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Mike settled into the car, and cast a glance over at Quinn. “Mentally ready? Does that mean you’ve already gotten the cold feet out of the way or that not your thing,” he asked, not completely sure it was beyond the bounds of whatever it was he and Quinn had. But it seemed natural that anyone would have doubts about so big a commitment, and Mike wasn’t judging if she did. “You seem calm about it all. Even today with your fiance canceling. I bet the wedding is a smooth operation.” Mike reassured quickly in case he had set Quinn thinking of doubts.
Mike looked out his window, trying to focus more on the passing buildings and streets and not the blonde next to him. Her small smile when she laughed at him or the purse of her lips as she focused on driving when some crazy Chicago driver tried to do something stupid. It was only a job. Mike shivered unexpectedly even with the heat blowing on him. “Guess I can’t wait for warm weather either,” he said rubbing his arm self-consciously. “Thank you. For the ride and the afternoon.”
"I don’t think cold feet is something that’s going to happen with me." It was easier enough to answer, it was not giving away the reason behind the answer that was hard. There would be no cold feet because Quinn knew there was no other choice for her. Getting married was barely her decision, so there was no emotional attachment. Not much at least. There was still an excitement that bubbled around her while she was planning, but in a way that she was excited about the glitz and glamour of it than anything else. "There’s not reason to panic. This wedding is going to go without a hitch. I’m sure of it."
As they approached the bar, Quinn’s foot on the pedal lessened. Dropping Mike off meant the end of the afternoon and it had been one of the best afternoons she’d had in a very long time. “Don’t mention it. I should be thanking you for coming with me. So, thank you.” After pulling to the curb, Quinn turned off the SUV and turned towards Mike, offering him a small yet genuine smile. “This is you then.” Quinn paused and bit on her bottom lip. Not really knowing what else to say.
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The revelation that Quinn did as she pleased was not all that surprising, in the sense of people would seem to fall in line for the charismatic daughter of a powerful man. But Mike had seen little glimpses, indications that this might not be completely the case with the impending wedding. If this was a week spot, Mike needed to know. “You certainly have me in line,” Mike agreed easily as he checked the watch for the time. He didn’t need to go back to the bar but he wasn’t sure if Quinn knowing where he lived was a good thing. The force had put him in a different apartment while he was undercover so there wasn’t a risk of him being made exactly. All his neighbors thought he was a simple bartender. But it was still a display of trust, which could go either way. “As much as I’d love to take you up on the drive to the apartment, I really should check back in with the bar. Low man on the totem pole after all. Maybe next time you can see where my humble apartment is as long as you don’t judge.” Mike decided to play it safe.
Mike stuck close to Quinn on the street. The neighborhood by no means particularly unsafe, but it was Chicago at night. Mike’s cop instincts wouldn’t let him take any chances. His hand came naturally to the small of Quinn’s back as they walked and he scanned the area every now and then. “So with down do you have much left for the big day? I mean there are dance lessons, but otherwise I hope things are going smoothly for you,” Mike spoke as they reached her car to go. It was not the evening he had expected at all. Santana would probably complain that she didn’t get to spend her day drinking with a pretty girl. Wait, no. With a potential source of intel. Mike couldn’t afford to think of Quinn otherwise. It was to dangerous.
"Back to the bar it is, at least I know how to get there. Humble sounds nice, though. I would love to see where this humble bartender spends his nights." Mike’s hand felt warm on the small of her back and distracted her from what he was saying. Shaking her head, she concentrated on his words just as she stepped onto the curb on the other side of the street and nodded. Stopping for a moment, she searched for her keys and found them right away, unlocking her car with a beep. Two to open up his side of the car. "I’m probably as ready as I can be mentally, but I still have last minute things. Not much of a rush though, whatever’s done will be done."
Quinn waited to get into the warmth of her car before continuing the conversation anymore. The heat was already on blast before Mike climbed in and her pale hands were in front of the vents, an attempt to warm themselves up as much as they could before the drive back to the bar. “You’d figure I’d be more used to the cold, but I supposed you can never be too used to it. I mean who can honestly say they love the cold? I can’t wait for it to get warmer.” Quinn offered a small laugh before putting the car in drive and back tracking to where their afternoon together started.
Mike made a mental note to look further into the sister the more Quinn explained the situation, even as his stomach twisted a little. He had to remind himself that this was the mob and even if Quinn seemed like a good person, her father was orchestrating terrible things. Lots of people had been and would continue to get hurt and he needed to be brought down. “I can help with that. Although I’m sure with your grace you won’t need too much help for the wedding. Most of the time it’s the guy that needs to be taught how to lead for the first dance.”
Mike tried to reach out and stop Quinn from paying, giving the waiter a look but Quinn had already put the money down. Mike shook his head at her disapprovingly. “I thought we decided I was paying.” he said and stood holding out his hand for Quinn to take. “My mom will find out I’m sure and then it will be all your fault I’m a grown adult and getting a lecture on how to treat women.” He bumped their shoulders once they were standing and back on their way out to the car. “Thank you though. I was glad I could help a little.”
"Excellent." Quinn silently clapped her hands in front of her in an excited matter at his agreeing to dancing with and for her. Surely she shouldn’t have been as excited as she was, but it couldn’t have been helped. In her mind, she attempted to blame it on the alcohol, but she could feel that she was nowhere near as drunk as she was when first entering the diner. "I mean, any help I can get would be great." Quinn followed s Mike stood up, pushing out of the booth herself. "Did we decide that? I though you decided that. you’ve yet to learn, bartender. I do what I want. Always."
Quinn’s smile widened at his shoulder bump and she couldn’t help but look back at him as she waited for him to open the door for her. “I promise if I ever meet your mother, I won’t tell her about your atrocious behavior.” She stepped outside and pulled her jacket back up around her neck to keep her warm. “Am I taking you back to the bar or straight to your apartment?” Quinn asked, noticing how dark it was outside. She paused before crossing the street, not really in a big rush to be rid of the bartender.
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Mike nodded with a smile. He’d get so distracted and probably forget both his fake and real job. “That’s really cool of your parents to do that,” Mike said suddenly wondering if there were more holes to the background checks. If the Fabrays had an adopted someone he thought that would have been in the file. He’d have to check as soon as he got back to his apartment. On top of the fact that the whole thing didn’t seem like the picture of Russell Fabray that had been painted for them. “And it sounds like you got to grow up with someone always around to confide in. I was the shy kid, so I would have liked having that. I managed to usually fade into the background with things. A little less when I started putting myself out there with dance.” Mike shrugged.
Quinn’s gaze was penetrating and her excitement contagious. “Then it’s a plan. Sometime when you’re not busy, since I know things must be getting hectic for you.” Mike felt like he was walking a dangerous line. He needed to be careful as he got closer to Quinn. He already felt himself thinking about what he could do when they danced to make her smile, when he should have been more concerned with what she could tell him. For so many reasons. “I think switching it up might keep us a little fitter too.” Mike snagged a fry off Quinn’s plate once he’d finished with his own, his eyes wide and teasing. “I have to keep the physique.” He smoothed his hand down the front of his black shirt.
Quinn nodded at the fond memories that ran through her mind of Brittany. “Yeah, she’s my best friend. I tell her everything. Not a thing has happened in my life that she doesn’t know about.” Quinn smiled and listened to him talk about his childhood even though she was distracted by her own memories. There really wasn’t anyone else in the world she trusted more than her sister. “You seem like you would have been the shy kid, it’s even more reason for me to want to see you dance. Especially if it takes your out of hiding and brings you into your element. We can do it the next time I come to the bar, you could maybe even help me with some slow dancing for the wedding.”
Quinn shrugged, it was the first time she acknowledged the wedding since they left the bar and it somehow dampened the mood. When he brought her out of her train of thought, she offered him another smile and when the waiter came, she made for the check. It was the least she could do, Mike was so great to her all day. “Thank you, keep the change.” She told the waiter, then innocently whistled when he walked away from the table. “Thank you so much for coming, bartender. I really appreciate it.”
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