Ethan caught the subtle yet very deliberate way Clare's skirt stopped a few inches above the middle of her smooth, toned left thigh, which elicited a half-smile. There was no accident there, even when the girl shifted her weight, because in any other scenario, she'd make damn sure her shirt wasn't showing off anything to anyone. Nope. Clarissa was doing a great job of provoking a response from the other on the sly. But that was them even back when they were dating. Always trying to show up the other.
But hey, it made for good times regardless.
“Clearly I haven't.” He smiled in her direction, taking her hand in his as they made their way through the evening traffic. Clare was most certainly one of the “fine things” he had allowed to slip through his fingers too easily. She had her issues same as he did, but they had a better understanding of each other than most.
“Jack?” Ethan snickered after hearing her bring up the subject of his long-time neanderthal friend. “He really hasn't changed much, sadly. Married three times in a little under two years, until he realized he didn't actually want
to be married anymore to anyone.” The man shook his head. “Thank god he had no kids. Could you imagine the nightmare then?”
The thought of Claren beating his friend senseless would have been something worth the front row ticket, but all those years ago Jack wasn't making any impressions, especially not for a woman he seemed to think was below Ethan's standards.
“Yeah, he’s brought the subject of that night up a few times.” He smirked. “And while his stubborn pride doesn't show it, I know he feels bad about pissing you off, even though he still entertains the possibility of his sorry ass with two women.” Ethan let out a chuckle. “The man can't even handle one chick, so what makes him think two would be any better?”
Nakazawa's, nestled in the heart of the West Village, is probably New York's best sushi bar, with an intimate, yet casual atmosphere and a chef who always puts on a hell of a show. It was one of Ethan and Clare's hot spots during their dating years and fortunately for them, not much had changed with regard to personnel.
“Oh my god...Clarissa?” Jyn, the hostess and youngest daughter of the owner, exclaimed as she saw the couple enter through the doors. Her hand suddenly going to her mouth in surprise. “And Ethan!” The girl leaned in for a hug toward both of them. “It's been ages!”
“Wow. Jyn?” Ethan returned the hug. “Still in the family biz, I see...” Glancing at Clare and raising his brow in surprise. Last they saw her, the girl was leaving for college, which was a huge deal since she would have been the first of her siblings.
“Yah, well, dad needed the help and…” Her expression was noticeably downcast for a moment, but then perked up again. “Anyway, it's so good to see you both. We're filling up fast as usual, but there are a few seats near the end of the bar, or if you prefer your usual spots.” Her smile was back on as she motioned to the back of the room through an archway that read “Garden”.
“Absolutely.” Ethan didn't hesitate to accept, as that was one of their favourite spots when they just needed time away from the crowds at the sushi bar.
Jyn nodded and lead them both toward the rear, through the archway, and into a beautiful half-indoor/outdoor Japanese garden which had several small tables spaced out generously along the perimeter and fountain in the center.
“I'll let my father know you are here as I'm sure he'll be thrilled.” She smiled, placing menus on the table. “Sadly none of the servers you remember are here, but you'll love them regardless. Enjoy you two.” She nodded and walked back to the front.
Ethan pulled the seat out for Clare. “Brings back some good memories, eh?”