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The Date

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         “Okay……what the heck was that about back there?” Jane asked Trent after a moment in the car.

         Trent drove staring straight ahead.

         Jane looked at her brother’s profile.

         They pulled into the Lane driveway and he shut off the engine.        

         “Trent……?”

         “Do you think I’m stupid Janey?” Trent’s voice was a kind of serious that she had never heard before.

         “Of course not; you’re my brother.”

         “Brothers can be stupid Janey.”

         “Well we’re not talking about Wind are we?” Jane tried to lighten up the mood to no avail.

         He gave her an exasperated look.

         “What is it Trent? I know that it has something to do with Daria because you bolted out of there like you were running for dear life- and you’ve been acting weird ever since- since……” she thought about it for a few moments before drawing some conclusions, “since you helped her with her date.”

         Jane realized that Trent finding out about Daria’s crush had affected him in a way that she hadn’t anticipated. She figured that he would be flattered and get a bit of an ego boost, but clearly something else was going on.

         “Talk to me.”

         “I’m going to Jesse’s for a while make sure that you lock up tight okay?”

         “Uh- okay.” Jane got out of the car and looked at her brother. “Trent-”

         “I’m fine Janey, really. I just want to hang out with the guys, maybe get some practice in or something productive.”

         Jane leaned in the window causing Trent to look at her.

         “You are Trent Lane and you are hands down the best brother and friend that anyone could ever have so don’t you ever forget that.”

         The left side of his mouth lifted in a lopsided smile that reminded her of the first time that he, at elven years of age, had proudly presented her with grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast.

         “Right back at you kiddo, now get inside.”

         “……okay.”

         She went inside and watched him pull off from the front window before heading to take a shower and try to figure out what was going on with the two people that she was closest to.

 

Morgendorffer residence……

         “There’s nothing really on tv,” Daria spoke flipping through the channels and finding nothing too appealing.

         Tom watched her.

         “So……care to share?”

         She looked at Tom through narrowed eyes. She knew what he was talking about and choose to ignore him.

         “We could watch…… jeopardy….or there‘s an old western on?”

         “Willing to watch a western, eh?” Tom raised a brow.

         Really must be something going on……

         “……you were holding another guys hand…… should I be concerned?”

         “The ‘other’ guy was Trent.”

         Yeah, older Trent…… lead singer in a band…… that you were clearly into once upon a time.

         “So is everything……okay with him?”

         Daria thought on it.

         “I hope so…… he was- different- not himself.”

         Tom wasn’t sure how to respond to this for he had never really gotten to know Trent. Trent was just Jane’s older brother while they were dating and he would breeze in and out of the house as far as Tom could tell doing his own thing. It hadn’t been until after he had gotten involved with Daria that Trent’s presence had even registered with Tom. Tom had made a joke about Trent and how he and his band were going nowhere fast and Daria had took it upon herself to champion Trent with a cutting remark about how not everyone was born with a trust fund and that some people had to actually work hard to make their dreams happen instead of having mommy and daddy take care of it. Tom had been floored. Jane always took his comments as the joke that they were- and she is Trent’s sister!

         “I’m sure he’ll be fine.” Tom offered.

         “I hope so……” Daria cleared her throat and gave Tom a slightly raised brow. “So, western?”

         “I thought I saw The Princess Bride when you were flipping through.”

         Daria said nothing, but flipped it back to the channel and took a seat on the couch and Tom joined her.

         He gave up a western- a Clint Eastern western.

         She offered a western. She hates westerns.

Afterwards……

         “Thanks……for the movie.”

         “We watched it at your place so-”

         “You know what I mean.”

         They were at her doorstep and Tom was getting ready to go for the evening.

         “Tom, about the country club,” Daria ventured feeling somewhat nervous, “I hope that you aren’t expecting- I have to be myself, you know?”

         Tom’s face creased in a worried frown.

         “I never expected or wanted anything else.”

         “I thought that perhaps after our date……”

         He gave a relieved chuckle.

         “It was different- nice different, but at the end of the day I just want to be with you.”

         “Me too,” Daria blushed feeling relieved. “So the leather corset and whip would be too much for the country club?”

         “Maybe for the country club,” he pulled her into his arms, “but not for me.”

         She turned her head slightly embarrassed.

         “I should be getting back inside.”

         “Okay,” he kissed her cheek first, then gently on the lips.

         “See you tomorrow?”

         He looked into her eyes before slowly answering her.

         “……as you wish.”

         Daria swallowed hard and for a moment she thought that he would kiss her again, but instead he stopped just shy of her lips and smiled at her before giving her hand a squeeze and leaving.