Good evening, you gorgeous people!
Are we having fun with these Bleeding Heart beauties?
*resounding screams of YES*
Well that’s good because I got another one for you…
This story is called Sunday Morning After, and it’s by the amazingly talented Kristen Jett! If you lurve Kristen’s story as much as we do, don’t forget to let her know in the comments. Oh, and enter the giveaway to win some books and a giftcard.
Take it away, Kristen…
Sunday Morning After
A blind date on Valentine’s Day. That’s what my life has come to.
How did I even get talked into this? Damn those best friends. Always meddling into my life. I’d have been just fine in my leopard pjs, watching Netflix, and drinking wine straight out of the bottle. Wouldn’t I?
I smooth down my cliche red dress nervously, trying to pull it to a height where it isn’t showing too much cleavage or too much leg. It’s useless. One or the other is going to be extra enticing. Does it really matter which? I mean, what are the odds of a real catch being free tonight and needing a blind date? I went with too much leg. At least they were partially covered by tights.
“But you’re alone on Valentine’s Day.” The whine of my roommate slash best friend’s voice repeats in my head. We’d argued over this, and finally I’d caved. I’d try out her blind date with the third cousin of her boyfriend or her sister’s boyfriend’s roommate’s friend of a friend or whoever he is. Whatever. Worst case scenario, we’re both out of here by nine, and I can still sink into a marathon of movies, binge on ice cream, and drink enough wine to regret it in the morning.
Regret. What the day after Valentine’s Day is all about. What Sunday morning afters are always about.
I eye the door nervously, trying to gauge who will stop at my table. All I really know is his name. Alex. Or Alexander. Something like that. It had sounded proper. Banker? I think that’s what Lo said. I should’ve asked for a picture. Or a full name so I could Google him. There had to be a reason she wouldn’t give me these details, right?
The first solo guy walks in. Shorter than me in flats, receding hairline, and wearing an Hawaiian shirt. I will kill Lo if this is him. Kill. A Valentine’s murder. Perfectly justified.
He walks by me without even a glance. Whew.
Wait. He has a date, and I don’t? Somehow, this isn’t making me feel any better about myself than my planned date with the television.
Most men walking in are with someone. Naturally. How many people really do blind dates – or even first dates – on V-Day? Too cold, too suave, keeps his aviators on at night pauses for a moment in front of me. I resist the urge to roll my eyes while eying him suspiciously. He glances at his cell phone, perhaps at a picture or a text, continuing his strut to the back of the restaurant.
Next in wore a v-neck tee, not cut low enough to be all Adam Levine, but low enough that chest hair puffed over the top. Ew. It takes the right kind of man and the right kind of body to pull off a v-neck, and this isn’t it. I drag on my drink. I am so going to need something stronger if anything like this sits down in front of me. Damn you fancy restaurants for specializing in fruity little drinks that even an underaged sorority girl could hold down. I want whiskey. I want bourbon. I want tequila on the rocks. None of that looks good when you’re trying to impress someone, who probably doesn’t need impressing anyway, but I’m a girl about doing things right. Or as right as you can while expecting this entire night to be a bust.
And I’m caught off guard when he walks in. Tall, Dark, and Handsome. Just my type. Hell, maybe any woman’s type. Dressed appropriately, not too fancy, not too casual, with his shirt cuffed just enough to let me know I’d want to see what the rest of those arms look like. Maybe even what the rest of him looks like.
This? This I can handle. This might even be worth shaving my legs for. This might even be worth peeling these tights off later so he could see he was worth shaving my legs for. And everything else. Oh Gods, please let this be him. By every love deity, every lust deity, let this be my date, because this is worth leaving the home for.
Tall, Dark, and Dead Sexy stops at the table, delighting me with a nervous smile and a delicious dimple. The nervousness tells me he doesn’t know what to do. Good. Me either. “Are you Lili?”
I flash a smile I didn’t think I’d be showing tonight. “I am. Alex?”
As he sits, I’m suddenly glad for this little red dress, the push-up bra, and the cleavage threatening to spill out of it. Surprise, surprise.
* * * * *
One dinner, a bottle or two of wine, and three tequila shots later, I’m leaning on him precariously as we leave. “I had more fun than I expected.” Any other time I’d cringe at that cutesy giggle escaping my mouth. But the tequila and I don’t care.
He smiles down at me, his face just close enough to kiss. “I did too.” His hand tucks itself around my waist. To steady me? To be near me? A mix of the two?
I lean up on my stilettos, taking that opening on my tippy-toes. Men take too long to walk through doors that have already been opened. There’s a fine line between being a gentleman, and not being ballsy enough to go after what you want. Me? I always like to take what I want. Right then. The sweet kiss lingers, deepens, just enough to let him know there could be more. Should be more. All he has to do is ask.
Just when I can literally feel his need, I back off, with more tequila tainted giggles. “Well…” My voice lilts. My head tilts to the right, and I lick my lips, noticing his dark eyes tracing every movement of my tongue.
“Maybe we…could do something else?” He says it in a hurry, as if he’s afraid he’ll change his mind if he doesn’t spit it out real fast. Or maybe he’s worried I’ll change mine. Too late. I’ve already decided what I want for the night. Him.
My arm hooks onto his. Am I too tipsy to stand in my heels? Am I just trying to get close to him? It’s my favorite mystery. “Yeah?” He swallows. I giggle. “Back to your place for a movie?”
See? This is how it works. If you ask me to your place, it’s rude. I’ll make all kinds of wrong assumptions. If I ask you if I can come over, it’s A-okay, except I’m in charge of what and when and how far. Girl law.
The grin that crosses his face makes me wonder which one of us has taken the bait. Maybe he knows the games that tipsy girls play. Maybe he prefers blind dates on Valentine’s day because they’re a sure thing. Maybe I shouldn’t have done all those tequila shots.
I stumble into his car, and for a split second I wonder what I’m doing. I know absolutely nothing about this guy. He could be a criminal. He could be an ax murderer. Bundy was charming and affectionate. Isn’t that how most psychopaths catch their prey?
But then he turns to me, flashing those dimples, leaning over to tuck a loose lock of hair behind my ear. All thoughts of trouble float out of my head. It’s like he has me hypnotized. Hypnotized by dimples. That’s a thing, right?
Definitely a thing.
* * * * *
Stiletto knee high boots off as soon as we walk through the door. How long before everything else follows? I mentally shrug. “Is there somewhere I can freshen up?” Because there’s no sexy way to take off tights, no matter what they tell you.
“Second door on the right.” He smiles at me, heading to what must be the kitchen for more drinks. My liver is going to hate me tomorrow. The rest of me is going to love me.
More stumbling down the hall. I turn left at the second door, nearly falling in. Pictures plaster the wall nearly from floor to ceiling. This is not the bathroom. I try to adjust to the dim light. All I can see is pictures. Mostly pictures of girls that look kinda like me.
What the actual fuck?
I knew I should have at least taken a picture of his license plate. Now what? How the hell do I get out of here?
A few loose pictures hang from a line strung across the room. I squint at the closest picture, trying to make it out. Another girl with long blonde hair. So is the next. And the next. And the next – except… I gasp, pulling the picture from the clothespin. Except that’s Lo. Eyes closed. Provocative pose. In just lingerie.
Oh, hell no.
I turn in haste, dropping the picture, just anxious to figure out my escape – and run smack into him. Of course. His smile’s still there. Is it real? Or is it the soothing look a lion has before he jumps out at you? Note to self: stop watching so many animal documentaries. “Maybe we should have stopped at two tequila. It’s your other right.” There’s a calm laugh to his voice.
“What is this?” My eyes casually sweep around, looking for any sort of weapon, anything I can use to defend myself. Ladies and gentlemen, this is why you don’t go home with someone you just met. No matter how much the tequila makes you want to lick their chest.
“Darkroom.” When I don’t respond, he smiles again. “I develop pictures. Dying art.”
Could we not talk about dying? Not a great choice of words there, Alex. “This one…”
He glances at the picture on the floor, picking it up to inspect, before nodding. “It’s from Lo’s shoot. I think artsy boudoir shoot is what she called it. Artsy and sexy.” He motions behind me. “Most of those others are hers. I haven’t finished developing them all yet.” He grins sheepishly. “It’s an art.”
She had mentioned something about giving Bobby the best gift he’d ever gotten. Something artsy and sexy were the exact words she used. My alcohol addled brain tries to process this, even as Alex steps closer, wrapping both arms around me to pull me into his embrace.
Oh. Well if he wasn’t going to kill me, we could get back on plan. His lips trace the curve of my neck. His fingers trace the curve of my hipbone. And I’m hoping the rest of him is going to hypnotize me tonight.
* * * * *
I roll over in the morning, not even bothering to demurely tuck the sheet around me. Everything’s already been seen and felt and experienced anyway. Alex’s still in the bed, his dark head turned away from me. He doesn’t budge at all when I shift in the bed, delicately getting up to find a shirt of his I can slip into. I tiptoe over to his closet, dancing with my morning bliss, wincing just a little as the closet doors stick. He has good taste. I run my fingers down fine cotton blends, deciding on a striped oxford to drape myself in.
I catch my own face in the mirror above me, tracing the memories of where faint lines had been.
The same dance back over to him. I run my fingers through that dark hair, the same hair my hands were locked in last night. I run my fingers over the cold skin, already fading, already losing the last feel of the life stolen last night. It’s a shame he was such a nice guy. I almost feel bad about killing him. At least he went out with a bang. So to speak. Not everyone can be buried to the hilt in ecstasy when the life gets sucked out of them.
Fucked out of them. Whatever.
One life, one more year gained. It’s a small price to pay for my immortality, for that smooth porcelain skin, for the life of fun that any good Lilith can get into.
*Ms. Jett, you are brilliant! Are we right?*
And now, because we’re nothing but nice to you, a giveaway…