Twisted Roses

Page 20

“I don’t want to hear anything you have to say about my father.”
Delphine wrenches her arm free of me and keeps going until the front door thuds shut.
She just had the audacity to walk out on me.
In her own fucking apartment.
7. delphine
Cade mouths, “wow”,when he sees me. He’s speechless for the second that follows. His hazel eyes, which appear a deep emerald shade in the street lights outside the restaurant, scan the length of me.
He’s dressed up too—a linen shirt and dress pants with loafers—and his hair is stylishly windswept. The quintessential guy-next-door.
When he gathers his wits about him, he tells me I look beautiful and guides me toward the restaurant door with his hand low on my back. Because my dress is backless, the touch becomes that much more intimate.
Our eyes meet and my cheeks warm. His ears tinge pink.
We let the hostess steer us to our table.
We decided on dinner at a tapas bar. I’m letting my curls be out and free, tightly framing my face, with a bold lip and the sexy little black dress that drove Salvatore insane.
The second I slipped it on, rage and jealousy burned in his gaze. The rest of his face unnervingly composed.
I hadn’t planned on taunting him, but he insists on crossing lines. I told him to stop coming by. He does so anyway, and expects me to drop my life for him. He thinks I’m at his beck and call even when I tell him we’re over.
If he’s nothing else, Salvatore is persistent. But I guess that’s how obsessions work.
So I gave him some of his own medicine. I showed him how he wasn’t going to interrupt my life by popping up out of nowhere. My evening was going to carry on regardless of how he felt about it.
Tonight, that happens to be my date with Cade.
“Have you ever had tapas before?” he asks once we’re served our menus. The smile he shoots me is the same one from the other day when he asked me out. He’s nervous.
I smile in return, charmed by the sincerity of it. “A few times. But I’ve never been here. Everything looks so good.”
We spend a couple minutes engaged in a polite back and forth about which tapas we should try. By the time we place our order and we’re left alone again, we’re laughing about how we might have overdone it and ordered enough for five people, not two.
He folds his arms on the table, his smile more self-assured now. “ADA Adams, I never would’ve thoughtyou’rea foodie.”
I hold my index finger and thumb half an inch apart. “I’ve been known to have foodie tendencies. I’m a sampler. I like trying everything.”
“Then sounds like tapas was perfect. I’m the same way.”
Our server pours us wine and our conversation turns to Cade asking me out. He goes into more detail about how he’s been wanting to ask me out for a while, but the moment never seemed right.
“I had no clue. You were always so friendly… in a professional way.”
“As you can tell, I’m not the best flirter. I heard from Liang you like vintage movies, so I kept bringing up that old cinema to you on Tenth and Walnut.”
I shake my head with a surprised smile. “Either you’re really bad at flirting or I’m really bad at realizing someone is flirting. It’s probably both.”
We move into a lively conversation about vintage cinema. As it turns out, Cade’s grandpa was a C-List actor in several old Hollywood productions. It gave him such an appreciation, he minored in filmography at university.
“I can’t believe your grandpa stood only a few feet away from Paul Newman.”
“Stood a few feet away? He got two words out of him—excuse me. He said he was standing in the way of Paul’s trailer in between takes, and he asked him to move out of the way. Proudest day of his life.”
Our conversation flows from marveling at his grandpa’s film career to our favorite cinema picks. Cade subtly suggests we visit the old cinema sometime, putting feelers out there for a second date.