Gwen checked her make up once more in visor mirror; this was the first date she'd had in a year. Her career as an emergency nurse kept her busy and by the time her shift was over, Gwen felt too tired to out afterwards. Her sister Alice had urged her to take Friday night off, Alice had even set up her up on a blind date.
She looked at the door to the restaurant, the butterflies in her stomach fluttered furiously at the thought of having to come up with conversation.
"Well, I guess it's show time...I just really hope this works out." muttered Gwen nervously
She locked her car and kept her head high in hopes that she would at least look confident. Her high heels already pinched her toes as she wobbled slightly along the sidewalk.
As soon as she walked through the heavy oak doors, the smell of pasta and spices caused her stomach to growl. 'Ugh, seriously! Hopefully, my stomach behaves until the food comes."
"Excuse me, I'm meeting someone here...the reservation is under Antonio Cavelli."
"Follow me." smiled the hostess eyeing Gwen's black lace dress with distaste
Gwen sighed and followed the hostess, nervously smoothing the invisible wrinkles on her dress. She had fallen in with the elegant black lace dress, even Alice told her that she needed to buy the dress; that the dress fit her like a glove. Gwen curled soft waves in her dark brown hair that flowed down her back; she kept her make up light, and wore her favourite pearl earrings. 'I know that I look incredible, I just wish I'd have worn the wedges instead of the stilettos."
As they near the table, an incredibly handsome man stood up smiling; Gwen had to remind herself to smile nicely instead letting her mouth fall open in shock. He had the brightest blue eyes she'd ever seen, she could feel herself blushing furiously. She took a quick minute to observe him; he was at least six feet tall, with black hair that was styled perfectly; his skin was tanned enough to show that he obviously enjoyed time outside. He had five o'clock shadow that made her heart flutter a little harder.
He gently took her hand in his, placing a kiss on her knuckles and pulled out her seat.
"You look incredible tonight, that dress suits you perfectly." smiled Antonio sitting across from her
The hostess placed their menus in front of them and rolled her eyes as she stomped away. Gwen blushed deeply.
"Thank you. You look like you stepped out of a magazine..." sputtered Gwen her eyes grew wide, "I cannot believe I just said that! You look nice as well."
Antonio laughed gently.
"I appreciate the compliment Gwen...my brother owns a fashion magazine and insisted I wear this suit." explained Antonio his eyes lighting up with amusement
"So what do you do for work Antonio?" asked Gwen hoping the blush was fading
"I inherited the family business...we own a few different business; the fashion magazine being one of them as well as a few importing companies." replied Antonio, "I would much rather talk about you Gwen, tell me more about yourself."
"Well, I don't know how much there is to tell." blushed Gwen shyly, "I work as an Emergency RN, that alone keeps me busy most days. Let's see...I enjoy running when I get the chance, I love to read and watch movies once in awhile. I paint when I have a day off."
"What do you paint?"
"Mostly landscapes and abstract but they aren't very good..."
"I have a hard time believing that. I hope to see your paintings one day."
Before Antonio could say anything more, his cell phone buzzed; he quickly grabbed the rectangular object from inside pocket of his jacket. He frowned, glaring at the phone as it continued to buzz.
"Gwen I am so sorry but I have to answer this." apologized Antonio answering the phone and began to talk furiously in Italian
Gwen felt relieved when the food arrived, she had underestimated just how hungry she was. 'Okay Gwen, you are in public, on a date...eat like a normal person; don't shovel the food in!' thought Gwen as her stomach growled again; this caused her to glance up at her date to see if he heard. He wore the most terrifying frown she'd ever seen, she squirmed a little in her seat. 'He sounds angry! I wonder what's going on...'
Antonio finally hung the phone, shoving it back into his pocket. He took a deep breath and looked at Gwen, he took her hand in his and smiled.
"I'm sorry Gwen, that was one of my employee's." explained Antonio tightening his grip on her hand slightly, "Unfortunately, I do have to attend to a little business tonight...this is not how I expected this to go."
"It's okay, I understand that sometimes it's hard to get away from work." said Gwen her smile felt tight, "Let's start eating before the food gets cold."
Antonio smiled relieved that Gwen seemed to be taking interruption well. They continued to chat as they ate, Gwen felt a little awkward as he continued to check his phone. He told her he was receiving updates from his employee.
Ten minutes later...
"He's here...please wait here Gwen and we will have dessert." pleaded Antonio standing up, "I promise this will not take long."
Gwen turn slightly in her chair, watching him walk to the front of the restaurant. His posture was stiff as he stormed away from their table.
'Interesting that him asking me to wait sounded more like a command...I know I haven't been on a date in a long time but I am pretty sure that there shouldn't be this much tension." pondered Gwen frowning slightly, 'Note to self...never let Alice set me up again.'
Time seemed to pass slowly, Gwen began to worry that he had had enough of their date and was looking for a way out. She pulled her own phone from her purse and texted Alice, giving her sister the details of her date.
A half hour passed before Antonio reappeared at her side, a sheepish grin on his face. He quickly sat back down and captured her hand once again.
"Gwen, that took a lot longer than I thought."
"Let me make it up you and order the best dessert you will ever have."
Gwen gulped and though she wanted to say no and that she should get going, she found her head nodding in agreement. Antonio domineered the conversation, talking a little more about his businesses, his family and his hobbies.
She found her mind wondering; Gwen looked down at their entwined hands and noticed a red stain on the cuff of the white dress shirt that was peeking out from his jacket. The stain was bright red and still looked to be damp, she heart began to pound furiously. It felt as though her own blood had turned to ice in her veins! 'I'm one hundred percent sure that that's blood!'
"Gwen, is everything okay? You're looking a little pale..." stated Antonio his eyes narrowed at her slightly
"Yeah...yes...I just um..." stuttered Gwen anxiously, "Sorry, the nurse in me is thinking that you're injured...there's blood on your cuff."
Antonio looked down at his sleeve and frowned at the red spot. He looked back up at her and smiled, yet the smile didn't reach his eyes.
"He slipped on a patch of ice...I must have scraped my wrist helping him up." explained Antonio his voice sounded flat, "Enough about that though; how would you feel about getting out of here and going to catch a movie?"
Her heart seemed to jump into her throat; she desperately tried to think of a reason to turn him down. Her heart was telling her that she needed to end the date quickly and get out of there. Her phone, mercifully, buzzed in her purse. She hoped her smile was apologetic and saw that it was her sister Alice. 'I love her so much right now!' thought Gwen relieved that she now had an excuse to end their date.
"Antonio, I'm really sorry about this but my sister is having an emergency and needs me to come over right away." explained Gwen quickly as she gathered her car keys in her hand
"Is everything alright or are you able to stay and talk with me a little longer?"
Gwen did not like the way he was glaring at her, it was as though he was daring her to get up and leave. She pried her hand from his and slowly stood.
"I'm really sorry but she needs me." said Gwen her voice sounded firmer and more confident
"Well then, I hope that we can do this again sometime." stated Antonio smoothly
"I rarely get a day off of work, it will be awhile before I'm able to take another day off...so we'll see. Thank you for tonight, the meal was lovely."
Before Antonio could say anything else, Gwen dashed away as quickly as she could. She left the restaurant quickly even though her ankles shook with the effort to stay upright; she didn't stop until she reached her car.
As soon as she slid into the drivers seat, she locked her car and fastened her seat belt. Gwen released a shaky breath; soon her breathing slowed and she began to feel more in control. She pulled out of the parking lot and began to drive towards the red light.
An ambulance screeched to a stop across the street from her, she watched the paramedics jump out of the emergency vehicles and run towards a man that was slumped against a silver mustang. Her eyes grew wide when she saw giant blood stains on the mans shirt, her mind flashed back to the blood stain on Antonio's shirt.
It was apparent that even where she was sitting in her car that the man was dead. Gwen knew that she had for sure dodged a bullet by leaving early. 'Well, I know what my evening will consist of...Alice owes me by coming with me to the police station.' thought Gwen as her body continued to tremble, 'I was just on a date with a killer...I guess it wouldn't be so bad accepting Jason's dinner offer after all. I would probably be safer with an doctor than...well, a killer."
Gwen knew that she would never forget this date, not in a million years!