Chapter Seven:

The next stop on their magical date was a little jazz club. As they drove up to park, Evangeline read the marquee and it said, "The Jazz Encounter proudly presents Eve McBain". Evangeline looked at the sign, then at John, and then back at the sign. She said, "Weíre going to hear your Mom perform?"

John said, "Yes, itís the surprise portion of the date".

"Wow, I love your Momís performances", Evangeline said. I always enjoyed her at Capricorn.

John said, "Whew! Thatís good to know. Boy, would I have been embarrassed if you didnít like her".

They walked in the club and once again, the hostess was all smiles for John. Again, Martina said, "John McBain, long time no see. I saw your name in the reservation book and was happy to know that you were coming tonight. Your Mom is excited also".

"Hey Martina", John replied. "This is Evangeline. Evangeline this is Martina".

"Nice to meet you Martina", Evangeline replied.

"Nice to meet you too Evangeline", she said in turn. "This way to your table".

They had a reserved table toward the front of the room where they got a great view of the 4 piece band. As they were being seating, Eve McBain came from the back and was headed for their table with a smile. As she reached the table, Evangeline and John stood up to greet her. Eve said, "Hi Evangeline, nice to see you again". She shook Evangelineís hand. Then, she turned to John and said, "Hi honey", and gave him a big hug.

John pulled out a chair for his Mom and she sat across from John and Evangeline. Eve said, "John, I was surprised when they told me you called in to make a reservation for tonight. I thought you were really busy from all your investigations".

John replied, "I know I should have come sooner, but youíre right, Iíve been pretty busy. However, Bo told me I needed to take a break and Evangeline and I have been trying to go on this date for months, so I figured, Iíd surprise you at the same time".

Eve smiled at her eldest son. They went on to catch up on things and Eve asked about Michael, Marcie, Bo, Natalie, and RJ. John noticed Van tense up a little when Eve asked about Natalie and he kind of tensed up a little when Eve asked about RJ. John realized that Eve was grateful to RJ for when he booked her at Capricorn because it gave her time to spend with her sons. However, RJ still wasnít his favorite person, especially after heíd been assaulted by one of RJís henchmen.

As their conversation flowed, Evangelineís cell phone rang. She looked at the caller ID and saw that it was Kelly Buchanan. She gave John a deer-caught-in-the-headlights kind of look and said, "Sorry, I have to take this. Please excuse me for a few minutes".

John replied, "I thought we were leaving everyone behind for one night?"

Van said, "I know, I know, but itís Kelly and I think I should talk to her. I promise, this is the only call for tonight, really".

John nodded his okay.

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While Van went over to a more quiet section of the room and filled Kelly in on her filing the appeal and tried to sooth Kellyís nerves, John talked to his Mom.

Eve said, "So Michael and Shannon were telling the truth. You are falling for Evangeline Williamson. Huh?"

John shot back, "Mikey and Shannon should really keep their rumors to themselves. Iím not falling for Evangeline; we just enjoy spending time together. She knows Iím gun shy and sheís giving me all the time to take this at my own pace. Sheís been good for me. Sheís just soÖÖ I mean she makes me feel soÖ.Um, I canít explain it, but Iím in a good place because of her".

Eve asked, "What happened with Natalie?"

John responded, "She wanted more from me than friendship and I couldnít give it to her. She went for Paul Kramer, but once she realized what a criminal he was, she decided to take some time to figure out what she wants out of her life. I didnít mean to hurt her".

Eve then asked, "What about RJ? Wasnít Evangeline seeing him?"

John said, "RJ isnít happy about this, but Evangeline broke it off with him. In our defense, we both never saw this coming and we tried to ignore it, but there is some type of pull between us".

Eve looked at John with a look of marvel and said, "Who are you? What have you done with my son that never expresses his feeling about anything?"

As Evangeline came back to the table, she heard John say, "Very funny Mom. Itís so nice to be a member of a family of comedians".

Evangeline said, "What did I miss?"

John said, "Oh nothing. Mom is just showing me where Mike gets his sense of humor from".

Right then, Johnís cell phone rang. The caller ID showed that it was Bo. John said, "I have to take this".

Evangeline just smirked and said, "Is this your way of leaving everyone else behind for one night?"

John said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, Iíll be right back".

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Back in Llanview, Tico was determined to get Antonio arrested for killing Angelina/Isabella. He had called in some favors and put pressure on the district attorneyís office to have Antonio arrested. He couldnít understand why Antonio wasnít arrested after the butler went to the police and told them that he saw Antonio leaving the room after the time of Angelinaís death. Also, he was miffed and suspicious of Sonia. She was hanging around with Antonio to much lately and always taking up for him. Tico thought to himself, "where is her family loyalty? I have to find out whatís going on with her".

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John went to a quiet area of the room, to talk to Bo. Bo told him how the DAís office was putting pressure on the department to arrest Antonio for the murder of Angelina/Isabella. He said that he thought John would want to know. John asked if he wanted him to come back tonight to serve the arrest warrant. Bo said for him to keep on with his plans and heíll stall the arrest until the morning.

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While John was over talking on his cell phone, Eve took the time alone with Evangeline to get to know her a little better. After a few minutes of conversation, Eve McBain could see why John was so drawn to Evangeline. Eve thought to herself, "Evangeline is just what John needed; a strong woman with her own life and interests, but that is willing to be patient with him and lead him back to his emotions".

Eve smiled at Evangeline and said, "Thank You Evangeline. Thank You for bringing my son back to the living".

Evangeline blushed and said, "Mrs. McBain, please donít thank me. I should be thanking you. John is just soÖ.., I mean, he makes me feelÖ..um, Iíd just like to say that youíve raised a great guy in John".

"See, thatís why I want to Thank you", Eve said. "You had the patience and gave John the space, to show you his real self. Iíll always be grateful to you for thatí.

As John got back to the table, he saw his Mom and Evangeline smiling admiringly at each other. He said, "Okay you two, whatís going on over here?"

Both women looked at each other, and then at John, and said in unison, "Oh, nothing".

Eve excused herself from the table because her first set was about to begin.

John and Evangeline just chatted while waiting for the set to begin. John kinda smiled at her and Evangeline said, "What? Whatís that smile for?"

John just said that it was nice how she got along with his Mom. The music started and they sat back to take in the show.

When Eve McBain got to the last song of her set, she said that she wanted to dedicate it to her son and his friend that were sitting down front. John and Evangeline looked at each other and then at Eve. Eve went on to sing "Unforgettable" by Nat King Cole. As the song went on, John grabbed Evangelineís hand under the table and held on tightly. He thought to himself, "Mom, without even knowing it, youíve made it 4 for 4 this evening. Thanks".

After the set was over, Eve came back to the table. Evangeline thanked her for such a lovely song. Eve asked if they were going back tonight. John said, ĎIím not sure, why do you ask?"

Eve said, "Itís not often that I have you at home. Stay at the house tonight and you can head back tomorrow".

John looked at Van and asked, "What do you think?"

Evangeline said, "Itís up to you. After all, you did have me bring a change of clothes".

John said, "Itís settled. Weíll stay at the house tonight".

Eve said, "Good, Iíll see you guys at home after my last set. If youíve already gone to bed, Iíll talk to you in the morning". She kissed Van on the cheek and gave John a hug and said, "Iíll see ya later. Bye".

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On the way to his childhood home, John stopped by the Atlantic City boardwalk and he and Evangeline took a nice leisurely stroll. They walked along hand-in-hand. At one point, Van laid her head on Johnís shoulder and she yawned.

John said, "Youíre tired arenít you?"

Evangeline nodded and said, "Yeah, but I donít want this night to end".

 

John squeezed her hand and asked, "Youíve had a good time tonight?"

Evangeline replied, "The best I can remember in a long time. Thank You for planning this all for us. Our first real date is a big hit with me".

John stopped walking, turned Evangeline to him and gave her the most passionate kiss he could in the middle of the boardwalk. Evangeline felt herself melting under the feel of his embrace and the touch of his lips. She thought to herself, "This is perfect. I could get use to this for the rest of my life". The idea startled her as she thought, "When did this happen?"

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