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Brushed Steel

By @Snake-of-Eden

Date Night.

The restaurant was classy, classier than any other she’d ever taken Aro to in all the time they’d been seeing each other. This, Delia thought maybe a little jarring, enough perhaps for her to realise Delia’s intentions and therefore rob her of the element of surprise. This thought cropped up again and again like a recurring jump-scare for Delia.

Her hand found its way to little velvet box in the pocket of her pair of tailored slacks, wrapping around it reassuringly. Working hard to tune out the steady chatter and atmospheric music of the restaurant around her, she took the box out and looked at the unique ring it contained.

It was exactly what she knew Araura would wear, a clean, brushed steel band with no diamonds. Instead, a vertical laser engraved stripe ran across its width and small studs had been set into one side of it, each one colour of the rainbow. Delia had given a detailed list of constraints to a cobbler a while before after buying the ring itself and she had to say, was thrilled with the outcome. She grinned to herself and then put the box back in her pocket. “Yes, this is right.” She thought to herself, taking a few steadying deep breaths and tried to focus on staring into space and tune out her surroundings.

She felt a thin warm hand snake familiarly around her shoulders and turned in her chair to greet her girlfriend. Standing up, she embraces her.

“Hey there, this place isn’t you, what gives?” Araura giggled into her ear as she hugged her.

“I took a chance, my date night.” Delia crooned, blessing her cheek as they broke apart. Araura took her seat opposite her and Delia settled back down, feeling the ring in her pocket as though it’d become heavier, hotter, strangely.

“You look fantastic, Aro.” Delia couldn’t help saying as her eyes lovingly searched Arauras form, sponging up each detail. Araura had stepped a little out of her comfort zone, Delia noticed, wearing a dark blue, tailored button-up shirt buttoned to the collar under a silken black suit jacket. A silver pair of decorative clips chained together the collar in the place of a bow tie and the rolled-up sleeves of the jacket showed off a darkened steel bracelet set with an understated green stone which caught the light and shone like her eyes which beamed at her. Her hair had been teased forward in that quaff that Delia loved so much, red as ever and scrunched up to make it curl like flames.

“You look perfectly dashing yourself dear,” Araura said, sipping her water, her mouth curling in a grin that playfully showed off her teeth. Delia could feel her face growing hot and took the opportunity to sip some water herself.

“So how was your day?” Araura asked, picking up the menu and opening it.

“I worked. You know, sick people, medications, needles and babysitting interns.” Delia leant back in her chair, feeling a little more relaxed, as she always did when Araura was around.

“Sounds… well…” Arauras mouth twitched and morphed as words formed and dissolved in her mouth.

“Perfectly wretched.” Delia volunteered.

“Well… yeah.” Araura conceded, winking.

“We save lives… Well, if I’m honest, the nurses save lives.” Delia carried on, glancing at Araura and running her eyes down the menu. A waiter came to their table, notebook poised.

“Can I start you ladies off with some drinks?” He asked, silkily, grinning.

“Yes, can we have a bottle of Cienna, on ice with two glasses?” Delia ordered, and the waiter smiled, short-handing it on his notebook, the bowed and left. A minute later the bottle arrived, in a free-standing ice bucket, followed by two glasses and a waiter poured them both a service of the blood-red wine.

“Are we ready to order the entree?” He asked, readying his notebook again. Delia looked up at Araura who had closed her menu and placed it back on the table.

“Yes.” She said, “I am…” Delia nodded and then Araura ordered the salmon with vegetables as a main, forgoing the entree. Delia ordered the steak, medium rare with a side of seasonal greens and the mushroom sauce, following suit and forgoing the entrees. The waiter wrote down their orders, gave a little bow and moved off.

“You’ve outdone yourself Diels,” Araura commented, head darting around.

“Well, what’s the point in dating the woman I love if I can’t spoil her completely rotten?” Delia asked, rhetorically, raising her glass and sipping the wine.

“How was your day honey?” Delia asked, crossing her legs and leaning back, relaxed.

“Not quite as interesting I’m afraid, I worked a half-day, went to a lecture. And it was a lecture, so… boring. On the face of it. Bagged myself another band t-shirt today though. A Led Zeppelin.” Araura beamed as she said this, pressing her hands together in front of her face.

“So how many does that make it now?”

“About… seventeen.” Araura answered, shortly.

“Dear, dear.” Delia mused, smirking and thinking back to that first night at Arauras, that flash t-shirt that fell off her like a bat-winged dress and perfectly framed the details of her body in its soft white creases. For a moment, she was there.

“You alright Diels, you’re a little distant tonight.” Arauras voice reeled her back to the present like a prized catch.

“Oh… Yes, sorry honey.” Delia sipped her wine, savouring its bite and lingering sweetness. 

Another waiter arrived with a basket of small warm bread rolls and a dish of butter, placing them with the swift and delicate efficiency of years of experience in the middle of their table. Delia nodded thanks and held Arauras gaze.

“What were you thinking about dear?” Aro asked, eyes softening.

“Your collection of band t-shirts… reminded me of… something…” Suddenly she found herself unable to explain.

“I may have worn it tonight, but I’m kind of glad I didn’t.” Delia heard her say as though through glass.

“Oh, well. You could’ve done… I mean, it’s not like anyone here really cares what one stranger is wearing.” Was the response Delia managed, wrenching her mind back to the present.

“This place is too classy! I’m so glad you told me where we were coming for our date night this time, I had some time to smarten up!” Araura retorted, a hint of a giggle in her voice.

“Well, I think you’ve outdone yourself, love, you look absolutely stunning,” Delia said, stumbling over her words, slightly. She excused herself, citing a need to use the bathroom and left.

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