1 | Downward Spiral
The Weeknd’s ‘After Hours’ song was exactly what my life felt at the moment except I wasn’t crooning about unprotected sex and wanting babies.
Speaking of babies, I screw my eyes shut when one of the kids from the nearby booth wails his lungs off. I mean seriously, why can’t these parents just discipline their kids properly? It wasn’t like I hated children, I do love them. Like Kyle’s daughter Sophie for instance, the mere thought of that angel makes my heart brim with happiness.
“You know what? I’m one step away from strangling that kid!” Ava groans out and clutches her head tightly in her hands as she shoots daggers at the bratty kid who is still bawling his eyes out over some milkshake, much to our annoyance.
“Hey! Easy there! I don’t think that the peaceful citizens of Seattle would appreciate a display of child abuse right in the middle of the lunch break. Besides, it was your idea to come and eat here at Mc. Donald’s” I say the last part pointedly and regard her with amusement.
She sighs deeply and replies, “No shit, Sherlock”
I wince when the kid starts crying again and I exasperatedly look behind me to see why the fuck wasn’t his mother doing something. As soon as I turn I freeze when my eyes finally take the child’s appearance. It would be a fat lie if I said that the kid was just cute.
He was adorable
With large blue doll-like eyes that were now red-rimmed from the excessive tears, flustered skin, and black hair, he reminded me of him.
Suddenly I had this dying urge to soothe the kid and thought for a moment, would Blaze’s son look like him too?
A memory of us lying on top of the faux carpet opposite the fireplace in his room flashes inside my head and I feel myself thinking about it.
“Is that you?” I release a laugh as I look at the smaller 6yr old version of Blaze holding a wooden sword while being dressed as a pirate. He looked adorable beyond words.
How did I know that it was him in the picture? His round wide Egyptian blue eyes were a dead giveaway.
What made me laugh was the fact that he was pouting at the camera with a huge red nose which almost put Rudolph to shame and his untamed jet-black hair fell on his forehead in bangs that looked quite disheveled, preferably from the wind.
“Ugh, where did you get that?” He groans and looks at the picture with mild horror.
I look at him sideways and point at the top part of the fireplace.
“Damnit! Evita must’ve put it there” He says and rubs his face whilst regarding the picture in my hands.
“Who’s Evita?” I ask him confused and watch him smile fondly.
“She used to be my part-time nanny when I was a kid. She was the one who took this picture. I think I was crying because my sword was brown and not black like the way I wanted it” He looks up at the ceiling thoughtfully and rubs my shoulder gently as I stare at the image in front of me.
“You must have been such a snotty kid you know” I snigger in amusement and his lips thin with irritation.
“I wasn’t a snotty kid. Though I can bet that you were a brat” He speaks up in his defense and my eyes widen as I gasp loudly when I hear him calling me a brat.
“What?! I was NOT a brat” I spat out offended and fold my arms over my chest and childishly scoot away from him and look away.
“Oh no. Is Ms. Carter alright? Did I bruise her ego?” He asks mockingly and I shoot him a death glare whilst scrambling to get up with the duvet clutched around my naked body.
In one swift movement, he captures my wrist in his hand and pulls me down. I fall back on the fluffy carpet and within a blink of an eye; he’s on top of me.
He gathers both of my hands and pulls them over my head as I wriggle beneath him.
“Ugh let go! I don’t want to be here” I knew that right now I was indeed acting like a child but for some reason, being around him like this felt…comfortable.
“Oh look. Now, who’s acting like a brat?” He says with his mouth a few inches away from mine and his minty breath fills my nostrils as he inches closer to me.
“Huh! Says the snotty kid himself” I retort back and I watch him repress his amusement as he tries to maintain his serious expression.
“Oh really?” He playfully asks me and with one of his hands holding both of my hands hostage, he uses his free hand to tickle me and I thrash around with laughter.
“Oh my God! Stop please!” I beg him and he rests his forehead on top of mine as we stare at each other silently.
Other than our explosive sexual encounters, I loved enjoying moments like this with him. It just simply felt…natural
“You’re thinking about him, aren’t you?” Ava’s voice breaks me out of my thoughts and I grasp my pastel green dress underneath my fingers tightly as I try to keep my tears at bay.
I lift my head to look at Ava who’s looking at me with a sheepish smile that screamed understanding. I was glad that she didn’t pity me which was one of the very reasons why she’s my best friend. She always understood me better.
“It’s just…It hurts so much. Almost as if-f someone’s t-twisting some invisible-e knife inside m-my chest” I try to get words out of my mouth as my throat gets clogged up with unnamed emotions.
“Deep breaths Phoebe, c’mon you can do this!” She tries to console me and I immediately reach my bag for my meds. My medication has almost started being a regular since the day I left Monaco.
Shit! Alana won’t be happy over this
Speaking of Alana, I really needed to see her as soon as possible. If anyone can handle me perfectly, then it’s no one other than her.
“You know what? Forget it. Besides our lunch break is almost over. We should really hurry up” I say hastily to change the topic and take a large bite of my double cheese mac.
She sighs with defeat and resumes munching on her fries.
A vibration of text alert distracts us both and I watch Ava grimace whilst peering down at the screen.
“What’s wrong?” I ask her confused.
“It’s John” She replies and rolls her eyes with disgust before continuing, “That scumbag has been sending me flowers at my workplace again. Like seriously, what the fuck is wrong with men in my life? The guy I love is busy screwing his toxic ex-turned-girlfriend, my ex is constantly begging for a second chance and my somewhat-temporary ex-boss is acting all possessive over me”
I choke on my cola as I hear her narration and burst out in fits of laughter.
“Talk about karma. Weren’t you whining about John’s attention a few weeks back? Look at you now”
“I fucking know right!” She exclaims with horror and starts jabbing on her phone with anger and I feel pity for it to be tolerating her rage.
A thought hits my head and I ask her, “You’ve been in contact with Andres?”
She looks up from her phone screen and shrugs, “I haven’t but he has. He’s literally in Sweden right now and yet he’s keeping tabs on me. Like, who am I to you? He made it pretty clear to me at the ball that what we did was just a one night stand, and then what’s his problem?”
“I don’t understand” I state bemused.
“Yesterday I went out for dinner with one of my co-workers, Danny and he literally texted me ‘I don’t like to share’. Umm excuse me, I’m not yours anyway. Who are you staking a claim on?” She huffs with exaggeration and stabs her chicken nuggets with her fork as if they are Andres’s balls.
I inwardly laugh at that thought and suggest her.
“Maybe he’s having second thoughts…” I trail off teasingly.
“Well, I don’t care. I just want to be single for the next few months to get over all this bullshit”
Honestly speaking, I felt bad for Ava. She deserved the best. I witnessed her going through a series of problems relating to men to the point where she stopped trusting them all together. She was a kind-hearted soul and truly one of a kind which always made me feel lucky to call her my best friend.
“You know what? Fuck them. All of them. Fuck Blaze, fuck Noah, fuck Nate, fuck john, and fuck Andres. Like enough! If they want us, let them beg for it” With that said, I lift my plastic Cola cup and fake-toast with Ava as we both down our remaining drinks.
Tove Lo’s ‘Ladywood’ was blasting heavily through the speakers as the people danced in rhythm to the song but The Weeknd’s ‘After Hours’ was still on repeat inside my head. I watch the hot sweaty bodies dancing around the floor from the railing of the lounge area upstairs and look down to see people swaying to the music like they had no other care in the world. I sip on my blueberry martini as I enjoy my solitude on the quiet bar up.
Illicit was a high up-scale night-club where I liked to enjoy my time after work. It was situated a few blocks from my workplace which was the reason why I was inside the club, still sporting my work attire.
Despite having blueberry in the name of the drink, it had a heavenly taste of tropical mangoes as it fills my tastebuds with its after-taste effects.
With my chin resting on my hand, from the corner of my eye, I notice a tall man claiming the barstool next to me and hear him order his drink.
“A scotch neat please” I hear him order and inwardly frown when I hear his voice. Even after having a slightly thick voice, he sounded too young to be in a bar where strippers were literally dancing on the poles.
I lift my head with curiosity and turn to his side, only to find him already looking at me with a boyish expression. The best way to describe him would be by calling him your typical American athletic guy-next-door type. With deep brown eyes and dirty blonde hair, he looked like a total candy and almost resembled Ryan Gosling.
But still…not my type
I give him a small smile of acknowledgment and busy myself with scrolling my Facebook feed. A thought occurs to me and I find myself entering Blaze Hunter in my search bar. A few results show up and I sigh with disappointment when I see that all of them are fan accounts. There were like over a million accounts with his name but none of them were real.
Exhaling with frustration I resume sipping my drink.
“Are you like a Lawyer or something?” I turn to look at the guy beside me to find him regarding me with genuine interest.
“No, I’m not. What makes you think that I am?” I ask him amused as the alcohol starts flowing in my system, making me feel carefree. Besides, I’ve never been the one to shy away from casual conversation.
“I don’t know. You kind of give off that vibes. Like your formal dress paired with a tired-looking expression on your face…” He tries to reason out and I laugh lightly at his assumption.
I look down at my cream-colored black-rimmed halter neck blouse that I coupled with my black bodycon skirt.
“Oh, that! Aren’t you an observant person? Uh, you also seem a bit young to be at a nightclub?” I ask him with curiosity and watch him trying to repress his laugh. My eyes unconsciously fall on his left arm where his black shirt has ridden up a bit, revealing a series of ink-work that looked like birds.
My mind wanders backs to Blaze and thinking about what he’s doing right now and instantly my mood darkens.
Huh, he’s probably busy fucking his new flavor of the month
Trying to push aside thoughts of him, I gulp down the drink and cringe as the alcohol burns my throat.
“Whoa, you ok there?” I hear the blonde-dude asking me with concern and pass him an ‘I’m fine’ smile and see him close his mouth.
“What’s your name by the way?” I ask him and he throws me a sexy smile and says, “Tyler and you are…?”
“Phoebe. It’s a pleasure to meet you Tyler” I drawl out his name seductively and see a smirk making its way on his plump lips as he shakes my outstretched hand.
“No way! How did you do that?” I slurred out and he tipped his head back laughing as he downs his own tequila shot.
I think two hours have passed with us sharing our wild experiences.
Suddenly, we both locked eyes with each other simultaneously and he slowly leaned in. I stood still like a statue as his lips dropped feather-light kisses on top of mine. I try responding to him but my mind gets fogged up with thoughts of Blaze which fuel my anger and I weave my hands on Tyler’s hair as he presses himself against me on the lounge chair where we were currently sitting.
I straddle him as his mouth makes its way down to my neck and I try to drown out the loud thumping music in the background.
ANYTHING AT ALL
Suddenly a pair of light cerulean eyes pervade my senses and I gasp as I pull myself off Tyler’s lap.
I stand up from the lounge chairs and pull at my hair with frustration.
What the fuck are you doing Phoebe?
It’s not like Blaze is my boyfriend. I know it, then why the hell am I feeling so ashamed at myself?
I look up to see Tyler eyeing me cautiously.
“I-I’m so-o sorry-y” I stammer out as I grab my purse from the brown table and without listening to his explanation, I rush out of the club and search for my car keys inside my purse clumsily.
I stumble past the throngs of strangers faster when I hear Tyler calling out my name from behind me.
By the time I successfully reach outside the parking lot, I make my way towards my black Audi RS6. Before I can open the door, I feel a warm hand on my shoulder and turn to find Tyler with an incredulous expression.
“Christ Phoebe! Calm down! It’s alright. You don’t have to run away from me because I kissed you. I’m also heartbroken from my last break-up, hence the reason for that kiss. I know you are heartbroken too and it was stupid of me to kiss you like that but trust me, I won’t take advantage of you. Besides, you are not even sober for fuck’s sake! Let me drop you off at your home” He finishes and I look at him with gratitude. I was more than glad for Tyler not judging me and he was also right.
What was I thinking? I can’t drive while I’m still drunk as fuck. As much as I wanted to say no to Tyler, I felt oddly safe around him.
“I promise I won’t take advantage of you Phoebe” He reassures me and I find myself nodding my head. I hand him over my car keys and enter the cool leather-clad interior of my car.
“What about your car? Are you going to go all the way to the club to retrieve it?” I ask him feeling a bit guilty for dragging him in my mess.
“You don’t have to worry about that. My driver is already on the way” He replies casually as if it’s no big deal and on cue, a silver Maserati pulls up outside my house.
“Nice ride” I murmur distractedly and turn to look at him, “I’m so sorry Tyler. It feels so awkward now”
I close my eyes in mortification and he simply chuckles.
“Relax Phoebe. I should be the one to apologize. I mean I’m the one who made the first move anyway. Don’t feel bad” He tries to lessen my embarrassment and I find myself smiling at his effort.
“So heart-break, huh?” I ask him to lighten the atmosphere and watch his cheeks turn pink as he rubs the back of his neck nervously.
“It’s complicated I guess. I loved this girl ever since I was a kid but she just…never took the hint. Tomorrow’s her wedding with my best friend. It’s just really fucked up” He shrugs as if it’s no big deal but deep inside I feel bad for him.
“What about you?” He questions me and looks at my face eagerly, waiting for my answer.
I sigh loudly and give him a vague answer, “I kind of slept with a guy who I’m not supposed to be catching feelings for but somewhere along the way…I did. I miss him so much and we kind of left things a bit unresolved between us”
He nods at my response and says, “I’m glad I met you, Phoebe. You’re a really nice person. Don’t forget that. I will be honest; I really enjoyed your company today. I don’t think I’ve laughed this much since…I don’t even know when”
“Can we remain friends like this? I enjoy your company too Tyler. Mark my words, someday you’ll find someone who really deserves you” I tell him genuinely and squeeze his hand that’s resting on the steering wheel.
He passes me a soft smile and says, “I agree with you”
After exchanging our numbers for future hang-outs, both of us exit my car. As I make my way towards the door of my house, he calls up behind me.
“Hey, Phoebe! If he really cares about you, he’ll seek you out. One day or the other, he will” He states and with one last wink in my direction, he gets inside his own car and I watch the car speeding towards the gate.
I stand there with shock whilst trying to absorb his words.
Will Blaze really ever seek me out?
A/N - Just a little sneak peek won’t hurt right? Yes yes, I love you all so much that I couldn’t resist the temptation of posting the first chapter.
As I said earlier in my first book, ENGLISH IS NOT MY FIRST LANGUAGE. ALSO, THIS IS THE FIRST DRAFT (STILL EDITING).
And lastly, please let me know your thoughts on this chapter! All of your reader’s opinions, love, and support mean everything to me! ❤