“Oh shit. I knew there was more to it.” Jenna says.
Sitting outside of the gallery, talking about what happened at the lunch I had the day before, I told her how his personality took a complete turn and all the bullshit he said to me.
“You were right, you've always been good at depicting people's actions. I just never thought he would do that. I've only met with him in my work environment, he didn't try anything then.”
“Maybe the accident made him feel differently. For all you know he could have had his eye on you for a long time.”
“Creepy.” I shake my head.
Then I get to thinking. The way I first saw Adrian, how I had dirty thoughts about him for weeks before ever meeting him and getting to know him personally. Maybe I'm just as much of a creep. If I told Adrian, he may see me in a different light, like I have serious issues. I admit to myself that I have problems, or at least in my eyes. I wouldn't want to let anyone else know these things about me, though. I think I've exposed Adrian to enough recently, with my room of guilty pleasures and all.
I change the subject. “So, Adrian wanted to know what you're planning for my birthday. He has two headlining shows over the weekend, he didn't know if you would want to use the venues as part of it or something.”
“Actually, I was thinking of taking you somewhere we haven't been in a long time.” She has a sneaky look across her face.
“Where's that?” My curiosity strikes.
“The male strip club.” She wickedly grins.
“Oh hell.” I laugh.
“I'm serious, I need some excitement in my life too, you know.”
“Is it my birthday or yours?” I chuckle.
“Hey, you know you'd enjoy it just as much. Adrian isn't the only man left on earth, girl.”
“Yeah . . . but . . .”
“But what? It's not like the two of you are in a relationship. So I know that shouldn't be what's stopping you.”
“So what am I supposed to tell him?”
“The truth. Why does it matter? It's not like he can get mad.”
“I can't tell him that.”
“Why not? Is something going on between the two of you that I'm not aware of?”
“No . . . it's just that I know he's sensitive. I don't think he'd like the idea compared to us attending his show.”
“All right, so we can come up with something to tell him for Friday then we can go to his Saturday show. You know, comprimise. Would that work?”
“I guess.” I shrug and laugh. “You're a mess, Jen.”
“Proud of it.” She chuckles.
“That's Playmate coming out of you.” I grin.
“You know me, Ronni, I can't go too long without having some good fun.”
“Bad fun is more like it.” I chuckle.
“Call it what you want, we only live once.” She shrugs and flips her blonde hair out of her face.
We go inside and get the display room set up for the Triple R's that way there's not much to do when the actual day comes. My paintings are hung along the wall, showcasing each one individually. I look at Mr. Clayton's piece. I feel disgusted. Something about that man just makes me cringe now. I can't wait for this to be over.
I text Adrian when I'm finished with everything at the gallery to see if he wants to meet up tonight at a bar. I want to tell him the truth when he asks about my birthday weekend, but it's in his best interest to leave it at what Jenna came up with. She decided that we tell him we're having a girls night Friday and then we'll be at his show on Saturday. If he wants to know what we're doing, I'll just tell him we're going to dinner and movies with a couple of our girl friends.
'What are you up to tonight?'
'Not much, what about you?'
'Want to meet for drinks?'
'When will you be there?'
'In about 40 minutes.'
'I'll see you soon then.'
Blu's is packed tonight, they're having a special poet's night. I love to listen to the talents of poets, the words they speak are so honest and raw. I get inside and find a booth near the back. The music plays before the first poet takes the stage, I have the waitress come over to take my drink order while I wait for Adrian.
About ten minutes pass, he walks in and spots me right away. I smile at him when he motions to the bar to let me know he's grabbing a drink. I can't believe the sexiest man in this place is coming to meet with me. It still gives me chills to think about how lucky I am to have such a perfect fuck. I have to admit, I always get what I want, one way or another. Does that make me cocky? I start to think maybe I'm the female version of Mr. Clayton. That may be why I don't like him. I don't get along with others that are too much like myself. Is that it? Am I just as fucked up as him?
Adrian walks up to the booth.
“Is this seat for me?” He asks in an adorable way.
“Of course, it wouldn't be for anyone else.” I flirt back.
“I like the sound of that.” He winks and sits down with his drink in hand.
We talk for a few moments before the show starts. I let him know the deal with the coming weekend before he even asks, just to get it out of the way.
“So I won't see you Friday then?” He asks.
“Well maybe at night if you'd want to come by, but I'll probably be out late and I'm sure your show will run late as well, right?”
“Yeah, I guess I'll just text you that night and see what's up.” He shrugs it off and takes a drink of what looks like whiskey.
I take down what's left of my sex on the beach.
“Would you like another?” He asks me as the lights start to dim and the music fades.
He goes to the bar to get us more drinks and gets seated just in time for the introduction of the first poet. The crowd applauds and a tall black male takes the stage.
“I call this piece Delilah.” He sets the mood and begins.
“Delilah . . . your flaws are flattering, your perfection is stunning.
You're the seduction to my soul. You're the deception that corrupts me.
I can't turn away. You have held me captive. If you let go, I'll break.
Shatter. I may then match the pieces you have given me. Pieces of you.
Some of you. Not all. You have taken all of me, but haven't returned.
Regret. Pain. Shame. The lies. Da lies. De-li-lah. The liar.”
His poem continues on for another two verses, but this particular verse captures me. I feel like it's a message. The way I've had to hide certain things from Adrian, I'm Delilah. I try to focus on the rest of the show, but the first words of the night stuck with me the entire time. I wish I could just tell him everything. Tell him about the things that nobody knows about me. I want to share it all with him, but the thought of sharing it with another scares the shit out of me. It means commitment, to share, to be one.
The show ends, Adrian and I are about four or five drinks in – I've lost count. I feel the buzz of my drinks when I rise from my seat and I realize just how tipsy I am. I can't drive, but neither can he. Great. Both of our cars are here, and we're both intoxicated more than the legal limit would allow us to be driving. I look over at Adrian, who looks about as stable as me. This is wonderful. I start to laugh and he joins in when he looks at the condition we're in.
“Now what?” I ask. “How the hell are we getting out of here? We have to sober up before we can drive and I don't want to be sober right now.” I chuckle.
Drowning all the thoughts in my head is apparently a great escape, much simpler than continuing to think about it. I feel great, not drunk and sloppy, just nicely floating. This would be a perfect time to get him all alone. I look up at Adrian, he's walking towards me.
“Let's walk it off, or grab something to eat if you'd like . . . that'll get us back to a level where we can at least get our cars parked somewhere other than at the bar.” He laughs.
“How far is it to the Adolphus from here?” I ask him with a slight slur.
“It's a couple blocks, walking distance. Is that where you want to go?”
“Yes. We can come back for our cars later.” I nod and we lock hands to get out of the crowd as everyone's leaving the bar.
We start walking down the sidewalk, I double check my wrist to make sure my wristlet is still attached. Can't leave that behind, need money to check in to a hotel. The short black dress and black heels with red bottoms either makes me look classy or like a hooker walking the streets of Dallas late at night. The air is cold tonight, making the walk more comfortable, this way I'm not profusely sweating. We quickly stroll by the tall buildings surrounding us. The smell of food whiffs past us. Our pace is steady and determined. I can't wait to take off these damn heels and fuck the breath out of this man. We get to the hotel and I go up to the counter to get a room, only to find out that they're all booked up for the night.
“I'm very sorry, Ms. Thorne, if you had called in earlier to reserve . . .”
“It's all right, not your fault. I didn't know I was going to need a room tonight. Do you recommend any nearby spots that may be open? Within walking distance, that is.”
“Are you having car troubles?”
“No, just decided to walk, we came from Blu's.”
“Oh, got ya. Well I would say there probably isn't anything available without reservation tonight as there's a convention in town.”
“That's some luck.” I chuckle.
“I apologize that I can't help you more, Ms. Thorne.”
“No worries, dear, you all are always good to me here.”
I walk over to Adrian to explain to him what's going on. He suggests that we just walk back to the bar to get our cars, that we would be plenty sobered up by the time we made it there.
“My feet are killing me.” I tell him with a sad face.
“I'll carry you if that's what it takes.” He gently smiles.
“I wouldn't do that to you . . . but thank you . . . very sweet of you.”
“Well I hate for you to hurt your feet walking back.”
“I'll just take them off and walk barefoot.”
“You sure? There's a lot of nasty shit on these sidewalks.” He takes his Jordan's off and hands them to me. “Here, wear these. I've got socks on so I'll go without shoes before I let you.”
A man literally gave me the shoes off of his feet to protect me. This has to be the most thoughtful act of kindness I've ever had done for me.
We ended up fucking in his car last night after walking back, we were both worn out but couldn't resist getting it in before going our separate ways. The car sex wasn't bad actually, it was quicker than normal and limited on positions, but just to feel him inside of me is always the best part. I took the day off from work today to have some alone time and shop for some new outfits for the weekend. I get inside one of my favorite boutiques and spot the lingerie section in the back. I wouldn't mind getting something special for the weekend. After browsing through several options, I find one that's just right. It's a black corset with matching thongs; graced with a red rose delicately posing on the front. It's hot, I love it. I make my purchase along with an outfit for Friday's night out with Jenna.
On my way home my phone rings, it's a private number. If this is Mr. Clayton's office again, they will get an earful. I go to answer it but quickly change my mind, I don't need that stress. I decline the call, sending it to my voicemail. My phone rings again, apparently this private caller won't give up so easily. I decline it for the second time and turn down the street to go to another boutique to see if they have something I can wear for Saturday night. Once I get inside, I ask the lady for some help finding something that's fitting for the night. She points me in the direction of the dresses and I search through probably a hundred before almost giving up. I don't want to arrive wearing something that's average. Then Adrian will really think I have no style. Maybe he should pick out what I need to wear that night. I chuckle to myself.
I leave the little shop of horrors to see if I can find another place that has better selections. Before I pull up to a sweet little store on the strip downtown, my phone rings. I look at it, private caller. They can't be serious. I'm trying to relax with some me time, and this asshole caller just won't leave me alone. I turn off my phone. I'm not dealing with this shit right now. I browse the shop and finally find a form-fitting short, white dress and pair it with black boots and a black belt and scarf. It looks classy, grown, and sexy all in one. Satisfied, I drive home to put away my new finds so they don't wrinkle. I remember to turn on my phone after I get everything hung in my closet. The phone has alerts as soon as it's loaded. I check the voicemails right away, curious if any of them are from Clayton's office.
The first voicemail plays, nothing is said, it moves on to the next voicemail.
'This is Vivian Payne, calling on behalf of your mother. She's been admitted to the hospital due to chest pains. I was asked to call this number to get in touch with you to let you know that she's doing fine at this time, but they're keeping her for further evaluation and testing. Her phone's with her if you'd like to contact her personally. I'm sorry to have to relay this message via voicemail.'
Oh no. Mom! I panic to find her number in my contacts and tap the call button. Her phone goes straight to voicemail. It must be turned off. Worry sets in. I have to talk to her. I call Jenna and tell her what's going on and she calms me down the best she can over the phone. I get a call from Adrian moments later and let him know that I need to be with someone right now, my nerves are a wreck from the news I've just received. He tells me that he'll be over shortly and I hang up before the tears start rolling down my face. I don't want to lose her. Sure, we don't talk constantly, we haven't seen one another in quite some time, and she lives in another country. That doesn't mean it'd be any easier to know she's gone from this world. I love my mother and after losing my father, she's all that I have left as far as family goes. I sit and cry to myself, attempting to call her phone over and over until Adrian arrives. He knocks on the door moments later, I rush to open it and fly into his arms, his embrace is comforting.
“I'm so glad you're here.” I sob into the side of his neck. The smell of him intoxicates me.
“Always.” He whispers in my ear.
We stand in the doorway, holding each other, for what seems like an eternity. I don't want him to let go.