Chapter Six:

ÖÖ"Tomorrowís the day", he thought and "she said she canít wait"ÖÖ

Johnís Friday morning at the station couldnít go by fast enough for him. He was really starting to anticipate his date with Evangeline. All he kept hearing in his mind was her phone message saying, "I canít wait for our date".

Evangeline was having a hard time concentrating this Friday morning. She had gone to the courthouse to file another appeal in Kellyís custody case. The court clerk had to ask her a couple of questions twice. Van thought to herself, "This is ridiculous. Focus girl, focus. This evening will come soon enough." All she kept hearing in her mind was Johnís phone message saying, "Just you and me, alone.."

John called Evangeline around noon. She had been waiting eagerly for his call.

"Hey", he said. "Howís your day going?"

"Okay I guess", she said. "Iím having a hard time concentrating though".

He kinda smiled and thought to himself that he knew exactly what she meant. He said, "For tonight, wear something like youíd wear to court, but bring a change of clothes, just in case you donít make it back home tonight".

He heard Evangeline gasp on the phone and then she said, "Do you just assume now that Iíll come back to your room with you? Have I made it that easy for you?"

He cleared his throat in embarrassment and said, "No, no, no. I never assume that youíre coming back to my room with me. When you do come, itís a wonderful and amazing surprise. Iím trying to tell you that what I have planned may go a little late and we might not make it back tonight".

"Amazing surprise, huh?" she replied. "Now, you have me intrigued over what we will be doing".

"Good", John said. "I like to keep you intrigued. Iíll pick you up at your place at 5 pm".

"5 pm it is. Iíll be ready", she said. "Bye".

"Bye", he replied.

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Evangeline worked for a couple of more hours, but then she thought, "Whatís the use. I might as well go home and pack". She told her assistant that she shouldnít be called unless it was an emergency or unless Kelly Buchanan was looking for her. She smiled a big smile as she was walking out of the office and told her assistant to have a great weekend.

John finished up some paperwork and was trying to decide whether to start a new report or not, but then he figured, Iím no good here. Iíll just go home and pack and make sure our reservations are set for tonight. As he walked out of his office and closed the door, he smiled at Marcie and said, "See Ya later".

Marcie gave him a discerning look and said, "Goodbye". She told Mike later that John must be up to something with Evangeline that night because heís never left the station and smiled at her as he was leaving. They pondered what could be going on.

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As Evangeline packed a pair of blue jeans, fitted-t shirt, and her running shoes, she decided to wear a dress for the date. She remembered how Johnís eyes kinda popped out of his head when he saw her in one of her wrap around dresses the day she came to his place to get her make-up bag. So, thatís the dress she put on. She was walking down her stairs at 4:59 pm, all ready for John to get there.

John threw a pair of blue jeans and a sweater together with his toiletries and called to confirm their reservations. He decided to wear the blue shirt he had just bought to replace the one theyíd ripped the buttons off of the first night they were together. He put on a tie and his jacket and was out the door of his room at 4:30 pm.

At 5 pm exactly, Evangelineís doorbell rang. She gave herself one last look in the hallway mirror and went to open the door. As John looked at her as she opened the door, he just started to smile. He said, "Wow, you look great".

"Thanks", she said. "You look very good yourself".

All of a sudden, he was a little unsure of himself, but he leaned in and gave her a soft kiss. As their lips parted, they were both smiling. They just kind of lingered, almost nose to nose and then finally, John said, "Shall we go?"

Like being snapped out of a trance, Van said, "Um, yeah, letís go".

As they pulled out of her driveway, Van asked, "So, where are we going?"

John said, "Weíre starting out by going to dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant. It will take us a little over an hour to get there. We have reservations at 6:30 pm."

"A little over an hour", Evangeline replied. "Llanviewís not that big you know, John".

He just laughed and said, "Who said anything about Llanview? Weíre going to Atlantic City".

"Atlantic City?" she said quizzically. "Isnít that where you grew up?"

"Yeah, it is", he said. "Just sit back and relax. Weíll be there in no time".

She rode along thinking, "Whoa! Heís taking me to his home town. That was really unexpected. Iím really more intrigued now about what he has planned".

He drove along thinking, "Yeah! I think I have her even more intrigued now. This is good. Iím starting off well, I think".

He told her a little bit about growing up in Atlantic City and she reciprocated with a childhood story of growing up in Pittsburgh. He then asked if sheíd like to listen to some music. She said, "Sure, that would be great". She hit his CD button before he could tune the radio. To her surprise, Princeís voice came from the speakers.

"Prince?" she asked.

"Correction:" he said, "The Best of Prince, before he became a symbol".

"Who would have known?" she replied.

"Known what?" he said.

"That youíd be a fan of Prince. I love Prince".

He just smiled as they drove along and made another mental check note. "Iím two for two so far", he thought.

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A little over an hour later, they pulled into the parking lot of quaint little restaurant called Café Italiano Restaurante. John came around the car and opened her car door for her. He took her hand and they walked into the restaurant hand-in-hand. As they entered, the hostess said, "John McBain, long time no see. How have you been?"

John replied, "Iím doing well Anna Maria. How have you been? And your family?"

She smiled and said, "Same old John, always polite. Iím great and the family is doing well. Anthony started college this year and I think he wants to be in the FBI like you."

John just smiled and said, "If he wants any pointers, just tell him to give me a call. By the way, this is Evangeline. Evangeline, this is Anna Maria, the part owner of the best Italian restaurant Iíve ever been to".

"Nice to meet you Anna Maria", Evangeline said.

"No, nice to meet you Evangeline", Anna Maria said. "This way to your table. Weíve been waiting for you".

Anna Maria led them to a secluded table for two. She didnít hand them menus, but did ask for Evangelineís drink order. She then proceeded to say that their entréeís will be out momentarily.

When she walked away, Evangeline asked, "What is our entrée? Do they only serve one special dish a night?"

John replied, "No, they have a big variety of dishes, but my favorite is the 7 layer lasagna and I ordered it for both of us when I made the reservation. Did I presume too much? Would you like a menu?" He seemed kind of embarrassed that heíd assumed that sheíd like what he liked.

 

Evangeline put him at ease by saying, "No, itís just fine. Iím sure if you like it, itíll be great. After all, you only eat solid food like once every few days, so if you like the 7 layer lasagna, it must be wonderful". She then gave him a sly smile.

He responded by saying, "The seventh layer is made up of coffee". At her shocked expression, he laughed and said, "Just kidding. Itís authentic Italian Lasagna. Really, the best Iíve ever had".

As Evangeline looked around the restaurant and took in the ambiance and the Italian music, John just stared across the table at her. He took her hand in his and said, "Do you like the date so far?"

As she looked back into his eyes, seeing his nervousness about her having a good time, she said, "Itís far beyond my wildest imagination of what we would do". She then smiled lovingly at him and squeezed his hand. They were still in that position when their food arrived at the table.

At her first bite, Evangeline just said, "Mmmmmmmm, this is terrific. I see why you like it so much".

John made another mental note, "three for three. I hope the evening just keeps getting better".

During dinner, they discussed more about their childhoods and Evangeline asked if he use to come to this restaurant with his family. He told her how his Dad first brought the family there and then heíd been going there his whole adult life. It was a place where a lot of the local policemen and the local FBI came to enjoy a great meal. He said that the family that ran it was almost like relatives to him and they really took care of him. In a soft voice, he said that Caitlin had liked it there also.

Evangeline stared into Johnís eyes and said, "Iím honored that youíd bring me to a place that is so special to you and that must bring back memories of his life with Caitlin".

He smiled at her and said, "I really wanted to bring you here".

After the main course, the waitress brought out a bowl of Italian gelato and two spoons. The taste was so good that Evangeline felt like sheíd died and gone to heaven. When they were done, she even licked her spoon. John laughed and said, "Iím guessing you really liked that".

Evangeline just shook her head yes with a big smile on her face.

John looked down at his watch and said, "Oh! Weíve got to go. The next part of our date starts soon". He got the check, said his goodbyes to Anna Maria and her family and left his number for Anthony to call him.

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