It was Saturday night.
I sat at my vanity and incessantly filed my nails like I had any nails to file.
Why was I so nervous?
I was just going out with a guy I’d woken up with after a drinking binge. This said guy was none other than Zachary Hawthorn, who, according to my brother, Kian, was set to be an SFL first round draft pick. When I only gave a shrug at that information, my brother went on a tirade about how Zachary will be the darling of any pro football team and will probably be used as a weapon in trading but will most likely be swiped up by the worst team (the one who gets the first pick.) He actually felt sorry for him.
I didn’t care.
I couldn’t be bothered about football or any sport for that matter.
And here I was about to go out on a date with this star quarterback, not even knowing anything about the game he played.
And worse–I’d told Zachary I’d loved him. Like love at first sight!
Staring at myself in the mirror, I shook my head. “What are you doing, Cheyenne? You’re not compatible. It’d be better if you called the whole thing off.”
When I heard a knock on my door, all my misgivings melted to the floor and were replaced with psychotic butterflies whizzing inside me.
Escorting me out the door, I turned to Zachary and asked, “Where are you taking me, handsome?”
Handsome? Did that really come out of my mouth? I cringed so hard at myself. It was like I’d turned into a goofy fangirl at the sight of his dreamy green eyes and gorgeous body. And with his cocky ego, he didn’t need anyone to fan those self confident flames.
He smirked. “You’ll see.”
I didn’t know why I was surprised that Zachary took me to one of the most luxurious asian restaurants in Del Sol Valley. I could tell he wanted to impress me since he basically had to stalk me to get me to cave into going out with him. Me telling him he’s handsome did nothing to add to my mystique. He probably thought I was gobbledy gook in the palm of his hands.
Laughing nervously, I quipped, “Listen, Zachary, we don’t have to go to an expensive restaurant. I’d be fine with a movie and some waffle fries at Freezer Bunny’s.”
Zachary huffed. “I don’t know how many dates you’ve been on but that doesn’t sound very romantic.”
I shrugged. Sounded fun and romantic to me, but I went along with him anyway.
A hostess brought us to a cozy table where Zachary pulled my chair for me. Wow. So formal!
I bent my head around and said, “Thank you,” trying to stifle those psychotic butterflies.
He caught my eyes and something clicked like time stopped. “Of course,” he said, smiling slightly.
After we’d ordered (I decided to go all out and got the jungle moss egg with lavendar whisps. Go big or go home. Am I right?), Zachary just stared at me, sending nervous jitters through my bones. God, there was something about him that made me quake!
Gripping my hands so they didn’t shake, I said, “What? Do I have spinach on my face or something?”
He leaned in. “I didn’t get a chance to tell you the other night but you were absolutely fantastic. You’ve got real talent as an actress.”
That caught me off guard. I wasn’t used to compliments. Just thinking about my future sent me into a spiraling caldron of anxiety. I plopped my face on my hand. “Tell that to the next casting agent. Do you know how hard it is just to get a read for a commercial?”
He shrugged. “You’ve got connections. Use them.”
I shook my head. “That’s not how you make it. Sure, I could use my grandfather to get in the door, but that won’t get you the part.” I sighed. “Acting isn’t much different from football. You’ve got to practice, practice, practice to win.”
He smirked. “But they never tell you that in football, you can practice all you want but it takes talent to win. You’ve got that talent.”
When I didn’t say anything he added, “Speaking of which. When are you coming to my next game? You stood me up last time.”
His face fell.
I giggled inside. He looked so cute. “Okay…I promise I’ll come next week and see you beat my university’s pathetic team. My brother is decidedly a turncoat. He says since I’m going out with you, he’s forever a lobster. I’ve got you to blame if he gets wrapped in duct tape and dunked in the pond by his fraternity brothers.”
That made him laugh.
For the rest of the evening, we got to know each other a bit better. He was the sixth child of a long line of very talented, overly competitive brothers. But he was also the only one who stuck with football. Every last brother who started in the game when they were young burned out by the time they’d reached college and decided to move on to other things–computers, insurance, graphic design, real estate, and one brother even took to ghost hunting off the coast of Brindleton Bay. I didn’t even know that was a thing!
After we ate and drank and laughed our asses off, Zachary pinned me down with a stare and asked, “Want to dance?”
The place was deserted as there was no dj–just some pleasant tunes coming from the ceiling.
Pulling me close to him, he said, “Come here.”
He had a look on his face like he was trying to tell me something.
And I didn’t know if it was the dinner or his yummy masculine cologne or the old 90’s music drifting through the air, but before I could stop myself, I touched my lips to his in a delicious kiss.
Pulling back, I said, “That was our first kiss, okay? The ones that I can’t remember don’t count.”
“Even when you said you loved me?” he asked.
“Especially that!” I teased.
Pulling away, he said, “You’re wounding my ego.”
Laughing, I said, “I think your ego is so huge it can handle it.”
Yes, this story is back! And I plan on doing weekly updates. I’ve been planning this story all year so I should be able to pump it out on time. YAY!
And thanks for hanging in there with me. 2020 was rough but I can see clear skies in 2021!