The hair on the back of my neck suddenly stood on end as I found my through the crowded resturant. My muscles stiffened but I forced myself to keep walked as I knew what had caused such a reaction.
Someone was watching me.
I didn't know how I knew or why anyone would be watching me but I knew. I could feel their eyes embedded in between my shoulders as I walked. I suddenly felt self concious in the shirt choice I had thrown on. The black lace that covered my back didn't feel as awesome as it did when I first put it on in my bedroom. I wanted to turn right back around and get out of there but of course, I caught the eyes of my friend I was there for.
"Adeline!" Isabelle called as she waved her hand, "We're over here!"
I forced a smile on my face and dug my heel into the ground as I walked. I was not going to let some stupid superstition ruin my eighteenth birthday. Hell, I was going to have one fun time. At that thought, the smile plastered on my face became real.
"Hey gurl! Wassup!?" Antonie drawled as he got up to let her in the booth.
"Well, the sky obviously but I'll let you slip this time." I said, letting my voice drip with sarcasm. Antonie rolled his eyes but the grin tracing his lips was priceless.
Isabelle rolled her eyes with Antonie and asked, "So how does it feel to be in the land of an adult?"
I shuddered dramatically, "Well, I don't know yet. How 'bout we order some drinks and then I'll tell you."
"Ohhh somebody's gonna get in trouble tonight!" Antonie whooped before calling a waitress over to our table. I couldn't help but notice how he oogled over the cute blonde that came sauntering over, obviously looking for some good tips.
She took our orders with a small smile in Antonie's direction. At that, I rolled my eyes.
The feeling washed over me again but I shook it off. This was my night and only mine. No creepy feeling coming out of nowhere would scare me away from having a good time. I did, however, glance around, trying to get some clue as to who was watching me. No such luck. No mysterious person in a hood popped out at me and I almost groaned at the fact.
The waitress found her way back over with our drinks and set them all in front of us. I thanked her and shoved Antonie as he gaped at her.
"Goodness dude, give the lady some space." I said, laughing as he watched her hips sway from side to side as she strode away.
"Space? Ha! I laugh at the notion os space." He chuckled as he scooted closer to me, throwing his arm around my shoulder.
I pretended that I was going to vomit as I choked out, "Take a shower dude, sheesh."
He grinned mischieviously and I groaned as I knew what was coming, "Only if you join me."
"Ewwww! Get a room!" Isabelle exclaimed
"Hell no! In his dreams is all I can say," I said, laughing at Antonie's hurt look, "Damn, let me have my first legal sip of alcohol.
We all lifted up our glasses as we toasted to my birthday. I took a gulp of my Corona beer and revelled in the cold, icy grip as it slid down my throat. I sighed contentedly as I opened my eyes. My heart nearly stopped when they were met with a pair of watchful, dark brown eyes. I nearly choked as I looked away quickly. My spine felt as if a thousand spiders had just crawled up it and resided at the back of my neck.
"You ok gurl? You look like you just saw a ghost." Antonie asked me, concern evident in his voice as he took his arm away from my shoulder.
I smiled, trying to reassure myself more than him, and said with a chuckle, "Yeah, I'm good. Just weird being able to go out with you guys without asking for permission."
Antonie's black complexion did nothing to hide the look of disbelief on his face but he didn't press the issue. A lock of his curly hair fell into his eye and he flicked his head to get rid of the irritation. I smile at him again, hoping to fool them.
I glanced back to where the man had stood but he was no longer there. For some reason, I just knew that I was not going to walk home alone tonight.
The evening went on and we tlked and laughed and of course, drank. Antonie wouldn't let me only have beer on my birthday so I eventually moved on to rum. My best but worst nightmare. My favourite drink but it seemed to take hold of me more than the other alcohols. Much to his knowledge too.
By the time we left the resturant and said good-bye, I completely forgot about my earlier thoughts of not going home alone. I swayed slightly as I fumbled for my phone with the intentions of calling a cab. I groaned aloud as I dropped it on the cement sidewalk.
I went to go pick it up but the sidewalk seemed to pull me towards it faster than I thought it would. I yelped as a strong ar caught me by the waist and lifted me back onto my feet.
"Here, let me." A strong, masculine voice resounded in my head. I looked up to catch his blue eyes and I immedietely noticed the spray of freckles on his nose and cheeks.
He steadied me with one arm as he swooped down to pick up my phone with the other. Despite not having a clear head, I felt my cheeks warm as his arm never left my waist. How could I be so stupid?
"Here you go," he said, handing me my phone, "look at that it didn't crack." His chuckled washed over me like a breath of warm air. Nope...that was his breath on my neck, I suddenly realized.
"Uhh, thank you. I should be ok now." I stuttered as I pushed my fingers to hold my head. I took a step away from him and swayed, unbalanced. Damn, I hated alcohol.
"Are you sure? Would you like me to call a cab for you?" He asked, his voice so soothing and concerned.
I realized that to try call a cab and give them an address to pick me up at was going to be hell. As long as this dude didn't offer to escort me home, it would be fine to let him do this for me.
"Um, sure." I replied simply, finding my way to the bench to sit on. It felt quite nice not having to rely on my feet to keep me up. The damn heels didn't help my sense of imbalance either. I tried to fumble with the straps at my feet but couldn't get my fingers to work. I sighed frustratedly and gave up as the man started walking back to me after finishing the phone call.
He chuckled and bent down to un-do my shoes. I blushed ferociously as his hand came into contact with my leg. They were surprisingly soft to the touch even though I could feel the callouses that laced them.
I started to protest as he did so but he simply said, "It's ok, m'lady. It's the least I can do."
What kind of sick joke was this? M'lady? This was Isabelle's doing. She'd hired this guy to take me home for my eighteenth birthday. Suddenly, I felt a rage. She knew how I felt about that stuff and this is what she does?
I shuffled my feet away from him and let my voice tell him exactly what I felt, "Look here, dude, I don't know what you're playing at but you will not be getting any of this." I stuck my finger in his face for full effect but all he did was smile at me; his teeth annoying perfect.
"I'm not trying anything on you. I can leave if you want me to." He said genuinely. Well, to me it sounded genuine but with the way my brain was not working, who really knew.
Every inch of me wanted to say that he could go, but something about this stunning stranger made me let him stay. He chuckled which was unnerving but I didn't put much thought into it. To be honest, I didn't have enough brain power to.
He sat beside me and took this as an opportunity to really look at him. He was beautiful. His shaggy brown hair fell into his blue, blue, eyes slightly but he didn't seem to notice. He was bigger but not with anything but muscle. Just looking at him, I could feel my girlish heart beat faster. Damn though, his hands were massive. One could probably just bury both of mine.
My eyes shot up to his and I instantly felt embarrased as he watched me check him out. I hated alcohol. I would never do this again. A lie but the thought in itself comforted me.
"It's ok," he chuckled, "You don't seem like that type of girl when you're sober."
When I was sober? What did he mean by that? Had he seen me before? Oh my gosh...he was a stalker.
I jumped up suddenly, impressing myself that I didn't keel over in the process, and screeched, "You've been watching me!?"
His eyes went wide with surprise, "What? No, no, no, that's not what I meant. I just meant that from what I can tell of you from just now. I didn't mean to freak you out." He took my arm gently and helped me sit back down.
Ugh, what a birthday this has been.
Although he claimed he wasn't a stalker, I still made sure I was at the very edge of the bench. I didn't want to make him feel welcome to something he wasn't welcome to. Had that happen a couple times and getting myself out of it sucked. The worst part was having to tell the guy over and over and over again that no, I was not interested.
Finally, my blurry eyes could see the yellow of a cab pulling up.
I stood up unsteadily and looked at the man who had helped me, "Well, thank you for assisting me in my own stupidity. I think I should manage from here."
"Anytime," he chuckled as I began walking away, "Hey, I never caught your name."
I stopped and looked back at him with a grin, "That's because I never gave it, idiot."
He raised his eyebrows at this but wasn't deterred, "I asked for your name."
"Adeline," I said, rolling my eyes, "And yours is?"
"It's Dustin," He said, taking my hand and pressing his lips gently onto it, "It was a pleasure to meet you, Adeline."
I smiled and brushed my brown hair out of my face, "And you as well, Dustin."
He turned and walked away. I watched for a second and blushed as he turned his head, winked, and strutted away. What an ass. He knew he was attractive.
I rolled my eyes and instantly regretted it as it sent my head spinning. I stumbled over to the cab and got in shakily. I gave the driver my address and laid my head back the whole drive. My apartment building came looming ahead of me sooner than I thought it would and I quickly paid and got to the steps.
Opening the door to my apartment on the seventh floor, I threw my keys down on the stand to the right. Barking rang in my ears as my big German Sheperd, Riley, came running to the door. I threw my hand to my head and tried to shush him. He eventually calmed down and just started sniffing my legs like crazy. Probably the smell of the street he was interested in.
I shuffled past him and made my way to my bedroom. Water seemed like a waste of time at that point so I went to my bed, laid down and blacked out as soon as my head hit the pillow. No thought of the oddities that befell me came to me. I was dead to the world.