My date was a bore. He came across as charismatic and wild but within the hour established himself as an exasperating fool. He drank too much and fawned over the other diner’s wives, his roving eyes making mine roll. He foolishly assumed that because I had come here with him, I was a sure thing. Now and then he glanced over, raking his eyes over my form, wrapped in an aubergine dress that could make a tomato blush, all rounded hips and bourgeoning cleavage. I could tell that he wanted to put his hands on me, perhaps was even now growing hard under the table imagining my lips on him. He winked at me lasciviously and turned to the woman next to him. She tittered at something he said, at least someone here found his tired wit amusing.

I sighed and wondered how long I would put up with the boredom before I made my excuses and left. Wishing I had a friend in town who I could emergency code for an out. But that was the point of being here tonight. I was new and didn’t know anyone yet. I had hoped that his easy charm, how had I ever been taken in by it, suggested that he was within a social circle of interesting individuals. I could see now, that he was the eccentric they invited for something fresh. A lacklustre crowd of old money and stagnant tradition, there was little excitement for me to have here. At least the wine was good.

Raising my glass to my dark red lips, I felt the hairs on the back of my exposed neck react to a sudden shift in the air. As though the room grew warmer and cooler at the same time. Glancing down the table, I saw a young man and woman had entered. The host, a genteel sort, if a little stuffy, stood and called down the table.

“Alain.” The young man nodded to him, steel blue eyes in a handsome face, his hand on the lower back of the woman next to him, her eyes cast down. “Dinner started at 7. I’m sure there is a good reason for you to show up so late.” I wondered how many people besides me saw the spark in those eyes, the defiance that anyone should demand an explanation from him.

Before he could speak though, the host’s wife, a pleasant woman who has seen the better side of life for a long time, lifted herself gracefully and went to greet her son and his companion. She waved her hand idly toward the head of the table and beamed at her offspring.

“Now Jean, does it matter if he is a few minutes late. What matters is that he is here now, with us. And you’ve brought the lovely Elise with you.” At the sound of her name, Elise looked up, directly into the blue eyes of the hostess. The same blue as her son, but tempered by kindness and time.

Elise was absolutely stunning, green eyes to match the emerald dress she wore. Her auburn hair, just a shade more natural than mine, twisted up on top of her head, not a loose hair to be found. Her eyes sparkled to rival the necklace that rested between her gently rounded breasts as she greeted Alain’s mama.

“Madame, it is a pleasure to see you again.” Her voice was like crystal, clear and delicate, with an unexpected strength to it. This was no simpering church mouse, much as her stance of hands clasped and shoulders tucked, suggested.

I finished the sip of my wine, realizing I had been holding the glass still, through this entire exchange. It would seem as though my evening had the potential to be quite interesting, indeed.