For November Notes Day 28, the song Prompt is “Into the Night” by Beacon. I’m using the the same song title, but by Santana and Chad Krueger, different musicians.
Credit: Patrick Kool
“Into the Night” by Santana and Chad Krueger
The pub was overheated and dim but Sam’s blood felt alive with promise as he sipped his third Corona at the bar. A slim woman wearing red silk floated onto the dance floor and he was struck still. The dancer was gorgeous. A gift from the Heavens.
Sam’s dark eyes held the beautiful dancers blue-green ones and he instantly knew how she felt about him from the widening of her eyes, the simmering gaze held between them. Even as she positioned herself to dance, the woman glanced at him. Then, closing her eyes she whirled, her footwork effortless, and her dancing lively, a dervish to a fast-paced song.
When Sam wasn’t looking, she grabbed his hand insisting he dance with her, entrancing him as she brushed against him with each complicated step. It was three songs before he realized every soul in the room had been keeping time with them, clapping their hands. Sam wasn’t a talented dancer by any means, but the woman in his arms, made his stumbling appear sensuous.
Her long golden hair flew about them unbound as they spun around in circles, the moon gleaming down from windows near the dance floor. Sam spun the woman one last time, lifting her body against him, before the tenth song ended.
“What’s your name?”
“I’ve never meant a woman as beautiful as you dancing, Manon.”
“Thank you, but I think that’s an overused pick-up line on me, ” she laughed winking at him. “What’s your name?”
“My friends call me Sam.”
Manon smiled. “I’m glad to be your friend, Sam.”
They continued dancing at a slower pace, finally, noticing the couples and groups of friends on the dance floor beside them.
She snuggled her head into the crook of his neck. “It’s easy to lose track of time, dancing through the night, singing along with you to the music.”
Sam grinned, “I don’t sing much, but I know the words to the songs.”
Manon brushed her hair back from her smooth face perspiring. After a couple of more songs, she stopped dancing for a a few minutes. Sam left, retrieving some vodka-water limes for them both.
Manon took an indulgent sip and grinned. “You say you know the right words to these songs, but do you know the right words to ask me, next?”
She put down her empty drink and looped her arms around Sam’s neck. They swayed slowly, no room between their bodies but her silk dress and his button down.
Sam inhaled Manon’s jasmine perfume. “I know what I’d like to ask you, Manon. What I’d ask any beautiful woman in my arms, but you’re not just any beautiful woman.”
“You’re saying the right words so far.”
He laughed, “What I was thinking was that maybe I could take you for an early breakfast and we could talk. Then, I could drive you home and you could give me your phone number. After, we could go on date number two in a day or so.”
” I’d love that, Sam. I’m a little surprised you didn’t ask to take me home and stay.”
“Would you have said, yes?”
Manon blushed, ” I’ll never tell,” but Sam knew the truth.
“I want to get to know you, Manon, and this kind of knowing takes more than one night; it’s old-fashioned, I guess.”
Manon’s smile was radiant. “Old-fashioned is new for me. Few men have ever wanted to actually know me or have taken the time before we even, you know.”
Sam chuckled and kissed her knuckles. “Old-fashioned is new for me too and it was there loss, just so you know.
Manon slipped her arm through Sam’s and they strolled off the dance floor laughing about what they both craved for breakfast.
Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW. Apologies this is a longer piece than should be but sometimes pieces develop into much more and there is also a second part to this prompt.
Evangeline was a child prodigy playing songs on the piano from the radio, by ear, at age six. Her mother, Ruth, had dreams of her daughter being a classical music concert pianist.
Grudgingly, Evangeline passed all her Royal Conserveratory piano exams up to the tenth grade when she was only nine-years-old. Although forbidden from playing popular music, when she was home alone, she sang along to her Ipod and wrote her own songs with vocals.
Then, Ruth forced her daughter to travel the world playing classical music concerts. Evangeline’s classical piano arrangements were powerful and exhilarating tohear because of her resentment and hatred blended into every composition.
After graduating with an honours BA in music while touring, Evangaline refused to do more university degrees in music or to tour playing concerts. She had never been given a choice about how she wanted to use her talents or live her life. Her mother calling her ‘selfish,’ pushed her over the edge.
Kyria had been warned since she was a small child, beyond the veil was dangerous. Her older siblings had told her monsters lived there, that there were witches waiting to eat a young child.
What the adults said wasn’t much better. Her Grandma Iris said she’d lose her soul if she was caught in the veil beyond. She talked about shape shifters and immortal creatures of the dark such as vampires and werewolves.
One day hanging the laundry on the line at her grandmothers, Kyria gazed at the veil nearby. She hadn’t thought of it for a long time and she wasn’t sure why it called to her now. She’d never admit she could hear the whispers of the creatures which lived their. They were tempting her and she knew it.
Did everyone in the village see the veil as she did? Kyria believed they had no idea where it physically was, that to them it was was only folklore for children and not a real thing; it was extremely real to Kyria and she knew for her grandmother as well.
Kyria was twenty-four and long past the age of adulthood. Her parents lived together and her siblings with their families. She hadn’t found a suitable man to marry so her father decided she should move in with her ailing Grandmother and care for her. He thought she needed to be of use somewhere since she hadn’t married quickly as her sisters did.
The more Kyria thought about the veil and the mist shrouding it, the more she thought about how she’d never put herself out there in life. She’d always done what she was told and when others failed she was the one who took their place, who filled in so everything went smoothly.
It was how she made up for her so-called “selfishness,” still being single and not having children for her family and village. She wondered why she had never pushed her boundaries and was tired of being ruled by her father’s and her grandmother’s whims.
Kyria loved her Grandma Iris the most because she understood Kyria better than anyone. But her grandma still cautioned her to never cross the veil daily. But grandma was inside sleeping and Kyria heard the whispers from veil more and more these days. They were a sirens call to her.
She ignored all she had been told by her grandma, her family, and her friends as a child. She decided today she would cross the shrouded veil into the other world. Dropping the laundry Kyria walked towards the veil and into the mist surrounding it. The veil shimmered as she came closer and sonorous voice could be heard singing on the other side.
When she reached the line where the spiritual and natural worlds met Kyria stopped for a moment and stood. She smiled and with both hands raised in front of her she was able to feel the mystical energy she was about to pass through.
She stepped into the shimmering fog and breathed deeply. Her long blond hair flew out behind her and it was the last thing her grandmother saw as she watched her granddaughter cross into the other world.
Grandma Iris sighed in frustration but she knew as it had been with her, the veil had been too much of a temptation for Kyria. She knew that adventure and discovery awaited her sheltered granddaughter. As it had been with Iris, the veil and it’s magic was in Kyria’s blood. Grandma Iris was the only one besides Kyria who actually could see the veil, she had made herself guardian of the gateway and hoped Kyria would take over for her one day.
But as the last of Kyria’s blond hair slipped through veil and disappeared, Iris couldn’t help being thrilled for her granddaughter. What awaited Kyria would shape and change her. It would motivate and hurt her, it would be an experience far beyond the scope anyone in the village would ever experience.
Iris blew a kiss towards the veil and whispered a blessing for Kyria. The feelings of excitement in Iris were so intense it was as if it were fifty-years-ago and she herself was crossing the veil.
Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for Friday’s music prompt, “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” by Rod Stewart. The song is loosely used in part three. Warning Part Three contains Adult Content.
“I Don’t Want To Talk About It” – Rod Stewart
Tallia drove back to Fairy Dust as fast as her Vespa would take her without losing the giant fish off the Vespa’s back compartment. She was feeling afraid because she knew Teegan would be nearly awake, but felt certain he would be in enough of a fog she would have time to make the potion he required. She prayed the tonic took his darkness away, the shadow that stalked him. But at the same time Tallia knew, the shadow was Teegan.
The presence of darkness lurked as Tallia quietly opened the back door, slipping inside her shop. She set the goldfish in his bag, down on a countertop and stood for a moment blinking tiredly. It was the middle of the afternoon and a wave of fatigue overwhelmed her. She had been up late thinking about Teegan, what he could have possibly done hundreds of years ago to be cursed so wickedly. She was thinking about him in other ways too, Tallia realized blushing.
She wasn’t sure what she’d do if Teegan knew she’d drugged him, what he’d say or do. She didn’t know how much in control Teegan was of his darkness right now. The wisest thing Tallia could do was make him his potion whenever he needed it, whatever kind of potion it was. She thought about the wisdom Teegan hopefully acquired in his centuries alive. Would it make him extra understanding?
Then again, she could be wrong. Some people never learned their lessons despite experience. Yet Tallia was sure, in Teegan’s startling green eyes had been knowledge of dark deeds and lessons learned with difficulty. The blackness in his gaze almost had the affect of repelling Tallia at first.
At the same time, his emerald eyes were seductive and drew her too Teegan. No matter his real age, he appeared to be in his thirties. He was ridiculously good looking in the truest sense. She could smell his particular pleasing scent from where she leaned against the counter in the back of her store. Where she put together potions and caste spells for magical items customer’s required.
Perhaps, it was her heightened sense of smell which brought to life Teegan’s addictive scent, or maybe her memories were more vivid due to her attraction to him.
Tallia jumped when a voice whispered in her ear.
“Where’d you go? How come my potion’s not made? I need it now Tallia,” he whispered.
“Yep, I’m awake, thanks for the nap by the way. Did you find out what you needed too? I see you got the giant gold fish. You’re worried about me and the shadow around me which makes you sick. You went and talked to Jude. He’s been around over a century. Old for most humans, but not as old as me, Tallia.”
“I didn’t talk to Jude, he’s in the hospital because he had a stroke and isn’t doing well,” Tallia sad with sadness.” I talked to his great-grandson Aspen. He run’s the store now I guess. He said you were cursed, that you did something terrible. That’s why you’ve so much darkness. How do you make it go away Teegan? What happens if you don’t take this potion?”
Tallia felt warm and comfortable and realized Teegan had moved to hold her from behind, his arms crossed against her stomach. Teegan’s head suddenly lay against hers and she could feel him sigh as if he could finally relax. Tallia had never been so near to Teegan, she felt dizzy in good way. It felt wonderful to be held so gently, though she wondered if Teegan realized he had moved to comfort her.
Moments later, Tallia felt Teegan’s lips firmly on the side of her neck, traveling up under her ear and sucking gently on her earlobe. His lips moved back down her neck to the v-neck of her sweater. He kissed her over her heart and Tallia shivered when his lips traced her neck, went over her chin, and landed on her lips. Her heart was racing, she felt hot and cold all over.
Teegan bit her lip gently, seeking access to her mouth. His tongue met hears with need. Tallia couldn’t think, could only feel. Her connection with Teegan was something new to her. This sense of knowing him and recognizing him, beyond the physical sense. In her mind, she could feel him encouraging her to relax.
“I’ll take care of you,” he whispered.
Teegan kissed Tallia until she was breathless, his hands massaging her stomach, sides, and hips. His hand moved up to squeezing her breast over her sweater and short coat. She moaned when he broke off his the kiss leaving Tallia wanting. He breathed in the crook of her neck, his hand not moving, but not leaving either. It seemed as if hours had passed but it had only been minutes.
Teegan collected himself and moved a distance from Tallia as he spoke: “Tallia, I can’t. I want to, but I shouldn’t have done that; it confused you. I need you to make my potion nowplease. You’re the only one who can do it. It has to be one of your bloodline. And if you don’t I’ll turn evil. I’ll be a curse myself, a terrible man. I’ve done such evil because I’m cursed, or was before your gifted ancestor came up with this potion. It’s the only way to keep me from turning, Tallia. You and I, we’re tied together because of your ancestor. You remind me of her,” Teegan remarked.
“You need to tell me the entire story. This isn’t fair Teegan. Of course, I’ll make the potion. But my Aunt never told me any of this. The cancer took her a way in so little time. I need more answers from you,” Tallia pleaded.
“I don’t want to talk about it Tallia. Make the potion. You’re breaking my heart here,” Teegan said rolling his eyes.
“What if I don’t?”
“I’ll be evil, as I’ve said and as I’m sure Aspen told you. I’ll hurt you, probably kill you, and I don’t want to do that. If I kill you, I’ll be evil forever — until someone kills me. You’re the last in your line. Make the potion, Tallia, we could be happy.”
“Tallia, make it now! You know I’m not trying to deceive you. You can feel it.”
“Yes, you’re right. I do feel you’re being genuine. I’ll make it as fast I can.”
Tallia gathered all the ingredients she had laid out earlier and brought them to an extremely large mixing bowl. She measured all the ingredients into the bowl quickly and accurately, barely thinking. She followed the directions in Aunt Willow’s tome and chanted the right words when she needed to say them. Pouring out the water of the giant gold fish’s bag in a sink, she slid the giant flopping gold fish into her bowl. With wide eyes she watched the potion simmer and turn scarlet.
Aspen had been right, the goldfish was a sacrifice of life. Although a mouse or anything small would’ve done the job, but her ancestor’s writing said the giant goldfish was preferred. Tallia strained the chunks of ingredients from the mixture; the goldfish had disintegrated.
Tallia pulled a beer stein out of her cupboard to Teegan’s surprise. She poured half of the scarlet liquid into the earthen beer stein. Teegan had been watching Tallia create the potion the entire time. He hadn’t said anything, only watched her, familiar with her actions. He’d probably watched her Aunt Willow and her Great-Aunt do the same. And many of Tallia’s ancestors, if she could believe his story.
She turned around from the giant bowl and found Teegan beside her, leaning against the counter studying her. His hand moved, pushing her light purple-grey hair behind her ear. He was so much taller than her, Tallia thought.
Teegan smiled when she offered him the beer stein.”Where’s yours?”he asked her.
“Where’s my what?”
“Yourhalf of the potion? You have to drink it with me,” Teegan told her.
Tallia was about to protest but he was gazing at her in a particular way. She noticed the pain usually hidden in his eyes present. She felt it through herbeing and it softened her heart; her protests crumbled.
” I wish I wasn’t so intuitive, Teegan. You do really need me to drink your tonic with you? Do you promise I’ll be okay?”
“I promise. Your Aunt, she was always fine. You’ll find it invigorating actually,” he said.
Tallia nodded reading what Teegan had told her in the tome beside her on the counter. How did she miss that direction? Peeringup she noticed him pouring her a beer stein of the remaining liquid. She took the potion from him, grimacing because she knew the ingredients in it. She tasted a bit of the potion, testing the flavour. It tasted like cinnamon and a woodsy red wine. How could that be?
“Bottoms up?” Teegan said holding up his stein.
Talia clinked her stein with his, “Slainte,” she said.
Teegan’s potion was easy going down. Tallia could feel a lightness, as if her cares were floating free. She felt energy, Teegan was right. His potion did feel invigorating. Her mind felt intensely perceptive as well. Swallowing the remenants of the liquid she saw Teegan had already finished his.
“Better, huh?” he asked.
“Yeah, it’s amazing stuff,” she said peering everywhere, everything around her was completelycrystal clear. Her early fatigue was gone. Tallia noticed Teegan’s dark circles had faded. He appeared younger, his few wrinkles smoothed out. He was gazing at her again in certain way, and she knew from the flicker in his green-eyes what he wanted. Tallia felt almost drunk, except the potion made everything feel real.
She laughed aloud and Teegan frowned,”What?”
“No you’re not getting that from me,” she said.
“It wasn’t difficult to get a kiss and more from you before. You like me. I can tell, I like you too,” Teegan said, eyes darkening and meeting her own.
“No,” Tallia said laughing again. “You have to earn it. Take me out. Tell me about yourself and my ancestors. Did you sleep with one of my great- great – female relatives?”
“Don’t you feel like you’re burning up inside? I don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t . . .” he said approaching Tallia, following her as if she were prey. “I slept with the first of your ancestors I knew, she was my . . . my woman, for a while. But she died and we never had a child.”
Tallia backed away from Teegan smiling, wary but turnedon at the same time. He was irresistible and Tallia found herself trapped against a wall. She laughed more as Teegan stripped off his shirt and unbuckled his belt. Her mouth ran dry seeing his finely sculpted body. He grinned and grabbed both her hands, holding her hands above her head. Tallia whimpered and Teegan chuckled.
“I’m not, I’m not a one night type of girl and you’re . . . you smell so good. But you’ve lived so much longer than me, what could you possibly see in me,” she murmured.
“You’re not one night Tallia. I was thinking many many and I see you’re beautiful and gifted; you’re also intelligent.You didn’t immediately trust me.”
“Okay . . .” Tallia began but Teegan’s lips roughly met hers and she gasped as his tongue invaded sliding against hers. His hands were everywhere beneath her shirt and bralette. Then her shirt and bralette were gone and his mouth was there and she couldn’t contain her cries. “Oh no . . .”
He removed his mouth breathing hard, “Stop?”
“Oh please no!” Tallia said.
He chuckled and continued loving her with his mouth. “Teegan . . .” she whispered, feeling her body melt into his.
He pulled off the rest of her clothes, kissing her slightly round stomach and turning her around to kiss Tallia all over back and to her surprise, over her hips and bottom. His fingers found her center and rubbed below, circling her sweet spot, his thumb pressing against her.
“Please please. . .”
Teegan kissed her bottom again and turned her around so his head was level with Tallia’s belly button. He kissed her stomach before thrusting two fingers into her core, she shook and nearly screamed. It hurt but it was okay because the pleasure of his fingers going in and out of her was intense. She wailed when his fingers took her over the edge.
He kissed her, his lips and tongue centered on her core. The sensations Tallia felt were indescribable. Teegan was teasing her, he knew she need to come again but wasn’t letting her; he was making her wait for him. Teegan removed the rest of his clothes and gently lifted Tallia’s body onto the counter. He pushed both his fingers inside her again, adding a third.
“I’ve never . . .” she whispered suddenly shy.
“At your age? I’m flattered, no one values that these days,” Teegan whispered.
Tallia flushed, “Well it’s complicated. It’s gone but, I never had sex.”
“What do you mean?” Teegan asked stopping. His voice sounded grim.
“Don’t stop, don’t,” Tallia begged.
“Okay, but I will kill whoever did it to you,” he promised.
Tallia believed Teegan, he appeared dead serious even though they were having sex.”It’s fine,” she mumbled. “It was a university party. I was too drunk and fell asleep and he was there sometime. When I woke up he was gone and I hurt,” Tallia admitted anxious for Teegan to continue loving her.
“Are you okay, are . . .”
“Please don’t, don’t stop. Please I need you.”
Teegan nodded, understanding. “You’ve got me,” he replied.He guided himself to her entrance and gently pushed inside.
“Good, more.” Tallia said gripping his sides until Teegan was completely inside her. It stung and hurt but it was also the best feeling she could imagine when he began to move. She wrapped her legs around his waist and he whispered dirty things in her ear, all the things he wanted to do to her.
She felt his rhythm increase and her own body released again, more powerfully this time. She felt the final pushes of him in her body as he came. Teegan breathed heavily, holding Tallia and kissing her forehead.
Then, Tallia was crying, amazed tears were falling down her face. But Teegan gently hushed her and kissed her tears. It was hard for her to believe Teegan could ever be an evil monster. Tallia needed to know more about his past, when he was ready to tell her; she hoped it was soon.
Nina sat beside John at a table with some of his friends and clients while dinner was served. She had seen Rianne sitting beside Jasper at another table earlier but when she looked again she couldn’t find her anywhere.
Before dessert, Nina told John she needed to find Rianne. John whispered sweet nothings in her ear before she left him. Nina blushed feeling that magnetic pull she had with John. He made her feel fantastic inside and out. Wistfully, Nina left John to his conversations. She walked around the Country club searching for Rianne.
As she looked, Nina almost tripped over a shorter version of John who was half-drunk and holding onto a petite pretty black woman for balance. When he looked at Nina his eyes went big, “You must be Nina,” John told me about you.”But damn. He didn’t say how fine you looked.” He turned back to his date, “Not as pretty as you Carissa.” Then Jordan smiled at Nina and offered her his hand. “I’m Jordan the youngest Eric brother. I’m glad you came. John doesn’t often bring a woman around to work functions, especially with his issues.”
Nina bit her lip. “Well actually, I’ve only known him a little over a week. This is our third date.”
“Only third?” Jordan smiled and kissed Carissa’s cheek. “He needs to keep you. If you can put up with his untimely accidents and break his curse why not? He cares for you he says. He hasn’t cared for a woman since Tia. You never know you could make our lives normal again.” Jordan said barely conscious of Carissa who knew nothing of John’s problems.
“Good to know.” Nina said. Carissa hummed in agitation over Jordan.
“You better slow down Jordan. You look as if you’re going to pass out.” She used the back of her hand to wipe the sweat from his forehead. She smiled at Nina and said, “We’re trying to find Jasper and the lovely tall girl he was with tonight but we can’t seem to find them.”
Nina laughed. “Yeah, Jasper is with my friend Rianne. I was looking for them too.”
Jordan laughed. “Well maybe Jasper is getting some if you know what I mean. You’ve got to date again sometime. . . or even be with a woman, in his case.”
Carissa laughed and shook her head. “I’m sure they’re fine Jordan. But let’s help Nina find her friend Rianne. ” Nina was touched.
The three of them walked back into the large venue where the fundraiser was occurring. The band was singing “American Pie” while Silent Auction items were up for bid. Nina spied box tickets to several sports teams in the area. There were priceless paintings and nights out with local celebrities. There were also Ski or Snowboard trips to Banff and Whistler. The crowning item was a luxury trip to Las Vegas staying in the Pent House at the Cosmopolitan. Nina kept searching for Rianne as she looked at the various items up for bid. She should probably go find John as well.
Nina ran into John talking with some women who were editors and writers for one of Mergers top selling fashion magazines. John put his arm around Nina and kissed her hair. He introduced her to the two women and they started to tell her about their latest articles that had been published. The magazine was a women’s magazine and their topics were on the latest looks for Spring and a feminist article on the state of women in the twenty-first century. Nina was intrigued but she wasn’t able to get a word in edgewise.
Suddenly, Nina heard a woman scream and she felt sick to her stomach. Nina was sure it was Rianne screaming. It sounded like her.
John grasped her arm quickly and they made their way to the large patio doors along one wall of the venue. Nina found Jasper and Rianne on the grass beneath the patio. Jordan and Carissa had also found Jasper when Rianne screamed.
Rianne was sitting on the grass holding her arm close to her chest. Her arm looked badly broken. It was bent at a weird angle. Jasper was trying to get her to stand up on the grass but Rianne was in a lot of pain. She had fallen off the balcony — a result of John’s curse, Nina thought sadly. It wasn’t a long drop from the patio. But the fall was enough to break Rianne’s arm badly.
Nina took her high heels off and slipped off the balcony edge onto the grass.”Rianne, are you okay?”
“Fine, I just broke me arm. I haven’t broken anything in a long time Nina.” Rianne was gritting her teeth.
“Yeah last time was when you stopped playing Volleyball in University. I remember Rianne. Can you get up so we can take you to a Medicentre?” Rianne arose slowly holding her broken arm gently and taking Nina’s arm with her other hand. There were some stairs around the balcony and Nina helped Rianne up the stairs. Jasper anxiously looked on and grabbed onto Rianne’s uninjured arm when she had reached the top of the stairs. “Rianne needs to go to a Medicenter Jasper. Her arms broken,” Nina said. Jasper nodded looking at the odd angle of Rianne’s right arm with alarm.
“I’ll drive,” he said to Nina. “Is that okay with you Rianne?” Rianne smiled and whispered to Nina:
“Don’t come Nina.” She winked and moved her body carefully into Jaspers.
“But you’re hurt,” Nina said.
” I want to be alone with Jasper,” Rianne whispered to Nina and winked again.
“Oh, I see. You’re sure you’ll be fine?”
Nina followed the group as Jasper tucked Rianne inside his fancy red Mercedes. After, Nina took ahold of John’s hand. She looked into his bright eyes and said: “How are you doing with this. I’m feeling a little scared because my bestfriend just broke her arm. It looked bad.” John shook his head.
“Of all the things that could have happened, this isn’t the worst. But it’s not the best either.” John said distractedly.
“She could have been being clutzy.” Nina said. “She’s broken bones before doing much worse things.” John considered what she said and shook his head. “You know it wasn’t only an accident. It was my curse. Bad things are happening more often when your around Nina.”
” I don’t understand why,” said Nina. “But Rianne’s with Jasper. She wanted be alone with him, she told me. Rianne is fine. Everything is okay.” John nodded at Nina trying to look more cheerful.
” So, do you like our fundraiser?” John asked changing the topic. “Did you bid on anything?”
“Haha” Nina laughed. ” I don’t have that kind of cash floating around to bid on most of those prizes.”
John smiled. “But I do. What do you want to bid on?” Nina tapped her finger against her lip.
” I think an NHL hockey game would be cool. Maybe a Canuck’s game. I saw they were playing Edmonton one night. I haven’t been to an NHL game since I was twelve-years-old.”
John grinned at her, ” Good choice. You a Canuck’s fan?”
“No, I’m an Edmonton fan actually. My Dad was around in the days Gretzky and Messier played and won all those Stanley cups.”
John grimaced. “Edmonton, really?”
“Yeah I know. They haven’t done anything since 2006.”
John patted her arm as if he felt her pain and they went to bid on the box seats for the Canuck’s game. John could have easily procured tickets for Nina and himself but he chose to bid a large sum of money instead. He wanted to give a sizeable donation to the charities this event was held for. Nina gasped at the number he wrote down on the bid sheet. John only smiled and pulled Nina close to him. He kissed her lips hungrily.
“Let’s go have dessert” John murmured against her lips. Nina smiled.
Tara, Jane, and I, live in a sorority house by the lake. We all go to university near it. When the three of us first wanted into the Beta sorority house, we were froshed and taken in a boat out into the lake at night and we were pushed into the water. We had to swim back to shore in the dark.
” Kayla,” Tara remarked to me one day ” I can’t live like this, I feel so guilty.”
” There were twelve pledges that night we were pushed out into the water and only nine came back. I think they drowned.” Jane said agreeing with Tara.
” Drowned,” I muttered thoughtfully, ” I’m sure they made it back, just later than the rest of us.”
Tara looked at me nervously, “what do you think the sorority heads would do to us if we told?”
“I’m not sure,” Jane mumbled “but I don’t think we’d survive it.”
” Just pretend” I said ” if we say the girls made it back to land safely then it’s true, and we don’t have to think about it anymore.”
” Just pretend.” Jane and Tara said in unison. It was agreed.
She had never seen John in her life before last night. But from the moment he and Nina spotted each other at The Manhattan Martini Bar,Nina had felt an invisible pull between them. Something about John made Nina feel breathless, excited, and terrified all at once. When he approached her with a unique pick up line it had made her smile. ” Of all your beautiful curves, your smile is my favourite,” he had whispered to her. John had bought her a cosmopolitan and they had started to chat. Nina and John had small-talked about the weather and how they liked living in Adare.
The next moment a fight broke out across from their table. Two men were wrestling. One head butted the other in the stomach while the other one punched the first guys neck and back. The men continued to fight. John had put a protective arm around her and led her away from the fight to another small table where they continued their conversation keeping an eye on the fight as it became increasingly violent and bloody.
It was an unusual scene for such a posh place, two men in designer suites going at it as if the fight was all that mattered. Jason, the manager of the Martini bar had called the cops and she wondered with increasing worry when they would show up. Some men had tried to unsuccessfully break the two fighting up with disastrous results. They had found themselves thrown out of the fighting circle and on to their asses, noses bloodied and ribs throbbing from a stray punch. The fight was getting too much to watch. Nina glanced up at John who wasn’t at all worried. He reassured Nina that the situation would be fine but she could not ignore the gasps, shouts, and groans of the other people at the bar as the two men fought like bears ready to maul each other to death.
Nina looked up at John with worried delicate pale-blue eyes. She did not know him well. But John had been perfectly amiable and flirtatious towards Nina. She felt John was distracted; however, and not by the fight.Nina had come out alone that night, to the little Martini Bar The Manhattan, underneath her condo building.
She had jumped in the shower after work, washing, then drying her almost white blond hair and carefully putting on sexy natural looking makeup: mascara, concealer, pink blush, and gloss. Nina chose a short classic black dress, the fabric hugging her curvy size ten pear-shaped figure. The dress draped in the back, revealed her soft white and shapely back. Nina was petite so gorgeous pink heels that completed the outfit were a must.
Nina’s group of friends had all been busy that night and she had wanted to do something, anything, just to relax and forget a day at work where she had had to hustle. She was not sure why she spent so much time getting ready; she just had had a feeling about tonight, a premonition perhaps, that she needed to look smashing.
Then there had been John with those startling sapphire eyes, dark hair curling at his collar, and boyish handsome face. He was taller than her 5’6″ by a lot and he was nice offering to buy her a drink, sharing pleasant conversation with her, and making her laugh. But as the cops finally showed up, bursting through The Manhattan’s doors, Nina felt there was something off about John. He had not been one of the many men who attempted to intervene in the fight. He had watched the event as if it were perfectly normal as if he expected there to be a fight. John had almost seemed to be bored by it.
The cops who had come in numbers, with sirens, and with yelling, efficiently stopped the fight. Both fighters had swollen eyes that were black and blue and noses that were busted and bent. The men said nothing as they were separated and were shoved off into separate waiting police cruisers. They looked at each other with gleaming eyes full of malice and one of the men was jerked back painfully as he spit at the other man.
The noise in the bar gentled to a hum of excited voices out on a Friday night. The police were talking to witnesses, some people who had been at the bar near the fight, the bartenders, and waitresses dressed in tight black dresses and stiletto pumps. Nina looked up at John who was watching her closely. “Wow” she said, “that was brutal. I thought the police were never going to come. And did you see that fight so violent so….”
“Vicious” John replied quietly.
“But you weren’t worried at all?” Nina asked John.
“Not really” he shrugged “Boys will be boys, besides I would have kept you safe” he smiled. She half smiled back but found it hard to stay cheerful.
“Yeah, but you never thought to stop it with some of the other bigger men. I mean you must be 6’2″ or so and you look like you workout?”
“Why thank you,” John grinned but said seriously,” I knew the cops would have it handled, stuff happens at bars all the time, even this one. Given the nature of the fight I thought it unwise to interfere and leave you here alone.”
“I guess” Nina said distractedly wondering about John. There was something about him that just did not sit right with her. Yet at the same time she felt attracted to him and as if she didn’t want to be anywhere else.
“Want another drink?” She deliberated. “Nina?” John said quietly in her ear.
She shrugged “Sure I guess, a vodka water lime.”
“Let’s make it a double!” He grinned at her going to the bar but coming back empty handed. “Bar’s closing down, something to do with the fight.”
Nina nodded “I should….”
“Come on the night is young. Let’s go for a walk, go find somewhere else to enjoy?” John asked with a mischievous look in his eyes. Nina considered John’s request briefly. Was she safe going off with him? She still felt their was something a bit off about John. But there it was again, an invisible thread of attraction between them. She could feel the connection blooming between her and John when she caught him staring at her.
“Sure, sounds good.” Nina decided. She did not often go off alone and felt a bit nervous walking off somewhere with this near stranger. Usually, if she met guys at a bar it was with a friend or two. The thought comforted her but she felt drawn to John. She trusted him oddly enough, to some degree.
John draped Nina’s jacket over her shoulders and took her hand. They began walking down the block Nina lived on past other condo buildings, stores, and the occasional pub. John wasn’t interested into going into any place so she continued to walk with him, although her feet ached in her slim pink pumps. The heels were not that high but were not met for long walks past the Downtown to the Harbor of Adare, where bells dinged and she could hear water sloshing against the large white fishing and sailing boats. They had barely said a word to each other except for John asking her if she was okay occasionally. She nodded and they continued their walk past the Harbor to a further section of Downtown Adare.
Nina finally had to break the silence. “So you grew up here?”
“Yeah my parents still live here and like I said earlier, I own a publishing company with my two brothers Jasper and Jordan.” John grinned, ” I have great fun with my brothers, most of the time.”
” I bet,” Nina laughed. “Do you fish like most everyone around here?”
“Yeah, I love it. My Dad used to take my brothers and I out fishing when we were young. Taught us how to catch the best trout and how to gut and clean them. I’m more into sailing now, but my oldest brother Jasper goes with his two little boys sometimes. Their a bit young yet to fish but they like being with their Dad. Sometimes I go along.”
” Yuck” Nina said wrinkling her nose, “I hate fish. The way they smell, how they taste. It makes me throw up.”
“I’ll remember that,” John said, “No fish. I usually sail anyways. Only fish now and then makes good eats,” John teased.
Nina was distracted when she heard sirens again and was aghast to find police cars pulling up all over the block they were walking on. A group of paramedics carried a stretcher out in front of them and she heard whispers of a knife attack. She saw the evidence, bags of bloodied clothing, and a knife being carried out in a plastic bags by investigators.
Nina looked at John who shook his head and shrugged apologetically, “bad night” he murmured, “let’s get away from this scene, are you doing all alright?” Nina looked at John than up to the bright white orb of the moon dancing in the sky. It burned through the night sky as some beacon of hope then, a dark cloud moved to dance over it, partially hiding the moon’s revealing brilliance.
“I’m okay John. It’s just Adare, the city tonight is a bit scary. It kind of feels like the fight at the bar happening and this knife attack are more then just coincidence.”
John looked up at the moon and bit his lip. “Ah, full moon” he said” that explains everything” and he seemed satisfied with his answer. “Really are you fine, Nina?” Because I can help you get a cab or walk you home if you really want.” She breathed out carefully not so much afraid as flustered by John’s nearness.
“Like I said, it’s only that having a massive fight and encountering a stab victim on the same night is a lot to take in. Maybe we should head back to The Manhattan, I live right above there.” John looked at her thoughtfully and took her hand. They turned around walking back along the Harbor. Nina turned her head to look at the full moon again. “It’s so pretty but ominous” she breathed. John smiled, a gorgeous smile, much like the moon himself.
“Yes it is pretty, you’re pretty, and you don’t have to worry I’ll get you home. People just go a little peculiar on nights when there is a full moon, it’s scientifically proven. All the crazies come out.”
“Interesting theory” she wondered aloud,” what other kinds of weird things happen?”
“Oh, we’ll I guess anything out of the ordinary you could think of.”
“Hmm” Nina said, “that doesn’t make me feel better. But I do feel safe with you John.” He smiled at her. Nina continued to walk by the lake wrapping her white coat tightly around her body.
It was then something wrapped itself around Nina’s pink shoe and pulled! She screamed. John quickly came to her aid and pulled her away from the edge of wooden walkway at the Harbor. But a cold white hand, hung on to her ankle, and John pulled Nina and a cold shivering mess of a woman out from the Harbor water. “Oh my God” Nina stammered at the woman, “What happened to you? Are you okay? Are you hurt? How did you end up in the lake.Did you fall in?” Nina felt panicked.
The shivering mess of a woman began to cry. ” Somebody pushed me in” she wailed, ” I was standing at the rail of the boat after having dinner with my husband and then I was looking back waving at Thomas and these hands just grabbed me and hulled me over the side of our boat.” The cold wet woman had long auburn hair and shivered as John gave her his coat. She wrapped herself in the coat gratefully and Nina stood their transfixed as the woman told her story, frightened green eyes hazy with cold. “Then I called for help but no one heard me so I swam to the edge of the Harbor here. The water is so cold and I barely made it, then I saw your pink shoe and grabbed on.”
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Nina bent down to the woman. “ We should call the police John,” Nina said. John retrieved his Samsung phone from his pants pocket and began to dial.
“No, no, no” cried the woman suddenly, changing her mind,”it must have just been my imagination. I probably just fell. But I was sure there was this girl in the water. But I think I was tired and seeing things.” John and Nina looked at one another not knowing what to believe. It was strange, this woman changing her story and becoming all nervous, as if she was afraid of someone or something.
“But a doctor?” suggested John you could have hurt yourself and not known it.” The woman stood shakily and then more steadily.
“I’m fine really thanks…” The dripping wet woman hiked up her wet skirt and ran down the dock dropping John’s now soaked coat and headed for a boat with lights on. She turned around and waved.John and Nina were left standing on the dock unsure of what to do as they heard the woman’s bare wet feet hit the dock in the distance.
John pulled himself together first, shook his head and went to retrieve his jacket. ” I wonder . . .” he said to himself thoughtfully, then shook his head as if what he thought couldn’t be true.
The light on the boat the woman had ran to went out and John grabbed Nina’s hand. They half walked and half ran all the way to her condo. John walked Nina up to her condo and feeling brave, after everything she had witnessed that night Nina invited him in. “What was that?” she asked John. What a night! A bar fight, a stabbing, and a woman who nearly drowned. And what was that she said about seeing some girl in the water?Do you think she was imagining things.” Nina took out a bottle of vodka and a bottle of Rye. They did a few shots to calm themselves down and began to talk again.
” It will alright Nina it was just one awful night and a full moon. We’re fine. No one is going to hurt us.” He kissed her forehead as if she were a child and preceded to make her laugh by telling her stories about growing up in his family with a Dad who was a Professor of Fairy Tales and Folklore, and a stay-at- home Mom who was a nurse again. Nina told him about her own childhood. About her divorced Mom, Heather, a Cosmetician, and her Dad the Wall Street Lawyer who they never heard from.
It was 3:00 am when Nina drunkenly, sauntered to the bedroom. John followed a dazed grin on his face. She never did things like this but tonight she felt adrenaline from the night rushing through her and just maybe, it was the full moon.
Nina felt her dress fall to the floor and John kissing and biting his way down her neck, before they both fell on to the bed half-dressed. Things became fuzzy after that. They had made love and fallen asleep but when she woke up the next afternoon it was to the ringtone on her iPhone “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce.
“How was Last Night for you?” The voice said on her phone as she pinched her eyes together and rubbed her left temple as a hangover set in.
“Um, interesting…” She croaked.
John laughed, “yes, it was” he said.
“How’d you get my number?” She asked John confused. “Oh, you gave it to me last night” he laughed “and this is me giving you my number.”
“Oh thanks,” Nina croaked trying to sound awake.”You left early.”
“No, thank you” he beamed through the phone “ I had a meeting. I just didn’t want you to forget me after all we had to drink and all that happened last night.” Thinking fuzzily back to last night Nina groaned:
“I wouldn’t forget you, believe me. It was just all so weird all the violence and that woman grabbing my shoe.”
“I like full moons,” John murmured,”unusual things happen.”
“Unusual is right.” Nina lay gratefully back on her soft bed.
“You, you were unusual, unexpected” he said softly.
“So were you,” Nina countered.
“I never thought I’d have a chance when you walked in but then….”
Nina sighed, “well that’s a full moon you. Strange things happen.” she commented wryly thinking about the palpable attraction she shared with John.
Nina planned lunch with John for Sunday afternoon. He did not seem so weird to her this morning, after their conversation late into the evening. Nina considered last night and shook her head in disbelief. When she thought of John and his handsome face she smiled. Then, she settled back against her pillows for a few hours more sleep. What a night.