Le Petit Chateau

Chapter 4

Zoro's deep baritone gently floats through my empty Café, "So, Sanji, will you consider being my boyfriend and going out with me tonight?" He looks hopeful and eager as he waits patiently for my response.

I never really thought much about dating again, not for real. Sure, I tried to meet a few people but no one really sparked my interest so I never thought too hard about it. But this man, Zoro, he fills my mind and makes me feel things I haven't felt in years. I should just take this chance, see where this can take us and hope that if it ends it won't hurt too bad, that if he finds someone younger I'll have to just take it in stride and let him go.

My heart is tired of being alone, it's time to let myself fall for someone else. I grasp his hand in mine and take a deep breath, "Alright Zoro, I'll be your boyfriend." I feel a slight blush burn my cheeks but my stomach flutters and my heart feels happy.

Zoro instantly looks elated, a large smile breaking out on his handsome face. He brings my hands up to his face and gently kisses the tops of my fingers sweetly. I smirk at him and bring his hands to my face and do the same. He looks embarrassed for a moment but then the large sweet smile is back on his face, lighting up the room.

I place our hands back down, fingers intertwined, "So, what time should I be ready and how are we going to get there?"

Zoro smirks, "Have you ever been on a motorcycle before?"

I'm instantly thrilled, "No I haven't had the chance, Luffy keeps saying he wants one but he's not that great at driving. Does that mean you have one?" I eagerly wait for his response as he just smiles at me, scanning over my face.

Zoro reaches with his other hand across the table and brushes back a stray lock of hair that escaped my hair tie. His fingertips gently glide across my temple and behind my ear as he tucks in the lock. My eyes slip closed at the warmth in just his fingers and pleasant feeling at being touched so tenderly.

He moves his fingers slowly down my jaw line and stops with his index finger under my chin and his thumb gently rubbing my jaw, "You really are gorgeous, Sanji." I slowly open my eyes and can only manage to stare dreamily at him. He chuckles a bit before putting his hand back down, it's then I can finally regain some clarity and scoff at him.

I tap his leg with my foot in protest, "Thanks for the compliment Zoro, but I was in the middle of asking a question. There will be plenty of time to ogle me tonight Sir." I whip my head to the side in mock snootiness.

Zoro lets out a loud belly laugh, wiping the tears away from his eye, "Oh, sorry Sanji, it's just I've been wanting to be close to you for a while now so I got distracted. I promise I'll try to control myself."

He offers me another large smile and snap his hand back up and wait for him to answer my previous question.

Zoro gives my hand a small squeeze, "I do have a motorcycle as well as a spare helmet and driving leathers that should fit you just fine. So, if you're comfortable letting me drive you to the city I'd love to take you on my bike."

I close my eyes and imagine what it would be like, sitting on the back of a motorcycle, my arms wrapped snugly around Zoro's muscled torso, my chest and hips plastered up against his wide strong back. Feeling the wind and road pass by us quickly as we drive through the old roads. I definitely want to experience that!

I open my eyes and nod excitedly, "Heck yes I want to! It's going to be so much fun, I can't wait now. What time should I be ready do you think?"

Zoro leans back a bit, "Well since we're going to meet Luffy and some others down there we could just see when they are going and try to meet them around the same time if you want to."

"Hmmm, that's a great idea!" Just as I get up to talk to Luffy a group of customers come in, people from the city I assume by the way they gawk at my store and snap pictures of the cafés interior.

Zoro gets up and touches my arm, "Hey, I better let you get back to it. Just text me what you find out and I'll be here whenever you want me."

I look up to Zoro's handsome face, "Alright that sounds good, I'll text you soon." Zoro's gaze gently scans over my hair and face, he gives me a sweet smile and gently rubs my arm before nodding and heading out.

I feel a little dazed as I watch him walk out, greeting the group of ladies as he goes. Most of them giggle and start to whisper to each other as he walks out. I shake myself out of it and get back to work.

The moment the tourists leave I head back in and talk to Luffy about this evening.

"Hey Lu, so I've got some news," I grab Luffy and give him a big bear hug, lifting his slight frame up and spinning him around a couple times, "Zoro and I are dating now!"

Luffy lets out a loud celebratory noise and Usopp congratulates me as well, "Sanji I'm so happy! This is great!"

I put Luffy back down and Usopp heads out to bus the tables. "So, now that means that I can meet you at the club tonight, when were you and the rest going to be there?"

Luffy and I make plans for that evening, the group he was going with were planning on heading there around 8:00pm or 8:30pm, they plan on going to another club beforehand.

I text Zoro the info and he asks if we wanted to go sooner to just hang out first and that way I can have a chance to catch up with Brook. It sounds like a perfect idea so I ask him to come pick me up around 6:30pm. I text him to just come up when he gets here and I can show him around a bit before we head off.

It's 6:15 and my hair's still wet and I'm running through my upstairs apartment like a mad person. The Café closed early today but even so I was late getting ready for tonight. I have a towel wrapped haphazardly around my head and my tight black pants are pulled halfway up my thighs as I stumble back over to my dresser and rip the drawer open. I rifle through my shirts flinging rejects behind me to land on my bed.

I hold up one of my few favorite shirts, a light blue pinstriped button-down shirt, I scan it over and spot a small light stain on the front, "Ah shit…," Ace had bought me this one.

"Knock, knock?"

I hear Zoro's deep voice call out from my living room and jump. I stuff the shirt back into my drawer and work on hiking my pants up my quickly. Zoro peeks into my bedroom and sees me struggle with my pants and instantly blushes while laughing at the same time.

I scoff at him, "Oh shut up, you Marimo." I get them up finally and fasten them closed.

"Sorry, ha, I'll wait back in there then," Zoro turns around to head back into my tiny living room, but I call out to him.

"Hey, it's ok you can stay, I'm almost ready. Just got to find a shirt," I smile at him and take the towel off my hair, placing it on the top of my dresser, then get back to digging through my clothes.

Zoro shuffles in place a bit and then sits in my cozy arm chair in the corner that has my small personal book shelf next to it.

"How did you know that word by the way, Marimo?" Zoro asks as he sits down.

I run my fingers through my long hair to try to untangle it, "Well since you told me you're from Japan, I was looking into some Japanese things and found out about marimos. They are so cute, little green moss balls, they remind me of your hair!" I stick my tongue out at him and give him a wink. He laughs out loud and shakes his head at me.

I turn my attention back to my dresser and pull out a couple more shirts and inspect them a little closer, "Sorry I'm running so late by the way Zoro, I'm normally not late like this." I turn towards him to give him a smile but as soon as I do I freeze as I look at him. Zoro has picked up the picture frame that was sitting on top of the tiny book shelf, Zoro has a small sad smile on his face that pulls at something in my heart.

I slip the long-sleeved grey and black striped shirt over my head that I finally decided on and walk over to him. I stand in front of him and he looks up at me, "Sorry, I just saw it and wanted to take a look at it," He holds out the silver frame to me and I gently take it from him.

I look at it like I have so many times, the picture is of Ace and I, the both of us are smiling happily, faces squished together as we celebrate our first night as new Café owners. So many years have passed since that day, but sometimes, it feels like it was just yesterday.

I find myself suddenly sitting in Zoro's lap, one strong arm wrapped around my back, his other hand firmly cradling the back of my head, "I'm so sorry Sanji, I didn't mean to make you upset."

It's then I finally realize that I was crying, my face is wet and making his nice black shirt tear stained. I lean back a bit and set the picture back in its place then nuzzle back into the crook of Zoro's neck and wrap my arms around his shoulders, relaxing and getting myself to calm down.

I speak again after a few moments, "It's not your fault Zoro, I don't know what came over me. Sorry you had to see that."

I wipe my eyes off on my sleeve and make to get up but Zoro tightens his grip on me, stopping me, "You have nothing to be sorry for Sanji, I've lost people I love too, I understand. Sometimes you will just be having a normal day and then a passing thought or certain smell can just trigger memories. It's good to let it out Sanji. So please, don't be embarrassed or anything." Zoro brings his palm up to my face and lays it against my cheek, I close my eyes and snuggle into his palm, "Honestly, it happened to me just the other day too."

I feel much more reassured and less embarrassed with Zoro's encouragement. I open my eyes and look at his sweet, gentle face. I look into his eye and see nothing but kindness and care in it, I place my hands on either side of his face, running my thumbs along the tops of his high cheekbones.

The air changes, feels thicker and charged, my heart beats loudly in my ears and my breath comes a little quicker. Zoro looks like he's feeling the same.

The moment is slightly lightened when he speaks, "May I kiss you Sanji, please tell me no if it's too fast, I'll understand." He sounds breathless when he asks, his voice coming out as a whisper, made loud by the silence in the room.

I want to kiss him, bad. All I can think about is the lonely nights, cold in my bed. Afraid to fall asleep sometimes because of how silent it is in here. No one else breathing, no one else laughing or talking. Just me, alone, up here.

I want to kiss him, so I do.

I lean in first and he meets me half way, his lips are soft and warm, they light a fire in me that went out the day I lost Ace. The kiss starts off sweet, tender and pure. The meeting and parting of lips, a gentle pressure that soon changes to longer lingering kisses.

Kissing Zoro proves to be exhilarating, even, intoxicating. My mind is clear of all the loneliness that's settled in my heart, the sadness that I've grown so used to that I stopped realizing it was even there, weighing me down for years.

My fingers weave into his soft hair and I gently grip onto the locks of green, I move my legs to straddle his, settling on his lap more comfortably. He moves with me, one hand moving to my hip and the other tenderly grasping the back of my neck, his fingers threading through my drying, golden hair.

Our kisses turn further and further away from pure and innocent, I'm not sure who started it but suddenly my tongue is brushing against his and I whimper at the feeling. I grow hungrier for more, it's been so long since I've kissed someone or even gotten this close to another person like this.

My body moves on its own and I feel myself grind down gently on his lap feeling his hardness press against my inner thigh, he gasps, suddenly grips my hip tightly stopping my movements and pulling away from my lips, "Whoa hey, hey, Sanji."

I snap out of the haze when he says my name, I look down and both of us are breathing heavy, his face is flushed. I instantly feel embarrassed with myself, we literally just started dating today and here we are making out in my bedroom like teenagers while I grind on his lap like a hormonal beast.

I cover my face with my hands, "Oh my god, Zoro, I'm so sorry."

He quickly and gently tugs my hands away and holds them, "Hey don't be sorry Sanji, it's ok, really. I just think we ought to slow back down here, take it a little bit at a time." He makes me look him in the eye and he smiles at me, "I don't regret kissing you like this, at all, I just want to take it slow and honestly, I think you need us to take it slow, hmmm?"

He's right, so very right. It's been so long since I've had contact with another person sexually that I really need to take it easy. I really like Zoro and clearly, we have very good chemistry. So, I want to take this at a good pace, give this relationship a good fighting chance.

I take a deep breath, "Ya your right, I didn't mean for it to get that heated." I smile down at him, "You are a very, very good kisser Zoro, but ya let's take a step back and try to take it slow."

I lean down and give him one more peck on the lips, I glance at the small clock on my wall and see it's already 6:45pm, "Oh snap, we are running way late now, let me finish my hair and then I'll be ready to go!" I slip off his lap, trying to discreetly cover the effect our make out session had on me and sprint to the bathroom.

We hurry downstairs once I'm finally ready, "Hey, is ok if I give you a tour once you drop me off back home later?"

Zoro glances down at me as we walk through the Café dining area, "Ya, of course, that's no problem at all, I am excited to see later though. I've never been in a Café or restaurant kitchen before. Just seen them on TV of course."

He smiles down at me and I bump his shoulder, "Well don't get your hopes up too much, it's pretty small compared to a real restaurant, ha!"

We get outside and I lock the doors behind me, once I turn around I see a beautiful black motorcycle with green detailing sitting along the curb with two helmets and jackets sitting on the seat. It looks like an obvious sport type, fast and wicked cool. I go over to it and run my hand along the shiny clean paint, "What kind is this? It looks awesome!"

Zoro's face breaks out in a grin, "This is a Kawasaki Ninja H2, it's a sports style so it can go pretty fast. I actually used to race but it's been years since I've done it." Zoro picks up a helmet that matches the bike, "I had to stop racing when I had my accident."

I watch as he reaches up and runs his fingers over his closed and scarred left eye, "I almost died that night, it was really touch and go. When I crashed, my bike broke up into bits and I landed on a few, I got impaled on one large piece, got quite the scar on my chest to show for it."

To think, Zoro could have died and we would never have had the chance to meet. Thinking about that makes me even happier that we did meet, that I took this chance to be with him. I grasp his hand and nuzzle on to his shoulder, "Well I'll have to see that scar later, but for now, I'm so happy you're here and alive."

Zoro nuzzles the top of my head with his face, "I'm very glad to be alive right now too Sanji, but I thought we were taking it slow, you already trying to my clothes off huh?"

I gasp and kick him in the shin, he roars out laughter and holds his shin in mock pain.

I strut over to the spare helmet and jacket, they are both a pure black. I slip the jacket on and fasten it, inside the helmet I find gloves stuffed inside and slip those on as well. Zoro follows suit a moment or so later.

He helps me put my helmet on and fasten it, then puts his on as well, "Make sure your phone, wallet and whatever else you have is secured so it won't fall out. If you need to, go ahead and put them in your jacket pockets, they zip closed." I pull my keys, phone and wallet out and stuff them in the jacket pockets and zip them closed.

Zoro gets on the bike and tells me to hop on, "Now, before we go, I'm going to give you some pointers on how to ride along with me. You need to keep your arms wrapped around me at all times, don't let go, but don't squeeze me to death either! When we go on turns I need you to move with me, lean into it like I do as we go, just don't lean too much, be sure to follow what I do. Other than that, it should be a leisurely ride, I'm a very safe driver."

I squeeze Zoro, "I trust you Zoro, I can't wait to see what this is like!"

The drive to the city is beautiful, the country pastures and fields barren and waiting to be sown whiz past us, the night sky growing dark and the large moon shining brightly over us make for a relaxing drive.

Being able to hold Zoro this closely and feel his warmth makes me very happy, and reminds me of earlier in the evening. My face flushes at the memory and I squirm, feeling heat start to pool in my gut. I take a deep breath and try to control myself. This isn't like me, I normally only feel these kind of urges a couple times a week tops, but this is insane. I want to take it slow so I really need to get a grip on myself!

It seems to take longer than I recall, but we eventually get there, we drive through the city streets, weaving our way through until we get to the small building in the downtown area where Le Violoncelle des os is. Zoro parks his motorcycle a ways up the road in a mostly full parking lot and we take off our gear, instead of leaving it on the bike like he did before he takes both helmets and jackets with us and we make our way down the road to the club hand in hand.