Okay, so I have a gazillion favorite scenes from Pride & Popularity... but this is one of my favorites and it's great because you don't have to have a lot of background to read it! Hope you enjoy!
Excerpt from Chapter 9: Dating Fumbles
Jenni James Copyright©2008
I knew this date would be a disaster from the get-go. I mean, it’s completely evident that you have an odd date when the guy actually asks you out through your mother. But, does he have to sit there in public and continue to be odd?
Pardon me, but I thought the reason you took a girl out on a date was so you could get to know her a little more. Not so you can play with your Smartphone all night, studiously avoiding her.
I let out yet another silent sigh as I watched my finger twirl around the rim of my goblet of lemon water. We had ordered our food a few minutes ago, but I knew it would be a wait due to the amount of people here. The Lion’s House was only the nicest restaurant in our city. I was a bit surprised at first when Collin pulled into the parking lot. It actually made me have some respect for him that he had thought to make reservations. I have always wanted to eat here, but no one I had ever known could afford this place. Well, that is except Taylor, but he doesn’t count. His family owns the restaurant. It was actually named after his Dad, Lionel Anderson.
With another sigh I moved my hand from the goblet and began to refold the creases in my linen napkin again. The other customers all around me were having a marvelous time as they laughed and enjoyed each others’ company.
With regret I looked across the table to Collin. I watched his face light up as he read another email from one of his online friends. I’m not sure he has any real friends, just online ones. Collin laughed. He must’ve read a joke.
He really does have a nice smile.
When I had told Blake that Collin was cute I wasn’t kidding. Collin was really cute. Unfortunately, his personality and mannerisms needed some work.
Would it kill the guy to share what is so funny with me? It’s like I don’t exist. What was the point of taking me out anyway? This is even a cute outfit dang it and he hasn’t even commented on it, or me, for that matter. Frustrated I glanced at my watch.
Let’s see, we have a good thirty minutes before our food comes. Then fifteen to twenty minutes to eat it. If we skipped dessert we could be out of here in about forty-five more minutes. Forty-five minutes! I’m never going to last that long! Thank goodness, I convinced the waiter we didn’t need salad.
After another fifteen minutes I had begun to feel a bit desperate and was debating whether or not I would be missed if I walked out the door. The same door that every three or four minutes released another happy couple to explore the world beyond this boredom. Envious, I followed the progress of a young romantic couple in their twenties as they departed. I was reminded briefly of Blake.--Which would’ve led to morose thoughts of a missed date had I been given the chance, which unbelievably I wasn’t. Because as that couple left, an arm stayed a moment and held the door open for them. An arm I travelled up to discover belonged to Taylor Anderson. His other arm was wrapped around the waste of Kylie, his new girlfriend.
Oh my gosh! Taylor! What is he doing here? What are the odds Taylor would show up for a date here tonight, of all nights?
If I had thought the restaurant was alive with marvelous action before, it was nothing compared to this. It seemed that Taylor had the same effect on people wherever he went. Instantaneously the room zinged to life as the guests became aware Mr. Anderson’s son was present. Every worker did his best to present a flawless performance. Conversations buzzed with the importance of Taylor’s entrance. Women everywhere adjusted their clothing and hair while they fluttered their eyelashes. I could make out scant whispers of the words, “new girlfriend” and “so beautiful.”
It’s like he’s the reigning prince. Good grief!
I was amazed that a small city, which had raised a boy from infancy, would create so much excitement just by his presence. You think they’d be used to him by now. Ironically, the only person not aware of Taylor was Collin. He was still completely engrossed in his Smartphone.
I followed Taylor’s progress across the room as he, with Kylie in tow, followed the hostess to their seats. Many tables along the way were graced with his wit and charm. He stopped for a brief moment at each in his path. He called the patrons by name and made sure to introduce his latest model cheerleader to them. I couldn’t have been more grossed out by such a display.
Spare me! Why do people go to such great lengths just for him?
As Taylor neared our table I quickly averted my eyes and proceeded to refold the napkin. For an instant I was jealous that I had nothing else to occupy my hands, like Collin did.
Oh, please don’t let him recognize me! Don’t let him recognize me!
“Chloe Hart. Hello.”
Reluctantly, I looked up into his amused eyes and faked a smile, “Oh, Taylor! Hi, I didn’t see you.”
I offered my hand to him. He leaned down lower than necessary. As he placed his hand into mine to shake, he nonchalantly whispered for my ears only, “Liar. You’ve been watching me since the moment I walked into this building.”