The Italian restaurant was quaint with amazing pasta to wood-fired pizza that his brother found online and recommended. The eatery's kind owner, Marco Geppetto. greeted his patrons at the door.
Killian sat nervously as he waited for his date to return from the loo.
His brother Liam had begged him to try to meet someone, a nice young lass. 'Killian just try a dating app. Isn't that what all the young kids are doing?' His brother had joked on their weekly call.
He promised his brother for peace of mind he would, and here he was. He was a man of honor after all. The girl's profile seemed nice enough on the website but sitting in front of him was the complete opposite.
What was her name? Bloody hell, he couldn't remember. It was something like Laney.
He only smiled as he heard her talking about work and her coworkers.
The date soon came to an end. "So, can we go back to your place?" She asked as she bit her bottom lip. "Since I saw your profile I've been wanting to go home with you." she purred as she rubbed his foot underneath the table.
Killian paled as he stammered. "Isn't it too soon? It's only our first date after all."
"Come on, let's go to your place and we can work out the food we just ate." She smiled.
"I think we should get to know each other first. You are a lovely lass and I'm not saying I'm not interested" he blushed "I'd be a fool not to be but-" he was interrupted.
"Look I don't need you to be all gentleman-y. I'm a big girl and I know what I want. So take me home with you."
She was persistent. "I live nearby, I walked here."
He had insisted that they should meet at the restaurant. He had walked from his place since it was a block away.
"My car is outside but walking would be nice." She didn't want to mention the little fact that it had an ignition interlock device.
He paid for their dinner and soon they were out the door. She grabbed his hand "lead the way."
The walk had been nice. There was small talk but the closer they got to his place the more his nerves rose.
They arrived at his apartment and he quickly unlocked the door. She entered the clean space. She looked around the living room.
"Please make yourself comfortable." Killian indicated.
He rushed towards the bedroom to ensure it was clean. Killian slowed his breathing and went back to the living room.
"Lass, would you like a beverage?" He still couldn't be sure of her name.
She turned to look at him and smiled. "I didn't know you had kids, your profile didn't say so."
"I don't have kids, why would you think so?"
"Oh, I just assumed since there are so many dolls."
Killian blushed with embarrassment. "They are not dolls lass, they are action figures, collectibles."
"Why do you keep calling me lass? My name is Lacey. I mean we were about to have sex for crying out loud."
She laughed. "You are not seriously thinking we still are? What kind of man your age still plays with dolls?"
"I do not play with them. They're collectibles. You are not exactly who you claimed to be in your profile, lass."
Lacey scoffed at him and eagerly left him home alone.
The day after his disastrous date he woke up with a common affliction most men do. The morning wood. He sighed and debated if perhaps a strenuous workout would free him from the need and make it go away. It didn't. A cold bracing shower finally did the trick, he was able to enjoy a healthy breakfast then finish getting himself ready for work.
There was a sudden knock on his door and was surprised since he was not expecting anyone. He opened the door to be greeted by long luminous blonde hair, red leather jacket, tight jeans, black boots, sheer white blouse, and bright green eyes met his blue ones, once his perusal ended. He blushed as he realized what he had been doing.
"Sorry to bother you but I'm looking for Lacey French."
"I'm sorry lass but why would she be here?"
"I know there was a date last night. Is she in the bedroom?" She tried to push her way inside his place.
Killian stiffened and didn't allow her entrance. "Lass, no one is here. I'm on my way to work and I'm running late now."
"Look, your little girlfriend jumped bail and I'm just doing my job." She forcibly pushed her way in.
"She's not my girlfriend, I just met her." He shuffled his feet nervously as she raised an eyebrow in disbelief. "Fine, you don't believe me. Look around but make it fast. I'm really late now." His heart pounded fast as he scratched behind his ear while she looked around his place.
The lass nodded as she made her way through the tidy place. "Wow, you have a lot of dolls for a grown man."
Killian's jaw clenched. "They are not dolls."
She laughed as she had made her way back from inspecting the rest of the place. "I know they're not. I was just teasing you."
Killian raised an eyebrow in disbelief.
"Sorry to have bothered you, here's my card. Please, call me if Lacey reaches out to you. Her dad put up her bail, and he is really worried about her."
Killian grabbed the card and read her name out loud, "Emma Swan." He couldn't help the smile that blossomed on his face.
He was late to work. He was the last one to arrive and rushed to his little section.
He worked at the local electronic/appliance store in the small town. They sold everything from appliances, computers, and TVs. They even did special orders for their customers. The owner was an older woman that got the business from her dying mother's estate when she passed away from a freak attack by her dogs. She was a decent looking woman but she was his boss. She would use any excuse to touch him and flirt with him. His coworkers teased him endlessly because she was into him and that he should go for it. That maybe if she got lucky they would all get lucky with a pay increase or a bonus. Ah, but he knew it wasn't just him. It was all of them. She was handsy and inappropriate. She really enjoyed seeing his cheeks redden by her comments.
It was going to be a long day. He walked into the store and headed to the back room. Maybe his tardiness would go unnoticed. He had almost made it, he was so close.
"Hey, Killian. So I want to hear all the dirty little details about your date. Was she hot? Please, tell me she was a naughty librarian…"
"Arthur," Killian paused for a second as he interrupted his coworker, "I'm a gentleman and a gentleman never tells."
"Come on! I want details, I saw her profile and you know what they say about the quiet ones." Arthur's eyebrows wiggled.
Killian grimaced at his coworker when a voice interrupted his thoughts. "Hello darlings," Killian and Arthur cringed at the purr in her voice.
Arthur forced a smile for their boss, "Cruella, lovely as ever but I really should be getting to work."
"Oh darling, please don't rush on my account." She blocked him from leaving. "You know, I wouldn't object to getting caught in the middle of this stubble sandwich." She waved her hand between the two of them.
Arthur glanced at Killian as they shared an uncomfortable look. Killian cleared his throat. "Good morning, Cruella. I'm a little behind on my work." He pointed at his workstation.
"Oh, my darling Killian, you work too hard. Besides I've told you many times before that if you need to put in an extra hour or so, I'm willing to stay later to keep you company." She inched closer to him.
Arthur had made his escape, as Cruella's attention was completely focused on Killian.
The day is like any other day. He is so consumed by his work he misses his lunch break. Rushing out of his workstation to leave for the day, he tries to swiftly sneak out without notice. The upside was that Cruella was a creature of habit. It was a known fact that she locked herself in her office the last hour of the workday. While she was distracted in her office, he escaped.
When Killian finally arrived home, he ate his dinner. He followed his usual routine to the "T". His thoughts briefly drifted to the bounty hunter and wondered if she caught her prey.
The days seemed to blend together. On one of those very typical days, he was surprised by his co-workers' invitation. "Jones, come here," David called out to him. There were some whispers and murmurs from the rest of the men.
He cautiously approached them. "Hello, Dave." When his eyes drifted to Arthur, Leroy grumbled his protest. Robin smiled, "Mate, we were wondering if you would like to join us for our weekly poker game? My cousin, Will, is our regular but he finally found a girl that puts up with him so he can't join us. How about it?"
Killian looked at the group and knew he should decline. He was about to decline when he noticed Robin and David giving him an encouraging nod, and somehow the wrong words came out of his mouth. "Sure, I'd love to." He was going to have to look up youtube videos on how to play poker or pick up a copy of Poker for Dummies. "When is game night?"
"We know it's a bit of a short notice," David sighed. "But it's tonight."
"That's okay," Killian said with a smile. "I'll be there."
David and Robin smiled and Arthur nodded begrudgingly. After giving Killian all the details, they went back to work. Killian went home and did some fast research about poker. Youtube was truly a lifesaver. After viewing too many videos on how to play poker for dummies, he felt like he was ready. Granted, it didn't make him an instant expert, but he believed he could handle himself.
He looked in the mirror and freshened up. After finding a stain on his shirt, he made the last-minute decision to change it. A thought crossed his mind; he should stop at the store for some lager and crisps for his friends. Liam would be horrified if he arrived empty-handed.
They played for hours and his coworkers didn't seem to mind he wasn't any good. They were playing for money, so there was that. His loss was their gain. Sadly, there had been liquor, which got the men talking about their loves…
David mentioned his high school sweetheart and hoped to marry her soon, Arthur still pined for his ex, Gwen, Leroy is happily married to a nice woman, Astrid, and Robin is married with a small son. That's when they turn their attention to him.
Killian nervously shifted in his seat, his face coloring a bright shade of red.
Arthur laughed mercilessly. "Please, tell me you're not a virgin."
Robin, David, and Leroy stared at Killian.
"Of course not, I've had many dalliances before," Killian answered as fast as he could.
Arthur stared at him. "Prove it."
This time, David couldn't stay quiet. "Please, ignore him, Killian. He's drunk."
"I'm just teasing. You and Robin are too overprotective. It's not a big deal. If you are, we can take you out and get you laid, and if you're not, well good for you." Arthur smiled wickedly at him.
The night ended in awkward silence.