyant bow, even though I’m already down on one knee, mocking the waiter. Patience giggles, shaking her head.
“I guess romance isn’t dead after all.” She leans forward and lays a kiss on my cheek, wincing visibly at her throbbing hand as she pulls away.
I lick my bottom lip, wondering if this night could have gone any worse.
“Talk about breaking the ice,” I mumble and shoot a smile at her, guilty for causing her such pain because I can’t control my own temper. She gets to her feet, laughing and shaking her curly head of hair, apparently unphased by the cut and the event that caused it.
I lead her from the restaurant, keeping pressure on her injured palm, looking back at neither the fancy restaurant or my expectations of this rather odd, but none the less irresistible, Cali Girl.
Did you want to know more about my fantasy infiniverse?
Check out my books-
BOOKS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM KRISTY NICOLLE
THE TIDAL KISS TRILOGY- A MERMAID FANTASY ROMANCE
TIDAL KISS SHORTS AND NOVELLAS
THE ASHEN TOUCH TRILOGY- A DARK FANTASY ROMANCE