He entered the restaurant and looked around, immediately noticing the girl in the long black dress. He admired the smooth curve of her spine, since the dress plunged all the way down to her waist in the back, and the way the black material stood out against her slightly tanned skin. His eyes traveled down to the bottom where the small train of the dress pooled at her feet, concealing her shoes. He looked at her bare arms, a delicate, thin bracelet dangling from one wrist. He watched her hair sway as she talked animatedly to her friend and smiled when the strands caught the light and the blond highlights shimmered, playing with the lights. He wondered if her skin felt as soft as it looked and what it would be like to run his fingers through her dark-brown hair. He stood there, admiring the girl that he did not know but wanted to get to know because he saw an essence emanating from within her, practically bathing her in a pool of radiance, which had nothing to do with the lighting in the restaurant itself.
Mental note: definitely try to get to know her, he told himself as he began looking around the restaurant once again. He was there for his friend's birthday but seemed to be having problems actually finding his friend.
Come on, I know you're around here somewhere, he thought and looked to his right, where plenty of tables were already set up. There was no food on them yet, as it was only eight o'clock, and the food would not be served until at least eight-thirty, when everyone had arrived and settled down. The china was arranged perfectly with the silverware placed in symmetrical lines along the table. Elevated trays had been set up waiting for the food to arrive so that the waiters would take up less room on the table and therefore, would be able to place more items onto it.
He looked left at the empty dance floor and wondered where his friend had disappeared. He was told to be at the restaurant at eight and not to be late.
He was here, now what?
He sighed in frustration and ran a hand through his spiky blond hair.
He looked down at his green silk shirt, black dress pants, and black shoes and hoped that he was dressed right. His friend had told him that he was not to wear sneakers, shorts, or jeans under any circumstances, but had not told him what he should wear except that he should look "nice."
He rubbed the back of his neck and began looking around the restaurant yet again, wondering if this was all a huge prank of some sort and if his friend was at that point sitting at home and cracking up.
The girl in the black dress caught his attention again and he froze as she began to turn around. This was his opportunity to see her face, the face he was already sure was as perfect as they come.
She turned and his jaw dropped.
"Nick! I'm so glad you made it!" his friend ran up to him and hugged him. He was too shocked to say anything or to even hug her back.
She frowned and stepped away from him. "Are you okay?"
He stared at her and became aware, for the first time, that in the front the dress was covered in turquoise sequins going in diagonal lines from the right to the left, but not reaching the bottom of the dress. He saw that the dress was shorter in the front and her shoes were peeking out from underneath it. He stared at her slender neck and the delicate necklace that hung there, matching the bracelet on her wrist. He took in the soft waves of her hair and how it spilled onto her shoulders. His eyes met hers and he noticed that they were a unique blend of gray and blue, with the subtle turquoise make-up around them making them seem even bigger than they were. He noticed that her make-up was light and that she wore a lipstick shade a bit darker than she usually had.
Then he realized that she was still looking at him, confusion all over her beautiful face.
"Nick?" she asked again.
He snapped out of his trance and racked his brain for something to say. "Um…uh…" Oh yeah, that was brilliant, he scolded himself. "I'm fine," he finally managed to get out.
She laughed, a sound that went past his ears and all the way down to his heart. He never before noticed how light and wonderful her laughter was.
"Good, I thought you went into a coma standing right here or something," she said and looked at him expectedly. "What, no hug?" she pouted.
He released the breath he didn't realize he was holding. "Of course," he said warmly and took her into his arms. She fit perfectly and he shivered at her touch at the base of his neck. He couldn't understand all these feelings that were running through him. He had only known the girl for four short months, though they had become fast friends from the moment they met. And yes, he was attracted to her from the start but he had never felt like this around her. It was like his brain had been reduced to mashed potatoes, which were no help to him in the whole thinking process.
I think too much, he concluded and was disappointed when she pulled away from him.
"So? Do you like my dress?" she twirled around and smiled.
What are you doing to me? He groaned inwardly and managed a smile for her. "Yes, you look great," he said.
She smiled wider and pulled his hand. "Come on, I want you to meet my other friends." They went over to a group of five people who were standing near one of the tables and talking amongst themselves. "Guys, this is my friend Nick. Nick this is Lana, Alex, Mark, Rachel, and Phoebe," she pointed to each person and he gave a nod and a smile as she did so. They all made small talk while waiting for the food to arrive. Somehow, he managed to get through all of it, while at the same time being acutely aware of every time that she touched his arm or brushed against him.
Around ten o'clock, the entire restaurant came alive as the band began to play. Everyone jumped up from their seats and went over to the dance floor, anxious to have some real fun at last. Nick remained in his seat, still pondering over all this thoughts.
"Aren't you coming?" she asked, getting up from her own seat.
"In a bit," he replied. She shrugged and went to join her friends.
He sat there, and wondered how everything got so turned around in just one moment. One minute he was admiring a gorgeous girl and looking for his friend, and the next, his friend turns out to be said gorgeous girl and all of a sudden he is incapable of a coherent sentence around her.
He leaned his elbows on the table and rested his chin on his hands. His eyes sauntered over to where his friend was dancing and he watched her move easily to the beat. Her body flowed and she seemed to be one with the music. She shook her hips along with the rhythm and moved her arms up and down and all around, in a bizarre pattern that left Nick dizzy with the need to have her in his arms and to be the one whom her arms would be wrapped around. He tore his attention away from her and looked at the band, when a crazy but strangely wonderful idea hit him.
"What's up with your friend?" Lana asked, nodding towards Nick, who was sitting at the table and staring at the band.
Cordelia shrugged. "No idea, I thought he'd be the first one out on the dance floor," she said and shot another look in his direction. Nick seemed oblivious to everything around him and Cordelia wondered what was going through his head.
"So you like that guy or what?" Mark grinned and wiggled his eyebrows at her.
She laughed and shook her head at him. "Yeah I like him, but he told me a couple of months back that he doesn't want a relationship right now. I do understand where he's coming from. I mean, he's almost always on the road or doing promotions or recording, he barely has enough time for himself, much less for a girlfriend."
"But does he like you?" Rachel asked.
"I know he's attracted to me. There were those kisses that we shared, you can't fake that sort of passion or emotion," Cordelia replied and her mind drifted back to that first kiss…
"So, um, I had a good time," I stammered slightly.
Nick smiled. "I'm glad, I did too," he said and I wondered what it would be like to run my hands through his hair. It looked so soft bathed by the streetlight outside of his car.
"I guess I'll talk to you later then," I said, my voice barely above a whisper. This was our first date and I was nervous because I wanted to kiss him but didn't know if he felt the same.
"Yeah," he said softly and leaned forward. I let out a nervous breath and leaned towards him. Our lips met and I felt it, a spark. I had never felt one with a guy before. I wondered if someone standing near Nick and I when we kissed could've seen that spark of electricity that flew when our lips met.
The kiss was short, only about a second and we parted, much to my disappointment. But it was enough to send my heart racing and all my thoughts flying out of my head.
"Goodnight," I smiled and opened the car door.
"Goodnight," he said. I walked the short distance to my building, willing myself to not turn around and look back at him. I went inside and heard his car start and drive away. I let out a breath of relief and a huge grin spread over my face.
Two hours later, that grin was still on my face and my heart still didn't stop racing.
Cordelia shook her head to clear the memory and looked at the table where Nick was. He was gone. She scanned the restaurant but couldn't spot him. Weird, she thought.
"And right now, this next song goes out to Cordelia from Nick, and he asks you to please pay careful attention to the lyrics, though he does say to ignore who the song is by," the singer of the band announced.
Cordelia's friends all turned to look at her and she shot them all a confused look. The first notes of a familiar melody began, but Cordelia had yet to place it.
"May I have this dance?" a low voice asked. She looked up and saw Nick standing there, offering her his hand. She smiled and accepted the invitation. He pulled her into his arms and she melted against him. She inhaled the scent of his cologne and closed her eyes, pretending that just for this moment, he was hers.
She remembered his request for her to listen to the song so she turned her attention to the lyrics that had already begun.
"I got an idea…why don't you be my girlfriend, I'll treat you good. I know you hear your friends when they say you should. 'Cause if you were my girlfriend, I'd be your shining star, the one to show you where you are. Girl you should be my girlfriend…"
Cordelia licked her lips and looked up at Nick, who was looking at her with the most serious expression that she had ever seen on his face.
"So, will you?" he whispered into her ear.
She nodded and closed the distance between their lips, capturing them both in a moment of pure happiness as *NSYNC's "Girlfriend" continued to play in the background.