Arrowleaf Bed and Breakfast

Twenty three year old, Dakota Bay co-owns a bed and breakfast with her parents in Arkansas. Their normal customers are couples looking for a romantic getaway. So, when they get call from an indie band who wants to make a reservation for seven months so they can write music, Dakota isn't sure if she'll like these long term visitors. But, when you spend so much time with people, they've got to at least become friends, or maybe something more.

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5. Chapter Five

Dakota

Normally, I love the rain. I love to hear it hit the roof, and see it drip down the windows. It encourages people to stay in their rooms. It means I can make soup and hot chocolate.

This week, however, the constant downpour  is not a good thing. It prevented Alex and I from going on our "date." It rained the day after he asked me out (Wednesday), and it's been cloudy ever since. 'Surface Forest' has been hard at work writing songs in Flint's room since then, and I've been trying my best not to disturb them. The only time I've talked to them is at meal times, and when I deliver my astronomical surplus of baked goods up to their room.

So, to keep myself busy, I've been baking. Literally everything I can think of, I've made. Cookies, cakes, breads muffins, you name it, I've baked them while glancing up the stairs every five minutes to see if Alex will come downstairs, with no luck. I guess I've forgotten the real reason that they're here.

Almost a week after Alex and I were supposed to go on our date, I take my fourth batch of cookies out of the oven. These are peanut butter, my favorite. I look out the window, and see that it actually isn't raining, for once. Yes, it's still cloudy, and could very well rain at any moment. This could be my only chance for a long time.

First, I text Nadia:
Hey, can I borrow your black shirt? The one with the flowery lace stuff?

She texts me back, quickly, which means that 'Surface Forest' must not be doing a whole lot of songwriting:
Yeah, it's in my suitcase. It should be on top. Mind if I ask why?

I debate whether to tell her the real reason, and decide against it:
Thanks. And no reason in particular.
That was probably the worst excuse I've ever come up with.

Nadia texts me back, and seems to buy my story:
Okay! I'll see you when you get back. Maybe Flint wi'll actually let us have a break haha.

Good, there's one thing out of the way. Now for the next:
Hey, Alex. Think you can sneak away for a couple hours sometime, today?

I wait with baited breath for a response as I clean up the rest of the kitchen. I decide to bring my dad some cookies, in his office.

"Hey, Dakota?" my dad says as I start to walk out of the room. I turn back, and see the cookies still on his desk, on top of a stack of papers.

"Yeah, Dad?" I say, hoping whatever he's going to say will be quick. I left my phone in the other room and I don't want to miss Alex's text.

My dad looks at me, opening his mouth like he's about to say something, and then stopping. "Thanks for the cookies..."

"Oh," I say, inching my way out of the door. "You're welcome." I can't help but wonder what he was going to say as I walk out of his office and back into the kitchen. But, those thoughts are put on hold instantly when I see my phone vibrating on the counter. I run over to it, and smile when I see the text:

I can right now, actually. We're not really doing anything. Why do you ask?

Halfway surprised that he didn't type stutters into the text, I text him back, as quick as I can, worried that he'll put the phone down:
Well, since we never got to go hiking on Wednesday, and it's not raining, at the moment, I was wondering if you would want to come with me for a walk in the woods ;)
I immediately regret sending the wink as soon as I do it. I'm so lame, ugh!

Alex starts to respond as soon as I send the message. The three little dots that show he's typing disappear and reappear several times before he finally sends the message:
Yeah, it sounds like fun. Meet you downstairs in ten minutes? ;)
I guess he's as lame as me.

I text him back as I start to walk upstairs to get dressed:
Okay, see you then :)


Alex

Trying to think of an excuse under five minutes is hard. I can't tell them I'm going hiking with Dakota, or they'll make fun of me, again.

"Alex!" Flint yells as a book hits my head.

"What?!" I yell back, rubbing the spot where it hit. Thank goodness it was a paperback. 

"Don't you have somewhere you should be going?" Nadia says with a wink as I turn my head to face her. She's lying on her stomach, and hanging over the edge of the bed. "You didn't do a very good job of hiding your text messages."

"I could tell him, you know," I mutter as I get up from the floor, leaning my guitar against the corner of the bed. Jamie looks at me, his mouth gaped open and his face gone as pale as his hair.

"Tell me what?" Flint says, cracking a smile. He pushes his pale brown hair out of his face and looks at me expectantly from the green chair across the room.

"Nothing," Jamie blurts out before I have the chance to respond. I never meant to actually tell him, knowing he would probably never forgive me. It was only a threat.

"Oh really?" Flint says as he gets up and walks toward Jamie, who is sitting next to Nadia, on the bed. Nadia sits up, and glares at Jamie. I can tell she wants to tell Flint, but it's not my place to do so. Jamie looks back at me, begging me to come up with an excuse. He's starting to breathe more heavily.

"Remember that girl you met at Lollapolooza?" I start, beginning to fabricate a lie. "Yeah, she never called you back because Jamie slept with her."

Nadia starts to laugh and falls backwards, her head landing on Jamie's lap, making him even more uncomfortable than he already is. Jamie's really not making this any easier, and his face still says that he's hiding something.

"What?!" Flint says, and I can tell he's about to start laughing as well. I didn't completely make that story up. The real reason was because she wanted, for some odd reason, to hook up with me. Being the literal ball of anxiety I am, it obviously didn't happen. "Well, good for you, I guess."

"Yeah...you didn't miss much," Jamie says, even adding a nervous laugh at the end. Hopefully for me, Flint believes us.

"Well, I have to go..." I say, and run out of the door before they have a chance to say anything. As I start to walk downstairs, I hear Nadia explain where I'm going to Flint and Jamie.

I sit down at the bottom of the stairs to wait for Dakota. I wonder if I should have changed into something else, as I look down at my dark jeans and 'Surface Forest' T-shirt. According to Flint, a little self advertising never hurt. Maybe I should go change into something else. She might think I'm being cocky or something. I don't have time, so I just grab my coat off of the coat rack next to me.

"Finally taking Dakota out?" Mr. Bay says as he walks into the kitchen. He opens the fridge and grabs a soda from inside.

"Yes, sir," I say nervously. Does everyone somehow know about this?

I'm ready for the 'Don't Get My Daughter Pregnant' lecture. Admittedly, I haven't ever had one of those, and I assume it's probably because no one even thinks I have a chance. But, Flint on the other hand has had, and ignored, many in his lifetime.

"I'm glad," Mr. Bay says with a smile and pours the can into an ice-filled glass. "Have fun." He leaves the kitchen without saying anything else. Here I am again. Underestimated. Never mind. He's absolutely correct.

"Hey," I hear Dakota say from behind me and I bolt up from the steps. Her brown boots pound on the stairs as she walk down, and she's holding Wildflower in her arms. He rubs his ears against her chin.

"H-h-hi," I stutter, smoothing out my jeans. Dakota puts Wildflower down and stands back up. She smiles and I see she's wearing a low-cut top. Looks like something Nadia would wear...

"Ready?" she asks and walks closer to me. Her eyes are up there, her eyes are up there.

"Mhm," I mumble as we start to walk outside. Dakota's parents tell us goodbye as we close the door behind us. We walk down the front steps, and the air is muggy from the rain. We hop over puddles as we walk down the driveway, and I keep looking at the ground. It's better than: A) slipping and falling on my butt and B) Dakota noticing that I'm not looking where I should be. 

"Um, Alex," Dakota says, her voice shaking as she grabs my hand. Great. Now she can see how sweaty it is. I look up and grip her hand more tightly as I take a step backwards.

"Shoot!" I say as I stare at the sight in front of me.

A/N
Sorry the chapter's one day late and about four hundred words shorter than usual. The next one will be on time and longer, I promise.
I hope your enjoying it and ANY feedback is greatly appreciated. Do you like the way the story's going? Have an predictions? Leave a comment

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