The Choice Ch. 10 Part 1
Frankie smiled as she waited in the passenger seat for Dominic to come around and open the door for her. She knew that she was living in the age of the millenial, feminism and equal rights, but there was something so sweet about a guy who still displayed some of the gentlemanly qualities that were so often being misinterperted nowadays. Her father had raised her in a more traditional sense, explaining that it wasn't because a man didn't think she was able to do it, but more that he wanted to do it for her. A man had to make a concious effort to open the door for you, or get up from his seat and allow you to sit down when their were no other chairs in the room. Being a gentleman is not an insult to your capability to handle certain things, he said, it's more of a compliment to how much he really cares.
So as she stepped out of the car she looked up lovingly at Dominic, a soft smile on her lips. "Thank you." she whispered and he in turned smiled, leaning forward to place a gentle kiss on her lips.
They walked to the doors of the restaurant, Frankie pausing to allow him to open the door and as they stepped in the warm fragrance of food caused her to inhale deeply as her stomach grumbled.
She hadn't eaten all day in prepartion for tonights meal, running on only coffee and Red Bull. Luckily, she had risen on time, letting Stella, who had stayed the night, borrow some clothes and then they headed off to take their midterm. She completed her shift at work, having a friend to come in and take over the last few hours so she could get ready for her date night. She wore a black, floral lace, long sleeve cocktail dress with a boat neck that she'd seen the other day, hanging with Stella and Lettie in the mall. Her curly brown hair was down around her shoulders, and she took delight in the fact that it was shiny and bouncy and smelled like lilacs. Dominics favorite flower. He smiled brightly the moment he saw her, pulling her close and inhaling her scent. She felt warm and secure in his arms and was immensely happy that she had pleased him.
Now, as the hostess brought them to the table Dominic reserved, she was confident that she and at ease. Even allowing him to go all out and pull out her chair. She sat down laughing gently and shaking her head and when he looked at her, he grinned.
"I know, I know, you can pull out your own chair. I'm sorry."
"No, don't apologize, I love that about you." She said, reaching for her napkin and placing it in her lap. Within a few minutes their waiter walked up to their table.
"Good evening, my name is Antonio and I'll be your waiter, tonights special is our famous Roasted Duck with Orange and Ginger, and our very delicious clam chowder soup. May I ask what drinks you would like to start off with?" Antonio asked, staring down at them with, what Frankie knew, what his best customer service smile.
"Yes, we'll have a bottle of your Cabernet Sauvignon and you can take these menus as we already know what we want to eat this evening." Dominic said looking up at the waiter and handing him the two menus that they had received from the Hostess. For a moment, Frankie frowned but when Dominic looked her way she quickly dropped the frown for a small smile. She wanted to see the menu, but thought better than to ask for them back.
"Absolutely sir, what will you be having?" Antonio announced, though Frankie didn't see him pull a pen or pad from his pocket, which usually meant he had excellent memory recall.
"We'll both be having the scallops and spinach over pasta. I hear you sautee it with lemon juice and olive oil, is that correct?" Dominic asked, not even looking toward Frankie for confirmation. Immediately reminding her of her mothers softly whispered words after her fathers conversation about allowing a man to be a gentleman. Just be ready for when they take those 'gentlmanly qualities' too far and decide that you are too ignorant to function.
Frankie bit her lip as the waiter nodded and walked away and Dominic turned to smile at her. She didn't want to ruin the evening with something so trivial as him ordering for her, but it really rankled her.
"So how was your midterm?" He asked, taking a sip from the glass of water the waiter had brought over when he intially introduced himself.
Frankie latched onto the change in subject, not allowing herslef to stew in annoyance. "I've probably failed it." She said, laughing softly
"You crammed all night didn't you?" He chuckled, reaching out to grab her hand, which she instinctively placed into his.
"Yes." She lied, sipping from her glass to hide her guilt. "I just couldn't wrap my head around it."
"I told you not to do that, it never works." They both looked up as Antonio came back to the table with a basket of bread. Frankies mouth watered at the sight of it, but immediately Dominic put his hand up to stop the waiter from placing it down on the table.
"No, thank you." Dominic replied when the waiter looked at him confused. Frankie felt a small death inside as she watched the waiter walk away with the basket. Turning her head to look at Dominic, she fought to keep the glower off her face. "It's not healthy sweetheart, remember we're working on getting you healthier. More in shape." He commented and Frankie found herself gripping her chair with her other hand in an effort not to snatch both hands away from him. Slowly, mentally talking herself through it, the anger began to dissipate. Being mad at him about bread seemed shallow.
"So how were classes today?" She quiered, taking another drink from her glasses and wishing the waiter would hurry up with the bottle of wine.
"It was great." Dominic announced, his bright smile both adorable, taking some of the sting out of his recent betrayal. She loved bread. "I did my presentation on Martin Luther King today and they absolutely loved it."
"That's great." Frankie said, lifting her wine glass almost immediately upon seeing Antonio return with the bottle.
A few moments later he returned with their plates of food and Dominic and Frankie became silent as they ate. She had no idea what he was thinking and wasn't in the mood to volunteer a topic for conversation. As she was sipping from her wine, unwanted images of Gio began to present themselves, and she did her best to bury the thoughts. She didn't want to ruin their evening with her guilt and need to confess, but her regret began to nag at her as they sat in silence.
"Oh, I wanted to remid you, we have a dinner with my parents this Sunday." Dominic spoke into the silence, refilling her glass of wine. Frankie groaned inwardly, she despised his parents. His father, who wanted him to beome a professor at some University instead of a private school teacher. His mother who looked down her nose at Frankie and enjoyed embarassing her with comments about how unladylike she was. Frankie had even heard a whispered conversation between Dominic and his mother, where she had told him that Frankie was beneath him and that he could do better. Of course, Frankie never told him that she'd heard, but it had vastly changed her opinion of his parents. Dominic seemed to disregard his mother advice, which endeared him to Frankie, but he still insisted on having dinner with them every Sunday. She couldn't fault him, they were his parents.
"Right, I had forgotten about that." Frankie lied, sipping more of her wine. She had a nice buzz going and decided she wouldn't push it, setting her glass down. This would be the third night in a row that she had partaken of alcohol, which she usually reserved for nights out with the girls to help loosen her up and make her sociable.
Dominic chuckled at her response, while lifting his hand to signal the waiter for the check.
"So I was thinking, we could take a walk along the beach this evening, I'd like to get some time alone with you, since we've both been pretty caught up in work and school." He offered and Frankie nodded, they hadn't been spending that much time together these last few days and she loved the ocean at night. Loved walking along the shore, smelling the salty scenty of the sea, feeling the sand between her toes. Her demeanor immediately shifted at the idea of it and a bright smile lifted her lips.
"I think that is a wonderful idea, you know how much I love the ocean." She said, Antonio came with the check and Dominic placed his credit card inside. Only a few moments passed before he came back, handing the receipt and credit card to Dominic, who wrote down what Frankie could only assume was the tip. Antonio's eyes brightened even further as glanced at the receipt.
"Thank you sir." He said jovially and Dominic nodded.
"Thank you for your service."
Frankie stood up from her chair before Dominic had a chance to come around and pull it out for her. He lifted his arm and she wrapped her hand around it, allowing him to steer her toward the exit.