A large smile crossed Logan’s face as he saw the diner’s door open and Cadee step in. The girl was really a natural beauty; she definitely didn’t need fancy clothes or too much makeup to get a guys attention. In fact, Logan noticed more than one head turn to admire Cadee as she made her way towards him.
This was their second date in one week, which was insane in and of itself. Logan had never had much time off but it seemed now Balthazar was giving him more and more days off. Something in his gut still warned that something was amiss with his boss, but for now, he was going to push those thoughts away and just enjoy the time with his date.
“You look great,” he said as he stood up to pull out her chair.
“Thanks,” Cadee’s smile mirrored Logan’s, and she looked at him appreciatively. He looked as good in just jeans and a casual shirt than in a suit, better, if you might. “you look great too, actually.”
She sat down and smiled up to him as he helped her with her jacket. She really liked Logan, and it was a little disturbing but he made her feel butterflies in her stomach when he smiled like that. It had been a while since she had felt this way, and she didn’t want to think much about it… else she would spoil it. It was difficult to conciliate a hunter’s disposition and a relationship, not to mention too many secrets and demon’s DNA. But she didn’t want to think about that at that moment, not when she could be enjoying lunch with Logan.
She took a look around as he sat down again, “this is a nice place, never been here before. I've lived in this city for ten years, even worked as a courier, but you can never really know NY, right?"
“Ain’t that the truth. Sometimes I still feel like I’m lost in this city.”
As the two scanned the menu, Logan stole a glance at Cadee. He was happy to spend time with her, but he couldn’t help hear the small voice in the back of his head that was nay-saying. Realistically, where was he going with this? His life was far from normal, dangerous even, and was it far to bring someone else into that? For some reason, he couldn’t picture the girl sitting with him at the Hellfire Lounge, surrounded by demons. Still, for now, he could enjoy himself.
“So you like working at Slainte?” he asked, trying to make some casual conversation.
“It’s OK. I like the place and Angus is a good boss; a bit on the weird side, though. And it’s always full of cops,” she chuckled, feeling naughty. “I like cops, you know what they say about uniforms, right?”
“Well sorry to disappoint,” he laughed, but was cut off as the waiter arrived. As the two ordered, Cadee was not oblivious to the looks the server was giving Logan.
“I think you might be his type,” she chuckled as he walked off.
“Really? You think so,” he smiled, as he feigned getting out of his seat, pretending to go after the waiter. The two shared a laugh and continued to make ‘date conversation as they waited for their food - things were going well.
“So how’s your roomate? She wasn’t too rattled after the Graveyard incident?”
Cadee shook her head. “Anne’s tougher than she looks, after the first shaky moment she was OK. We just stayed behind the bar until it was over.” She smiled, trying to steer the conversation away from that night, she didn’t want to lie more than absolutely necessary. “Actually, it did her good too, she’s considering working for the club’s owner, Jasmin Taylor. She got an offer after that night. Talk about a silver lining, huh?”
Frown lines crossed Logan’s young face. “You know, my boss knows her and I’ve had the pleasure, or displeasure of meeting her a few times. It may not be any of my business, but I would stay away from Jasmin. That woman’s bad news”.
*You have no idea,* Cadee thought, not very happy with the idea herself. They had discussed it more than once, but Anne was being mulish about it. She alleged it’d be good for her career, and that Jasmin was a good vampire, as if those existed. Fact was, killing Anne wasn’t the brightest of moves, and from what Cadee had been able to discover, Jasmin Taylor was no fool, so she was probably safe. She planned to pay the vampiress a visit if Anne finally took the job, anyway.
“I’ll tell her about it, but Anne can be pretty pig-headed.” Cadee shrugged, “She’s an actress, you know, and Jasmin’s a producer… it’s her dream job.”
"So you mentioned your boss knows her," Cadee said casually. "Does he also work in the entertainment industry?"
Logan took a sip of water. “Nah, he’s just a bigwig from Wall Street who now owns his own investment firm, and about a thousand other subsidiaries. Balthazar Romano, have you heard of him?”
Cadee choked on her drink at the mention of Romano, she coughed and failed to breathe, making Logan get up and slap her back. When the coughing finally subdued, she managed to reassure him that she was all right.
“I’m sorry, it went down the wrong pipe,” she said. At least, she’d had some seconds to think. Balthazar Romano again? What were the odds? First Jasmin’s warning, then Meredith’s conjectures and now this? And Romano was at odds with Jasmin? That was something to think about later. Now all she could thing about was Logan’s connection to that sleazy man. He didn’t fit the mould for a Romano’s man.
“I’ve heard of him,” she said, not lying. Wary for the first time with Logan, Cadee needed some time to think. “Never met him personally, not that we move in the same circles… well, apart from book launches, I mean.”
Having no reason not to believe her, Logan was completely oblivious to Cadee’s sudden change in mood. “Not many people do. The guy’s got more money than god, probably why he needs a bodyguard. To be honest though, the job isn’t that exciting. Business men don’t usually attract many stalkers or weirdos, so most of the time, I’m just standing around at functions. He’s generally a cool guy and it pays pretty decently, so I shouldn’t complain”.
“Have you been working for him for long? How did you end being a bodyguard?” She raised her hand, she didn’t want to sound judgamental. “It’s just that when I think about bodyguards, they’re more on the ape side.” She laughed, feeling silly. “Although that’s probably a stereotype, right? Like all us blondes are air-heads.”
“Well you fit the stereotype pretty well,” he teased. “Actually, I haven’t worked for him that long,” he replied. “I kinda fell into the job, I guess”. Logan tried to think back to when he started, but couldn’t retrieve the memories. His brow furrowed momentarily in frustration, but it passed quickly. A moment later, unbeknownst to him, he had zero recollection of Cadee’s question. “So have you lived in NY awhile? You don’t seem rushed and stressed enough to be a New Yorker”.
“Twelve years. And I’m not stressed because I’m your typical California girl.” She laughed, “I was born in a small town in California, but my mother was like a gypsy, she couldn’t stay put for long. So we moved around: Miami, Seattle, Chicago … just to mention the big places. However, when she passed away about ten years ago, I decided to stay here. I was kinda tired, to be honest.” Cadee’s expression softened at the thought of her mother, but she shook the memories away before she would get sad. “Besides, I was a little young to hit the road too.”
“And you? Have you lived in the city long?”
“Yep, New York has always been my city,“ Logan responded proudly.
“Wow so a real born and bred. Did you grow up in Manhattan?”
The man’s head cocked to the side, almost as if he didn’t understand the question. “Yep, grew up in New York,” he reiterated again robotically. “You’re going to love the food here. I know the place doesn’t look like much, but the food is fantastic”.
Cadee frowned. It was obvious that he was hiding something, and she felt kind of cheated, since she had already told him more than she told most people. She really wanted this relationship to work, and was trying not to repeat the mistakes she usually made… like lying through her teeth about practically everything. Maybe work secrets? That douche bag of a boss forbid him to give personal details? That thought made her frown even deeper, and she raised her menu to cover her expression.
“That’s good. And the place is not bad, besides, I love food!” She said from behind the menu. Actually, looking at the menu with knowing eyes, the selection of meals was varied and interesting, and her mouth watered; she was hungry.
“I think I’ll try the mushroom burger, with hash browns on the side, please.” She asked the waiter, who had approached them again. Feeling a little more like herself, she lowered the menu, and watched the exchange between the two men, amused. The guy had a crush on Logan all right, and she chuckled. If she dated him, she should get used to that; the man was gorgeous! When the waiter left with their orders, she joked. “Don’t be surprised if he writes his number in your napkin.”
He flashed Cadee a flirtatious smile. “Too bad for him, I’m more into blondes”.