“No Chessy, not now. Mommy’s supposed to be working!”
She was in the middle of composing a new article when her phone rang.
It was Vitto.
Asking her out on a date later than evening.
She really wanted to see him anyway. Not only did she miss Vitto like crazy, but she had been thinking. A lot. Especially recently.
She gave up on work and plopped down on the couch, where she was joined by Chessy, her cat. Too much going through her mind to focus now anyway.
“Oh baby, your mommy and her impulsiveness. I really hope I did not bite off more than I could chew this time.”
Few hours later, right on time, Vitto came by to pick her up for their date.
They arrived at the restaurant and were just seated, when another couple was seated at the table directly next to them. They were Ezio and Melissa Auditore.
Vivian could not believe the irony of this situation. Of all people in all places it had to be them and right here.
All she could do now was hope they would be too busy with each other to notice. After all, they looked like a new couple, flirting and exchanging loving glances.
Alas, no such luck.
“Ha, small world! Good evening son, and Vivian!” Ezio now turned to them.
“You have got to be kidding me! Of all the restaurants in the area, they have to turn up right here, right now.” Vivian thought, but instead smiled and said
“What a surprise to see you both at this place. Not the kind of location I would have thought you would go…”
“Oh, Melissa likes for us to try new things every once in a while. I must say, this ambiance is …”
The rest of his speech trickled by Vivian. Bad timing. She had hoped to talk to Vitto alone, on neutral ground, uninterrupted, instead now here they sat under the watchful eye of her future in-laws.
And her father-in-law was not exactly her biggest fan to begin with.
She felt a gentle rub on her arm. Vitto was looking at her with a worried expression in his eyes.
“What would you like to order, sweetheart?” he asked gently.
She now noticed the waitress looking at her in anticipation.
“Oh, umm.. I’ll have a …erm … water. Just water.”
“Coming right up!” the waitress smiled mechanically and left, while Vivian could feel Vitto’s eyes burning on her and a quick side glance showed her that Ezio had been listening too.
“I just have a bit of a headache today. I doubt alcohol would be a good idea.” Vivian said, demonstratively rubbing her temples.
“Oh, honey, why did you not say so. We could have stayed home and relaxed.”
“Sounds great Vitto. I’d love that right about now.” Yup, anything to get away from the in-laws.
“I’ll cancel our order.” Vitto said.
“Here we are. I think I have some aspirin in the …” Vitto started, but Vivian cut him off.
“No no, that’s fine. I already took some. Just want to relax. Do you still have my sleep set here that I left the other day.”
They went upstairs, where she followed him into the master bedroom, he pulled open a drawer of the dresser, which was mostly empty except a few items of hers she had left here over the past months. It made her smile, even more so when he handed her her sleepwear, laundered and folded perfectly. Oh Vitto, she thought, you are too good to be true.
Both changed into their sleepwear then decided to watch a movie downstairs.
Snuggled up to one another on the soft couch, TV playing in the background, Vivian looked up at him
“Vitto?” Vivian started.
“I have been thinking about your suggestion to move in together and if your offer still stands I think I’d like to do that. I also think I am ready to set a date now. Do you have any preference?”
“Oh wow. No, no preference, but why don’t we wait till after the wedding then with the moving, assuming you were thinking about a date in the not too distant future.”
“Ummm…. sure.” Nope, not quite the way Vivian had hoped this would go. But it would work. Somehow.
“It’s Spring now. I know Spring weddings are popular and June is a popular month, but we are cutting that too close probably. Winter weddings are also …” Vitto rattled down when Vivian, once more, interrupted the flood of words.
“Winter? No. That’s too late, Vitto. June will be fine. Maybe even late Spring. Or maybe in a month. We can make it. I am sure.” Vivian smiled.
“Oh. Ahem. Wow. Umm …. Wow, that’s …. speedy. But sure, whatever you like, sweetheart.” Vitto seemed really surprised. Too surprised to compute the news in full.
He still seemed lost in thought when they decided to go to bed.
“What made you suddenly decide to move forward? And so fast, too?” Vitto asked.
“Oh, you know us women. We can be impulsive.” she kissed him.
“So good to see you, Vivian!” the redheaded girl and Vivian kissed each other on the cheek.
“Same! Sorry I haven’t been by a lot. How are the kids?”
More smalltalk ensued. Alexa was Finn’s wife, Finn was Vivian’s oldest son from a teen pregnancy. They were close, but he was busy working and with his family, so there were spurts where the contact was less than other times. Alexa owned a bridal store in Windenburg.
“So you are about to tie that knot, huh? How exciting! Do you have a certain style for the wedding gown in mind?”
“No, not at all. Funny, considering fashion is my bread and butter. I don’t even know where to start when picking out a gown. Nothing frilly or fluffy, I like sleek and modern styles, but needs to be conservative enough because of the in-laws…”
“Lucky for you, exactly that is MY bread and butter and I dare say I am not too bad at it. So, what about cut and length? Do you have any idea what you like? You are tall and very slender, you can get away with just about anything, so it boils down to your taste.”
“Not the faintest clue.”
“OK, so we will take a few very different styles and have you try them and go from there. It may take us a bunch of tries, but I betcha we will find the right one for you. Oh, this will be so much fun.”
“Oh, may I use your restroom quickly.”
“Sure that way. I will pull some examples to get us started. Meet me in that dressing room over there.”
Vivian nodded and hurried to the restroom. As she was washing her hands she looked at the mirror, where all she saw was the wall behind her, and once more she wished that she had a mirror image.
When she entered the dressing room, there were 5 dresses on a hook. Alexa helped her get dressed, then they would evaluate. One dress after another, then they would focus on what made the cut and find more dresses.
Alexa would take phone pics of Vivian, then they would look at them together.
“Oh dear lord! Yeah, that is conservative, but I feel like I should wait for Mr. Willoughby to come calling for tea time.”
The next dress was a bright white modern and sleek dress.
“Oh, the old in-law would have a heart attack if I rolled up in this number!” Vivian giggled at the very daring low cut front.
The next one looked stylish, sleek and modern.
“Uh, maybe not that one Vivian…. if your in-law checks out medically at the last one, this one will not be a healthier option either…” Alexa grinned.
“What do you mean? I love this one. It’s got a decent enough neckline and the cutout on the side is not so daring …” Vivian said.
“Gimme your phone.” Alexa took a photo of the backside.
“Oh!” Vivian and Alexa laughed hard.
They tried on a dozen or more dresses.
This dreaded day had turned into a really fun time. Hopefully the rest of the planning would go just as smooth.
At the same time, in San Myshuno, Vitto was unlocking the door to Vivian’s apartment with the key she had given him months ago.
“Viv? Hello? Are you there? I was worried about you and thought I’d check…. Vivian?”
Chessy, the cat, came running to him, meowing, and followed him through the apartment. No Vivian. Odd.
He turned to the cat.
“You hungry, little fella? Here, I’ll feed you, if you promise not to attack me.”
Vitto found the cat food and filled the animal’s bowl, the cat greedily chowed down, while Vitto went into the bathroom to clean out the litter box.
While kneeling on the ground he noticed a box in the bathroom trashcan.
Putting down the litter strainer, he dug for the box.
“Oh! Now it all makes sense!”
He felt soft pressure against his side and pet the cat, pressing up against him.
“Pack your bags, Chessy, you and your mommy will be moving in with me soon.”