“And just what do you know?” Antonio asked as he and John returned to the table.

“Oh, nothing for you to worry about Antonio. Just a little girl talk,” Evangeline quickly and easily responded. She gave Jessica a quick, reassuring wink. Jessica smiled a genuine, friendly smile back to Evangeline.

“So what’s up with you two? Did you get the information you wanted from Detective Frye?” Evangeline asked.

“Not really, but it was worth a shot. I’ll talk to Bo about the situation tomorrow,” John commented leaning back, resting his hands behind his head.

“Yeah, I know there’s a connection somewhere,” Antonio added as began to think about the case.

“Okay, enough cop talk! That’s not what tonight is about,” Jessica said, tugging Antonio’s shirt.

“You’re right!” Antonio said snapping out of his thought. “What do you guys want to do now? I hear there’s a great band playing tonight in Angel Square. We could go check them out.”

“Nah man, I think we’re gonna pass. We’re gonna go back to the house and rent a movie,” John commented, looking at Evangeline with a smile. Evangeline smiled back, placing a hand on John’s thigh under the table. Both were hoping to convey their carnal thoughts to each other without being obvious to Antonio and Jessica.

A cell phone rang and they all checked themselves to see if it was their phone.

“Oh, excuse me guys,” Jessica said as she motioned for Antonio to let her out of the booth. She answered her phone.

“Hey sis! What’s up?”

“Oh, hey Natalie. How are you? How are things with Paul?” Jessica was truly concerned about her sister’s relationship.

“Oh well. You know Paul. When things are great they’re wonderful, and when things are bad, they’re even worse.”

“Nat, I don’t understand why you choose to stay with him. I mean…”

“Don’t start Jess. Not now,” Natalie said, cutting Jessica off. “I didn’t call so you could start putting down Paul. I was calling to see if you wanted to grab a bite to eat. I’m on my way to Rodi’s to pick up my check and I thought we could spend some time together. I know you said Antonio has been tied up on some case lately.”

“Actually Natalie, Antonio is done with the case, and I’m already here at Rodi’s.”

“Well great! I’m pulling into a parking space right now.”

“Natalie wait,” Jessica began, trying to warn Natalie about what she’d be walking into. Though Natalie tried to deny it, she still had very deep feelings for John. Jessica knew Natalie was only spending time with Paul because John had moved on with Evangeline.

“Wait for what Jess?” Natalie questioned.

Jessica thought for a moment. How should she word this so that Natalie’s feelings wouldn’t be hurt?

“I’m here but Antonio and I are with John and Evangeline. I think they’re getting ready to leave though.”

“So you’re hanging out with John and Evangeline now? Oh that’s just great Jess!”

“Nat, it’s really not like that. You know how close John and Antonio are. We just had dinner with them in celebration of them closing the case.”

“You know what Jess? I don’t care who you hang out with. I’ll just get my check and leave. Maybe Paul will be home by then,” Natalie said as she hung up the phone.

Distraught, Jessica began running her fingers through her hair as she sighed.

“Jessica, what is it?” Antonio asked very concerned.

“It’s Natalie,” she began as she directed her attention to John and Evangeline. “She’s in the parking lot and she’s coming in to pick up her check. She didn’t take it too well when I told her I was here with you two.”

“It’s okay. You can spend time with your sister. Evangeline and I were on our way out anyway,” John commented as he and Evangeline both attempted to slide out of their seats.

“Hey guys, I’m sorry about this,” Antonio said.

“Really, you don’t have to run off. Natalie is pissed right now and there isn’t anything I can say to her that will change her mind,” Jessica stated as she continued to run her fingers through her hair.

“Really, Jessica and Antonio, I understand,” Evangeline began as she took John’s hand. “We both understand how this situation might be uncomfortable for Natalie.”

“Yeah, we’re gonna take off,” John said completing Evangeline’s comment.

“We’ll have to try this again sometime, but next time maybe we’ll go somewhere else,” Antonio suggested.

“Yeah, maybe,” John said with a smile.

“Goodnight guys,” Evangeline said as she and John began walking toward the door, hand in hand.

On their way to the door Natalie walked in.

“Hi Natalie,” John stated, being polite.

“Hi John,” Natalie began. “I hope you two aren’t leaving on my account.”

“No, we were just taking off when Jessica got your call,” John answered.

“Really?” Natalie questioned suspiciously. “Because I was just coming to get my check. Paul is probably waiting for me to come home now anyway.” Natalie was trying desperately to convince herself that Paul really did care about her, the way she wanted John to.

“Well, we hope you and Paul have a wonderful evening. Take care Natalie,” Evangeline said as she and John moved around Natalie to walk out of Rodi’s.

Back | Chapter 6