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A Jump
Despite her nerves, Liv actually felt better as they shook. Off and running, it seemed. And she hadn't died. Not yet. The fluttering seemed to die down at the women's taking charge.

In truth, Liv was now curious. Nika seemed to have shifted moods. Like she was planning something. It felt nice to have someone do that, to take charge. It surprised her too. She thought dinner was pretty easy. Just a walk over to a cafe or restaurant, biggest question being 'what do you feel like eating? Chinese? Indian?'

Liv felt more comfortable and it showed in her voice, as she laughed at her little joke. "Haha. I like games. Just not bocci ball. Or poker." Dumb joke of her own. She smiled sheepishly.

She looked at the door for a moment as she heard the ding of it opening as someone left. It wasn't dark yet, but by 6 it would be dusk. A date. She had a dinner date!

She couldn't help the grin on her face as she met Nika's eyes again. She couldn't believe it. It was a one time thing. She knew that. Nika would bore of her or whatever. Not like Liv could light up a room.

But it still was dinner with a cute girl. And that was something. "I'm looking forward to it." Her voice and the look in her eye said she meant it.

Even with the nerves, she was excited.
Liv's laugh visibly relaxed Nika and was joined in short order by her own.  It was nice to laugh with someone over dumb jokes. That was a good sign, right? Even if they only became friends. Either way it was positive but she found herself hoping they'd click. That was another weird feeling. It has been a long time since she'd last bombed the dating scene, especially after the drama that was Elysia Rossi. Italian women were nuts, plain and simple. Even the media, vultures, steered clear of that beautiful trauma. Funny she was now the face of Revlon-Beyonce. Nika nearly shuddered.

Anyway, Liv was a beauty of a different sort. Nika had no idea why she was so shy. The woman was magnificent! Her smile, smirky and fun, said she knew all the answers in the universe but didn't want to ruin it for anyone else. Nika knew Liv had brains from the massive biology books she studied in the corner on breaks…not that the stalking there was intentional.  It was her biggest turn-on.  Not in a gross way though.  Nika was all about intelligent women.  Liv had that in the bag. 

“I am looking forward to it too.”  She smiled again like a dork at her date. “Tick-tock. I need to go find a pumpkin.” You're impossible.  Like she's ever seen Cinderella.  Nika held up her wallet so Liv could taptag and exchange numbers. “Text me if you have any special requests? Violinists? Basket full of puppies?” A mischievous brow crept upward. “They're delicious.” Shut. Up.  Nika grinned. “One hour, patrons willing?” Promise? Please don't change your mind!  Nika looked genuinely eager.
Whatever nervousness she felt evaporated away at Nika's jokes. Well, that and Liv's own giggling. It was hard to be nervous when you laughed. She knew that was a survival mechanism, an action that put the other person at ease, releasing endorphins and calming them. Didn't make it any less special, though."Ewww! she laughed, playfully slapping her arm lightly. It was a funny thought.

Contacts exchanged, Liv felt excited. "I'll be here," she said with a smile. Wow. She couldn't believe it. She tried to tamp down the feeling. Don't get your hopes up. It helped a little. Still, there was a spring in her step as she went back behind the counter. Bjorn raised an eyebrow at her, smirk on his face. "Oh shut up," she said jokingly. embarrassed grin on her face.

She was curious, now.
Nika, unaware, beamed.  The idiot’s slow smile spread with an upward curl of her lips like a sunrise.  Liv had touched her.  That gesture, however small in appearance, was monumental in action for both women.

Nika was not accustomed to being touched.  Not like that; not at all.  Outwardly her general vibe and public persona repulsed all manner of physical contact.  She did not hug, there were no shoulder squeezes or pats on the back.  The most her teams had ever gotten was perhaps a high five or a handshake.  There were many reasons for the chasmic distance at which she kept people.  Secretly though, deep within the boxes upon boxes hidden away in her mind, all Nika wanted...was to be was touched.  Desperately.  To be touched and loved.  So naturally it made no sense to her to allow such an action if the gesture wasn’t genuine.  It made perfect sense to her in the confined of her guarded mind.  Perfect.

So the Universe had its fun with her and she was completely in the dark about what had just happened.  It was an innocent touch.  Nika grinned like a perfect idiot.  She laughed goofily, eyes full of mirth.  “I’ll see you in one hour.”  She turned and all but floated out the door with a ring of the old-fashioned bell.

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