I sat at the stained and nicked diner table waiting. I was nervous. Who wouldn’t be? I mean, anyone would be nervous before a blind date, right? I opened my cell phone and checked the time again, 6:49. I still had time to leave. All I needed to do was get up and walk out the door. So, why was my ass still in my chair? I’ll tell you why. I hadn’t had a date in forever. At least it seemed like forever. No hand to hold, no lips to kiss, no arms to pull me into an embrace, no naked, masculine body to…well, you get the picture. I have to interject at this point and tell you, I’m not a believer in blind dates. So, you may ask, why am I here? I would like to refer you to the previous paragraph. Also, a good friend of mine used every trick in the “friend” book to get me to agree. “I really think you guys would hit it off, you know, fit together good”, she told me. So, what kind of guy would fit good with me, you ask? Sorry, can’t tell you. I asked her myself and she wouldn’t say. It makes me wonder what her idea of a “guy that would fit good with me” might be. I’m not sure her idea and mine would coincide. I looked around the diner. What if he was already here, sitting at another table, checking me out? Most of the diner was filled with families or couples. I only saw two men sitting at tables alone. One was an elderly gentleman, surely not someone my friend would set me up with, and the other appeared to be a redneck truckdriver, again, surely not someone my friend would set me up with. I was relieved that neither of them appeared to have a trenchcoat on or near their person, as my friend told me, “He’ll be wearing a trenchoat and a hat, you know, like those old time detectives”. Great, a geek. I checked the time on my cell phone again, 6:57. Last chance. He wasn’t here yet. I still had time to run. I had just about talked myself into it when I heard the bell ring as the door was opened. I looked up to see a tall, well-proportioned man in a trenchcoat and hat. His eyes scanned the diner until they found me, the only woman sitting at a table alone. He smiled and headed my way. My heart started pounding in my chest. Aside from the corny outfit, he wasn’t bad looking. Dark hair, dark eyes and a beautiful smile made their way to my table and sat down across from me. ”You’re Lois, right?” he asked, charming me with his smile and holding his hand out. ”Yes”, I smiled back, “and you must be…Gadge, right?” ”Actually, it’s Gadget, Inspector Gadget. But you can call me Gadge.” ”Ummm…..ok, Gadge” I answered, thinking Gadget was just too strange a name to use. I reached out and grabbed his hand. I started to shake it…only to find it had came loose from his arm! Shocked, I tried to let go but it had a firm grip on me. It was at this point that I started to freak out. I screamed and shook my hand only to find that his detached hand was not about to let go of me. It held fast, the coiled spring linking it to his arm swinging wildly as I shook my hand, sending utensils and condiments flying every which way. We were causing quite a spectacle among the other diners. ”Whoa! Hang on. Be still. I can fix this”, Gadge said as he tried to catch the clutching hands with his other one. Shocked, I stopped and looked at him, noticing his calm approach to the incident. ”Is this some sort of practical joke?” I asked as he grabbed his wayward hand and unfastened it from mine. ”Umm…unfortunately, no”, he replied as he shoved his hand back up into the sleeve of his trenchcoat, twisting it back and forth until it “clicked”. He glanced at me sheepishly, “Sorry about that. I have more accidents when I’m nervous.” ”Your hand popping off was an accident? What next? Your head falls into your plate?” I asked. ”Oh no, nothing like that. My head doesn’t come off, just everything else”, he chuckled. I continued to stare at him as if his head actually had come off. ”I guess I should explain. It’s obvious that your friend didn’t tell you anything about me.” ”Yeah, obviously.” Gadge sighed and sat back in his chair. ”Is everythang ok here?” the saggy-skinned, overly made-up waitress asked as she picked up the salt and pepper shakers and set them back on the table. Gadge and I looked at each other, both of us not knowing what to say. ”Yeah, everything’s fine”, I said. ”Ya’ll ready to order somethin’?” she asked. ”Uh…not right now, thank you”, I replied. ”Maybe somethin’ to drank?” she persisted. I sighed. “Sure. I’ll have a diet soda.” I looked over at Gadge. ”I’ll have a chocolate milkshake, please”, he grinned. The waitress looked up from her order pad and grinned back at Gadge. “Sure thang, sweetie. I’ll have that right out.” She turned and left us alone again. I sat there staring at Gadge. What had I gotten myself into? What was my friend thinking when she set me up? Had I done something to piss her off? Why, oh why, hadn’t I left when I had the chance? ”I really do wish your friend would have told you a little more about me. I was hoping she would have prepared you.” he said. ”Prepared me for what? What exactly is wrong with you?” I asked. ”I’m a cyber-enhanced human. A clinical trial. I have been surgically altered in several different ways to be a stronger, more flexible, faster, superior police officer.” He paused a moment, letting the information sink in. “I’m still human, just with a lot of upgrades”, he smiled that winning smile at me again. ”So…that hand thing…that’s supposed to happen?” I asked. ”Yeah. Well, not like that, of course, but it’s supposed to detach like that. Actually, not quite like that. It’s supposed to shoot out and hit the bad guy, take him by surprise, you know.” ”Do you have any other parts that detach themselves?” I asked. ”Actually, both arms and legs can be removed, but only by my mechanic, in case something goes wrong with one of my gadgets. I’m still working out some of the bugs so I keep him pretty busy,” he chuckled. The waitress was back with my diet soda and Gadge’s milkshake. I was feeling envious and almost sent the soda back and ordered a milkshake of my own. I refrained. Gadge must have noticed my look of longing. “Care for a taste?” he asked, sliding his glass towards me. ”It looks wonderful…but I really shouldn’t. I’ll stick to my diet soda. Thank you, though.” ”Aww, one sip won’t hurt, will it? Besides, if you’re worried about calories, you shouldn’t. You look great.” Gadge had just elevated himself several levels in my opinion of him. Maybe a cyber guy wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I smiled, “Ok, just a sip.” He slid his glass the rest of the way over and I sucked the sweet, chocolately goodness from the straw. It was delicious. I closed my eyes and savored the taste on my tongue. ”Mmmm…that’s awesome. Thank you.” I opened my eyes to find Gadge no longer across from me but sitting by my side. ”I’ll share it with you. You know you want more than just one sip”, he grinned, unwrapping another straw and sticking it into the shake. I smiled back at him. His smile was infectious. He really was a nice looking guy. Sweet too, in a sort of clumsy way. ”So, why…how….did you end up getting all this done to you?” I asked. ”Well, it wasn’t exactly my choice. I was at the wrong place at the wrong time and got blown to smithereens. I lost my arms and legs and almost died. To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have minded dying at that point. I got offered a chance to be part of an experimental program though, that would give me back my arms and legs and let me be a police officer again. For me, there was no choice. I agreed.” Gadge took another sip of the milkshake while I sat there staring at him, thinking about all he must have gone through. ”It took a while, but they fixed me up pretty good, don’t you think? I mean, accidents aside”, he chuckled. I nodded my head in agreement and bent forward to take another sip of the milkshake. Gadge had the same idea and our heads bumped as our lips grasped our straws. We both pulled back and laughed. ”I’m sorry, did I hurt your head?” he asked, reaching out to touch my forehead. ”No, I’m fine, really”, I replied, studying his face as his fingers, surprisingly warm, brushed my skin. “Your fingers are warm” I blurted out. He laughed. “Yeah, surprised me too, to tell the truth. It’s a good thing though, cause I would dread taking a piss in the winter if they weren’t heated.” I laughed as well. It also answered another question I had been afraid to ask. I was glad to find out not all of his “parts” were detachable. The evening got more enjoyable with every passing minute. We ordered dinner and Gadge talked about his life, his job and his philosophies, captivating me with his intelligence and sense of humor. Time flew and it surprised us both to find the diner getting ready to close. We left and walked to a park nearby where he showed me how some of his “gadgets” worked. They didn’t all perform the way he intended them to, but he just laughed along with me when something went wrong. ”You have a wonderful laugh”, he said, after a particularly funny mishap. ”Thank you”, I said, looking down at the picnic table where I was sitting, feeling the heat rise to my face. Gadge came and sat down next to me, grabbing my hand. It didn’t pop off this time. ”Did I embarrass you?” he asked, nudging me with his elbow. ”Well, I’m not used to compliments from handsome men”, I replied, “I don’t really know how to respond to them.” ”Ah, so you think I’m handsome. Cool.” ”Like you weren’t aware of that already”, I said. ”You’re right. I knew you thought I was handsome…hot…sexy. You want me, I can tell.” ”Oh my god, you are so full of yourself”, I sputtered, turning to look at him. ” I can’t believe I…” I stopped as I saw the big grin on his face. “You ass” I chuckled when I realized he was teasing me. ”I’m sorry”, he laughed. “What I meant to say was that I want you, can’t you tell?” Adrenaline shot through my system and my heart felt like it had stopped. I looked at Gadge’s eyes to see if he was teasing me again and saw the seriousness of his words. I just sat there and stared, too shocked to say anything. Gadge stared back and must have seen something he wanted to see, because he moved closer and lowered his head to mine, our lips touching in a beautiful kiss. I didn’t want that kiss to end and Gadge, sensing that, pulled back only long enough to inhale before once again pressing his lips to mine. His arms reached around me, pulling me closer and I followed his lead, embracing him back. We sat there for what seemed like forever, kissing, touching, feeling. Gadge finally pulled away, breathing hard. ”Please, don’t stop”, I begged, breathing hard myself. ”We can’t just keep making out here in the park” he laughed, kissing my head. ”Then let’s go somewhere else”, I replied. ”Are you sure?” he asked. ”Absolutely”, I said. “I’m not ready for this night to end.” ”Ok, let’s go back to my place then”, Gadge said, pulling me to my feet and putting an arm around my waist as we walked back the way we came. “I have a few more “gadget’s” I’d like to show you.” I giggled as he pulled me into his embrace once again and kissed me. Maybe blind dates weren’t all bad.
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