Back at the penthouse of the Argeneau building, Nicole was in her room still organizing her things. When the group had returned her belongings had arrived and now she was turning the extra room into her own. She had made the bed, put away her toiletries, hung her clothing, and was now installing the television and game consoles. She was tucked away behind the system when she heard the door open. “Nicole?” her mother called.
Nicole popped her head around the television, “Yeah?”
Rachel couldn’t help but smile. Nicole might look like her, but she was definitely her father when it came to video games. Although Rachel did like the occasional challenge and playing Blood Lust, her husband’s creation, was something she used to enjoy when they first met, she wasn’t as into the games as much now. “Mom?” Nicole asked breaking Rachel from her thoughts.
“Oh, sorry. I was just thinking how much like your father you are buried under all those wires,” she smiled.
Nicole smiled back at her mother. “Did you need something, Mom? I was kinda hoping to get this hooked up before meeting Waverly,” Nicole stated holding a handful of wires trying to remember where they should be connected.
“That’s kind of what I wanted to talk to you about….I mean Waverly,” Rachel said. “Can I come in?”
Nicole gave her a curious look as she motioned her to enter. Her family tried to respect one another when it came to reading one another’s minds. There were times, however, when emotions ran high and it was almost impossible not to. Rachel took a set on the foot of the queen sized bed pulling her feet underneath her. Nicole laid the wires down and sat down beside her mother. Rachel could feel the tension floating from her daughter. She reached over taking her daughter’s hand in her own and pushed a stray red lock behind her daughter’s ear before speaking. “Have you thought about how you are going tell her, Waverly, that she’s your lifemate?”
“Mom, really!? I’ve spent all of maybe 15 minutes with her today, and you’re already asking me how I’m going to approach this subject! Jeezzz!!!” Nicole huffed and pounced off the bed heading back to her wires.
“Telling her is going to be difficult…not just for her but for you. I remember your father trying to explain it me. He messed up so badly your Uncle Bastian and Grandmother Marguerite had to step in before he destroyed any chance for us before it even started. He might be brilliant when it comes to writing programs, but he had no clue what he was doing then.”
“I remember the story, Mom. I’m not going to be like Dad, or Uncle Lucian, or Uncle Bastian, or….”
Her mother held up a hand to halt the list of males in the family who had no clue as to how to address the change of becoming an immortal. “But,” Rachel started to protest again.
“Mom, please,” Nicole pleaded as she let her hand drop to her side. “Let me do this my way. Between you, Aunt Lissianna, Aunt Terry, and Grandmother, and all that you guys have taught me, I’m sure I can do this on my own.” Nicole walked to stand in front of her mother. “I don’t want Waverly to do anything she doesn’t want to or isn’t ready for. I want to get to know her and she me. I know…in my heart” she laid a hand on her chest, “she is my lifemate, but …..I want her to know it just as much as I do.”
Rachel took a deep breath. Her daughter was much more of an adult than any of them gave her credit for. Just because she was only 95 didn’t mean she was clueless. She had just proved herself much smarter than her father was at 300 years old. “Fine. But, when the time comes….”
This time it was Nicole who silenced her mother by finishing the sentence, “I promise not to screw up like Dad,” and giggling.
After a hug, her mother left, but before closing the door, she poked her head back in. “Oh, Nicole, don’t forget to feed before you leave. I’d hate for you to bite her on the first date,” her mother teased closing the door just as pillow hit it where her face would have been.
Nicole did almost forget to feed before leaving because she got so engrossed in the wiring. Her mother, thankfully, caught her just before stepping in the elevator and dragged her back in stuffing two bags of blood in her mouth before releasing her. Once finished, she kissed her mother’s cheek and ran out.
Waverly was standing on the steps of the museum as Nicole all but skidded to a stop in the street. “I’M HERE!” she yelled as she jumped out leaving the car running and cars behind her honking. Waverly stood for a moment taking in the scene before bursting with laughter. Nicole stopped at the bottom step and looked at the brunette curiously. “What?” she asked totally oblivious to the fact she was blocking traffic with the empty running car.
Waverly pointed at the chaos behind the red head. People were now not only honking but rolling down their car windows screaming profanities at the red head. Nicole now realizing what she had done, went into a panic. “OH MY GOD!” Nicole didn’t know which way to turn. She didn’t want to leave Waverly standing on the steps, but she needed to move the car. Waverly, seeing Nicole’s stress, grabbed the red head’s hand and pulled her along to the car where she shoved her into the front seat and ran around the car to climb in the passenger side. Once in, Nicole mumbled an apology and pulled out.
The car ride was quiet. Nicole was in a pit of despair of embarrassment. Thank goodness Waverly had pulled her back to reality and they were now on their way to the restaurant. “Um, I thought dinner might be nice with the tea. Is that okay?” Nicole asked finally breaking the silence.
“That’s fine,” Waverly answered with a smile. “Oh, but, do they have a vegan menu? Where we are going?” she quickly added.
“Oh, I, uh, I don’t know. If they don’t we can go somewhere else,” Nicole said scolding herself for not thinking about what kinds of food Waverly liked. She quickly had an idea, “Is there somewhere you like? We can go there. I’m not picky.”
“Are you sure?” Waverly asked. She had never had anyone ask her what she wanted before and was kind of a shocked when Nicole suggested she pick the restaurant.
“Absolutely,” Nicole glanced quickly at the brunette smiling.
“Well, there is little place, almost like a hole in the wall, a few blocks from my apartment. I get take out from there all the time, but they also have a nice outdoor area. We could go there,” Waverly suggested.
“Let’s do it,” Nicole answered. Waverly gave her the name, and she plugged it into the GPS on her phone. The drive took about 30 minutes with traffic. The little restaurant was busy, but there was table available in the back part of the patio where Waverly and Nicole were seated. Waverly helped Nicole with ordering. While they waited, they enjoyed their tea and cappuccino.
When their order came, the couple talked about everything and nothing at the same time. Nicole explained her move to New York and that she was living with Bastian and Terri until she could find a place of her own.
“So, what will you do for your uncle?” Waverly asked.
Taking a drink and thinking the best way to answer without lying, she said, “I’ll be working with security. He does a lot of different things with it, and I’m not really sure where I’ll start. If my Uncle Lucian has anything to say about it, I’ll be at a desk.”
“Lucian?” Waverly inquired.
“Yes. He is our oldest uncle. He, uh, basically runs the company,” Nicole answered. Waverly nodded and seemed to accept the answer and took another bite. “What about you? How did you become interested in history?”
Waverly shrugged, not really wanting to share. No one had ever asked her that question before, except in an interview for the museum. She was almost sure Nicole wouldn’t want to hear it. Her obsessions with history were boring to other people. So Waverly just never talked about it.
“Hey? You okay?” Nicole asked seeing the change on Waverly’s face. Waverly gave a little smile and nodded. “You don’t have to tell me, if you don’t want to, but….I’d really love to know,” Nicole said honestly.
Waverly looked into the other woman’s eyes. She saw no mockery or disinterest. She saw only honesty and caring. “It’s just that, no one has ever asked me that before. Growing up, everyone always made fun of me for being so interested in history, so I guess I just hide that part of myself except when I’m at the museum.”
Nicole reached across the table and covered Waverly’s hand with her own. “I would never make fun of you, Waverly. I really want to know. I want to get to know every part of you….the good and the bad.” Nicole ran her thumb over Waverly’s knuckles running shock waves through them both. They just sat and stared into one another’s eyes until the waitress interrupted with refills of their drinks.
Once the waitress walked away, Nicole prodded Waverly again, “So, what about history intrigued you so much that you made a career out of it?”
“Well,” Waverly began slowly, “if you must know, it is because of Wyatt Earp and the O.K. Corral.”
Nicole turned her head curiously looking at the brunette. “You mean like Tombstone? The movie?”
Waverly couldn’t hold her giggle. “Sort of, but not quite.”
“Uncle Lucian’s brother Victor, loves old movies. Tombstone is one of his favorites. I’ve actually watched it with him a couple of times,” Nicole said. “But that’s all I really know about it.”
“At least you’re honest,” Waverly smiled.
Nicole’s eyes quickly enlarged in realization. “Wait! Earp? You’re an Earp! Are you one of THE Earps!?”
Waverly couldn’t contain her laughter. “Yes, actually. Wyatt was my great-great-great-grandfather.” Then she squinted her eyes together and tapped her chin. “I think that’s how many ‘greats’ it is.”
“Wow!” Nicole grinned. “I’m having dinner with a celebrity!”
Waverly dipped her head shyly. “Not quite,” she whispered, but Nicole did make her feel like one as she continued to listen to Waverly ramble on about the O.K. Corral, the famous shoot out, and Tombstone, not to mention all the other subjects that would pop into the brunette’s mind causing her conversation to squirrel into all different directions. But, Nicole never faltered. She listened and hung on to Waverly’s every word. Nicole knew she could listen to Waverly talk forever and never get tired of her voice or her interests. They were a part of her, and now would be a part of herself as well.
It was well after midnight and the waitress hinted that the restaurant was closing. Looking around they found themselves to be the only two left. Leaving a hefty tip for the waitress, Nicole paid and led Waverly back to the car.
“Would you like to go for a walk?” Nicole asked not wanting the night to end.
Waverly tried to hide the yawn that escaped. “I’m sorry,” she said.
“No, I’m sorry. I should have realized. You are tired. You’ve worked all day. Here,” she said opening the passenger door, “I’ll drive you home.”
“It’s okay. It’s just a couple of blocks. I can walk,” Waverly offered.
Ushering her toward the door, Nicole said, “Please, let me take you home. I’ve kept you out late enough. Plus, what kind of date would I be if I didn’t escort you to your door.” Nicole smiled showing off her dimples again.
Damn dimples, Waverly thought. How can I say no? Waverly got in the car. As Nicole started the car, she asked for directions. True to her word, but sadly, it only took about 2 minutes to drive to Waverly’s apartment. Seeing nowhere to park and seeing there was no traffic, Nicole once again pulled in front of Waverly’s door, got out, and left the car running. Waverly giggled as Nicole just shrugged and walked her to the door. Waverly stood on the top step leaving Nicole standing just below her allowing them to be even in height. They stood quietly just staring. Finally Waverly gave another tired yawn. “I guess I should let you go, huh, Waves?”
Not breaking the glance, Waverly answered in a whisper, “I guess you should.”
Nicole pinched her bottom lip between her teeth. Before she knew what she was doing she whispered, “I really wanna kiss you.”
“I really want you to kiss me,” Waverly whispered back. Waverly was tired and sleepy, but now her heart was racing and she wanted the red head to touch her so badly she ached.
Nicole leaned forward and placed a slow soft kiss on Waverly’s lips. It took all of her will power to break away when what she really wanted to do was push her against the door and deepen the kiss. She wanted to run her tongue over Waverly’s lips and push inside tasting her. She wanted to press her body against the brunette’s and touch her breasts. Nicole took a deep breath and stepped away before her imagination stepped into reality.
Smiling at the brunette and biting her lip once more, she backed down the steps without ever losing Waverly’s gaze. Waverly gave a little wave as Nicole climbed back into the running car. Nicole watched until Waverly closed the door behind her for the night.