Chapter 41: The Real Me
For the next week and a half, I constantly drag Daniel to the cyber cafe. We spend the next two and a half hours scouring through all the social networks- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, for all the twenty-one girls that Daniel has screwed over.
It’s really hard to trace down every single one of them because Daniel can’t remember most of the girl’s names. So, he has to describe to me how each girl looked and I have to use my skills -or the lack of them- to track down every single one of them.
Out of the twenty-one girls, I have found seventeen.
Out of the seventeen, fifteen were not sentenced to prison.
Out of the fifteen, twelve were still in the states.
Out of the twelve, eight had addresses posted on their social network (seriously though? Who would be stupid enough to put their addresses on the web where everyone can see them? Daniel must have been with some pretty dumb girls).
Anyways, we jot down their addresses and got into my car. I take the wheel and glance over to Daniel who’s nervously rolling the window up and down.
“Cut it out, will you? You’re going to break that thing.” I say irritably.
He glares at me. “I’m nervous, alright? And when I’m nervous I tend to…do weird things.”
“What the hell do you have to feel nervous about?”
“Excuse me if I’m not so keen about getting slapped or kicked in the balls!” He exclaims, “I’ve left a lot of angry women out there. Some even want my blood.”
“What?” I exclaim. “You mean some are vampires?”
He gives me a dead look. “Are you serious right now? It’s a metaphor!”
“Right,” I stare straight, my eyes on the road, my cheeks red as a tomato. “I knew that.”
He sighs. “I really don’t want to do this.”
“You have to! It’s the only way to move on from your past! Don’t you want to start over with a clean slate?” I tell him as I take a turn to the left. The car swirls around in a not so smooth way.
“Fuck!” He says when he hits his head against the window. “You’re driving skills are horrible!”
“I’m sorry!” I yell. And then I hit the brakes just before the traffic light turned red.
“I think I’ll take the wheel from now on-” Daniel reaches over to my seat. I swat him away.
“No!” I push him back to his seat. “If you’re driving, you’re only going to send us back home. You have to go through with this, alright?”
Daniel eyes me curiously. “Why is it so important to you that I do?”
I press my lips together in a firm line. To be honest, I don’t really know myself. Would it help me confirm my feelings for him? Would it allow me to let go of my own guilt, the guilt that I’ve been carrying ever since I poured champagne on the guy?
Would it help me move on from my past- the past when I hated the man and everything he stood for?
Maybe. I hope.
I don’t answer his question. I clamp my mouth shut and continue driving. After a few more minutes, we arrive at our first destination. It’s a small little townhouse, similar to my parents’, except for the fact that it looked way older. The fencing was rusty, a faded orange red glistening over the gate. Ivy and moss cling unto the walls, creating an eerie, somewhat unwelcoming ambience.
I get out of the car just as Daniel did. The both of us stand by the pavement, looking up at the house, gulping.
“What if the girl who lives in this house wants to kill me?” His lips tremble. “This feels like the perfect place for murder.”
“First off, the girl’s name is Melanie, and this is her grandfather’s house, as mentioned here in her photo album on Facebook,” I fish out my phone and search for her profile, “and she’s a nice young girl- barely legal in fact. You’re lucky you didn’t end up in jail for hooking up with her.”
He rolls his eyes. “I knew she was eighteen. I don’t hook up with girls younger than that. I’m an asshole, but I’m not that much of an asshole.”
“I’m think you’re just an asshole. Period. But that’s just my opinion.” Daniel glares at me. I blow out a soft whistle.
“Anyways… let’s just get this over with.” I mumble and walk over to ring the doorbell.
“Coming!” A feminine voice yells. The door flies open to reveal a pretty blonde with doe-like eyes.
“Who are you?” The girl lifts her eyebrows when she sees me.
“Hello... Melanie, right? My name is Alex, and I know someone who would want to say sorry to you.”
She blinks at me a few times then focuses her gaze on the man behind me. Daniel casts her an uneasy smile. Melanie’s entire expression changes, turning extremely sour.
"You.” She sneers, baring her teeth.
“So, you remember me, okay.” Daniel scratches his head. “Um yeah. So I’m here to apologize for hooking up with you and never calling you back. Yeah, that really sucked for you and it wasn’t fair. And I’m sorry.”
But the girl wasn’t hearing any of it. She trudges forward and knees him in the groin.
“Apology not accepted!” She scowls and heads back into the house, slamming the door on both of us, leaving a very pained Daniel lying on the floor, cupping his private area.
“Well, that went well,” he wheezes. I run over to him and help him up.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t know she was going to do that. I swear if I’d known, I could have stopped her.” I say out of distress.
Daniel shakes his head. “No... Let’s just... Keep going. Who’s next?”
“Are you sure?” I pout. “I don’t want you getting hurt anymore.”
“Sweetheart, we both knew what we were getting into when you wanted to do this. So, let’s just get this over with.” He mutters and staggers back to the car, me aiding him. “who’s next?”
“Um... Scarlett Rivers. Ring any bells?”
“Oh yeah. British accent girl. She kicked me in the balls once too.” He said as he gets into the front seat. “Let’s just hope she won’t do that again.”
I wince at just the thought of him getting kicked in the balls. At this rate we’re going, there won’t be any balls left to be kicked.
Thank god nobody else tried to kick his balls. There were a few attempts, but I manage to stop the girls before their knees made contact with Daniel. I can see that Daniel’s really grateful to have me along to do this. It makes things much easier for him.
We spent the entire evening going around Boston, apologizing to the rest of the twelve girls. Some were just as vengeful as Melanie, and attempted to do harm on Daniel. But the minority accepted his apology, some of them even offering us something to eat before we went back on the road. Daniel and I kindly declined and went on our way.
It was around dinner when we finally got the last girl done and over with. She was the minority who actually forgave Daniel, and told him that all was fine. And she also gave us her blessing for our engagement.
“Well that was weird,” Daniel says as we finally reach home.
“Who? The last girl, Julia? Yeah… She was a bit off.” I say, locking the door behind us. “I don’t think she’s been eating her meds lately-”
“Not her,” he interrupts me. “The whole scavenger hunting. It’s so weird... Now that I have this feeling of relief.”
I offer him a smile. “So, it worked, then.”
“Yeah. I feel lighter than before. Like I can finally move on.” He tells me, grinning. “It’s a good feeling, Alex. I like it.”
“Glad I can help.” I say, then head over to the kitchen. “What do you want to eat? I’m starving.” I open the fridge and stare at the food.
“I think there’s some leftover Chinese takeout somewhere…” Daniel’s voice trails off as he plops himself on the couch.
I grab the Chinese food and hand it over to him, placing myself on the space next to him.
“Dibs on the remote!” I say as I snatch it from the coffee table.
“Fuck!” He groans. “Please no more Gilmore girls.”
I chuckle and throw a pillow at him. “Yes Gilmore Girls! Or maybe… Vampire Diaries?”
“Fuck no. I’m sick of Elena having to fawn over Stefan and Damon. Like everyone knows she’s going to end up with Damon anyway.”
“Oh come on! You take the fun out of everything!” I pout and turn on Netflix. Just as fast as colour appears on the screen, it quickly disappears. The screen goes black.
In fact, everything goes black.
“Oh this isn’t good.” I mutter as all the lights go off. I can see Daniel standing up and walking over to the windows, inspecting the other buildings.
“Yep. The whole area’s black.” He sighs. “I guess we should light some candles and wait for the power to turn up again.”
“Fine. I’ll go get some candles. You have a lighter?”
The next half an hour is spent on lighting candles and placing on every corner of the house. If I didn’t know there was a blackout, I would think this is sort of romantic.
The silence is overwhelming. Without the soft rumble of the heater, or the background music that blares from the speakers, there’s nothing but the sound of our heavy breaths to keep us company.
Beads of sweat cling into my face, and I wipe them off with the back of my sleeve. Daniel watches me with a soft expression on his face as he places the last candle near the dining table.
“I haven’t had the chance to thank you for helping me out today.” He murmurs, his gaze watching me. I smile lightly at him.
“It’s no big deal.”
“It is,” he’s in front of me now, looking down at me with those blue eyes of his. “Nobody would have done that for me. Nobody. Only you, Alex.”
His face is close to mine, his breath hot against my cheek. He presses his hands at my back and trails his fingers along my spine.
I moan slightly at his touch, and look down quickly, hoping that he wouldn’t see I was blushing like mad.
Daniel chuckles. “You like that?” “No.” I lie.
He grins, “always lying to yourself, huh, sweetheart?”
A low laugh rumbles from his throat. “I can’t believe I’m attracted to you.” His words take my breath away.
“You know I am, and I don’t want to deny it.” He continues, his cheek grazing mine. His finger continues to circle around my back, making me shiver. “You helped me today. A lot. You helped me let go of my own guilt that I had held for so long. You broke my walls, Alex. I don’t know how the hell you managed to do that, but you did. Every single one of them. There’s nothing left but me. The real me.”
My bottom lip trembles. “I’ve always seen the real you, Daniel. You just never realized it.”
His lip curls. “Maybe. But still, you managed to weave your way into me, breaking all my rules, and crawled your way into my heart. And I love it. The way you make me feel. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s this light feeling in my heart, every time I look at you or touch you. Or watch you smile. It’s an amazing feeling. Euphoric.” I don’t say anything. He takes this as a sign to continue.
“I’m obsessed with you, sweetheart.” He murmurs. “Every single inch of you.”
He takes my hand and guides it to his heart, breathing heavily. I gasp when my hand makes contact with his chest. “Can you feel how much I want you, right now?”
Yes I do. His heart is galloping at a fast rate, pounding against my hand.
He doesn’t know that my heart is doing the same thing.
“I know that you’re still trying to get over Nate...” He frowns and I suddenly miss his smile. I want to do anything to put it back on his beautiful face. “And I will wait however long you want me to but-”
“I don’t want you to wait.” I blurt out without thinking about it.
Daniel pauses, his eyes searching mine in the dark, searching for a reason. I lean closer to him, our faces merely inches apart. I place my hands on his shoulders and pull myself closer to him.
“What?” He breathes.
“I don’t want you to wait for me, Daniel.” I tell him, my lashes lifting. “Because you can have me now.”
I can’t believe those words are coming out of my mouth. I never had the courage to say that to him before... And now that I have… I’m afraid.
I’m giving him my heart and I don’t want him to crush it.
But looking at him like this, vulnerable under my touch, I never want anything more in my life.
His presses me against his chest and his lips graze my jaw. I gasp at the wonderful sensation. His lips are talented: brushing against my collarbone, pressing tiny kisses on my neck all the way to my arm. I mad with pleasure: something that I have never experience with Nate or anyone else.
My hands tighten around his neck, tearing his lips away from my skin and bringing his face as close to mine as possible, our noses touching. The both of us are breathing heavily, our lips so close yet so far away.
“Is this our ‘one day’, sweetheart?” He whispers softly, his hands traveling down to my hips. “Is it?”
“It is.” I nod my head.
“Thank fucking god,” he praises and crushes his lips against mine.