Pacey jogged into the kitchen, tossing his keys onto the counter as he reached for the ringing telephone.
“What are you wearing?”
“You know, Jen,” He sighed, “I usually would be more than happy to engage in a little phone sex with you because I know how hard up you are over there – and I feel for ya, babe, I do – but I’m kind of in a hurry right now.”
“What are you wearing on your big date, funny man,” She replied dryly.
“I hadn’t really thought about it.” He chuckled, glancing up at the clock on the wall.
“Well, do you want me to come over and help you find something?” She asked, raising her voice hopefully.
“I’m perfectly capable of dressing myself.” Pacey glanced quickly at the mail he had brought in with him, then tossed it aside, tapping his hand on the counter as if he were playing a drum.
“No comment.” Jen rolled her eyes. “So – what are you two going to do?”
“Um…well, I asked her out to dinner so I guess I’m going to have to feed her.” Pacey replied quickly, beginning to bounce up and down on his heels as he checked the clock again. “And I just got in from work so…”
“You just got home!” Jen shouted into the phone. “Aren’t you supposed to be picking her up at 7:00?”
“Yes, I am.” Pacey sighed. “So if you’ll let me go…”
“Go, go!” Jen exclaimed.
Pacey had just gotten out of the shower and was rubbing a towel over his head when he heard the phone again. Quickly wrapping the towel around his waist, he padded down the hallway and grabbed it off the kitchen counter.
“I just remembered that I bought Doug a couple of new shirts when I was in New York last month. He hasn’t even worn them yet. I can bring one over if you want. I can be there in five minutes”
“What is your obsession with what I am wearing?” He scowled into the phone. “What does it even matter?”
“What does it matter?” She cried out. “This is a big thing, Pacey. This is not just any other date where your main objective is to get in and get out without having to commit yourself to more than a ‘I’ll call you sometime’. The future of your entire relationship with Joey Potter could rest on this one evening!”
Pacey groaned, taking the phone and holding it against his forehead for a moment. He sighed heavily, bringing it back to his ear. “Well, you know, I had been trying not to think of it like that – the whole point being to keep the pressure off and take things slow – but, thanks a lot, Jen – really – for putting that thought in my head right before I’m about to walk out the door.”
“Oh.” Jen said softly. “Heh. Sorry.” She chuckled a little. “You’re right. There should be no pressure here. It’s just you and Joey, right? Alone together for a night. What’s the big deal, right?” She smiled. “I’ll just talk to you tomorrow.”
“Yep. Bye.” Pacey said quietly, hanging up the phone and wondering why it was suddenly hard for him to catch his breath.
Bessie walked into the house with Alex to see Pacey standing and talking with Bodie in the kitchen. Coming over to them, she smiled. “Well, well. This is a familiar sight.” Pacey looked at her with a little grin. “You here to pick up Joey, waiting for her to get ready…” Bessie laughed. “So what are your plans tonight?”
“I have reservations for 7:30 at the Terrace Room over at Ocean Edge Inn.” Pacey shrugged.
“The Terrace Room?” Bessie stopped short. “Really? Wow - fancy that. Now, Pacey, as an elected official your salary would be on file down at the Town Hall right?” She teased him.
“Hey, I am worth every penny of your tax money...” Pacey’s smile slowly faded as he saw Joey walk into the kitchen. She had on a simple dark wine colored dress that was made out of some kind of silky material that just floated over her body. She had started to gain a little of her weight back since she had been home and the fabric of the dress seemed as if it were cut to fit her new curves exactly. She smiled shyly, raising her arms up. Her hair was pulled up loosely, piled in waves on the back of her head with tendril already escaping to frame her face and brush over her bare shoulders.
“Well, I am ready for our date.”
Bodie nudged Pacey, who had been standing there with his mouth slightly open, his eyes still a little south of Joey’s face.
“I, ah...okay.” Pacey looked at her again, shaking his head. “Yes, you are.” He blew out a deep breath.
Pacey pulled into the parking lot at the Ocean Edge and glanced over at Joey with a little uncertain smile. “Now, there are certain rules we have to follow tonight to make this work, you know. To make it like a real first date.”
“Rules?” Joey looked at him, raising an eyebrow.
“Yes.” Pacey exclaimed. “Because it’s supposed to be all about getting to know one another – again – and it would be cheating if we just went in there and were Pacey and Joey. So we need rules. As of right now we have no history to speak of. It’s not like a blind date – because, frankly who would ever believe that someone like me would have to be set up on a blind date…” Joey rolled her eyes and shook her head, trying not to smile as he continued, “So, we are perhaps acquaintances but this is the first time we are going out together. We do not really know that much about each other – beyond the fact that you accepted my invitation to dinner based on your overwhelming physical attraction to me.” Glancing over at her. “So, things like rolling your eyes at me in that oh so familiar way like you are doing right now, Potter, would be against the rules.” He said as he threw the Jeep into park.
“Well, then that also means that you calling me Potter would be against the rules.” She smiled brightly.
“See!” Pacey grinned at her, nodding his head. “That’s very good – um, Joey, is it?
“Yes.” Joey smiled graciously, nodding back.
“And what would ‘Joey’ be short for – perhaps Josephine?” Pacey looked over at her again, quickly frowning upon seeing her face. “Hey, hey…watch the eye rolls.”
They entered the Inn and climbed the stairs to the upper level restaurant. Joey smiled as at the old fashioned piano bar and the elegant dining room, which had huge windows looking over the ocean. The hostess led them across the restaurant to an intimate table by itself in the far corner. Joey sat down, noticing that from this spot they had by far the best view in the house. There was already a bottle of champagne waiting for them as well as a small card that said “Reserved” that the hostess quickly removed upon seating them. As Joey as glanced around, she saw certain other diners checking them out.
She leaned over to Pacey, lowering her voice. “This is a pretty nice table, Pace.”
He just looked at her, raising an eyebrow.
“Oh, sorry.” She giggled. “Pac-ey.”
He grinned. “It is indeed.”
Joey squinted her eyes thoughtfully. “Would it be breaking the rules to ask how you scored this one?
Pacey considered this. “Hmm. I guess not.” He shrugged. “Did I tell you that I pulled old Pete McGuire out of the harbor yesterday? Someone saw his boat just adrift out there and called it in. He was as drunk as a skunk when I found him, too. He could have drowned.”
“Wow. He’s lucky you got to him in time.” Joey raised her eyebrows. Then she frowned. “But what does that have to do with our reserved seating here?”
Pacey smiled, looking at his menu as he took a sip from his water glass. “Did I also happen to mention that this restaurant gets all its lobsters from the McGuires?”
Joey looked at him a moment in confusion, then slowly nodded her head. “Ah, I think I get it.”
“You know…” He grinned, leaning in a bit. “I could tell you were a smart girl when I asked you out.”
“Really?” Joey smiled back sweetly, looking over her menu. “And I could tell you were a smart ass.”
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