Chapter Nineteen - He Obeys My Curfew
It was apparent that for the rest of my life I was going to have to wear long sleeved t-shirts. That was until, one day I would get absolutely wasted and end up blurting it out anyway that I got a tattoo. A part of me didn't want to tell anyone because I didn't want it to see so out of my character that people would think that they didn't know me at all, but also another part of me wanted to keep it a secret so it can be mine and Brooks' secret.
My mum was pacing at the door when I finally stepped in, the look on her face was priceless. I probably looked pale or green, stinking to high heavens like vomit and purple around my eye from where Brooks accidentally damaged me. Her gasp was sharp and loud.
"I told you he was no good, I cannot believe he hurt you. We are taking this to court. My poor baby. This is why you should always listen to your mother. You look-" I cut off her babbling rampage but sighing.
"Luke didn't hurt me, mum." I told her firmly but she wasn't buying it, it sounded like I just told her that I walked into a door.
"He did, we are taking this matter Ito the polices hands-" I had heard enough. Immediately, she accused Brooks. I hated the fact that she was cursing because apparently Brooks wasn't good enough for me but who is she to justify what good enough for me is.
"Mum. I'm fine, now if you will please be quiet while I go upstairs and avoid you." I said in a bored tone, which obviously shocked my mother. Surprisingly she didn't say another word. Her jaw agape as I walked up the stairs, blunt attitude in my walk.
It looked bad so I couldn't blame her for having that initial, it's Colt's fault for getting it inside her head. But I couldn't hate him either because I vowed to myself that those days were over. Upon reaching my room, I slummed on my bed and stared up at the ceiling.
I observed my habit and listened to the blaring whiny pop music coming from Tara's room. Then the music became louder and clearer as if she opened her door, followed by a slamming sound behind her. Then a very chirpy Tara appeared at my door.
"Hey Alex." She said, inviting herself to sit on my bed.
"Another Saturday afternoon and night alone?" She inquired.
"You can always join me and my friends at Juice." She offered with a sincere smile. Juice was an underage club with only teenagers allowed. It was the rave and the best hangout for the whole weekend. You'd understand pretty much from my brief summary as to why I cringed at her offer.
"Actually, I have a date." I said meekly and I was expecting her to laugh but she smiled and squealed as if someone just asked her on a date.
"Oh My, Who? What? When? Where?" She asked me, not getting any of her words out fast enough.
"Brooks, tonight, I don't know. And honestly, I don't know what you mean by the single question 'What?' so I'll leave that out." I stated and she grinned.
"So you two are getting pretty serious huh?" She asked with a wink.
"No." I told her and she pushed me.
"What ever Alex, I'm choosing your outfit." She said, making her way to my cupboard.
"It's more than 5 hours away." I said realistically.
"We are running out of time." She gasped. "I plan my outfits out the moment I get asked out. Would you rather enough time or not enough time?" She inquired rhetorically.
So I waited and watched as she began to work her magic. Immediately growing bored, I found myself typing his name into google. There were more results than I was expecting, I tried to get an idea as to what I was working with so I ended up watching 'Blood and Guts Challenge', the title intrigued me.
It wasn't until I began watching it that I realized how much I didn't want to watch it. There, on my screen was he perfect Brooks that I was fortunate enough to know. I loved the way he was just his normal cheeky self around his brothers.
"Don't eat the dog food." I begged, lurching forward and clenching my stomach as I watched Brooks take a bite. I wanted to hurl, how could he eat dog food?
Now I was worried about how many other stuff he has eaten. "What are you watching?" Tara asked skeptically after hearing the vulgar noises of vomiting on Brooks' part.
"Brooks." I replied flatly, my eyes not once leaving the screen. And although myself, I wanted to gag while watching him I had to admire how good he looked and I realized just how unfair that was.
Tara barbified me, not literally because I was wearing the least amount of make up as possible but the whole process was time consuming. She did my hair while we watched Love Actually, even though I told her that I was okay with my hair the way it was.
And so it was that at 6:16pm, I was ready for my date at 6:39pm. With the extra time to kill, I decided to try and have a conversation with my dad, something that I haven't tried in two years.
"Hey Dad." I said in a soft voice so that if he ignored me it wouldn't hurt as much and subconsciously I could tell myself that he didn't hear me.
"Hello Alex." I was taken aback, that was the first time he had said my name in a long time which was quite sad.
"How are you?" I asked him in worried tone, I didn't want him to stop talking.
"Where are you going tonight?" He asked me, not looking up from his empty plate which sat directly in front, in the middle on the table.
Taking the seat across from him, I looked into his grey eyes. "I'm going out, I just don't know where." I admitted to him.
"Is it with that boy who ate here the other night, what was his name? Luke?" He guessed and I smiled. He remembered Brooks.
"Yeah." I replied, grinning like a fool.
"He's a good boy. If he hurts you, I won't be happy." Having this kind of conversation with my dad started my night off perfectly.
I got up out of my seat, walked across the table and kissed my father before embracing him in a hug. He didn't hug back which was expected, but slowly slowly, I was breaking down his walls.
"Thank you." I whispered in his ear before advancing towards the door. I could hear the hum of a car, pulling into my driveway.
I wanted to settle my nerves but alcohol was not an option. So in a slightly shaking tone, I made my way outside to see a silver commodore, pulled into my drive way. It looked squeaky clean on the outside that I could see a clear reflection of myself. Did Brooks wash it for me?
There was an electrified eye contact between us as we both smiled sweetly, all the thoughts in my head about this being awkward went out the window because it was Brooks, and I was more than comfortable with him.
I waited for him to say the first word, which he didn't. He approached me, mirroring the same, sweet yet nervous smile. My heart was thumping so loudly that I'm sure even Tara could hear it over her loud music. It legitimately skipped a beat when Brooks leaned in and kissed my cheek. I swooned when he gave smirk which was the result of my reaction towards his kiss.
A searing pain consumed my body, my fingertips lightly brushing the spot where Luke's lips were a minute ago. I couldn't even comprehend the feeling that I was experiencing, all I desperately wanted was for those soft lips on my own.
He led me towards the car and I offered him a smile in return for the complete yet comfortable silence. Even though Brooks was a jerk, he was a gentleman. He opened the door for me and waited for me to slide in before closing my side door behind me. Hopping in himself, he woke up the engine before exhaling. I smiled to myself knowing that this overly confident obnoxious baboon was nervous to impress me.
"Hi" I said sweetly and softly which automatically settled him.
Then it got me thinking, maybe this wasn't such a bad idea after all. I knew that I liked him and he let off some vein clues that he was interested in me. Even if it was for the purely physical, I knew that some how he would treat me different.
"Hi." He said back, exhaling heavily as he did so.
"Nervous? Come on Brooks, it's us." He cracked a crooked smile before reversing out of the driveway.
"Al, I need you to know that you are different from the others. With you, I want to take things slow, as long as you need. I never want to rush you into anything or ever make you feel uncomfortable. I don't want this relationship to be just physical, I want it to be emotional which is important."
I let each and every one of these worlds sink in and some how I knew he wanted the same. I was never good in the romance scene, heck I never had any experience but I have watched a tone of movies so I had an idea of what I had to do.
Eyeing his hand on the clutch, I moved my own and advanced towards his. Slowly covering my palm over his I felt something. The tense muscles in his hand seemed to melt away and he relaxed instantly at my touch. I did that to him and the feeling that gave me was unexplainable.
"So where are we going?" I asked him after he sent me a appreciative smile.
"That's a secret." He said, keeping his eyes firmly on the road.
"Another dodgy outlet?" I teased, waiting like a predator for it's prey, similarly I waited for his reaction.
"Al," He groaned. "I'm sorry, I didn't-" I busted into a fit of laughter which silenced him immediantly.
"I hate you." He teased but tried to say it in all seriousness.
"No you don't" I said confidently.
"Yeah? And what makes you so sure of that?" He inquired skeptically.
"I wouldn't be in this car, on this date with you if you hated me."
He sighed and groaned inaudibly, knowing that he was defeated. "Touche." He said through gritted teeth.
"It's okay, we can pick up your pride on the way home." I said happily in victory, slumming into the comfort of the seats.
You'd think that for a first date with Brooks of all people, it would be at a strip club or deep dark in the woods. Something vivid and imaginative, not terrifying and death defying. Okay, so maybe not death defying and fear isn't exactly in Brooks' vocabulary so where he took me would fit his attire.
"I hope you don't mind falling." He said with a cheeky smile on his face when we had arrived.
"Only if you'll be there to catch me." The words formed all by themselves because that was the original and first thought that popped into my head as a response.
He gave me the most heart warming smile which I didn't think was possible to receive. "Always, I'll always be there to catch you Teddy." He responded and my heart twirled, fluttered and sang.
"Well come on." He smiled, unlike the time at the tattoo parlor when Luke grasped my hand, dragging me into the shop. This time he held his hand out invitingly with a worried look on his face. Looking down at my own hand which was digging into my thigh, slowly I moved it towards his.
My fingers brushed his tips before melting into the form of his own, commonly known as intertwining our fingers. I slowly and quietly exhaled as I savoured the moment and feeling. Although now, I knew that I would have to grow accustom to this tingling sensation I couldn't help but admire the sweet hum my heart was making and the comfort and protection I felt when my hand held his.
Taking in the outside of the building, my eyes were glued on the neon flashing sign 'Roller Blading', that was the first bad sign. I'm barely good on my own two feet, clumsy even, so how am I expected to be any good, 2 inches off the ground with 6 wheels, PER BOOT.
"Brooks this is a horrible idea." I said, curling my entire body behind him, clutching him as we walked in.
He gave me a pretend offended look, beating his fist with my heart. "Way to start the night off Al, by telling your- I mean, me, by telling me that I had a horrible idea." What a cyclone we would have just endured if he ended up saying his intended words 'Boyfriend'. Was I even ready to have a boyfriend, let alone the big ego that is Luke Brooks all to myself? YES!
"Well, by choosing a place which could get me several bruises, yeah, you had a horrible idea." I stuck to my main argument even though I was wrong, if I could clutch onto Brooks like this the whole time tonight he did well by me.
"And I will be there to mend every bruise on your body." He said with a smile, which of course was irresistible to return.
"I don't know much about this whole dating thing." I admitted, "So, you need to take the ropes from here." I said as we walked towards the main desk.
"Well, I'm not good with dates either, but I'm pretty sure, other than holding hands, which we have under control, is that they do something else..." His voice trialed off causing my heart to thump louder and louder in my chest.
"They actually begin the date." He whispered in my ear. What a tease. I was amused, that part shined through as we advanced to the desk 'Beginning our date.' He complimented my feet, saying that they were a 'cute' size, hey, size 6 isn't that small.
Lacing up, after telling Brooks how terrified I was, he got me the boots with 3 wheels on each boot, commonly used with children.
"If it scared you this much, I wouldn't have brought you. We could always leave now, go out for dinner or to movies. I hear that Monsters University is screening. You like Disney right?" He scurried over each word, incapable of getting them out fast enough without over lapping his words.
It made me smile at how much he was beating himself up, cruel I know. But if he was that worried about doing wrong by me, that had to mean he was interested in me. Right?
"Brooks, let's get on the rink and actually go on this date." I smirked at him, grabbing his hand and pulling him onto the rink.
As soon as my feet made contact with the slippery floor, I almost fell, flat on my ass. But Superman came to my rescue as previously promised and he helped me regain my balance. Logically, if I held onto Brooks that little more longer with fear striking through my face maybe, just maybe I could clutch him all night. That would come across as clingy though, right? Abort.
"Don't let go of me, you moppet." Brooks stifled back a laugh as I fell back on my bum, my wrists gripping the floor to break my fall.
"Okay." I said softly, accepting his offer to help me up.
Naturally, Luke had the talent of being able to roller blade. Secretly, I think he brought be here to show off his skills. Loud music blared, the kind without lyrics. Multicoloured lights, shimmered from every direction onto the rink. Families and other couples skated along, each to their own.
"You're good at this." I complimented him as his footing as pace was correct, not that I would know.
"I'm good at a lot of things." He smiled suggestively.
"Being an arrogant jerk is one of them." I teased, making my grip on his sleeve tighter.
"But hey, I'm an arrogant jerk on a date with a hot girl so I must be doing something right."
I grumbled in defeat. "Touche."
For the most part of that night I spent scared out of pants. The thought of falling and bruising my skin made me wince so I did my best and followed Brooks' move.
"I think you are ready to go solo." Brooks taught me the footing and soon I was gliding beside him, barely holding on anymore.
The absence of warmth was apparent when my hands were no longer bunched up in the soft fabric of Luke's shirt and were now freely swaying by my sides.
"I would have liked it better if you weren't such a fast learner." Luke stated, maybe since we were on this date we didn't have to hide those thoughts in the back of our minds.
"You know Brooks, if you want me to need to hold onto you again I won't mind." I told him which made a smile creep on his lips.
"Well what are you going all the way over there then?" Luke's question was gesturing me to meet him at his side which I did reluctantly.
I was intoxicated by his smell when his arm wrapped around my shoulder and found comfort. And so it was that we skated together with my arm around his waist and his arm around my shoulder. The loud, rock style music came to an end and an evidently softer song was put on in turn.
I jerked my head to the DJ stage where he cooed into the microphone. "This is for all the young lovers tonight." Immediately, a tone of pink flushed to my cheek.
A warm hand raised to my chin, lifting it up slowly to meet eyes with him. There was an intense moment where I felt completely consumed by his chocolate brown eyes. "Are you going to dance with me Teddy?" He questioned, noticing my complete frame was still and no longer swaying to the music.
It's for young lovers. "Is that a request Brooks?" I inquired with an eye brow raised.
"Well you are going to have to say yes because we are going to need to practice for the Formal Dance." Luke justified and my jaw dropped. Did he want to go to the formal dance, in our public peers eyes with me?
"What makes you so sure that I'll go with you?" I teased, untangling from him slightly.
"I'm pretty sure after tonight you wont ever be able to say no to me again." His words made me shudder and I didn't know if it was in a good way. Soon I grew nervous, was that a double meaning?
"Alright Brooks, I'll dance with you." I mumbled and he smiled.
Placing my arms arms his neck, soon his hands found my hips. As if the intense eye contact wasn't enough to send me up the wall, the burning sensation remained at my hips no matter how hard I swayed them.
"Well darlin', you are the only exception, you are the only exception." I had to give the DJ credit, he did well in choosing the song. Maybe a little too well. Only Exception by Paramore was the first song I danced to with Brooks.
Soon, I heard the soft words of the melody being recited to be by the boy dancing with me. How could one human being be so perfect that it made your heart ache and melt?
The moment the song ended and resumed to the heavy rock music, neither of us moved. I don't know about him but I didn't want to move. I admired his beautiful complexion and was somewhat jealous of it.
"What?" He asked me, a smug smile etched on his lips.
"Nothing." I smiled at him, grinning more so at the fact that a month ago, I was quiet, invisible and reserved, now here I was, dancing with the most gorgeous guy ever imaginable.
"Al." He groaned, slightly nudging me to elaborate.
"It's nothing, it's just that you are beautiful." I admitted with a sheepish smile.
He genuinely smiled back at me. "First cute now beautiful? I'm starting to think that you are teaching me how to do my job."
"What ever Brooks." I breathed in him.
"They'll be closing soon." Brooks whispered and my stomach dropped in disappointment, this would be over so quickly.
"Did I do better than earlier today?" Brooks asked as we advanced to the car.
"Definitely." I confirmed, opening the car door and slipping in.
Luke frowned at me when he was settled in the car and I pouted. "What?" I quizzed him in reference to his facial expression.
"You should have let me open the door for you." I held back a laugh because Brooks was serious.
"Sorry, in my defense I'm new at this." His face then softened as he started the car.
After a short drive Brooks pulled into a small cafe. New furniture and an inviting aroma drew me in as I took a booth. Luke followed and instead of sitting across from me like I would have expected, he sat next to me. This caught me as odd but I pretended not to notice.
"Can I help you?" A young waitress with fire red hair inquired as we glanced at our menus.
"Two hot chocolates please and a 6 stack of pancakes." Luke ordered and I nodded in agreement. After scribbling our order down she scurried off and we began conversation.
"You know what I really want?" I paused, wondering of he was going to think I was silly for my idea. Either way I continued, not caring what he thought. Okay maybe I cared a little.
"I want my life to be like a movie, that way I won't have to worry about going to the toilet, getting sick, having my period, worry about feeding my dog..." I trailed off thinking 'I don't have a dog.'
"Besides the fact that you don't have a dog, I must have to agree. In movies everything is easier."
"And you always meet that one guy which changes your world." I added, blushing slightly.
"And have you found him?" Brooks asked nervously and I nodded with instinct.
"Yes, I have." I smiled up at Brooks who returned my smile. Any moment now I was ready to kiss him. But as always, there is an interruption. This time our order.
"Wow that was quick." I exasperated, taking a sip out of my hot chocolate.
"That's why I like it here." He smirked, cutting the 6 stack pancakes with maple syrup and butter oozing from the sides. When he accomplished cutting in half he pushed one side closer to the edge of the plate on my side and handed me a fork.
"How good is it?" Luke asked, his mouth half full of a pancake. After swallowing I nodded and placed another forkful in my mouth, savoring each sweet taste.
"I better get you home. When is your curfew?" Brooks asked, glancing at the time on his phone. I smiled knowing that he respected my curfew, see, the bad boy does follow rules.
"10:30pm." I informed him, wiping the corners of my mouth with a napkin before maple syrup threatened to dip.
"Alright." He said, sliding out of the booth. Gulping down the rest of his hot chocolate which was sure to burn the inside of his mouth, he wiped his lips with his sleeve.
Making it outside after paying, the cool air nibbled at my skin but I enjoyed it because it was crisp and fresh. This time, taking the hint, I allowed Brooks to open the door for me which earned me a grateful smile. The whole car ride I couldn't concentrate because a sudden nervousness enveloped me. This is the moment, when he drops me at my door.
I know I said that I wanted to kiss Brooks but when it came down to the moment uncomfortable and awkward Alex shone through. My heart thumped in my chest, was I ready to have my first kiss? For most people it isn't a big deal but for the rest of my life I could possibly be saying that Brooks was my first kiss. A sinking feeling consumed me because I knew that I definitely wasn't his first.
Either way, I needed to forget about Luke's past if I ever wanted to advance in a relationship with him. An abrupt stop caused my breath to hitch. We were at my house. Thump. Thump. Thump.
"What do they say at the end of dates?" I inquired nervously.
Brooks smiled. "Usually, they elaborate on how much fun they had. Sometimes they had so much fun that they can't express with words so they use something else..." He trailed off, getting our of the car, swinging round to my side and opening my door.
Placing my hand in his offering one, he helped me out of the car and walked me to my door. My knees were shaking and my whole leg was probably a purple colour, something I usually get when I'm nervous.
"I had a really good time." I said weakly, trying my best to smile.
"Some how I'm not convinced." Brooks said, raising an eyebrow flawlessly.
"I- Ugh. I really liked the rollerblading and the hot chocolate was nice even though it burned the inside of my mouth slightly.." I trailed off in my ramble because I noticed the close proximity from Luke's face to mine.
With my heart racing uncontrollably, he itched closer. His brown eyes were boring on my lips but mine were glued on his eyes. His lip brushed my bottom lip and that was enough to feel an explosion. My heart raced at a pace which was impossible.
"Brooks." I breathed, leaning out.
"Yeah." He whispered, not moving at all.
"You ate dog food." I dead panned causing him to throw his head back in laughter.
"You watched a video?" He questioned me, now looking into my eyes.
"Yes." I replied, feeling my heart rate decrease as he wasn't so close anymore.
"Well maybe you shouldn't watch any more of our videos because by the rate we're going we'll never kiss." Hearing Brooks say us kissing made it seem more real.
I vow to myself that next time, next time when it feels right not on prodical, I will kiss Brooks.
"Good night Brooks." I said stepping closer to my front door.
He smiled, grabbed my hand, squeezing it slightly before answering. "Sweet Dreams Beautiful."
As he advanced to his car my heart dropped and I wish that I could rewind and fix it. Now I know just how much I wanted to kiss him, even if I was scared. I should have hugged him or something. I slummed lamely at my door waving him goodbye.
That's what you get when you have your first date with a Good Girl. You get nothing.