A half hour later, Jordan sat beside Aynslee at a romantic corner table at Maggiano’s Little Italy. He loved this place: Not only was the food amazing, but the ambience made it really feel like an Italian café. Jordan usually went there with Shea and the guys before games so they could talk about strategy, but this was much better.
“This is amazing,” Aynslee gushed as she took another sip of wine.
“It is,” Jordan agreed, just as the waiter came over to their table. Jordan took the liberty of ordering all of his favorites for them to share. He then reached over and turned her chair so that she was sitting between his legs. He leaned over, kissing her cheek softly. “Did I tell you that I thought you were gorgeous tonight?”
“I think you did, when you said I look like a naughty sailor,” she laughed.
“That’s right, I did,” he said, “but I had to tell you again.”
She looked over at her glass, running her finger along the rim before saying, “Thank you.” Then, surprising him, she said, “Tell me everything I need to know about you.”
“Tell me everything about you first, and then I’ll answer the same.”
“Okay,” she said. “Let’s see … I don’t have any pets because I am so busy, but I want a dog. I love dogs.”
“I do too, but I don’t have time either.”
She continued, “I could be classified as a nerd. I like The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, comic books, and stuff like that. I played World of Warcraft all through college, and at one point I wanted to name my kid Frodo.”
“No way,” he laughed.
“Yes way; it was bad. I’m over that, but the only reason is because I’ve moved on to Greek mythology, and now I want to name my son Perseus.”
“Really?” he asked. He was falling for her more every minute.
She nodded eagerly before pointing to herself and saying, “Total nerd.”
“No, I said really because I love Greek mythology too.”
“Really,” he said with a smile. Leanna hated Greek mythology and pretty much everything else that he was interested in. Aynslee was made for him.
“That’s so awesome. I also love to read. A lot. I read a book every two days or so.”
“Me too,” he said with a nod. “The guys on the team tease me because I’m always reading instead of playing Xbox with them.”
She laughed as she looked deep into his eyes. He was usually shy and awkward when he was under the gaze of someone, but not with Aynslee. He couldn’t remember enjoying himself more. They talked about everything. They both agreed that Wrath of the Titans was a great movie but it could have been better. Jordan loved country music because of his South Carolina roots, while Aynslee was more into rap. It made him laugh to think of her rapping about hos and bitches as she drove to school, but she guaranteed him she had mad flow, whatever that meant.
They talked about living in Nashville and how she loved it more than Knoxville. Jordan talked about South Carolina, telling her how much he loved growing up there, close to his relatives and grandparents. She loved Buffalo but sometimes wished that she had grown up in the South. She liked the Southern hospitality and loved the food. They talked about their families, and it still blew Jordan’s mind how many siblings she had. Apparently the niece that she was supposed to stand up for in the wedding was pregnant.
“It’s insane! I don’t have kids—I’m not even married, for that matter. And she’s pregnant?! Ack! Jordan, I’m gonna be a great-aunt!”
“You’re the hottest great-aunt I’ve ever seen.”
“You only say that so I’ll sleep with you again.”
“Maybe,” he teased, taking another mouthful of fettuccine.
She laughed as she smacked his thigh, then took another sip of wine. After having their plates cleared from the table, they ordered dessert. Jordan didn’t want the night to end. He didn’t want to go home to his empty condo. He wanted to stay nuzzled up beside Aynslee, just listening to her. As she talked about how she got her suitcase back from her aunt, he wondered if she was feeling the same way he was. He knew that such strong feelings usually didn’t come until months, maybe years, into a relationship, but he felt at home with her. He didn’t care if he laughed too loud or if he was being a dork. She seemed to like him just the way he was.
As the waiter served their dessert, Aynslee said, “I have the best job ever. I love it. Yesterday, one of my kids told me he was going to be a world-class hippogriff fighter. How cute was that?”
“Very cute,” he agreed. He thought she was too.
“Yeah, I love my kids. I’m not one of those teachers who thinks my kids are all I need, though. I want my own one day.”
He knew that she was making sure he shared that desire. “I want kids too—as my mom loves to point out, she wants grandchildren, and I hope to one day give them to her,” he said, receiving another smile.
“My mom is the same way,” she said, slicing into the decadent red velvet cake. “Even though she has seventeen grandchildren and a great-grandchild on the way, she still wants more.”
Aynslee laughed before putting the forkful of cake into her mouth. When she loudly groaned, enjoying her dessert, Jordan’s c**k came to life. He went to move closer but then stopped. He was enjoying himself immensely, but he knew he owed it to her to tell her how things were with him and his job and his very-soon-to-be-realized transfer.