Tuesday, January 21, 2020
The Best Medicine by Dellani Oakes – Part 4
Morgan invites Tanya to dinner. He makes a bet that she can't be ready on time, and synchronizes his watch with her clock.
"The time is officially six forty-seven P.M. You have thirty minutes from now." He pressed a button on his watch and walked out the door, closing it sharply behind him.
"How extraordinary," Tanya murmured as she locked the door and walked to the bathroom, shedding her clothing as she went.
The hot water felt good on her aching neck and shoulders, but she felt revived by the prospect of food. She dried her short, brown hair and smeared on a little makeup on. Her clothing choices were somewhat limited, since a lot of her things were still in boxes. Another thing her grandmother left her, was the house. Tanya moved in and immediately started working at the hospital.
She grabbed a pair of dress jeans and a soft, dark pink, turtle neck sweater. Her boots would hurt her work swollen feet, but she had some suede clogs that would do nicely. With a couple minutes to spare, she was picking up her discarded clothing when she heard a car pull up in the driveway. Right on time, Morgan stepped out of his car. He'd showered too, and his dark hair was still slightly damp. He was wearing a pair of jeans and dark hooded sweatshirt with a picture from a Led Zeppelin album on it. Glancing at his watch, he jogged up to the door. Tanya had to admit, she liked watching him move. He had a grace to him that not many men could emulate. Like a big jungle cat. She got so interested, she hardly remembered to open the door before he knocked.
Laughing, he stood on the porch with his hand raised to tap on the door. "Okay, you win. You might want to put that stuff in the laundry hamper before we leave," he said, gesturing at the clothing in her arms.
Blushing furiously, Tanya carried the items to the bathroom and threw them in the hamper. She was mortified, her sensible bra and granny panties were on top of the stack. Rolling her eyes in self-disgust, she grabbed her keys and purse, following Morgan to the door. She locked the doorknob, made sure her keys were in her hand and turned the outside lights on. She checked for her keys a second time, then closed the door.
"You probably think I'm being a little bit OCD," she sighed.
Morgan glanced at her, "Obsessive Compulsive. You?"
"I've locked myself out so many times, I make sure I have everything I need, and double check my keys before I shut the door. It's gotten to be so habitual, I can't seem to help it."
"Have you locked yourself out lately?"
"No, not for ages."
"Then go with what works."
He led the way to the car, walking around and opening the passenger door for her. He waited until she was settled, closed the door and went back to the driver's side. Starting up the car, he glanced at her.
"You mentioned steak, does that still appeal? We have to city to choose from, what do you fancy?"
Her eyes brightened. "Steak works," she smiled. "I haven't had a good steak in ages."
"You working tomorrow?"
She shook her head, "No, I have the day off for once, why?"
"Well I know of this cozy place that has the best steaks and rum runners in the state. I don't want to tempt you, if you have to get up early. Working with a hangover's a bitch."
"I wouldn't know. Have you done it often?"
Morgan laughed. "A few times more than's good for me." He put the car in reverse, backing swiftly out of the driveway.
About twenty minutes later they pulled up in front of a quaint, roadside restaurant. The parking lot wasn't well lit, but it was full of cars and the restaurant looked ready to burst at the seams. Morgan parked at the far end of the lot and opened her door for her. Putting his arm around her in a friendly way, they walked in comfortable familiarity up the steps and onto the wooden porch of the building. It looked more like a shack at a fishing camp, than it did a steakhouse, but who was she to argue? Morgan opened the door and loud music greeted them. She wasn't prepared for the style of music, but liked it. It was sort of an Industrial/ Indy/ Rock blend that was really unusual. A questioning glance told her that he'd been saving it as a surprise. The music pounding her ears was almost uncomfortable, but he led her past the stage where the band was playing, smiling and waving to the musicians. They walked until they came to a weathered wooden deck, built out over the water. Morgan held her chair while she sat, then motioned a waiter as he sat across from her.
"You like the tunes?" He gestured toward the band, which was muffled enough for conversation.
"They're great! I wasn't exactly prepared for industrial-indy-rock. Or whatever it's called."
He chuckled. "That will do. I don't think the band really knows what to call it. It's their own blend. When they get famous, someone will give their genre a name, and then a dozen other bands will follow them."
"When? Have they signed with anyone?"
He shrugged, smiling as the waiter approached with a couple of menus and two glasses of water on a tray.
"Sup, Morph. Who's the lady? Isn't she a little classy for you?" He bowed to Tanya.
"Hi, I'm Tanya," she grinned. "Morph?" She raised an eyebrow at her dinner companion.
"Nickname," Duke replied. "You two work together?"
© 2020 Dellani Oakes
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