This is a New Adult, Paranormal Romance. This is the first chapter.
| The bedroom glows an eerie blue, as I sit in my dark room watching a rerun of Real Housewives of New Jersey. My mom is out for the night with a group of her friends, which leaves me all alone in our medium sized suburban home. We didn’t really have money so to speak, in fact we were living pay check to pay check but mom and I made it work.
One of the ladies on the screen is screaming about some insignificant little problem in her otherwise glamorous life. Don’t get me wrong I’m practically a reality TV addict, my favorite shows being the Real Housewives franchise, but something irked my soul about how these women, who really had nothing to complain about, were constantly bickering and arguing with one another. My mom and I always joked about how funny it would be to see them thrown into our lives for a couple of months, to actually see them struggle.
I look around my room feeling extremely lucky that I had what I did have even though I had no possible idea how we afforded it.
I hated being home alone, a fact that I didn’t think was going to change with age. I have one friend named Xavier, and he was busy at work so I couldn’t call him to come hang out. After being home for such a long time by myself and with night finally settling in outside, I decide instead to go visit him at the bookstore he works at.
I put on a pair of skinny jeans, although I’m not so skinny, and pull a t-shirt over my head. Walking down the steps I realize that Xavier probably hadn’t ate yet and figured I’d surprise him with some grub. I go back into my room and grab my wallet then head down the stairs, put on some vintage combat boots, and my leather bomber jacket and head out.
Pulling out of the drive way I think of where I should go to get some food, when I glance at the clock I realize that it’s almost 9 which means that Xavier will be done in 30 minutes anyway. I figure I’ll just hang around the shop until he closes up and then we can go get some food after.
The shop is about five minutes from my house so I’m there in no time. I park on the street opposite of the shop, and meander across it and into the bookstore, the little bell announcing my arrival. The store is empty, of course, being so close to closing time.
Xavier is in the back of the store stocking up, and looks up quickly to greet his customer.
“E!” he says, “What are you doing here?” He gets up from his work and comes to give me a hug.
His tall muscular frame envelops me in a hug. When he stands back I try hard not to stare at his perfectly white teeth, and deep green eyes. His hair is short and styled to perfection as usual.
“Mom was out, I was freaked out being home by myself, and I’m hungry. I figure you’d be too. I was thinking we could go get something to eat after you’re done here.”
“Perfect, I’m starving I’ve been here since school let out.” He smiles.
His cell starts vibrating in his pocket and he picks up putting his finger in the air signaling for me to wait.
“Hey babe,” he says, “I miss you too…..Yeah I’m coming home for Easter…I can’t wait to see you either…all right talk to you later.”
In no way were Xavier and I together or in a relationship no matter what my mother wanted to think, but it didn’t change the fact that every time I heard him talk to his girlfriend, it rubbed me the wrong way. It wasn’t like I had feelings for the kid, he’d been like my brother ever since he’d arrived from Romania four years ago. He was gorgeous of course, tall and muscular, black short hair, and dressed like he belonged on the cover of Vogue, but I had never felt anything romantic towards him. At least not until a few months ago when he’d started dating some girl from back home.
Xavier spent summers and holidays with his family who lived in Romania, so when he came home from Christmas break he told me that he was in a relationship with a girl back home. At first it didn’t bother me, but when the incessant phone calls from her didn’t let up, I couldn’t help but feel like I’d lost some time with him to his anonymous woman.
He wouldn’t talk about her, which was perfectly fine by me, but I guess a small part of me wondered if it was because he didn’t trust me, which was unlikely, or if he was just trying to save my feelings from being hurt, which was equally crazy.
I mean maybe he was reliving the days when he’d first transferred here. All the girls in my school had been crazy about him, including me, but for whatever reason he took a liking to me, and we’d been attached at the hip ever since. I had been in ninth grade and like everyone else was swooning over him, but unlike everyone else I had the guts to speak to him, and low and behold he spoke back. I finally got enough courage to ask him on a date, but he’d turned me down. It was devastating at the time, but I’m glad things had worked out the way they did. Still, sometimes a small part of me hoped and wished that one day he’d want to be more than friends.
“Hey E, wanna help me close up? It doesn’t look like anyone is going to come so we might as well go early.” he says.
“What do I look like? Free slave labor?” I smirk.
“You read my mind, now get to it before I have to break out the whip.” He quirks his eyebrow sexily at the innuendo he’d just made. I feel my face flush.
Xavier knew I hated any kind of talk about anything sexual, he didn’t know that I only had a problem with it when it involved him. So, maybe I liked him a little more than I let on, but I’d rather have a friendship with him than try to have something more and screw the friendship up. Most of the time it was easy to ignore my feelings for him because he was so easy going, but other times, like when he was on the phone with a certain woman from Romania, it was harder.
“All right fine, what do you want me to do?” I ask.
“Can you finish putting these books away on this shelf.”
I look at the pile of books, then back to him rolling my eyes. “Yeah I guess.”
“You’re my favorite person you know that.” He smiles his perfect knee wobbling smile, and I roll my eyes trying to ignore the pull I’m feeling towards him. He turns and walks toward the cash register.
“I highly doubt that.” I say quietly under my breath.
He returns again, “What do you mean you doubt that? You are most definitely my favorite person.”
How the hell had he heard me? I’d barely heard myself say that.
“Ok sure Xavier.” I exclaim lamely. “Can we just hurry up? I’m freaking starving.”
“Yeah I’m almost done.” He looks a little hurt by what I’d said, but what was he supposed to expect, when he had what I’m sure was a perfectly beautiful girlfriend back in Romania.
We didn’t talk for the rest of the time that we worked, which disappointed me a little. I finish stocking the books on the shelves and get up to go apologize. When I round the corner to where the cash register is I see Xavier standing there talking on the phone again, probably with his girlfriend.
“Yes…I get it….” he sounds irritated. “Yes dad I get it…I’ll be home as soon as I can…No of course she doesn’t know…..but Dad listen I really think I should tell her.” Xavier flinches as the voice on the other end raises and bellows so much that I can hear it from my spot 15 feet away. “You’re right dad I just thought it might make things smoother…I’ll leave tomorrow morning.” Leave? Maybe there was a family emergency.
I pretend that I’m just coming from my chore, and act like I hadn’t heard anything at all.
“Xavier, I’m done. Ready for some food?” I ask.
“Yeah sure, sounds good.” he doesn’t sound like he cared either way.
“Who pissed in your cheerios?” that earns me a small grin.
He runs his hand through his hair. “Just family issues. Lets go get some food though.”
“Fine by me, what do you want? Mexican, Italian, Indian, Jamaican?” I ask.
“Italian sounds good.” he says.
“Are you sure you’re even hungry? You look real bummed out right now.” I state as I look at his perfectly sculpted face.
“Yeah, I’m hungry, but I’m bummed too.”
“Well lets talk over dinner, how bout we go to Luigi’s, I’d sell my soul for a slice of pizza.”
“Sounds good, should we take separate cars or what?”
“I don’t care, I could be out all night if I wanted. You know how mom is when she has her nights out. She either comes home extremely late, or is so drunk when she does come home that she can barely function. So it doesn’t really matter to me.”
“All right, well since you hate being by yourself, totally childish by the way,” he chides, “you can just crash at my house or vice versus.”
Normally a guy asking a girl to stay over his house for the night meant one thing, but I’ve stayed over Xavier’s house plenty of times before. I didn’t have any family so whenever things got too heavy at home I usually crashed at his place.
“Yeah sounds good.”
After closing up the shop Xavier and I grab our things and take his car to Luigi’s. We pull into Luigi’s parking lot a few minutes later, and walk inside. The place is pretty dead, so we decide to order our pizza and take it home.
By the time we get to his place my stomach feels like a black hole. I rush up the steps balancing the pizza on my hand and he tosses me the keys from down below. I walk into his apartment, which is every bit as fascinating as him, and set the pizza down on the kitchen table.
His father was obviously well off if he could afford for his son to live like this abroad. The loft apartment is located in downtown Philly in a prominent area, and perfectly blended old world charm with modern necessity. Throw in Xavier’s eccentric taste and you had this place. There were statues and paintings of various creatures and legends on the walls, my favorite was the one that hung above his bed. It was a painting depicting six figures each a different human legend and they were all holding hands. A witch, a faerie, a demon, an angel, a vampire, and a werewolf, I don’t know why I felt so drawn to it, but it woke something up inside of me every time I looked at it.
My stomach grumbles.
I go back toward the kitchen where Xavier is savoring a slice of pepperoni pizza. Being the perfect guest, I actually get a plate, instead of eating like an animal. After loading said plate with three slices of pizza I make myself comfortable on the futon couch turning the T.V. on.
“We are not watching any reality television.” Xavier says.
Fine if he was going to be that way I huff inwardly. I flip though the channels trying to find the one thing he hated more than reality television, and came to one of my favorite shows. True Blood.
“Seriously Evangeline?” he groans.
“What? It’s not reality television.” I say as sweetly as possible. I pat the space next to me, and he reluctantly walks over and plops down on the seat.
“So who’s your favorite?” I ask him jokingly. When he rolls his eyes I continue to blabber on details about the show. “I happen to love Eric the tall sexy blond vamp, but I mean I’d totally do Alcide too, he’s a werewolf by the way.”
“Oh please E! This show is ridiculous, it’s not even a realistic portrayal.” He looks down at his lap as soon as he says it.
“Well duh idiot, vampires and shape shifters, and faeries aren’t real.” I reply.
“Right, I just meant they don’t portray the legends correctly.” he says nervously.
Hmm, that was weird it was almost like he actually did believe those things were real. I brush off the weird feeling I get.
“So what about your family issues? Spill.” I say.
“Oh there’s some family drama going on back home. I have to leave tomorrow.”
“What! How long are you going to be gone?” I ask frantic. The senior prom, was three weeks away, and Xavier and I had planned on going together. It wouldn’t of been such a big deal had I not already gotten my dress and paid for my ticket.
“I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping I’ll be back by the prom.” he shields himself from my wrath.
“Your hoping? Well that’s just great Xavier. I already bought the dress and the ticket. I really hope for your sake that your aren’t lying about a family emergency so you can go shack up with your girlfriend for a while.” I’m shocked that managed to slip from my mind and out of my mouth.
Xavier must have been shocked too because he looks at me like I’m nuts.
“Oh my God. Xavier I’m sorry, that was totally out of line. I hope everything is okay back home. I should probably go since I’ve made a complete fool of myself. Have a good trip.”
“E. How are you getting home, you don’t have a car remember? Just stay, I will completely ignore the fact that you just called me a liar. Promise.” he smiles and I know I’m forgiven. I still feel incredibly awkward though, so I decide I’m just going to go to bed.
“What time are you leaving tomorrow?” I ask so I know to be up and ready so he doesn’t have to wait for me.
“Probably around ten in the morning. Dads sending his private jet, so it’s not like I have to rush. I can take you home too.”
“Okay sounds good.” I go to the bathroom and rinse my face. “I can’t believe you said that E.” I whisper to myself in the mirror.
Walking out of the bathroom I go to the hall closet and grab a spare blanket. In the living room I pull out the futon and make myself comfortable, watching T.V. as I try to fall asleep.
Right before I’m ready to dose off, Xavier walks in. My breath hitches. He’s wearing a pair of worn gray jersey pajama bottoms, and no shirt. I try to look away, because all of a sudden my heart feels like it’s in my throat, and I can barely breath. His chest and abs are so toned and muscular, that all I want to do is run my hand down them. There’s a slight trail of dark hair leading to parts of him I can’t think about without coming close to combusting.
“Hey E. Can I ask you a question?” he says.
“I guess.” I manage to squeak out.
“I don’t want to piss you off, but after what you said, I just want to know that your okay with me being with Naomi.”
“Xavier that’s your business not mine, and as long as your happy with her than I’m happy for you.” I sound like I’m rehearsing a badly clichéd movie line but it’s all I could say since my heart felt like it was being ripped to pieces. Why did the guy you always like have feelings for someone else? Maybe I just couldn’t pick the right guys? Maybe I was just like my mother, always picking total douche bags, although Xavier wasn’t exactly a douche bag. He couldn’t help how he felt or how I felt.
“Ok E. Goodnight.”
“Night.” For the first time in a very long time I weep silently and pitifully for something that I could never have until sleep claims me.
When I wake up the next morning I have that weird feeling of, where am I, for a brief second. Xavier is still asleep so I quietly pad into his bedroom to wake him up. Looking down at him in his peaceful sleepy state I have the incredible urge to curl up in bed with him and hope that he misses his flight out.
Then I remember that he’s got a freaking jet. I pull my phone out of my waistband and check the time. It’s 9:00 am.
“Xavier, get up.” I say sleepily.
He stirs briefly. His hand shoots out quicker than any normal persons hand should, and latches around my wrist pulling me down on top of him. My hearts beating out of my chest as he flips us so that I’m now underneath him. I don’t think anything has ever felt so right or so good in my life, but I’m also aware of the fact that he is still half asleep and doesn’t know what he’s doing. All thoughts vanish though when he begins to kiss me. As first kisses go this has to be the absolute best. I let out a groan of pleasure as his callused fingertips caress my sides and travel dangerously close to my breasts.
“Mhm, Naomi. You’re so beautiful.” Xavier says.
The fire inside me freezes instantaneously and is replaced by something that is so awful and depressing I want to fling myself off a bridge. I slap Xavier across the face, which thankfully wakes him up. I know it isn’t exactly his fault since he was not all there but it doesn’t make the hurt any less painful. My heart feels like its going to break.
“Fuck you Xavier.” I say as I climb over the bed and out of his room before he sees my tears.
“Wait Evangeline.” he says. I ignore him and go grab my stuff.
He follows me out of the room in all his gorgeous, just-woke-up, glory. I roll my eyes.
“E. I’m sorry.”
“Nothing to be sorry about.” I sniff. “You were horny and you thought I was your girl. Nothing to really explain. It’s probably my fault anyway for hoping that maybe-” I stop myself before I shatter the air of nonchalance, in regards to my feelings for him, that I’ve built up all these years.
“For hoping what E?” he asks eyes pleading.
“Nothing. I’m leaving. I’ll catch a cab.” I tell him.
“Come on E. Do you even have money for a cab?”
“That’s really not your problem or business. I’ll fucking walk if I have too. I’m not staying with you for another second I know that much.”
“Why?” He asks.
“Things went too far Xavier. I cannot un-remember that kiss. It was my first you know? And I’ve been trying ever since you turned me down 4 years ago to not have feelings for you. It was going good too, until that happened.” I gesture with my hands.
“E. I don’t know what to say.”
“There’s nothing to say. Don’t even worry about it. I’m going home. Have a safe flight. I’ll talk to you when you get back.” Without looking at him I walk out of his apartment with my stuff bundled in my arm and tear streaks staining my face, looking like a five dollar hooker.
When I get home, a cab, a bus, and twenty dollars later, I find my mom has passed out on the couch. By no means is my mom an alcoholic or anything it’s just that every once in a while she’ll go out with her friends and get completely trashed. I like to attribute it to the fact that she had me at a young age and never really got to party much. The debate is still up as to why her friends are like that though.
In the kitchen I grab some bread and pop it in the toaster and then pour myself a glass of iced tea.
I take the plate of buttered toast and cup of iced tea with me up to my room where I switch on the television and put on cartoons. I’m trying desperately to forget about what happened at Xavier’s apartment. Eventually I decide that being that it’s Sunday I should get some laundry and homework done.
A few hours pass by in a haze when a text pops up on my phone.
Of course it’s him. I find that I’m completely speechless, well, textless anyway. I don’t even know how to begin to approach the situation. I settle for something easy.
Hey. I text in response.
Are you all right? We left things in kind of a weird place.
We sure did.
What you said, about hiding your feelings? Is that true? And for how long E?
Oh God. He was really asking that?
Don’t really want to talk about that. Look can we please just forget about the whole thing.
Is that what you want?
Yes please. You’re my only friend. I don’t want things to be weird.
Fine, I’ll forget about it for now. But we’re having a serious discussion when I get back.
Who are you my father? J/k Fine we can talk when you’re back. When exactly will that be btw?
I promise I’ll be back for formal.
Ok I’ll talk to you later.
Text or call when you land please.
The next few days go by in an absolute haze of boringness. Finally Thursday turns into Friday and I can barely contain my excitement for the prom tonight. Maybe most of my excitement had to do with the fact that Xavier had gotten home the previous night, but no one but me needed to know that.