I hardly slept the night before; I've been over the moon with excitement. Today is not only my birthday, but I can finally get out of this cabin! We've been cooped up for almost two months. It will be fun getting to see more of this town. I felt like a child on their way to Disneyland, hopping in the shower and getting ready for the day.
Today was also the first time since we have been here that I felt like doing my hair, putting on some light make-up, and wearing something other than sweats. Plus, I wanted to feel cute and maybe show Mason a bit of what he was missing. I had little to choose from for clothes, but luckily, my favorite little blue sundress was saved from being blown to pieces. The powder blue fabric was loose-fitting; yet hit all the right curves to show off my hourglass waist, helping my small breasts look a bit bigger and complimenting my bum.
Mason lingered for me to get ready, only inquiring once to see if I was ready. I finally strolled down the steps and watched Mason's face light up, his eyes stuck on my figure. I reached the last step and twirled. “Do I look alright?” Hoping he would approve of my appearance.
His eyes were wide, inspecting my body. “You look stunning.” His hand reached for mine. “Shall we?” Mason held my hand and led me to the truck.
We drove for about 20 minutes until we finally reached the town. The streets were lined with local vendors, carnival rides, and games. The smell of fresh turkey legs and popcorn filled the air, making me feel like a child again. “Okay, birthday girl, what are we doing first?” Mason asked, opening my car door.
I inspected the vendors and games, trying to decide what I wanted to do first, then I saw it, “Funnel cake!” I don’t remember the last time I had a piece of that fried golden treasure topped with powder sugar. Mason chuckled at my child-like outburst.
The time flew by, before I knew it, the sun was beginning to set. Each carnival ride came to life with a colorful glow. Twinkling lights lined the tents, making the town look like something out of a fairytale. “What do you say? Time to get a few drinks?” I had waited patiently for the day to wind down before getting to the actual stuff, the fun part of turning 21.
“Whatever you want.” Mason said with a grin. We walked into a small bar, packed with people. The smell of beer permeated the entire building; country music echoed off the wood paneling being drowned out by the sound of people’s voices. The old wooden floor gently shook with each step while we made our way to the bar.
“What'll it be, folks?” The time-worn blonde behind the counter inquired.
“A shot of tequila and a Long Island Iced Tea.” I shouted my order so she could hear me.
“Just a whiskey and Coke,” Mason ordered politely.
“IDs please.” The woman demanded. As she looked over mine, she went over to a large bell on the wall, *RING, RING*.
Everyone went silent. “We have us a 21st birthday!” She roared to the sea of people. My face grew hot as everyone turned to look at me and cheer. “That'll be right up, happy birthday, darlin’.” The bartender left to get our drinks, which didn't take long to arrive.
Mason picked up his and stared at me with a mischievous grin, eyeing the shot of tequila placed in front of me. “Well?”
“Well, what?” Little did he know, this was not the first shot I had ever done, much less the first time getting drunk. Staring directly at him, I licked the webbing between my thumb and forefinger and placed a line of salt. I hurriedly licked it off and threw back the shot. The foul-tasting liquid burned my mouth and throat as heat exploded from my chest to the top of my head. Hastily, I sucked the sour juice from the slice of lime to quell the revolting flavor. A heave escaped my mouth.
“How was it?” Mason chortled.
“Oh, it was wonderful.” I spoke sarcastically, still trying to get the flavor out of my mouth.
“Looks like that was not your first time?”
“First legal time, though!” I celebrated, raising my glass to his.
“I'll be right back.” I watched as Mason walked over to the old-school jukebox on the other side of the room. My eyes fixated on his tall frame as he flipped through the songs, finally picking one that caught his attention. He came back to me and held his hand out as ‘Perfect’ (by Ed Sheeran) started playing over the speakers. “May I have this dance?” Mason held his hand out to me. I felt my eyes light up. Nodding my head, I took his hand. He led me over to the middle of the small dance floor, weaving in between the crowd of people, some dancing, some sharing conversations. Mason held me close, his hand carefully wrapped around my waist. My heart skipped a beat. Feeling light-headed, I rested my head on his shoulder. We swayed together. Slowly, everyone in the room disappeared. It was just the two of us and that’s all that mattered. Closing my eyes, I took in his sweet scent, holding on to him. Never wanting this moment to end. He rested his forehead on mine, staring into each other’s eyes. I could stay here forever. Our lips met, sending electricity through my entire body. Right then, I knew there was no going back.
The song ended, and we came back to reality. The crowd of people returned around us, and the low rumble of voices became louder. We moved our way back to the bar. “Stay right here, do not move. I have to check-in and use the toilet.” Mason excused himself. I sat on the tall barstool, sipping my drink.
A tap on my shoulder startled me. “That was quick…” I turned around, shocked to see a round, balding older man wearing thick-rimmed glasses. “Oh, I'm sorry.” My muscles tightened, fear growing in my stomach. “Can I help you?”
“Nothing to apologize for, sweetheart.” His words stunk of strong liquor; he fell onto the barstool next to mine.
“Oh, my friend will be right back.” My eyes searching the crowd for Mason.
“How about I take you home tonight?” His words slurred.
“Uh,” I searched for the words to make him go away without making myself sound too rude, not to anger him. He was extremely intoxicated. “No, thanks. Like I said, my friend will be back soon.”
“I'll treat you right, baby.” The strange man slurred, moving closer. His words made me want to throw up. “I could give you the best night of your life.”
“I said no!” I slammed down the rest of my drink and started walking away, but the man jerked me down by my arm. “Let go, now.” My voice was calm but firm. Mason’s tall figure was speeding towards us, about time, but I had this under control.
“Or what, princess?” Like a switch, his tone turned furious. He was too close, his lips almost touching my ear, his hand still holding onto me.
I warned him. Without hesitation, the loud crash was heard around the bar. Patrons went silent, and the employees rushed over. The large man was now lying on his stomach. I had his arm pinned behind his back. “Do you need a lesson on what no means?” I hissed at the man, letting go.
He sluggishly took to his feet again, his pride hurt. A look of disgust crossed his face as he raised his hand. Before I could react, Mason had him by the arm. “Let's go.” Mason picked the man up by his collar, dragging him out of the bar. The crowd cheered, pleased the problematic drunk was leaving.
Once we were out of view, Mason carried the man to the street, slamming his head into the hood of a random car. The sound of metal crumpling shocked me while it completely knocked him out. “That's better.”
“Mason!” His outburst stunned me. “Why did you do that?”
“He needed to get some manners knocked into him. Hopefully that'll do.” Mason wiped his hands together. “He had it coming.”
“I guess so, but still.”
He winked and placed his hand on the small of my back, leading me to the truck. We left the drunken fool lying in the middle of the sidewalk. “You, taking him down like that, though, that was hot.”
“What can I say? I had an excellent teacher.” I teased. Mason was right, the guy had it coming.
“I'm sorry we couldn't stay longer,” Mason told me while driving away. “But I have a surprise when we get back to the house.”
“Ooh, I love surprises.” I couldn't wait to see what it could be. The drive seemed like forever, the anticipation building every second.
(updated daily) Being on the run from assassins is not how I imagined my summer to go. I can't help but to have feelings for this man who has sworn to protect my life with his own...how can I fight this desire? Who are the men trying to kill me?
Is it even possible to find love while the truth comes to light about my mother's death and father's secretive job?