Penelope took another look at herself in the mirror, feeling strangely nervous about the way she looked. She knew that Erin wouldn't mind whatever she was wearing, had insisted that people attended the symphony in jeans and t-shirts these days, but she still didn't feel right by dressing too casually. She had dug through her entire wardrobe to find something that was both her style and a bit dressier than what she wore to work. Finally, she had settled on a silky black skirt, a maroon silk blouse that was just the tiniest bit tight and low cut enough to draw Erin's attention, and a face of makeup that was darker and had a little more sparkle than what she wore to work. Knowing that there was no changing now, not when Erin was due to arrive in ten minutes, Penelope turned from her reflection and chose a headband to set off her look, choosing something a little flashier than normal, but still elegant enough to fit in with the sort of people who ran in Erin's social circle.
Once that was in place, Penelope took one last turn around her apartment, making certain that it was marginally tidy for Erin. She had cleaned it thoroughly the entire week, and could only hope that the woman didn't mind the kitschy clutter of the place. Not for the first time, she thought about how different they were, and wondered if Fate had truly known what it was doing when it decreed that they should share a song. Trying to clear the nervous thoughts from her mind, Penelope straightened a stack of magazines on her coffee table before taking a seat and waiting for Erin. She didn't want to scroll through her phone, since that would just make her all the more nervous, she knew, so she instead focused inward, trying to center herself using the meditation techniques she had been taught in therapy. That inner peace lasted until her buzzer went off, and she knew that Erin had arrived at last. Rising to her feet, Penelope made certain to take measured steps so as not to make herself breathless before the right time, and pressed the button. "Erin?"
"Yes. Would you let me in?"
Penelope nodded as she pressed the correct button, allowing Erin to enter her building. It took a few more minutes for her to reach the apartment, and then a firm knock caught her attention. She smoothed her skirt and then reached for the knob, opening the door with what she hoped was a sweet smile. "Good evening…" she started, only to have her voice trail off as she took a good look at Erin. The woman was in a teal brocade dress with abstract splashes of color, reminding her distinctly of a Monet painting. The dress was an off the shoulder style, which just served to draw Penelope's eyes to her breasts, and she made a little mewling sound as she dragged her gaze away from Erin's chest to travel down her body to see that the woman was wearing matching teal stilettos.
"I said that I was going to be wearing something a little out of the ordinary, Penny."
"I was picturing something much different," she replied as she took the overnight bag from Erin's hands and set it on her coffee table before picking up her purse and licking her lips nervously. "Now I feel decidedly underdressed."
"You look beautiful and elegant. And yet you've still retained your sparkle with the headband you've chosen to wear. Now, I hate to rush you, but our reservation is in twenty minutes, and the traffic is not the best tonight."
"I'm ready to head out." She smiled before pressing a ghost of a kiss against Erin's cheek, not wanting to transfer any lipstick onto her face. Erin smiled back as she took hold of Penelope's hand and guided her out of the apartment. Once the door was locked, they made their way over to the elevator, and her smile grew a little when Erin possessively hooked her arm around her waist and pulled her close enough that she could smell the woman's perfume with every breath. "What are you wearing?" she finally blurted out, listening to Erin chuckle.
"Caroline Herrara's Good Girl."
"Somehow, I knew that would be your reaction. I hate to bring this up, but David also loved when I wore this perfume. I have my favorite scents, so I hope that you don't mind if I don't change just because of our new relationship."
"I don't think that I could ask you to change that, Erin. Especially when it makes you smell so delicious." Penelope rested her head on Erin's bare shoulder, breathing in a little more deeply as the elevator went down to the ground floor. As the doors slipped open, Erin once more took hold of her hand, leading Penelope over to her car, and she climbed into the passenger seat and turned on her side a little in order to watch as Erin drove. There was something so relaxing about watching her, listening to their song drop from her lips. Penelope couldn't help but join in as the drive continued, and she relaxed further back into her seat as she tried to not think about the fact that by the end of the evening, Erin and she would be sharing a bed.
"We're here, Penny."
Shaking her head, she looked up to see that they were indeed at a restaurant. It was much finer than she had been expecting, and once again, she felt underdressed, wondering if she would ever fit into Erin's world. "I don't think I've ever eaten here," she said breezily, trying to cover up how gauche she was feeling by sound as nonchalant as possible.
"I haven't been here in years. I just wanted to share something memorable for our first serious date." There was a slight blush in Erin's cheeks, and Penelope let out a deep sigh as she nodded, knowing then that Erin really was trying to make a good impression on her.
"You do know that I could very quickly grow accustomed to being pampered, and would come to expect that in our relationship."
Erin giggled as they got out of the car. Penelope wasn't surprised when Erin took hold of her hand once more, as that seemed to be their thing, and she didn't begrudge her that at all. There was something comforting about knowing that her soulmate wanted close contact with her. Not everyone expressed affection like that, she knew, and she was glad to find that she had a partner who desired that. "When we're together, I suppose that I can pamper and indulge you. As long as you reciprocate. Alan and David weren't ones for soft physical affection, like this," Erin said as she squeezed Penelope's hand. "And this is what I want. I want comfortable and passionate and you."
The way that Erin spoke that last word sent a thrill of desire through Penelope, and she nodded as she squeezed Erin's hand in return. Finally, they reached the door, and Penelope drew in a deep breath as they entered, knowing that she would have to use her best manners, hoping that she wouldn't embarrass Erin too badly, wanting this night to be as perfect as she could possibly make it for her soulmate.