Starry Nights Bar
~ Dublin City Centre, Dublin ~
As was usually the case when the anniversary of his mother's death came along at the start of May, Benjamin had spent a couple of days feeling low. The evening of the day itself had been the hardest. With Aidan out on the diamond-exchange-gone-wrong job, Benjamin ended up having to distract himself. In the end, he'd abandoned his small apartment and crashed at Aidan's place until the man returned from his job in the middle of the night. Benjamin hung out with his guardian for the next couple of evenings before feeling up to returning to his own apartment. The apartment itself had done nothing wrong to Benjamin, it was simply the fact it could at times feel as hollow and confined as the one he'd lived in with his mother until her death. Despite that, Benjamin still couldn't accept Aidan's invitations for him to move back into the man's house with him. Benjamin valued his independence and he felt like the man had done more than enough to care for him, without being compensated for it.
One thing Benjamin finally did cave in to was Aidan's repeated offer to buy him a car. With the young man's birthday coming up in less than a month, he agreed to being given a car for his birthday. Even so, Benjamin promised to pay Aidan back when he could afford to, even if it took years. Despite refusing for so long, Benjamin was now feeling excited about getting his own car, especially as it would make it easier for him to travel around the country to photographic locations and campsites he hadn't had opportunity to see yet.
As this evening was dry and mild, Benjamin decided to walk to the bar rather than getting a taxi. Though he enjoyed walking and getting fresh air, he knew he'd appreciate having a car for getting to his dates and just being able to offer to drive Lorelei home once in a while. For now, he was just able to focus on getting himself to the fancy bar he'd picked out for them. He arrived a little early but went inside to check in with the hostess so she could prepare the table he'd reserved in advance. Knowing how popular the place was, he wanted to make sure Lorelei wouldn't have to stand crammed in with the crowd all night. Unless she didn't mind it, in which case, they at least had the option of choosing.
Benjamin was waiting in the lobby area when he saw Lorelei enter the club. His broad smile naturally reflected Lorelei's back at her and he waved in return. He remained on the spot as she signalled for him to wait there. That gave him a few extra seconds to process how amazing she looked. They'd been on a few dates recently, but he was still in awe each time they met. Whilst he had a lot of confidence in his appearance, he still had to question how lucky he was to have someone like Lorelei be interested in him when there were so many successful men in the city. Those brief thoughts were quickly pushed aside when the redhead reached him. "Hey there," he said, kissing her cheek in return. "You look stunning. I've said that on our date before, but it's true," he told her. Having seen her dressed more casually before, he knew she didn't need to make a special effort to dress up for him to be attracted to her. Still, he wanted her to know how good she looked tonight too.
Benjamin nodded in agreement when she pointed out how crowded the place was. "It's a great atmosphere, right?" he agreed with her. He placed his hand on her shoulder and leaned towards her so she could hear him over the background noise. "I reserved us a table near the front of the club. We don't have to stay sitting there, but at least we have the choice," he told her. No sooner had he spoken did the hostess approach them and lead then to the round table in the seating area of the bar. Benjamin chose to sit in the chair next to Lorelei, making it easier for them to have a conversation without having to raise their voices to hear.
"I've been good," Benjamin said, nodding his head. Despite being down at the start of the month, he'd picked himself back up and was now feeling upbeat again. "Aidan is good. He's getting me a car for my birthday... I finally gave in to him!" He then frowned slightly as he thought about his guardian and how he'd been working on something for Conor for the last week. "He's out on some big job tonight. I keep telling him it's time to retire but I don't think he'd know what to do with himself if he did." Whilst Aidan's job was typically driving and surveillance, Benjamin got the impression the man had been taking on more dangerous tasks over the last couple of years. Presumably it was since Benjamin had become more independent and wasn't reliant on him.
Benjamin lightly shook his head when Lorelei apologised for not calling. "That's okay, I understand. Just make sure you don't overdo it and keep taking a break," he reassured her. "How are the renovations going? I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks finished."
After a moment, he couldn't help but ask his next question. "How are your parents?" he asked. Although Conor, Aidan, and even Gwen, had been understanding the night he'd got them locked up after he hit another diner, he still hoped Lorelei's parents hadn't been harsh on her. "Have you heard from your uncle? I had this weird dream the other night, that he approached me during prison visiting with my Dad and warned me to stay away from you. Me being a bad influence and all that," he sheepishly admitted. He then shook his head and after a brief moment, he took hold of her hand. "There'll be no more drama from me. We're going to have fun tonight, Lorelei," he told her. "Speaking of which. What are you drinking?" he asked, realising he still needed to order their drinks at the bar.