Belles at Bella

Manhattan - Casa Bella Ristorante

Walking through the wooden double doors of Casa Bella, the senses are assaulted with the smells of fine cuisine and spices. From every direction comes the scent of garlic or oregano, the aroma of finely crafted dishes filling the air.

The walls are pale stucco, the floor tiles heavy ceramic woven through with patterns of green leaves and ivy. In those areas where the floor is not tiled, its covered in a warm blood orange carpet that manages to give color and flair to the room without being garish or overbearing. The tables are a light oak which complements the decor, and the chairs are either a creamy wicker that match the stucco or traditional wood with dark padding.

Throughout the establishment are green plants and hanging white lights. Large potters in various spots hold trees from which dangle lantern lamps. The restaurant gives a feeling of both openness and intimacy, which encourages the enjoyment of dining and fosters a comfortable, family mood of relaxation.


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Jenna Donovan Siobhan Knight

Little Italy is a long way from the Upper East Side, but after working the previous night it's nice to get away from her typical crowd. Jenna isn't really leaving the Upper East Side behind though, because she definitely dresses the part. Silk blouse in a matte gold color, a pretty mid-length skirt of pink with rust colored flowers decorating it, and a pair rust colored Rachel Zoe shoes.
It's just a simple lunch date with her best friend, so it's not like she's wearing a whole lot of bling, but she definitely looks like a young girl from a well to do family.
"We totally have to stop at one of the Italian pastry shops before we head home. I haven't had a cannoli in a long time."

Little Italy is a long way from the Upper East Side, but Siobhan really needed to get away from their usual haunts. Her father is on call, and her mother is doing some sort of spa retreat with some of her Coven friends, so she didn't have to report in on her Less Than Impressive Date last night when she returned home. Still, she doesn't want to risk running into The Handsy Entilted Douchebag from Harvard or his mother, so Casa Bella is perfect.

Like Jenna, she's dressed to bring a little bit of who and what she is away from home, in a bright spring orange (the designer calls is persimmon) bubble knit silhoutte dress, Oscar De La Renta earrings and bracelets in amber and polished bronze, and a Kate Spade handbag that matches the dress almost too perfectly.

"I don't have a costume fitting all summer, so I'm all over a couple of cannolis." Not that weight is an issue with Siobhan. Her dance and her metabolism keep her fit and in shape. "I'll take Chris one as a birthday present." Her little brother is seventeen today, but they're postponing the celebration until they make their annual family trek to the Hamptons. She made him blueberry waffles this morning, gave him a card with a gift certificate to because she stopped trying to figure out what to buy him years ago.

"Christ, Shiv. A cannoli isn't going to make you gain thirty pounds overnight. Not with the way you work out." Something that Jenna's going to try to fit in between her classes, work, vocal lessons, and dance. To be a true triple threat, she needs to constantly be working on every facet.
"When if your family heading to the Hamptons? I doubt I'll be able to be there much this summer, simply because I've got classes and work, but I know Harper's been bugging daddy about going."
It's not long before they're seated, and Jenna requests a table near one of the trees. Something with a creamy wicker, so that it makes their red and persimmon outfits pop.
"You'll have to let me know when you're having Christian's party, so I can make sure to take the time off."

Siobhan gives her friend something of a smile. It doesn't quite make it into her eyes, but she's trying. "I know that. I just don't want to develop any bad habits that might come back to haunt me." Considering that Jenna has seen the damage Siobhan can do to a bowl of ice cream or a basket of greasy, cheese covered fries, she should know that the words are mostly talk. Though the young dancer is cognizant of how careful she has to be lest her metabolism slam the brakes on someday.

"End of July for two weeks. Dance camp will be over, so I won't be teaching, and it's early enough before school starts again." For her and Christian. "I'll give you the exact date when we have it."

She looks down at her menu, pursing her lips. Dark eyes stay focused on the various delicious entrees. "Harper came to the recital. I saw him during intermission." Of course, he came. After her conversation with her father, before her date with Dr. Harvard Douchebag, because fate likes to make her second guess herself.

"I know you don't." Jenna wishes she had her friend's metabolism. She's not quite that lucky, and she's really got to work to keep herself at her perfect weight. Something she's not had time to do for a few weeks while she works out her schedule. "I'm not taking dance camp. I really don't want to be in a group with the kids," she replies with a laugh. "So your mother will be starting in August again?"
"Harper… went to your recital?" Blinking her blue eyes at Siobhan, she smiles brightly. "About damned time. Did he say anything to you, or was he acting all nonchalant or whatever?"

"There are plenty of older girls there." High schoolers, mostly. The college girls spend their summers at dance studios and taking classes of their own. Siobhan keeps up her skills by teaching the dance camp and working with her mother. "Though you probably don't want to be in with a group of them either." She gives her friend a teasing smile.

"About damned … why?" Siobhan tries to play it cool, but her palms are suddenly sweating and she can't even pretend to read the menu. She gives a shrug. "I invited him. This time he came."

She had to do breathing exercises before she could back on stage after the intermission. "I didn't talk to him. I waved at him and he did that thing he does. You know, where he doesn't want to wave, so he sort of lifts his chin and nods and kind of half salutes?" Maybe, she might have described that a little too well.

She gives another shrug, "He talked to Chris and my dad, I guess, but I didn't see him after the show." She did get a bouquet of a half dozen roses with no card and no name, but she's not holding her breath that they were from him.

"I'll wait until fall." With dance classes out until then, she can actually go to the gym for a few hours a day. It won't kill her, and she might actually have a bit of fun. Not that sweating is fun, but it'll help tone up her muscles which will help her on stage and in auditions.

"You're right. That's all it was. Your invitation." Jenna bites the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing, and then lifts up her menu. She already knows what she wants though.

"But he was there. That's what matters. He likely slipped out before he got hounded by the younger girls is all."

"Yes, he was there," Siobhan agrees. Her heart isn't doing the little dance that it did when she spotted him, but there is a degree of giddiness beneath the surface. Mixed with a healthy dose of hopefulness and a little bit of caution. She has gotten her hopes up too many times in the past and had them dashed. Like when she thought Harper was going to ask her to Homecoming sophomore year, and again when he accepted her invitation to be her escort at one of her formals, and then told her that she "owed him one."

She really tries to not get too worked up over Harper.

"Do you know what you're ordering?" Siobhan asks, putting her menu aside. She knows what she's having. She's having the Linguine Pestacore because she's a sucker for linguine and seafood.

Catching the emotions, Jenna smirks. She knows, she's always known how her friend feels about her brother, but it's one of those things that she just doesn't bring up. No need to make Siobhan uncomfortable, considering that she's over at the house a lot of the time.
"Tell me honestly, Shiv, what did you think of Quintin?"
"Angel hair primavera, light sauce."

"He was cute," Siobhan answers without missing a beat. Of course that would be her initial honest answer. "Did you see those arms? He definitely has the makings of a good bouncer." She sips the ice water that was placed on the table when they were first seated, considering. Knowing Jenna, she's probably looking for a little more than that.

"He was really …sweet. It was flattering that he was concerned about me, or us, getting drunk when he didn't even know us."


"A little bit on the shy side maybe? But you can help with that. You have this way of bringing people out of their shells."

Another beat.

"You should go for it. He likes you."

"See the arms? I felt the arms." Jenna giggles a little, and carefully unfolds her napkin and sets it on her lap.
"He does seem sweet, doesn't he? A bit sheltered maybe. I think he had a lot of fun though." There's a bit of an awkward pause and she looks around. "You remembered the name too, didn't you? It was that case our parents worked on."
"I actually was thinking that he likes you. He did kiss your cheek after all."

"They were nice arms," Siobhan practically purrs. Well muscled, strong but still gently. She'd be lying if she pretends that she hadn't noticed. She giggles, and gives an eye roll. "Duh, he had fun. It's hard not to have fun when you're around. You don't believe me, but you really do have a way with people."

Siobhan bites her lip as Jenna looks around and then says what she does. Giving a quick nod as though she's reached a decision, she makes a brief hand signal in the air and murmurs under her breath. She can feel a tingle, and waits a beat. When nothing else happens, she explains, "Privacy spell." It's rooted in sorcerer magic, and that's still a little touch and go for Siobhan, if only because it seems to naturally be a part of her and runs a bit wild sometimes.

"I did recognize the name, yeah. How much do you remember about it? I remember that a Coven healer was brought in, and that there were some spells and stuff to find out what happened or something." Which was more than Siobhan was supposed to know at the time, but she was curious and industrious. "He probably gets people recognizing him all the time and asking questions." She at least had the courtesy to not do that.

"Likes me?" Siobhan is genuinely startled by Jenna's words. She shakes her head in denial. "He was all over you. Not literally, but you know …"

At the reminder of the kiss, Siobhan's hand instinctively goes to her cheek. She hadn't really consciously thought about it, but clearly it stuck with her. She lowers her hand quickly and waves it off, "He was just …"

Siobhan has absolutely nothing for an explanation.

"He only kissed me on the forehead," Jenna points out good naturedly. "I think I've been relegated to the 'friend' folio, but I don't mind." Shrugging she shakes her head. "I don't have a way with people. They're just easy to read sometimes. Quintin is, well I think he holds back because of what happened. He needs friends. Not like those jocks. Friends, like what you and I have."
She falls silent, waiting for the spell to kick in, and waiting for her bestie to nod her head and let her know that it's in place.
"Not much. I remember I felt awful for him. To lose his family like that…" Her mother had difficulties with it even. Said his emotions were all over the place, but that's all she really recalls of the events.
"I know mother wouldn't let Harper go out on his usual camping trip with his friends."

"Losing your whole family like that would make you scared to get close and reach out," Siobhan considers. She honestly can't imagine losing her family. Even Christian who makes her want to strangle him or bind and gag him with a few well crafted spells from time to time. "We can befriend him then," Siobhan says with far more confidence than she's feeling. It complicates things if he's interested in her like Jenna thinks he is, though Quintin didn't seem at all like the type who just wants to get her out of her clothes and into bed.

Siobhan blinks dark eyes at her friend. "I didn't encourage him, did I? I wasn't trying to encourage him, I really wasn't."


"Not that I wouldn't be interested. He's definitely nothing like the douchebag from last night."

Seeing the server approaching their table, a handsome Italian young man about their age, Siobhan quickly banishes the privacy spell with a flick of her wrist.

"It would." Jenna can't even imagine losing her family. Even if she could imagine it, she doesn't want to. The last few years without having Harper right there with her in school was hard enough. If she ever actually lost him, she'd likely wind up in a pit of despair that she can't even fully fathom at the moment.
Waving her friend's concern off, Jenna smiles. "You were just being yourself, Shiv. Even when you're being non-flirtatious, you have a way about you."
"I mean, he's hot, and athletic, and I would so go for him, but I really think he's interested in you."
With the spell gone, she turns and flashes a bright smile at their server. "Ooh! Buongiorno!" Beat. "I'd like the Angel hair primavera, with an Italian lemon soda on ice please."

Unfortunately, Siobhan can't argue with her friend. Even when she's not encouraging guys through flirting and playfulness, they still seem to zero in on her for attention. Sometimes the entirely wrong kind of attention. Last night being a prime example of that. She's really glad she didn't have to face her father after that, because it's hard to lie to him, and she didn't want him feeling the need to defend her honor and take it up with his colleague. By tonight, when he's off-call, it'll be easy enough to just say 'We didn't hit it off.'

She thinks that Jenna's smile is what going's to get her on Broadway. It's infectious, and she is confused of how anyone notices her when Jenna is smiling at them. "And I'll have the Linguine Pestacore and the Lemon Ice Soda sounds perfect." Siobhan flashes her own enthusiastic smile at the waiter, who takes their orders with friendly politeness and leaves them to their conversation.

"He is hot, but he's sweet too." She's not blind, she noticed both the hotness and the sweetness. "When are you going to call him?"

Siobhan isn't convinced that Quintin is interested in her, but even so, she thinks that it would be better if Jenna contacts him. He did give his number to Jenna.

"I'm not."
"I promised only to call if we had frat boy problems, and to set up the roller disco." Jenna fusses with her napkin until it's set perfectly over her skirt. "I don't want to pester him, especially since he's not interested in me." Shrugging again, she smiles. "But I'm free this Saturday and next. Maybe this weekend we should shop for outfits. I'm tempted to buy two for him. Something with a million sequins on it just to see his expression, and then something more subdued…"

"That's what I'm talking about, calling him for roller disco." The young man in question obviously isn't the type who reaches out easily, and Siobhan is staring down conflict again after Harper's unexpected recital appearance. Though a little voice is telling her that until the other Donovan twin makes a declaration or a move, one way or another, she needs to keep going as she has, doing what's good for Siobhan. Befriending Quintin isn't a bad thing.

"Yeah, it would have been nice to have that 'hotline' last night," Siobhan laughs, but she's only half-joking. Her ego and self-worth are seriously still smarting from Corey Swenson adn his attitude.

"Oh, you should do that! Maybe with some pink in it … " Just because most guys hate pink and seem to think it makes them less masculine.

"Shiv, I'm so sorry. I should've given you the number last night." Jenna worries her teeth over her lips, feeling like a horrible friend for not at least providing her friend with the 'hotline' to cute boy-bouncer that would've saved her the trouble of making a fuss.
"Whenever you let me know that you can go, and we can set it up with him. I'll call him then." Because she doesn't want to bother Quintin. She really doesn't.
Jenna may be just a little nervous about calling him too. Not that she's going to tell Siobhan that.
"I've got outfits in mind already. We can both pull off hotpants and legwarmers. But yeah, we need something sparkly for him just to tease."

Siobhan waves off Jenna's apology. "It's not your fault, so there's nothing to apologize about. We didn't know that he would be a creep who couldn't keep his hands to himself. Or that he knew Kirk and about that night."

Siobhan's one and only drunken hook up with a frat boy. Drunken, rebound hook up, and she snuck out of his frat house in the morning (along with a few other equally stupid girls) and did the walk of shame to Jenna's because going home was out of the question. That was when she declared that she didn't get drunken hook-ups and told Jenna that the one night stand made her feel like a cheap piece of used ass. It didn't help that for weeks she got leers from a few of the hook ups frat brothers, at least until something more interesting came along.

"Besides, I really wouldn't have called." Siobhan wrinkles her nose. "I'd like to keep my one night of trashy stupid sluttiness a secret." Although, it obviously isn't, and she only feels smugly venegeful in that she still doesn't remember meeting Corey Swenson at the party that night almost a year ago.

"Oh, you bet we're going to pull off the hotpants and legwarms. With my derriere and your legs? Quintin is going to be with the two hottest babes there."

"Oh, god. He knew about Kirk?" Jenna wrinkles her nose and frowns a little. If she had Siobhan's abilities, she'd have shrunken the size of the entire frat house, just to prove a point. She's not the vengeful type, but she's never liked guys who did the whole kiss-and-tell thing to gain notoriety. Sure, joking about it the other night at the club with Quintin was one thing. First, it was a way to hide behind the flirtations and make a big show for his friends. Also, she knew Quintin wasn't trying to hook up with either of them.
"Of course he'll be with the two hottest babes there. We'll likely be the only girls there."

Siobhan sighs and nods. She hasn't really told Jenna all the details, just the bits and pieces through gritted teeth and hurt feelings. She takes time now to recount the whole sordid affair, starting with how misleadingly charming Swenson was when he picked her up. He took her to a fairly nice, upscale restuarant, and casually asked if she remembered meeting him before. She said no, and he laughed it off, telling her that she was even hotter than he remembered, and then left it at that. Dinner was pleasant, he bragged about himself a lot and didn't really seem interested in her, but she chalked it up as a boring date.

There's a pause when their food arrives, and then Siobhan continues the tale. How he kept putting his hand on her knee and rubbing it during dessert, how he 'accidentally' palmed her ass getting into the car he called for them. When things changed in the car, and he tried to shove his tongue down her throat and grabbed her boob. She went on the defensive, a spell that felt like a sharp pin his palm, probably something in her dress was her excuse. She was polite, she asked for him to back off and he seemed to until the car arrived at a hotel.

"I told him that I wasn't going to sleep with him no matter how fancy the dinner was, and that's when he told me that it all took Kirk was a few beers. And he recapped everything that Kirk told him about that night." Siobhan squirms, looking down at the table. She's partly embarrassed. That mistake was not one of her finer moments. Maybe a small part even thinks she asked for what happened last night if she was going to be so stupidly slutty.

"They're old buddies or something, I don't know. But Dad showed my picture on the dance site to his Mom, and she showed it to Corey when they did the whole 'blind date' thing, and he thought he recognized me, and then he showed Kirk …" Siobhan trails off. To be so huge, New York City really is small. "Shit. I really thought that Kirk had forgotten all about me and wouldn't know me from Jane Doe if he saw me again." God knows she had forgotten about Kirk until last night.

"Oh, Shiv. I'm so sorry." Jenna has had bad dates before, but none that bordered on being that bad. She's more concerned for her friend's feelings than anything else. Reaching across the table as she listens to the tale, she sets her hand to her BFF's and pushes through a calming feeling. Not that Siobhan is freaking out, just recounting the tale.
"You made the right decision. Swenson sounds like an ass. Though you should've done more than what you did." Giving Shiv's hand a squeeze she smiles.
"Of course he wouldn't forget about you. You're hot, and unforgettable."

Jenna's touch helps and Siobhan gives her an appreciative smile. Jenna will feel the gratitude and warmth of friendship as well. "Oh, I wanted to set him on fire or shrink his close or give him a few hours of blue balls." Which would have felt good and been extremely amusing, but probably would have gotten back to her father. Or worse yet, somehow made it through the 'weird shit that happened to this guy I knew' grapevine and landed in Regina's lap, with a big neon arrow pointing back at Siobhan.

"If there was ever a time I wanted to be forgotten? That was it." Not her best moment, though according to Kirk, she was far more skilled, acrobatic and submissive than she remembers being.

Stupid, bragging frat boy.

"Anyway, I'm free this weekend and next weekend. I can free myself up after that too, if needed. I think I might want to go dancing after we shop though. I need to dance my cares away." It's tempting to see if she can sneak into the Undercity and find an 'ignore me' charm, or at least something that won't attract the horny drunk coeds.

"I'm sure you gave him a few hours of blue balls as it is," Jenna replies with a snort. She can't help it. Any guy who goes into a date expecting sex, and being too handsy deserves that.
"There's not a spell for that? I'd think that there would be something like that, you know, to keep you all safe in the past." Heck, if those Salem witches had spells like that, they likely wouldn't have wound up hanging from ropes or crushed beneath stones.
"Let's shop this weekend, and go next weekend. It gives me time to research the best roller disco on Coney Island, and see which other amusements are open."

"God, I hope so," Siobhan says with a fair amount of fire and enthusiasm.

Siobhan lowers her voice, not wanting to put up a privacy spell. It's a pain to have to lift and remove if for each interaction with the waiter. "I don't know. I mean there are concealment and hiding spells. Mom and Dad taught us those when were younger, even before we could actually practice." She takes a bite of her dinner and chews thoughtfully. After swallowing, she continues. "I don't want to disappear completely, but I would think there's something of a repellant? An I'm not interested spell?" It used to be handled with a wedding or engagement ring, but that isn't a determent for a lot of guys these days.

She leans closer, lowering her voice more. It's in a conspiratorial whisper that she asks, "I know where to look for one, but … it's not exactly an easy place to get to or the safest place in the City." She's only ventured into the Undercity with her parents, or with other Coven members. What she's proposing is going on her own, or just with Jenna.

Jenna laughs again at the amount of fire and enthusiasm for her friend. "You know if he wanted it that bad, he was going home with them, or driving around until he found some drunk sorority girl." Either way, the douche didn't lay more than a hand on her friend, and that makes Jenna extremely happy. She really dislikes getting angry at people, it makes it more difficult to keep everyone else's emotions out.
"It would be nice if you could disappear completely from their memory though. Maybe you could ask your mom about it?"
"Okay, so you're proposing to go to a dangerous, difficult to get to place?"

"Mom has a thing about memory spells," Siobhan shakes her head. "Plus, I'd have to explain it and … and my Dad, well you know how he is. No matter what I told him, he'd figure out the truth, and then he'd go pummel some guy for pawing his baby girl and that's if he didn't pull out the big guns." Meaning magic. No, Siobhan would rather not go there.

"Yes. I've been there before, so it's not that sort of dangerous. It's just … well off the beaten path. But Mom and Dad have taken me there, and I've been with Coven members." Siobhan shrugs. Of course, that is an approach she could take. She could ask one of the other witches, but she does run the risk of it getting back to her mother or Regina. Being the daughter of a witch and sorcerer puts her under more scrutiny than she likes sometimes.

"Yes, explaining that to your dad is likely the worst thing you can do at this point. Especially since it's a colleague's kid." Jenna finishes off her food, and then takes a sip of the icy lemon soda. "I don't want you getting into trouble."
Biting her lip, she nods. "Okay, but can we go after shopping? I'd like to get the disco outfits before we forget, and I could use a new pair of shoes for work…"

Siobhan shudders. "The only reason he doesn't know is because he's on call and wasn't home when I got home last night." Then again, if he had been home, she probably would have waited for Jenna to be done with work and gone over there instead. It might have meant coming face-to-face with Harper, but it would be preferable to her father knowing what happened.

"It's a deal," Siobhan agrees. "We'll need to change clothes anyway. Where we're going, we'll stand out like sore thumbs." They'll also ruin their outfits.

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