Chapter 1 - We’re Soulmates
As I climb the last stair to my apartment, a loud groan of annoyance comes out of me.
Thank god it’s the weekend and my last class is over. I’m in serious need of a break, three to four glasses of wine, a tub of ice cream, and a massage wouldn’t hurt.
Hopefully, Dylan will be home already, so I might have some company. Flinging the door open, I’m greeted with silence.
“What the actual fuck?”
He only has one class today and is usually lying around on my couch watching TV.
Well, great. No massage for me.
A soak in the tub surrounded by luxurious bubbles will have to do. My muscles are screaming at me after a long week. Brand new book in hand, I strip and head to the bathroom. As the water fills—I grab a bottle of red I’ve been saving, the carton of rocky road plus a spoon. Why bother with a glass? I’m sure I’ll finish this off by myself...if not tonight, then tomorrow.
An hour later, I’m nice and tipsy in my tub, practicing self-care like a pro when Dylan finally comes in. About time.
“Babe? Where are you?”
His face, as he turns the corner, is priceless. It reminds me of the time the store was out of his favorite natural deodorant, which definitely does not work.
Seriously, he stinks.
There’s no telling him that, though. I tip my bottle in his direction with a celebratory nod, accidentally spilling some on the tile floor.
“Are you drunk already?”
“Whaaaat? No, can’t be.”
Dylan glances down at my mostly empty bottle, which reminds me to take a swig. I’m mid-gulp when he snatches it out of my hand. His close proximity gives me a big whiff of his armpit. Bile rushes to my throat and I have to fight to choke it back down. He examines the bottle with a critical eye. I can practically feel his disapproval from here.
What a stick in the mud.
“You should really take it easy, babe. You know how you get when you drink too much.”
“Well, I’m sorry if I wanted to treat myself after a crummy day. And this might just be the wine talking, but phew! Can you light that candle over there? My nose can’t take much more of your odious funk.”
“Yooooour funk. Funk, funk, funky butt.”
“Okay, I’m gonna ignore that because you’re obviously wasted.”
“Not that wasted, stinky...”
“Alright, you just stay in here until you sober up.”
Ugh, is this really my life now?
Clearly not amused at my frowning face, Dylan stomps out of the bathroom, pitching a fit. I don’t get his attitude. He’s always after me for being uptight. Maybe it didn’t happen when he wanted it to, so all isn’t right in Dylanland. Oh, well. He’ll get over it soon. Hopefully, by the time my bath water goes cold.
When I get out and dry myself off—my boyfriend is pouting in his usual spot in the living room. He doesn’t even bother looking at me until I’m standing directly in front of him. Even then, it’s just a small glance.
Okay, guess I will have to play dirty.
I tilt his head up to look me in the eyes while I drop my towel. Completely naked now, his hands automatically reach for me. Sinking into his lap, I wrap my hands around his neck then ask in my most pitiful voice...
“You’re not still mad at me, are you?”
“I guess not...”
Quickly, I peck him on the lips before standing up to get dressed. I don’t make it very far when Dylan yanks on my arm, bringing me back. His mouth covers mine in a rough kiss I can’t break away from.
Seems like he feels the need for some payback.
A moan comes out of me as his tongue plays with mine. He may smell, but at least he’s a great kisser. Our breathing picks up and we’re seconds away from going further. I sigh when he pulls back instead.
“I had something I wanted to ask you before the wine incident happened.”
“Alright. Go ahead.”
“There’s a Halloween party tomorrow night. Go with me?”
“Okay, sounds good. To be honest, that’s exactly what I need.”
“I mean...yeah, I’ve been wanting to get out of the house and do something fun for a change. This is perfect.”
“Even if it’s a costume party?”
That stops me in the middle of my thoughts. Costumes are not my thing. I look ridiculous and can never get them quite right. The few times I have done it, everyone takes several guesses to figure out who I am.
Dylan, though, lives for this kind of stuff. A drama major with a natural affinity for flare and outrageous getups—he never misses a chance to show off. Seriously makes me wonder why he’s with me. I’m the total opposite of him. The hesitance must show on my face because he rubs my hand to reassure me.
“Hey, I’ll be there with you the whole time. It’ll be great. We can wear a couple’s set of outfits.”
“Matching costumes? Like what?”
“The possibilities are endless, babe. We could be Bonnie and Clyde or Romeo and Juliet...”
His eyes are wide as he rambles on about a few other costumes we could pick. I still have no clue what to dress up as and it’s so last minute too. Dylan doesn’t seem to have a care in the world as I get up to pull on some clothes. I’m just fishing some shorts out of my dresser when he walks into my room.
“Babe, I don’t want you to worry about this. Everything is going to be fine. In fact, I’m leaving it up to destiny. We’re soulmates and I just know we’ll automatically pick matching costumes. Our connection is out of this world.”
Did he just say what I think he said?
“Destiny? You want to leave this up to like fate or something?”
“Yeah, why not? It’ll just prove how in sync we are. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll look great.”
“If you say so...”
“I do. Now I gotta go find all the pieces for mine, but I’ll meet you at the Warren house. 8 pm sharp, babe. Don’t be late, okay?”
He adjusts his glasses after dropping a light kiss on my lips. Grinning like an idiot—Dylan rushes out of my apartment to begin his search.
Why did I agree to this?
I can’t stand costumes and now on top of that, I have to somehow read his damn mind, so we match. I need the rest of my wine. I’m far too sober for this mess.
Wandering into the kitchen, I spot the top of the wine bottle peeking out at me from the trash can. It’s empty. That son of a bitch poured my wine out! Who the hell does he think he is? I slump against the countertop and allow myself to mourn the loss of my alcoholic friend.
“Ugh, can this day be over yet?”
The next morning, I wake up with a slight headache. This calls for some ibuprofen and coffee. My espresso machine is a welcomed sight as I down two pills, then start a shot brewing. Once the caffeine hits—last night comes back to me. I have to figure out a costume for tonight.
I desperately need help with this. Faye is my only hope right now. She’s always coming up with great outfits for regular parties. How hard can it be to think up a costume? For someone other than me, that is.
Once I find my phone—I’m texting her, praying that it makes sense. I don’t even know if she’s up yet. What time is it? Before I can worry about that, she’s replying. Yay!
“You need what?”
“A costume for this Halloween party tonight.”
“You’re going to the Warren party?”
“Yes, and Dylan thinks somehow we’re just going to magically match each other.”
“Your boyfriend is weird, girl.”
“Don’t remind me. Can you help? Please!”
“I’ll see what I can do. Be by there later.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
With that out of the way, I think a nap is the best thing for my head. If I want to make it through this party tonight, I’m going to need all the rest I can get.
It’s 4 pm when I’m woken up by a loud banging on my front door. Who the hell could that be? I stumble out from underneath my comfy covers, trying hard not to hit any of the walls between my room and the door. As a hand lands on the doorknob—my best friend shouts from the other side.
“Open up! I’ve got a ton of clothes in my hands here.”
I fling the door open, and Faye is barely visible behind a mountain of fabric. She doesn’t play around, does she?
“Wow...this is...a lot.”
“Well, you always have a hard time deciding and you said the idiot was expecting you to perform some sort of hoodoo or something. Thought I should give you a variety of choices.”
“Okay, where should we start?”
“By letting me put all of this down. My arms are freaking killing me.”
“Oh, yeah, yeah. Come here.”
Guiding her into my room, she dumps the load of costumes onto my bed. I’m pretty sure we’re going to need something to drink and some snacks, so I jet out to the kitchen, then scoop up a pile of food. Since my wine is gone—we’ll have to settle for some juice or soda for a beverage. That still annoys me when I think about it. All of that in my hands, I carefully go back to my room.
“Let the hoodoo commence!”
Three hours and a bunch of snacks later, I think we finally have a costume picked. Mina Harker isn’t super well known, but surely Dylan has heard me go on and on about her and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The dress we settled on fits so well too.
As I’m searching my closet for shoes to match, Faye signals it’s time for her to go. She still has to get ready herself. I give her a massive hug and continue to dig for the right shoes. Finally, I find the perfect pair, then start on my hair and makeup. This looks wonderful. I just hope Dylan likes it.
It’s about fifteen minutes before 8 pm and I’m walking down the sidewalk toward Rick Warren’s house. The whole neighborhood is lit up with spooky decorations, lights, and glowing pumpkins carved with an assortment of faces. Even the Mason family has a trick-or-treat sign leaning against a window covered in fake spider webs.
Outside in Rick’s yard, there’s a ton of lights everywhere I look. A black tent hangs over part of a group of trees, forming a mini haunted house. Skeletons are lined up right beside it and more are by the door. This is crazy. Rick really gets into the spirit of Halloween.
Making my way up to the porch, I pass a few people with drinks in their hands. I guess the party has already started.
Inside, everyone is talking, laughing, or even dancing. The beat of the music reaches me from where I am and the itch to step out onto the dancefloor slowly fills me. But I need to find Dylan first. Boyfriend, then dancing.
If I only knew what he looked like.
Several minutes later—my search still continues. I’ve gone over to three Edward Cullens, two Lestats, and a Damon Salvatore. This is starting to get extremely depressing. Just when I think about giving up, I spot him over against the far wall.
Dressed as Dracula, he adjusts his cape when I get close. His mouth quirks up into a devilish smile and a bright flash of fangs makes me gasp. They look so real.
“Wow...you look great. I can’t believe it actually worked out like this. We match!”
“I can’t either. Lucky me.”
“You mean lucky me. I thought there was no way in hell I would even come up with a decent costume.”
“I’m glad you did. I think you look stunning, Miss Harker.”
He guessed who I was on the first try? This is awesome. Suddenly, I’m loving this party. Dylan grabs my hand to lead me to the dancefloor. It’s like he read my mind. A slow song dies down when we reach the mass of people dancing. I can tell he wished it hadn’t, so he could use it as an excuse to be close to me.
“Don’t worry, baby. I can make a fast song work to our advantage too.”
I wink at my boyfriend, then laugh while he twirls me around. As I come face-to-face with him, a light kiss is pressed to the back of my hand. Dylan is being such a charmer tonight. I’m thinking about saying something about it, but I’m interrupted by the DJ making an announcement.
“Hey, hey, hey! Listen up, party people. To get everyone’s evening started right...we’re going to have a little contest. How’s everyone feel about showing their moves and winning a prize, huh?”
Everyone cheers around us. One look at Dylan tells me he’s excited for a chance to try. Why not? I wanted to dance anyway and this way if we do well, we’ll win something. Thinking of a plan to have the judge’s eye on us—I almost don’t hear what I’m competing for.
“The winning couple gets a free dinner at St. John’s Wharf and tickets to a movie of their choice at the Regal theater. Good luck everybody! Let the dancing begin!”
Oh, St. John’s Wharf is fancy. I love that place. Quickly, I shimmy against Dylan, letting him know I’m in. His smile is dazzling as he takes the lead.
Before I know what’s happening, the tempo picks up and our bodies mesh together. The heat he’s radiating flows through me...the more we move—the hotter it gets.
Eventually, my leg ends up wrapped around his hip and Dylan grinds his body into mine. One of my hands cups the back of his neck to scratch my nails down it. He growls into my ear, which sends a tingle down my spine all the way to my core. I’m so wet for him.
If this keeps going—I might jump him right here. Not caring who sees, I shamelessly rub against the growing bulge in his costume. He wants me...that much is obvious.
With a quick twist, I’m suddenly dipped until I almost touch the floor. At the last second, Dylan pulls back and trails his nose up my exposed throat. The feeling of his warm breath on my skin causes goosebumps to form. I’ve never been so aroused just by dancing before. Makes me wonder why we don’t do it all the time.
I don’t know how much more of this I can take, though.
Glancing up at my boyfriend—his bright eyes draw me in. Even in the dark, they seem to glow and an enchanting dizziness threatens to overwhelm me. What is happening? Is Dylan doing something? These questions will have to remain unanswered for now because the DJ’s voice cuts through, breaking the spell.
“And I’m told we have a winner, folks. Congratulations to...the lucky vampire couple, Dracula and Mina Harker!”
“We won! We actually won!”
I leap into Dylan’s arms as soon as the DJ finishes talking. Disbelief has me shaking my head, but I’m thrilled that we pulled it off.
Some of the other couples seem bummed by their loss and leave the area not long after. I see a particularly pissed woman lead her partner off to the side. Once we’re told we can pick up our prize later—the music resumes.
I’m breathless, still on the dancefloor with Dylan. We’ve never danced like that before. I know this is somewhat new, but that was incredible.
Everyone claps for us again and I point to the drink table up against the far wall. He nods in agreement, taking my hand in his. Both of us drain our cups once we find something to drink.
As I turn to get a refill, a couple in the corner catches my eye. It’s the pissy pair from before. They are really going at it. Little Red Riding Hood looks like she’s getting devoured by the Big Bad Wolf. I know what we just did out there was hot, but these two seem on the verge of having sex.
Dylan turns his attention to where I’m looking. He shakes his head, then steps closer to me. I can feel his hand on my hip, pulling me into him.
“They’ve got nothing on us.”
“I don’t know what’s gotten into you tonight, but I like it.”
“Night’s not over, baby.”
Oh, my god...