Love, Unwanted (Discovering Love #3)By: Ra Chael Ohara
He finishes my sentence for me, “You want to live.”
A feeling I haven’t had in so long begins to take root inside me. Hopefulness. Hope that maybe I’ve found someone who finally understands me.
“I want to live,” I confirm.
“Well, then, let’s go have an adventure.” Phoenix grabs my hand. I dig my heels into the ground.
“Let’s go get your adventure,” he says with a huge smile.
“I don’t understand,” I reply because honestly I don’t.
He sighs and stands directly in front of me. “Look, you just gave me a list of things you want to try but you were never brave enough to. Well, I’m Phoenix Castle and I’m about to be your tour guide on this amazing fucking ride you’re about to take.”
“But…but I don’t even know you!” I practically shout. This whole conversation is so surreal.
“Not yet, but by the time we complete that list, you will.”
“I’m not sleeping with you!” I remind him. I’m starting to wonder if I’m reminding him for his benefit or mine.
I grin when he throws his head back and laughs. “Is everything about sex with you?”
“Listen, I’m not doing this to get in your pants. Fuck, I don’t even know why I’m doing this. For some reason, I just want to be the one to help you with this. No sex.”
I can feel my eyebrows scrunch out of curiosity and sadness. I know it was a long shot to think that Phoenix would be interested in anything more than a friendship with me, but it sucks to hear the words.
“What do you say, birdie? Wanna go on an adventure with me?”
Almost There, Birdie. Get Ready To Fly.
The doorbell rings. While trying to get to the front door, I stumble over a forgotten shoe. I swing it open and, to my surprise, see Phoenix standing on the other side of it.
After I agreed to him being my adventure tour guide yesterday, he got a phone call from his manager and had to leave. I gave him my phone number, but deep down I never expected to see or hear from him again, especially not at seven-thirty the next morning.
“Good morning, beautiful.” He smiles. Have I mentioned how amazing his smile is? Because it is. “Mind if I come in?” I nod my head and blush when I realize I’ve just been staring at the man.
“Oh, sure.” I move aside so he can walk in. I know my house is small, but with his huge, domineering presence, my living room looks like a closet. I anxiously watch as he takes in his surroundings. I can only imagine what he’s thinking. I don’t decorate like a grandma, but my design scheme isn’t what one would call modern either.
“Nice pad,” he eventually says.
My eyebrows scrunch in confusion. “Pad?”
“House. Nice house.” He chuckles.
“Oh, thanks.” After a few more minutes of awkward silence, I finally work up the nerve to ask what I’ve been wanting to since I opened my front door. “What are you doing here?”
“Well, since it’s such a bright and sunny day, and we get those so rarely, I figured now is as good a time as any to cross off one of your adventures.”
“But it’s Tuesday.”
“I work on Tuesdays,” I answer slowly.
“Don’t you own the library? Just keep it closed for the day.” He shrugs.
“That would be irresponsible.” I regret the sentence as soon as I say it. Really, Caroline? Could you sound any more like a wet blanket?
“Irresponsibility can be fun, birdie.”
There’s that name again. When he said it yesterday, I almost thought it was an accident, but now I know it’s not. I wonder why he calls me that, but I’m not brave enough to ask. What I know already is that I love it when he calls me birdie.
“Where are we going?”
A triumphant smile spreads across Phoenix’s face at my questions because he knows I’m about to give in.
“It’s a surprise.” Nervous and excited butterflies take flight in my stomach at the prospect of accomplishing one of my wishes.
“Will I be back in time to feed Bubbles? I don’t like to leave her home alone all day.”
Now it’s his turn to look confused. “Bubbles?”
“My fish.” I point to her bowl, which is sitting in the center of my small kitchen table.
“You don’t like to leave your fish home alone all day?”
He looks like he’s holding back a laugh. I’m well aware of the possibility of people not understanding my relationship with Bubbles, but how could anyone understand unless they truly know me?
“Don’t make fun. She means a lot to me!”
He loses the battle with fighting back his laughter.
“I’m serious!” I insist with a foot stomp for good measure.
“Shit, you’re cute,” he says between laughs. He walks over to me. “Deal, sweetheart. I’ll make sure you’re home on time to spend quality time with your fish. Now, go change.”
“Because, babe, as much as I love those tight skirts and fuck me heels you wear,” I blush yet again, “where we’re going today, you need to wear something more along the lines of jeans and tennis shoes.”