6 - Dinner and a Boat

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“You sure this looks okay?” Lana twisted and turned to try to get a better look at herself in the row of bathroom mirrors. Izzy had picked out what she’d deemed the perfect dress for Lana’s date with Daniel, but Lana was unsure of the fit.

“Stop fussing,” Izzy sighed and put her hands on Lana’s shoulders. The crimson dress was sleeveless, with a tight-fitted bodice and a flowing skirt. Izzy had styled Lana’s hair into a mass of curls draped over one shoulder and Lana was scared to move her head much. Only a thin hair tie kept the locks in place.

“Where are the others?” Lana asked, suddenly worried Sebastian would freak if he saw her all dressed up to go out.

“Don’t worry, I took care of it,” Izzy said calmly and swirled a makeup brush along Lana’s cheeks. “They think you and Daniel are going to some boring art show with me tonight, and I managed to persuade them they should take the opportunity to go see a show at the Moulin Rouge. You should have seen the look on Sarah’s face when Sebastian said it sounded like a good idea – I could hardly believe it myself – but she swallowed her pride and agreed to go.”

“And what are you going to do tonight?” Lana frowned. “I don’t want you to be alone and…”

“Don’t worry about it,” Izzy said dismissively. “I talked to a couple of the other girls staying at the hostel, and we’re going clubbing. I’ll be home in time to hear all about your date,” she winked. “You better not skimp on the details.”

“Hi,” Lana said shyly as she stepped out of the bathroom and saw Daniel waiting for her in the common room, dressed in a crisp white shirt and black slacks. The first few top buttons of his shirt were undone, showing off a hint of golden skin underneath. She couldn’t imagine him ever wearing a suit and tie, Lana noted, it would just be too constraining for his nature.

“Wow, don’t you clean up nice,” Daniel winked and rose from the couch to greet her with a kiss on the cheek.

“Thanks,” Lana smiled. “You too.”

“Well, a guy’s gotta try, right?” Daniel chuckled and offered his arm. “Shall we?”

“Such a gentleman,” Lana commented, a grin tugging at her lips.

“Sorry, I didn’t order a horse-drawn carriage this evening, but I hope the metallic stallion will do – at least there’s some horsepower in there,” he winked as he walked them over to an awaiting cab.

“You’re silly, you know that?” Lana giggled as he held the back door open for her.

Daniel simply smiled and closed the door behind her, getting in on the other side.  

“This is gorgeous,” Lana exclaimed when Daniel pulled out her chair at the table they’d been assigned by the waiter. They had seats by the window – the boat was covered in glass to protect from rain and wind – and outside, the Seine flowed, dark and calm. The tables were set with white linens and little lanterns served as light sources.

From the boat, all the lighted monuments were visible in the dusk, and the Eiffel Tower twinkled in the background. Lana felt as though she was in a fairy tale, gliding along a dark winding river and spying all the wonders around her. The Conciergerie looked very much like a fairy tale castle, and the Notre Dame like the gothic cathedral it was.

“You know, they shouldn’t have let you on this boat,” Daniel said casually and sipped his wine.

“What?” Lana frowned.

“How is anyone supposed to focus on the scenery when they have such a beauty at their table?”

“Wow…” Lana shook her head and sipped her own wine. “That was probably one of the cheesiest lines I’ve heard yet.”

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