Twisted Love

By: R. Linda

Glancing wearily around the room, my eyes landed on Ray. He was leaning against the far wall with a beer in his hand. He was watching Lucy approach me with a grin on his face; he’d followed me down here because he wanted to check out who she was, see the girl I’d been telling him about for weeks. With a nod of his head, he tilted his beer up in my direction, a sign of approval, and downed the rest of his drink before he turned and left through the side door. He wasn’t leaving; I knew that much. He’d hang around the car park and wait for me to go. He always did. Always wanted to make sure I got home safely. He never allowed me out of his sight for too long—he was protective like that.

“Hendrix.” Lucy grinned as she reached my booth. “This is becoming a habit of yours. I thought you had left already.” She laughed and took a seat opposite me. I stubbed out my cigarette and picked up my whiskey again.

“Well, there’s a girl here. Beautiful girl. The face of an angel,” I told her truthfully. I smiled when her breath caught in her throat; she knew I was talking about her. Her eyebrows lifted slightly in surprise, though. “I just can’t stay away. I want to take her out, get to know her better, but I'm too scared to ask. What if she rejects me? So, I just keep coming back, hoping she will give me a clue.”

The fear was real. I’d never asked a girl on a date before, and everything relied on her feelings toward me. She had to like me, she had to be attracted to me and want to date me. If not, everything I had worked for over the past few weeks would be for nothing. It had to go in my favour. There was no other option.

“She’d be crazy to reject you, Hendrix. You’re a great guy; friendly, handsome too.” She lowered her gaze to the table as she said that, a blush appearing on her cheeks. She thought I was great, and handsome too, even with the scruffy stubble along my jaw and a bruise under my eye.

Tonight was definitely the night.

It had to be tonight. I couldn’t wait any longer. Couldn’t risk anyone else beating me to it, especially him.

“Maybe you should buy her a drink or ask her to dance; start small.” Lucy glanced up at me through her dark lashes.

“You’re right; I will.” I stood up and began to step away from the table, noticing the small frown on her face as I did so. I turned back to the table and extended my hand toward her, a thrill of excitement rushing through me when her eyes widened in surprise. She bit her bottom lip while looking at me in confusion. “Lucinda,” I started to say, but she shook her head.

“How many times do I have to tell you? Call me Lucy.”

“At least once more.” I smiled and laughed when she rolled her eyes. She hated when I called her by her full name. “Lucinda, will you dance with me?”

“Only if you call me Lucy,” she teased.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. “Fine. Lucy, will you dance with me?”

“I thought you’d never ask.” She placed her delicate hand in mine and stood up, a small smile already forming on her lips. I hoped she didn’t notice how nervous I was. She was the first girl I’d ever willingly asked to dance.

It was easier than I expected though. I led her onto the dance floor and wrapped my arms around her waist. Unsure of what else to do, I started to sway my hips to the music, hopefully in time with the beat. I hated dancing and had never actually approached a girl before. I’d never had a girlfriend—that I wanted. I’d only had ones my father had approved of and chosen. Strict was an understatement, but I understood why he was so protective. He’d lost so much in his life, and he was paranoid of losing me. Hopefully, if things went well with Lucy, he’d care for her the way I already did. Four weeks and I was absolutely taken with her. Bewildered. Her hands found their way around my neck and she began to move with me. She smelled incredible, like honey, and her body fit against mine perfectly. We were made for each other.

The song ended too soon. She pulled away with a small smile.

Reluctantly, I released my grip on her waist. I was caught off guard when she entwined her fingers with mine and started leading us back to the table. She threw a shy smile over her shoulder as we pushed through the sweaty bodies on the dance floor.

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