The End Zone

Page 21

“That’s right, mister. No Christmas quickie in the bathroom.”

I hear her voice getting closer, and my cock jerks in appreciation. He always liked pretty things, and she is gorgeous eye candy. My girl, with the Chucks and the strawberry blonde hair who is not afraid to run in the rain for me.

“I’d like to negotiate this part.” I lick my lips, my eyes still closed. I feel her closer. Her heat. Her body. The clack of her heels, which I’ve yet to see.

“I’m sorry. I do not negotiate with terrorists.”

I smirk. “Oh, we’ll see about that by the end of the night.”

“Open,” she says, close enough to me that I can smell her flowery perfume, but not so close that I can feel her breath on my skin. I open my eyes, and she is standing there in a long red dress with a deep slit that exposes a shapely, milky leg. The dress is all velvet, prompting me to want to touch it. To tear it. To fucking eat her out on the floor. But I still want my balls intact when we get to the gala at the Met. She’s wearing minimal makeup—other than her red-hot lips—and a pair of heels where the soles are red. The expensive stuff. What I urged her to buy when I signed the deal with the Raiders, same day I got my suit. Her scarlet lips twitch into a timid smile.

“What do you think?”

“I think you look perfect, but there’s one thing that’s missing. Accessories. Turn around.”

Her eyes widen, but she does as I ask. She turns around, and I open the drawer behind me and produce my gifts for her. I pull her hair up to put her necklace on. Nothing too fancy. A pink gold necklace with one lonely pearl. It takes me a few seconds to fasten it—this is not the movies. It’s real life, and my hands are shaking like a motherfucker.

“Now back to me,” I say. My voice breaks. She turns around. Slowly. So slowly. Super slowly. Why is she so slow? Is this a sign? Shut up, asshole. Just do it.

Very nonchalantly, like it’s not a big deal, like I’m not shitting myself, I slide the ring onto her engagement finger. Like the necklace, it is simple and elegant. Thin, with one diamond sparkling in the middle. Lonely and rare, just like my girl.

I don’t ask; I state.

Jolie Louis’ heart belongs to me. It will always belong to me. It belonged to me the minute she decided to open her rusty window and sneak out of her room to meet me, uninvited, but all the same needed.

She looks down at the ring, and I expect her to frown, maybe ask a question, but no. She doesn’t do any of those things. She looks back up, smiles, and uses her newly adorned left hand to cup my face and pull me close.

Outside, a storm is making the newspapers and trash on the streets of New York dance in circles. Inside, it’s warm. We kiss. Like friends. Like lovers. Like everything in-between.

“I love you, angry boy,” she says, and I answer her with the only thing that pops into my head.

“I love you, brave girl.”

One Year Later

On the eighth beat of silence, she finally opened her mouth.

It was dry, and numb, and painful from smiling all day, but she wanted to utter these words, even if they were the last she’d ever say.

“I, Jolie Alexandra Louis, take you, Sage Albert Poirier, to be my best friend, my faithful partner, and my one true love. You’ll be my storm in the summer, my calm under the winter sky, and all the seasons in-between. To have, to hold, to cherish, and to comfort.” She slid the ring with shaky fingers, their childhood tree standing in the background, wrapped in red and white sateen bows. It was a small ceremony, with only their beloved family members and college friends as witnesses. No matter how much of a superstar the boy grew up to be in his career with the Raiders, they were still the same kids from twelve years ago. Humble. Quiet. In love. In love. So, so in love.

“You may now kiss the bride,” the priest said, his words trickling down the two lovers’ souls, melting like the wedding cake behind them on that hot summer day.

On the eighth second after the girl vowed to give her all to the boy, the boy smirked and said, “Don’t have to tell me twice, sir.” He pulled the veil off of her face, cupped her cheeks, and kissed her so hard he stole her breath away.

People bolted up from their seats, cheering, whistling, laughing, and living in the moment. The girl smiled, reminiscing back to the very first time she summoned the courage to follow the broken boy, to follow her instincts, to follow her heart, and to talk to him.

Their lips moved together in a dance of love and lust. They knew the moves by heart.

On the eighth minute after the ceremony was over, the girl sauntered across the carefully cut grass to her best friend, Chelsea, putting her hand on her shoulder. Chelsea turned around, her date—Mark, whom she was now engaged to—decided to make himself scarce, muttering his congratulations as he walked away. Sage appeared by his new bride’s side, his smile so big, it hit both women like a sunray.

“What’s up?” Chelsea asked. She’d recently moved from Vancouver—where she lived with her fiancé—back to Louisiana, where they were both looking for jobs, eager to settle down.

“What’s your schedule like in eight months?” the girl inquired, butterflies taking flight in her stomach. Chelsea lifted one eyebrow. Sage was on the verge of exploding from happiness. The girl moved her open palm across her white dress, sliding down her flat stomach.

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