He must have seen the spark of interest in her expression, and he smiled. “I trained as an engineer, though now working on race cars is my thing. European motorsports to be exact.”
“Sounds like you live an exciting life.”
“Exciting enough to want to find out more? I’d really like to see you again.”
“I just want to take a very beautiful, attractive young lady to a nice dinner. It doesn’t have to mean anything you don’t want it to.”
Maya bit on her bottom lip. “You make it sound so simple.”
And maybe it was, she added to herself, and not giving it any more thought, she smiled and told him yes, she’d go out to dinner with him.
Maya didn’t want to think she’d made a mistake, now that she was dressed and waiting at the restaurant he’d asked to meet. She was early, but only because she’d needed time to gather her composure before their date. She’d never dreamed a man like Alain would be in any way interested in her kind of woman. During college she’d ventured into a few interactions with not just white men but Asian as well. She had nothing against any kind of race, she just wanted them to share something in common at least.
And thankfully, that seemed to be the case with her and Alain. When she’d said he worked with cars it had seemed like the icing on the cake, and was one of the reasons she’d agreed to go on this date.
Maya might love her career in fashion, but she dreamed of doing something more. She’d always loved old cars. Her obsession didn’t lie so much with the engines, but with the style and interiors. She knew the hobby was an unusual one, and maybe that’s why she kept it secret from most people. Knowing that she just might find a kindred spirit in the handsome Alain, was an uplifting prospect. The chance of getting to have someone to talk with about her love of cars, made for great incentive to go out on her first date in weeks.
That, and the fact that Alain was hot as sin, of course. Maya would definitely brave the dating scene again for eye candy like him. She’d liked his calm, alpha nature, and the way he looked like nothing could budge him. Maya was sure that such a trait would be invaluable in the fast-paced world of motorsports, with all the love of speed, thrills and danger.
Maya got more and more excited as she waited. It would be great, she realized, to see Alain again. She was curious to see where this could lead. For the first time in a while, she was going out with someone she really found appealing. She was always getting set up by friends and family, and it never really went the way she would have liked. There was always something missing.
Tonight, Maya wasn’t really looking for more than a nice time. She wouldn’t let herself think of anything beyond that.
With this conclusion in mind, Maya was able to relax and be at her most natural when Alain arrived right on time. He looked pleased to find her waiting, and Maya cordially invited him to join her at the table. The place was upscale, cozy and off the beaten track enough to ensure the best kind of privacy. There was nothing more intimate, than a restaurant with enough elbow room and the sense of not having to worry about prying eyes.
Maya could imagine the contrast they afforded, with her being black and Alain white. But it didn’t seem like Alain had any problem at all with that, and seemed quite at ease to make it plain she was his date.
The charming man had brought flowers, which he handed to the beaming Maya. “Nice touch,” she commented. “Is this your way of setting the tone for this evening? Because it would seem you’re going for romance. I thought this was just dinner.”
“What can I say? I like making the extra effort,” Alain said, not perturbed in the least by her teasing. Good sign, Maya thought to herself in approval.
Over delicious food and excellent wine, their conversation was mellow yet fascinating. Maya wanted to know about his work with race cars, and he was happy to oblige her with stories of many of the events he’d been part of while based in Europe.
“After I graduated, I got a job at an engineering company but I hated it – so I decided I was only going to do the things I love,” Alain said. “The nuts and bolts, the burn and growl of the engine and just being a part of something that offers constant challenges, is beyond fulfilling.”
“Yet you must have decided it was time to slow down, and that’s why you’re on vacation. Have any big plans?” Maya asked with a smile over her wine glass as she took a sip.
“Not really. I do have to check out a few trade shows, but one thing I’m looking forward to, is maybe getting to restore an old car while I’m here.”