Nervous. That was the only thing that Damon could describe himself as he sat there in the booth waiting. He clasped his hands together, cringing at how sweaty they were. He quickly wiped them on his trousers.
Damon’s blue eyes flickered to the clock , the noise of its hands, clanging in his head. He looked away from it. Clock watching was only going to make things worse he told himself. However, the sneak peek at the clock indicated how much time he had left until she arrived.
5 minutes. He can wait patiently for 5 minutes.
Damon doesn’t make it more than 30 seconds before he’s adjusting his cutlery ever so slightly only to put it back to were it was. He puts his hands in his lap to stop fiddling but then his knee began to jiggle.
As the minutes pass by, it felt like it was getting harder to breathe as he grew more anxious. Concerning thoughts started to bounce around his head. What if she didn’t show? What if she did show up but not for hours? What if she did show up with another date?
His heart constricted at the last one. No! He couldn’t think like that. Despite everything that had happened, the accident and his resulting downward spiral, he doubted that she would do the latter. She’d never hurt him like that even though it was the least he deserved for what he’d done.
Damon had been so caught up in his thoughts that he didn’t even hear the waitress bringing over the young lady he was eagerly waiting for. He actually jumped when the waitress spoke. “I’ll be back over in a few minutes to take your order”, she said.
Damon stared up at the pair, more specifically at the blonde who was standing next to the waitress, a bubbly young lady with the name of Jenny, judging by the name tag on her uniform.
“Thank you”, Tessa said and took her seat across the table from Damon.
“You came”, he breathed, relieved.
Tessa smiled “Of course. I did promise after all”, she reminded him.
“I know I just…”
“Figured I’d stand you up?” the florist cut in gently “I wouldn’t do that to you Damon, you’re still my friend”.
There it is. Friend. More confirmation that what they had, however little time they had it, was gone. And it was all his fault. His downward spiral could’ve been focused on heavy drinking and stumbling out of clubs in the early hours…but he had to take it that one step further and fall back into bad habits of his past. Visiting the dark corners of London to unleash his on special brand of hell on those who deserve it.
“I’m surprised you still want to be friends”, Damon admitted “what I did is unforgivable. Unforgiveable is what I am. I belong in Hell”, he muttered. Tessa reached across to where his hand rested on the table. Damon jolted slightly at the contact.
“No, you don’t”, she said softly. She looked around at the other patrons “how about we take this somewhere a little bit more private?” she suggested. Damon nodded in agreement and they left the restaurant, letting Jenny know as they passed that they had changed their minds.
The ride back to Tessa’s flat passed by in silence. Tessa opted to look out the window at her surroundings while Damon snuck glances at her while he drove. He noted that she didn’t seem to be afraid of being in the vehicle, given the accident involved her getting hit by one. The demon wondered what she was thinking about. Was she thinking about the hit and run? Was she having second thoughts about meeting him? He really wished his powers involved mind reading so he could find out. Instead he had to settle for a conversation. “How are you doing with…you know?” he decided to ask.
“Fine”, Tessa replied “the medication I’m on keeps the pain at bay”.
“That’s good”, Damon remarked.
There was a brief moment of silence before Tessa spoke again “I opened my shop up last week. Its reduced hours until I’m fully recovered”.
“I’m glad to hear it. Bet you’ve had a good few requests since you have been…resting”, Damon said.
“I have actually”, the young woman said. The demon listened as she told him about the various requests and orders that people had made, a smile slowly working its way onto his face. Honestly he had missed hearing her talk about her work. She was always so passionate about it.
It was how they met, at her shop Leilani. He had come in with a sorry looking plant and never left. Well, he left the store, obviously but he never left her life from then on. If he wanted to be technical about it, he first saw her running along the street hours prior to going to her shop. Tessa Nightingale was the one human who’d caught his eye in all the years he had been alive and eventually captured his heart.
She had so easily accepted who he was too, mostly because she wasn’t entirely normal either. She had an incredible gift which helped a lot in her workplace. An impossible love had been created between the two of them and in all honesty Damon truly believed that it was going to last a very long time.
Then, like a cruel twist of fate, it all comes screeching to a halt on March 13th which was ironically a Friday. In his lowest moments, the accident would play in his head, on a constant nightmarish loop. Her smiling at him from across the road. Her stepping out when it was safe to cross and getting only half way when the blue Prius whizzed past, not even slowing down as it hit her. After that everything seemed to go by so fast that all he can remember is begging for her to open her eye and shouting for someone to get help.
“Damon?” Tessa piped up, preparing to get out of the car but he hadn’t moved. He seemed to be deep in thought.
“We’ve been parked outside my flat for 5 minutes. I’ve been calling your name several times”, the florist said.
“Sorry, I was just thinking about things”, Damon admitted “lets go in”. The pair got out of the car and headed into the building.
As soon as they got into her little flat, Tessa headed to the kitchen. “Would you like me to make something or shall we order in?” she asked, opening up the fridge and scouring its contents.
“Order in”, Damon replied, leaning against the doorframe.
“Pizza? Chinese?” Tessa suggested, going over to a drawer where she kept a variety of leaflets, pulling out a few of them and held them up.
“Pizza sounds good”, the demon answered, since that was what they were going to have at the restaurant.
“Ok then”, the blonde said picking a leaflet and going over to him so they could choose what they wanted “well, I like the veggie one but I know you prefer meaty so how about we pick our favourite…” she trailed off when she noticed the way he was looking at her “what?”
“I missed you”, he whispered, raising his hand to touch her cheek but caught himself at the last minute “and I’m sorry that my coping mechanism messed up what we had”.
“Damon…” Tessa started moving toward him as he backed away.
“Tess, don’t”, he said, holding a hand out, stopping her in her tracks “we’re just friends now and that’s the way it should stay”.
“Yeah, ok”, Tessa said, unhappily. Yes, she was the one who mentioned the F word at the restaurant, which had just cemented the unspoken truth between them during his visits at the hospital. But she couldn’t help feel a pang in her heart at him saying it. She loved him and that was very likely not going to change but it still hurt at the prospect that it was never going to go back to the way it was. “I think we should reschedule dinner”, she stated going to the drawer and putting the leaflets away.
“Tessa I…” Damon began.
“Goodbye Damon”, Tessa interrupted, not turning around to look at him. If she did, she would break down in tears.
“Goodbye Tessa”, the demon said quietly. He left the flat despite the overwhelming urge to stay and comfort her as he could tell that she needed it. As soon as he was gone, Tessa burst into tears. She pressed her hands against the counter, shoulders shaking as tears rolled down her face.
Outside the flat, Damon's heart broke at her cries. He could walk away. He could let her cry alone. But that wasn't him. The demon let himself into her home, closing the door behind himself. He then strode into the kitchen and touched her on the shoulder.
Tessa wheeled around, tears running down her cheeks. Without a word, he drew her into a hug. The blonde clung on to him as she sobbed. Damon rubbed her back in soothing circles. “Damon, I don’t want to be friends”, she sniffled, causing him to look down at her questionably “I love you too much to stay just friends”.
Tessa nodded “yeah, I do. I know it’s going to take a while to get back to where we were but I’d like to try. That is…if you want to”.
The demon nodded “I do want to”, he confirmed. He then lowered his head to give her a gentle kiss. The blonde closed her eyes as she relaxed into it.
The kiss was the spark that was going to rekindle their impossible love and hopefully this time it was going to last for a long time. Maybe even forever….