Carla woke up early on Saturday, it was barely light outside and after checking her clock she realized it was 5:00am. What could have possibly woke me? she thought in bewilderment as she sat up on her bed yawning. Then she froze, taking in the dark, silhouetted figure sitting on the edge of her bed. Her eyes widened in fear and it paralyzed her.
The figure reached over to the tall lamp at the foot of her bed and pulled the string, casting the room in warm, yellow glow. As the light illuminated the face of the figure Carla breathed a sigh of relief as she realized it was only her mom and not an intruder. Then her fear came back as she realized she was probably getting an early morning beat down since her mother had not been around lately.
Her mother stared at her with the same emerald green eyes. Carla and her mother actually looked quite alike sharing many facial features. Carla even got her short but slim frame from her mother. The only thing she really got from her father was her tall straight nose and her creamy skin. Her mother on the other hand shared her eye color, small dainty hands, lip shape and hair color.
At this moment however her mothers green eyes were filled with the smugness of one who knows a secret. It filled Carla with more fear than usual and her heart rate started to pick up again.
“So you’re comfortable enough to think you can have boys over huh?” Her mother asked in calm voice. Carla’s eyes widened in shock. How did she know about Peter? She wasn’t even here yesterday? Her mother lifted a hand Carla hadn’t realized had been hidden behind her back and lightly tossed something to Carla’s lap. Carla looked down recognizing the gray beanie Peter had worn yesterday.
“At least clean up after yourself you slut,” her mother said with a lip curled in disgust.
“I-I’m sorry moth-” Carla started to apologize but was caught off by her mothers raised hand. She flinched making a smile appear on her face.
“Did I say you could speak?” Her mother asked coldly. Carla shook her head no. “Then don’t. Your voice grates on my ears. Anyways, you must think you run things if you’re hosting boys at MY house without permission,“. Carla furiously shook her head no, eyes wide and her lips trembling out of fear.
“No?” Her mother asked with a slight cock of the head. “Could’ve fooled me,“. Suddenly she leaned forward and grabbed a fistful of Carla’s hair dragging her head roughly forward till her ears were at her lips. Carla’s eyes watered from the stinging pain.
“Don’t get too comfortable sweetheart. All these years have just been me playing around. You don’t want me to get serious,” she whispered into her hair. Carla nodded the best she could and was released. Her mother then smiled and stroked her hair, tucking it behind her hair.
“Good girl,” she murmured before standing and leaving the room. Carla sat still for a long time before she gained the courage to slide out of bed and into her bathroom.
Turning on the light she looked at her pale reflection, her usually creamy skin was now a ghostly white and her eyes had that deer in headlight look. Except now they looked blank and unseeing like after the deer has already been hit and the life has left them. She silently washed her face and brushed her teeth, her mind blank as she mindlessly prepared for her date with Ridian.
It was still hours away but she needed to keep herself busy lest she fall back into that dark hole that over took her mind when she was alone. Like Peter, Ridian had never told her what they were doing but he did say to dress warmly. So she put on her insulated thermal black leggings underneath a tan brown knitted dress. After brushing her hair out so it lay in light waves around her shoulders she settled down on her bed to wait.
She didn’t even realize she’d fallen asleep until she was jolted awake by the buzz of her phone. It was Ridian calling her.
“Hello?” She answered groggily as she sat up rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
“Were you asleep?” Ridian asked with a laugh in his voice.
“Pre-date energy boost,” Carla murmured into the phone.
“Were you planning on doing something that required a lot of energy?” Ridian asked. It took Carla a moment to realize what he meant and she mentally rolled her eyes as a smile came to her lips. She’d missed the playful Ridian.
“Don’t make me regret this date before it’s even started,“. She responded, fully awake now. Ridian breathed a laugh into the phone before speaking.
“Okay, okay. Put on your shoes and coat. I’m outside,“. Carla nodded before realizing he couldn’t see her.
“Okay, see you in five,“. She didn’t miss Ridians comment about girls taking forever. “It’s only five minutes damn,” she snapped into the phone. She could almost hear his embarrassment at being caught.
“I know, just hurry up,“. And then the line clicked off. Carla simply shook her head before sliding on her fur lined combat boots and heavy black dress coat. She threw her phone in the front pocket and her wallet in the other.
Peeking her head out of her room, she listened hard for signs of her mother. Finding none she darted out of her room and into the hallway, closing the door softly behind her. She made her way down the stairs and out the front door, grabbing her keys off the hook only to be immediately blind folded. Before she could even scream a hand clamped over her mouth, muffin any sound she’d been about to make.
“Relax it’s me,“. Her body loosened up from its tense position at the sound of Ridians voice but she still frowned.
“Why the hell am I blindfolded?” She asked, amusement and annoyance mingling in her tone. She felt Ridian shift beside her.
“It’s a surprise,” he said. She could here the excitement in his tone and decided to swallow the sarcastic comment that was about to leap out of her mouth. Instead she sighed and gestured in the direction she thought faced away from the house.
“Lead the way lover boy,“. She didn’t need to see to know he was smiling and he slowly grasped her upper arm to lead her towards the car. She bit back a gasp at the feeling of sparks that shot up her arm at his touch. Wow, she thought.
After a moment she heard the sound of a car door being opened and felt a gentle presence at her back guiding her towards the car seat. When she was safely in, she felt the presence of Ridian’s chest as he leaned across her to buckle her in. His face hovered near hers for a second as he searched for the buckle and she held her breath for fear that he would hear her heartbeat.
He moved back and Carla could hear the smirk in his voice when he asked her if she was good to go. She nodded a yes not trusting herself to speak and heard him shut her door before walking around to the other side and getting in. After a moment she felt the car start up with a rumble and then music was blasting through the car. Carla narrowed her eyes when she heard a familiar high pitched immasculine voice fill the car.
“Justin Bieber? Really?” she asked turning towards Ridian the disgust clear in her tone. She heard him laugh and felt the car move. We must be backing out the driveway, she thought.
“Hey, Where Are Ü Now is fire man,” Ridian replied. The movements of the car felt more smooth and Carla realized they were now on the road. “Besides, I only care about the beat,“. He turned it up and the music filled the entire car. Carla sat back trying to ignore the sounds of JB but to her utter horror and self disappointment she found herself nodding along to the beat. Unfortunately so did Ridian.
“Told you it was fire!” Ridian cried with a laugh when he noticed Carla head bobbing. She replied with a dignified, “Whatever” before continuing to bob her head to the beat. After what Carla later learned was a mere thirty minutes she felt them pull to a stop.
“Where are we?” she asked not bothering to hide her excitement. All this secrecy must mean something good.
“Ah ah ah. Not yet cupcake,” Ridian said when Carla started to fiddle with her blindfold. He helped her out the car and then he guided her to a path. Carla tried to use her other senses to deduce where they were. All she could hear were the sounds of birds and crickets. She sniffed and breathed in a deep earthy scent. The forest?
After a minute of walking uphill-she could feel the incline with her feet- they stopped.
“Here we are,” Ridian whispered in her ear before removing her blindfold. She gasped at the sight that greeted her. They were at Sam’s family lake house, that much was sure. The moon was out and shimmered beautifully on the frozen lake. Although this was lovely it wasn’t what made her gasp.
Next the lake, a few yards away from the house was something Carla hadn’t noticed the first time she’d been here for the party; a gazebo. Perhaps because it had been dark that night and she’d been entranced by the lake and the flowers. Now it was lit up with glimmering glowing nights and she could see a candlelit dinner laid out inside of it.
She turned towards Ridian tears of joy glimmering in her eyes. Ridian looked nervous and was shifting in place. When he saw her tears he instantly went worried and protective mode, cupping her face in his hands.
“What’s wrong? You don’t like it?” he asked. Carla shook her head smiling and removed his hands, lacing her fingers through one of them. He smiled at her gesture.
“It’s absolutely perfect,” she whispered before embracing him in a hug. He stiffened a little before returning it right back with warm arms. After a moment they pulled away and he led her over to the gazebo.
“Here you are Mademoiselle,” he said smirking while pulling out her chair for her. She smirked back before taking a seat.
“Why thank you kind sir,“. He walked to his seat and sat down.
“Tis my pleasure to serve such a beautiful lady as you,“. She giggled at his words and his eyes brightened with happiness. The meal was quite simple. Spaghetti and meatballs with sparkling water. Ridian surprised her chocolate ice cream he had hidden in a cooler underneath the table.
They ate and talked and laughed. Carla learned that his brother had decided to stay with their mom as he was a lot younger than Ridian and didn’t want to uproot his life so soon.
“What about you? Didn’t you feel uprooted?” Carla asked curiously as she bit into her remaining meatball. Ridian shook his head taking a drink before clearing his throat to answer.
“I’m two years away from college anyways so I didn’t really mind,“. Carla nodded her head in understanding. “Besides,” Ridian continued. “I got to see you cupcake,“. He grinned flirtatiously at her before dipping his head to eat some noodles doused in thick sauce.
Carla cocked her head at his word choice. He didn’t say he got to meet her like it was the first time. He said see her like he’d met her before. She thought it strange but all thoughts of word choice and suspicion flew from her mind when he pulled out the carton of chocolate ice cream and bowls.
The brought their ice cream with them to the lake side and sat down next to each other on the grass. Carla took a bite of her ice cream and moaned with satisfaction. Ridian laughed at her reaction.
“You’re making it hard for me to control myself when you sound like that cupcake,” he said with a wink before giving her a wink.
“But this ice cream is so good its orgasmic. Try it,” she said shoving spoonful in his face. He laughed at her description but complied and took the spoonful of chocolatey goodness. He let out a low groan when they creamy heaven hit his tastebuds. “Told you,” Carla said satisfied at being proved right and went on eating her ice cream.
Soon the tub was empty and they laid back, snuggled close to each other for warmth and stared up at the stars, talking about random things and occasionally pointing out constellations. Carla didn’t even notice they were holding hands, their finger interlocked.
“You see that there?” Ridian said pointing up at what Carla took to be a huge cluster of stars but clearly Ridian saw something else.
“Yeah I see it,” she responded. Ridian dropped his hand.
“Thats the constellation Orion. His story is one of my favorite’s from what my mother used to tell me,“. Carla glanced at Ridian to see a small smile on his face.
“Was your mother into astrology?” she asked turning back to the stars.
“Very,” Ridian replied. After a moment Carla spoke again.
“Tell me about it. The story I mean,” she gestured to the constellation as she spoke. She felt Ridian take in a breath as he prepared to tell her the story.
“Orion the Hunter was a real man’s man,” Ridian began in a soft slow tone. His voice was hypnotic and Carla closed her eyes, turning her body so that her head was on his chest as she got comfortable.
“He also was a rather shy giant who didn’t like to mix with other people, so he moved to a large but deserted island where he could hunt and fish to his heart’s content. He was big and burly and he lived for hunting and fishing. Like most of the animals he was after, Orion was nocturnal. He stalked and hunted by night and slept under a giant tree by day. He never had to see or hear about the Kardashians,“. Carla giggled softly and Ridian continued.
“Life was great for Orion. The hermit hunter was living his dream. Every night he was out there slaying beasts of all kinds. He also had a secret admirer - Artemis, the great moon goddess. Every night Artemis guided her moon chariot with magical flying horses. Artemis wanted to jump down and be with her unsuspecting lover, but she held back because she knew that would get her in a lot of trouble with her father Zeus, the king of the gods,“.
“Zeus was such an ass,” Carla said, her voice slightly muffled by Ridian’s shirt. He smiled before continuing on.
“Artemis would be ignoring her duties as moon goddess, but much worse than that, it was a big no-no for gods and goddesses to be mixing with mortals. Zeus greatly frowned on this!“. A smile filled Carla’s face as his voice filled with mock passion while telling the story.
“So there she was, stranded in the sky night after night with the moon and those silly flying horses, being denied the company of Orion. One night as Orion was cleaning up on a whole herd of wild boars, Artemis couldn’t take it anymore. She headed on down to Orion’s island and met him eye-to-eye and toe-to-toe. It was love at first sight,“. Is that what happened when I saw you that day? Carla thought to herself. Or at least she thought she’d been thinking it but she’d actually murmured it out loud. Ridian didn’t seem to hear her.
“Orion quickly gave up on the hermit thing after one look at the goddess. Right away she changed out her royal robes and put on hunter’s blaze orange. She hunted with him the rest of the night, but when dawn approached she jumped back up to the moon chariot and raced it to the horizon. The next night she halted the moon in mid-sky again and joined her new love for another night of hunting, jumping back on her chariot at dawn,“. By now Carla was slowly nodding off, a full stomach and Ridian’s body heat relaxing her.
“This hunting love affair went on night after night. Orion and Artemis were very much in love. Rules were rules though, and eventually Zeus found out about his daughter’s behavior through the godly grapevine. He had to stop this affair, but as ruthless as his reputation was, he didn’t want to lose the love of his daughter. So Zeus hatched a scheme. Zeus arranged to have Orion killed during the day and make it look like an accident. He made arrangements for a giant scorpion to be dropped on Orion’s island and fatally sting the hunter in his sleep, eliminating his daughter’s temptation,“.
“The day of Orion’s planned scorpion demise arrived. As Orion slept off another night of successful hunting with his divine girlfriend, the steroid enhanced scorpion crawled into his camp. Nobody knew it, but Orion had a security system. His buddy, a loud mockingbird, sounded the alarm. Orion bolted up as the Scorpion attacked. What followed was a battle that went on for hours. As evening set in, the hunter had the scorpion in a headlock and had just about broken its neck. Just then Orion was distracted as he saw Artemis rising with the moon in the east. The scorpion, down to its last gasp, managed to break out of the hunter’s hold and sting Orion’s neck. In a few minutes it was all over for our hunter,“. A tear slipped down Carla’s half asleep face, her subconscious picking up on the sadness of the story. Ridian wiped it away with his thumb before continuing on.
“Artemis raced to the scene but she was too late. Her boyfriend was a goner. As the killer scorpion made its retreat, the moon goddess grabbed it by the tail and flung it so far into the sky that it became the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. Artemis then returned to the slain Orion and wept over him for hours and hours,“. Fully asleep and snoring a little now Ridian gently stood and lifted Carla bridal style taking her to the car.
He made sure she was completely secure before getting in the drivers side and driving them back to her house. It was about to be midnight when he unlocked her door with her key and brought her quietly upstairs. There was no one in her house. After a few closets and one bathroom he found her room and tucked her in bed, gently removing her coat and shoes. He tucked her in, smoothing the hair back from her face, a loving smile on his lips. He continued the story quietly.
“Finally she cradled his body into her arms and flew off to the sky. When she was high enough she gently tossed Orion a little higher in the sky, turning him into a bright constellation. This way her lover could always shine brilliantly in the sky,“. Ridian leaned forward planting a small kiss on Carla’s forehead.
“Hopefully our love story doesn’t need a tragic ending for you to shine just as bright as the stars,” he whispered against her skin before walking quietly out of her room and going home. Carla shifted in he sleep, dreaming of a great warrior and his love walking across the night sky on a road made of shimmering stars.