49: Reunited: Day Sixty-Three

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Melanie watched the city as it passed by out her window. They drove a few blocks and pulled up next to a two storey restaurant. JP escorted them inside, trying his best to prevent the paparazzi that had followed them from getting their pictures.

Once inside, Brian and Melanie were guided to a table in the back corner of the restaurant where they could have a bit of privacy. The restaurant was packed and Melanie eyed the crowd nervously as Brian ordered meals for the two of them. He handed the menus back to the waiter and smiled at Melanie, taking the hat off her head and hanging it from the side of the booth.

"Where are we?" she asked worriedly. She'd noticed a few patrons glancing at her and talking excitedly amongst themselves about the two celebrities in their midst.

"This is the exact restaurant we came to right before the accident," Brian replied. He pointed out the table they'd sat at during their last visit and told her about some of the antics the girls had gotten up to after a few too many glasses of wine.

He was trying to appear relaxed and comfortable, hoping Melanie would follow suit, but he could see her becoming increasingly more anxious with the wait staff moving quickly throughout the busy restaurant. Nearly all the tables were occupied and a quite a few people had realized they were dining with celebrities.

Brian was almost positive there were a few paparazzi at one of the tables at the opposite end of the restaurant and he internally cursed at himself for not considering that they would find a way in. He made eye contact with JP, subtly nodding toward the photographers' table to let him know to keep an eye on them.

"Brian," Melanie squeaked, pulling his attention back to her. He looked at her sympathetically, noticing she'd begun shaking.

"Come here," he said with concern as he scooted over and patted the booth next to him. "It's ok."

Melanie quickly got up and sat next to Brian, immediately enveloped in his arms.

"There's nothing to be scared of," Brian assured her. "You know those men are locked up and can't get you, right?" She nodded, still scanning the crowd and shaking. "And JP's right there," he nodded toward JP, who smiled and winked at her. "No one can get to us unless JP lets them."

"Ok," she whispered.

"Look at me," Brian instructed. "Do I look scared?" She shook her head before dropping her gaze sheepishly. Brian smiled and lifted her chin so she was looking at him. "When you start feeling scared, you look and see if I look worried, ok? Then you'll know if there's any reason to be concerned." Melanie seemed to be considering what he had said for a moment and nodded.

"People keep looking at us," she stated quietly.

"That happens a lot when you're a celebrity," Brian responded. "They're just excited to see you."

"What are we doing here?" she asked. Brian could feel her beginning to relax against him as her anxiety subsided.

"We're supposed to expose you to familiar places and scenarios," Brian explained. "I figured coming here would be a good idea considering it was one of the last places we took you before you hit your head. Plus, I can get you to eat something and I know you'll like it because you raved about how good it was last time we were here." He smiled at the waiter as he set the two meals on the table. He made sure Brian and Melanie had everything they needed before excusing himself and leaving them alone to eat.

"Scallops?" Melanie asked, looking at her plate and sitting up. Brian lifted his arm off of her shoulders and watched as Melanie looked at everything on her plate.

"You remember?" Brian asked hopefully.

"I just remember what they are," she replied, cutting a scallop in half and putting it in her mouth.

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