A broom in hand, and a towel in the other, I try to kill two birds with one stone. Luke is on his way here and he could be here any second! Ugh! And the house is a disaster thanks the the robbers. I scrub my hair with the towel as I try to sweep up the glass around the door. I shouldn't have agreed to this. I haven't dated in so long. But one look at that amazingly handsome guy and I couldn't resist. I am already so excited for this, but I'm nervous too. Really nervous.
I toss the towel into my cousin's room, just because I'm pissed at him, and I already sorta cleaned my room, as I got dressed. I'm wearing a nice purple dress. Nothing too fancy, but something that says I'm not a slob. I jump when theres a knock on the door. Pez darts under the couch, probably still afraid after what happened today. I let out a tiny squeal, and then curse under my breath. I'm still wearing my pink fluffy monster feet slippers and I have no makeup on. Why couldn't he have run into traffic! Holding the broom tightly, I take a deep breath and open the door.
"Luke," I breath, smiling. "Errr..... that was fast!"
He's wearing a button down black shirt with his black jeans he hands me some flowers."There wasn't a lot of traffic. You're not allergic to flowers are you?" He asks blushing a little. I smile widely and shake my head. Oh My God..... my memory didn't do him justice. He is gorgeous and so sweet.
"No I'm not. Thanks these are so pretty," I say, and smell them. "Come on in, errrr, but watch out for glass, and ignore my cousin's sense of decorating. It's a constant battle. He keeps taking down my picture and putting up his junk," I grumble and glance at the half naked Budweiser girl that always mocks me when I come home from work. I set the broom against the wall, and move out of the way so he can enter.
"Wow....what all did they take?" he asks looking around. I blush, feeling horrible that he has to see this. I tug on the ends of my hair and walk into the kitchen to get the dust pan."Hey you sit down I'll do it."He says gently taking the dust pan away from me grabbing the broom. I blush and shake my head. I reach over to claim the broom.
"I can do it. It's my home, it's okay," I say. I'm still holding the flowers and I look around.
"I know you can do it. But my mama raised me right and you've had a hard enough day. Go sit down and I'll clean up. The movie doesn't start for two hours and we can go to the coffee shop next to the theater to get you something to eat, unless you want me to cook for you here."He says already walking away with my broom and dustpan. I scowl at the back of his head but smile to myself. He really is very sweet.
"I.. I..." I sigh. "I'll put these flowers in a vase then, and finish getting ready. And I really don't have a lot of food for you to cook here. I haven't had time to go shopping." I say softly. He probably thinks I'm trashy and poor. I'm so embarrassed.
He turns around and gives me a breathtaking smile,"You're not ready? Wow If you this pretty now I can't wait to see what you look. And I can make you something out of nothing don't worry."He's so confident and so sweet about the whole thing. "I won't let you starve." I smile, glances at his lips and then looking away before I can embarrass myself further. I lick my lips and turn my attention on looking for my vase.
"Thanks, you're really sweet. Amazing actually and I..." I trail off. I really just said that? I guess I can embarrass myself further. "Well, I'm sorta glad I ran into you. Even if it was a huge mess." I look around for the dang vase. Ugh, Randy probaby stashes it in the highest cabinet.
He chuckles smiling softly as he's sweeping up,"It's fine, I'm glad you ran into me to. I'm glad my stuttering idiocy didn't scare you away....here, you go get ready I'll take care of the flowers."He bites his lip softly grabbing the vase that was in the living room on one of the shelves. "Go pamper yourself for a while. You earned it." I blush. Oh yeah that's where I put the vase. I look at the empty spot on the shelf next to where the vase was and sigh. I rub my neck wear my necklace use to sit and then nod.
"You really don't have to do all this. It means alot that you are," I say softly. "Thank you." I start for the bathroom. My slippered feet catch the door frame and I stumble a little. I curse under my breath, feeling my cheeks heat up even more.
When I come back the apartment looks like nothing happened. The coffee table is set up beautifully with a red cloth, candles and rose's in little red vases. He has candles lit and has everything set up to be the most romantic way possible. I hear him cooking in the kitchen humming softly. I gasp softly and cover my mouth. Happy tears threaten to ruin my makeup. I can't help myself and I walk over to him and hug him.
"Thank you," I say. He's so warm. I smile softly.
He jumps a little in surprise and chuckles. "Mama always said if your gonna do something do it right and with a hundred and ten percent of your effort. dinner is almost ready and dessert is in the freezer. But no peeking." I smile, and kiss his cheek. I watch as a cute blush forms under his cheeks.
"It's amazing Luke. I love it," I tell him
"I'm glad you do." He smiles biting his lip. "Go sit down your little monster kitten has been looking for you." He chuckles, "He's adorable by the way." And speaking of the devil, Pez peaks around the corner and meows softly. He's white, with a little gray spot on his head and on one paw. One of his eyes is green and the other is blue, because he's blind in one eye. I smile and crouch, making kissy noises to get him to come over to me. Pez slowly scrolls over to me, taking his sweet time before jumping into my arms, knocking me on my butt.
"Ugh...brat," I say. I hear Luke trying not to laugh as he walks over to the coffee table and starts serving the food. I smile up at him and stand up. I scratch Pez behind the ears before laying him on the back of the couch. I sit down at the table. "So what did you make?"
"Thai Shrimp soup."He smiles sitting down. I didn't even know I had all this stuff in my apartment. Theres chunks of mushrooms,carrots and shrimp. Spinach,basil, wow....there was a lot of food! My mouth waters, and my stomach growls loudly, and I blush again. Ugh, I need a shovel so I can bury myself after this.
"Bon appetite."He smiles sitting down, he pulls out a bottle of wine from behind him and grins. I smile at him, unable to really take my eyes off him. I take a bite and have to hold back a groan. It's so good!
"Oh my God," I say, with my mouthful.
"Is it that bad? It's been awhile since I cooked..."He makes a face like he's guilty. I shake my head and take another bite before answering.
"It's amazing Luke," I tell him.
He smiles huge and then smirks a little,"And the best part is....you're eating Ramen noodles and you like it." I look at my plate and then at him, and smile.
"It's very impressive. I didn't think Ramen noodles could taste this amazing." I say. I find myself staring at his face again, taking in his features. He really is the most handsome guy I have ever seen. I look at his lips again, blast it, I'm so drawn to him. After the way he took care of my hand, the tenderness, he showed me. I can't get over how amazing it was. My heart had been pounding the whole time. I look at my plate and take another bite and shudder. It is really good. I start to reach for my necklace again, but top myself, before I touch nothing and disappointment blooms inside my chest.
"Why do you do that?" He asks watching me. I take a sip of wine and pat my lips dry with my napkin.
"Oh...." he noticed. "I use to have this necklace. It's a necklace that's been in the family for years. My Nana left it to me after she....died." No crying Piper. Nana is in a better place now. You did what you could. "It was stolen."
He gets this darken glint in his eyes,"Do you have any clue who would take it?" I swallow hard and shake my head. Well I did have a clue, but I wasn't sure at all.
"Like your cousin. He doesn't seem to like you very much." he says. I feel my cheek redden and it's not because of embarrassment. I pluck at the napkin angrily.
"No he doesn't. He doesn't like that I speak my mind to him, because he knows I'm right. He's a loser and an idiot. But neither of us can afford a place of our own, so...here I am," I tell him. I clear my throat and take another sip of wine.
"If you want I can talk to my boss, we have extra rooms in the bar." I feel my eyes widen. As tempting at that sounds, anything to get out of this place, I shouldn't. "Hell I would leave him just before the rent is due just so that he gets a new asshole ripped open. But That's just cause I can be mean." Him be mean? I twirl my hair around my finger and study him.
"I would have left him already if I could afford it, so I can be mean too, if I have to, but... I don't get paid as much as they promised when I moved here, and the money I had saved up. was...." Damn, I'm rambling again. Dumping problems. But I just can't help it. He's so easy to open up to. Oh what I wouldn't give to leave this apartment and Randy, the freaking man whore drug addict! I shiver.
"Well just in being a waiter at the bar I get 22 bucks an hour and with tips. You could be a good hostess." He says, was he offering me a place and a job?! Me? The clumsiest person of this earth.
"Until I ran into someone and get fired," I grumble, but I can't stop the smile.
He chuckles,"Lin will never fire anyone he's too nice. Come on...after everything you need a new start....what did your necklace look like?" That dark gleam still in his eyes. Lin?? The guy I was begging not to fire Luke. He looked pissed and scary.
"It was... gold, and an ivory profile picture of my great, great, great, grandmother. It had rubies in it." I tell him, smiling at how I use to stare at it in awe when I went to take care of Nana. How I use to put it on when she was asleep, and admire the way it looked around my neck.
He smiles softly as if I missed a small joke. He smiles"Alright I'll keep a lookout for it. Are you done eating?" I blink at him. He's actually going to help me. And he wants to give me a better place to live and better job where my stupid boss won't try to make a pass at me. I feel my bottom tremble and I bit down before he notices. This guy is just too good to be true. I stare at him, unable to reply. What had he asked again?
He waves his hand infront of my face,"hello? Anyone home? Helloooooooo?" He laughs then jumps"Whoa! Pez...you crazy cat that was not a chew toy."He chuckles picking up Pez scratching him behind his ear. "Dorkazoid." I smile at him. I still can't believe he's real right now.
"Sorry.... he's a little brat sometimes. Are you okay?" I ask. I watch him interact with my cat, smiling. He's so sweet. So kind and caring. So different from most guys. It's impossible not to like him. I find myself staring at his wonderful smile again. His teeth were so straight and so white. His lips look soft. I wonder what they would feel like pressed against mine. What would he do if I kissed him? Would he kiss me back? And if so would he kiss me gently or would the kiss be hungry? Or would he push me away in disgust? I lick my lips, and wait.... am I leaning forward? No, Piper you moron not on the first date! What the hell are you thinking? Do something quick! I lean forward and smell a rose to hide the fact that I was leaning toward him.
"These roses are pretty nice." I say like the idiot I am. My voice sounds a little breathless, and I mentally facepalm. Smooth Piper, now he's gonna think you are dumb. I blush, probably turning the color of the rose I'm smelling.
He smiles running a hand through his hair,"I'm glad you like them."He says as he puts Pez down on the couch. He looks at me, he always go straight to my eyes like he was being pulled in.I smile again, and lean back before I spilled anything. Knowing me, that would happen.
"I...Well yeah of course I like them. Rose's are my favorite flower," I say. I meet his eyes and my smile widens. He really is amazing. I lift my glass of wine to my lips and take a sip. I choke on in, when I hear the jingle of keys outside the door. Damn these walls are paper thin.
"Oh no...." I say. I sit the glass down and stand up. Randy enters the house, a giggling girl at his side, already covered in hickies.
"Piper, I'm home and I have company, you need to get out," he calls, and stops when he sees us. "Oh."
"She started having company first so why don't You leave." Luke says with a smile grabbing my hand not even looking at him just staring at my eyes. I blush a little, and Randy laughs.
"Sorry, but rules are rules, no do not disturb sign, no taking claim on the apartment. So it's still free game," Randy says. He looks around. "Damn Pips where'd you pick this cheese ball up?"
Luks snort like Randy said something really funny,"Off the floor where'd you pick her up at? On the corner of main street?" Wow...he was right he could be mean.The girl gasps and glares at Luke but doesn't say anything. Randy did have a habit of bringing in hookers. And ugh, he smells so badly of weed it almost makes me gag. "I guess you would have to pay for it with the way you reek."Luke shrugs"It's okay though Piper you know why he's smell won't ruin the food 'cause he and his hooker are leaving." That dark gleam is in his eyes again. Randy laughs again.
"I'm providing a service and you can't kick me out of my own home," he looks at me. "Pips don't get your hopes up. He's just gonna fuck you and leave you." I gasp, I stomp over to him.
"Shut up, asshole you don't know anything!" I say. I'm trembling a little. This guy really knows how to get under my skin.
Luke stands up and growls softly,"You wanna insult her honor again pisspot?" Luke grabs my wrist gently as if he was gonna throw me back and kick Randy's ass. Randy raises an eyebrow at him, he licks his teeth, like he does when he's ready to get into a fight. Oh God..No please don't let him hit Luke. This is so ruining my night!
"Come on weed head let's go a few round unless you can't see straight."He looks at the hooker"I feel bad for you do you know what Weed does to a guys cock?" The hooker narrows her eyes at him and hugs Randy's arm.
"Yeah, I thought so. Sorry Pips, but you got yourself a loser. I know his type. Pretends to be all nice and sweet until he get's you in his bed, gets what he wants and leaves. Then he'll only call you when he needs someone to bang," Randy says. Was he calling me easy and stupid?! I slap him hard across the face, trembling more. He frowns and grabs my wrist. He spins me around and flips me over the couch, where I bounce once on the cushions and the sprawl to the ground, with a thud. I let out a tiny gasp and fix my dress before Luke or anyone can see what's underneath. My fingertips feel all tingly, probably from slapping him. My back aches too, but I don't let that bother me.
Next thing I know Luke is choking Randy against the wall with Randy off the ground about half a foot. So strong. "Lay another hand on her I dare you fuck face. I mean it."an animal like growl comes out of him as his grip tightens on Randys throat."Lets go for a walk. Let the Piper eat in peace shall we?" I let out a tiny squeal and scramble to my feet, only to trip and fall again. What's going on? Fear slams into me and I sit up, gripping my knees. Randy chokes trying to pry his fingers away from his neck. His face is turning red. The hooker shrieks and stumbles away from them.
"Luke?" I squeak. I swallow hard, staring at them. I'm not sure what to do or how to stop them.
"What's wrong Randy can't breathe?" Luke hisses. I blink at him. Oh God, this wasn't happening right? Luke really does have a mean streak. I stumble to me feet and grab his shoulder. Randy's eyes widen.
"Luke.... stop it's okay. Please I'm okay." I croak. I shake him a little.
Luke growls softly and let's him go."Get outside." I look at me. I'm shaking hard. Randy starts coughing and grabbing his neck.
"M..me? O..or h...h...him?" I stutter. Oh God, what is he gonna do? Is he gonna hurt me? I back away from him a little, shaking my head. "Luke..."
"Randy and I are going to have a talk. Piper enjoy dinner I'll be right back."He grabs Randy by the ear and pulls him out the door. Oh God... What's he gonna do. I start to follow him. Is he gonna kill him? What did I get myself into? Where was that sweet man I met? And why the hell do I still want to kiss him?
I hear Luke throw Randy into the trash cans,"Now you listen and you listen good. I care for Piper. So when I see her unhappy I get unhappy got that? You either get yourself out of the trash and become a better man, or I will rid the earth of your filth you got me?"Luke growls sound a little calmer than he was upstairs. "And if you ever...ever touch her again. I will kill you right then even if it means Piper hates me." I stumble backwards to my room. He cares for me? I fall backwards, landing on my ass but I crab walk backwards. I grab my prop knife I use for shows. It's fake but it looks real enough maybe I can keep him away long enough to question him. I don't hear Randy's reply, but I'm sure he peed himself and said "Yes sir."
Luke and Randy come back, Luke runs a hand through his hair blushing a little when he looks at me before looking away quickly.
"Sorry I freaked out Piper."He mumbles apologizing about defending me. Defending me... as much as he scared the hell out of me, I kinda liked it. I shouldn't but I did. I lick my lips and drop the fake knife.
"It's...It's...okay... I...I," I clear my throat and lean against the wall. "I understand. Th...thank you." I shouldn't still be drawn to him right? After that I should be running for the hills, but I can't help myself. There's just something about him. I look him in the eyes, my gaze flickers to his lips and then back at his eyes. That dark gleam was gone.
He smiles softly and pats Randy on the shoulder,"Go do what I said downstairs."He sounds back to his friendly self. Randy nods, he gives a strange, searching look and grabs the hooker's hand leading her out.
"Sorry Pips," he mutters as he leaves. The girl looks up at him and says something to him that I can't hear, but it sounds something like that girl was glowing. Stupid, hooker so high on drugs, she doesn't even know what's going on. I slump against the wall and sigh. I look up at Luke, staring at him.
"Sorry I scared you. I haven't lost my temper like that since lin di-"He stops his sentence but shifts the words,"didn't tell my mother I was going out of town and he gave her a heart attack." He flinches like the lie hurts him. Lying. I hope he has a good reason for lying. I frown a little.
"It..It's okay. I know he deserved a good ass whipping. And for the record, he's never hit me. He just shoves me into the couch alot. But this time was a first. Sorry," I feel close to tears again. "I just 'catch a break today, can I. I'm sorry he ruined everything." I look at the cracked floor, trailing my finger over the cracks and rub my head.
"Hey we still got desert, the night's not over yet."he says with a smile. I smile up at him weakly and nod. I try to get to my feet but stumble into him. My arms grip his shoulders, fisting a handful of his shirt, as I try to keep from hitting the ground. My face smashes into his chest, and heat rising in my cheeks. He smells so good, and he's so warm. He puts a finger under my chin and makes me look up to him.
"Can I try something with you Piper?" I swallow hard and nods slowly. My eyes finding his without effort. I can feel my whole face burning now. He leans forward and gently puts his lips on mine. I gasp softly, my eyes flutter shut and I press my lips to his. They're so soft, like I imagined. I straighten up a little and wrap my arms around his neck. He puts his his hands on my waist kissing me softly nibbling my lips but he doesn't try anything but kiss me.I let out a tiny sound of pleasure and kiss him back. Just wanting to explore his mouth. I'm already drowning in this kiss. Already craving more of his kiss. He groans softly cupping the back of my neck sliding his tongue around with mine. He tasted like wine and ramen.God, I love Ramen now. I moan softly against his mouth, unable to hold it back. My finger tangle in his hair, and I tippy toe to kiss him a little deeper. My tongue seeking more of his taste.
He arched my back a little,bending me backwards slightly. He roughens the kiss wrestling my tongue in my mouth demanding more from me. I give it to him, tilting my head to grant him more access. He growls softly and pulls away holding me to his chest tucking my head under his chin. His heart is pounding in his chest. I place my hand over his heart beat, smiling.
"I never kiss on the first date," I whisper softly. "But I'm glad I did this time. Why'd you stop?"
He chuckles breathless,"Because I don't kiss on the first date either."He kisses the top of my head. "It's been driving me up the wall since I saw you open the door for me."I hug him tightly.
"It's been driving me crazy too," I admit. "I wanted to kiss you at the dinner table." I'm still smiling.
He chuckles,"So that's why you "smelled" the roses." I blush brightly and nod, he notices everything. He smiles and takes me to the table taking away the food"Lets you you some dessert." I smile a little.
"I think I just had dessert," I say softly.
I see him turn to the kitchen to hid his blush. He goes to the kitchen I hear him moving things around and when he comes back he's got this crazy looking dessert thing. It's a big white ball of...chocolate? He puts the white ball in front of me and starts to pour chocolate on it. As the white chocolate cracks from the heat a tower cake appears in the center. Woah.
"Chocolate magic." He says softly. I smile widely. This guy is amazing! Haven't I said that already? Well he is. Even if he scared me.
"Wow...... this...this is amazing. You're incredible Luke." I whisper softly. I clear my throat and look at him. "It's amazing I don't even want to eat if because then I will destroy it,"
"Do not tell Ashley that I made this for you or I'd never hear the end of it." He chuckles sitting down at the table watching me. I frown a little. Ashley? Must be a friend.... I hope. I look at the cake and grab a slice. I serve him a slice too.
"She has this obsession with chocolate, she drives Sam up the wall with it. It's like her body is on a permanent PMS craving spree." Okay good sounds like she's just a friend.
"Oddly enough I can't stand chocolate around my PMS time. I crave fruit, mostly grapes," I say. And Oh great, now you're talking about your period.
"Well that's a relief 'cause that whole chocolate thing just makes my stomach turn."He chuckles taking a small bit of cake. I take a bite too and shudder.
"Oh this is amazing. Taste so good...." I say. Though I can think of something that tastes better. "So you don't like chocolate?"
"It's not that I don't like it. I just don't love it. I couldn't eat a chocolate bar, but I can eat chocolate covered strawberries or a small slice of chocolate cake. It's a texture thing for me." I smile a little and nod.
"I can understand that. There are somethings I don't like eating because of the texture," I say.
"Bananas." He shudders,"Like the flavor of bananas but its like trying to force baby food down your throat." I giggle and nod in agreement as I take another bite of cake.
That's how the rest of the night went, we just talked, talked and talked and talked. I don't think there was a subject that we didn't cover! His favorite color was topaz, he blushed like I missed something, his favorite football team are the 49ner's, we had a small argument about that (Go Cowboys!) he doesn't understand how people can watch baseball its just tag with a ball. He want's to go back to college,he had to drop out to take care of his mom, to finish his degree in business management. He wanted to open his own bar and make it an old fashioned pub. He had so many dreams and hopes that it was almost heart wrenching all that he gave up to take care of his mom, his friend Jerolin and his new wife and baby. He just wanted everyone happy. He really is so kind and caring.
"Holy crap we totally missed the movie."He says when he finally looks at his watch. I glance up at the clock.
"Oops you're right. I'm sorry. Me and my big mouth," I sigh, but smile because in my opinion this was better than the movie.
He smiles and kisses my hand,"Who cares I enjoyed this too. You can't talk in a movie theater." I smile, glad that he agrees. It feels good not to feel alone, and so many nights have been so lonely for me.
"I'm glad you think so. Much better than a movie," I tell him. I tug on my hair nervously. He looks at his watch again and sighs. "Umm, can I ask you something?" I wanted to see him again so badly and soon too. I just have to ask him.
"Go ahead, but I don't know of any other question you can ask that we haven't already covered."He says chuckling softly. I take a deep breath.
"Well, I know you might think it's lame, so feel free to say no, but errr tomorrow night, I'm doing this... um... poetry slam. I was wondering, if you didn't have to work, if... if you wanted to go?"
He makes a face but smiles and kisses my hands,"If it means I get to see you again....yeah I'll go." I smile hugely and kiss his cheek. I hug him,
"Awesome! You won't regret it, or well you might, but thanks anyway!" I say. He hugs me tight like I was gonna fade away if he didn't hold me close.
"Remember what I offered but after tonight...you shouldn't have any problems but the offer still stands." He says inhaling the scent of my hair. I know he smells my peach shampoo, I hope it doesn't bother him. I lay my head on his chest. I don't want him to leave, but I know he has a life to get back to, and I have to work in the morning. Though I may take Luke's offer and work at the bar, I still have to show up. I frown not looking forward to dealing with my boss.
"I don't wanna leave."He says chuckling. I rub my cheek on his chest, smiling. I really love the way he makes me feel. I feel safe and wanted.
"I don't want you to leave either," I whisper. I don't admit that I'm a little scared that the robbers might return, because I don't wanna sound like a wimp or needy. I force myself to let go of him and smile up at him.
He kisses my softly and grabs his coat, we'd already cleaned up dinner and dessert. He kneels down and pets Pez whose sleeping."See ya later little fella." I stand up to walk him to the door. I ignore the sudden wave of sadness I feel and smile at him. Why do I feel this sad about him leaving? I shouldn't because I never have with anyone else before, but I do. To distract myself I start thinking of the poems I want to write for the slam tomorrow night.
"So see you tomorrow?" I ask.
He smiles and kisses the top of my hand. "Promise. Come by the bar I'll introduce you to everyone." He says softly as he steps out of the apartment."Good night Piper, Sweet dreams."
"Good night Luke. You have sweet dreams too. And be safe," I say, closing the door. I lock it and lean against the door, smiling a little. Then I rush to my room and begin to write.