Chapter 2: Moving On
I groaned and rubbed my feet. I had been working for hours, but it felt like days. The dance music blaring in the background had given me a headache after about 45 minutes, and at this point I was sure I had to be close to an aneurism. I placed my 4-inch heels back on my feet and moved towards a table that had just cleared. About three weeks ago I ditched my job at Ross' Family Restaurant to start working at Sterling's dance club. The atmosphere was not what I would call fun or easy to put up with for several hours, but the pay was more than double what I was making at Ross'.
I tucked the three dollar tip into my pocket and sighed. For a table of 7 people who racked up an 80 bill, you think they could afford more than three dollars. That's less than 50 cents per person. Usually people were better tippers here, especially when the group is mostly horny, college-aged guys looking to hit on anything with boobs and a pulse. I gathered up the contents of the table and felt like smashing them over the heads of the girls who emptied them. I was just glad my shift was almost over.
As I was carrying all of the empty bottles and glasses towards the kitchen, one of my coworkers, Elizabeth, ran up to me. "Oh Emi, I'm so glad I caught you before you left!" She exclaimed over the pounding music.
I frowned, knowing where this conversation was going. "Please don't ask me to cover the rest of your shift."
Elizabeth clasped her hands to her chest. "I really need you to. Josh just texted me and said he has a big surprise for me tonight. I have to be out of here by 11." It was 10:45. Josh was Elizabeth's long-time boyfriend, and probably future husband. I'd never met the guy, but Elizabeth has shown me so many pictures of the two of them, I'd be able to pick him out of a line up easier than I would my own mother.
I made an unpleasant face. "Couldn't he have planned it for a time when you weren't working?"
Elizabeth grinned. "Does that mean you'll do it?"
"Yeah, I guess it does..."
She squealed. "I knew I could count on you, Emi!" She threw her arms around my neck and kissed my cheek. "I am going to take you out some time this week to make it up to you." Her eyes lit up. "I could even bring Josh so you two could finally meet."
"Sounds great." I smiled half-heartedly.
"I love you!" She yelled over the music before disappearing into the crowd.
I groaned and started moving towards the kitchen again. Looks like I'm working for another two hours. I pushed the kitchen door open with my hip and dropped all of the glasses and bottles onto the nearest cart. I leaned against the counter and put my face in my hands. I hated admitting it, but hearing Elizabeth go on and on about how happy she and Josh are together made me feel sick. Not because it was too sappy, but because I was unbelievably jealous. I wish I could find someone who was that dedicated to me. I wish I didn't have to constantly wonder whether I would ever find the perfect person for me. Of course, I always thought that person was Parker, and deep in the back of my mind, I truly believe every passing year will be the year he realizes that we're meant for each other. I think it's slowly starting to sink in that he will never have that realization. He will end up with someone else, and I need to do the same.
"Yo, Regal, you slacking on the job?" It was Conner, another waiter. He and I had been talking since my first shift. He was my trainer, and we instantly hit it off. We got along extremely well, and I had begun to notice the physical tension growing during our conversations. There was also the occasion of him and I almost hooking up at a party a few weeks back. We had both been drinking, and when we ran into each other… it was like someone hit my ON switch and I just had to have him. The feeling wasn't as intense sober, but it still lingered
I picked my head up and rolled my eyes. "I'm thinking of different ways to murder customers."
"What's the verdict at the moment?"
"Broken bottle to the throat sounds great right about now."
Conner grinned. "That's a little too intense for such a pretty girl."
If I wasn't so tired - and he didn't feed me the 'such a pretty girl' line all the time - I would have flushed. "Well, a three dollar tip will do that to you."
"From the table you were waiting on for like two and half hours?"
"That's harsh. I think I have an employment law class with one of them."
I stood up and moved towards the door. "Well, be sure to give her a nice big kick in the groin for me."
As I walked through the door, I heard him laughing.
At one in the morning, I finally clocked out and found myself sitting on the bench outside Sterling's. I had switched to flip flops, and was trying to regain enough energy to walk home. I watched as people continued to line up outside the door waiting to get in. I wish I felt awake enough to go dancing.
I pulled my cell phone from my purse and scrolled through my contacts. I hit send. After five rings, he finally answered.
"Parker, can you drive me home?" I grumbled.
"Where are you?"
"I can't come right now, but I can be there in half an hour. Is that cool?" He sounded distracted.
I frowned. I could walk home in that time. "No, I'll just walk."
"Emi, I don't mind getting you. You just have to wait a little."
"I'd rather walk anyway." I lied. "I could use the fresh air."
"Uh-huh." I hung up the phone and dropped it in my purse. So much for that. I considered calling Elizabeth and having her drive me, but I was sure she and Josh would be in bed together by now. I scowled at the thought of the two of them again.
"That is a fantastic face you're making." I jumped.
"Conner! You scared me!"
"What are you sitting out here for?" He asked, looking up and down the sidewalk.
"Oh, I was just trying to find a ride home." I sighed. "But it looks like I'm walking tonight."
"I've got my car around back. You want a ride?"
I smiled. "Really?"
"Yeah, sure. I just got off."
"Thanks. That'd be great." As I followed Conner to his car, I couldn't help thinking that he reminded me of Parker. Something about his face was similar to Parker's, and that automatically made him OK in my book. No, he's nothing like Parker. I scolded myself for comparing them. The last thing I needed in my life was another Parker to drive my last remaining ounce of sanity out the window. Plus, Conner was absolutely gorgeous without comparison to Parker. Dark eyes, dark hair, lean build. He tended to go for a grunge look, which I wasn't too crazy about, but he pulled it off in such a way that it looked – well – sexy.
"Where do you live?" Conner asked, interrupting my thoughts.
"Over on East McHugh Street. The apartments are - oh! Nice car!" I exclaimed.
Conner had stopped next to an old, silver mustang that had been decently restored. He grinned at the compliment. "Thanks. My uncle and I did everything but the paint."
I let my hand run along the hood as I moved around to the passenger's side. "Nice job. I approve." I smiled widely.
He gave me a crooked smile. "Well, I guess that's good."
"It is." I grabbed the handle and pulled on it. Nothing. I tugged again. Nothing. "Can you unlock the door?" I asked.
"Oh, sorry, it's kind of tricky." He walked around the car and popped the door open with ease. He winked at me and waited for me to climb in before shutting the door.
I chewed on my lip while I waited for him to get in the driver's side. I was trying very hard not to think too much about the situation at hand, but my mind carrying itself away. I've heard a saying that a woman can decide if she will ever sleep with a guy within five minutes of knowing him. I know a lot of girls who get offended when they hear it, but I think it's true. At least for me it is. I absolutely check out guys and – whether consciously or not – make that decision within minutes. I was staring at Conner now. It wasn't hard for my mind to settle on a definite yes. That's not to say that I would definitely sleep with him if presented with the opportunity, but if the circumstances were right, who knows?
Conner climbed into the mustang and revved the engine. He glanced at me out of the corner of his eye with that crooked smile and started to drive. I felt like I should have said something, but the entire drive the only conversation topics that popped into my head were work-related. I assume he was having the same trouble, because after thirty seconds he turned up his stereo and started blasting The Doors.
By the end of the first song, Conner had pulled up in front of my apartment building.
"Thanks for the ride." I smiled. "You saved me from having to drag my ass home."
"Then I'm glad I intervened when I did. It was no problem." He was gazing at me intensely, and I felt my face heat up.
"I should make it up to you sometime." I said quickly, trying to ignore the expression on his face.
He raised an eyebrow. "And how might you do that?"
"Lunch?" I suggested. Once the word had escaped my mouth I felt like slapping myself. Lunch? Really? That was the best I could come up with? It was obvious he was trying to play some kind of flirtatious game, and I had messed it up by suggesting lunch. Go Emily. Why don't I just ask if he wants to organize my miniature stapler collection? I bet he'd go for that.
He smirked at me and his eyes softened. He brushed the back of his finger over my bare shoulder causing me to shiver. "Lunch sounds great."
I flushed. It had been a long time since someone had shown a definite interest in me. Usually guys were either not interested at all, or they hid it so well I would never know. Conner, however, was getting his point across very well and he didn't have to say a word about it.
"Well, I'll see at work in a few days, I guess." I said awkwardly.
I smiled and continued to sit in the car. I really didn't know anything about Conner, but I desperately wanted to touch him. I wanted to reach across the seats and run my hands through his unruly brown hair. I wanted to know what his aftershave smelled like. I wanted to know what he tasted like. I knew I was thinking far too much about this, but I didn't want to screw up my one chance to get away from Parker's control over me. No. I couldn't make this about Parker.
I worked up what courage I could. "Bye, Conner." I said in my best sexy-without-being-sexy voice. I leaned across the seats and hugged him a few seconds longer than I would have normally hugged someone. I breathed deeply and tried not to melt from his intoxicating smell. I realized at that moment that my heart was racing. His hand started creeping across the fabric of my shirt and rested on the small of my back.
I pulled away and smiled. "Later." I scurried out of the car and into the apartment building passed a blonde girl on her way out. I smiled widely at her, but she ignored me. Oh well. Once I had made it to my door, I heard the building's door open again, and Conner walked in.
"Did I forget something?" I asked.
Conner moved swiftly towards me, leaned forward and pressed his lips against mine. I was momentarily stunned, but once the shock of his soft lips caressing my own subsided, I melted into his arms and gripped his shirt in my hands. He was kissing me hard. I could almost feel his urgency has he pressed his body against mine. Each movement he made caused a jolt of electricity to course through my body. I was slowly losing sense of what was happening, and I loved every second of it. I moaned into his mouth. It was possible that this was the best kiss I had ever had.
As quickly as he had kissed me, he backed away and smiled. "Sorry. You left that in the car." He turned and walked out without another word. I collapsed against the door. My heart was still fluttering quickly.
Maybe forgetting Parker wouldn't be as hard as I thought.
I had been sitting near the blonde during the first week of class, but after that, she started coming in after me and sitting on the opposite end of the room. I hadn't been able to keep this girl out of my thoughts – both clean and dirty – since I laid eyes on her. The moment I saw her, I knew we had to talk. She was just too perfect to ignore. Long blonde hair, big green eyes and a perfect body. I noticed lately that other guys in the class had taken to staring at her. There was no way I could risk having one of them get to her first.
I do have an advantage over most of the guys on campus. I actually have the balls to go up to a girl I think is hot and express a clear interest without having to be drunk. I guess I'm not afraid of rejection like they are. That is why I left for class ten minutes later than I usually do. I wanted to give her a chance to get there first. Stationing me next to her would be simple if she would only get to class before me.
I walked into the classroom and scanned the seats quickly. She was seated in the row closest to the door. Without trying to hide what I was doing, I made a beeline straight for her. As I got closer she stared at me. Her expression was mostly unreadable, but I caught a flash of an approving glance. I was in.
I dropped my bag on the desk next to her and sat down. I grinned at her.
She smiled back. Dear god… even her smile was perfect.
"Hey. I'm Parker."
She smiled widened. "I'm Sam. I – "
"OK class! Time to get started!"
I silently cursed the teacher. My first chance to talk to her was blown by his interruption. At least I knew her name. I was going to get her at the end of class.
Surprisingly, I didn't have to try very hard to start a conversation with her. Once class was over, she turned to me and started asking questions. Almost immediately, I realized that, beyond be drop dead gorgeous, she was incredibly nice and I could truthfully say I was interested in what she was talking about.
I held the door for her as we left the building. "Where are you headed?" I asked. It was about 7:30 PM, and I was headed home. I was hoping she was free too.
"I'm meeting friends for a late dinner." She said.
"Oh." I could tell by her face that she noticed my disappointment. "I was going to see if you wanted to chill sometime."
"Sure." She started rummaging through her bag and pulled out her cell phone. "What's your number? I'll call you sometime when I'm free."
As I relayed my number to her, I couldn't believe how lucky I was getting. This girl was amazing, and completely interested in me. What's more amazing is that she didn't seem to be dating someone. Usually girls like to throw that into conversations when they realize a guy is interested so they don't get any ideas. "So yeah. Anytime you're free, just give me a call. I'm always up for something."
She smiled and touched my arm lightly. "I'll see you later, Parker."
At around 11:30 pm, I walked into my apartment building. I had stopped by a friend's for a couple drinks, but it had gotten boring. I noticed that all the lights in Emi's apartment were out. She only worked until 11, so she should be home by now. She must have gone out, which was fine, I just tended to worry about her more than I do anyone else. The idea of anything bad happening to her would kill me. I would do anything for her. She said I smothered her sometimes, and that my worrying was out of character, but she means too much to me. More than anyone else. That's hard for some people to understand – her included.
I practically jumped out of my skin when my cell phone started buzzing in my pocket. It was a number I didn't recognize. "Hello?"
"It's Sam. Is this Parker?" Emi immediately flew from my mind and my ears perked.
"Hey. What are you calling about so late?"
"Oh, you said you were up for chilling any time."
"And the offer still stands."
I could almost see her smiling. "Great. I'm too wired to just go home and sleep."
"Where are you?"
"Just off the east side of campus."
"My apartment is two blocks from there. You should stop by."
"Maybe I will. What's the address?"
"225 East McHugh Street."
"I'll be there in a few." She paused. "See you soon Parker." She hung up.
I shut my phone and glanced around my apartment. I noticed a pair of boxers and dirty dishes cluttering the living room. I grimaced and quickly started moving around the apartment cleaning as quickly as I possibly could. I placed the dirty dishes in the sink. I chucked the pizza box Emi and I had emptied the night before into the garbage can. I glanced around quickly. The boxers. I threw them in the closet of my room just before I heard a knock on my door. I moved quickly to the door while running my hands through my hair. I opened the door and grinned. She was wearing short shorts and a red tank top that was cut dangerously low. Her long blonde hair was pulled up in a ponytail, clearing her beautiful face. She really was breathtaking.
I stepped to the side and she walked in slowly. I took the time to appreciate her from behind.
"Do you live here alone?" She asked, glancing around.
"Yeah. I was supposed to live with my best friend, but her parents wouldn't let us."
"Her?" Sam glanced at me curiously. She obviously wanted to know the extent of our friendship.
"Yeah. Emi and I have been friends since we were little. She's like my little sister. I constantly feel the need to protect her."
Sam nodded and continued looking around the apartment. She noticed a picture of Emi and me on the wall. "Is this her?"
I nodded. "Yep."
"She's beautiful." Sam commented softly.
"You're one to talk. You are absolutely gorgeous." I said truthfully.
"You think?" She smiled.
"Are you kidding? Everyone in our Soc class was eyeing you."
She laughed. "You're lying!"
"Oh no I'm not. You're a definite catch."
She grinned. "OK, stop, you're flattering me way too much. Let's just watch a movie or something."
"Got anything in mind?"
"Well, I have the new Matthew McConaughey movie. Fool's Gold I think."
I stared at her in horror and she laughed.
"I'm just kidding. I don't have anything with me. What do you have?"
We spent the next 45 minutes trying to pick out a movie. In reality, I was doing my best to keep from staring down her shirt while we bent over my DVD collection. She seemed a little preoccupied herself. I reached for a DVD and our arms brushed. Holy shit was her skin soft. Immediately my hormonally-driven brain started wondering how soft her skin felt in other areas. Maybe if I could just reach over and make a move, she'd go for it.
It wasn't until 12:15 that I sat back on the couch and gave up. I wasn't going to be picking any movies while she was looking so hot. I was actually hoping that she would just forget the movie all together and touch me once. Just once. I was dying to know what her bare body felt like against mine.
As if she heard my thoughts, she sighed and stood up straight. "There's nothing I'm interested in watching tonight."
She seated herself directly next to me on the couch. Her leg was actually resting on top of my own.
I smiled softly at her. She was so easy to look at. Her big green eyes stared back at me with such intensity that I couldn't control my body's reaction. I could feel good ol' Oscar begin to stir. I dragged my eyes down to her lips. Her big, full lips. My index finger traced slowly down her arm and she shivered.
"Parker," she said just above a whisper, "I want you so badly."
Without another breath, I pressed my lips against hers. She immediately moaned against my mouth and wrapped her arms around my neck. She was kissing me so intensely I couldn't think clearly. My mind began to fog with thoughts that were so muddled with sexual desire that they didn't make sense. She should be closer. I repositioned her onto my lap. I needed her to feel my excitement. My boner twitched as she began to rub herself against me. I couldn't believe my luck. This girl practically attacking me. I had no intentions of tonight being about sex. I was just hoping to have her over, and maybe get a kiss or two out of her before the night was through. This was just… mind blowing.
My thoughts cleared enough for me to grab the soft flesh of her breast. She moaned into my mouth again, and I realized that I was going to get lucky tonight. She grinded herself against my groin.
"Sam…" I managed to croak. "I want you."
"You can have me." She purred into my ear. The heat of her breath on my ear sent shivers down my spine. The pit of my stomach was burning in a pleasant happiness as she started nibbling on my earlobe gently and trailing kisses down my jaw and neck.
My phone started buzzing in my front pocket. Sam moaned in delight and started grinding harder against my phone. Dear god this girl was insanely horny. My thoughts started to clear. "Let me get rid of the phone."
"You don't have to." She said huskily.
I kissed her deeply. "Go wait in my room. I'll be in in a moment."
She stood up and pulled her tank top off. Her narrow waist and curvy hips made me want to forget my phone. Christ she was gorgeous. She walked slowly into my bedroom, and I heard her drop onto my bed. I pulled my phone from my pants and glanced at the caller ID.
Emi. Shit. I flipped my phone open. "What's up?"
"Parker, can you drive me home?" She sounded miserable. My mind started clearing further.
"Where are you?"
"Sterling's." Shit. Shit, shit, shit. She was just getting out of work. She had worked for 10 hours today, and I didn't want her walking home alone. I was going to have to send Sam home.
"I can't come right now, but I can be there in half an hour. Is that cool?'
She was silent for several moments. "No, I'll just walk."
"Emi, I don't mind getting you. You just have to wait a little."
"I'd rather walk anyway. I could use the fresh air." She didn't sound very convincing.
"Uh-huh." She hung up.
I groaned and covered my face with my hands. I had completely lost my sex drive for the night. It's not so much Emi that killed it, but her ability to make me completely preoccupied and indifferent to what was going on around me. I picked up Sam's shirt from the floor and carried it into my bedroom. She was sitting in my computer chair. "You're going to pick up your friend?" She asked. She had overheard.
"No. But I do want to get to sleep." I handed her the shirt and she pulled it over her head. Her in-you-face sexiness was gone, and now she just seemed meek and timid.
She stood up quickly. "I understand. I should get home anyway." She brushed passed me and moved quickly towards the door.
"Hey," I said, grabbing her arm, "we should hang out soon. I don't want this to be a one time thing."
She nodded and smiled slightly. "Me neither."
I kissed her gently on the forehead. "We OK?"
I lifted her chin and kissed her as tenderly as I could. She needed to know that I wanted more than sex. "Good night, Sam."
No sooner had I closed my door than I heard Emi's familiar footsteps in the hall. How did she walk home so quickly? I looked through the peephole. She looked flushed. Had she run the whole way home? No, I couldn't remember the last time I saw Emi run.
The door opened again, and a guy walked up to her. She said something I couldn't hear and he kissed her. Hard.
I was so startled I knocked my head against the door. "Shit." I grumbled, rubbing my head.
Luckily they didn't seem to hear. He had her sandwiched between his body and the door. What the hell did he think he was doing? What if he hurt her? I felt heat begin to rise in my cheeks. If he didn't let her go in two seconds I was going to bust through this door and kick his ass.
Just as the thought crossed my mind, he let her go and left. I watched her reaction carefully. She leaned against the door and smiled broadly. She was happy.
So why wasn't I?
A/N: So it's only been, what?, a year? Either way I hope you liked this chapter. I haven't written for a story for an entire year, so I hope it's ok.