An Accidental Romance

Chapter 15

Thursday, June 28

“Where’re we going tonight?” Jordan was lying on my bed. He’d taken to appropriating it. There was room for both of us on it, but it was a tight fit, and one never knew when someone would come into the room. I always kept my door open; always had unless I was going to bed at night, and closing it now seemed almost confrontational—like I was behaving in a way that was challenging my parents—or if not that, at least being secretive. So, unfortunately, we never lay on it together. It was a pleasant memory being in my room with Jordan and having the bed myself. Now, if he was ahead of me entering the room, I always got the chair. I could see why having a boyfriend meant suffering through a period of adjustment and sacrifice.

He was asking me about tonight because it was my turn for the romantic date. He’d had his turn last Friday and had kicked his dad out of the apartment they were both living in now, told him to go to a movie or a bar and pick up a woman—or a man, come to think of it—but not to bring either back till after eleven. Eleven o’clock was my parents’ curfew for me. Jordan had had plans for before then at his apartment.

He’d cooked dinner for me. Okay, so he’d never cooked dinner before, and it could have been a disaster, but it wasn’t. He’d made hors d'oeuvres—chips and a sour-cream dip—and ordered a pizza. I kidded him about how elegant and romantic it was, and he kidded back about the romance coming later, and if I didn’t want to wait around, that was my choice.

That date was to be the one time this week, following my dad’s advice, that we were going to get busy. And we had. That had made the dinner almost tasteless as we were both looking ahead. We finished quickly, and he marched us into the bedroom. It had been marvelous. I hadn’t known sex could get better than the time we’d had getting acquainted at the lake, but this was. It was different and in some ways less exciting, but in others more sensual, and we both felt it was more fulfilling. We had more time, we weren’t rushed by our own over-the-top emotions, and well, words would diminish it. Not wishing to do that, I won’t try to discuss it.

Now it was my turn to plan the date. It hadn’t been a week since Jordan’s conquest—we were still obeying Dad’s suggestion—so this was just romance, not sex. I could do this, create a romantic date. I wanted it to be memorable.

I hadn’t told Jordan where we were going, just to dress up. Transportation had been an issue. I hated to have our parents drive us. It would have made us feel like little kids, maybe going for a play date somewhere. That was not the mood I wanted. I resolved the issue by calling a taxi. I’d just add that to the expense of the evening.

I had him dress up, telling him if he never wore the nice clothes his dad had bought him, then the money was wasted. We both dressed in sport coats, ties, dress slacks and leather shoes. I’d chosen a restaurant downtown, a fancy one that I’d thought very romantic when I’d been there once with my dad when a business meal had gone awry and he’d been left with a reservation and no client, while Mom had had other plans.

I’d seen a lot of couples eating there, the lights had been dim, and the place seemed very intimate, perfect for a romantic date for Jordan and me. One reason for that: the time I’d been there, a few of the couples, obviously couples, were men. I’d seen an attractive young waiter serving those tables. His nametag had said his name was Andre, and he couldn’t have been more than twenty-one, twenty-two. When I made the reservation, I asked if we could have Andre for our waiter. I guessed the one taking the reservation knew what that meant. There was a smile in her voice when she said she’d pick a very good table for us.

There was some risk going there. We were dressed up, we were going out for dinner without female dates, and I thought it was pretty clear we were a couple. But I also considered it unlikely we’d be seen by anyone our age or anyone who knew us. It wasn’t a huge place with lots of customers coming and going. It was a romantic, high-end place with dim lighting and several alcoves for single tables. The clientele I’d seen didn’t seem to be the type who wanted any notice taken of them. Not necessarily secrecy, but privacy. The table we were shown to was in a nook and quite private. Andre showed up quickly, took a good look at us, and winked.

“First date?” he asked in voice that was low, provocative and approving. It gave the impression he was sharing the ambience’s intimacy with us.

Jordan grinned at him. No one could resist that grin, and as Andre absorbed it, his eyes grew warmer.

“Sort of first date,” Jordan answered. “First one out in public. We’re not really out yet, but my boyfriend couldn’t resist.”

Andre looked at me. I was trying not to react to being called his boyfriend, but my heart was zinging. “You asked for me by name?” He grinned, too, but it didn’t have the effect on me that Jordan’s grin did.

“I was here once with my dad and saw you serving what appeared to be special clientele.” Then I was as outrageous as he’d been; I winked at him. I couldn’t really pull that off; I’d never winked at anyone before. To my acute embarrassment, I ruined the hoped-for effect of the wink with a blush.

Andre giggled. “I’m going to take very good care of you guys tonight. First, cocktails. No liquor, but it’ll seem there is. Be right back.” He handed us menus and then scurried away.

I’d told Dad what I was doing taking Jordan here, and he’d given me $200. “You probably won’t need that much, but better to have it than be short. Spend all you want. This needs to be special.”

Have I mentioned what a great dad I have?

Anyway, I had his $200 and $100 of my own, and that had to be enough. However, I also had Mom’s credit card for emergency use. I have a pretty great mom as well.

Jeff had whistled when he saw me dressed up and told me to have a good time, and to remember to take some condoms with me. I’d tousled his hair and said this wasn’t that kind of a date and we didn’t do that, anyway. He’d said, “Pity,” and scampered off laughing.

Andre brought us our cocktails and asked me to take a sip. I did after looking at the glass. It was artistically shaped like a tulip but without the stem. Inside, it held ice cubes and a light-purple liquid. A thin slice of cucumber floated on top. The small taste of it was delicious: a blend of cucumber, lilac water and lime along with some sort of exotically flavored syrup. It was refreshing and wonderful and did suggest it contained alcohol. I smiled at Andre. “This is great!” I said and didn’t try to disguise my enthusiasm.

“I call it a Love Blossom. I invented it myself. Did you have a chance to look at the menus? Or could I just bring you things? You’ll like them.”

I looked at Jordan, who seemed a little dazed, but nodded at me.

“Okay, let’s do that,” I told Andre.

“Perfect,” he said. “Is there anything you don’t like? Anything at all?”

Jordan shook his head, but then looked anxiously at me. I guessed right away what he was worried about: his family had never had a lot of money, and they didn’t have any fancy restaurants where he’d lived; he quite probably hadn’t had a great number of the dishes we could possibly be served here. But he said he was fine with anything. Adventurous, that was my Jordan.

I told Andre I was up for anything as well. He looked very happy. “You’ll love this meal,” he said.

He came back many times that evening. Started us with bacon-wrapped, warmed dates drizzled with a balsamic-vinegar glaze, followed by small salads of tossed greens and roasted pecans, crunchy and still warm from the oven, lightly dressed with a tarragon vinaigrette. After that came a small portion of sole with capers and lemon butter, followed by a soupçon of passion-fruit sorbet as a palate cleanser. With that cleared away, he brought the pièce de résistance: a crown roast of lamb with thyme, rosemary and garlic, cooked medium rare. It was accompanied by lightly sautéed fresh asparagus with lemon wedges and whole baby potatoes roasted with garlic and parmesan cheese.

Dessert was cherries jubilee, the liqueur flamed off at our table. The food was all exquisite. When Andre brought our check, I was thinking my $300 might not be enough and that we’d be walking home. I was shocked to see the bill was for $100.

“This can’t be right,” I told him.

He smiled at me and touched my shoulder very lightly, very briefly. “Special rate for special young men,” he said. “My dad’s the owner. Bryan is his partner, both at the restaurant and at home. We want you to come again and again.”

“We will,” I promised, a promise I had every intention of keeping. I left him a $50 tip. It felt like we were still getting off cheap.

We had plenty enough money for the cab fare home. Instead of home, however, I had the driver take us to the park where we played soccer. It was mostly dark with a few lights along the paths that wended through it. We slipped off our sports coats and ties and draped them over our shoulders as we followed a path that we knew would circle around and come back to where we’d started. It took us past a small pond, through some scattered trees, and over a bridge that crossed a small creek that fed the pond. We stopped on the bridge. It was very dark right there, and though we were only about five feet above the running water, we could only hear it below us to know it was there.

I took Jordan in my arms and kissed him, first lightly, then more firmly. We stood kissing on the bridge for a good five minutes.

Then we slowly ambled on along the path. In the trees, we kissed again. “I need to adjust myself,” I told Jordan with a chuckle.

“No, let me do it,” he said, and he did. Then, of course, I needed to do the same favor for him. Fair’s fair.

It was a warm night. The air had a silky feel to it. I took Jordan’s hand as we strolled. It seemed we owned the park; it was deserted other than us. The air, the night, the two of us—it felt like one of those special times that I’d remember long after I’d forgotten other parts of my adolescent years. There was a quality to it that seemed to have texture and depth. I didn’t think anything could be more right than this moment in time.


At home, we waited till everyone was asleep, then snuck downstairs on tiptoe and climbed into the hot tub. We didn’t need to undress. Part of the excitement was going downstairs naked.

The water added a sensuous feel to the night. The air had become slightly cooler, just enough to make the contrast with the warm water delicious.

We were fifteen. We were naked in a hot tub, just the two of us, no one else around. I touched him and he me. I slid my hand so it would cause the most pleasure. He followed suit.

We had to be quiet. No moans, no splashing, just silent, reflective euphoria.

Sorry, Dad.

When, later, we tiptoed back to my room, still naked but dry now, and we passed Jeff’s room, I heard a chuckle. Very quiet, just loud enough for me to hear. Yeah. Just loud enough. He wanted me to know he knew. Bastard! I was grinning when I got into bed. I reached down to take Jordan’s hand, and I fell asleep.