Your Guardian Angel
Later in the week, Natasha had made plans to go out with Justin again. He promised that they would not be going anywhere near the carnival, that he would keep her in either Douglasville or Atlanta, and they would grab dinner and maybe a movie. As she sat in her room getting ready, she had to endure the ever-constant snide remarks from Caleb about Justin.
Natasha had just finished putting on her eye-shadow when Caleb made that remark. Her mouth dropped open, and she turned around in her chair to face him.
“Are you serious? That’s the fourth time you’ve said that tonight. He’s not girlish,” she said rolling her eyes and turning back towards her vanity. She finished applying her eyeliner.
“Yes, I’m serious. I plan on calling him girlish until he proves otherwise. You’re manlier than he is.”
“Are you calling me manly?”
Caleb’s smile instantly left his face, realizing what he’d really said. “N-No, that’s not w-what I meant at all, I--”
“I’m kidding, Caleb. I understood your meaning,” Natasha said, smiling at him through her mirror. She finished putting on her mascara and stood up, straightening out her skirt.
Caleb watched from the bed as she walked to her chest of drawers, pulled out a pair of socks, and walk back to the chair in front of her vanity. His eyes lingered a bit too long on her thigh that was exposed once she sat down. He shook himself out of his thoughts and scowled.
“Don’t you think you should cover up some more?”
As she pulled on the socks, she rolled her eyes knowing he couldn’t see her. She sighed deeply and walked to her closet, picking up her knee-high boots. She sat back down and pulled them both on. She decided to ignore him completely. Once she was done with her boots, she walked into her bathroom and made sure her hair was still curled. She sprayed a few more squirts of hairspray, and satisfied, she did a double check of her outfit. She was wearing a wool mini-skirt, and a fitted, frilly white tank-top that buttoned up the front. On her left wrist, she had many bracelets, and as always, her ribbon ring and angel wing necklace were present. Before she finished, she tied the black ribbon around her bare wrist.
She looked at her necklace again, thinking it was ironic that she’d had the thing since she was born and Caleb was her guardian angel. Sighing, she exited her bathroom to see Caleb standing in the middle of her room holding up a grey sweater. Even though she knew what he was doing, she silently applauded him because it matched just right.
“You never know when it’s going to get cold.”
“It’s May in Georgia. It doesn’t get cold.”
“You could spill something on your shirt.”
“I don’t spill things.”
“It matches your outfit very well.”
“That doesn’t mean that I should wear it,” Natasha said, crossing her arms over her chest.
“I won’t call Justin girlish anymore if you wear it.”
Natasha face drew up in impatience, but she knew that he was telling the truth. She also had a feeling that he’d keep coming up with reasons for her to wear it if she didn’t just put it on. Rolling her eyes heavenward, she held out her hand. Caleb smiled in triumph, and as soon as he’d placed the sweater in her hand, the doorbell chimed throughout the house. They both turned towards Natasha’s closed door and heard her father yell up the steps for her. She rounded back to face Caleb.
“Hell no. I’m coming with you, princess. I wouldn’t miss this for the world!”
“No one will be able to see you?” Natasha asked, raising her eyebrow.
“Fine, but you’re not riding in the car with us. You can find your own way there,” Natasha said turning away from him. She was out of the door before he could finish his mock salute.
Friday night traffic in Douglasville was a nightmare. If you were near the mall or on Route 5, it took you twenty minutes to go two miles. Unfortunately, they were going to Atlanta, so not only did they have to suffer through traffic in Douglasville, but they had to go on I-20 and then get on the connector to endure more traffic in Atlanta.
They were eating at a place called TWO in downtown Atlanta. They took their seats across from each other and ordered drinks before talking. This was the first time Natasha had seen Justin since the carnival a week ago, and she was fully expecting him to bring it up. He didn’t let her down.
“I want to sincerely apologize for the carnival incident, Tasha,” Justin started. Natasha cringed inwardly; she hated being called Tasha. She would much rather be called Natasha, or in Callie’s case, Ash. Callie had started calling her that after she expressed her hatred for Tasha. “If I had known how much you hated clowns, I would’ve never even thought about taking you there.”
“It’s okay, Justin. You didn’t know, so I’m not blaming you.”
“I never dreamed our first date would be that bad of a disaster.”
The waitress came back with their drinks and they placed their order. After that, they sat in an awkward silence. Natasha wasn’t sure what she was supposed to say now; she didn’t want to keep talking about the carnival. She looked down at her hands in her lap, her acrylic fingernails were starting to look bad because she kept picking at them out of nervousness. She forced her fingers to stop and reached for her drink.
“Well, isn’t this the epitome of awkward.”
Natasha almost choked on her sip of water. She immediately looked at the chair beside her that she thought was empty. Caleb was perched on the back of the chair with his feet in the seat.
“Tasha, are you alright?” Justin asked looking concerned.
She dragged her eyes away from Caleb’s sparkling ones. “Yeah, the water just went down the wrong pipe is all.”
Justin smiled back, while Caleb laughed. As hard as she tried, she couldn’t ignore his presence. Out of her peripheral, she could see Caleb watching her. She tried talking to Justin, but Caleb kept making comments every once in a while. She knew he planned this, because she couldn’t reply or yell at him without looking crazy. Asshole, she thought, shooting him dangerous looks whenever Justin wasn’t looking at her.
“I was thinking that after we eat dinner, we could go to Onyx for drinks and dancing if you want to,” Justin said halfway through their meal.
“Oh, that’s just great. We get to watch him flail around and call it dancing.”
Natasha ignored Caleb’s comment and smiled at Justin. “That sounds like a great idea!”
“You can’t possibly want to go dancing with this girl!”
Again, Natasha ignored Caleb’s comment, until Justin excused himself to go to the bathroom. She rounded on Caleb and narrowed her eyes. “I thought you said you wouldn’t call him a girl anymore. I happen to love going dancing, so why wouldn’t I go with him?”
“I promised I wouldn’t call him girlish, not a girl; two completely different things. I don’t see why you would want to go because he can’t dance. He looks like he’s having seizures.”
“I don’t care what he looks like while dancing, I want to go,” Natasha said, spotting Justin coming back towards them. She had to admit to herself, though, that Justin could not dance. She remembered from the previous weekend at Onyx that she and Callie had laughed at him while dancing. She wouldn’t say it out loud, though. She smiled at Justin as he sat down to finish his dinner.
After dinner and the club, Justin was driving her home. She had enjoyed herself immensely. Although Caleb was right in Justin not being able to dance, she ignored it. When they danced together, she was able to keep him in tempo with her and it was decent. She did laugh, though, when she saw Caleb near the wall of the club imitating Justin. She couldn’t help but to laugh, Caleb looked even more ridiculous than Justin.
When Justin had pulled into Natasha’s drive way, he shut off the engine. They sat talking a few minutes more. Justin had even held her hand on the ride home, which was a weakness of Natasha’s. Just as Justin was leaning in to kiss her, Natasha’s phone went off.
“Sorry,” she apologized and pulled it out of the pocket of her purse. The text was from a number she didn’t recognize, it wasn’t saved in her phone.
“Get inside right now.”
She ignored it and leaned back towards Justin to kiss him, but again her phone interrupted them.
“Sorry, it’s just my brother,” she lied. Looking back at her phone, she saw she had another text from the same number.
“Natasha, I’m not playing around. Get inside now, you’re in trouble.”
She took this one seriously; it had to be Caleb texting her.
“I’m sorry, Justin. I’ve got to go now. Text me later and we’ll do this again, okay?”
At his nod, she picked up her purse and opened the door. She hopped out of the truck and made her way up the sidewalk to her front door. She was reaching her key towards the lock when the door was opened and she was pulled inside suddenly. She looked up at saw Caleb, his eyes dark, looking out of the window beside the door.
“Get upstairs to your room. Don’t open the curtains, and whatever you do, don’t open the windows.”
“Where are you going?”
“I’m going to make a lap around the house. Apparently, they’ve found out where you live. When I get outside, lock the door. I’ll knock four times on your window so you know it’s me.”
She nodded and watched Caleb open the front door and disappear into the night. She shut the door and locked it, making her way upstairs. She hadn’t seen her dad’s car outside and assumed that her parents were gone for the night. As soon as she was in her room, she threw her purse on her bed, shutting and locking her door. She turned on the lamp beside her bed, not wanting to turn the overhead on. She reached under her bed for the .38 her father had made her get when she was eighteen, and made sure it was loaded. Closing the barrel, she placed it back in its holster and sat in the middle of the bed, staring at the window across the room.
Minutes passed but they felt like an eternity. Every time she heard a noise, she jumped. At one point, she had thought she heard thunder and remembering what Isabel had told her, she imagined all sorts of things. When the knock finally came on her window, she almost screamed. Being cautious, she picked up the gun and slowly made her way to the window. She walked to left side of it and looked out the space between her curtain and wall. She could see Caleb’s face and she opened the blinds, setting the gun down on her desk.
As she lifted the window, Caleb’s feet slid in. She took a step back, letting him have room. She moved her laptop out of his way so he could use the desk to get in. She tried to look behind him to catch a glimpse of his wings, but they weren’t there. A shirt was also missing from his torso, and she couldn’t help but admire his wide shoulders and muscular build.
“Are you alright?” he asked her, looking around the room.
“Yeah, I’m okay,” she said and watched him turn back to the window and reach over the desk to close it. That’s when her eyes feasted on the intricately drawn black wings on his back. As his shoulders moved, so did the tattoo, almost as if the tattoo was alive. Something about the wings was familiar, though. Her head tilted to the side as she studied the tattoo more. One feather was missing from his right side near the center of his back. Suddenly, it hit her. She reached for her necklace and looked at it; the same feather was missing from her necklace.
She took a step closer to Caleb who was looking out of the window. Her right hand rose up and she reached out to touch the tattoo. Her fingers had barely brushed his skin when he whirled around and captured her wrist in mid-air.
“Don’t ever touch me there,” he said. His eyes had changed from blue to black and Natasha recoiled. She silently watched as he walked to a small duffle bag that was near her vanity and pull out a shirt, pulling it over his head. He turned back to her and his eyes fell on the desk. She followed his eyes to the gun and remembered she’d gotten it out.
Just as she picked it up and turned to put it back in its place, Caleb was standing face to face with her. “What did you plan on doing with that?”
“I-I don’t know. If some…If something was to happen, I guess I was g-going to stall for time.”
“Good idea, princess.”
She had thought he was being sarcastic but when she looked up, she realized he was smiling. He took the gun from her and placed it back underneath her bed.
“Your parents went out of town again; their note is on the counter in the kitchen.”
“Oh, okay,” Natasha said, nodding. She was still a bit shaken after Caleb being so dark.
She robotically moved to her dresser, pulling out a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to change into for bed. She made her way to her bathroom and changed quickly. She removed her make-up and brushed her teeth. By the time she exited the bathroom, Caleb was sitting in her computer chair in a t-shirt and basketball shorts.
“What do you have planned for tomorrow?” he asked her.
“Callie wants to go shopping,” she replied softly.
Caleb sighed as he listened to Natasha give him short answers. He knew she was wary of him for how he’d reacted to her touching his back. He needed to explain.
“Natasha…it’s really intimate when you touch an Angel’s tattoo. It’s supposed to be off-limits to anyone unless you’re mates. I’m sorry I snapped; I forgot you didn’t know. It’s just really intimate. It would be like you grinding against someone while dancing or…something else. It’s just really awkward for me, so again, I apologize.”
Natasha only nodded and pulled the covers back on her bed. She crawled in between the sheets and pulled her knees to her chest. Caleb knew that she was pulling away, a tactic she’d used since she was younger and her dad would yell at her. She stayed quiet until the yelling was done and her father apologized to her. He stood up and walked to her side of the bed, sitting down. He twisted to face her, but she was looking the other way. He reached and turned on her iPod, letting the music fill the room. Natasha turned her head back and looked at him. He reached up and cupped her face with his right hand.
“I really am sorry, Natasha. I’ll do better next time, I promise.”
Natasha just smiled at him.
“Get some sleep. You’ll need it for shopping with Callie,” he said, which brought a bigger smile to her face. He stood up and walked to the door as she turned off the lamp beside her. As he closed the door, he turned back to her. “Goodnight, princess.”
♠ ♠ ♠i have nothing to say, really (:
enjoy, comment, whatevs (: