Six Months Ago
‘Beep! Beep! Beep!” The alarm rang out from the cell phone that lay perfectly still on the oak night stand as she reached over her blue eyes scanning the screen ‘4:30 PM’ the numbers shone brightly to her tired eyes as she silenced her alarm. Rolling back on to her bed her chocolate brown hair that was perfectly tinted at the end with a rose gold lay carelessly across her pillow as she grunted.
‘I just got into bed not even 6 hours ago, I really have to talk to Nathan to see if I can work the afternoon to evening shift’ Jade Morgan thought to herself as she thought about the job that, although she loves, she cannot continue taking on her college course and her night time job at the Tavern. Though this is the only life that she has known ever since moving out to New York about 3 years ago, when everyone was against her, she knew that she had to make it work, she had to prove it to not just everyone else, but most importantly to herself that she could do this. She had always wanted the busy life; it kept her going after the loss of her father when she was 10 years old. Now at the ripe age of 21 she was starting to get her grip on what it was that she really wanted to do with her life. Her mother Samantha always told her ‘You have to follow your heart, even if your mind does not agree.’ Those words stuck to her mind more than ever when she moved to her little apartment that she shared with her best friend Autumn.
As she looked over to the window where the fall breeze blew in gently, she wondered if just maybe she could get another 20 minutes in of sleep. Though as her eyelids fluttered to cover her blue hues…Knock Knock Knock! As Autumn questioned just beyond the door, “Hey Jade, I will be leaving soon, do you want a lift to work?” and that little question made her sit up right away in bed as she answered “It’s only 4:30 Autumn I don’t have to work for another two hours.” She stretched starting to get up walking to the door. As she opened she found her blue haired friend standing there getting ready to knock again.
“You did read the message I left on your door right?” Autumn asked signaling to the sign on Jade’s door. FYI Nathan called you have a meeting at 5:30. Jade’s eyes read over the big blue letters that took up almost the whole whiteboard as she cursed under a sigh.
“Give me 30 minutes and I will be ready.” As she shut the door to her friend, turning literally in the blink of an eye running to her bathroom quickly removing her night clothing and showering. In and out was a skill she had developed while living here in New York, knowing that with a boss like Nathan her schedule could change overnight, literally. As she finished in her shower letting her long hair air dry, applying just a tad of make-up knowing that she never really wore much to begin with and then started to get dressed in her shorts and black Tavern shirt, she wondered if tonight was going to be like the last few, boring. Looking around for her other shoe she raced against the clock to get ready and slipping on her shoe as she grabbed her phone and her purse, opening the door just as Autumn went to knock again, she exclaimed that she was ready and they headed out again to yet another night in New York…just another night at the Tavern.
Four Hours Later
Jade had been running back and forth having to help her co-worker Carter with the tables as Natalie, the waitress, had called in yet again, she found herself starting to ware down. Unaware of just how things were now starting to calm down she thought that this would be the perfect time to talk to Nathan, although just as she had suspected he turned her down when she had mentioned a shift change. Knowing that she needed this job she didn’t fight it and just went back out towards the place where she knew she belonged.
As she walked out from the office Carter ran up to her asking if she could take over the bar for a few minutes knowing that he had to step away to get at least his one 15 minute break. Jade agreed starting to take her position behind the bar taking orders and delivering drinks as she was trying to balance both positions at the same time, she knew that maybe this would be the chance for Nathan to see her taking over and to give her the bar assistant position that she had been applying for. Everything for the most part was going smooth that is until the football game was over, fans from all around were celebrating a huge win and just as her and Carter got the crowd under control and taken care of, Jade started to take the last bit of dishes off the far back booths table to be cleaned. As she started to walk by, a random football flew right past her head making her gasp out and tried to duck out of the way. Though as she did, she lost her balance and as she started to prepare for the hard wooden floor to meet her 5’4 frame she was met by a pair of arms saving her from the imminent crash of the glassware around her as she was now firmly against a firm chest that she swore felt like rocks.
Her breathing was catching in her throat as she looked down to the glassware that was now shattered all across the floor, little glass fragments that held little drops of gold liquid from its once full glass. It wasn’t until she heard it, the deep, yet soothing vibrations of the voice that belonged to her savior that she realized that she was still in a stranger’s arms. “Hey there are you alright?” the voice rang through her ears as she turned her head, a strand of her hair fell over her face. She looked up and into his eyes, they were deep though had a hint of concern, and sadness to them it seemed in the brown rays of light looking back to her. She went to go talk but couldn’t bring herself too as her eyes were just locked on his, she blinked as she started to say “I…” and her words were lost again and as the stranger looked back to her she could feel a shudder race through her and a warmth where his hands were on her frame. As he started to stand Jade up a little bit more he reached to her face brushing that strand that had fell perfectly without even trying.
Jade continued to look at him her eyes sending a message of thanks but the only message she was getting back was from her brain telling her to snap out of it and as she blinked once more she finally spoke.
“Thank you…I …I didn’t mean too. I hope I didn’t disrupt your time.” Her voice shook as she continued to look at him as though she couldn’t pull her eyes from him. He looked perfect right there in the dim lit bar lights. His brown hair long, shaggy, but the perfect length for the structure of his face. His stubble perfectly outlining his jawline, with the husky 5 o’clock shadow and those lips that looked unfairly perfect.
“You didn’t. Believe me as long as my whiskey is untouched, we won’t have an issue” he smiled as she thought to herself ‘Please do not smile at me like that’ and even his smile was perfect, and she felt it hitting her like a rock all the way to her knees that instantly felt weak.
She shook her head as she started to stand straight again. “Well please allow me to get you a whiskey…on the house” and as she looked to him again that smile turned to a small smirk as she knew that she had to get away from him and as she stood a little taller starting to step out of his grasp she straightened out her apron around her waist and then started to look around to distract herself. Though as she went to go find a broom it wasn’t until she heard the other deep voice of the night ripping through the air, “MORGAN!” Nathan yelled out to her. She looked back to the guy as Carter began to clean up the mess as she then thanked him again and excused herself.
After about an hour later, she walked out of the back office again, apron still intact and a job still in place, although all of her tips that she was getting that night was now going to be going towards the new glasses that Nathan had to order and as she walked out it was as though a whole new bar was before her. The fans had cleared out and as she looked around she saw Carter over by the table waiting on the elderly lady that stopped in every now and then, and as she looked to the bar thinking that the guy that caught her would be gone by now she looked and there he sat still at the same stool looking as though he hadn’t moved an inch. Just the site of him made her mind race and her knees tremble. Was it the adrenaline of him catching her or was it the fact that just looking at him that moment played in her mind and his eyes were right there again looking down on her? She didn’t know but knowing that she was already in trouble she knew that she had a job and a debt to repay.
Jade made her way to be behind the bar a few other stragglers around here and there as she walked to be standing in front of the man. “So how about that whiskey?” she smiled as she found her voice, and there they were again those brown eyes that seemed to burn to her yet again and that smile as he downed the last little drop in his now empty glass.
His intense eyes scanned her a little bit as he answered “Sounds perfect, Morgan” as he started to slide the empty glass to her which she reached out to take effortlessly. She looked at him questioningly as she heard him call her by her last name. Jade placed her hands on the edge of the bar looking to him as she stated with a smile “My name is not Morgan….It’s Jade.”
The man looked at her in confusion as he spoke, his voice in a softer tone though still deep as he asked her leaning closer to her over the bar “Didn’t that big boss guy call you Morgan?” as he looked right to her Jade could feel her heart beating faster in her chest as she gave a small giggle.
“My last name is Morgan, it’s kind of his thing that he does to keep his employees at arms-length and to not be “personal” “ she brought her fingers up signaling the sign for quotation marks as she smiled and let out a laugh. “He is too professional to consider an employee more than that of just an employee.” Jade explained as she brought up an empty shot glass starting to see that the stranger was drinking the rail liquor so she turned back to the shelving behind her grabbing a bottle of Whiskey from the top shelf collection.
The man sitting there noticed what she was doing and rang out “You don’t have to do that, I wouldn’t want you in more trouble than you already are Morgan” and as she heard him calling her by her last name she turned to him and just brushed it off knowing that she would probably never see this man again. She poured right to the rim and slid it to him without losing a drop of the liquor starting to look him over thinking to herself that he was rather handsome, his blue shirt tight in all the right places and tracing his bicep perfectly, to the way that the white shirt under the button up blue one was conformed to a chiseled chest, looking rough around the edges but knowing that if he was, he surely had a small soft spot to stop her from falling to the floor earlier.
“So, you know my name, does my hero have a name that I can call him or is hero the only name that you will go by?” Jade asked giving him a smile as she started to clean up around the bar a little bit looking back to him and starting to wipe the counter with a bar rag.
The man looked at her taking a sip of his whiskey as he gave a little shudder, “No formal name is necessary, I would actually request that you do not even call me hero, my name is Drake, Drake Walker.” He stretched out his hand to take hers as she did as well shaking his hand feeling that same heat race through her from his touch alone.
As she gasped a little bit to herself she shook his hand and then slowly let go. “Well it was a pleasure Drake Walker, I do thank you for saving me even if you request not to acknowledge that you did.” Jade smiled and gave him a small wink as she started to clean up a little bit more leaving Drake for a moment to enjoy his new drink to himself.
Several moments later, as Jade was still cleaning up in the midst of taking the last few orders and of course seeing Drake still sitting there, wondering if he was choosing to stay there because he wanted to, or didn’t want to go home. Wondering if he was going through something, or if he just wanted more whiskey. As Jade continued to help straighten up the booths and the bar was getting ready to close Nathan took off leaving Carter and Jade to finish up like most nights especially when they closed a little after midnight. Jade finished up with the last booth as Carter lead the elderly lady he had waited on out to her cab that would take her home, and then looked over seeing Drake was still sitting there though not drinking but spinning his glass on the bar counter. She smiled as she started to walk over to him sitting down in the empty seat next to him.
“You know you break it you may just have to buy another glass.” She laughed starting to show that smile of hers that she found rare especially at work. Drake smiled as he started to turn his chair to her giving her a look “Oh and I suppose you wouldn’t know a thing or two about breaking it just perfectly huh Morgan?”
Jade’s mouth dropped open in response to his comment though knowing that he was right she did know how to break a few things and as she looked at him she shook her head reaching up and pulling her hair free letting it fall past her shoulders. “Point taken” Jade exclaimed as she let out a chuckle. Drake smiled as he looked to her, “So, what does one do after the bar closes?” Jade looked to him meeting his eyes again as she then looked down thinking about what to say. Was he asking me specifically about what I do or just what people do in general? She questioned to herself as she answered “Well most people end up going home or bar hopping to another bar that is open. Some end up going to a club or some like to walk Central Park” she smiled.
Drake smiled not knowing at all what has come over him as he knows that this is not something that he normally does ever, knowing that with the life that he has been living …this, meeting Jade here was a highlight and he didn’t want to lose that yet. “Well maybe I should ask….what is it that you do?” his voice trembling through Jade like a tidal wave as she realized that he is interested in what she does. Her blue eyes looked up matching his as she smiled and answered with a question “You will have to find out now won’t you?” as she looked to him starting to slide off the bar stool and walked around to the other side grabbing her purse and letting Carter know that she was heading out. She walked over to Drake and smiled “Have you ever seen New York at night?” her eyes lighting up with a sparkle that she didn’t even realize.
“No, I haven’t I am not from around here to be honest.” He replied as he stood from his spot. “You are in for a treat then. Come on!” Jade exclaimed as she reached down taking his hand and starting to lead him out into the fall night. Though it was a beautiful night there was a small chill in the air. Holding her small jacket to her she started to walk Drake around New York showing him downtown, showing him some of the shopping places and then finally leading him to Central Park. Along the way she learned that he was there scouting, scouting for his best friend that would be coming to New York in a few months for a small vacation get away, or as he wanted to deny it, his best friends bachelor party. Learning a little bit of where he was from, a place called Cordonia, though he shared just enough to keep it a mystery and not opening up too much, as that wasn’t his style.
Though as the night wore on and the time started to tick away they ended up sitting on the edge of a docked pier looking out over the bay and up to the starry night sky. Drake started to question Jade about her life though not prying in too deep knowing to himself that he wouldn’t be staying long enough to make something of this moment that he was feeling for the first time …ever. The feeling that he could be open with someone, though knowing that he would never see her again after tonight, knowing that there is no way that he would be that lucky. He knew that he just wanted even just this one night to be something that he could take home with him and have with him when he returned to real life. He leaned back onto the dock and lay looking up to the sky. Soon Jade followed laying back and meeting him to look up to the stars.
“Drake? What is Cordonia like? I mean it sounds like something out of a fairy tale to be honest” as she looked with her blue eyes over to him. He looked back to her his eyes meeting hers and as they laid there his look became hard as though the topic or the description upset him. “It sure is different than New York I can tell you that. Yes there is royalty, but I ..I generally don’t associate myself with them, I only do for my best friend, his brother is heir to the throne.” He explained as their eyes never parted from one another’s. Jade looked to him seeing the change in his expression realizing that it was not a topic that he really wanted to talk about. She perched herself up on her elbow looking down to him as she asked “You must really care a lot about your best friend to put up with something that obviously doesn’t mean a lot to you.” As Drake looked to her he started to think about how the only reason he went back to Cordonia was his best friend, though also knowing that there was so much more that he didn’t want to put out there just yet, but knowing that he would never have too as he answered her “Yeah, he is like my brother, I don’t plan on leaving his side any time soon” as he starts to push himself up and starting to stand looking at the sky again trying to get his mind off the thought about going back there again.
Jade looked back at him standing there as he offered her his hand to help her stand and when she took it he pulled her up a little too fast as she was soon pressed against him, closer now than even when he caught her. There again their eyes met and she could feel it, and he could feel it the fire, the shocking waves that just rippled between them as if it was a force pulling them together. Neither one of them moved not even an inch as their eyes just looked into one another’s soul, or as it seemed.
Jade had never felt this before, this invisible pull that was making her weak, making her mind spin, and her heart beat faster than it probably should. As the soft wind blew over the water just to their sides and then up over them a strand of hair cut across her face and before she could fix it his fingers gently grazed her soft skin gently tucking it behind her ear, and when she didn’t move he didn’t either. Jade looked to him having to look up due to the height difference and as she did she finally realized that her hands were traveling up his arms feeling the strong frame that he had as his hands were resting on her lower back and with not even realizing it pulling and holding her right to him. She couldn’t move, she didn’t want to move. The look on his face and the soft breath she heard him inhale as her eyes met his again though this time they were a dark brown as a desire burned in him. Was it the same desire and the same moment that she was stuck in? Her own question was answered when she heard him whisper “Damn it Morgan” as his lips crashed down to hers closing off the little space that was there between them.
Instantly she responded feeling the heat rising through her even in the nights chill, the way his lips formed perfectly to her kisses back to him. Her right hand slide up to the back of head and into the thick locks of his hair as her other hand went to his chest feeling as though if she could concentrate she would feel his heart beating through his chest, she knew hers was the same. What was washing over her, this was not something that she did. She didn’t kiss strangers, she didn’t let them kiss her, but this…this was different it felt right, dangerously right. The kiss continued as his hands traveled over her back and then his right hand matching hers dove into her hair holding her there as though he didn’t want to let her go, and he didn’t want to at all since he first caught her back at the bar. This power that she had over him was compelling enough to want to never go back but knowing that he had too he broke the kiss. Breathlessly they looked to one another not saying anything just looking into one another’s eyes as the stars and the full moon cascaded down on them.
After what seemed like a moment frozen in time turned into watching the sun starting to come up, Drake walked her back to her place, knowing that he wanted to make sure that she got home alright. As Jade turned back to him knowing that this was it this was goodbye, knowing that just for a moment her night was perfect she asked “Do you really have to go back?” as Drake looked to her he knew that he had too. “As much as I would like to stay here…I have a duty to get back to at home. But don’t worry, I won’t forget this night” as he felt like a total sap knowing that he never admitted his feelings before, knowing that in Cordonia they didn’t matter anyways, he knew that this was it, he would go back to Cordonia and be the grumpy commoner next to his royal best friend. Jade looked down to the ground knowing that he was right, but knowing that this was by far one of the best moments since coming to New York, she knew that she would never see him again.
“Just remember me the next time you have a whiskey in Cordonia” she said smiling as he leaned in kissing her forehead whispering “Don’t go breaking anymore glasses and letting a small nobody save you…that’s my job” his voice was soft though warmed her to the core. Her eyes closed feeling the sadness wash over her knowing that this had to be just a dream and she would wake up and there would be evidence that she had been dreaming. But as she felt his forehead resting on hers she knew that this was real. As they parted and Jade went into her apartment seeing Autumn was already gone she headed right to bed looking out the window and soon falling asleep hoping that maybe just maybe she would see the mysterious Drake Walker again.
Over the next few weeks work went back to being work and time went on like normal. Jade never traded information with Drake and though she knew they barely knew each other she felt something that night and something that she knew she may never feel again but knowing that Autumn was right, if he was really that interested he would have found a way to contact her. So slowly as time passed he was still in her mind but she allowed herself to open up a little but more and started to make up for lost time in the last years of being in New York, going out at night, meeting new people and even going on a few dates, mostly ones set up by Autumn
Though one night about two months later she met Liam a gentleman beyond the true meaning, and as he stated he was there on business for a week he made time to come see her every day that he was there. Over that week it was like she was meeting a new best friend, they talked about how he always wanted to travel but certain duties in the family business were keeping him away from doing what he wanted to do since his brother didn’t want to take over the business it would soon be on him. Though as the time passed and she was watching him leave just as she had watched Drake leave from her apartment door Liam leaned in and kissed her softly as he promised that he would see her again. Not knowing if it was true or not she let him go just as she had Drake months ago, not realizing that as she locked her door and headed to bed her world would be turning upside down into a world she never thought that a waitress from New York would ever see coming.
Present Day ---to be continued. (pending on feedback and interest :)ns 220.127.116.11da2