*I just updated my re-dos of the Prologue (not to much change with this one) and Chapter One!
This story is rated M for strong language, semi-explicit sex (maybe) and some violence (possibly)...
Like many little girls I spent most of my time day dreaming about my future and what it would hold. One day particularly consumed my thoughts. My wedding day. The time I spent thinking about it, surpassed absurdity by a landslide. In fact, even after all these years, every little detail was still alarmingly fresh in my memory. Even though it was only a figment of my imagination.
The reoccurring color scheme of pink and white. Just everywhere. My ivory tulle ball gown with sheer straps and an asymmetrically draped shirt. An elegant square neckline and a pale pink sash circling my waist to complete the dress. The single tier veil placed on my head of perfectly curled locks. Not to mention my beautiful bouquet of pink and white little (of course). The ceremony taking place in, none other than, the very church my parents wed in years ago. As I would pass each of the pew, I'd recognize the hundreds of emotional relatives and friends supporting me on my big day. Finally at the front, waiting for me, my groom; Johnny Depp.
'Twas a wistful day when I discovered marrying Johnny Depp wasn't exactly feasible. After Johnny I had difficulty picturing the man that would hold my heart forever. Even as I got older and began dating, my beau's couldn't fill the blank face. Something was always in the way. His face was blurred, I was dragged back into reality, someone absurdly objected before the wedding even began, etcetera.
I just couldn't shake the growing sensation in the pit of my stomach. The one that insisted I would end up alone with twenty cat. Though, I guess I wouldn't be entirely alone. All I knew was that there was no such prince charming with his gallant horse on his way to save me. And just when I had thrown my arms up in defeat, ready to live a desolate and gloomy life, Parker caught me by surprise.
He literally caught me.
I sat across from the most disgusting man on the universe. How did I end up on a date with him? I watched in utter revulsion as Henry Wallaby chewed his salad, with his mouth open, spitting food in my direction as he spoke. He seemed to be oblivious to my are you serious? glare. He was blabbing on about his job at Best Buy, something about a promotion. He seemed almost impressed with himself. I, on the other hand, really didn't give a crap. I desperately wanted the horrendous date to end. This couldn't get any worse.
Henry continued his never ending rant, still masticating obnoxiously, when his right hand slowly creeped towards his pants. Oh, God. I swallowed roughly, as he made it clear to me that he was fully aware of the fact I could see what he was doing. Henry slipped his hand inside his pants and gave himself a scratch. A long and good scratch. He suggestively raised an eyebrow at me then proceeded to grab a breadstick.
With that same hand!
No. This had to be some kind of cruel, cruel joke. One of which I failed to find any humor in. I rested my elbow on the table, pinching the bridge of my nose while I picked up my glass of wine with my other hand. I tipped the glass back, emptying the entire contents into my system.
Unfortunately there was not enough alcohol in the world to remove this painful image from my memory. This moment would most likely scar me for life.
Finally having had enough, I discretely clicked a button on my phone making it beep.
"Sorry, one second," I muttered, pretending to read a text. I feigned disappointment in my expression. "Shoot. I'm going to have to go. My roommate is locked out. Thanks for dinner! Sorry I can't stay." More like sorry I didn't think of the genius plan sooner. I quickly bolted towards the nearest exit. I head him call after me, but I couldn't look back. Nor did I want to. I knew I'd either feel guilty or sick and I definitely wasn't willing to find out.
I threw the restaurant door open, huffing in frustration as I stepped foot on my New York streets. Another train wreck of a date. Why did they always seem normal when they asked me out? I knew that was a question I'd never find the truth to.
I stopped by the store only a few minutes from my apartment to seek out the only men who knew how to please a woman properly.
Ben and Jerry.
The rest of my night would consist of me, three pints of Cherry Garcia and The Notebook. Oh, and how could I forget my tears of jealously? I sighed, sulking my way through the store, finding the isle I sadly knew too well. My eyes and mind were completely focused on retrieving the only pleasure I'd be having for the evening, but apparently the universe was against that. Suddenly my feet were flying up to eye level and before I could register what was happening, it was too late. I squeezed my eyes shut waiting for my back to hit the ground.
Except it never happened. Instead I felt two strong arms beneath my back, holding me up. I slowly opened my eyes focusing on the handsome man, now pulling me into a standing position.
"Are you okay?" His beautiful voice made me completely forget the ability to form words. I was staring. And stare I did for a whole three minutes before I decided to answer him.
"Yeah. I, um. Well... I... now. Thanks."
I swear I have the full intention of there being English in that sentence. He laughed softly at my idiotic state, only distracting me further. His hand lingered on my arm. My eyes flicked down acknowledging his touch. He must have thought it made me uncomfortable because he pulled his hand away. While inside I was screaming, "No! Please, touch me more!" My dirty thoughts were unstoppable. I mentally slapped myself and demanded my body to act normally.
"Sorry. I guess that was more traumatic than I thought. Thanks for catching me," I mumbled lamely. I silently thanked the universe that I hadn't actually had the three pints of ice cream in my arms. It would have only made him think I was an imbecile and a pig. His smokey grey eyes stared thoughtfully into my generic brown ones, making the butterflies in my stomach flutter. I habitually tucked a strand of my strawberry blonde hair behind my ear.
"No problem. I couldn't let a beautiful girl like you land in that mess." He shrugged and gestured towards the grape juice splattered on the floor beside us.
And just like that the man had my heart and I didn't even know his name. Not only did he save me from an incredibly embarrassing disaster, but he called me beautiful. What more could a girl ask for?
He reached out his hand. "I'm Parker Keys."
"Nora. Nora Duval," I replied as I shook his hand slowly. Who am I? James Bond? God. He either didn't notice or didn't care he was introducing himself to a moron. He smiled down at me, flashing his pearly whites. He had to be a model of some sort.
We began walking, carrying on with our grocery shopping. Together. We conversed for a half hour. Yes, that's right, I was finally able to articulate. I picked up only one Cherry Garcia and a few other unnecessary items. We exchanged numbers and went our separate ways. I couldn't help but feel slightly deflated that he hadn't asked me out. I thought we had really hit it off. My phone rang and I answered it without checking the caller I.D.
"Hi. This is Parker. Parker Keys. I know it's been ages since we last spoke, but I was wondering if you'd like to go out to dinner with me tomorrow night?" If I wasn't in public walking home I would have danced in triumph. I bit my lip and teased him.
"Hmmm. Parker Keys? Ah, yes! I remember you..." I heard him laugh airily. "I'd love to," I finished.
From that moment on, I was his.
It was impossible not to fall for Parker. If you were to look up the term "perfect" in the dictionary, you'd find Parker Keys to be the definition. His dark hair was short and trim. His jaw was shaven clean. He looked as if he had stepped out of a magazine with the clothes he wore. Oh, no. The perfection did not stop there. Parker Keys wasn't just a pretty face, ladies and gentlemen. He was smart. Top of his graduating class. He was polite. His etiquette went above and beyond please and thank you. He was reliable. His number one pet peeve was failing to follow through. He was giving. Parker was always donating what he could to charities and volunteering when he was available.
There was so much more, but above all else, he loved me. And in eight weeks.
One thousand, one hundred and forty-one hours.
Sixty-eight thousand, four hundred and sixty minutes.
Whatever measurement of time you wanted to use, I would officially be Nora Keys.