Part 2

by Peanut

True to my word, here is the second part of my still untitled story. The third is complete, at least in my head, but the fourth and final part will take some thinking. Comments, please!

Lieutenant Hunter nervously pulled at the front of his black tuxedo jacket as he walked into the apartment building. He hadn't been able to calm down since talking to Doctor Slate yesterday morning. He got on the elevator, pressed the button for the top floor, and leaned back into the wall, thinking to himself.

Why am I so nervous, anyways? This isn't a date. We both agreed on that.

Yeah, right, who are you fooling? a cynical voice countered. Here you are, taking this gorgeous, intelligent, charming woman out to a fancy party. Again. If this continues, are you not dating? Is she not going to be your girlfriend?

The elevator dinged as it reached the floor and the doors opened. Dwayne walked toward her door, still lost in thought.

C'mon Dwayne, you've gone out with other women before. This is no big deal.

So, why does this date make you so much more nervous than all those other ones?

Dwayne knocked on her door, considering this.

She's my coworker. It's not like I have feelings for her or anything.

Sure, buddy, whatever you say.

Dwayne started from his thoughts as he heard the deadbolt unlock. He took a deep breath and clasped his hands behind him, trying to at least appear calm.

Don't gawk, don't gawk, don't gawk!! his brain screamed at him. The door opened and Erika, sans glasses, stood before him. Dwayne gawked.

After agonizing for hours over what to wear, Erika had finally decided on a red satin strapless dress. It now wrapped around her body, flowing gently down to the floor. The color brought out the green flecks in her eyes. Her hair fell to her shoulders in soft curls.

"Evening, Lieutenant," she said, opening the door wider for him. "Please come in."

Dwayne stepped through the doorway. "Wow, you look fabulous." he said. He smiled at her and his brown eyes softened.

"Thank you," Erika said. Her eyes dropped and she blushed slightly.

"I, um, just need to get my purse," she said as she walked into the back room. She felt his gaze burn a hole through her even though she was turned away from him and her heart leap into her throat.

Once she had disappeared, Dwayne looked over the apartment as he focused on breathing deeply. "It's rather cold out tonight," he called out. "You should probably bring a shawl or something."

"Good idea."

"So, where is Rusty this evening?"

"I figured he would be bored by the party, so I bribed him to stay in."

"With what?" Dwayne asked.

Erika emerged with a black shawl elegantly draped around her shoulders. "With this." She held up an empty video game box with the title Magitech Warriors 2 blazed across the front.

"Doc, you sure can pick a guy's weak spot," Dwayne grinned. Like with me and that dress, he mentally added.

"The car is downstairs. Shall we?" he asked, offering his elbow.

She took it, squeezing slightly. "Sure. Let's go get your gold-plated wrench."


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