4: there was the first time
The rain hitting the window was light, the smell coming through the vents and immediately putting me at ease for the time being.
It was the middle of the night and I had woken up in the midst of a dream that featured a man I don’t think I’ve ever met standing in front of me–towering over me–his hands caressing my face so gently as if he was deathly afraid of breaking me. He had leaned down, tilting his head, nearing my lips.
Then the dream ended.
Of course it had.
I’ve never kissed anyone so how was the rest of that dream supposed to go? Me, knocking my forehead into his and calling it a day?
Even my brain didn’t know how to process that regardless of how many romance movies or books it registered.
So now, after staring into nothing in my dimly-lit bedroom, I passed through the black lace canopy surrounding my bed, stretching out my back before trudging towards the second guest room I had turned into an area to relieve my stress or just to get my mind off of things.
Opening the door, I clicked the lights on and grabbed my sketchbook, walking over to the projector in the middle of the room and turning it on.
I pulled out my phone and turned on a lyric-ridden playlist, throwing it onto the square couch packed with fluffy pillows. The music came through the speakers at a moderate volume, relaxing my tense shoulders.
Shutting off the lights, the walls had a projected starry night revolving around the room.
As I started to illustrate in the book, my body found comfort in the plush pillows surrounding it, making the stress melt away easily. I had started to sketch out a see-through chemise that touched down to right below anyone’s butt.
Who was that man?
My pencil stopped.
That man? Who was he?
I breathed in and set my pencil down, cracking my neck to the sides.
Why did he have your picture? Too shy?
What’s he doing now? Where’s your picture now? It’s not anything to cherish, so why?
I put the sketchbook aside and slumped, closing my eyes and pressing the button on the remote beside me to turn up the music in hopes of drowning out my thoughts with the beats pouring in.
I was in and out of sleep, waking up when I slightly tipped over or when the music had a beat that hit my ears wrong. Flattening myself out on the couch, I stared up and the ceiling and smiled slightly, reaching my arm out to see the projection of the starry night etched into my dark skin.
With a sigh, I let my arm fall down to my side and my eyes flutter close, the music disappearing as I drifted to sleep.
When I woke up there were cluttering sounds in the kitchen and the sound of the tv blasting louder than I had ever made it.
“Melia...” I muttered groggily, blinking a few times for my eyes to adjust to the dark room.
“Yeah?” Melia shouted from the kitchen. “You up? I made breakfast!”
I brought my hand up to my face and rubbed my eyes, smacking my lips before I lifted myself from the soft cushions, groaning quietly.
“If you’re too tired, you don’t have to come in today. Riyya can take your spot.” Melia appeared at the opened door, standing with her hip jutted out. “But I’ll tell you right now I have a feeling about today, we’ll just have to wait and see.”
My lips formed into a slight pout naturally and I stared down at the couch before crawling off standing, fixing my lopsided t-shirt.
“No, I’m all good,” I spoke, clearing my throat to get rid of the raspiness. I walked to the door and was attacked my Melia, nearly falling to the floor.
I stood there limply, taking in all her love, returning her hug as we wandered into the kitchen.
My eyes scanned over the two plates of food, a smile tugging at my lips.
“Made breakfast?” I plopped down and picked up the fork buried in the food.
“For myself yes. These two plates are mine. I’m basically feeding two appetites because this wolf has been acting up lately.” Melia started sliding both of the plates towards herself, pursing her lips.
I smacked her forearm and she relented, curling her lips in disgust as she stared at me.
While we ate, Melia and I discussed the different ideas we had for the fall line of our products.
“I don’t know about you, but autumn themed nipple covers sound like a big yes to me,” Melia mumbled, setting the plates in the sink. “Just two leaves over my titties. How festive.”
“I’m gonna reel you back in there and suggest we look at colors first.” I got up from the chair. “And while you think about that, I will go get ready and we can leave.” I returned to my room and walked into the bathroom, freshening up.
In the midst of me buttoning up my jeans, Melia waltzed into my bedroom, her eyes glued to her phone. Without a look my way, she pointed to me then gave a thumbs up.
“Those jeans are doing wonders for that ass,” she commented, raising her head and revealing her grin.
I frowned, walking over to the mirror. Lifting my sweater, I poked out my butt and eyed it in the mirror, noticing it had gotten a bit tight around the thigh and butt area.
Letting my sweater drop, I took the sides and slowly pulled it in around my torso, crossing my arms over the bulge.
“Alright.” Melia looked up from her phone and clicked it close. “Let’s go make some people happy and of course get this money.” She smacked my ass and moved out of the way before I could retaliate, shimmying out of the room.
After getting my things, I trudged down to the garage and made my way over to my car. I passenger’s side and put down all of bag and book down, fixing them up so they wouldn’t fall while I was driving.
Who was he? Don’t you wanna know?
The thought came to my head making me jump out of surprise, the back of my head hitting the car roof.
Slamming the car door, I came around to the driver’s side and plopped down in the seat. I took in a breath and started up the engine, pulling out of the garage and into the street.
Ask Melia about it. Ask her.
Why don’t you just ask her about it?
It’s not weird don’t ask her about it.
Maybe you shouldn’t.
Don’t overthink it like you always do. Remember high school? College?
Just keep it all inside. It’ll be fine.
Melia’s fidgeting brought me out of my thoughts and refocused me onto my sketchbook in front of me.
“Oh fuck. I’m hungry as shit,” Melia groaned, letting her pencil drop onto her book. She pouted and looked at me while wrapping her hair up into a ponytail.
“For the love of god Mel, watch your language,” I hissed, squinting through my glasses to finish a small detail in my drawing .
The shop was closed early for today since we planned to have small constructing done to the main room. Although there was no definite company that was arriving anytime.
“Fine,” Melia mocked, “I’m hungry as hell.” The chair screeched as she moved it back to stand up.
“Eh, still not good enough. You have a dirty mouth,” I said, smacking my lips and shaking my head.
“Oh trust me. It can get worse than this sweetheart,” Melia replied, smiling slyly at my sigh.
I heard the fridge door open as I continued to sketch, followed by a throat clearing.
Already knowing the impending statement, I spoke, “Mel, I’m not going shopping for you again. The grocery store isn’t that far of a drive.” I placed my pencil down and turned around to look at her.
Melia responded, “ugh, please? If you love me–”
I interjected playfully, “rest assured, I don’t.”
Melia pointed at me. “You heartless little midget.”
“Take that back.” I narrowed my eyes at Melia.
“Buy the food and I’ll think about it.” Melia shrugged, swaying her walk as she went back to her chair next to me.
Lolling my head back and exhaling loudly, I gave in. “Fine. I’m taking your car then.” I picked up Melia’s keys from the counter, dangling it in front of her amused face before leaving the room.
I wiggled my toes uncomfortably in my shoes, mumbling to myself about how these were the worst pairs of shoes to wear for a long time.
Hopping into Melia’s car, I entered the road and drove down to the grocery store that was only ten minutes away from our shop.
I turned into the parking lot and parked the car, climbing out and adjusting my clothes.
One person glanced at me a little longer than expected, looking me up and down.
Automatically, my hands tugged my sweater in, trying to hide whatever flaw they had seen. I started to walk towards the entrance of the store, my small purse clutched in my hand tightly. I nudged my glasses, feeling my shoulder meet someone else’s, hard.
Of course, my purse fell and my glasses were shook from their original position. I was disheveled, fixing myself up while whoever I bumped into was completely fine, standing in front of me.
“Sorry, I’ll get that for you,” the man spoke, his voice gruff making me stir in my place. He bent down and picked up my purse, his hands engulfing the small bag.
When he straightened out completely, his build blocked out the sun that was beating down on my face.
Not being able to meet his eyes, I noticed his clothes and had a question somewhere in the back of my brain that just couldn’t make it to my mouth. The mystery man moved once and all his muscle moved along with him.
I hadn’t noticed my mouth literally falling open until he spoke and that’s when I looked up at him.
“Close your mouth amore, no knowing what you’ll catch in there,” he grinned, dimples poking in from both cheeks.
I took note of the accent, and nearly spoke back incoherently.
I snatched my bag back from the man and blinked again to make sure I was seeing and hearing this right.
How was it that one man had everything on my list that could make me fall in love with someone right there on the spot. Just dimples and a foreign accent.
“Sorry,” I managed to get out, running into the store, fanning myself.
You want him don’t you?
I gathered whatever edible thing that was in my eyesight and brought them up to the register, quickly walking out the store and back to Melia’s car.
Coming back to the store, Melia met me in the main room and took the bags, thanking me over and over again.
Exasperatedly, I spoke, “so I’m pretty sure I just fell in love today.” I shrugged off my sweater and threw it onto the couch.
Before Melia couch even get a sliver of excitement out her mouth, I cut in, “but...I’m not ever going to see him again, so there’s no point in mulling over that piece of fine artwork.” I sighed, clutching my sweater in my hand.
As Melia opened up a popsicle, she complained, “well at least describe him. Give me a visual of that so-called artwork.”
I immediately denied her of that luxury. “No no. There’s no reason to do that. We most likely won’t ever see him again.” I brushed loose pieces of hair from my face, digging in my pocket to pull out a bobby pin and slipping it into my hair.
Just me saying that I would never see him again made me slump a bit.
Infatuated with an Italian stranger who would surely not have a bit of interest in you? Let’s see where this goes.
The sudden sniffing session made me look at Melia who was going through the grocery bags with her nose buried in the contents.
I quirked a brow and eyed her with a concerned look.
“Mel I know you’re a werewolf and all but can you keep the little doggy tendencies down to a two?”
“I found them,” she mumbled incredulously, “I finally fucking found them!” She started jumping up and down, running around the room then coming to me and pulling me up, forcing me to hop with her.
“Language Mel. And you found who exactly?” I asked, still unknowing of the reason for her outburst.
“My mate,” she breathed, grabbing her keys from the table. “And you just helped me.”
Without the faintest idea of what she was going on about, I said back, “you’re...welcome?”
“I could just kiss you right now!” Melia exclaimed, grabbing my cheeks and pressing her lips onto my forehead.
“Mel!” I huffed, wiping her lip residue from my head.
Melia muttered some more words and left the room, shrieking hysterically.
“Be safe!” I tried to get out to Melia but she had already made her way to the parking garage.
I blew out a breath, sitting down on the couch quietly.
Think about him. Now.
Think about everything there is about him.
...such pretty lips and intense eyes.
Now overthink it.
Find his flaws.
There weren’t any? Great.
Let it go. Easy. Just a man–a beautiful one at that–that just passed by in your life. This has happened before, pull it together.
And let it go.