There’s a sharp knock on the door, and we both jump. I run to open it. Christian’s standing in the hall wearing khakis and a blue dress shirt, sleeves rolled to the elbows. He smells like Ivory soap and shaving cream.
He holds out a bouquet of white daisies. “For you.”
Date mode, Clara, I tell myself. Now is not the time to do research with Angela.
“Thank you. Come in for a sec, and I’ll put these in some water.”
He follows me in. I rummage around for something to use as a vase, but the best I can find is a Big Gulp cup. I fill it with water and set the flowers on my desk.
Christian glances over at Angela, who’s suddenly produced her black and white composition notebook and is scribbling as fast as she can go.
“Hello, Angela,” he says.
“Hi, Chris,” she says, but she doesn’t stop writing. “Flowers. Very smooth.”
“Yeah, I try,” he says with a smirk.
“You know, daisies are supposed to represent innocence,” she says, looking up and quirking an eyebrow at him.
He looks at me. “You ready?”
“Yes.” I fight the urge to tuck my hair behind my ears. “Bye,” I say to Angela. “We’ll talk later, okay?”
She waves her hand at me dismissively, and I can hear her pen’s furious scratching even after I close the door.
In the parking lot I have to stifle a smile when Christian crosses to open the passenger door for me. He gives me his hand to help me climb into his truck.
“Thanks,” I murmur, and I try not to think of Tucker, of the way he always opened doors for me.
He jogs around and gets in, put the key in the ignition, but doesn’t start it. He turns to me.
“This is a date,” he says.
“Oh, good,” I say, “because I was wondering, what with the flowers and all.”
“And as a date, there are certain ground rules we need to go over.”
Oh boy. “Okay,” I laugh nervously.
“I will be paying for all of our activities this evening,” he begins.
He holds up his hand. “I know that you are a modern, liberated, independent woman. I respect that, and I understand that you are capable of paying for your own meal, but I will still be paying for dinner, and whatever else. Okay?”
“And just because I’m paying for dinner doesn’t mean that I expect anything from you. I just want to treat you tonight, and that’s all.”
It’s cute that he’s blushing.
“All right,” I fake-grumble. “You’ll pay. Anything else?”
“Yes. I’d like us to steer clear of all angel-related topics tonight, if you don’t mind. I don’t want to hear the word angel, or purpose, or vision, or any of our other special terminology. Tonight I want us to simply be Christian and Clara, two college students on a date. How’s that sound?”
“Sounds good,” I say. More than good, even. Normal people on a normal date.
It sounds perfect.
Eh?? Please comment and let me know your feelings on this sample of Cynthia Hand's Boundless! This is definitely a major WOW book!