Daisy had gone from having a simple conversation with Scott to finding out he had been teasing his brother all day about liking her and then this. Taking her hand and telling Chris to put a ring on it, pronto. She wanted to crawl into a hole. The problem was she was in line for a ride and there were no hiding places available. To make it worse, they were next in line to get in the boats.
Just her luck, the boats were loaded and she was seated with Chris and Scott was behind them. She wanted to snuggle against him and have him put his arm around her but that wasn’t possible. She said nothing during the ride and Chris had turned in his seat to talk to Scott several times. The day just seemed to be a cluster from the beginning.
As the ride was coming to an end, Daisy leaned over to Chris, “How about when we exit, I just go my way and you two go yours. When you’re ready to leave, just text me and tell me where to meet you. Or, I can just get a cab back to the hotel and you guys can stay here all night, I don’t mind.”
Scott leaned forward, he had apparently been listening, “Doll, the cost of a cab from here back to your hotel would be outrageous. We could probably get Disney VIP services to take you back, though. That is kind of what they are supposed to do anyway.”
Chris glared at his brother, “We had said this would be our last ride of the day and aren’t you getting hungry since we haven’t eaten all day?”
“Um, well, yeah, I could eat now that you mention it.”
Chris reached for her hand and led her outside and around the corner to an innocuous blue door. He gently pressed the buzzer and the nearby intercom crackled to life asking his name and the number of guests in his party. He pressed the intercom button and responded with, “Evans party of three.”
A moment later the door was opened and they were ushered in and told they could go up to the dining room via the grand staircase or the French elevator. They opted for the stairs. As they began their ascent, Daisy looked back at the woman who had opened the door for them. She could not help but feel as if the woman was judging her and her wardrobe. She took a minute and stopped, she remembered that she had put a folded sweater in her bag that morning. She quickly removed it and put it on, smoothing it out in the hopes it would step up her appearance some. She looked back at the woman at the base of the stairway and she gave an approving nod and turned around and walked off.
Daisy quickly ran up the steps to get catch up with Scott and Chris. As they reached the top step, she finally asked, “Where are we?”
He smiled and looked at her, “Welcome to Club 33, the most exclusive Disney dining facility. I was able to secure a reservation through some of our Disney connections. I can only dream of being a member here.”
She fiddled with her sweater and mumbled under her breath, “I feel underdressed and out of place.” She didn’t think that anyone could hear her.
Chris leaned over and whispered, “Don’t worry, you look beautiful. Quit fidgeting.”
She turned to look at him and he gave her a devilish smile and raised his eyebrows. Just then a hostess came by to take them to their table and Daisy could not help but stare at the exquisite décor. The restaurant was beautiful and she could understand how exclusive it must be since the seating was limited.
She wasn’t worried about being seen with Chris here. She had already noticed several recognizable faces and figured discretion was part of the arrangement. They were seated at a small table in a quiet area. The menu was presented and Daisy stared in full wonder. The menu had items on it that she had never heard of mixed with things you would see on the menu of any average restaurant but the prices were anything other than normal. She simultaneously wanted to go back to her little shop and little life and for this night to never end.
The waiter took their drink and dinner order and then they felt like they were relaxed enough to speak and try their hand at general conversation.
“Daisy, that is such a cute name. Where are you from?” Scott inquired and Chris shot him a stare. “What? I can’t ask questions about our new friend? Aren’t you just a meanie?”
“Be nice, Scott. That is all I ask,” Chris shot back, maintaining a stern look.
“My parents were, or should I say, are a little different. They loved the idea of the 60’s and hippies even though they were too young to realize what it was all about when they were living it. So, ‘flower power’ to them was ‘totally radical’ so they decided to name me after a flower. I would have a feeling if there were more kids we would have sounded like a damn greenhouse.”
Scott could not contain his laughter and Daisy just smiled at him. He was clutching his chest and was doubled over; however, Chris was more subdued. He was just observing and she was confused, to say the least. Despite the rocky beginning, she was finding that she was more comfortable, at the moment, with Scott.
“So, my parent are hippies or wannabees and own an orchard. I own a small store on Main Street in the downtown of a little bedroom community in the Midwest. Nothing special about our town, we are in the middle of nowhere but we have a little tourist traffic and our town only has 6,000 residents.”
Chris cleared his throat, “Wow, that is a tiny town. How far is the largest city from you?”
“About an hour away. But don’t freak out, we have a grocery store and pizza delivery. There’s a Walmart twenty minutes up the road. But if you want to go to the mall or go to the city for something special, you have a two-hour round trip that you need to plan for. So, I do most of my shopping on Amazon.”
Scott watched his brother carefully as he asked his next question, “So, you made this trip alone, is there no Mr. Daisy?”
She immediately felt her face flush and began to get nervous, “Um, no. I had a Michael…I mean, I had a boyfriend named Michael but we recently broke up.”
Scott took a sip of his drink and responded with, “Well obviously he’s an idiot, what the hell was his problem?”
“I was his problem,” she muttered, “The bridal boutique owner who doesn’t want to get married.”
Chris and Scott looked at one another and in unison said, “Bridal boutique?”
“Yeah, you know bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, invitations, and all that jazz. I like the idea of romance but have no desire to get married.”
“You are an odd duck, Daisy,” Scott said as he began laughing at his own joke.
Their dinners arrived and the conversation waned while they ate. Daisy was thankful for that; she did not want to discuss her personal life any further. She didn’t mind talking to Scott about it but she just kept getting a weird vibe from Chris. She couldn’t figure him out. One minute he was kind and sweet and the next he was cold and standoffish.
“I have no room for dessert but I feel like it would be sinful to leave without having some,” Scott declared while looking back and forth between Chris and Daisy. “Daisy, would you be willing to share one with me?”
She gave him a smile and replied, “Sure, Scott because I would really hate to see you cry if you didn’t get your dessert.”
Chris leaned forward, elbows on the table, “When we are finished with dinner is there anything else in the area that you want to experience before you go back home?”
“No, not really. I think this trip has already exceeded my expectations, not sure anything else could top it.”
“Ha!” Scott let out a laugh, “I am pretty sure you could come up with something, right?”
Daisy threw her napkin at him, hitting him right in the face. Her smile showed that she took the teasing and he noticed she was able to keep from flushing bright red. She gently pushed her chair back, “If you would excuse me, I need to find the powder room.”
As proper gentlemen, they both stood with her and waited for her to walk away before taking their seats. Scott watched his brother closely and gauged his reaction before finally asking, “What is it about her?”
Chris seemed genuinely confused by his question, “Huh? What do you mean?”
“You seem, I don’t know, smitten. Do you like her?”
“Hell, I don’t know, maybe…yeah, I guess.”
“Make up your mind because you are giving us all whiplash, man. One minute you act as if you are ready to kiss her and the next as if you want to push her away.”
“I like her because she is normal and maybe that is what scares me. She is sweet and doesn’t seem fake and she cried during the movie for heaven’s sake. Hollywood isn’t her thing and she doesn’t like crowds, she is an ordinary girl and I admit I am attracted to that.”
Scott waited for a minute and then leaned forward and chuckled, “You know she is probably a closet Chris Evans fan and has a shrine for you in her bedroom closet,” Scott noticed that Chris wasn’t laughing, “She’s behind me isn’t she?”
Daisy sat back down in her chair and without missing a beat, she responded, “For your information, the shrine had to be moved to the basement because the candles kept catching my clothes on fire,” she said with an infectious laugh.
“Shit, I’m sorry Daisy.”
She stopped him, putting her hand up, “Look, I get it, I’m an easy target because I’m just a hayseed from the Midwest,” she turned and looked at Chris, “I appreciate the fact that you came to Disneyland with me. I don’t remember last night, so I hope I didn’t make a fool of myself. I’m nothing special, just an ordinary girl but the clock is about to strike midnight and my carriage is going to turn back into a pumpkin.”
“What in the hell is a hayseed?” Scott asked.
Before she could say anything else, the waiter approached the table and delivered the check. Daisy offered to pay her portion but Chris told her this meal was on Disney. They stood to leave and Daisy asked if they would be terribly offended if she asked them to just take her back to the hotel. The excitement of the last two days had taken their toll on her and she was exhausted. She actually sat in the back of the car on the way back to the hotel and had to fight to keep her eyes open.
Chris announced their arrival at the hotel and told Daisy he would pull into a parking spot and then walk her to her room. He said he wanted to make sure she got to her room safely since he knew she was tired.
“Thank you and I don’t want to seem ungrateful but I don’t think it is a good idea for you to do that. If anyone were to see you, it could be in the tabloids and you don’t need that and neither do I. Maybe we should just say goodbye out here.”
There were no objections so Daisy got out of the car and Scott embraced her immediately. His hug was tight and she had to admit she didn’t really want to let go.
“Give me your phone while you say goodbye to that one,” he said motioning to his brother. “I want you to call or text me once in a while because I loved meeting you Daisy, you are just a doll.”
“Aw, thanks and I loved meeting you, too! Put my number in your phone and feel free to call me whenever. ” They hugged once more and then Daisy walked over to Chris. She kept her head down, unable to look up at him.