Sisters of Midnight:Dark Moon
Author: Kimberly Diaz

Chapter 16
Chapter 16

Chapter 16

Finally-Saturday. I was relieved that this week was almost over. Cyndi seemed to be avoiding me at school, probably because she was afraid of what I might do next. I knew she hadn’t gotten over losing Nick or Homecoming Queen. Without Brock and Tony though, she didn’t seem too threatening and Nick was getting to come back to school on Monday.

I worked the last two days after school, only getting to talk to Nick on the phone. Now, I was in my bedroom getting ready for our first ‘official’ date. We had been together nearly two weeks but this was our first full week as a couple.

Even though I’d known him for so long, I was still a nervous wreck trying to find the perfect outfit. He wouldn’t tell me where he was taking me but he was intent on making good on his promise for us to have a normal weekend and take me out. I was picking him up since the police still had his car, but he was going to drive.

“He’s seen you everyday for like two years, he’s not going to care what you’re wearing.”

I looked to Emily for back-up. Rachel was my best friend, but she was pretty clueless when it came to guys. Tracey, Rachel and Emily were all there for moral support and, of course, clothing advice.

“This dress is hot,” Tracey pulled a tiny black dress out of my closet, holding it against her and swaying in front of the full size mirror inside the open closet door.

“Yeah it‘s hot, but I need to be able to walk-I can barely breathe in that dress.”

“Then you’ll have a good excuse to take it off,” Emily giggled.

I threw one of my pillows at her. “Honestly! I thought you were all here to help me feel less nervous.”

“Why are you nervous?” Tracey inquired. “You’ve been with Nick for two weeks. You said yourself that he knows more about you than any guy you’ve ever dated.”

“Because, you guys-it’s Nick. Sometimes I feel like getting with him has just been a wonderful dream, that I’ll wake up any second and it will all be over. It’s not just that,” I admitted.

I was about to tell them something that up until now, I hadn’t let myself think about. “He stayed with me last Saturday, after seeing things that would send most guys running the other way. All that after saving me from the guy I kissed in front of him the night before. And now he’s been accused of trying to kill Tony. All because of me. The other night, when I showed him my power, he didn’t even freak out at all. And I lied to him.”

That last statement I spoke in a whisper. I told them about going to the beach. Nick hadn’t told Rachel about her unintentional involvement in my lie.

“You were scared Faith,” Rachel said softly. “You’d never hurt him or lie without good reason.”

I breathed in slowly, trying to stop the tears that I knew wanted to come out. I hadn’t seen Rafe since that day, California being as big as it was; I was certain I’d never see him again.

I pushed the memory back down. Even my friends didn’t know about my accidental betrayal. I felt that if I never talked about it, then I could pretend it never happened. I was too ashamed to tell my friends that I’d been frozen in shock while a strange guy, one who was illegally attractive, kissed me on the beach and then disappeared.

Oh, why couldn’t I stop thinking about it? That dazzling white smile was burned inside my brain. I looked at the clock. Four thirty! Nick would be expecting me in half an hour.

I finally settled on a multicolored jewel toned slip dress in a satiny material and some calf length leggings, topped off with ballet flats. I sprayed the contents of a heart shaped perfume bottle on my pulse points-wrists, neck and cleavage-inhaling the spicy sweet aroma. My hair was wavy and loose, framing my face.

I was dressed up enough to be able to go to a nice restaurant, but comfortable and casual enough to do lots of walking around, depending on what we’d be doing.”

Still experiencing the uneasy feeling from earlier, Rachel said what I knew to be true. “Nick loves you. He’s a confident guy who knows what he wants. That’s why nothings he’s seen has scared him off.”

“I guess I keep thinking it’s too good to be true, that once he learns how evil I am-”

“What!” they shouted.

Emily put down the dress she had in her hands. “Is that what’s really been bothering you? You think you’re evil because of last Saturday?”

Tracey was shaking her head. “What happened to Tony is not your fault. We got these powers for a reason-to stop whatever is causing all this trouble.”

“You don’t understand! I wanted to hurt Cyndi with that doll!” I yelled.

“Lots of people want to hurt Cyndi. She’s been hateful to you for a long time. It’s only human what you felt. Don’t confuse your natural reaction to her threats for something it’s not.”

“I guess you’re right.”

I looked in the mirror in front of me, pleased with my reflection, and added some gloss to my coral lips. My cheeks had a natural flush of excitement to them. I tried to visualize myself as beautiful and confident. I wanted to be the selfless person Nick thought I was.

“The way he talks about me sometimes, it’s like he has me up on a pedestal, like he thinks I’m perfect. I just want to be worthy of his love.”

“I’m sure he sees that Faith and that’s why he doesn’t let the bad stuff get in the way.” Tracey said.

“He is amazing, isn’t he?” I gushed, unable to keep the elation out of my voice.

They traded wicked grins.

“Is he?” Emily teased. “I guess you’ll probably find out tonight, right?”

I shrugged in what I hoped was a casual gesture. “I’m not sure what we’re doing tonight. Of course I want to, but I just want everything to be perfect for our first time. I guess what I mean is, I want to wait until all the problems with Tony and the cops have been resolved. Then I’ll be able to relax and Nick and I can truly be together.”

Tracey tried to reassure me. “If they haven’t pressed charges against him yet, I doubt they will; not with lack of evidence and Tony being so adamant that Nick wasn’t the one.”

I knew she was right. Tony was still in the hospital but was doing much better, physically anyway. He slept more than usual because of the painkillers and he was still having nightmares. During work yesterday, I’d snuck in to see him once more, to tell him we still had no leads. He kept apologizing to me for the dance and promised to get his parents to lay off Nick. With Tony refusing to implicate Nick, there wasn’t much the police could do.

I took one more look at my appearance and spun away from the mirror in an exaggerated move. “Thanks for your help guys,” I said to my friends as they walked me out.

“Call us tomorrow,” Emily made me promise. “We want a full report, no editing.”

“Bye.”

I was still smiling as I reached Nick’s street, thinking, for once, about all the good things happening in my life. I had great friends, a caring mom, a job that provided me with much needed spending money, and a guy I loved more than anything in the world; who, after just a short amount of time together, made me believe he felt the same about me.

***

He took my breath away when he opened the door and I noticed how good-looking he really was. I tried not to be obvious as I looked him up and down, his eyes doing the same to me except bolder, not at all trying to hide what he was doing. His dark jeans hugged his hips and the black button up he wore was unbuttoned just enough to show a hint of the hard muscle underneath.

A glimpse was all I needed to recall a day last month when I had seen him working out at practice without his shirt on, how those hard muscles had glistened in the sunlight and I’d ached to touch him.

He reached a hand out towards me, caressing my cheek with his thumb. “Hey beautiful, I’ve missed you.” The depth of emotion in his voice caught me by surprise. He moved the hand up to touch my hair and I lifted my chin slightly, reacting to his gentleness.

My lips parted of their own volition as I breathed in the woodsy scent of his skin mingled with soap-a hot combination. My heart was thrumming in my chest and I was sure he could hear my breathing accelerate in reaction to the attraction I felt.

“Nick…” I meant my voice to sound calm and casual, but it came out in a soft whisper instead. His fingers ran down the length of a piece of hair as if to push it back from my face and then suddenly his fingers were tangled at the back of my head, pulling it back gently.

He crushed his lips to mine. I met them with a hunger of my own, parting mine under his expert movements. I sighed against his lips and brought a hand up to put on his chest, meaning to keep us from getting too carried away and giving the neighbors a thrill. Somehow, I ended up running my hand up and down his chest, seeing the shirt as an unnecessary barrier between us.

Without stopping, he turned us so I was pressed up against the doorway for support. One of his hands on the small of my back, the other still in my hair.

“Nick,” I breathed as his lips moved to my neck. I cupped my hand around his neck to keep him there. I wanted him more now than I had during the two years when he had been clueless about my feelings. What had I been telling my friends about waiting?

Nick reluctantly pulled away as if he could read my thoughts. He chuckled when he heard my small sound of disapproval and saw the pout on my face. “I promised you a real date. I don’t want you to think I can’t keep my promises.”

I looked up at him from my warm haze, determination in my eyes. “I know one promise you can keep.”

“Believe me, I’m so tempted. But we have somewhere to be.”

My eyes lit up. “Where?”

I was rewarded with a kiss on the tip of my nose for my impatience. “I’ve been waiting to take you out for two years, you won’t get it out of me that easy.”

I ran my fingers down the open collar of his shirt and re-buttoned the two buttons I hadn’t even realized I’d undone.

“I guess it’s a good thing one of us has some self-control,” I only halfway joked.

His eyes almost shut as I pressed soft kisses to the exposed skin of his collarbone. “Yeah? Well, mine’ll be all gone in a minute if I let you keep doing that.”

I kissed him one more time. “I’d apologize, but I’m not sorry. I love being able to do things with you that I only dreamed about before.”

It was unspoken between us as we got ready to leave that the subject of Tony or Cyndi was off limits. This night would only be about the two of us. He grabbed his leather jacket from the hook by the door and eyed me thoughtfully.

“What, Nick?” My heart was still racing.

“At the risk of sounding like a selfish jerk, I just want you to know that the tickets in my pocket…” he patted his chest pocket, “…are the only thing stopping me from trying to take you up there.” He jerked his head toward the stairs.

I bit my lip nervously as I fought the urge to tell him to do what he’d just said. “We’d better go now then.”

He hesitated for a second, as if debating with himself, before pulling the door shut and leading me to the car.

***

I loved that my Jetta was an automatic, letting Nick keep one hand free to hold mine. I looked at him sideways as he drove, seeing a secretive smile on his face that was making me crazy curious.

“So you won’t tell me where we’re going, huh? But I know you need tickets. Which way are we headed?”

“About thirty minutes up the coast,” he replied without giving anything away.

San Francisco, I thought.

We rolled down the windows and soon I could feel the cool air coming in from off the ocean. Nick cranked up the stereo, popping in a CD that I hadn’t noticed he had brought with us.

“Hey, this is that song I told you I wanted to download!” It was by a popular Hip Hop artist-great dance songs.

He looked pleased with himself. “Now you don’t have to, you have the whole CD.”

My eyes brightened at his thoughtfulness. “Thank you, Nick.”

“I’m glad to do anything that makes you look at me that way.”

I relaxed against the plush seat, enjoying the music as we drove. Quickly, I might add. Nick still had a lead foot, even in my car. We were in San Francisco before I knew it. Soon, we were pulling into a familiar parking lot.

I looked at him suspiciously. “Out of all the restaurants in the Bay area, how did you manage to find my all time favorite?”

“Would you believe I can read minds?”

I gave him a look that said ‘Yeah, right’.

“I’ve always heard you talk about ‘The Waterfront’ and I wanted to bring you here. I asked your mom where it was.”

I looked incredulous. “You did?” Nick asking her about my favorite restaurant wasn’t what surprised me. What surprised me was how calm she had been when I told her that Nick and I were going out tonight. I think it was because she knew she could count on Nick not to let anything hurt me. Since the discovery of Tony’s body and finding us together Tuesday morning, she had been less then enthusiastic about our relationship, even though she tried to hide it. I hated to think it was because she was afraid there was some truth to what people were speculating about Nick.

“Yeah. And now that I see it, I understand why you love this place.” It meant so much to me that Nick was willing to ask her for advice. I made a mental note to thank her for making an effort to show Nick she was trying to be supportive.

I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “You’re amazing Nick. Let’s go in.” I was so happy I practically leapt out of the car.

I felt a charge of electricity as Nick took my hand in his; one touch was all I needed to send my pulse racing again, reminding me of what almost happened at his house. What would’ve happened if he hadn’t had tickets.

“Hungry?” His smooth voice intruded on my thoughts.

“Mm hm,” I answered, not thinking about food at all.

When we went in, we were greeted immediately and Nick flashed his charming smile at the hostess as he gave his name.

She ran her finger down the list of reserved names in front of her. “Oh, that’s right,” she said knowingly, and winked at him, sending a small flutter of jealousy through me. It went away when I noticed that Nick’s eyes still on me.

She led us upstairs and out the French doors to a corner table overlooking the ocean. The sun was just beginning to set, giving the sky a golden glow that was reflected on the water. The San Francisco Bay was in plain view and the bridge was lit up, its lights reflecting on the ocean as well. It was much more romantic coming here with Nick then with my parents, who used to take me here often.

“It’s beautiful,” I breathed.

“You’re beautiful,” he whispered close to my ear as he pulled the chair out for me to sit down. The manager stopped at our table and handed me a bouquet of roses. “From your date.”

“Wow,” muttered our sultry brunette waitress. “There aren’t many guys like that out there. Better hang on to him.” I didn’t miss the way she blatantly admired his body. I reached up to caress his cheek before he took his seat next to me.

“Don’t worry,” I told the flirtatious girl, “I plan to make sure he never wants to be anywhere else. Thank you Nick.”

That shut her up. Nick hid a smug smile and cleared his throat as she practically threw my menu down in front of me. “Your waiter will be right with you.” She turned on her heel quickly, glancing once more at Nick before walking away.

He had an amused look on his face when I looked at him. “What?”

“You’re cute when you’re jealous.”

“It’s not that,” I fibbed, pretending to be engrossed in the menu. “I didn’t appreciate her eyeing you like you were an item on the dessert menu.”

He nodded, still looking amused. “I understand. You were just trying to keep me from being degraded and treated like a sex object.”

I tried to keep my face serious. “Right.”

He leaned in close to me. “Just so you know, you can look at me like that anytime. You know I only want you.”

“I know,” I answered confidently. “I was just making sure that she knew.” When I heard his lighthearted laugh, I knew going out this weekend had been the right decision. Our waiter appeared then and we ordered.

“I’m really glad you’re not the salad and diet soda type. It’s annoying when girls don’t eat real food.”

“I don’t believe in depriving myself.”

“That’s good.” His low voice and the desire in his eyes sent a nervous flutter through me again. I’d noticed that other than the night we initially revealed our feelings, he wasn’t shy about how he felt or what he wanted. Adrenaline rushed through my veins as it always did when we had these suggestive conversations. “You should be able to have anything you want.”

“Including you?”

“Especially me.” He pushed back my hair and kissed my neck. I sucked in a breath when he found a particularly sensitive spot. “Maybe I was wrong in insisting on keeping our plans to go out.” His breath was hot on my skin.”

“Oo, no you weren’t.” I giggled as his hand closed over mine, stopping me just before I reached into his shirt pocket.

He feigned outrage. “Were you just trying to distract me so you could see the tickets?”

“Distract you? You kissed me!”

“I did, didn’t I,” he grinned. “Besides, they’re in the glove compartment.”

Tonight, it was the easiest thing in the world to forget about our problems. I was hoping our perfect date would be able to have the perfect ending. “Will your dad be at that work party late?” I asked.

“Late enough,” was his answer. The playful joking was gone, replaced by a question. “Are you sure?” His emerald eyes were filled with longing, the flame from the candle on the table adding extra fire to his eyes. I knew he would leave the decision up to me.

I thought about how I felt so safe and loved the first time we kissed, in front of the library. I had been sure even then. And last week when he’d said he loved me, the way he’d proved his devotion time and time again.

A memory resurfaced and I remembered crying in front of him, Rachel and her brother Steve one afternoon at their house right after my dad had left me and my mom. Nick had held me and I felt no embarrassment as he talked reassuringly to me. I suddenly felt foolish for not realizing then that he really cared about me. I should have seen it.

“I’ve loved you for two years. I want us to be together; in every way.”

“Me too.” Our kiss this time was deeper, full of promises. Then he pulled away, remembering that we were out in public. He gave me a look hot enough to melt ice. Luckily, the waiter returned with our dinner, Nick briefly taking his eyes off me to thank him. The brunette hostess, probably getting the hint that she wasn’t going to get anywhere with my boyfriend, never came back to our table.

The food was incredible but I hardly tasted it as we ate and talked, both of us silently wishing to start the end of our evening. We walked slowly back to the car, enjoying the ocean breeze. When we climbed in, I asked Nick if he was going to clue me in to where we were going.

“I already did,” he said. I looked at him confused until I noticed he was pointing to my new CD. “The concert starts in less than an hour.”

“You’re kidding!” I squealed, throwing my arms around him once more.

“You’re very enthusiastic for someone who only a few minutes ago wanted to skip that part of the evening,” he teased.

I blushed. “I was just thinking of the alternative.”

 

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