Happy Birthday, Mrs. Lucas!

Manhattan - Elcairant - Rooftop

The rooftop dining area of Eclairant consists of two sections. The first is a glass solarium which allows diners to enjoy the view of the city, without fear of the elements or pigeons ruining their meal. The second is a row of tables meant for couples set out between the solarium and the carefully placed wrought-iron railing.

The decor up here is much the same as that inside, with one major exception — the tables and chairs are made of crafted wrought-iron, with Egyptian blue seat cushions and table cloths to give it that air of class. Soft lights twinkle from the railing, with glass candle holders on each table. A small, crystal chandelier hangs from the center of the solarium, but is always kept dim so diners can enjoy the night sky.


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Jenna Donovan Chance Harper Rhett Harper

There has been a reservation on the books for weeks, one that Jenna's both excited and a little apprehensive about. When she first saw the name, she went to Nichole to see if the party could be upgraded to the rooftop solarium. Since it's a Tuesday, it's honestly fairly empty up there, and there are no reservations for the rooftop until well after the theater lets out at nine.
Besides the upgrade, she's got a gift upstairs and waiting for Chance's abuela, even though she's never met the woman. Simply because it was her recipe that they used to make the pretzels, and she wanted to say thank you.
At the moment however, Jenna's just returning to the hostessing station after showing a cute couple to their table for their first date. She stopped at the bar to ask that a bottle of champagne be sent to them on the house, because they were both so nervous she figured that it would help calm their nerves. It'll come out of her pay, she knows, but she doesn't care. It's well worth it to see the smiles on their faces.

"Rhett, this is just too much!"
Chance exchanges a knowing grin with his grandfather as his grandmother looks around the lavish landing of Eclairant. She's been protesting since they walked in the front doors, but all of the men know that she's secretly pleased that such lengths have been gone through for her birthday.
"Nonsense, Flores. It's your day, and it's never too much," Rhett smiles charmingly at his mother-in-law, patting the hand that is tucked into his arm. "Let us spoil you."

She sees them, rather than recognizing the voices. Jenna has only met Chance's father once at the Shakespeare gala, so the voice isn't one she recalls easily. A smile is given to the party as they approach the hostessing stand, and she steps out from behind it to greet them.
"Mr. Harper, welcome to Eclairant. Your table is ready if you would all like to follow me?" A bright and dazzling smile is given to Rhett and the older couple before she turns to Chance and the smile becomes somewhat shyer.

Rhett blinks in surprise at the young woman greeting them from the hostess stand. "Miss Donovan." He's only met the girl once, but he recalls her. Mostly due to the fact that her name, and that of her best friend, became ones he began to hear a great deal around that time. "I wasn't aware that you worked here." A curious glance is given to his son, but nothing more is said.
"Evening, Jenna," Chance smiles at the empath and then rolls his eyes at his father. "You don't know where most of my friends work, Dad."
Rhett chuckles and nods, "Please, Miss Donovan, do lead."
"Que bonita!" Flores whispers to Rhett, glancing back at Chance and then launching into a flurry of half-whispered Spanish regarding the sweetness and politeness of Jenna and whether or not she's the girl Chance is talking about all the time.
Chance's ears turn a bit pink and he sighs, "Abuelita!"

"Good evening, Chance."
Jenna shoots another smile at Rhett. "I do hope it's not an awful surprise?" There's a light tease to her voice as she leads them toward the stairs, rather than through the restaurant. She does catch most of the conversation in Spanish, and blushes as she glances over at Chance. "We've taken the liberty of upgrading your table to make your dining experience more enjoyable."
Leading the way up the stairs, she holds open the door for them, revealing the empty rooftop solarium.

Chance figures his grandmother is three minutes away from asking Jenna if she's available to dine with them after her shift and suggest places for Chance to take her on a date, and he's therefore grateful that the empty solarium distracts the woman. He loves his Abuela dearly, but she does like to play matchmaker.
"Thank you, Miss Donovan," Rhett says sincerely with a warm smile. The girl is sweet and charming, and he can easily see why his son is sweet on her. Never mind that Chance will deny such a thing until he's blue in the face. "It wasn't necessary, but it is appreciated."
Upon reaching the table, Rhett holds out the chair for Flores, who has been distracted by the view and is not so focused on her grandson's love life. Chance brushes past Jenna, catching her hand briefly and squeezing it while mouthing, 'Thank you.'

The squeeze to her hand distracts her momentarily from her job. Blushing, she smiles at Chance and nods.
The menus are already upon the table, and she waits until everyone is seated before saying, "I will send Tracy up in a few moments to take your drink order. If you need anything else during your meal, please let Tracy know, and I will return." After all, she does still have a job that needs doing and while her shift is nearly over Jenna's planning on staying until the Harper party is done. Off the clock, but around if they have a request for anything that their waitress can't handle.
"Oh, and happy birthday, Mrs. Lucas. I do hope you all enjoy your meal and the view."

Flores brightens more, if that is at all possible by Jenna's well wishes. "Gracias. Thank you, thank you so much. You are such a wonderful, delightful young woman. Chance should have you over for dinner before we leave." Her gaze turns to her grandson, "Nieto, why do you not invite Senorita Donovan for dinner?"
Here it comes, Chance thinks, squirming a bit in his seat. He can feel that heat and pink to his ears. Thankfully, his grandfather swoops in to the rescue. "Flores, I'm sure Miss Donovan needs to get back to work, and Chance is too old to invite all his friends for dinner just so you can play twenty questions with them." He says the words with a fond smile, and a great deal of affection, holding onto his wife's hand.

Chance's grandparents are absolutely darling. Jenna wishes her own grandparents were this sweet and wonderful.
"I would love to come over for dinner, Mrs. Lucas, if it fits into everyone's schedule and Chance doesn't mind me imposing on family time. I have heard that you are a wonderful cook."
A shy glance is given to Chance, and she winks at him. "But please let me leave you all to enjoy your dinner, and Chance and I can discuss the invitation later, if he wishes to invite me." It is said as diplomatically as she can without trying to put Chance in a spot where he has to invite her.
She does stay long enough to fill the water glasses from the nearby icy decanter and smiles once more. "Tracy will be on her way before you know it." A slight dip of her head is given before she turns and walks away, heart beating rapidly in her chest.

When Jenna is out of earshot, Rhett waggles a finger at his mother-in-law. "Mami, you are a very bad woman."
"I did nothing wrong," Flores sniffs. "Chance likes her. He should bring her around. There is nothing wrong with bringing around the girl he likes. We don't bite."
"Yes, but you'll have him married off in a month if it's left up to you," Joshua argues lightly.
"She's sweet. She's pretty. She has a good work ethic, and think of los ninos! Such pretty blue eyes they'd have!"
Chance looks around the table and shakes his head with a groan, "Everyone does realize that I'm sitting right here, right?"
Conversation goes round and in the end, between courses and other topics, that do not involve Chance's dating life or his possible interest in Jenna, the sorcerer does make the decision that he will invite Jenna over to dinner. On his terms, at his own rate, not because his grandmother is doing a poor job of being a subtle matchmaker.
The manager stops by as well, checking on them, and charming his Abeula when he wishes her a happy birthday and many more in a flawless Cubano dialect and kisses her hand.
"I think that young man is lucky that you don't have any granddaughters," Chance's grandfather laughs when the manager departs.
The dishes are cleared, and they're looking over the dessert menus, satisfied and quite happy with the meal.

Jenna has been on stand-by during the meal. Any time something was being brought to the solarium, she checked it over. She sent up extra drinks if the courses were taking too long, and made sure that Tracy was doting on them without being overbearing. Once she's informed that dinner is over, she sets up the next bit of the surprise.
Replacing Tracy as their waitress, she slips back upstairs and sets the cake on a tray. She may not be a great chef in the kitchen, but she does know how to carry a tray thanks to helping out at her parent's parties during the summer in the Hamptons.
Jenna is fairly quiet as she returns, catching Chance's eye just once as she delivers the birthday cake. The handle of the knife set so that Mrs. Lucas can decide how the small little cake is cut. It's just big enough for a small group, and looks like a small pearl-colored gift-box with a colorful bow.
"Was everything to your satisfaction?"

"Everything was wonderful!" Flores gushes. "And you were a muneca! Que dulces."
"What my mother in law means to say is that you, and Tracy, were perfect hostesses and servers and we wanted for nothing," Rhett says with a familiar smile, familiar because it's the same smile that often graces Chance's face. "Thank you for making this evening perfect, Miss Donovan."
"Is this for me?" Flores asks, staring at the cake. She gives Jenna a warm, familial smile. "Thank you."

Blushing a little at the gushing, Jenna smiles. "You are welcome. I'm glad everything went well." Eclairant is definitely known for its service, and she's well aware that Rhett Harper is a repeat client. She wanted to ensure that everyone went above and beyond to make this night special for his family, and would have done so even if it weren't for the fact that she's crushing on Chance.
Laughing lightly at Mrs. Lucas, she nods. "Yes of course. It's your birthday, and you deserve something special that wasn't on the menu."

Chance has been watching Jenna each time she comes to the table. He's not obvious about it, but he does have his eye on the petite brunette. He smiles gratefully when she catches his eyes and is of half a mind to tell her boss to give her a raise, or at least a bonus for tonight's efforts. He's dined here before and knows that Eclairant prides itself on service, still Jenna has gone above and beyond in his opinion.
The sorcerer's thoughts are spinning. He doesn't think this was all to impress him - and Jenna doesn't have to impress him - but he's impressed anyway. He knows that his father and grandparents are, too.
"Abuelita, aren't you going to cut the cake?" Chance asks.
"Claro! I'm going to cut it." She gives Chance a look that speaks volumes about how she feels about Jenna and he pointedly ignores her. "Get a picture first, Josh. The cake and then with the lovely young lady who bought it."
Chance grins at Jenna. "Don't try to get out of it. Abuelita is a force of nature. It's easier to go along than fight the tide."

"Oh! Please allow me to take a picture of the four of you first? To commemorate your birthday here at Eclairant? It would be a shame if you didn't get a picture all together."
Smiling, Jenna reaches her hand out for the phone or camera they're planning on using to take a picture with. "And then I would be more than happy to take a picture with you, Mrs. Lucas."
Family needs to come first in these matters, after all.
After receiving the device, she waits for everyone to get into the same area, and then snaps a few pictures. They really do make a lovely family, and she can see how comfortable they all are together.

With the family pictures out of the way, Chance snags the camera from his father. Placing his hand to the small of Jenna's back, he nudges her over toward his grandmother. "Your turn, Donovan."
"You're such a pretty one," Flores remarks when Jenna joins her. A very motherly touch to Jenna's hair is given, straighten a few strands that have fallen out of place. "You remind me a bit of my Mary. Her hair was lighter, but her eyes were such a pretty blue like yours. She was so vivacious, just like you, too." There is a touch of sadness in the words, but mostly wistfulness and nostalgia and overwhelming amount of love for the woman of whom she speaks.
"I saw pictures from the Ball. Mary's necklace looked perfect on you, querida."
Chance clears his throat and waves the camera. "The photographer is getting camera arm here." He's the only one of his family that doesn't really remember his mother, and it's an awkward moment for him, though he knows his grandmother means no harm, and he can tell that no one is getting maudlin and sad about it.

"I'm moving, I'm moving," she teases Chance as she joins his grandmother.
The compliment, and the touch of sadness in the woman's voice cause Jenna to lean in and hug the woman. "That is the nicest, sweetest compliment anyone has ever given me, Mrs. Lucas. Thank you." The mention of the necklace has her suddenly turning to stare at Chance with wide-eyes and a slight blush to her face.
She knew it was a family heirloom, but she was so not aware that the necklace belonged to his mother. It meant a lot to her that he let her borrow it for the evening, and it means even more now.
"Then snap the picture already, Cowboy." Winking at him, she turns so that she's behind Mrs. Lucas' chair, and she leans in beside her for the picture, a bright and wide smile on her face.

"Cowboy?" Rhett lifts a brow and then chuckles. "Does she know about your junior rodeo days, Chance?"
Chance grimaces and takes a few shots. "Dad. Don't. Please." This is not the time or the place to talk about that. He's not exactly ashamed, but talking about junior rodeo is the same as pulling out his pee-wee football pictures or little league baseball awards.
His grandmother cuts the cake carefully. "I still have that picture from when you were what? Eleven? Twelve? You took first place in your age bronco riding that year and surprised everyone one." She smiles over at Jenna. "He was un pequenito then. We didn't want him in that event, but Chance is stubborn."
There is definitely more than a little bit of pink to the young sorcerer's ears.

"Junior rodeo days?" Jenna nibbles on her lower lip before grinning over at Chance. "I can totally see you doing that." She'd mention something about wanting to go riding with him, but figures at the moment it might come out all wrong.
Moving toward the side table, Jenna grabs the dessert plates and a small pot of coffee. The plates are set in front of Mrs. Lucas, and the pot is held up.
"Would anyone enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with their dessert?"

The cake is cut and served, coffee poured all around and Chance excuses himself to the rest room. It really is an excuse, mostly to catch Jenna alone and pull her off to the side, out of earshot and sight of his family.
"Thank you," Chance tells her, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "For arranging this. It's really great."

Jenna's not really gone far, because she is off shift and has been for some time. Smiling at him shyly, she can feel her heart racing as he tucks the strand of hair behind her ear.
"It's the least I could do. Your Abuela deserves a night to remember, and the view up here is just spectacular."

Chance smiles deeply enough that his dimples appear. "I know she appreciates it. She doesn't let anyone spoil her very often and she deserves it. She's an awesome lady."
There's a pause and then he leans in and presses a soft, lingering kiss to her cheek. His mouth drifts to her ear, and the sorcerer whispers. "So are you, Jenna Donovan."

Swallowing lightly when the dimples appear, the empath looks into his eyes, and licks her lips. "She seems to be. I like her a lot." Well as much as Jenna can like a person in a few minutes of speaking with her, but she can tell that Mrs. Lucas has an extremely big heart, and that she cares very much for her family.
Eyes drift closed as she feels the lips upon her cheek. Jenna can feel the heat creeping upward, and a slow warmth pooling down below, and her breath catches.

The soft kiss to her cheek is followed by a brief, tight hug and Chance kisses the top of her head. "Thank you. You went above and beyond, and you didn't have to. Don't think that it isn't appreciated."
Stepping back, Chance rests his hands on her shoulders and gazes down at her. "I know it's short notice and you probably have a lot of packing to do, but did you want to come for dinner Thursday night?"

"Of course I had to," Jenna says quietly. "I wanted it to be memorable for her." In her mind, that's exactly what she was doing. It wasn't for Chance's sake so much as his grandmother's, and she knows how nice it is up on the rooftop.
"I mean, I'd love to, thank you for inviting me."

"You did."
Her enthusiastic outburst makes Chance laugh. "You like my family that much, huh?"

"I adore your abuela. She has such a kind heart, and she thinks very highly of you." Jenna reaches out and touches his cheek in a tentative manner. "Besides, you talked up how much of an amazing cook she is, and I wouldn't pass up a chance to taste some of her food."
Biting her lip, she glances up at him and whispers, "You loaned me your mother's necklace."

"I think she likes you a lot too," Chance points out, tapping Jenna lightly on the nose.
He rubs the back of his neck, dipping his head shyly. "She … we're close. She's always been there. My dad went through a rough time after my mother died and Abuela raised me for a while. She's more like a mother to me than a grandmother."
Chance ducks his head and slowly exhales. "I did." Blue eyes are earnest as they connect with hers again. "I thought it would go with your dress and that maybe she would have like that."

Wiggling her nose, Jenna grins. "I did get that impression. Most people don't ask to have a picture taken with me unless they mistake me for someone famous."
The shy dip of his head makes her want to just wrap her arms around him and hold him close. "I think your family is remarkable, Chance. I'm glad that she was there to help you." Her thumb brushes over his cheek, and she blushes deeply.
"It went perfectly with my dress, and I'm sure if she was looking down on you, she'd have really liked that you were so thoughtful." A soft kiss is pressed to his cheek before she draws back. "I know that I do."
"I got your grandmother a small gift. I hope you don't mind?"

"Really? Because I would have thought that you'd be in high demand just because you're you," Chance teases and winks.
"It did." Chance catches her fingers and holds them. His thumb strokes over the back of her knuckles. "I did mention that you looked beautiful that night? You were the Belle of the Ball. I couldn't think of a better neck for it to have been on."
"You are too good sometimes, Jenna Donovan." He's smiling, his eyes twinkling and there's a good deal of amusement, appreciation and deep fondness in that smile and in the way his gaze slides over her face, tracing it as he traces the back of her hand with light fingertips. "No, I don't mind."

"You're a charmer," Jenna replies with a light giggle.
There is no doubt in her mind that Chance Harper may just like her more than he wants to let on when he takes her fingers. Blushing again, she nods. "You did. You made me feel beautiful too. I was quite happy to be there with you."
Closing her eyes again, she exhales a happy little sigh. "Okay, let me get it and we can head back to the table." Before she kisses him. She really wants to kiss him, but she doesn't think Siobhan's method of really kissing him would be good when his family is only fifteen feet away.

"I try."
Chance gives her hand a squeeze and lets it go. Stepping back to allow her to move away and go find the gift. It's really getting harder to deny what he feels and what he wants when he's with her. The sorcerer has to keep reminding himself to give it time … just so that their friendship isn't screwed up if this isn't what Jenna really wants. It hasn't even been a month yet; there has to be some lingering hurt from what happened with Quintin.
"I'll wait and we can head back together."

Ducking behind the upstairs bar, Jenna pulls out her 'small' gift. It's actually a large basket filled with several things, wrapped up in a clear cellophane, tied with a festive bow.
"Got it," she chirps, moving forward so that she can walk with him. "Are you coming to Shiv's party on Friday? And will you be ready to leave on Sunday with us?"

Chance grins at the gift. "That's … pretty awesome. You're good at this gift thing … yeah, I know. Personal shopper." He's smiling brightly, and one would think that Jenna was going to give the gift to him. Clearly, he likes that she likes his grandmother and is going through the extra effort.
"I was planning on it, unless you don't want me there?" He nudges her with his elbow. With a laugh he pulls his phone out and opens it to show her a series of text messages exchanged between he and Siobhan. "I was told that I'm in charge of the alcohol." Beat. "She mentioned Jager like three times. Your bestie likes her Jager, huh?"
There's a nod of his head. "I'm a guy. It'll take me less than an hour to pack. I'll be ready. Have we planned out riding arrangements yet?"

"I don't know her that well, but you did say she enjoyed cooking. I hope she likes it." Jenna has a feeling that even if Mrs. Lucas didn't like the gift, she'd never let on.
"Of course I want you there. Just remember to bring a suit? The hot tub will be going." Beat. "Unless you want to hop in sans clothing…" Clearing her throat she focuses on the list of alcohol. "Jager? I guess she does. I was just thinking flavored vodkas, really. There's going to be a sundae bar, and with the flavored vodkas we could make awesome floats."
Jenna bites her lip and looks down. "Well, I've got a car on standby. Christian and his girlfriend are going up on Friday afternoon. The car's big enough for six, unless you wanted to go separately? I mean, that way the two couples can go in one and we can get another car. I'm flexible."

Chance knows that his grandmother will love the gift. Just the unexpectedness of it and the gesture will make her happy. And make her more intent on marrying him off to Jenna, if she could have her way. "She will, I'm sure of it."
Chance smirks and lowers his voice, leaning to whisper in Jenna's ear. "I will if you will." It's hard to tell how much of it is playful teasing and flirting and how much of it might be verging on serious.
"Two couples?" Chance blinks.

There is a shiver that runs through her body at the whisper, and the warmth at her center gets warmer at the words. Closing her eyes, she breathes slowly so as not to make an unexpected noise. "You jump, I jump, Jack."
Jenna gives herself a second after the whisper before she opens her eyes and smiles. "Yep. Sharper, and we invited Quin and Kay to come as well. I mean, we'd already invited Quin and felt it was only right to extend the invite to his girlfriend too. Which means, you and I are going to be wandering around the Hamptons together a bit while the couples do coupley things."

"You know Jack died right?" Chance teases, giving her another nudge. "Yes, I know, he died romantically for love." Yes, Chance did get the movie quote.
"Maybe we should take a separate car?" Chance offers. "If you'd prefer?" He doesn't want Jenna uncomfortable. She can probably handle being around her brother and Siobhan, that's a different sort of coupling, but he doesn't want her having to deal with Quintin and Kay cuddling up if it'll make her uncomfortable. He wraps an arm around her shoulder, leading her toward the table, "I don't mind having one-on-one time with you."

Jenna giggles, and then nudges him. "He died so that she could live." It was romantically, and she'll admit that she does get to be one of those girls when she's watching sappy movies with Shiv and Pres.
"I'm okay with them, Chance, but I don't mind the thought of taking a separate car with you." The thought actually makes her blush a little, and she leans against him.
"It would definitely give us plenty of leg room."

Chance has to resist the very unexpected - and unacceptable in the current situation - urge that comes over him in that moment. He wants to throw caution to the wind and just kiss her. It's insane and he knows it's insane and Chance swallows and clears his throat.
"It would give us plenty of leg room," Chance agrees. "But we can make up our minds later."
Reaching the table, he blushes a bit as he realizes his arm is still around Jenna's shoulder, but he doesn't make a move to instantly remove it. "Abuelita, Jenna has something for you."

There is a change in Chance. One that Jenna can feel, but one that she's not entirely sure of. It's obviously not a bad thing, because he's still got his arm around her shoulder and that makes her smile.
"It's just a little something for your birthday." Setting the gift on the table to the left of Mrs. Lucas, she smiles. "Chance told me that you love to be in the kitchen, so it's just a few things that I thought you might be able to use."
That, and the thank you note for the pretzel recipe that Chance shared with her.

"Oh, querida! You really didn't have to do this!" Flores is beaming now, and is completely enamoured of the girl. If her grandson isn't dating her, and she doesn't have a boyfriend, the older woman is wondering why. On both counts. There are oohs and aahs of appreciation, and a very maternal smile when she reads the thank you note.
"You are very welcome, Jenna. Very welcome."
Chance hasn't returned to his seat, though he loosens his grip on Jenna to allow his grandmother to rise and give her a hug. "Jenna's coming for dinner Thursday, if that's okay?"
"Perfectly fine," Rhett smiles. "I'll tell the cook -"
"No cook!" Flores mock slaps at his hand. "I will cook. Something special. Traditional. Have you ever had Cuban, Jenna?"

When Mrs. Lucas seems to love the gift, she breathes a sigh of relief. Jenna knows that it's nothing extravagant, but she did put thought into it based on what Chance told her of the woman. Smiling, she returns the hug warmly. "No, I didn't have to, but I wanted to."
It goes with the whole making the birthday memorable for a woman who is very important in Chance's life. She would go above and beyond for most of her friends, but she added little things here or there tonight.
"Not traditional Cuban, no. I'd love to try some. Is there something I could bring with me to dinner?"

"Just your beautiful smiling face," Flores tells Jenna with a bright smile. "Anyone who can make my grandson smile like that is welcome and doesn't need to do anything but be there."
Chance does something that he rarely does. He blushes. His cheeks turn a dark pink and he tries to hide his embarrassment by taking a very long drink of his water.
Joshua chides his wife softly in Spanish. Leaning in to kiss her cheek and telling her that she's embarrassing the kids.

Dipping her head, Jenna blushes at that as well. There's a glance stolen at Chance, and then she lifts her head again. "Then that is what I'll bring. Myself, my smile, and my appetite."
Nudging Chance with her elbow, she stage-whispers, "I'm not embarrassed, are you embarrassed?"

Jenna's nudge makes Chance smile. "No, not at all." Honestly, he's going to have to have words with his grandmother and her less than subtle matchmaking.

Giggling at his response, Jenna turns to his grandfather. "See? Mrs. Lucas hasn't embarrassed us at all. I find it charming that she's trying to see that her grandson is settled. It's nice to see such a closeknit family."
Nipping on her lower lip, she looks around at all of them and then starts to excuse herself. "I've taken up too much of your family time as is. Please enjoy the rest of your evening together."

"It was a pleasure to meet you again, Jenna," Rhett says with a kind smile. The tone of his words has a very definitive finally to it, unspoken though.
Chance grabs her hand as she goes to leave, "Thursday. Don't forget."

"It was a pleasure to meet you too, Mr. Harper." As her hand is grabbed, Jenna stares down at it for a moment, and then glances at Chance's family. Turning back toward him, she smiles.
Then she leans in to press a friendly kiss to his cheek as she whispers, "I wouldn't miss it for the world, Cowboy."

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