Sort of late in the day, but YES WE’RE BACK.
With more romance for the most introverted character on the whole cast of Blank Mastermind.
Last week, we saw Dallas in his new job, being wonderfully helpful. And Wolfgang’s visits to said job being wonderfully…. not helpful. But then one day, it turns out that there’s a sweet girl with fluffy hair and bare feet who has a huge crush on Dallas.
Wolfgang’s Professional Opinion:
So let’s see how he gets them out on a date.
It was probably for the best, but I honestly found myself wishing at points through the rest of the week that Wolfgang hadn’t pointed out Kaity’s liking me.
All I wanted to do at work was make other people comfortable and happy, and this made it much harder than I’d ever had it before. Because doing odd jobs and helping people out I could do. But . . . what was I supposed to do that was polite when someone liked me?
It was painfully obvious every time she came in to give me something now. The way she looked at me sideways and nibbled the ends of her hair. All the fidgets. That wasn’t just the way Kaity was normally. That was because she was nervous around me.
I lost sleep trying to figure out a way to make this better for both of us.
I mean, I didn’t mind her at all. She was very nice. She did work and was polite to everyone. And it really . . . did make me feel a bit more grown up to be so much taller than her. But that was just silliness in comparison.
Why did she like me? Did she want to go on dates? Did she want me to bring her flowers? She hadn’t said anything out loud, though. Did she even want me to do anything, or was she . . . admiring from afar or something? That was what Mr. News said when I asked him about it. He said he had girl experience and that I should call him if I needed anything.
I trusted Mr. News, but I somewhat doubted that statement and was apprehensive as to what his advice would entail. So I kept quiet.
The most logical option would be to talk to Mr. or Mrs. Fernsby. They had verifiable experience, after all. They were married.
But despite that fact, I just couldn’t seem to make myself talk about it with them. Even when Mrs. Fernsby remarked that I was acting strangely and asked me if anything was wrong.
I just blushed. And she smiled like she knew something I didn’t.
It seemed like everyone was smiling like that lately. And it made me very uncomfortable.
Since the only thing Kaity had actually voiced that she wanted to do was have lunch with me, I tried to do that. But I’d already booked myself solid over the week with all the extra things I’d volunteered to do over lunch break.
I tried to be nicer to her, still. And I felt bad for feeling as relieved as I did when the week was over.
I slipped the last few files I needed to bring home into my bag. My desk was already tidied up. All my other business was put away and everything was ready for the weekend.
I zipped up the bag and slung it over my shoulder, biting my lip. I was going to get Kaity’s phone number, but I honestly didn’t have the chance after it occurred to me. I’d just see her next week and try to figure things out then.
As I walked out of the small office, my phone buzzed in my pocket. I stopped and pulled it out, looking at the screen.
On the up side, at least he didn’t come charging in here to tell me whatever it was he needed to say.
I hit the button to pick up and put it to my ear as I kept walking. “Hello, Dallas Knight speaking.”
“Hey, Dallas.” Wolfgang’s voice crackled over the line and I moved closer to the door. My reception was always a little off inside the building. “So, I was wondering. Did you have any plans for dinner tonight?”
I thought for a second. “Nooo, I don’t think so.”
“Great. Well, I found this place a bit north of the Fernsbys’ house that looks pretty good. Would you maybe want to meet me there?”
I pushed out through the door, my brow furrowed slightly. “Um . . . sure? Is this for any particular occasion or . . .?”
“Oh no, not at all. Just thought it’s been a hard week for you and all and you should have a nice dinner going into the weekend. Get some stuff off your chest. All that good stuff.” I could hear a smile in his voice and wasn’t sure what subtext I was missing here.
But . . . I guessed it had been a while since we’d officially caught up.
“Alright, what time?”
“Say . . . ten to six? I’ll text you the address. Oh, and if you could dress a little nicer, that would be good. This is a bit of a fancy place.”
Wolfgang choosing a fancy place? And . . . telling me I should dress nicely and arrive at an oddly specific time?
My confusion deepened, but I nodded anyway. “Five-fifty, then. I’ll be there.”
“Fantastic. See you then.”
He hung up.
I looked blankly at my phone for a second, then shoved it in my pocket with a shrug, starting off for my truck. I guessed I’d find out whatever he was up to once I got there.
Right on the dot at five-fifty, I walked up to the door of the restaurant. It was a nicer place. I didn’t think it was a glamour-level that absolutely required me to have my hair combed nicely and a collared shirt on, but it never hurt to look nicer, I guessed.
I pushed through into the cold air conditioning and warm food smells, my shoes scuffing on the rough tile of the floor.
The woman at the hostess station looked up as I walked in. She smiled, her white teeth contrasting against the apple red of her lipstick. “Hello, do you have a reservation?”
I stopped, smoothing a hand over my hair since I could feel it sticking out by my ears. “I’m with . . . Mr. Dankworth, if he’s here? I’m Dallas Knight . . .”
“Oh, yes. Right this way.” She nodded, starting off into the dining area. I followed, feeling very small next to how tall she was on her high heels.
After a couple of turns I spotted Wolfgang sitting at a small, round table near a window. His hair still stuck up as much as it ever did. And he was still wearing his leather jacket. He sat there with a menu sitting next to him, shuffling cards on the table and whistling to himself.
The woman stopped a ways away from the table and gestured me on.
I nodded a thank you, smoothing my hair again as I walked the last stretch to the table.
Wolfgang looked up and a grin broke across his face. He stuck his cards back in his pocket. “Hey, right on time.”
I peeked at my watch. “Well, a minute late getting to the table.”
“Close enough,” Wolfgang laughed. “Go on, take a seat.”
Cautiously, I pulled out a chair and sat down. “Are you . . .” I trailed off, not sure how to phrase it. “ . . . dressed up?”
If he took the trouble to tell me to dress nicely, I’d think he’d at least wear a collared shirt and something other than the usual dirty leather jacket, jeans and sneakers.
Wolfgang didn’t seem to understand for a second, then looked down at his clothes. “Oh. Um . . . I . . .” he snapped his fingers a couple of times and shrugged. “I ended up being in a bit of a hurry and didn’t get enough time to really clean up as much as I would have liked. It’s okay, though. No huge loss since they’re not kicking me out or anything.”
I nodded slowly, looking around us. “It is a pretty nice place. Have you . . . been here before?”
Wolfgang shook his head, shifting in his seat. “No. Heard of it, though. Great reviews.” He pushed back one of his cuffs slightly, checking his watch before looking back up at me. “So how’s your week been? Aside from the violent relocation of my finger you did on Monday . . .” he shook out his hand a little, wincing.
A small smile pulled at the side of my mouth. “It’s been alright. I’ve gotten a lot done.”
I didn’t mention Kaity and the extensive mental torture that had been all week.
“That’s always good,” Wolfgang leaned back a little, tapping his foot against the table leg and looking over towards the door. He checked his watch again, biting back a grin.
I picked up one of the menus, glancing over it. Surprisingly well priced for this fancy of a place . . .
Wolfgang’s foot tapping jiggled the table, sloshing the water glasses, and I looked up with a bit of a frown.
“Are you waiting for somebody?” I picked up my glass to take a drink. If he was going to keep jiggling, there’d be less to spill.
Wolfgang pushed his sleeve back down over his watch. “Ah . . . yeah, actually. I thought some extra company might be nice. So I invited that cute girl from your work. Kaity. Hope you don’t mind.”
I usually tried not to react too dramatically to things. But that bit of unexpected news made me gasp just a little bit. And gasping with water in your mouth turns into choking.
My drink of water I’d just taken sprayed over the table, spattering the menus and the napkins. Wolfgang jumped. I started coughing, trying to get my airway clear.
I finally got some of my voice back. “Y-you . . . invited K-Kaity? Here? Wh-when . . .”
“She’s showing up at six. Just a few more minutes.” Wolfgang reached over to wipe off the menu with his sleeve, looking a little worriedly at me. “Are you okay . . .?”
I tried not to choke again with the effort to keep my voice at a reasonable pitch. “Wolfgang, you didn’t . . . see fit to tell me she was coming?”
“I told you to dress nicely, what else did you need for prep? She loves you anyway. Hey, and what do you know . . .”
I whipped my head around to see a girl with fluffy, blonde hair slipping in the door.
There was a buzzing noise from behind me and the beginning of the Doctor Who theme. I turned to see Wolfgang open his phone and frown exaggeratedly.
He cursed a little. “Well, of all the bad timings . . . Looks like News needs me outside.” He pushed his chair back and stood up. “Whatever. I wasn’t dressed for the occasion anyway. Tell you what, I’ll still pick up the tab, though.” He grinned and ruffled my hair on the way past. “You two have fun without me.”
“Wolfgang,” my voice cracked in a desperate hiss as he slipped away and Kaity got closer.
Both of us having dinner together. Alone. In a fancy restaurant.
This was . . . this was a date.
I frantically smoothed at my hair, trying to get it to lie back down flat after Wolfgang’s mussing. It still stuck out behind my ears. My heartbeat hammered in my chest and I felt my cheeks getting hot.
Kaity was being guided by the hostess down the last stretch to our table. She pinched the fabric of her dress and bit her lip as she walked. She wore a peachy orange dress and white Mary-Jane shoes and had her hair pinned back from her face in an attempt to look more grown up.
It . . . actually looked really pretty.
She stopped with the hostess and spotted me. A smile broke across her face, as sideways and nervous as I’d ever seen on her. Kaity bunched up her skirt again and tried to keep her walk dignified as she walked the last yard.
I swallowed, standing from my seat and hoping my face wasn’t too red.
Kaity stopped, nearly bouncing on her toes again. She swished her skirt a little and bit her lip to try and hide her smile as she looked down. “Um . . . hi, Dallas.”
“Hi Kaity.” My voice was still a bit hoarse from choking.
It was quiet for a second, except for Kaity’s skirt swooshing.
I watched the creamy orange fabric slide against itself as she fidgeted with it. Kaity looked over at the empty chair Wolfgang had just left.
Well. Obviously she had wanted a date. And despite it being against my will, she didn’t seem to know that.
Wolfgang had just agreed to give me dinner with a pretty girl who liked me.
The most logical thing seemed to be to enjoy it.
I cleared my throat, clasping my hands behind my back. “You look very pretty, Miss Kaity.”
Kaity looked up, her blue eyes meeting mine with an unashamed joy. She smiled widely and a tiny dimple I’d never noticed before showed right next to her nose.
She dipped in a small curtsy. “And you look very handsome, Mr. Dallas.”
It was actually a very nice evening.
And I’d like to think that – for someone who’d never been on a date before – I managed alright on that one.
Hope you all enjoyed seeing this ship leave the port. ❤
See you all again next time, and rant to me in le comments. 🙂