I check my watch before opening the door to the bar. I'm a bit early. Connie chose a classy little place on the outskirts of town. I've never been here before, but always pass it by thinking that sometime I should. No better time than the present, I muse.
Bells clang above my head as I move through the entry door. Indistinct chatter fills my ears and my eyes scan the area for an empty table. I find one near the back and walk over to it, trying my best not to look clumsy in my four inch heels. I set my hand bag on the table's surface and glance around for a waitress. I need a drink - and pronto.
Twinkling lights cascade down the high ceilings and walls of the interior of the bar. White tablecloths trimmed with gold reside on every table, a cylinder vase in their centers containing a single red rose. Dozens of fancy wine bottles line the shelves all along the back wall. It is quite a lovely set-up, I must say.
A tall blonde waitress greets me at the table. Her hair is tied back in a professional bun, her makeup thick and bold. Her lipstick is a matching red to the rose on my table and I can't help but stare at her lips, thinking they look far too big for her face. They look too puffy, as if they've been stung by bees.
"Can I get you something to drink?" she asks, her voice sugary and sweet.
"I'll take a vodka and cream soda, please."
I can hear Connie's loud voice filtering through the front door, and I can already tell it's going to be a long night. I reach my arm out and stop the waitress.
"Can you make that a double?" I ask, sounding like a complete alcoholic.
Connie embraces me, her eyes glossed over with inebriation. It appears she has had one too many. Like I should talk.
"Stellllaa. You are such. A. Cool. Chick. I've got your number. We're chillin.' Soon. Gotit?" Connie says, her words staccato and unsteady.
I smile at her sloppy question and nod my head, giggling. Gavin pulls her away from me, offering me an awkward handshake.
"Do you need a ride, Stella?" Gavin asks, his face etched with concern.
He knows I've had too much to drink. I should have stopped after my fourth, or even my fifth. But no, I had to push the limits. And look at me now. I can barely stand up on my own.
"No I'vegota ride cummin," I slur in response.
I nod and nudge them towards the door.
"Have a good night!" I scream from behind them as they leave.
Gavin gives me a final wave and then wraps his arms around Connie, scooping her up like a baby. He steadies her weight in his arms and walks toward their car. Connie is so wasted; I'd be surprised if she remembers any of this tomorrow.
If it weren't for Gavin, that girl would be lost. Then again, after seeing the way Gavin was with her tonight, it's a fair assessment to say he'd be lost without her too. The two of them are like night and day and yet need each other like a fish needs water. I wish I had that.
I stumble through the fancy bar doors and I hear those bells ring above my head again. I stop walking when I reach the end of the sidewalk and begin digging through my clutch until I hear my keys jangling at the bottom. I pull them out and start chuckling. Who would have thought something as little as a key could open and maneuver something as big as a car? This same thought repeats over and over again in my head and before I know it, I have tears rolling down my face from uncontrollable laughter.
I am so drunk.
I wish I'd just taken Gavin up on his offer of taking me home. I'm really in no condition to be driving. Well, time to find a ride I suppose. I grab my cell phone from my bag and see that I have a missed phone call and two texts. They are all from Evan.
Oh shit, EVAN!
I was supposed to call him to cancel, but I never did! Who knows how long he's been sitting around waiting for my call. I try to feel guilty but it seems like the alcohol is preventing me from feeling much of anything. I dial in a call to Evan and press the phone firmly against my ear, my body swaying to and fro.
He answers after the fourth ring, his voice tired and soft.
"Evan? It's Stella. I'm so sooooorry about tonight. Now can you be a good boy and picked me up?"
I try to sound sober, but my slurred words put my current state on display. Evan is quiet for a moment and I check my phone to make sure he hasn't hung up.
Finally I hear him sigh on the other end. "Sure Stells, where are you?"
"I'm at that one fancy bar right by the beach. Ya knowwwww, the one with the bells on the door?"
Evan lets out another big 'huff' and his voice gets louder. "Stella, please stay put. I'll be there in fifteen minutes."
It seems like only thirty seconds have elapsed before I seen Evan's motorcycle pulling up into full view. His bike looks even better at night than in the daytime. Sexier. More mysterious. He parks the bike right in front of me and hands me his helmet. I just stare at him, my hormones in overdrive.
His dark hair is messy and tousled, giving off that sexy 'bed-head' look that not many can pull off. His eyes are green and smoldering, their focus on me and my every movement. His face is ever-so-handsome and his expression is hard, like a warrior.
Warrior. Angelic warrior. The angel….
My mind starts whirling as I think about my visit from the angel. In my inebriated state I start to question if that really happened. Perhaps I dreamt it? No, no it felt too real. And the angel had given me a clear and unyielding warning - to stay away, far away, from Evan. After all, he was destined to be an angelic warrior and creatures like that weren't allowed to be with creatures like me.
"Stella," Evan says, his voice stern. "Put the helmet on and get on the bike please. I need to take you home."
I do as he says, all thoughts of the angel being pushed to the back of my mind. Damn that angel. Damn his eyes from the clouds. Damn his warning. And damn the consequences! Evan is a great guy and if I want to be with him, then I will be! And no one, not even that stupid angel, will stop me!
Evan helps me inside my house, though by now I am a bit more put together than I was at the bar. Alcohol works its way out of my system much faster than a human's. Most of the time that fact is a large annoyance.
Tonight, however, I'm only too glad to be walking into my house semi-sober as opposed to completely hammered. Evan hasn't spoken a word since we left the bar, and I'm starting to wonder if he's done with me. I can't say I'd blame him after my behavior tonight. Blowing him off directly followed by a drunken phone call for a ride home.
Way to blow it, Stella.
Once I get to my bedroom, I expect Evan to turn around and leave. But he doesn't. He takes a single step into my bedroom and peers around, as if inspecting a crime scene. His eyes are curious and I can tell he is memorizing every detail.
"Thanks for the ride, Evan," I mumble.
With my statement, I can vaguely detect the lingering smell of stall alcohol on my breath. Gross. I kick off my shoes and walk over to my desk, opening and closing the various drawers until I find a pack of gum. I pop a piece into my mouth and chew it with fervor. Is it just me or does this gum feel like cement in my mouth? The more I chew it, the more my jaw begins to ache with fatigue. Chewing gum has never proven this difficult before.
I roll my eyes. I guess I'm not as sober as I thought I was.
Evan approaches me from behind and lightly touches my shoulder. I flinch at his touch, completely startled.
"Stella, will you look at me please?" Evan says, his tone much lighter now.
I turn towards him and force myself to look into his beautiful green eyes. Small tingles of pleasure shoot through my body as we make eye contact. Evan brings his hand up to my face and gently strokes my cheek with the back of his knuckles. I practically double over with pleasure from just this simple touch. No one has ever touched me like this before. So tender. So pure.
Evan takes a step closer to me and wraps his arms around my waist. I feel my cheeks heat at the prospect of being so close to this delectable man. Unsure of what to do with my own arms, I cross them over my chest.
"Stella, how drunk are you?" Evan whispers, his eyes never leaving mine.
"I dunno," I mumble. "Not sober enough to have sex with you if that's what you're asking."
Evan's eyes widen and even I'm taken aback with my words. I didn't mean for it to come out so harsh. Maybe I said it because I'm scared. After all, I have been out of practice with this whole 'sex thing' for quite some time. But in all honesty, I do want to have sex with Evan. Badly.
"I'm sorry, Evan. I didn't mean for it to come out like that."
Evan smiles and brings his face closer to mine. "Stella, I wasn't planning on having sex with you. I just wanted to make sure you were sober enough for our first kiss."
And with that, Evan dips his head down and delicately places his lips against mine. I immediately begin to relax in his arms, wrapping my hands around his neck and drawing him closer. His lips are warm and soft, his tongue wet and enticing.
I become lost in our kiss, every second becoming deeper and more passionate. I feel his body against mine, his toned muscles against my soft curves. There is no way I'm going to be the one to end this kiss. It's just too good to be stopped.
And then I feel it, and my body begins to tense. Those invisible eyes. Those angel eyes. I can feel them penetrating into my house and moving closer and closer until they reach my room. Those eyes are on me, accusing and hard. I can feel how angry the angel is, and yet I'm doing nothing to stop it.
No, please…I beg internally. Don't stop the best thing that's happened to me in over a hundred years.
I know the angel can hear me because as soon as I finish my thought, his eyes become angrier. It's like they are pinning down my soul into an uncomfortable, submissive state. I pull Evan closer to me, trying once again to get lost in his kiss. I want to hold on to him while I can because I know once it's over, I am in for a world of trouble…