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♥A Rainy Romance♥
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It came just as I finished wiping down the last of the tables. Thundering down on the roof of the Starbucks café- where I worked- and tapping furiously against the windows. One minute it was sunny but now, looking out of the water-blurred glass, it was all dark and dreary.
"More customers if this keeps up," shouted Megan, our boss. She was a short, plump woman with one of the kindest personalities you could ever come across. "We'll need every one of you guys here tomorrow."
It was true, the more cold and rainy it becomes the more customers we have. All of them trying to escape from the howling winds, seeking the warmth of the café with a hot cup of coffee.
Throwing the rag down onto the counter I walked over to the employees' room and grabbed my coat and handbag.
"I'm leaving guys! Time for me to get home," I called out to my workmates who were also my good friends.
"Bye! Make sure you don't get raped!" joked Samuel, the 'expert coffee maker' among us although his sarcastic personality sometimes causes trouble among the customers.
"Be here tomorrow or else!" warned Megan. I waved off her empty threat and headed towards the doors. A blast of freezing air smacked me in the face and I immediately pulled on my trench coat. It was still raining so I took out my umbrella- an ugly shade of pink and yellow. Shivering, I located my car sitting by itself at the back of the car park and carefully ran towards it, avoiding the many puddles.
Once in the safety of my car, I turned on the heater and backed out of the car park- on my way home. I live around 15minutes drive away from this Starbucks and by myself, although the occasional friend from uni comes along. I don't have any boyfriends at the moment. My last one turned into a complete disaster and left me wondering whether there was such thing as romance or a happily-ever-after. From then on, I had no time for guys choosing instead to drown myself in my assignments and work, only getting a breather every now or then.
The rain came pouring down harder until my windscreen wipers were swiping at their fastest, yet it was still difficult to make out the many road signs. Luckily, I was almost home and there weren't many cars on the road. I squinted, making sure not to miss the right turn and that was when I spied him.
I don't know what it was at the time that made me so interested in him. I mean, many people walk in the rain, don't they? I, for one, used to love standing in the rain with my best friend just chatting about things in general…until I caught pneumonia.
However, this guy didn't have anyone to talk to. He was simply walking by himself, shoulders hunched and eyes downcast. Without thinking, I slowed the car and rolled down the window to get a better look. Yes everyone, a better look. Trust me, this isn't something I'd normally do but then, like I said, he intrigued me. For one thing, is this was just some random person caught in the rain, they'd most likely be running off trying to find the nearest shelter…but not him. He was walking somewhat casually, hands tucked in jeans- totally drenched.
Wiping away a few droplets of water off my face, I opened my mouth and called out to him:
"Hey!" My voice came out as a croak.
Clearing my throat, I tried again:
He looked up sharply, jet black hair spraying droplets of water around him, and turned to me, slightly surprised. His eyes were blue, not a clear blue but a much more darker shade as if he were troubled by something but other than that, they held nothing more for me to see.
We stared at each other for a few seconds, neither of us moving. Water dripped off his face as he gazed at me. I felt my cheeks heating up even though the wind had frozen my face and tangled my hair so that it probably resembled a bird's nest right now. I opened my mouth again only to clamp it shut quickly.
What was I going to say?
I was spared that thought hen he suddenly turned away from me and continued walking as if he had not seen me at all. A stab of hurt seared through me but I ignored it while turning to the back of the car, frantically searching for my umbrella. Catching up with him in the car, I thrust it out the window and waved it around.
"Here, at least take this!" I called out, not knowing why I was this desperate to…wait, what was I doing?
I guess he was thinking the same because he raised an eyebrow at me.
Ok, I am making a total fool of myself, I thought.
Embarrassed, I pulled back my arm and smiled feebly.
"So, you want a ride?"
As soon as I said that I slapped myself. Mentally, of course. I mean, since when did I start picking up guys?
However, when I gathered up the courage to look back at him I found he wasn't there. Surprised, I stuck my whole head outside, ignoring the rain, and looked up and down the street.
Frowning, I leaned back into my seat, running a hand through my messy chocolate brown hair. How did he just disappear like that?
I jumped when the door to the passenger seat opened and someone climbed in.
It was him.
He looked much larger than before. My small Toyota Camry seemed too low for his height. The white shirt he was wearing stuck to him like a second layer of skin and I could see that this guy definitely worked out.
I blushed when I glanced up and saw him staring at me. Turning away, I busied myself by rolling the window back up while continually scolding myself for 'checking him out.' I mean, when was the last time I did that? It just…it just…isn't me.
"So where are you off to?" I asked while driving down the road, heading to who knows where. A silence passed over us before he answered.
"The nearest bar." It came out as a deep whisper and I almost didn't hear it because of the rain and thunder. I glance over at him and saw him looking straight up ahead.
"You shouldn't drown your sorrows in alcohol. I'm…I'm…not taking you there," I blurted out and felt my cheeks heating up again. This was one of my many faults- telling others what to do or what is right and wrong.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his yes widen before they narrowed.
"And I should listen to you because?" I paused, trying not to upset him further.
"I'm giving you a free ride here." He crossed his arms over his chest.
"9 Bourke Street, Greenville. I'll go and drink at home then."
I didn't answer and another awkward silence passed over us as I drove to that address, it wasn't far from mine.
"Do you want to talk about it?" I asked quietly. He fiddled with the heater, turning it up a notch before leaning back in thee seat and staring out the window so that I only had a view of his damp hair.
Ok, I'll take that as a no.
"My younger brother. He's missing." A flood of emotions came rushing into me but I stayed quiet, waiting for him to continue.
"I lost him at the park today when I wasn't paying attention. When I looked back, he was gone."
I wanted to reach out to him, to comfort him but I stopped myself. I mean, this guy was a complete stranger who I had just picked up, however funny that sounds. I opted instead to tell him one of my own stories.
"You know, I have this really annoying cousin around 9. He came over last year and I took him to a circus. Halfway through the show, I left to buy some food and when I came back he was gone." I chuckled. "I went crazy. I started shouting out his name, running around looking for him. I swear, the crowd found me better entertainment that the actual show itself.
I paused and glanced over at him.
"You know where I found him? The next act was a clown show and apparently he was chosen to be one of the kids participating in it. So there he was, grinning innocently at me from the circus ring while eating fairy floss. The nerve!"
The guy was still silent but I saw a dimple appear on the side of his face.
"We're here," I announced stopping outside his home. He looked up as if coming out of a daze.
"I bet that once you step foot inside, he'll come running to you wondering where you've been."
His blue eyes met mine and I smiled shyly at the gratitude they held. The troubled look was still residing in there but it was fading.
"Thank you." A sudden swarm of butterflies flew into my stomach and I felt myself blushing again.
He stared at me for a few more seconds before leaning forward, and to my uttermost surprise, brushing his lips across my cheek.
"Thank you," he whispered again, hot breath tickling my ear.
With that, he left the car, walking up the driveway and into his house. I left his house feeling giddy as I touched my cheek gingerly.
I got kissed (on the cheek) by a hottie!
A silly grin went across my face before I realised to my dismay, that I might never see him again. He was just one of the many people you meet in your life which you might never have the privilege of seeing again.
The grin faded.
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I pulled my coat closer to myself trying to shut out the cold.
Exercise is good, I thought. It keeps you healthy.
I snorted as soon as that thought left me. It sounded very unlike me. Something I don't recall saying ever before. I was never a very sporty girl in high school, choosing instead to keep score in whatever game the rest of the class was playing. Therefore this 20-30 minutes of 'strolling' was very tiring indeed…for me.
Exercise is good. Keeps you healthy, I said again.
However, I knew deep down that this was not the reason why I had taken to walking back from work this last week. Even though I won't admit it, I'm hoping that maybe, just maybe I'd see that guy I picked up on that very rainy day. I think I'm…interested in him even though I'd 'known' him for around half an hour.
I squinted up ahead, trying to see if there was any silhouette of a man walking but I could see no-one. Just like yesterday. And the day before.
I sighed. Even if I do see him, what will I do? I mean, it's been ages since I last became interested in a guy and who says he'd be interested in me? I mean, I don't really think I'm that attractive…or attractive at all! Guys don't whistle at me when I pass (not that I want them to), people don't glance at me twice…I'm just what you call a plain ordinary girl.
Always have been and always will be.
I jumped. What the hell?
I looked out towards the road. There sitting on a shiny black motorbike was a man dressed in faded grey jeans and a black button-down shirt. His face was hidden inside a black helmet and the whole bike and man together would have looked very cool if not for the fact that the man's head was inside a black helmet. I had absolutely no idea who he was and immediately began quickening my pace. To think that all these days of 'exercise' had resulted in me getting kidnapped or something even worse.
To my horror, he continued following me and seeing that it was a motorbike it would be simple to change direction if I did so too.
Dammit! I'm doomed!
The sky was turned orange as the sun began setting. It would be dark in around 15minutes and I had another 10minutes of walking to go before I reached my house. Suddenly, I gasped. What would I do when I reached home? Wouldn't that mean that he would know where I live?
I glanced at him and to my surprise, he let out a chuckle from behind the helmet.
I froze. Get on? Get on? Was he crazy?
I stood frozen in the spot as he got off the motorbike and took a step towards me.
And another…and another…and another.
I willed my feet to move but apparently in situations like this, my feet just don't do anything. Such a pity that I had to find out at this time.
"Who…who…who are you?" I stuttered, clutching my bag protectively in front of my chest as he took another step towards me. The guy cocked his head to the side and I'd bet that if there was no helmet, he'd be grinning evilly at my misfortune.
"I…I…I'll scream!" I stammered. Opening my mouth, I decided to do just that until a hand went over my mouth muffling anything I'd say.
"Will you now?" he murmured before dragging me across to his motorbike and me being the stupid coward I was, 'willingly' complied meaning that I was petrified.
He placed me onto the seat of the motorbike and sat behind me so that I would not escape. Revving up the engine, he sped off down the road.
"I have multiple weapons in my jeans, so if you scream…" he left the sentence for me to frightfully ponder about and I immediately zipped my mouth shut.
My hair whipped around my face and I'm sure it caused him a lot of visual trouble seeing as he sometimes had to bend his head over my neck to see. I caught a whiff of his cologne and wondered why he'd be dressed like this for a kidnapping. I mean, have you ever heard of a kidnapper in formal clothing?
I shook my head which caused him to lean around again and I gulped when I realised the proximity of our bodies. Shivering, I wondered where we were off to in the last moments of my life and tried to recall all the happy times I'd spent with my family.
There was my huge 18th birthday party, 2 years ago where the whole family as well as all my friends were invited to. There was that long letter at how happy they were for me as I had been selected into this university. There was that phone call I received on my recent 20th birthday. I sighed sadly, my 21st birthday would probably not be celebrated at this rate.
I looked up expecting to see some gloomy rundown house but saw just the opposite: we were in the car park of some popular looking restaurant.
Turning back to the guy, I frowned. Who is he?
I slowly raised my arm to his helmet and gingerly began pulling it off until I had it all off.
I gasped. There smirking at me-blue eyes dancing with amusement- was the guy I had been wondering about the whole week.
I narrowed my eyes and slapped him on the arm.
"You! You have no idea how freaked out I was!" I shouted while getting off the motorbike. "I thought I was going to die!"
His smirk remained where it was as he got off after me.
"I'm sorry darling."
My anger died a little before it flared up once again at the 15minutes of pure fright I had endured. I humphed and marched towards the restaurant. Seeing as I was here, I might get some food for myself…alone. Now that I finally see him, I wonder why I found him so 'interesting' the first time I met him. He's infuriating!
"Excuse me, Miss. Have you booked?" asked the woman at the entrance.
"Erm…well, you see-"
"Booking for two at 7." I spun around and found him staring past my shoulder, seemingly engrossed in something. I glanced behind me, seeing nothing of interest.
"Excuse me? Booking for two?" I questioned, raising my eyebrow. His eyes flickered towards me.
"Please come this way," interrupted the woman, taking us to somewhere near the back of the restaurant which appeared to be dimmer than the rest of the place.
I sat down and he did the same.
"Why am I here?" I inquired. He stared at me with an undecipherable expression before answering.
"Well, can't I get to know you better?"
"Erm…" Another thought struck me, "Is this a date?"
"What? Of course not!" he said with a laugh, "Like I said, I'd just like to get to know you better."
I felt disappointment cloud in my stomach but didn't let it show because he was watching me intently. Who was he to make me feel like this? I asked, suddenly feeling angry. He only just walked into my life and had already aroused all these emotions inside of me. It…it…it just isn't fair cause he'll leave soon and I'll never see him again. This is just a thank-you dinner…nothing more.
"Errr…," he waved a hand in front of my face, "Are you okay?"
I blinked and realised I had spaced out. "Yeah." What else are you suppose to say to that?
The waitress came along and took our orders. I mulled over what I was going to pick so that I had time to think about what to say to him later.
"So, what's your name?" he asked.
Name? Oh, name! "A-a-amber."
"Oh…Amber," the name rolled off his tongue and for the first time, I decided that I greatly liked my name, "I'm Brendon. Nice to meet you."
"Likewise," I blushed looking down at my empty plate, hoping he couldn't see my face. This was all too formal and by the end of this night, he'd find that I'm one of the dullest people you could ever meet. Prepare for awkward silence No. 76.
I glanced back up and into his eyes. They had changed greatly since I last saw them on that rainy day. They were much more…brighter.
"How's your brother?"
"He's totally fine. When I arrived home, he was upstairs sleeping. Turns out one of my friends had dropped him off there," he smiled at me gratefully and I couldn't help but smile back at him too.
"You know, I'm still in my Starbucks uniform," I said, looking around. Everyone else in the restaurant was wearing semi-formal clothing and I felt left out.
"Don't worry about it. You look fine." I felt my stomach do a million flip flops and warned myself that this wasn't a date…but that didn't help cause the next second I went to compliment him.
"You don't look too bad yourself," I said shyly. Urg, if this continues he's seriously going to suspect that I harbour romantic feelings for him but he just gave me another wide smile.
My nervousness dissolved as the food arrived. We chatted between mouthfuls about anything that crossed our minds: work, uni, family and so forth.
"You got any boyfriends?" he asked casually as we finished dessert.
"I'll pay for half of it," I stated, rummaging through my bag for my purse, not hearing what he had said.
"No, you aren't."
"What? That wouldn't be fair. I ate so much!"
"Nothing compared to what I ate," he said, lounging in his seat. Suddenly, he stood up and grabbed my hand gently, tugging it, "Grab your things."
He pulled me to the front desk and I thought he was going to pay for our meal but to my surprise, he walked right out the door with me.
The cool winter air blew around me as we walked back to his motorcycle, unable to comprehend what he had just done.
"You…You didn't pay!" I hissed, glancing back at the restaurant, expecting the workers to suddenly come running after us.
He took out a leather jacket from a compartment in the motorcycle and climbed on, giving me a cheeky grin.
"I- I- I can't believe you! You didn't pay! How…how could you? We ate like $10 000 dollars worth of food and you just walked out?" I continued rambling, making wild hand gestures. I couldn't believe it, I just had dinner with a thief! Not to mention that near-kidnapping.
"You look cute when you're pissed."
I stopped my rambling and looked at him in astonishment, my mouth wide open.
"How can you say that when you just…just…stole!"
He grinned at me again. "I paid for it beforehand."
I feel sheepish.
He gestured behind me. "Get on."
I did what he said and stared at his back, still feeling very foolish. I mean, here he was offering me a huge dinner at some expensive restaurant and I had just accused him of being a thief.
"I'm sorry," I murmured as he revved up the engine.
"Hey, no big deal. I found it very funny, actually," he laughed, "Hold on tight."
I looked around and saw that because I was sitting at the back, there wasn't any steering handles to hold onto. There was only him.
Hesitantly, I lifted my hands to his waist and placed them lightly on his hips. I felt myself going seven different shades of red as I moved them forward so that they were on his toned stomach- trust me, I could feel it.
We stayed silent and I assumed that we were driving to my home seeing as I had given him the address earlier. He sped past the houses and everything was sort of becoming a blur to me, I was feeling tired. It was past 9pm and I had big day ahead of me tomorrow.
I yawned loudly and rested my head on his back. Closing my eyes, I let out a sigh and tightened my hold around his waist feeling him stiffen before relaxing.
The sound of the wind and the motion of the motorcycle lured me into a light sleep and I gave in easily. Tonight was nice, I thought, except for the near fatal heart attack from the 'kidnapping' and thieving accusation.
I wonder what my best friend, Linda, would say about this if she saw me. I smiled. Something like: "It's about time you got a guy." Well, not that I've gotten him.
Something wet hit me.
I opened my eyes and tiredly straightened up, staring up into the sky.
It was just starting to rain.
Right when I said that, it came pouring down. I glowered at nothing in particular. What was with this change of weather? And we weren't even in a car.
Brendon drove at the same pace, albeit more cautiously. I didn't recognise our surroundings so I assumed we weren't very near my home.
I shivered and moved closer to him. He was warm and I wasn't.
It continued raining and soon my clothes had become all drenched. I sneezed. Without warning, Brendon stopped the motorcycle on the side of the road and got off, leaving me colder than before. To my discomfort, he looked me up and down before staring me in the eye.
"You're cold," he stated simply before taking off his black jacket and handing it over to me. I shook my head.
"No, you have it. Without it you only have"-I pointed at his shirt- "that."
"Nope, I'm perfectly warm with you-"he grinned, "-hugging me so tightly."
I went red for probably the 52nd time and accepted his jacket, putting it while trying not to make anymore eye contact with him. After giving me another once over at my poor state, he climbed onto the bike with me holding onto him once again.
I revelled in the warmth of the jacket and decided to ask him the question that had been plaguing my mind all night.
"Are you sure it wasn't a date?" I enquired once again. I mean, it was altogether very suspicious. How many times have you had a guy, who you hardly knew, take you out to dinner just for the sake of it?
He didn't answer, and I was uncertain whether he heard or not because of the rain. I tried again.
"Was it a date?"
Hmm…still no answer.
Ok, he's still hasn't said anything. I looked carefully over his shoulder into the side mirrors and saw that he was fully concentrated on the road. Or so it seemed.
Oh well, I'll just talk to him like he actually heard me, I thought stupidly.
"I don't mind whether it was a date, Brendon. Really, I don't. I mean, it was very nice and all for you to take me out. Except for probably the kidnapping part and I'd like to apologise again for the fact that I accused you of stealing. And just for the record, if it was a date…I don't mind, like I said. I mean, I guess I really like you and all-"
I did not just say that.
Ok, I know I did. Let's just hope that he did not hear that because of all the rain and stuff.
I let out a deep breath. Yeah, fat chance.
Great, I had to go and ruin everything. I've finally met a nice guy who I reckon I'm sort of 'romantically' interested in and I just had to go and open my big, fat mouth and blurt everything out. No wonder, he's not speaking now. He wants absolutely nothing to do with me after this and is utterly shocked at the fact that such a pathetic girl like me actually likes him.
I stayed silent for the rest of the trip along with him and just let the rain fall on me. I'm gloomy, the rainy weather is gloomy and I'm pretty sure he's gloomy too.
I take back what I said about this being such a fantastic night because it's turned out just the opposite.
We arrived at my home, an extremely small 1-storey brick house. Before he had stopped the engine, I had jumped up and was already halfway up the driveway before a hand stopped me. I turned around slowly.
"Not too eager to get rid of me, hmmm?" he asked, wet form towering over me.
Oh, I guess he just wants his jacket, I realised and immediately took it off, chucking it at his chest.
I turned around, ready to continue going up to the doorway and out of the rain but then found myself pressed up to his chest. I looked up tentatively.
"You want to know something, Amber?" he paused before leaning down closer, "I like you, too."
Those few words make my heart burst and I closed my eyes as he bridged the gap between us. His lips felt soft and tasted like the rain as he kissed him gently. For a while, I just stood there before I slowly began responding. I shivered as he deepened the kiss and he brought his arms around my waist, pushing me closer, while my hands wound their way up to his damp hair.
And just for the update, that was my best kiss.
We broke apart, breathing heavily.
"We must really thank the rain, huh?" he whispered huskily in my ear.
Yes, I thought. We must really thank the rain.
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Wow, my first oneshot! How was it?
This idea came to me last week because it's just been pouring so much here. Anyways, it's onto Project Ashley!