Getting to the restaurant, Matt is happy to be out of the confines of the car and into the fresh cool air. The silence hadn’t been awkward, but you could definitely the tension with a knife, it was heating up fast in there, well for him anyways.
They take a seat that’s the furthers away from other people, it’s in the corner, the lights are low but not too low that they can’t see what’s in front of them and he’s glad for it because then he can see her, he can see how she glows and how her smile spreads when he can’t look away from her.
To their right is a wall of windows showing them the lights form the city they reflect onto the glass. Turning back, he watches as she takes her phone out unsure of what she’s doing.
“Yeah just doing something. Can you smile for a second?”
Even more confused now he does as she asks and her smiles at her and although she tells him too his smile is still genuine as he looks up at her. “Yeah that’s perfect. Hold.”
It’s not until he hears the click of her phone that he realises what she’s doing immediately he reaches over taking cover the lens with his hand.
“Sneaky, don’t even think about posting that.”
“I would never do such a thing. It’s you’re fault anyway.” She states as if he knows why.
“My fault how’s it my fault?”
“Well you just look so lovely sitting here with the city in the back and the fairy lights above us. Here look.”
Turning her phone around to face him he takes a second to look at the picture and sure enough she’s right. The city behind him is blurry but the lights illuminate him, and his smile is purely genuine.
Matt never thought of himself as someone who liked getting his picture taken but he did like Sylvie and if he had to admit he wouldn’t hate having her take his picture.
Maybe next time she would be in it?
“But if you want me to delete it, I will.” She shows him the delete button, her finger hovering just above it.
“No don’t, it’s okay I don’t mind, keep it.”
Time passes around the two of them as they sit, eat and chat and he couldn’t have been happier because it was just the two of them and nothing else mattered right now.
He already felt like he knew lots about her but tonight he could have stayed listening to her talk forever.
Getting to know her more, learning about her childhood, stories of her ruining around the farm. Funny stories from her and Emily on the rig and then some of her time living with both Cruz and Otis or ‘crotis’ as they put it. It had been awhile since he seen her laugh and smile at the memory of Otis, it felt good that they could share in his memory together.
What he was about to ask was something he knew that anyone didn't typically ask on a first date but he had to ask. "Can I ask you something? and you definitely don't have to answer if you really don't want too.”
Her eyes squint and her head titles to the side she takes a sip of her wine before responding.
"Matt of course, you can ask me anything."
All the nerves come back and he suddenly feels his palms are clammy. Sitting up straighter he clears his throat. "I noticed that you and Jay have been spending some time together lately, I definitely have no right to feel any type of way with whatever you say but was there something going on with the two of you?"
Taking a sip of beer he braces himself he's also unsure where the sudden confidence comes from but he knew he had to ask, it was something that had pegged his mind since he first saw the two of them together.
"Jay and I did go on a date, yes.”
So he was right they had gone out, all his energy was going into trying to keep his composure. His body was failing him, the pit that grew in his stomach getting stronger.
Swallowing hard he brings the beer to his lips, managing a tight answer. “I see.”
”Matt you have to understand I saw you differently, I never expected this.” She gestures between the two of them as she takes in their surroundings.
She definitely had a point and on some level he had been feeling the same too, his feelings for Sylvie came out of nowhere and hit him like a ton of bricks. Coming to terms and accepting it was harder than expected. “Of course, you’re right. I could have been more forthcoming in my feelings and actions.”
“I wasn’t lying when I said that I hated how I felt but that doesn’t mean I feel that way now. Yes I went on a date with Jay but I’m here right now with you and I’m having a great time. I want to be here Matt.”
He opens his mouth to speak, but he doesn’t know what to say, nothing comes out. She had an effect on him like no other and she someone could make him feel so sure of himself without her realising.
Meeting halfway on the table she places her palm open, an invitation for him, he doesn’t take longer than a second to respond. He takes her hand brining it to his lips leaving small kisses along her knuckles unable to break the grin off his face.
“I’m sorry if that wasn’t right for me to ask.”
“Matt it’s okay, I get it. I will always be honest with you, no matter what.” She squeezes his hand reassuring him, it’s a reminder that she’s here and she’s being honest he can’t fathom into words how much it all means to him. He’d never been with someone like this before, someone who vowed to be honest like the way she was being no matter what. He believed she would.
He knew she would so in return he wanted to do the same. “Then I promise the same, I, Matthew Casey will always be honest with you Sylvie Brett. No matter how uncomfortable, angry, upset or how much I don’t want too.”
“You’re pretty great you know that right?”
“Hardly but I do my best to try.”
“There’s no need. Trust me, can we share dessert now? My mouth is salivating thinking about the molten chocolate lava cake.”
The laugh came out. She had a way with words. “Of course gorgeous.”
If he thought she was excited to order dessert than she was much more excited when the waiter comes back with their plate. She says a thank you in away that makes the waiter laugh, him too.
He watches as she takes her fork with no care that he’s watching her, she cuts the cake in half and beams as the lava oozes out of the cake. Her joy is so contagious that he can’t help feeling the same.
By the time she notices him her cheeks are full. She’s too damn adorable.
She covers her mouth as she swallows a hint of a smile forming, looking back at him her eyes unknowingly beautiful and big. “What is it? Sorry I’m such a pig.”
“Quiet the opposite actually, that was beautiful.”
Her head tilts back and she’s laughing, a sound that he also thinks is beautiful. She laughs so much she’s ends up snorting. “Oh wow. That’s-You don’t need to butter me up.”
“I’m just telling it how it is.” She had no idea.
It seemed that it was a regular occurrence for the two of them to loose track of time. She made a joke saying it was there thing now and while he wanted to disagree and say he was a pretty punctual guy but he also liked the idea of the two of them having a thing now.
“Guess the rain must have picked up.” She’s right. The beginning of the date there was no signs of any rain but halfway through dinner it had started. It was pouring unbelievably hard now, he doesn’t want to but he wills himself to break their hold on each others hands.
He wants to fully concentrate on the road ahead, he didn’t want to worry her but he had to tell her what the situation was from his end.
“Yeah. I’m having a hard time seeing.”
“It’s okay Matt, I trust you. If you say it’s rough then pull over I don’t care what time we get home just as long we do in one piece. But if you think you’re okay then I believe in you. I trust your judgment always.”
Hearing her say that she believed in him helped him more than she knew. Her trust was important and its as if she knew he needed to hear it.
“I can still see so I’ll give it a few minutes. If it doesn’t let up by the time we get to the bridge then I’ll pull over, how that sound?”
“Sounds like a plan.”
It doesn’t let up.
In fact it gets so much worse.
Only driving 10 more minutes further down the road it had managed to pick up, even quicker. So he does as he says, he pulls over.
He tried his best to stop in a safe place, but it’s the side of the main road and he hasn’t got much of a choice.
“I don’t like this Sylvie. The rain is getting worse and we aren’t in a good spot.”
“I’m with CFD Captain Matthew Casey, I’m in perfectly safe hands.”
Captain. Oh god this was definitely not the time to be feeling those feelings.
He coughs clearing his throat and his mind. “While I appreciate your vote of confidence, this is serious.”
“I know Matt, I know. I am worried but I do feel safe with you. Maybe you should text Severide, just incase to let him know where we are.”
His eyes lock with hers, telling Severide meant that he would know they went out. “But..Are you sure?”
She turns fully facing him giving him a nod. “I’m sure, besides it’s Severide he won’t care about all that, just let him know you’re out with me and we are stuck just so someone knows where we are and if he we get into any kind of trouble Stella is with him and they can help. I don’t mind if they know.”
“Okay, I’ll let him know.”
“Since it seems like we’ll be hear for awhile. I want you too know that I had a wonderful time tonight, you are the perfect gentleman and even though we are stuck in the car in the pouring rain I still feel like the luckiest girl.”
He fishes texting just as she finishes what she has to say. His heart jumps, he doesn’t feel as if he deserves her compliments but it makes him feel good, good about himself. It had been awhile since a woman complimented him in this way. Sure he got different compliments every now and again but this was different.
Sylvie Brett had way of being able to take care of herself but also show him that she appreciated him.
She didn’t have to but she made him feel good about himself.
Everything in him wanted to say, to tell her he loved her. Obviously he had already told her this but he had made an executive decision to keep it to himself from now on until she was ready to hear it again. But my goodness did he want to so badly reach over and kiss her, kiss her till it hurt, kiss her until he saw stars.
To tell her he loved her so much and that she was everything he had been waiting for, but he couldn’t overwhelm her like that.
She pulls him out of his fantasy. “Sorry just lost in thoughts. You’re incredible I can’t help it.
“I think you might be loosing it.” She blushes as looks away from him hiding her face.
Ushering his hand forward he uses it to turn her head back to him. “No I’m not.” Making sure their eyes are locked he sighs, fighting all his instincts to kiss her. “Just know I’m doing everything I can to not kiss you right now, trust me Sylvie Brett, you are incredible.”
Gulping she keeps her eyes on him, it’s as if he can feel all the anticipation. “Matt..”
Inhale, exhale he thinks to himself, trying his hardest to hold onto the self control he’s got left. “But I won’t, not because I don’t want to, we’ve already established I want to but because I want you to be 100% on how you feel. I am. You aren’t, it would be wrong. This is enough for me.” Moving his hand he cups the side of her cheek, slowly caressing her with his thumb.
The white flash comes out of nowhere, it’s bright and pierces straight through his
He can’t move and he can’t seem to speak, he must be in shock his thinks. To him it feels like a slow motion movie, one minute he and Sylvie are looking longingly at each other with such love in his eyes.
The next Sylvie’s eyes are wind and unblinking, her hands gripping onto his like vice. He has no time to react, no awareness of their surroundings, just rain, thunder and the car visible around them. It’s happening and they both know there’s nothing they can do but wait for the impact.
He breathes in and out once last time, gripping onto her hands just as much as the car collides with the front of them.
Their bodies rattle and shake as they are thrown around, their heads rolling side to side, hit the side windows over and over again, thankful their seatbelts secure them.
The car roles upside down, an unnatural position, an uncomfortable way for their bodies to hang, It’s unclear how but by some weird twist their hands are still held together.
It’s takes a few seconds for the two of them to finally come too. All the fear and adrenaline catching up now.
“Sylvie.., Sylvie talk to me. Tell me you can hear me, squeeze my hand please. Anything.” He hears a cough first before words come out.
“I’m okay...I think.”
Letting out the breathe he was holding in hurts a lot more than he would have liked. “Good, listen to me. I’m getting you out of thi-.”
“No Matthew. We get out together. End of story.”
Any other time he might have fought with her on this, he might have argued it. Told her she was crazy if she thought he wouldn’t get her out first.
This time was different.
“Okay, okay. We get out together. I don’t see or hear anything outside, can you reach your phone.”
“Yes it’s in my pocket.”
“Okay good. Try and get it out for me and call 911.” She goes her best to do so and he makes every effort to not move his head too much or too fast.
“Sylvie sweetheart, you have to let go of my hand, I know this is scary. I’m right here you got this.” If he had it his way he would never let go, he would do all this for her. Also if that were true and he could have it his way then this wouldn’t have happened.
She let’s go nodding in understanding, slowly taking her phone out of her front pocket. Using Siri to make the call. “Hi...this is Sylvie...Sylvie Brett, I’m in an accident..car accident. It’s upside down, I don’t know how many cars I know one hit us, yes two of us in this car. Please hurry.”
Despite the fact that their lives are at stake she’s calm and collected, relaying everything she can to the operator. While she does so, he does his best to inspect the car, moving the best he can.
He smells for any gas leaks, looks for any sparks or smoke and does his best to smash the window.
It’s no use though.
He feels incredibly weak, he’s struggling, his vision is slowly blurring. The adrenaline is no longer masking his pain, he feels it everywhere, the pain. The unshakable pain running it’s course though his body.
The panic settles in once he notices Sylvie is no longer talking. He doesn’t care now, he turns his head and the last thing he see is her limp body, her phoned dropped with 911 still on the line.
He musters the last bit of strength to take her hand, hold it as tight as he can as his eyes close, the darkness engulfing him.