“I hadn’t planned to. I just love the atmosphere by Fenway on game day. And I love the watermelon ale at Beer Works, so it’s a win-win, if you ask me.” Olivia took another drink of water.
“Well, I have Red Sox season tickets. If you want to watch the game, I can take you with me. I was going to take my brother, but he can go next time.”
“I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to interfere.”
Alexander reached for Olivia’s hand and that spark was back. That feeling of electricity between them that Olivia had only read about in romance novels. That feeling she was convinced did not exist in real life. “If I didn’t want you to join me, I would not have asked you,” he said in a husky voice that just oozed sex.
Part of her wanted to refuse Alexander’s invitation. Yes, he was sexy as sin, but going out together, alone, scared Olivia. She secretly wanted to invite him over so she could fuck him and get him out of her system. Then she could go on with her perfectly ordered, albeit lonely, existence. But she realized something about Alexander would make it impossible to get him out of her system.
“I promise I don’t bite,” he whispered. “Unless you want me to.”
Fuck. How could she say no to that?
“Okay. I’ll go with you. But I need to go to Beer Works first for a watermelon ale.”
“Absolutely,” he replied with a twinkle in his eye. “The game starts at four-fifteen. Why don’t I pick you up at two? That way we can relax and have a few beers before the game.”
“Okay,” Olivia agreed, glancing down at her GPS watch. She had more than enough time to get in some serious running before he would pick her up.
“Please take it easy on the rest of your run.” Alexander looked down at the woman in front of him, the stern look back on his face. Olivia didn’t know whether to find it frightening or endearing that he seemed to care about her so much as to chastise her behavior. And there was something about that look and voice that made her want to obey him.
“I will.” Olivia turned to finish her run. She briefly glanced back and waved at him, thinking about what she had just agreed to. She had never dated before and immediately became anxious as she thought about what she had gotten herself into.
Growing up, Olivia went to an all girls boarding school for as long as she could remember. She would spend her summers with her uncle, who was her guardian, and he didn’t really allow her to date. He was a little over-protective, which was understandable, considering her parents were killed when she was young. Even in college, Olivia didn’t date. She would casually see people, but she never really let anyone in. This was her life and it worked perfectly until Alexander walked into it two nights ago. Thinking about his hooded eyes and the way his mouth caressed certain words made her stomach tighten in excitement. No one had ever made her feel like that before. And that scared her to death.
What was Alexander doing to her? She had known him for less than forty-eight hours and already he had her rethinking her relationships. Before meeting him, she was too worried about losing someone close to her to allow anyone in. She always pushed away anyone who seemed interested, refusing to fall in love. But now, something changed. And she wasn’t sure how she felt about that.
Olivia returned home around noon and got ready for her afternoon with Alexander. After showering and going through the tedious process of straightening her thick, curly hair, she headed downstairs to the kitchen and prepared a quick spinach and quinoa salad. As she ate, she sat at the breakfast bar, staring at the flowers Alexander sent the day before.
The yellow tulips and white calla lilies were beginning to slowly bloom and Olivia thought that the flowers could be a metaphor for her feelings for Alexander. They were slowly growing stronger and stronger. But just like everything else in her life, the flowers would inevitably die. And she would just be left alone. Again.
She played around with her salad, regretting that she actually agreed to go to the game with Alexander. It seemed like a good idea at the time as his delicious body stood in front of her, his voice husky when he told her he didn’t bite unless she wanted him to. But now in the clarity of her home, she knew it would just end up horribly for all involved. Nothing ever worked out for Olivia. She was all sorts of crazy and it was only a matter of time before her crazy scared off Alexander. As she finished her lunch, she wondered why she even cared. She needed to clear her head.
Trekking up to the third floor of her house, she entered her huge music room, which took up the entire floor. It was her pride and joy. After she bought her house, she hired contractors to demolish all the walls between rooms, making the third floor one large open space. It was just her, so she didn’t have a need for two additional guest bedrooms. One guest bedroom and one master bedroom was all she really needed.
Entering the large room, she smiled as she walked to the upright piano placed against the wall facing the street, a feeling of calm overtaking her body from being enclosed in the four walls of her musical sanctuary.
In addition to her piano, she had several different types of guitars, a keyboard, amps, and anything else a musician could possibly desire. Several framed posters of her favorite bands and musicians adorned the walls. Against the far wall sat a large couch as well as several lounge chairs. That room was her refuge when things got bad. Some weeks, it seemed she practically lived in there.
Olivia shuffled through her bookcase, searching for the sheet music to the song she had on her mind, not really even needing it, but it never hurt to have a guide. After several minutes of searching, she found it, making a mental note to organize her music. The room was a little stuffy, given the late August heat, so she opened one of the large windows to let in some fresh air, looking down at the street below to make sure Alexander wasn’t there yet.
She walked over to the piano and placed the music in front of her. Olivia had one passion in life. And that passion was music. It was how she dealt with life.
Olivia sat down and started the song, the sound of the piano and her voice filling the large room, the acoustics perfect.
At that moment, Alexander pulled up in front of Olivia’s house. He rang the doorbell. No answer. He rang again. Still no answer. He immediately became concerned. He tried the door. It was unlocked. He gingerly opened it, calling Olivia’s name. His ears were soon met with a beautiful melody that could only be Olivia singing.
He immediately flashed back to his younger years. Spending time with family friends. Playing piano and singing along during the holidays. Then having those friends taken from him. They weren’t the only victims that day. Part of Alexander died that day, too.