"He said he's from a family of huggers" she pondered. "But the hug felt really warm and genuine. It made me feel safe, and like I'd finally found my home in this world"
"No, the hug couldn't have meant something. He's gay. He doesn't think of me like that" she said to disperse her dreamy thoughts. "I better get downstairs. He's probably waiting for me already"
"Have you been waiting a long time?" she asked him abashedly.
"No, no" he said. "I got outside just before you did. Are you ready to go?"
"If my dress is formal enough, then yeah"
"It's perfect, and you're beautiful" Ouranos said softly. "The restaurant is right next door. Let's go"
Gaia blushed and they started walking towards the restaurant.
"Wow! It sure looks fancy" Gaia said admirably. "I've heard of this restaurant before, and I've been dying to eat here"
"It's like you took the words out of my mouth" Ouranos laughed. "Let's go inside and grab a drink"
"Maybe we should get some food to go with these drinks, before we get too drunk?" she suggested and giggled.
"Yeah, you're even starting to slur a bit when you talk" Ouranos joked. "I'll ask the waiter to give us a table"
"May I take your order, please?" Åke asked politely.
"Yes, please" Gaia answered. "We'd like to know what tonight's special is"
"Well, tonight, the chef is recommending the Glazed Heirloom Bamboo Roll. And the Soft Shadow Avornalino would go perfectly with that dish"
"That sounds both interesting and delicious" Ouranos replied. "Gaia, what do you think?"
"I'd love to try it" she said and smiled.
"Excellent! I'll be back soon with your food and drinks" Åke said and disappeared into the kitchen.
Gaia closed her eyes and inhaled the food's exotic scent. "Mmm! It smells amazing!"
"You mentioned your adoptive family earlier" Gaia started. "So you're adopted?"
"That's correct. My dad died of a heart attack before I was born, and my mom died in a car crash when I was 7. I was adopted soon after that, and they've been my family ever since"
"Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss." Gaia said, and regretted bringing it up.
"It's okay. It was so long ago that I hardly even remember my mom. And I love my adoptive parents" Ouranos assured her. "Dina told me that you're an orphan too. Were you also adopted then?"
"Actually, no. I was abandoned when I was about 4 or 5 years old. Then I bounced around from one foster family to another. I didn't stay very long with either of them, except for the last family I stayed with when I was 16. I think I lived with them for about a year"
"Why not longer than a year?" Ouranos asked gently.
"Well, everything was perfect at first. I loved my foster mom. But then she got a new husband, and he wasn't very nice to me..." Gaia said, while looking down on her food. Ouranos understood that this wasn't really something she was ready to talk about, and especially not with someone she just met.
"Let's talk about something else" he said in a more upbeat tone. "Are you dating anyone?"
Gaia was surprised by the sudden question. "Ehrm, no. My dating life is kind of non-existent. I've been too busy job hunting and looking for places to live. What about you? Are you dating anyone?"
"I've gone on a couple of dates, but I haven't found the right woman for me yet" he paused. "Until, maybe now"
Gaia almost choked on a piece of food and started coughing. "Aren't you gay?" she blurted out.
Ouranos gave out a big laugh and replied: "No. What made you think that?"
Gaia was both confused and embarrassed. "Dina told me..."
"Well, it's not true. I don't know why she told you that, when she knows I'm attracted to women. Are you disappointed?"
"No..." Gaia said and blushed. "So this is a date?"
Ouranos nodded and they looked at each other in silence.
During the short walk, the fresh air cleared Gaia's mind a bit, and she started processing what had happened during the date. "Ouranos isn't gay and we really seem to like each other. I know I like him at least" she smiled and bit her lip. "But can we be roommates after this? We probably shouldn't" Gaia thought. "But this was just supposed to be a sleepover trial anyway. We can talk about this later"
Before she could think about it any further, they were back at the house and their libido took over once again.
Grim Reaper appeared, took Ouranos with him, and left a devastated Gaia all alone.
To be continued...