The trilling sound of the brakes squeaking from the taxi broke me out of my momentary trance. I looked out the window and realized I had finally reached my apartment complex.
I grabbed my purse beside me and searched for my wallet, slipping out a fifty-dollar bill. After handing it to the driver, I quickly thanked the young man and told him to keep the change.
Sliding out from the back seat, I stood on the paved asphalt, inhaling an exhausted breath, and nearly sprinted inside of my building. I was so ready for this night to be over with already.
Slamming my apartment door shut behind me, I sighed with relief as I kicked off my favorite pair of stilettos and headed straight for the kitchen, in need of a glass of my favorite bottle of red wine.
"The fucking jerk," I mumbled to myself while I poured myself a hefty portion.
The guy had no morals or any respect for my opinions or feelings at all.
Falling onto my soft leather couch, I closed my eyes tightly, and almost instantly saw his face flash behind them.
The only man who could get my blood pumping—Brad Robertson, an old friend from college.
God, I had the biggest crush on him back then. I frowned as regret swirled inside my head.
Back then I was too shy and insecure to try anything. Plus, the man was too busy with girls on campus to notice me even if I had wanted to try anything.
After graduation, Brad moved to New York City to work for his father and help run the family business. As for me, I decided to stay here, in little ol' Alabama, and try to find work in journalism.
I planned to become a journalist, but after a year with no luck finding a steady job in that field, I got a job as a waitress at a cafe to help pay for bills. But one night I waited on a beautiful black-haired woman who befriended me instantly and we quickly became best friends.
Melissa worked at the small town's strip club, The South Pole. Not too long after we became best friends, she had convinced me to come work with her and astonishing as it was, I've been there as "Candy" ever since.
Hearing my phone ring, I laughed to myself, knowing it had to be Melissa.
I pressed accept and said, "You're too late, babe. I'm already home and just about to grab my second glass of wine."
She immediately laughed.
"I love how my nonexistent love life is so amusing to you,"
"What the hell happened with this one?" She asked.
"The same thing that always happens. They have no couth, Lissa. Can you believe the asshole brought me to fucking Burger King and then had the balls to ask the poor cashier for her number right in front of me?"
"Oh my god!" She replied before bursting out laughing.
"I'm done! Officially done. I am throwing in the fucking towel! There just isn't a man out there for me. They're either all dead or married." I grumbled as she continued to laugh.
"Oh honey," she said after calming down. "There is someone out there for you. You're just not looking in the right places, that's all."
I snorted, "tell me then, where are the right places, Lissa?"
"Well, not here in Alabama, and damn sure isn't at The South Pole. Listen, I was hoping to run something by you. Can you meet me for dinner on my break tomorrow?" She asked.
"Sure, is everything ok?" I asked, stepping into my bathroom to draw myself a hot and much-needed bath.
"Yeah. I'll explain everything at dinner tomorrow night."
Pouring in a good portion of lavender-scented bubbles I replied, "Ok."
"Well, I need to go. I promised my brother I would help him move his things. Christ, I can't believe he got kicked out again." She grumbled.
"What in the hell did he do this time?"
Her brother, Derek fights a lot with his fiancé and gets kicked out at least once a month. He always calls Melissa knowing she won't refuse him help.
"Oh girl, he's fucked it all up for himself this time. It's really over." She sighed.
"Seriously? What did he do?"
"The dumb ass cheated on her with her sister," she answered.
"Wow," I say shocked.
"Yeah, I know," she groaned into the receiver. "When is he ever going to grow up?"
"If you keep bailing him out, never," I replied.
"I know," she sighed heavily.
"Well, be sure to call me tomorrow," I mumbled. "See you at dinner."
After I said goodnight to her, I placed my phone on the bathroom counter and undressed. Sticking my feet into the hot foamy water, I was unable to hold back the soft moan that fell from my lips. The feeling of the heated water against my body was nothing short of pure bliss.
After completely submerging myself, I laid my head against the rim of the tub and placed a gel mask over my eyes. While I lay in complete silence, my thoughts immediately went right back to him. The gorgeous six-foot, dark brown-haired muscular man.
Smiling, I began to replay our first encounter...
I cursed to myself as I heard a couple just two computers down from me snickering, wishing I had allowed my parents to buy me that laptop after all.
Now, it looks like I'll be stuck typing out assignments in the school's library all year until I could afford to buy one.
My eyes throbbed from looking at the computer screen all day, but I needed to ace this essay, so I didn't hurt my grade point average. I couldn't lose my scholarship. No scholarship meant no school which meant no future.
I suddenly felt someone tapping my shoulder, causing me to jump. Surprised, I glanced over my shoulder and immediately froze.
Standing behind me was a gorgeous guy who was staring down at me. Holy shit...
I felt an intense heat soaring to my cheeks watching in shock as his lips turned into a cocky smirk.
I shook my head, noticing I was now gawking at him, and quickly cleared my throat.
"Um, can I help you?" I squeaked out and instantly kicked myself mentally for sounding so damn nervous.
"Hi." He stuck his hand out. "My name is Brad."
When I ignored his hand, he quickly slipped it into his pocket and smiled. "I was wondering if I could use this computer. I hate to ask but I have a paper that's due in," he glanced up towards the library clock behind me, "thirty minutes and I haven't been able to finish it yet. Unfortunately, my laptop was stolen two days ago, and I figured I could use the library's but as you can see," he gestured towards the row of occupied computers, "there aren't any available."
I nodded, "oh, well my paper isn't due for another couple of days, so sure. Take this one." I began to gather up my notebooks, quickly tossing them into my bookbag.
While staring at me, he asked, "What's your name?"
"Sophia," I said sheepishly, a million butterflies fluttering like crazy in my stomach unable to keep my eyes off his drop-dead gorgeous smile.
Oh Christ, Sophia! Abort this crazy interaction before you say something stupid.
"Sophia, hmm," he hummed, testing my name aloud. "I like it. So, Sophia, you should come and hang out with me at the Delta Omega's fraternity house tonight. We're having a small party," he said while I zipped up my bag.
"Oh, um, I don't know." I hesitated. "Partying isn't really my thing."
Dear God. Partying isn't my thing? Really Sophia?
His gorgeous smile faltered. "Oh, uh, well ok then. If you end up changing your mind, or if you just want to hang out sometime, give me a call." He winked playfully, grabbing my pen from out of my bun.
Looking down, I watched with heated cheeks as he wrote his number in the palm of my hand. My heart just about burst out of my damn chest at the smallest touch from him. How is he doing this to me?
He smirked as he slid the pen back into my bun. I quickly tossed the strap to my backpack over my shoulder, ready to get the hell out of there so I could dig myself a hole to bury myself in.
"Ok," I nervously replied.
"See you around, Sophia." He husked out. His deep voice and sexy smile caused me to giggle nervously.
I turned and walked away, completely flustered.
I snorted, "and he had fucking manners, " I mumbled before sinking further into the warm water.
-Feelings about Sophia
-Feelings about Brad?
-Feelings about Melissa?
-Any thoughts or theories?