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 Where We Begin Again, tag: Cora Birchwood
Zoey Tam
 Posted: Jan 26 2018, 07:30 PM
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It didn't hit her until the night she was to take Cora out. Zoey was going on a legit date again. Not just hanging around with a lady friend and having fun for the sake of having fun, but going out on a date... as in pushing the possibility of having a girlfriend again. Zoey remembered her vow after Felicia cheated on her. She vowed it would take someone special to mend her heart. It would take someone who she firmly believed would be the right person for her. She had been out with guys and girls she liked as friends, but none of them fit that bill...

And then Cora came along. Cora was everything Felicia was without the BS attached, or at least seemed so the night at the Odyssey Club. She was beautiful, smart, funny, cool, easy to talk to. She was worth a chance at happiness, and that was what was important to Zoey right then. All she knew was that she hadn't stopped thinking about Cora since she had met her. And now... tonight was the night.

Zoey's sole vehicle was a Harley, which she would have picked Cora up in if it had just been a casual hang out. However, Zoey had prettied herself up, and put on a red dress and heels. A friend who trusted her let her borrow their car, and she arrived in front of Cora's house. She walked over and knocked on the door. In her hands was a wrapped box of Cora's favorite candy, which Zoey had learned about from text messages, along with a dozen roses. Candy and flowers were cliche as hell, but Zoey was going all out romantic.
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Cora Birchwood
 Posted: Jan 27 2018, 01:08 AM
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Cora was nervous. Surprisingly she was actually nervous as she climbed out of her shower in her tiny house and looked at the phone that was sitting on the edge of the sink. There was still plenty of time but why did she feel hurried? Cora would ponder on this questions as she stepped out of her shower, draped only in her towel and a head full of wet hair. Over and over she repeated to herself, there was still plenty of time. Plenty of time. She just needed to calm down and remember that.

It was just a date, absolutely no reason for her to go crazy about it. Then again, when was the last time she actually had been on a date with someone she was interested in? She had a few experiences after Becca, of course, but those were more lust driven or egged on by alcohol. This was something entirely different.

For one, she had yet to go on an actual date here in Lochland Grove and, for another, there might have been a hint of that fabled “spark”. Really Cora had heard about it plenty of times from her mom, on TV, in movies and books, but she wasn’t sure what it actually was. She thought she felt it with Becca and look how that turned out? No, Cora didn’t trust the idea of feeling sparks with someone and didn’t want to jump to conclusions. Therefore she was treating this date with kiddie gloves -- the last thing she wanted to do was get her hopes up only for them to be dashed across the rocks.

As Cora wandered around her tiny home, preparing herself, she couldn’t help but let herself obsess over things. She and Zoey had been texting on the phone, making plans for this date ever since they met at the Odyssey Club, but they hadn’t seen each other in-person since. Cora really hoped that she made the right call in agreeing to go out with the young woman but for as much as she wanted to try to find fault for an excuse -- she really couldn’t. So she would go with it. Again, it was just a date.

The clock ticked closer and Cora had finally managed to dry and puff up her hair to the appropriate level of fluffiness. Carefully she zipped on one of her favorite dresses, burnt orange in color. Over that she wore a delicate black cardigan, and a thick black belt wrapped around her waist. Her shoes, however, were decidedly “Cora-esque” and entirely a reflection of her practical side -- soft, warm boots because she wasn’t a complete fool to go out in still chilly weather.

Boots on, she turned to her accessories, choosing a pair of this, resin bangles, as well as orange faux-diamond studs. When everything was said and done, Cora stood in front of the mirror, turning left and right as she looked herself over, making sure she was presentable. Overall, she was happy with her curvaceous appearance in colorful dress, so much so that she plucked up her phone to check the time and noted that Zoey was nearly here. Oh god. She checked her make-up one more time, briefly wondering if she had time to change absolutely everything about herself when she heard the knocking on her front door.

A small racing pulse and the baker had to take a breath to calm herself. Once she was centered, she plucked up her small orange purse, and made her way to the front door. One last breath and she grabbed the knob and opened the door to find a very lovely, red-clad Zoey -- complete with flowers and candy.

The smile instantly appeared on Cora’s face as she bit her lip at the absolutely sweet gesture. ”Zoey…” she said gently. ”You...look amazing," she said with a slight blush. "And you didn’t have to do that,” she gestured to the flowers. ”But...thank you, i mean it.” She opened her door wider, revealing her own outfit as she stepped aside. ”Come on in. I’ll put the flowers in some water.”

[OUTFIT]

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Zoey Tam
 Posted: Jan 28 2018, 10:11 PM
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Well the flowers and candy were cliche, but they worked. They made Cora smile, and that made Zoey smile. What also made Zoey smile was when Cora walked out with her outfit on. She was stunning.

"I look amazing?" she said. "Look at you? I thought you were insanely beautiful at the club, but look at you now. You're Disney Princess-material, my dear." Cora then asked if she wanted to come in. "Cool."

When she walked in, she automatically noticed that Cora's place was far cleaner than hers. However, that wasn't saying much. She probably needed to give it a good cleaning if she ever invited Cora over for a movie night or whatever.

"Nice place," she said. "So can I go through your photo albums and raid your fridge, or are we not at that point yet?" She smirked, showing she was joking. "Seriously though, my plot to wow you has already been set into place. I got the reservations for Ambrosia, and I have it on good authority that we will have musical accompaniment in the park." Zoey made a couple of calls, and she really hoped her friends pulled through. "Anyway, I am ready whenever you are."
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Cora Birchwood
 Posted: Jan 28 2018, 11:38 PM
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Cora didn’t know how she did it, but even a few minutes in Zoey’s presence and Cora felt like one of the most glamorous women on the planet. Though her lines were cheesy and she could be a bit forward, Cora just found herself smiling in Zoey’s presence; and it grew to the point that she couldn’t wait to see where the night would take them. Zoey had said she was going to pull out all the stops to romance her but Cora had to wonder what she really meant by that? There was already roses and candy, so what was next? She guessed she was going to have to wait and see.

As she took the flowers in hand, she had to admit that Zoey looked amazing. Red really suit her. Though, of course the compliment train didn’t stop only at the Z-station and was soon passed back to her like a baton. Rather than argue and keep the loop going, she blushed, bit her lip and gratefully stepped aside to allow her in; flowers needed to be put in water, right?

”Well I just hope that my breads and baked goods don’t suddenly come to life and start singing to me,” she said with a laugh, taking a moment to smell the roses. Beautiful. Once Zoey was in, she closed the door and immediately turned to head into her kitchen.

Her house was small, smaller than most would think was humanly possible. Granted it wasn’t the size of one of those weird micro-homes where you had to move walls and climbs ladders, but it was still small. Two steps away from the door she had already traversed both her living room and was nearly into the kitchen. Stepping in, she opened a cabinet to find a large vase and turned on her faucet to fill it partially with water.

She peeked her head out, smiling when Zoey complimented her home. ”Thank you,” she said softly. ”My grandmother left it to me.” She smirked, setting the vase down in the kitchen as she stepped out, eyeing the other girl with a smile that was half-amused, half-fake-annoyance. ”At least let me eat my dinner first before you start looking through drawers for my unmentionables.” She then stuck her tongue out at her before she turned and started to set the flowers in. Really, she had too much fun with Zoey already.

Once everything was done, she stepped back out, smoothing down the edges of her dress and smiling to her date. Zoey explained that the reservations were all set and that she had it on good authority that there will be some musical entertainment in the park. She really was surprised by how much Zoey was going all out but, rather than argue the point, she would just sit back and enjoy it. A girl like being treated nice every once and awhile.

”Sounds wonderful,” she said honestly. Plucking up her bag again, she looked up when her date said that she was ready whenever Cora was. With a sigh she walked up to Zoey’s side, opened her door, and pulled it open. She gave her a brief gesture with her head, hair following through. ”Then by all means, fair knight,” she teased. ”Lead the way.”

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Zoey Tam
 Posted: Jan 31 2018, 09:46 PM
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Zoey laughed at the line about singing food. Disney humor! This woman was amazing!

"Well, since I'm borrowing this car tonight, I hope it doesn't turn into a pumpkin on us," she said. "I won't even know how to begin to explain that to my friend."

Zoey raised a playful eyebrow about Cora's unmentionables. Okay, Zoey needed to get those thoughts out of her head. She and Cora both needed to see how this date worked out before Zoey began fantasizing.

"Yes, let's focus on the dinner," she chuckled.

Zoey hadn't been to Ambrosia in ages. The last time she had been there, her parents had taken her out for her birthday. At the time, they bought her dinner, but she remembered the prices. She was glad she had saved the money she had. Treating Cora to a nice dinner was well worth it, just to see another beautiful smile from the girl. She offered her hand to Cora as they walked to the restaurant. Once inside, the reservations were confirmed and they were led to their table.

"A bottle of your finest wine," she said to the server. "And a glass for each of us so that we can drink it." She smirked at the server, who didn't quite get her humor. She then turned back to Cora. "Soooo... what shall pre-dinner convo be?"
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Cora Birchwood
 Posted: Feb 1 2018, 12:53 AM
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Cora was all smiles as Zoey lead the way out of her door. The young woman was actually excited for this date, something that Cora didn’t believe she would feel any time soon. She dated on and off, but it was never anything that had any lasting potential. Did Zoey have that potential? Deep down, she didn’t know; but she was willing to go out and find the answer and it had been her first time wanting to do so since she came to Lochland Grove.

She giggled, shaking her head as Zoey uttered prayers that the car she was borrowing was not going to turn into a pumpkin by midnight. She shook her head, turning and closing the door behind her. Fixing her cardigan, she pulled out her keys, locked the door, and turned back to join Zoey at her side. The duo made their way down Cora’s steps and onto the pathway leading to the car. It was time to focus on dinner.


***


The way to the restaurant had been entertaining in and of itself. Sitting in the passenger seat of the car, Cora giggled at whatever anecdotes Zoey provided, speaking a little about her day, but mostly sitting in the quiet and just enjoying the cool evening air. Her eyes turned to look out of the passenger side window, content in the silence as she watched the town of Lochland pass her by. There was still so much that she didn’t know, so much that she didn’t about about her past, about her mother and her grandmother and this town; but one thing was for certain, Lochland Grove was a beautiful town.

When Zoey came to a stop at the restaurant, Cora took a calming breath and climbed out of the car. This was it. Zoey was an interesting person and certainly had pursued Cora persistently when they first met up at thee Odyssey Club. Now they were going to see how they interacted together on an actual date. It was a little nerve-wracking but she was serious when she said she was willing to give it a shot. After all, you never know unless you try.

Zoey had seemingly done everything right. They arrived on time, they had reservations, and now were sitting in a rather romantic table. A waiter stepped over and Zoey was quick to order the “finest wine” and “two” glasses. Cora laughed. The waiter didn’t. But the awkwardness soon passed as Cora folded her hands on the table and turned her attention back to the beauty sitting across from her.

Conversation, huh? Where would they begin? Cora hummed to herself, nibbling on her bottom lip. ”Let’s just talk and see where the conversation takes us?” she said sweetly. ”Why don’t you start telling me a bit more about you? All I know so far is that you are a ticket taker, bi-sexual, and know some pretty amazing french fry joints.” She smirked. And you have some pretty sexy dance moves.”


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Zoey Tam
 Posted: Feb 4 2018, 04:56 PM
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Zoey was glad that at least Cora laughed at her silly line. Zoey had an odd since of humor, and wasn't ashamed to show it off. A lot of people didn't really get it. Cora did, and that was one of the many awesome things about this girl. Cora also helped give them something to talk about, as Zoey could go on about herself, though she told herself she wouldn't go overboard. She wanted to know more about the girl she was possibly falling for as well.

"Well, let's see," she said. "I am an Art Major at the local college. I mainly sketch, but I do dabble in paint and sculpture. I'm a huge geek. I have a laundry list of fandoms. You name it, I'm probably into it. And I have two amazing cats at home named Buttons and Snaps. Buttons is really friendly, but Snaps sort of only clings to me because she was in pretty bad shape when I adopted her... abusive former owners." Most people might have called this TMI, but those three letters didn't exist together to Zoey.

The wine arrived and the server poured them each a glass. Zoey turned to Cora and whispered, "He should let us tell him when to stop." She grinned to show she was joking, and then the server asked what they want.

"Ladies first," said Zoey. "Well... gorgeous lady that I'm with first anyway."
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Cora Birchwood
 Posted: Feb 4 2018, 11:54 PM
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Cora, for as little as she truly dated, actually liked the experience. It was nerve-wracking and could be a bit disarming, but there was nothing like going out and getting to know someone. The few dates that she had been on had all been pretty sweet, except for one or two, but since she moved to Lochland Grove, there had been little to no prospects. Maybe that was because she never really put out that “interested” vibe, or maybe she was just too busy working or baking to really want to take the time to go out and meet someone. Now, though, it seemed that she was clearly getting back out there and that was nothing to feel bad about.

Cora was allowed to have a bit of a social dating life and had to remind herself of that. She had a nice job, she was doing what she loved, and she owned a home, what was wrong with going out every now and again with someone who was exceptionally cute? And Zoey was certainly a cutie.

But she wanted to know more about her companion for the evening. Smiling over to her, she smirked, watching her across the dancing flames of candlelight and inquired about her. She wanted to know more than those small facts that she learned when they had gone out dancing. But what was the ticket seller willing to part with?

Sitting back in her chair, her hands were nearly folded on her lap, toying with a napkin between her fingers as she listened. Zoey was a student at the local college, studying art. That made the baker smiling, knowing that the girl dabbled in the arts, she always found artists sexy. To add to that, she had two cats, one of which she had saved from an abusive relationship. Of course Cora frowned at bit at that, she disliked it when animals were mistreated.

”Aw, poor baby,” she said tenderly. ”That was incredibly nice of you to adopt her. I have two guinea pigs myself, both adopted as well,” she smiled. ”Nut and Meg.”

Before they could continue, their waiter had returned with two glasses and began to pour their wine. Cora shared a soft smile with him before looking back across the table at Zoey. The artist, of course, cracked another joke, prompting Cora to utter a slight giggle. She really was adorable.

A blush colored her cheeks at Zoey’s insistence that she order first. Another glance at the menu, And Cora chewed on her bottom lip in thought. Finally she smiled to the waiter as she made her selection. ”I’ll have the grilled flank steak and a side caesar salad, please.”

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Zoey Tam
 Posted: Feb 8 2018, 11:51 AM
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Zoey thought she was clever in naming her cats Buttons and Snaps (thought she usually nicknamed them Snappers and Butt-Butt), but she adored what Cora named her Guinea Pigs. She also adored Guinea Pigs in general.

"Oh that is so precious!" she said. "I love those names. We'll have to introduce each others to our furr-babies sometimes."

After Cora ordered, Zoey looked at the server.

"I will have the flank steak as well," she said. "House salad with French dressing, and if the lady desires it, we will share a shrimp cocktail." Zoey hoped Cora liked shrimp or else she just did something awkward.

Once the server left, Zoey raised her glass of wine to Cora.

"To seeing where the night takes us," she said. "And to just having fun with someone whose crazy matches my crazy." She sipped her wine and looked at Cora again. "Alright, your turn. What don't I know about the most amazing woman I have met in a very long time? If you have any really spicy secrets, you may save them for later, and say them at random. That sort of stuff excites me." As always, Zoey had no filter with what she said.
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Cora Birchwood
 Posted: Feb 9 2018, 12:40 AM
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Cora loved her little piggies dearly. They could be a handful sometimes, way more demanding than a tiny animal should be, but they still brought her more joy than she could ever know what to do with. When sharing their names with Zoey, she had to smile a bit brighter, happy that the other woman didn’t think her weird or odd for owning the little beasties. Not that her opinion would weigh on Cora’s mind concerning her animals, they were hers and no one was going to make her feel bad or awkward because of it.

But, she was happy to announce that Zoey’s reaction was quite the opposite. Rather than judge, the young woman almost squealed with delight over the fact that Cora had guinea pigs, especially with such adorable names. The baker grinned a bit and was half-tempted to show her pictures from her phone, but was stopped when their waiter approached. It was time to order.

Zoey passed the torch to her and, with a gracious nod, she looked again at the menu, zeroing in on the first thing that looked good to her when she last saw the menu. So, flank steak with a side salad would be to her liking toda. She almost felt bad for ordering steak on a first date but she also knew that this was a date and Zoey was out to impress her, why not give her the opportunity to try? Besides, she liked a good steak now and again and she rarely had it when by herself? Why not in the company of another?

Zoey’s own order mirrored Cora’s, however it also contained an extra bit, one that Cora, unfortunately, didn’t altogether care for. Curling her lips over her teeth, she meekly shook her head at the addition of the shrimp cocktail. As lovely as that sounded, there was a problem.

”Actually...I’ve...never cared for shrimp,” Ugh! Just the idea of them made her twitch a little. As she disliked bugs, this shrimp often caused the same reaction in her as shrimp were just water bugs. Blegh. Still, she felt bad since she knew that Zoey was trying and just gestured to her. ”But, please, get it for yourself, honey,” she said brightly. ”Don’t deprive yourself on my account.”

Once the orders were made and the waiter left, Cora turned to see that Zoey had lifted her wine glasses. Smirking she picked up her own and held it up to hers. They toasted to seeing where the night went, hopefully to some amazing fun. Cora agreed, clinking her glass against Zoey’s and took a sip. She really was curious to see where the evening went.

She really needed to get used to Zoey’s bluntness. Cora’s eyebrows raised a bit as she stifled a small laugh. So she wanted to know more about Cora herself, but requested that the juicist secrets be kept for random moments. Zoey certainly had a way with words. The baker merely shook her head, taking a sip before setting her glass down.

”Well, I don’t know about spicy secrets but...lemme see…” she hummed to herself, playing with one of the rings around her wrists. ”I’m lesbian...I’m from New York...I went to culinary school but I didn’t graduate…” she hummed in thought. ”Sometimes one of my favorite things is just to engage in some trash TV...usually reality stuff.” She shrugged. ”Oh, and as wonderful as winter is, I actually prefer hot weather.” She shrugged, waiting for Zoey to take a sip of her wine. ”Sometimes I just like wandering about my house in short shorts and a spaghetti top.”

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Zoey Tam
 Posted: Feb 9 2018, 12:00 PM
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Zoey frowned a bit when Cora said that she didn't care for shrimp. It wasn't because she had an issue with Cora not liking shrimp. She just felt a bit bad about ordering it with asking a little earlier.

"No problem, my flower," she said, smiling again. She then looked at the server. "Scratch the shrimp. We will have the appetizer trio, a little something for everyone. Also, those are fun to snack on."

Zoey then listened as Cora talked about herself. She was a lesbian, from New York, loved Trash TV, and liked walking about the house in short shorts and a spaghetti top. Damn this girl was amazing.

"Okay, that settles it," she said. "We're forgetting all this dating stuff, and we're getting married tonight. You are my soul mate." She then smiled, showing she was joking. "Seriously though, you are making it tough to take things slow, but I stick by my promise. Also, around my place, I'm a t-shirt and panties girl." She did wear pajama pants when it got colder though... or if guests were coming over.

On to the next topic of convo.

"Okay, so we know about each other," she said. "Now we're going to play a game called four favorites. We take turns asking about a favorite thing, two for each of us, and we both answer, four favorites in total. To begin, Favorite Movie?"



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Cora Birchwood
 Posted: Feb 9 2018, 10:55 PM
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Cora saw that little glimpse of sadness in Zoey’s eyes. That was precisely what the baker wanted to avoid. However, she wasn’t going to force herself to eat something just because she didn’t want to offend someone. She made for damn sure, and her mother encouraged it, that she needed to fight for herself and what she wanted. It was a date and she had every right to enjoy every aspect of it, that included not having to consume naked water bugs. Blegh!!

But, Zoey seemed to recapture the moment, changing the order from shrimp cocktails to the appetizer trio, something that was a far better option. With a little bit of everything, it would go a long way making sure that there were options for the both of them to enjoy. Cora approved of this and handed the menu back to the water, her eyes drifting as she watched him go and then returned her gaze to her date.

Zoey was beautiful but she was certainly blunt in some respects. Cora knew that about her before she agreed to the date but it still was taking some getting used to. A perfect example of this was after the baker described her “hot weather” attire, the other woman immediately said that marriage should be on the table. She was grinning, a clear sign that she was joking -- thank goodness. In all fairness, as sweet as Zoey was, Cora wasn’t about thinking about long-term relationships just yet -- especially as she didn’t know if she would be staying in Lochland that long.

But there was time to think about that later. For now, she just wanted to enjoy the evening with a lovely woman.

When Zoey proposed the game Four Favorites, Cora perked up a bit. She loved games, especially when trying to learn about someone new. So, when the question was posed to her about her favorite movie. She considered this for a moment as it was hard for her to pick something as broad as all that, but she would try.

”That’s a hard one…” she said, tapping her finely manicured nail against her bottom lip. ”One that I always have to watch whenever I see it on, or I get the urge, is ’Garden State’. There are others, some sci-fi, nerd stuff…” she smiled slyly. ”...but if I can only pick one, you’ll have to wait and be surprised by the others.” She took a breath, considering her own question. ”Favorite book?”

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Zoey Tam
 Posted: Feb 12 2018, 05:39 PM
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(Splitting into two scenes for a bit)

Zoey remembered seeing Garden State, and it thought it was alright. Not on her top movies list, but not a bad movie at all. She'd definitely watch it while snuggling with Cora.

"My favorite movie is most definitely The Princess Bride," she said. "I mean, it has everything- comedy, action, romance, Andre the Giant. It's the perfect movie in my opinion. As for book, now that is a tough one. I will say thins though... I do love the Shadowhunters series, like everything in it. I'm super addicted. Last Halloween, I dressed up like Isabelle Lightwood. Okay, your favorite book?" She paused so Cora could tell her, and once that was done, she went for her other favorite to ask. "Okay, favorite actress?"

XXXX

After dinner, it was time to get Cora to the park and unveil her big surprise. Zoey had excused herself near the end of dessert to go to the restroom and make the call to her friends at the park. Everything was set. She just had to sneak a text for the cue. For now, she offered her hand to Cora as they entered the park.

"Dinner was really fun," she said. "Buuut... I think this walk is going to be a lot more fun."
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Cora Birchwood
 Posted: Feb 15 2018, 12:32 AM
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The park. It beautiful at night. During the warmer months, one of Cora’s favorite pastimes was take a nightly jog through it, traveling through the winding pathways of concrete and green. She enjoyed passing beneath the lights, breathing in the night air with each intake of breath while heat poured throughout every square inch of her muscles. Yes, the park was a good place to be, but now she wasn’t here by herself, she was here with another lovely young woman, Zoey, whom had decided that a night stroll would be the perfect capstone for the evening.

Dinner had been surprisingly good. Ambrosia certainly lived up to its reputation and the company was even better. Both women had naturally conversed, despite some slow bumps into the beginning. They discussed a bit more information about one another, and even play a little game of four, in which they answered questions about themselves.

Garden State. The Hobbit. Zoe Saldana. The Shins. She had unveiled to her top foursome of favorites: Movie, Book, Actress, and Musician(s). Zoey was a sweet, unveiling the same of herself and the answers together fully summed up the young woman she was out on a date with. So far, the night was going extremely well and Cora was curious as to what the young woman had planned for her in the park. She had said she would be pulling out all the stops and, if dinner was any indication, she was just a little curious as to what would follow.

Her hand slipped into Zoey’s as they entered. It was just a small gesture, nothing overly promising, but just enough to signal that, yes, she was having a good time.

They only made it a few steps in silence before Zoey had smiled and stated that dinner was fun. Cora nodded, smiling back, but raised her eyebrows when the other had said that the walk was going to be even better. She pursed her lips, tilting her head as she strolled alongside her date.

”I do hope you didn’t go through too much trouble,” she said with a grin. ”Honestly, the walk alone is perfect already.”

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Zoey Tam
 Posted: Feb 15 2018, 07:24 PM
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Zoey had laid out her four for Cora as Cora had for her, and it was really fun dinner convo. The Princess Bride, The Shadowhunters series, Scarlet Johansson, and Alice Cooper. They of course talked about various other things, and Zoey loved every minute of the date. The best was indeed yet to come though.

Zoey squeezed Cora's hand lovingly when Cora said that the walk was nice enough. Zoey agreed it was nice, and the evening could have easily ended with that... if the two were already established. However, this was the night Zoey wanted to win Cora's heart. She couldn't deny it. She had fallen for Cora. Cora was the girl she had been wanting since Felicia tore her heart apart, and she meant what she had told Cora. If the two ended up being together, Zoey was the girl who would be there in the morning to cuddle with Cora while they ate Pop-Tarts and watched the trash TV Cora loved so much.

"Walking is nice," she said. "But... why do that when you can dance?" She then sneaked the text for her friends to start playing. "Tale As Old As Time" from Beauty and the Beast began playing nearby and Zoey bowed.

"Would the Beauty in front of me care to dance with this Beast?" she asked.

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