Mack smiled happily. “It’s a date,” he said, clearly excited but trying his best to play it cool. The game progressed and even if the boys were suspicious of Mack, things were uneventful. He said goodbye to everyone looking forward to that night.

At 8:59pm, there was a knock on the door of the Gallagher residence. Mack stood there, black slacks, nice, dark blue shirt, tie, but worn the relaxed way with the top button still undone, and a single white rose. “Your chariot awaits, madam,” he said, pointing to the taxi waiting for them outside (whenever Fiona comes to the door and he can speak to her). He complemented her in a gentlemanly sort of way on her outfit, gave her the rose, said goodbye to anyone within earshot, and they were off.

“While I enjoy the time with everyone, cause those kids are all great, it is nice to get you to just myself for a while,” he said sweetly.

(Feel free to interject at anytime)

At the restaurant, which was medium sized and fairly busy, the host was a middle-aged Italian who beamed when he saw Mack. In a thick, Italian accent, he said, “Michael! So good to see you! It’s been too long! And a friend, too? You’ve never brought anyone here before? We make this a special time for you then, eh?” He shouted down the way to a waitress, spouted something in Italian, and they pair was shown to a very nice table in a cozy wing of the restaurant.

It had soft lighting, linen table cloths, and a very homey feel. The place was busy, but the way the place was laid out it felt natural and you could still be heard. A portly woman, maybe in her 70s came up to their table smiling broadly. “Mio figlio, mi sei mancato!” she spouted in Italian and grabbed his face to kiss his cheek.

“Mamma, mi stai imbarazzante, ma ti ho perso troppo,” Mack replied in perfect Italian. “Mama Cortada, may I introduce you to Fiona Gallagher,” Mack said.

The lady turned to Fiona, “Che bella! So nice to meet you. Where has our Mickie been hiding you?” she asked and gave him a slap on the shoulder. “He might be Irish on the outside, but he’s the son God never gave me,” she said sweetly. I have the chef make something special for the two of you, okay? Okay... you, you treat this angel right. She’s too pretty for you boy, so you treat her right, eh?” she said sarcastically to Mack.

“I know Mama, I know,” he replied.

“Oh... so happy,” she said, looking like she might cry and waddled off, shouting to the kitchen the whole way.

Mack looked a bit embarrassed, but once they were totally alone again, he spoke up. “When I got to the city a year ago or so, I needed work – the kind you can get without papers. Senora Cortada’s grandson was getting beaten up in an alley the night I met him and I broke the fight up. He got me a job here washing dishes. They took me in, treated me like family, and even gave me a place to stay. I’ve been so busy with my newest job and moving into my new place that I haven’t been back in over a month. I hope you don’t mind? Didn’t mean to make this awkward for you, but they’re the only family I have so I wanted you to meet them.”

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