Saturday night had finally arrived. Morand thought Dixie looked amazing, as he nervously sat them down at the bar for a quick bite to eat. The venue "Gamer's Hideout" was an interesting place. While the decor was that of a broken down mechanic's shop, it was actually a very chic place.
"I'm so glad you asked me to come out with you tonight, I was getting a bit of cabin fever at my place," Dixie said. She brushed her hair off her shoulder and leaned in towards Morand for another bite of fine French cheese.
He blushed a bit and concentrated on his own plate, "I'm glad you said yes. And you look very pretty," he managed to get out, but wasn't able to quite meet her eyes.
When he first met her in rags and a t-shirt, he hadn't expected her to clean up so well. Her beauty alone was making him nervous.
After their meal, Morand ordered the two of them drinks. He didn't know about Dixie, but knew that a drink would certainly help to calm his nerves. What he didn't know was that Dixie was just as nervous as he was. It had been a long time since she'd been out with someone, and never with a Fire Chief before.
"Cheers! To a memorable evening!" Dixie laughed, the drink(s) doing their job to help the two relax around each other.
The conversation flowed between them. Morand learned that Dixie had moved to Harmony when she graduated school to get herself out of a bad relationship. She also wanted to be a teacher and loved kids and had been applying to the school that Cecil attends.
Morand was able to share with her that he had a son, including the story behind Cecil's mother. That it had been a mistake, but one that he didn't regret because it lead to an amazing kid. He was a bit afraid that him being a single father would scare her off, but it seemed to do just the opposite.
Unfortunately there wasn't a band playing there that night, but Dixie asked Morand to dance anyway. She was a sucker for music and loved to dance when she had the chance.
Morand couldn't stop smiling the whole time. Dixie made him feel so comfortable and normal. He was starting to feel something change in himself, a sense of being fulfilled. Of being whole.
Here was this amazingly beautiful and funny woman who seemed to feel the same way about him. It was at this moment that he felt like the luckiest guy in the world.
Before he realized what was happening...
... he kissed her. And it was beautiful.
Then reality hit and he was suddenly shocked and afraid that it might have been too soon for her. "Oh, I'm sorry! I shouldn't have done that, I mean, I should have asked you first, I'm sorry," he babbled on, apologetically.
"Morand," Dixie laughed, "calm down. It was okay. It was more than okay." She laughed at his shyness. He really didn't know how charming and attractive he was, did he?
"It is getting kind of late, however," Dixie said, "but I'd love to see you tomorrow if you're up for it?"
Morand's beaming smile was all the answer she needed.
"So, how do you feel about camping at the beach today?" Morand asked Cecil over breakfast the next morning.
"Yes! I can wear my new swimsuit!" he squealed, rushing off to his room to change.
Once they got to the public beach, Morand pulled Cecil aside, "So, I hope you don't mind, but I invited someone to join us. You remember that lady that moved in across the street from us? Her name is Dixie, and she's become a friend of mine and wanted to come with us."
"Sure, Dad," Cecil said, with a knowing smile, "I think that's great!"
Dixie showed up soon after, looking amazing as ever in her beachwear, and Morand made the introductions.
The trio hit it off instantly and wasted no time getting down to the fun. Dixie was certainly a natural with children and kept Cecil feeling like a part of the group and not as if he was a third wheel.
For most of the afternoon, it even appeared that she was having the most fun out of all of them. Constantly coming up with new activities and things to do to keep them all entertained. The waterslide was a definite win for all involved.
You'd think that she was a kid herself with how many times she'd gone down the slide, but with each time, the boys would laugh and join in. Morand was happier than he'd been since he could remember, just having Dixie around made their little unit seem whole for the first time.
The two got a moment to talk on the seesaw, and Dixie couldn't help but bring up Cecil and how hard it must have been for Morand to be left with such a large responsibility with no notice.
Morand had feelings of regret in not being able to spend as much time with Cecil as he would have liked because of the demands of his job. He knew, though, that he had an amazing son who has had to deal with a lot of his own abandonment issues regarding his mother.
Morand can't help but think about Cheri and how much pain she's caused his family, but can only hope that Dixie can see passed that.
As dusk drew near, the three sat around the fire pit roasting marshmellows and relaxed after a fun filled day. Morand relayed a few of his firefighting stories and Cecil told a couple of new jokes he'd heard at school. Dixie smiled the whole time.
For a moment it almost felt like a real family.
Title / INXS