With a smile plastered on her face, Kala clinked her glass with Wolfgang’s before taking a sip of champagne. She rubbed her foot tentatively against his.
Her amazing boyfriend had surprised her with dinner at Le Quai a restaurant that sat on the bank of the Seine river. A restaurant she had always wanted to try.
Wolfgang leaned across the table, tucking a loose strand of Kala’s hair behind her ear. He stroked his thumb over her cheek.
“Champagne?” The waiter asked, politely.
Although neither Kala or Wolfgang were sure that’s what the waiter had asked, both too focused on each other. They just nodded and said “yes” in response.
Wolfgang reached inside of his jacket. “Happy Valentines” He wished, lovingly handing over a brown envelope.
Kala’s eyes lit up with happiness. Her fingers quickly but gently tore open the envelope. She let out a small squeal of excitement.
In her hands were two tickets to the ballet for tonight. Paris Opera were showing Romeo and Juliet. She had wanted to see the production for months.
Kala launched herself at Wolfgang, unbothered by how many people surrounded them. She threw her arms around Wolfgang, hugging him tightly.
“Thank you” She repeated, kissing Wolfgang gratefully.
Capheus wondered where he went wrong, re-reading what should have been a no fail recipe.
He had decided to surprise Zakia with a homecooked meal. The recipe he found online appeared easy.
Too much had been cooking at once. Being focused on rice, the pan of core ingredients burnt and shriveled. While dealing with that mess, the rice burned.
Capheus checked his watch Zakia would be home in a half an hour. He racked his brain for a solution, needing this night to be perfect.
“You could substitute the chicken and rice ” Kala’s voice offered, helpfully. She was rummaging through the fridge before stepping back with an armful of ingredients, placing them on the bench.
“I’ll boil the couscous. You get started on simmering the lamb” Kala instructed.
She searched through the cupboards. "Use these herbs on the lamb," She told, passing over a bottle of thyme to Capheus.
“I'll boil the couscous” Wolfgang corrected, plucking the box out of Kala’s hand. He pushed a protesting Kala out of the kitchen.
"You don’t know how to cook" Kala stated.
Wolfgang shrugged, “Go back to the ballet. Enjoy. I’ll help Capheus.”
Kala vanished with a huff.
He opened the fridge, grabbing out two bottles of beer, handing one to Capheus.
“Dinner will be great” Wolfgang promised, taking a long sip of his beer.
Capheus let out a nervous breath.
Due to Zakia’s job, they had never had a proper Valentine's Day. For the past couple of years, they celebrated the week before. This year, luckily, Zakia was free.
Capheus and Wolfgang busied themselves. The kitchen soon filled with delicious aromas. They made a good team.
“I appreciate the help” Capheus thanked. He was more at ease. Turning the hob off, he scooped the lamb and vegetables into the bowl of couscous.
"You were more helping me" Wolfgang insisted, grinning.
Capheus had just started dishing the dinner on the plates when the front door unlocked.
Wolfgang gave him a hi-five before leaving with his thumbs up.
“Are we going to the museum? Taking a cooking class? Taking an art class? Are we going to the movies? Are we going to a festival?” Hernando questioned curiously, as Lito walked him to the car with a blindfold on.
Lito beamed, helping Hernando into the car, “You’ll just have to wait, baby.”
Blindfolded just like Hernando, Sun was being led by Mun into a cold echoey room.
Mun had taken her out for a late dinner at her favorite restaurant. He had then ushered her into a waiting taxi where she had been promptly blindfolded.
Mun spun Sun around to face him. “Happy Valentine's” He spoke, excitedly while lifting off her blindfold.
"Where are we?" Sun wondered. By first glance, she knew a locker room but wasn't sure as to why Mun had brought her here, wherever here was.
Mun smiled, "Alliance. You’re fighting in round six. Better warm up, babe.“
Sun didn't know how to express how happy she was. Alliance was most élite underground MMA competition. She wasn’t sure how Mun scored her spot on their schedule.
"You're amazing," She told, smiling widely.
Wolfgang blinked, adjusting his eyes to the bright lights. He noticed the stage was empty and everyone was on their feet clapping.
He kissed a glowing Kala on the cheek and grabbed her hand, trying to lead her to the exit but Kala wouldn’t budge. Kala and he exchanged confused stares.
“Babe, it’s just intermission. There is a second half” Kala informed.
Wolfgang couldn't help the deep sigh. “A second half?” He repeated Kala’s words with dread. He hadn't realized how long the ballet dragged on for.
“No wonder you were so eager to help Capheus” Kala noted, amused.
Wolfgang smiled adoringly, “You're happy that's all that matters.”
Kala stepped closer to Wolfgang. “I promise the surprise I have at home will be worth the boredom” She whispered into his ear, seductively.
Zakia slouched in her chair, “I’m so full. Capheus that was delicious.”
Capheus stood at the sink, washing the dishes with a smile of relief on his face. "You don’t want dessert then" He tempted.
“I could have a bite or two” Zakia insisted, chuckling. “What’s for dessert?” She asked, walking over to the couch, plopping herself down.
Capheus opened the fridge, pulling out a large pink bakery box. "A chocolate cake in the shape of a heart" He answered, awkwardly.
"A classic for Valentine's Day" Zakia noted. "“What movie are we watching?” She questioned, scrolling through the menu on Netflix.
“You can pick the movie” Capheus advised, sweetly. He dried off a knife, cutting two slices of the cake, and served it on plates.
"How about “Lost In Translation" or “From Here to Eternity?” Zakia suggested.
“From Here to Eternity” Lito’s voice cheered in Capheus' mind.
“I haven’t seen it” Capheus admitted.
Lito’s gasp rang out loudly.
Capheus rolled his eyes, “I prefer action over romance.”
“I think I saw a “Van Damme" Zakia offered.
“Sorry. I was talking to Lito. I’m fine with whatever you choose” Capheus insisted, strolling over to the couch with the pieces of cake.
Zakia laid her feet across Capheus’ lap while Capheus draped an arm around her and gently kissed her forehead.
Lito’s shocked gasp sent Hernando’s heart racing. “What’s wrong my love?” He asked, concerned, trying to tug off his blindfold.
Lito swatted Hernando’s hands away from his face. “Capheus hasn’t seen "From Here to Eternity". How could he not? It’s a classic” He spoke, outraged.
Hernando groaned while clutching at his startled heart. “A tragedy” He joked.
“I know” Lito tisk'd, missing Hernando’s tone. He turned the car into his secret destination and parked the car.
“Are we here?” Hernando checked enthusiastically, unbuckling his seatbelt.
“Yes but I need you to stay in the car. I'll collect in a minute” Lito instructed. He kissed Hernando before jumping out of the car.
A fist connected with the side of Sun’s head, knocking her off balance. She stepped backwards, breathing heavily. She bounced on the balls of her feet while wiping the blood and sweat from her face with the back of her glove.
Her opponent swung his fist again. She managed to duck. She drove her fist into her opponent's stomach than swiftly kicking him in the knee. Her opponent tumbled down with a moan.
The referee blew his whistle three times. The crowd erupted in celebration of her victory.
Sun grinned smugly as she jogged over to Mun and kissed him, sloppily.
Mun twirled Sun around in his arms. He settled her on her feet and lifted her arm in the air, chanting her name proudly. The crowd followed Mun’s lead.
Sun waved walking off the platform, heading to the locker room. "I love you" She affirmed to Mun, once inside the quiet locker room.
Mun cupped her face and kissed her softly. "I love you too. I’ll let you shower. Meet me at the bar?" He commented on his way out.
Sun's smile faded, feeling guilty. Mun had given her probably the most romantic present and she had nothing for him.
Nomi and Amanita's naked bodies were twisted together. They were panting and moaning their way through a mutual orgasm.
Amanita rolled them over and straddled Nomi, pressing butterfly kisses to her bare stomach. She sat up on her knees, pushing her sweaty hair out of her eyes. “Did I just redeemed two coupons?" She checked, breathless.
Unable to speak, Nomi simply shook her head and held up her index finger. Her Valentine’s Day present to Amanita was a coupon book; An hour massage. Bubble bath. Ten extra kisses. Good morning sex. Homecooked meal.
Amanita kissed Nomi, chastely. Stretching across, she opened the bedside drawer, taking out a glittery envelope. "Your first clue. I thought of harder questions this year" She bragged, handing the envelope to Nomi.
Amanita loved playing Hide and Seek on Valentine’s Day. She would hide and Nomi would seek. The clues were questions about themselves and or of their relationship.
"I better get going. Count to eleven, remember" Amanita reminded Nomi, giving her another soft kiss. She hurried out bed, dressing just as fast and left with a wink.
Nomi heard a sigh. A bruised Sun appeared beside her in bed. "Are you ok, Sun?" She asked, slipping on the nearest t-shirt.
Sun shook her head. "I forgot about Valentine's Day. I don't do romance. What can I get Mun last minute" She asked, panicked.
"DIY. Amanita and I do a round of hide and seek and I make her romantic coupons" Nomi suggested.
"Or surprise Mun at work and take him out to lunch. Like I am with Will" Riley offered, stepping into the room in a black and white dress.
Sun nodded as she exited Nomi's apartment. Riley gave Nomi a wave as she too left.
Nomi turned her attention to the day ahead. She read Amanita's clue, excited to seek her.
Riley stood in the old elevator of Will’s precinct. She was a romantic at heart. Valentines Day was a favorite holiday of hers.
She fixed her hair, re-pining a section of platinum hair and straightened her cami dress, Will’s favorite. The dress highlighted her boobs wonderfully.
The elevator dinged. Riley shuffled to the side to accommodate the group of chatting police officers that strolled in.
“Riley?" Diego made his way over, "What are you doing here?” He asked.
Riley raised an eyebrow, "I'm here to see Will. Why? Is he not here?"
Diego shook his head, "No. Will left twenty minutes ago. He said he had something important to do this afternoon."
Riley pursed her lips in thought. They had given each other their presents this morning. What was so important?
The elevator doors opened. "I'll talk to you later" Diego added, stepping out with the group.
Riley gave a wave goodbye to Diego. The elevator was empty. She leaned against the metal rail and concentrated on Will.
Opening her eyes, Riley found herself standing in their apartment. "Will?" She yelled out.
"Riley" Will spoke, jogging out of their bedroom. He was holding a large bunch of bright colorful flowers and a box of chocolates.
"I was going to surprise you for lunch” They both blurted out at the same time with a laugh.
Will dropped the flowers and chocolate on the couch. He pulled Riley in by her cardigan for a long passionate kiss.
"You look amazing" He commented, his eyes roaming her body. He moved away from Riley and hit the stop button.
The elevator came to a jarring halt. They smirked as they grabbed each other and tumbled into the bedroom.
A warm breeze and the smell of freshly cut grass hit Hernando as the car door finally opened. "Are we at the park?" He guessed.
Lito shushed Hernando, cupping his cheek. He nipped at Hernando's bottom lip than lightly pressed their lips together for a tentative kiss.
Hernando broke the kiss, nuzzling his face against Lito's. "Can I take the blindfold off now?" He requested, impatiently.
"Not yet" Lito chuckled, taking Hernando's hand, helping him out of the car. Guiding Hernando by his waist, he led him to his surprise.
Lito untied the blindfold. "Close your eyes," He asked, pulling Hernando's glasses out from his pocket.
Hernando closed his eyes and felt his glasses being slipped on his face.
Kissing the tip of Hernando's nose, Lito gave Hernando permission to open his eyes.
"Oh, Lito" Hernando gasped, squeezing Lito's arm affectionately.
Surrounded by large red and gold heart balloons was a picnic of his favorite foods. The blanket and pillows were covered in Hershey's chocolate hearts.
Lito kneeled, pouring them each a glass of champagne. He passed the flute to Hernando and toasted, "Happy Valentine's, the love of my life."
Nomi swallowed the last mouthful of her vodka and lime as she opened the final clue.
Amanita's clues hadn’t been too tricky. Questions like; "Where was our last date."Our third kiss." "Our first I love you." Nomi solved each clue in under a few minutes.
She read the card and glared, confused. Her last clue questioned, “Where was the first and last place we had sex in public?"
Those bars were in completely opposite directions. She dialed Amanita's number, even though it against the rules, and repeated her thought.
"You’ll find me in the middle of those places. You're smart, hun" Amanita confirmed and hung up without another word.
Sighing, Nomi opened Google Maps, typing both bars into the search engine. Scanning the map, she knew immediately where Amanita was hiding. She hurried home.
Unlocking the front door, Nomi found their apartment covered in candles and rose petals.
"You found me" Amanita announced, stepping into sight, naked.
Nomi kissed Amanita eagerly, ready to collect her prize.