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“It’s just…it’s too soon and it’s so…”

“Unexpected, I know. But, at least they are good together. You’ll see.” He said

“How are you so okay with this whole thing?” I asked.

Brian smiled and looked at me: “Who says I am?”

“Ah kids, there you are!” – Mom showed up, obviously out of breath: “Come on inside, our table is ready.”

As we went into the restaurant, I realized this was one of those high-end places. Very luxurious, all white decorations with beautiful flower arrangements on the tables. The waiter escorted us to our table where my mom’s new boyfriend was already seated.

“Michael, this is Elizabeth.” – My mom said, sounding like a squeaky teenager. As I approached the table, I saw what the fuss was all about. The man: tall, greyish hair, deep, dark blue eyes, stood up and walked up to me. As he extended his hand for a handshake, I felt weak in the knees. It wasn’t the normal weakness, the one you feel when a hot guy approaches you, it was a weakness that basically put me down on my knees, a weakness that wanted to show him I’ll oblige to anything he asks for.

“Beth, nice to meet you, finally. I’ve heard so much about you.” – As we shook hands, I couldn’t help but sink into his eyes, a feeling that made me blatantly uncomfortable, as if the handshake was something forbidden, something mom shouldn’t have seen. As that thought passed through my mind, I blushed. The heat that spread through my face made me even more uncomfortable. At that point, I realized I was still holding his hand and staring into his eyes, without uttering a single word. My mom, noticing my uncomfortableness, cleared her throat: “Beth, are you okay?”

I looked down, breaking eye contact, trying to acclimate and to hide my attraction to this man that was supposed to be my new father.

“Nice to meet you too…” – I whispered as I continued to take my seat.

“Michael. My name is Michael. But, you can call me Mike…or daddy.” – He spoke, with a voice so deep it made my toes curl.

The table we were seated at was beautiful. Four chairs only, a private affair, and it seemed that the waiters were told not to bother us. Appetizers and drinks were already served, and by the gesticulations of my mom’s new boyfriend, I could tell he was the one doing the whole thing. He simply oozed of confidence and strength, something I had forgotten how it looks. I could easily see women being attracted to this man as moths to flame. After all, he really was a flame, a type of flame I haven’t seen before. I was seating between my mom and Brian and Mike was seating right across me. I saw him looking, giving me the same look from a little while ago. Suddenly, it didn’t feel uncomfortable. Suddenly, all I wanted was his eyes on me, forever.

“So, sweetheart, the reason we are here tonight is because I have something important to tell you.” – Mom started, reaching out to Mike and grabbing his hand. As I saw the two holding hands on the table, I felt jealous....and I didn't know why, exactly. I took a deep breath and I turned to face her: “Go on, mom.”

I saw her squeezing his hand, looking at him and smiling, before she turned back to me: “Michael and I are engaged.”

She said this so ever softly, with a tone of satisfaction in her voice I haven’t heard before. I remained calm and seated, looking at my glass of water in front of me, slowly nodding my head. As if I was trying to act that I didn’t know anything and I was slowly absorbing the news.

Brian leaned in and put his hand on my shoulder: “Welcome to the family, little sister!” – He exclaimed, quite loudly, taking his glass and proposing a toast. I followed his lead, as I was taken aback, not by the engagement, but by the effect Daddy has on me. This would take a while to get used to, I thought as I sat back and let mom talk about the wedding.

Chapter 2

Dinner was fantastic, the food was great and Brian kept the conversation lively. I noticed Daddy staring at me a couple of times during dinner and every single time I’d catch him look, it would give me the same burning uncomfortableness from the first time. I couldn’t call it uncomfortableness as I was aware it wasn’t not: it was desire.

Brian tried to talk to me during dinner, obviously flirtatious with me, but I totally let him down. Not because h

e wasn’t attractive: he really was, but simply because his dad was way better.

After dinner, my new 'Daddy' took us home. He left us in front of the house, opening the door for us and everything. Such a perfect gentleman. He escorted us to the door and once again, extended his hand for a handshake. The minute I took his hand, I blushed. I swear he smiled. Daddy leaned in and kissed me on the cheek: “I’ll see you soon, Beth.” – He whispered as I stood frozen, completely unable to breathe or move.

His kiss was so soft, the hair from his beard guided on my face ever so gently. Daddy smelled divinely, like a real man should smell. As I turned around to open the door, his smell lingered around me and I closed my eyes in a bid to soak every little bit of it. As I closed the door behind me, I saw him leaning in and kissing mom. As he was faced towards the door, Daddy opened his eyes and looked straight at me. This act took my breath away as I kept standing behind the door, staring at him while he was making out with mom.

As he was leaving the porch, mom walked in and I immediately ran to the kitchen.

“Beth honey, do you want to talk about it?”

I showed up, carrying a glass of water: “I’m happy for you mom.”

She walked to me and hugged me. I hugged her back, closing my eyes and feeling his perfume on her. The smell took me back to the moment Daddy kissed my cheek and I tried to linger it in for as long as possible.

“Oh honey, are you okay? You never hug me like this?” – Mom asked, obviously worried.

“I’m fine, mom. I’m really happy for you. What’s next?”

“Well, tomorrow we go to his house to meet his friends. After that, the rehearsal dinner.” – I saw the spark mom had in her eyes, something I hadn’t seen for a very long time. I could understand how a man like Mike was able to bring fire to everyone, especially to someone like mom.

“Okay, I’m in. I’m going to bed now.”