"You're sure I look okay?" I asked Lily for about the fiftieth time as I stared at my reflection.
Andrew had failed to inform me what we were doing, nor did he leave any way for me to get in touch with him to ask. So I'd played it safe and gone for a smart casual option, though I'd had to get some assistance from Lily. I would've asked Caleb, but we weren't exactly on speaking terms. Part of me was convinced that our friendship was over for good this time, but I had faith that Alex could talk him round, or at least persuade him to hear out my apology.
"You look fine, Papa" Lily smiled, kissing my cheek.
"You don't think I look too smart? Or too casual? Maybe I should just cancel. Tell him I'm sick or something"
Lily rolled her eyes. "Grandma said you'd be like this"
"What? You told Mom?"
She nodded. "She said you were like this at the wedding, too"
I groaned. Why did she have to tell Mom? I hadn't told anyone, in case it all went tits up. Lily left me to it when there was a knock at the door and I answered it, seeing Andrew standing there grinning. He was in a t-shirt and jeans, and I definitely felt over dressed. Andrew didn't seem to think so, though, telling me I looked great and promising Lily he'd have me back by midnight. I scowled, shutting the door before he could say anything else.
"I'm only teasing" he chuckled, putting an arm around my shoulders.
"Everyone's so mean to me" I sulked, making him laugh.
"I promise not to be mean to you for the rest of the night" he said, leading me to his car.
I got in, watching our surroundings blur past us as we made our way to whatever Andrew had in store. I looked up at where we were once we came to a stop, frowning a little when I recognised it as the local park. What were we doing here? He grabbed something off the backseat, though I didn't see what, and told me to 'hurry my cute butt up'. I followed him curiously as he led me through the park, talking animatedly about one thing or another, before stopping by a small pond. He held up the plastic bag in his hand, a grin on his face.
"What're you up to?" I asked, smiling a little.
"Something I'll bet you haven't done in a long time" he grinned, pulling a loaf of bread out of the bag.
It was then that I noticed the faint quacking in the distance, looking up and seeing a small family of ducks making thier way over to us. Andrew sat down by the edge of the pond, patting the ground next to him. I sat with him, laughing as he threw some of the bread into the water for the ducks. He shared the bread with me, and the two of us talked as we fed the ducks. Eventually the ducks got brave enough to come up on land with us, eating out of our hands, but once our bread was gone, they went off on their way. The sun was just setting, the sky a canvas of dusky pinks and bright oranges. Andrew got to his feet, pulling me up with him and hooking his arm around my shoulders again, the two of us walking round the park, just enjoying the view and the quiet. We ran into the occasional dog walker, but other than that, it was just the two of us. It was perfect, really. We ended up back by Andrew's car, and I pulled him down for a kiss. The height difference was definitely going to be a problem, especially for Andrew's back. You're thinking too far ahead, there, Hadley. Andrew pulled away, smiling, his arms winding around my waist.
"I've had a great time" I said, smiling up at him.
"Glad to hear it. I was worried you'd think it was stupid or something"
"It was sweet"
He leant down, kissing me slowly and passionately, holding me to him. I'd missed this kind of thing. We stayed there a little while longer, just enjoying each other's company, before Andrew drove me home, leaving his number this time and promising me he'd call me when he got off patrol the next day. As for me, I went to bed with butterflies in my stomach. And for once, they were there for a good reason.