And Then I Met You – 8

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks

Warnings: None, Fluff

Chapter 8

Chris stood nervously on the front porch. He couldn’t remember the last time he felt this unsure of himself. Somehow in the space of three weeks Kayla had found a place in his heart. He smiled at the thought of their first meeting. She was feisty and stubborn and he loved that she didn’t back down even when she knew who he was. Especially when she knew who he was. He licked his lips and rang the doorbell.

Kayla answered the door and nearly took his breath away. Her hair hung down just past her shoulders in soft waves. He could now see hints of red woven together with the strands of brown. She was glowing and her green eyes seemed to light up even under the dim porch light. Her dress was just the right mix of modest and sexy, clinging to her curves in all the right places without appearing risqué.

They dined at a small Italian restaurant in a neighborhood close to Kayla’s house, away from the normal Hollywood hangouts. Kayla hastily drank her first glass of wine and seemed anxious. “Is everything okay?”

Kayla looked at him innocently and nodded “Mmmm hmmm.” She reached for her second glass of wine as soon as the waiter placed it on the table.

“Because I’m afraid at this rate I’m going to have to carry you out of here.” He pointed at her wine glass. “Which isn’t exactly how I imagined our first date.”

She set the glass down. “You know, not that I get hit on a lot, but I’ve always been able to shut guys down on the first attempt. But you, you’re persistent. You just kept asking. You wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

Chris gave her a lopsided grin. “Yeah, I kinda like how feisty and sarcastic you are. Another turn on.”

She rolled her eyes. “The point is, I don’t do this. Date I mean. I’m not sure I remember how to do it.” She fidgeted in her chair.

He nodded, knowing that she was nervous and uncomfortable. “I see. It’s not that hard. I say something charming, you laugh adoringly, like that. All night long until you’re so captivated with me you can’t resist me and say yes to another date.” He grinned like the cat that ate the canary.

The brown flecks in her eyes lit up. “That is so not going to happen. You might as well put that dream to rest right now. First of all, I read the magazines at work. I know all about the famous ‘Evans charm’. So you can throw all your tricks out the window and start fresh because it’s gonna take more than that to win me over.”

She continued a sassy tirade and Chris sighed happily with the knowledge that he had managed to unwittingly soften her up. Tonight was going to be just fine.

Chris realized that during dinner Kayla kept the conversation light and breezy and managed to maintain the focus on him. All he really learned about her was that she was originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, was an only child, had moved from Fresno to Los Angeles to live with her best friend Jessica after her husband died, she worked at UCLA medical center in the psychology department; she was getting her masters in psychology and wanted to become a therapist. Of course she steered the conversation towards you, idiot. Damn, she’s really good.

“Do you want dessert?” Chris asked hopefully.

“No thank you. That lasagna Bolognese was amazing.” Chris looked at her plate which was mostly clean. Even as nervous as she was she still ate, unlike the lettuce nibbling anorexic women who usually threw themselves at him. He liked that about her.

Still he tried. “Are you sure? Tiramisu? We can share.” His eyebrows raised in anticipation.

She narrowed her eyes at him. “What are you up to Evans?”

“Nothing.” He said innocently. “I’m just . . . I don’t want this to end.”

Eyeing him warily she let out a long, “Why?”

“I want to keep talking.” His hands wrapped around hers and his eyes danced. “I want to know everything about you. Right now.”

She gave him a smirk. “That’s not how it’s supposed to work. It’s called dating for a reason. So you gradually get to know each other. Like slowly unwrapping a present.”

“I knew it!” He playfully accused, pointing a finger at her. “You’re the one on Christmas morning that carefully opens the present one corner at a time right?”

“And I suppose you just rip right through the paper?” Tilting her head in reply.

“Damn right.” He puffed out his chest to defend his stance. They had a stare down then broke into a fit of laughter.

Chris admired her stubborn streak. “Remind me never to play chicken with you. I have a feeling I would lose every single time.”

“Damn right.” She said, echoing his words. Conceding to him she made a suggestion. “Why don’t we continue this somewhere else. That way the nice waiter doesn’t have to keep refilling my water.”

Chris signaled for the check and soon they were on their way, deciding to stroll on the Santa Monica pier. There was a chill in the air so Chris grabbed a jacket from the back seat for Kayla. He took her hand in his and they walked slowly, taking in the cool air and the faint light of the crescent moon. Chris delighted in pointing out the beauty of the night sky.

“So you want to know what makes Kayla Brooks tick?”

“Kayla Hope Kimberly Brady Brooks.” He corrected her.

She laughed at his silliness. “Alright, we’ll play twenty questions. You can start. Ask me anything. Then I get to ask you anything. ANYTHING.” She said it as a dare.

Chris looked somewhat apprehensive but agreed. “Okay, I have nothing to hide.”

“You sure about that?” A blush crept across his cheeks and Kayla grinned. “I’ll go easy on you since it’s our first date. Okay, first question?”

C: “When is your birthday?”

K: “January 6, 1987. I just turned 28.”

C: “Happy Birthday, sorry I missed it. Were you born in Texas?”

K: “Yes, born and raised in Corpus Christi.”

C:  “What about your mother and father?”

K:  “What about them? That counts as a question by the way.”

C: “I meant tell me about them.”

K: “You are familiar with the rules of twenty questions are you not?”


He bopped her on the nose. “Maybe we should play another game.”


“That’s not a question. You really don’t know how to play this game do you?” Kayla goaded. He reached for the soft space just below her ribcage and she howled with laughter.


“That’s not fair. I’m” *laughing* “very ticklish.”


He continued his assault this time on both sides, letting up just slightly so they wouldn’t make a scene. She crumpled into him in a fit of giggles.


K: “You are in deep trouble now.”

C: “Who says I’m ticklish?”

K: “It’s written all over your face.” She grinned with delight.


He looked concerned so he changed the subject.


C: “Where did you go to college? For you bachelors?”

K: “Texas A & M Corpus Christi. Bachelors in Psychology. That’s a freebie.” She grinned.

C: “Is that where you met Jessica?”

K: “No.”

C: “This is like pulling teeth. Where did you meet her?”

K: “Our husbands trained together.” Chris took a moment before asking the next question.

C: “What was your husband’s name?”

K: “Kyle. His name was Kyle James Brooks.”

C: “Are you okay to talk about him?”


Kayla nodded her head slightly. He noticed she stood straighter, as if bracing herself.


C: “How did you meet?”

K: “Corpus is a Navy town. He was in the Navy. The usual story; a guy and a girl meet in a bar.”

C: “So you were a Navy wife.”

K: “Is that a question?”

C: “You’re relentless.”

K: “You should see me when I play Pictionary.”

C: “How long were you married?”

K: “Three years.”

C: “What did he do in the Navy?”

K: “He was a pilot. He flew F-18s.” Kayla stopped walking.


Chris noticed and stopped, turning to look back. “Are you okay?”


K: “Yeah. My turn to ask questions.” They started walking again.

C: “I don’t think I got twenty.

K: “Close enough drama boy.”

C: “Alright, hit me grocery girl.”

K: “Grocery girl? Seriously?”

C: “That was my brother’s nickname. In all fairness you provoked me.”

K: “Birthday?

C: “Yes I have one.”


Kayla glared at him.


C: “Not so fun on the receiving end is it? June 13, 1981. I’m 33.”

K: “Where did you grow up?”

C: “Mostly in Sudbury, Massachusetts. I thought you said you read the magazines at work.”


Kayla laughed. “Oh how cute. You think I’m a fan. When I said ‘read’ I meant glance through not memorize everything about you.”


Chris looked hurt for a moment then realized that she really did agree to a date because she liked him and not ‘Chris Evans’. He liked being just a regular guy to her. He took a chance and reached for her hand. She slipped hers into his as if she was putting on a glove.


When the night air became too chilly they sat in his car, watching the swell of the waves barely visible in the faint moonlight. The talked about random topics, current events, philosophical ideas. Chris loved that Kayla was smart and funny and open to new ideas. She was still hesitant to talk about herself and Chris didn’t want to push too hard yet. She never talked about how Kyle again or how he died.


They watched the darkness begin to turn to dawn. Kayla suddenly jumped in her seat. “Oh shit. I have a class at 9:00 am.” Chris let out a disappointed sigh. One corner of her mouth turned up. “This went pretty well. If you ask nice I might say yes to a second date.”


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