Jai looked slightly panicked. “Are you sure?”
“Why do you sound so shit scared? It’s not liked I asked for your medical history.”
Laughing he leaned back and pulled out his phone. “Here,” he showed me the screen. “That’s my sister, Laurie.”
“Wow, she’s really pretty.” I blinked at the smiling girl in the photo who looked like the perfect female specimen, the type I couldn’t ever compare myself against because there was no hope of finding a flaw in her when there was so many in myself. Yep, my confidence plummeted quickly and I slumped in my seat.
Swiping his finger to the side he brought up an older looking Laurie. “That’s Mum. Helen.”
“Your sister looks exactly like her.”
“Don’t ever tell her that,” he laughed. “Laurie hates it when people compare them, even though it is so true.”
“Do you look like your dad?” I sort of hoped that he would show me a picture of the older man, give me a glimpse of the future. Wait. No, that sounded a little too presumptuous.
Jai shrugged. “Kinda.” He didn’t bring up a photo.
“Are your parents divorced?”
“Yeah. When Laurie and me were little, dad left for a job on the other side of the country and never came back. Then he sent Mum divorce papers.”
My heart broke a little looking at the defeat in his eyes and the down turn in his lips. “I’m sorry.”
He blinked and looked confused. “What for? No one died. He left and we never saw him again.”
“No phone calls?”
“Got a few of those each year. And he sent money back... he just wasn’t there.”
We lapsed into silence.
The waitress came out and slipped our plates from under us and asked if we wanted anything else. We both replied with a dull no. Once she left Jai, shoved his phone back into his pocket and stood.
“Oh,” dinner over; time to go. Quietly I gathered up my coat and bag and followed him out of the shop, back into the cold. I squealed at the sudden change in temperature. “Was it this cold before?” The wind sharply nipped at my cheeks. All of my body warmth shrank back, curling itself into a tight little ball somewhere in the middle of my chest, not to be felt again.
Jai zipped up his hoodie and shoved his hands in deep to his pockets. “It isn’t that bad... are you shivering?”
I nodded my head, though my jaw was chattering making the rest of my head bounce up and down. “Tis cold. How can you not be cold?”
He laughed. Pulling out one hand he moved over and wrapped an arm low around my shoulders. Only the parts pressed against him felt any heat and tingled from the effect. The rest of me was still freezing.
“I’m parked over there.” With a shaky chin I motioned to my car.
“I’m there.” His car was closer.
Now what? We’d established that our cars were still where we had respectively parked them, it was too cold to stay standing outside exchanging pleasantries and I didn’t want to prolong the awkwardness anymore. He wanted to leave right after dinner... hmm.
“Well, thank you for the lovely dinner,” I extracted myself from under his arm.
He looked confused. “Are you trying to ditch me already?”
I shrugged. Wasn’t that what he had been doing?
“Don’t you want dessert?”
Even at that cheeky grin I felt wary. “Dessert better not be a euphemism.”
“No, dessert is something really sweet and can be eaten... I guess so can other things.” There was a wicked curl to his lips.
I rolled my eyes.
“Come and sit in my car for a little. I’m afraid you’re going to freeze to death if we keep standing here.”
Nodding I followed him to his car. It suddenly roared to life. “Is that thing a terminator?”
“No, I can turn it on and start it heating while I’m not in it. Thought you would like that.”
I bit back a grateful smile. “That car could be hacked if you have that weird wireless thingy and then someone could drive it and crash it on you.”
Jai rolled his eyes and got into the car. “Cecelia,” he reached over and open the passenger car door. “You’re paranoid.”
I could feel the warmth rushing out from the air-con and without a second thought I climbed into his car and closed the door, sighing into the comfort. “Smells like a new car.”
“It should, she only has nine hundred kilometres on her.”
“Only? How long have you had her? A week?”
“A month. Nine hundred is nothing.” Turning from me he brought a large white box out from the back seat. “Dessert is served.”
“Are you really going to let me eat in your new car?” I was shocked.
“I don’t think you will spill any of this. And if you do, you get to clean it up.” He passed the box over to my lap.
I gently lifted the lid. “Cheesecake!”
I grinned like crazy at him. “Thank you! Where did you get this from?”
“The pub, I know it’s the second best cheesecake in town, but I couldn’t get the first best for you.”
I laughed. “This is amazing, but...”
I looked at him sadly. “No forks.”
Reaching across me he opened the glove box and produced two of them.
I snatched one fork from him. “You are an absolute gent!”