A perfect match
Emily was nervous... a feeling she acknowledged with a certain surprise. She liked to think she was mature enough to handle most encounters of a romantic nature with confidence andpoise. Yet here she was, perched at the bar, smoothing her dress and her hair at far too frequent intervals. It didn't help, of course, that Nick was late. Almost half an hour late, she realised,glancing at her watch. She wondered if he was trying to play it cool. Or if he had, quite simply, decided not to come. After all, they'd chatted at the party for less than half an hour. The impulse toarrange a date had probably been fuelled as much by wine as the stirring of attraction. What a shame, thought Emily, signalling the barman. She’d been quite taken with Nick's blue eyes and dark brownhair, but her dignity protested at waiting any longer. Drawing her bag on to her knee she rummaged for her purse, but in her haste, managed to deposit half the contents on the floor. That’s all I need,she thought, stooping to retrieve the jumble of make-up and business cards. 'Emily?' Emily allowed herself a moment to quash the flutter in her stomach before straightening to face the owner of thevoice. 'Ah, Nick. Hello.' Nick smiled apologetically. 'I'm sorry I'm so late. There was a problem at work and I couldn't get away. Have you been here long?' 'Fifteen minutes or so,' Emily lied, decidingto forgive and forget. 'But at least you’re here now.' 'Shall we go through to the restaurant?' Nick suggested, bending to retrieve her scattered belongings and handing them to her without comment.'It's easier to talk in there and the food's good. Emily agreed and a few minutes later they were seated at a corner table, wrapped in soft light. Emily surveyed the menu, then glanced up to find Nick'seyes upon her face. It was a look of frank appraisal and, realising she’d caught him, he didn't pretend to look away. 'Well, what do you think?' Emily asked. Nick savoured a sip of wine before...
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