I promised an update to my ongoing wattpad.com story Last Midnight and here it is. Enjoy.
The Last Midnight
Rianne hurried into her small, comfortable apartment. She had a date with Erik tonight and she wanted to be prepared for it. She had only known him for a month and she was sure she was fond of him. But what did he think of her? She brushed a strand of her flame red hair back behind her left ear. Then she kicked her apartment door closed. “Time to find out.” She dropped her sensible black purse to the gray carpet and ran to the bathroom to get ready. She had very little time left. At midnight she would be gone. She had to have a vow of love to stay on this material plane.
Soon enough she was showered, changed, and ready to go. The simple silver and black gown she wore accented her gray eyes and slender figure. She wore 3 inch black and silver heels to give herself a little hight. With them on she went from five foot five inches to five foot eight inches. She smiled as she added a bit of red lipstick to her generous mouth. She had swept her hair up in a ponytail and used a fancy scrunchie of black with silver sparkles in it to hold up her hair. Her flowing dress had a deep daring neckline and she felt somewhat exposed as she looked at it. She wore her simple quartz crystal necklace as usual. She believed in the power of crystals and stones and never went anywhere withoutone on. She put her crystal earrings in her ears and picked up her small silver clutch. “Time to go and knock him dead.” She tried out a confident smile and was pleased to see it did not look as nervous as she truely felt.
Erik sighed to himself. He had a date with Rianne tonight. He was looking forward to it eagerly. But now his car was acting up. He sighed heavily. “Time for an oil change. Perfect.” He got out of the cherry red camero and gave the keys to the mechanic at Wal-Mart. He would have at least half an hour to wait. He might as well amble around Wal-Mart and see if he could make a few purchases while he waited. He walked into the store and started looking around. He let his intense sea green eyes travel down the asile he was walking down. At six feet four inches and 190 pounds he was a big man. But he used his size niether to intimidate people or push them around in other ways. He was the soul of courtesy and consideration when it came to women and pets. He brought some nice smelling deoderant from Old Spice and a pack of fresh underwear. He gathered up some shaving cream and toothpaste as well. He wanted no bad breath tonight. He took his purchases to the front of the store and paid for them quickly. Then he looked at the DVDS while he waited for his cell phone to ring. He was looking at the action/adventure movies when his phone rang. He answered it quickly.
“Your oil change is done Mr. Thorn.” The man at the automotive department told him briskly.
“Very good. I will be there in ten minutes.” Erik ended the call and slipped his Apple 6s back into his black slacks. He continued to look at the movies but saw none that appealed to him today. Quickly he turned and went to retrieve his Camero. He took the keys from the man and put his purchases into the passenger seat. He locked the doors and started up the engine. As it idled he wrote down the next oil change and put it on the sticker provided to him. Then he wrote it down on a piece of paper, folded it and stuck it in the glove box. Then he drove carefully out of the parking lot and home to his spacious four bedroom two bath house in the lower hills of Hollywood. He put the car in park and took the keys out of it. His long, curved driveway suited him just fine. He could park the Camro in the driveway and know that no one would bother it. He stretched his long legs and made it to his door. He opened the green door and stepped inside. Once in he locked up and quickly made his way to his bathroom. He had taken the smaller guest room and bathroom as his when he had moved in. He preferred the smaller space. It was cozy and relaxed. He saw no reason to use any of the larger rooms until he had acquired a wife. So he left them bare. His weight bench and treadmill were in the spacious living room. The house itself was done in neutral colors.He liked green, red and bronze. So he had used black furnishings. And the bronze throw pillows he had found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond had also provided him with rugs in green and red to put around the house as well. He had up a few paintings he had done himself as art work on the walls. He was not sure if others would like them but he did and to him that was all that mattered. He was not out to impress others with his paintings. He did them because he had a passion for them.
Erik took his purchases to his small bathroom. There he set them out casually. Then he stripped down and took a shower. He had been sweating today. That happened when you spent half your day working outside. He had been building a house for a friend of his who had lost his in a fire. He made sure to clean his inky black hair thoroughly. It fell in damp waves to his collar bone. He grimaced tohimself as he toweled it mostly dry. He really should cut it. but not tonight. Rianne had told him she liked his long hair. Once he was dry he quickly got into his fresh underwear and then into the casual red shirt and black pants that he planned to wear to the dinner he was taking Rianne to. He had little doubt that she would like the place. He smiled to himself. He was beginning to become rather fond of Rianne. She was a woman he could see himself spending the rest of his life with her.
Rianne attempted not to fidget as she awaited Erik’s arrival. She was certain that he would pull up in his Camero soon. She peered out of her peep hole in the door. No sign of him yet. Usually he called her to tell her he was on the way. But for some reason he had not had the courtesy to do so tonight. She could not help but wonder if something was wrong. She began to pace back and forth worried. She tried to keep herself from imagining all of the things that could delay him. An accident on the road. He stopped to give someone a jump start. He really did not want to date her so he was waiting until the last possible moment to pick her up. He was simply going to stand her up.
“Get a grip, Rianne.” She spoke aloud to herself. She was being ridiculous. There was no reason to fret so. She stood up straighter and walked to her couch. She made herself set her silver clutch down and then sat down herself. Wearing herself out worrying was foolish.
It was then that the purring roar of the Camero’s engine came to her keen ears. She got up and ran a hand down her black and silver gown. “It’s about time.” She picked up her clutch and walked briskly to the door. Unlocking it she went out to stand on her miniscule porch. She locked the door decisively behind herself. Then she turned and smiled brightly.
Erik was sure that Rianne was going to kill him. After all he had not called her as was his usual routine. She probably thought he had been in an accident or something. He always had been early as well. he drove with reckless abandon to get there sooner. He looked up as he idled in the small parking lot of her apartment building. He was pleased to see her emerging from her apartment and smiling at him. Perhaps he had been wrong. And she had not been worried about him at all. He cut the car’s ignition off. Then he got out of the car and went to meet her.
“Sorry I am late and did not call. I hope you can forgive me?” , he asked as he walked up to her.
“Well I don’t know. Are we going somewhere nice?”, she asked him playfully. “I did not get all glammed up just for a date to the beach.” She took his arm and walked to the car.
“You look great. I was not expecting you to dress up so fancy. I feel a bit under dressed myself.” He opened her door and waited until she got in. Then he closed her door and walked around to his side.
“Gllad you think so.” Rianna flashed him a quick, fleeting smile. For a moment it seemed to light up her whole face. Then it was gone as quickly as it had appeared.
Erik was sure of only one thing. He wanted her to smile more. He started the car and drove away from her apartment complex. “I was working on a friend’s house today. I only have a week to finish it from top to bottom. He is really getting tired of rooming with his mother again.” Erik rolled his expressive sea green eyes. “But then you know Chad. He gets easily bored with real life. He would rather play a computer game than date a real woman. He says online chat rooms are enough for him. I told him he is missing out. And he needs to get a real life fast before he becomes a hair ball and drinks himself into a twenty pound beer gut.” Erik explained to Rianne.
Rianne threw back her head and laughed. “The master of home construction giving advice to the stay at home bum. Lighten up Erik. You know chad’s mother.” She rolled her own gray eyes. “That woman would make me murder someone if I had to stay with her.” She declared boldly.
“Too true.” Erik let out a low chuckle. “I am taking you to somewhere special tonight. It is a small , cozy little place. So it will be both intimate and discreet I hope.” He drove expertly through the low hills. “I got the recommendation from one of my clients.” He shrugged his broad shoulders. “I guess we can only go and see if we like the place.” he paid attention to his driving as he spoke nimbly dodging cars and people with deft movements of his hands and the brakes. He really did enjoy these conversations with her. She was easy to talk to and he liked that about her. She never pressured him for more conversation that he wanted to have either. That was another plus to being with her. Most women that he had dated had talked his ears off. And the conversations all revolved around their lives and what they wanted in a future husband and life style. Rianne was a breath of fresh air compared to those hungry, money grubbing women. And she was Beautiful as well. But he valued her intelligent mind as well. That even more than her beauty drew him to her.
Finally they parked outside of La Rose a small bistro style resterant. He turned off the car and went around to her side to let her out of it. He pocketed his keys after setting the alarm on the Camero. Then he escorted her inside the small bistro with aflourish. “This way Lady. Your food and good conversation await you.” He grinned boyishly at her showing off the twin dimples in his cheeks. He could not resist those little dramatic flourishes at times. He had wanted to be a theater major after all. It was only when his dad Theo had gotten sick with Cancer that he had grudgingly taken over Thorn Construction and dedicated himself to keeping his dad’s dream of affordable houses for everyone alive. He was glad he had done so now but a year ago he had not been so pleased with the prospect. But the business had thrived and he had kept his construction costs low and reasonable. He brought his mind back to the woman he was escorting. Lucky for him Rianne had not noticed his distraction.
Once inside the small bistro he and Rianne were approached by a waiter in black tie and tails. “I have your table set aside Sir. Ma’am If you will follow me?”, the waiter turned and led them both to a small table with a red cloth draped over it. Two white votive candles in garnet holders shone softly as they sat down.
” I am Frank and I will be your server tonight. What wine would you like to start off with?”, he turned his head and looked at Erik. His deep set brown eyes glimmered in the subdued light. He waited with a fresh white pad in hand and a sleek black pen was poised to write down what ever vintage tthe man might proclaim.
Erik looked at the wine list for a moment. “Tonight I think we will have the 98 red merlot.” he handed the wine list to Frank. “Give us ten minutes to look over the menu and return. Be sure to let the wine breathe and bring an ice bucket for it when you return.” Erik smiled faintly at the man.
Frank nodded. “As you say, Sir.” He turned and walked off with long, loping strides. He knew his business. But certain customers felt it was their right or even their duty to tell him how to prepare the wine. He walked back to the small wine cellar in the back and selected the red the man had indicated to him. He got the ice bucket filled promptly and a new, clean white and green towl to drape over his left arm. Then he took up the wine bottle as well and returned to the table. He held out the wine bottle to show the man. “Shall I uncork it and let it breathe now?”, he asked a bit archly.
“yes, please.” Erik looked at the man. He could tell Frank was miffed. Well he would just have to get over that little snit. He was paid to do a job and Erik would see that he did it.
Frank uncorked the red wine and placed it in the ice bucket. “I will return shortly so you can place your order.” He smiled at Rianne. What was this person doing with such a lovely wwoman? He turned quickly on his heel before he betrayed his intrest in her too keenly. He had some cleaning up to do.
Erik watched the man walk away frowning. He did certainly seem to be in a snit. Erikshrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know what that guy’s problem is. But he can get over it.” Erik let his gaze linger on Rianne’s lovely form. As usual his small bit of bad temper was fading. She had that effect on him. He smiled at her. “Hungry? I hear this placehas good sea food and pasta.” He opened his own menu and looked at it. he ran a finger down the listings and picked out a steak with aasparagus and a full patato as well. His stomach rumbled with its eagerness to consume the food.
Rianne laughed. “Looks like your stomach is hungry. I am too.” she looked at the choices her menu offered. She chose a stuffed flounder with shrimp and cheese. And she added French fries and grilled squash to her plate as well.
Promptly in ten minutes Frank returned to take their orders. He wrote them down in an elegant hand and went off to tell the kitchens what they wanted. It was a slow night indeed. He was used to seeing more traffic than this. But he would deal with it. Once the orders were in he sat down for a few minutes. He had been on his feet for six hours straight he he deserved both a break and a drink. So he drew himself a Pepsi Max and drank it down slowly. He knew he had at least fifteen minutes before the orders were done. He leaned back in his chair and sighed. It had been a long day already. With reluctance he opened his eyes and drank more soda. Tomorrow was his night off. He was looking forward to it immensely. He needed a breather from work. He finished his soda and ran a comb through his nut brown hair hurriedly. Then he got up to take table six their orders.
Frank set the orders down before them both. “Flounder with shrimp and cheese for the lady. and your steak and asparagus Sir”
Once the niceties had been dealt with Frank with drew to his table. After this couple left he could go home and rest. He silently prayed that no other people would come in and spoil his plans. But he never knew from day to day just how big the rush at prime time would be.
Rianne was enjoying herself and the food. It was a quiet place that Erik had brought her to. She had never liked crowded places. Or loud, obnoxious people that you could hear chatting away four tables away from you because they had no volume control. And the screaming, crying children got on her nerves too. She really did not see how some people put up with all that noise and strife while trying to eat a good meal.
“Thinking deep thoughts are you?” , Erik handed her a glass of the mellow merlot. He waited until she focused on him and handed her the glass. “Try to focus on the good time you are having.” He suggested this last with a small, secret smile.
Rianne took the glass and sipped at it slowly. Red wine was not her favorite by any means. She preferred blush instead. But Erik had not consulted her on the wine so she simply drank it. It was not bad. Just not much to her taste. She set down the wine glass after a few sips. “I will try to have a good time. Although generally that is a given with you.” She smiled briefly. “The food is excellent.” She remarked as she ate more of the French fries. She really was hungry. Part of her wanted to attack the food on her plate like a wild beast. But the more civilized part of her wanted to keep her dress clean. So she compromised. She tore her bread apart and buttered it lavishly. Then she cut up her flounder which was flaky and lightly battered with a faint taste of line juice. She smiled. Better lime juice than the traditional lemon juice. She had always found lemon juice to be both bitter and mouth puckering. This flounder was delicious. She sipped more wine. “It is a really nice place. I am glad your client recommended it to you.” She let her gray gaze rove over the dining room for a moment.
“Glad to hear you like it Rianne. I think it is a nice cozy place myself. And I can see us coming here again.” he gazed at her thoughtfully. Then he took her hand. “I was hoping you would like it. I wanted tonight to be a special night for us both.” He sipped his wine with his left hand. Then he grinned playfully at her once more. “I have a few plans for us tonight. I do hope you will like some of them.” He let go of her hand and resumed his meal.
Rianne blinked. “I am sure I will.” She wanted to rub at her hand. It felt almost scalded by his touch.But she did not.The jolt of electricity she had felt when Erik touched her hand made her fight to keep in her seat. Suddenly she wanted nothing more than to be his. But she knew that if the clock struck midnight and he had not declared his love for her she would have to return to her previous dark existence. Rianne closed her eyes. She had to get a grip on herself and her emotions. She finished off her wine and excused herself to the ladies room. Once inside of the small stalls she used the facilities and then washed her hands and dried them thoroughly. She then returned to the table and Erik. Time to see just where the night would lead.
After the dinner was over Erik gave his Master Card to Frank to be debited. He waited looking at Rianne as he did so. She seemed bubbly and happy but he sensed she was worried about something. And this was the first time she had not shared what was troubling her with him. It was not good for her to keep problems to herself. If she did not enlighten him soon he would simply have to ask her what was wrong. He did have an uneasy feeling that the problem concerned him. But he could think of nothing off hand that he had said or done to distress or displease her tonight. finally Frank returned with his card. He put it away in his wallet and rose. Then he went over and held her chair for her to rise. They both thanked Frank and left the small, quiet bistro.
Erik escorted Rianne to the car. He opened the door for her and waited while she settled herself and buckled in. Then he closed the door and walked to his side of the car. He got in and started the engine. Then he drove away slowly from the bistro. He had planned to take Rianne to a nice club that he knew of and dance the night away with her. But now he was not so sure that would be a good idea. She still seemed distracted by her thoughts. Perhaps a secluded spot and the radio would do? He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye.
Rianne looked out the window of the fast moving car. Her thoughts were lost in her own memories. If Erik did not declare his love for her she would have to return to the utter darkness she had occupied before she entered this Material Plane. She so did not want to go back to that existance. It had been both lonely and dismal. She had been a captive there. And subject to others desires. She barely kept herself from shuddering at the memories. No. She definately did not want to go back there.
With a supreme effort she wrenched her unruly thoughts away from her dark memories. It was time to concentrate on the present not the past. She had this last midnight to save herself. She could only pray that Erik cared enough for her to declare himself tonight. Once the night was over if he did not she would be gone. Lost forever in that dark nether world. With no chance of ever returning to the material plane again. She got one shot to become human. Then she was cast down for eternity.