The dimly lit restaurant looked beautiful and perfect, like the way an imaginary tea party complete with dolls looked to a little girl. "I can't believe you took me here! It's so pretty," Jade smiled.
Cole took her hand. "This way, sweetie," and led her through the maze of tables and people to one set for two, romantic candlesticks and all. Jade wrapped her tiny hands around a wooden chair. "Here, I got it," Cole said, and pulled it out further. She sat, and he pushed the chair towards the table.
"Thank you. Soo.. Why did you reserve this for us? Did I miss something important?" she asked, unconfidently.
Cole fell back in his chair. "No," he laughed. Small curls had fallen into place on his forehead and he made to brush them back nervously, but was stopped. Jade's hand laid upon his own, her silver ring glittering on her thumb in the golden candlelight. She looked up at him, smiling, shadows dancing on her face. "I just wanted to do something special for you," he explained. She softened, his heart soared. Jade absently rubbed the Celtic engraving on her ring and Cole snatched her thumb, turning her hand over in his own as he continued to hold it. He bent his neck low and let his lips graze the tips of her fingers as he kissed her hand. A happy tear escaped her eye and slid down the apple of her cheek.
"Why are you so sweet to me?" she ventured. Cole smiled, staring her in the eyes. "You kidding? I love you, brat." He started studying the patchwork of the table cloth. "I love you, too, baby," he heard her softly reply.
After they were both finished, Cole paid. "You wanna get out of here now?" he proposed. Jade stretched and combed her fingers through her sleek hair. "Whatever you want, baby," she answered, yawning.
"Yeah, I'll be driving," he said, grinning mischieviously at her.
"Shaddup," she said, narrowing her eyes playfully. She stood up quickly, and bent her knees in a dancelike fashion. Cole raised an eyebrow. "I have to go to the bathroom." She skipped behind him. He glanced around, waiting patiently; his eyes locked with the restrooms in front of him. He turned to the right to see where she went, but she sneaked around the left, putting her arms around his shoulders. "Just kidding," she said as he turned back. she kissed him on the cheek, and stepped back, giving him room as he rose. He held his arm out in the door's direction. "Shall we, ma petite?"
She reached her hand up to his face and flicked his forehead. "Aw, okay, okay. I meant ma cherie," he said, laughing lightly. He wrapped his extended arm around her.
"Yeah, I know what you meant."
As they opened the back door, an icy breeze met them. "And I'm not short, Cole. You're just freakishly tall," she continued.
Cole slipped his free hand in his pocket, checking to see his small parcel still there. He stopped in his tracks and subtly slid his hand to her stomach. He turned her toward him, taking his hand from her stomach and lifting her chin up.
"Hey," she whispered prior to his kiss. He slid his fingers farther up her face, caressing her cheek. She pulled away and kissed his stubble-ridden chin. "Janie," he murmured. She looked up and his fingers moved on to her lips. "Don't ever leave me," he whispered, barely audible.
"Let's go!" someone whispered so only the entire empty parking lot could hear.
Jade heard the order cut through the chilled night and broke her tangled grasp from Cole, her body turning rigid, but thimble.
"Get out, Cole!" she screamed, punching a TAC soldier running at her in the neck. He clotheslined and went down in a heap dressed all in black.
Cole snatched her wrist, "Come with me!" he yelled urgently.
Hardy emerged from the alley behind the restaurant, her teal blue eyes glittering in the moonlight. She discreetly took a dart gun from her waist belt and shot clean the running figures that were Jade and Cole. They crashed to the pavement, already twitchingly asleep, with Cole's arms still protectively around Jade. They didn't move after that at all.
"Good work, boys. Splendid work!" she stepped back into the shadows. "Continue as planned," she added over her shoulder.