Meet me at Catherine's at 12 x
He had sent the text to Florence first thing on Sunday morning, hoping that it wouldn't clash with any plans she had for the day. He had received a reply not long after.
What are you up to, Jack Mooney? X
Wait and see… x
Jack had begun walking to Catherine's from the Shack, heading along the road that led to downtown Honoré. The sun was rising higher in the sky, beating down on him as he strode on. It warmed the depths of his soul, Jack realised, made him ache in a good way, feeling more relaxed with every step. Eventually, he arrived at Catherine's and to his surprise, JP and Rosie were already there dressed in their smartest clothes.
"Hi, sir," said JP.
"Hi JP, Rosie – how are you?" said Jack, hovering by their table. "Back from church?"
"What are you doing here?" JP asked.
"Don't ask me that, JP," replied Jack. "Because then I'll have to tell you."
JP looked confused but laughed all the same. Rosie waved at Jack as he headed towards the bar where Catherine was serving.
"Jack," smiled Catherine as he approached. "What can I get you?"
"Nothing yet, Catherine," said Jack. "I'm waiting for someone."
Just then, Dwayne approached the bar. "Sir, good to see you," he said, patting Jack on the back. "What brings you here?"
"I could ask you the same thing Dwayne," replied Jack.
"Are you getting the first round in?" Dwayne asked.
"Ah, no, not yet Dwayne. I'm waiting for –,"
"Sarge!" Dwayne exclaimed, looking over Jack's shoulder. His heartbeat started to thud as he saw Florence walk towards the bar. Both he and Dwayne stepped out onto the road to greet her.
"Hi Dwayne," she replied, then turned to Jack. "Sir," she said, the irony of it not lost on them both.
"I'll grab a table," said Dwayne and hurried off.
"Are we having lunch?" Florence asked.
"We can have lunch," nodded Jack. "But first, there's something I want to say."
Florence looked skeptical. "Okay," she laughed nervously.
Jack composed himself, trying to remember the words he had rehearsed in his head ever since he decided to invite Florence here. "I know things have changed for us recently. We've gone from partners to… well… partners, I suppose. And I meant what I said before, I'm in too deep, and this has always meant something to me. You…" he corrected himself. "Have always meant something to me. I don't just want to know you at midnight when we hide away under the cover of shadows and sneak around in the dark. I want to know you when the sun rises, when we go about our day and when the sun sets in the evening. I want to know what it feels like to hold your hand as we walk through the street and the taste of your lips when we say hello and not goodnight. I want you to know that I'm yours," said Jack, taking a deep breath. "I'll want you forever, Florence. I'll want you all my life."
Florence couldn't hide her smile. "I want that too," she whispered, taking his hands in hers. "I want to know what it feels like to kiss you with the sun beating down on us."
Jack licked his lips. "We could try now if you like?"
Florence wound her hands around Jack's neck as he pulled her in close by the waist. Their lips locked together, not caring who saw or what they had to say.
From afar, Jack heard Rosie say, "Er, JP. Is that –?"
Followed by JP saying, "Oh… my… god."
Followed by Dwayne exclaiming, "Why are the Chief and Sarge kissing?"
Jack heard the familiar sound of bottles clinking together. "Would either of you two like a drink?" Catherine asked as she passed by them, clearly not bothered by the sight of them kissing.
Jack and Florence both apart, their eyes still on each other. "Actually Catherine, can we get some coffee?" asked Florence, giving Jack a wink.
"Mine's a caramel latte," Jack said, over his shoulder. "Whatever that is." And returned to Florence's mouth.