I entered my apartment in a rush, and was met with Stacey watching Sex Life on Netflix, her phone glued to her hand as her fingers scrolled the screen.
I shook my head. How did she watch a sexy series and check out social media all at once? And come to think of it, Stacey has been here for almost two weeks already, wasn’t it supposed to be a couple of days?
I didn’t have time to think about that now. Too much was on my mind, like the awkward practice kissing session with Eric, Mr. Carson getting the wrong idea and my hot date with Jake. The hot date with Jake taking up most of my thoughts. Although Eric’s lips still weighed heavily on my mind too. I shook it away and decided to focus on Jake’s lips instead. That’s what the practice kiss was for anyway, a quick warm up.
“Hey Violet.” Stacey chirped. “You ready for your big night?” half her face peeked from behind the sofa. You could see her prominent purple shaded piggy-tails.
I sighed. “Yip! Just need to get ready.”
“Oooh, let me help.” Stacey insisted. “I won’t take no for an answer.”
“Sure, why not.” I agreed. I couldn’t argue with her spunky attitude.
An hour later and I was back in the living room. My blue skinny jeans fit my body well, and so did the new top I picked out from the shopping bags paid for by Eric. I felt tall with my peep-toe heels. My long hair fell over my shoulders and cascaded my back as I walked to collect my bag. Stacey decorated my face with bronze tones and a bold red lip. I checked myself in the passage mirror, ready to go and smiled.
“Well, this is as good as it’s gonna get.” I murmured.
“It’s the best it’s gonna get!” Stacey said. “You look gorgeous cuz.”
I smiled. “Thanks Stacey.” and gave her a quick hug.
“And hey, he’s not your blind date that bailed on you okay.” She assured.
I nodded lightly.
“I give you permission to behave very badly tonight.” She shouted after me as I stepped out of my apartment.
I stood close to the Neon Lounge bar, I was supposed to meet Jake at. I glanced at my watch and it was the exact time we agreed upon, 7pm. The Neon Lounge looked cozy, tucked between a restaurant and a café. The street opposite was brisk, and flitted with cars and people. I could hear rock music filter from the bar. I grew excited and nervous for Jake to arrive.
My phone beeped a message and my heart slightly dropped. Sugar! I hoped it wasn’t an excuse, the first thought came to mind. I hesitantly checked it from my bag.
Good luck for tonight vanilla bean!;-)
The message came from Eric. Vanilla bean?! I huffed at his text, stifling a small smile.
I looked right and left, there were people everywhere and a small thought snaked through that maybe Jake ditched me.
I chewed my inner cheek.
“Hey stranger.” I felt a tap on my left shoulder. I whipped around and saw a grinning Jake. He looked exactly the same as he does in the office. A causal black jeans with a dark green shirt. he’s dark brown hair in a tousle.
“Hi Jake! You made it.” I shrieked shyly, shoving the hair strands from my face behind my ear.
Jake smile grew wider as he rocked back and forth on his heels. “I’m glad you could make it tonight. The band is playing in about 30 minutes. You wanna head in the bar and grab some drinks?”
I nodded and bit my bottom lip. “Sure, I would love that.”
Jake and I entered Neon Lounge side by side. His hands were settled in his pockets and my arms were folded against my chest.
We walked into the lively small bar that was brimming with people. I didn’t know where to go from there and was hoping Jake would take the lead. And he did just that. A firm hand grasped mine. Jake’s touch was soft and warm. He led us through the throng of men and women to the other side of the bar. A couple left a high table and we grabbed it first chance. I staggered to get up the high stools but managed. Jake slightly chuckled.
“What do you want to drink?” He asked.
I thought about it for a second. “I’ll have whatever you taking.” I answered, hoping he wasn’t a whisky drinker like Eric.
He nodded and disappeared into the crowd. My eyes scanned the floor, it was an ordinary bar, with no windows, a huge bar area at the back, high tables scattered around and a small stage in front. The band was getting ready to play.
Fifteen minutes later and Jake returned with two cold beers, one in each hand. “Sorry I took so long, the que is crazy.”
“Is it usually so crowded like this?” I asked.
“Nah, I think it’s because of the band here tonight. They’re kinda awesome and trying to make a name for themselves.”
I nodded and took a sip of the golden beer. The bitter liquid was dry to swallow. Gosh! I hated beer. I plastered a smile on my face, trying or forcing myself to enjoy it. I should’ve just ordered wine instead.
“I hope you’ll like the band for the gala. They called ′Three Strokes’," he mentioned.
“If they bring a turn out like this, they making a good start.” I chuckled.
Jake and I had light conversation, I talked about Canada and he talked about his hometown in California.
The cool strings of the guitar resonated in the air, as the guitarist played expertly announcing the band. Cheers and claps surrounded me.
“Ladies and Gentlemen! Introducing the ‘THREE STROKES’!!!” The man on the mic shouted. I joined lightly in the clap.
Jake glanced at me, and I smiled.
The band sounded good. Really good! They sounded pop rock, but I could tell that they were versatile, they could adapt to any type of music that was perfect for the gala too. Three Strokes played for an hour. In between Jake and I grabbed more drinks, I took a wine this time. After the band played, Jake and I chatted for another hour before calling a cab home. Who knew the guy was a fun, fit, nature-loving vegan!
Jake insisted the cab drop me first at my apartment. I didn’t mind.
“I have a confession to make.” Jake began.
Sugar! The evening was going so well. “Oh...” is all I could manage.
Jake gritted his teeth. “My cousin is the drummer of Three Strokes.”
My eyes popped open. “Is that so?” I said startled.
Jake nodded and his bright eyes studied my face, biting a smile.
I shrugged. “It’s okay, honestly. The bands great. I would’ve suggested them for the gala anyway. I’m positive Eric will agree.” I said.
“Eric? You on first name basis with Mr. Bolton?” Jake asked slightly confused.
I nodded. “He prefers it that way.” I answered quickly. “You could give me the details of the band and I’ll book them for the event.”
Jake nodded earnestly and smiled.
All throughout the cab ride, I took Eric’s advice and kept trying to sneak a glance at Jake’s eyes and face, to see if I could tell what he was going to do. To somehow see if he was into me? But the cab was dark, I couldn’t see a thing. The passing streetlights didn’t help much.
The cab arrived and came to a stop at the apartment building. Jake told the cab driver to wait for him. He wanted to walk me up the steps.
I got out the cab and breathed in the fresh cool night’s air. It was a pleasant evening, with a chill bite of late autumn. I hugged myself against the soft breeze.
Jake stood before me and glanced at the cab. “I had an incredible evening. Thank you Violet.”
I gave a coy smile and flipped my dark hair. “Thank you for inviting me, now I got live entertainment checked off the list.” I giggled awkwardly.
I looked at Jake, a different look clouded his face, his bright eyes grew hazy, his lips parted. He instantly leaned in, his lips smacking against mine in a soft and gentle kiss. His hands cupped the sides of my cheeks and the kiss became more fervent. Tiny sparks ignited down under. A void I desperately wanted to fulfil. I didn’t want the kiss to end. I lunged forward wrapping my arms around his neck, jerking him towards me, as I pressed into the kiss.
The honk from the cab popped my heart and the way too short kiss! Our lips broke apart by Jake’s laughter and my giggles. We both looked at the cab driver.
Jake turned to me. “You been waiting on that all night, huh?” He said sheepishly.
I bit my bottom lip. Smart ass, I secretly thought.
“I better get outta here.” Jake said waving his apologies to the driver.
“Good night Violet. See you soon.” He said and kissed me on the forehead.
I watched him leave with the cab, not before taking a good hard look at his firm butt. I sighed. Yes! I definitely would binge-watch that ass! This was the perfect evening. I hadn’t even realized how late it was.
‘Blurred Lines’ broke me out of my cravings.
“Hello,” I answered.
“Harper! I called twice already.” Eric barked.
I rolled my eyes. “Eric, you knew I was on a date!”
Eric scoffed. “So how did it go?” He asked curiously. “I’m just checking you didn’t fuck it up.”
“If you must know, it went perfect, better than I could ever imagine.” I gushed.
“Excellent. Good for you.” He muttered.
“And we kissed like 5 minutes ago.” I sighed. “A very sweet sweet kiss.”
He cleared his throat. “Oh... Wow.”
I recapped the date to Eric, trotting all the way up the apartment building steps.