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R.M.Whitaker

**** Next Morning****

Laura's chair squeeked as she sank into it behind her desk. Her face was still aflame from Mickey's kiss the night before, and she couldn't help feeling that every woman in the room could see the mark from his lips on her cheek. Really, no one was looking at her, but it felt like they all knew and were wispering about it. She was super-concious of the extra weight in her bag- which was Mickey's uniform jacket. She'd pressed and starched it in the same, impeccable way that she did her skirts... perhaps putting a little extra effort in. She also hadn't been able to resist making sure that the jacket smelled fresh and nice. ...She'd also spent more time on her hair than usual, though she refused to admit it even to herself.

As she began typing up her report, Laura couldn't help glancing at the door every so often, wondering when Mickey would walk in. Her back was to the door today, and she didn't like it. It made it more obvious when she turned to look.

Her mind returned to the emptiness of her apartment after Mickey had left. It had seemed more lonely and quiet than it had ever been before. The buzzing of the lights and the creaking of her floorboards had suddenly seemed so loud. She didn't like the feeling.

9/17/2008 . Edited 9/17/2008 #121
Woodstock1330

-From Allied H.Q.-

Mickey strode up the street toward Laura’s apartment building, whistling to himself as he went. He wore a freshly laundered uniform beneath his, thanks to Laura, impeccably clean and well-pressed jacket. He’d worn his other shoes, the ones he kept shined up for special occasions, and his hair, beneath his jaunty cap, was combed back with brylcreem. All said he looked quite dashing, even despite the bruising around his eye and the cut on his lip—which really only lent him a rather charming roguish look. He’d considered bringing flowers, thought Laura might balk at the formality of it, and decided against it, although he was almost certain she would’ve loved a bouquet of daisies.

As he came to her building he put out his cigarette, checked his watch to make sure he wasn't too early and rang her apartment. He rang once then thrust his hands into his pockets, stepping back a little to look up at her window, continuing his whistle.

9/18/2008 #122
R.M.Whitaker

((How did you know that Daisies were Laura's favorite flowers?!))

Laura was watering the plants in her house. When the ring came at her door, she'd been standing on her tiptoes on a chair, trying to water a plant that hung from the ceiling. The sound of the ring startled her so that she nearly fell and caught herself on the mantelpiece at the last minute. A small cry of surprise had escaped her during the fall, and she hoped that it hadn't been loud enough to hear outside. She quickly righted herself, set down her water pitcher, paused in front of the mirror in her hall to make sure that she looked alright, and then opened the door. Her heart leaped at the very sight of Mickey standing on her doorstep, looking, again, more dashing than she remembered him. "Hello again," she said through her smiles. "Please, come in. I was just watering my plants."

9/18/2008 #123
Woodstock1330

((I’m just that good, or Mickey is, I should say.)

Mickey heard the commotion inside and her muffled cry, so that when the door opened his brows were knit in a concerned, slightly bemused sort of way, he brightened though when he saw her. He removed his cap, “Evening,” he said, taking in her pretty brown hair that she’d obviously made an effort to do up, with excellent results, her slender curves beneath her rather plain dress and her stunning eyes, that were such a shame to hide behind those glasses, with a grin…everything about the way she presented herself, from her clothes to her posture, was an attempt to camouflage the woman underneath…but Mickey rather liked it that way, if no one else could see her for what she really was, then no one else would be able to take advantage. And he certainly wouldn't, he'd already sworn to himself.

He followed her into the house, bending to pet Mrs. Kitty when she came up to rub against his legs. “How’d things go with ol’ Chuck?” He asked, the sting of Charlie’s insult, and the fight, having mostly faded.

9/18/2008 #124
R.M.Whitaker

Laura picked up her pitcher and continued to water her plants. She flinched when Mickey brought up Charlie. "I told him that he could take me out to lunch sometime. I couldn't tell him no-- not when he feels so badly." She didn't feel the need to turn and see how Mickey would take this news. The idea that he might be jealous was the farthest thing from her mind. Men didn't generally think of her in that way. She watered the last plant and then went to the kitchen to empty the pitcher all the way and asked over her shoulder, "Do you have any ideas for tonight?"

9/18/2008 #125
Woodstock1330

Mickey did feel a twinge of jealousy, which startled him, but he was good enough not to show it. After all Laura had already made it clear harbored no romantic feelings toward Charlie; although where that left him he wasn’t sure…what did she say about him when he wasn’t around?

He leaned against the kitchen doorframe, watching her empty the pitcher, twirling his cap absently in his hands. “A few,” he replied with a half-smile, “it all depends.”

9/18/2008 #126
R.M.Whitaker

Laura looked over her shoulder and smiled as she washed the pitcher (she couldn't stand to leave chores for later). "What does it depend on?"

9/18/2008 #127
Woodstock1330

"You," he said, coming over to the sink, "but now that I think about it, I don't want to spoil the surprise, that's half the fun..." He grinned, replacing his cap, "you may want to grab a sweater, it's a bit chilly out tonight...and maybe we ought to call a cab, it's a bit of a walk from here." If he told her where they were going she'd probably protest, Clerkenwell, in the central region of the city, wasn't exactly a classy place for a date, but it was London's "little Italy" and had the best food in town. Anyway, his ancestry made him as welcome there as a long lost son, so they would be perfectly safe.

9/18/2008 #128
R.M.Whitaker

Laura sent him a curious look as she dried off her hands. "Where are we going? Should I change my clothes?" She looked down at her pale brown skirt and delicate white blouse, caring for the first time about how she looked in them.

9/18/2008 #129
Woodstock1330

Mickey tilted his head, considering her for a moment; one word came to mind, bland. He chuckled, “maybe something with a little more color?” he suggested, “and I’m not telling you, that's why they call it a surprise."

9/18/2008 . Edited 9/18/2008 #130
R.M.Whitaker

Laura bit her lip, wondering if she had anything more colorful. She did have two dresses that she hadn't worn for over a year because she felt that they displayed her figure too well. But maybe if she wore a sweater over one of them.... "Blue or green?" she asked.

9/18/2008 #131
Woodstock1330

"Green," Mickey replied without hesitation, thinking of her eyes, and smiling to himself...what was it they always said about the quiet ones? "Go on kid, go get dressed, I'll call the cab."

(wow...short much?)

9/18/2008 #132
R.M.Whitaker

((Oh good, I was hoping he'd say green, ha ha!))

Laura nodded and went to her room down the hall. She sifted through the clothes in her closet, finding the two dresses at the very back, and pulled out the green one. As she slipped it on, she prayed that it would still fit her and sighed in relief when it did. But then she looked at herself in the mirror and bit her lip uncomfortably. The A-line skirt reached just below her knees, showing a little more of her calves than she was used to, the bodice felt too tight in comparison to what she normally wore, accentuating her chest and small waist, and the sleeves were short. She felt practically naked! She returned to her closet to find a decent sweater- at least she could cover up the top a little. Because the pastel green fabric of the dress was speckled with tiny pink flowers, Laura chose a pale pink cardigan to wear with it. She buttoned the cardigan up, but that made it hug her bosom too much, so she left it unbuttoned. She stood before her mirror for a long time after that, wondering if she dared leave her room in such an outfit. Would he laugh at her? Finally, she took a deep breath and looked away from the mirror. She tugged at the skirt of the dress self-consciously as she left her room and headed down the hall to where Mickey stood by the telephone on the wall.

9/18/2008 #133
Woodstock1330

(aww)

Mickey hung up finally with the cab company, after a long and immensely frustrating conversation in which the cabbie, who’s cockney accent would’ve confused even some Londoners, tried to tell Mickey that he didn’t speak—whatever language it was that he thought Mickey was speaking, it had changed with each attempt. Finally the man called the receptionist, who understood him perfectly, and had sent over a cab.

He was just beginning to get antsy, twiddling his thumbs, when he saw her, and froze. This knock-out in the tight green dress, never mind the sweater, could not possibly be the same girl he’d sent back there a few moments ago. He blinked. “You--,” he began, faltered, had to clear his throat, and tried again, “you look...,” he whistled, which seemed the best way of expressing himself right at the moment, "wow."

9/18/2008 #134
R.M.Whitaker

When Laura saw the shocked expression on Mickey's face, and watched him try to think of what to say, she was mortified. She blushed deeply and felt slightly nauseous. The dress was too tight. She looked ridiculous! "I can't wear this," she gasped and started to go back down the hall to change.

9/18/2008 #135
Woodstock1330

Mickey swallowed a smile at her look of utter mortification, as she turned away her grabbed her hand and pulled her back, “no, no, it’s perfect, really…you’re perfect.” He hadn’t meant to say that, exactly, it just slipped out and he blinked, wondering if she would notice.

(I have a plot idea for our little friends here, just an idea...)

9/18/2008 #136
R.M.Whitaker

(What's your idea?)

Laura's heart skipped a beat (or two) when Mickey grabbed her hand and she didn't pull it away when she was standing in front of him-- which, for her, was as bold as if she'd been the one to take his hand. Then her heart skipped another beat at what he'd said. Or had she only imagined it? Sometimes it was a little difficult to understand his accent right away, but she was pretty sure that he'd said she was perfect. The thought made her blush and she didn't let herself think about it for too long. She looked down at the dress nervously. "Are you sure? I feel like..." like one of those girls Mickey'd brought to the restaurant last night. She shrank and crossed her free arm over her chest.

9/18/2008 #137
Woodstock1330

“No, really, you look swell,” he saw her hesitation and added quickly, “and classy too, people are gonna wonder what you’re doing out with a bum like me.” A car horn exploded from the street outside and Mickey offered her his arm, “come on doll face.”

(I'll tell you over in plot plannification, 1 because I hate bogging down rp threads with ooc chatter and 2 because plannification is the best word ever. :P )

9/18/2008 #138
R.M.Whitaker

Laura giggled, despite herself, and shook her head to show that she disagreed with him as she took Mickey's arm and went out to the cab with him. She couldn't help tugging at the skirt of her dress a little, especially when she sat down in the cab. "Are you going to tell me where we're going?" she asked.

9/18/2008 #139
Woodstock1330

Mickey opened the door for her and let her in before he climbed in himself, “not a chance,” he laughed, making a point of leaning forward in his seat to whisper their destination to the cabbie so that she couldn’t hear. “You’ll like it though, I promise.”

He drummed his knees on his pant leg as they sped off into central London, watching Laura out of the corner of his eyes…she really was pretty, beautiful even, and he found himself wondering just what he was doing out with a girl like her…she was in a completely other class altogether. When they started into the borough of Islington and the streets began to grow a little narrower, the buildings a little older and less well preserved he watched her closely gauging her reaction. The thought struck him of what it would be like to take her through his own neighborhood Belmont, Bronx—it was laughable, and sad at the same time.

They reached their destination, a little restaurant inside an old brick building that had once been a cobbler’s shop, homage to which was paid in the shoe-shaped sign over the door baring the resturant’s name “La Buona Vita”. Lights shined from the windows and music poured out through the open door into the street, altogether a most inviting little place, even for its location.

9/18/2008 #140
R.M.Whitaker

Laura saw in Mickey's face that he was thinking of something amusing, and was about to ask him what it was when the cab slowed to a stop in front of a cute Italian restaurant she'd never seen before. She'd never had reason to come to this part of London. The music and lively atmosphere both excited and scared her as she peered through the car window at it. This would certainly be a new experience for her and the butterflies in her stomach wouldn't let her forget it. The music made her wonder if there was a dance floor, and if so, would Mickey want to dance? She'd learned how to dance at St. Anne's boarding school, but she hadn't been taught anything more exciting or modern than a slow foxtrot. When Mickey came around to open her door, she hoped that her nerves didn't dampen her smile. "How did you find this place?" she asked.

9/18/2008 #141
Woodstock1330

She seemed excited, if a little unnerved, and that was much better than the disgusted reaction he’d half expected so when she smiled nervously at him he returned a smile of his own, offering her his arm, “how does a rat find cheese?” he said jokingly as he led her inside. It was a small place, with somewhat dingy wallpaper and cheap, gaudy light-fixtures; but it smelt deliciously of good things cooking--good things bathed in wine, herbs and spices and the band in the corner, made up of a two mandolins, and accordion, a violin and percussion were playing their hearts out, the finest sample of Italian folk music in the UK. The host, Marco Valentini, also the owner of the place fairly beamed at Mickey and Laura as they entered, “Ah Michele,” he said, throwing his hands up, he came round the table and pressed a hand to Mickey’s cheek as if he were greeting a long lost relative, “Benvenuto il mio benedetto ragazzo, you no come a few days Michele, Madre and I, we worry over you,” he saw Laura, “ah, and who is bella ragazza?” he took her hand, “welcome, a friend of Michele is a friend of ours, welcome, this-a way.”

Mickey’s ears turned a bit pink, feeling like he’d just given Laura a little too much insight into his home-life for comfort. He gave Laura a sheepish grin and motioned for her to follow Marco ahead of him.

(uhg sorry it took me so long, I had to find an online Italian translator and yeah...)

9/18/2008 #142
R.M.Whitaker

Laura smiled shyly at the Italian owner as he took her hand and she thanked him gently for his generous welcome. She felt excitement practically bubbling up out of her as she took in the overwhelming atmosphere, but stayed as close to Mickey as possible to keep from feeling completely lost and overwhelmed. It made her even more nervous when people looked at her as she passed. She tugged at her sweater and dress again, feeling that they were the reason. When she saw that Mickey was feeling a bit exposed himself, her shy smile broadened and she took his arm, ducking her head a little. "You must come here often," she said to him.

(Don't worry about it- I've totally been there! What translator are you using?)

9/18/2008 #143
Woodstock1330

Mickey felt her arm slip gracefully through his and smiled, glancing at her and nodding, “Once a week, usually,” he admitted, “the neighborhood I grew up in is, well, very Italian, and when I came here…” he shook his head, remembering the feeling, like someone had severed his cable and left him adrift at sea, in a leaky boat no less, utterly lost, abandoned, “so I was wandering around London on my first leave and stumbled upon your own ‘Little Italy’ hiding here in Clerkenwell. The Valentini’s here adopted me, I guess you could say.”

Marco stopped at a cozy corner table near the band, though far enough away that the music would not become overbearing or drown out conversation, the best seat in the house. Mickey pulled out Laura’s chair for her and once she was seated, sat down himself.

Valentini clapped him on the shoulder fondly, “this good boy you have here, Signorina, don’t let him tell you different.” Mickey shot him a furtive shake of the head and the old man laughed, “Va bene, Michele, ok, I recommend, sì?”

Mickey looked to Laura “I always have Marco order for me, is that alright?”

(worldlingo... hey it's getting pretty late, we should call it a night soon *is attempting to be responsible*)

9/18/2008 #144
R.M.Whitaker

Laura nodded. "Yes, certainly! I wouldn't know what to order on my own." She looked out at the other tables, trying to catch a glimpse of what other people were eating without appearing rude or too obvious. She couldn't help comparing this dinner with the one last night. She certainly felt more comfortable with Mickey than she'd felt with Charlie (which was strange, considering the contrasting reputations of the two men), and Mickey had already proved himself to be a more attentive date. It embarrassed and impressed her at the same time, the way he'd been opening doors for her and pulling out her chair for her. He took the lead more than Charlie had, which she also found that she liked.

(*Thinks of Lady and the Tramp and starts humming "Bella Norte" to self while swaying and clasping hands together* Hmm, I should look up worldlingo, I've been using freetranslation.com and it often leads me astray. And I suppose you're right about heading off soon.... I know it's a lot later for you than it is for me.... *Looks wistfully at Laura and Mickey* One more post? 0:) )

9/19/2008 #145
Woodstock1330

(ok, one more, lol)

9/19/2008 #146
Woodstock1330

“Ah, bene, for you Michele the Penne all'arrabbiata, and for the la bello donna…Spaghetti all´aglio I think,” Mickey made a face and Valentini laughed, “for her without the chili peppers of course Michele!” he clapped him on the shoulder again, “and to drink, Chianti of course, now scusi, scusi,” and the old man had disappeared into the kitchen.

Mickey’s smile was slightly apologetic, “Valentini is very friendly,” he rubbed the back of his neck as a thought struck him, “you know, I don’t bring those other girls around here…”

(ok I really gotta head to bed now I could hardly keep my eyes open to type it, hence why it took soooo long...sorry, night!!)

9/19/2008 #147
R.M.Whitaker

"I like him," Laura said sincerely. At the mention of 'those other girls' she dropped her eyes to her napkin, which she proceeded to lay across her lap. "I know," she surprised herself by saying. It was true, though. She knew, instinctively, that this place was too personal for Mickey to bring a girl he didn't intend to see more than once. This, she felt, was the home of her Mickey- of the Italian-American from New York who was fast becoming so dear to her. "I wasn't thinking about that," she told him, just in case he'd misunderstood her lapse of thought. "I was wondering.... Do you speak fluent Italian?"

(Ha ha, that's how I was last night. G'night!)

9/19/2008 #148
Lee's ghost re-born

Sorry my dad highjacked the comp last night. Where do we stand now?

9/19/2008 #149
R.M.Whitaker

((Same as when you left))

9/19/2008 #150
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