by Rachael Wade
Publication date: June 22nd 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance
Every woman in my life is supposed to be like Othello Station – a last stop. Unless they know how to keep their distance. I’ve managed to maintain a routine, one that works for me and one I have no intention of ever changing. But this dove came along. Soft and delicate, tainting my thoughts. I can think of twenty different ways to get rid of her. I need this dove to take flight.
But she won’t fly away.
She won’t release me from her cage.
Her wings ensnare me.
And now I want to get off this train. I wish I never boarded this ride. Because I’m about to crash and take this dove with me. But sometimes you can’t stop the crash. Sometimes you just have to hang on and let the flames ignite. Let the fire burn.
Sometimes, the fire is what saves you.
Not even a minute passes when I realize I have no glasses. Not even little plastic cups in the bathroom. Seriously? This is a four star hotel in downtown Seattle. The reviews are great; the place is clean, classy, and well kept. And yet they leave one chick to fend for herself at the front desk and fail to provide even the most basic necessities in the rooms? I’m a hotel snob. My standards might be high. But seriously? This shit is crazy. I throw on my coat, jog out of the room, and head down to the front desk.
Mira’s on the phone, making a coffee for a displeased customer, and attempting to shuffle through a pile of paperwork. When she spots me, she eyes me cautiously for a moment, then returns her attention to the multitasking at hand.
I wander to the edge of the desk and wait patiently until she serves the coffee and hangs the phone up. Her nose scrunches and she winces. “Is the wine no good? Do you want that cash back? Because—”
“No.” I lift a hand. “I just need some glasses.”
“There are none in your room?”
She bites her lip, and my gaze follows. It’s far from seductive. She’s nervous as hell. But something about it makes my cock twitch. “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s not your fault. Unless you’re the housekeeping department, too. In which case, I wouldn’t be surprised.”
She jumps toward the bar and begins the search for the glasses. “No,” she laughs awkwardly, “of course not.”
“Well. That’s a relief.”
She returns with one glass.
“I need two. I’m having company.”
She’s dumbstruck. A tinge of red paints her cheeks. “Oh! Yes, of course.” She hands me a second.
“Anything else for you?”
“Yeah…” I veer around the desk toward the bar and snatch a menu from the counter. “Can I order some food to go?”
“Absolutely. Give me just a second.” She straightens a pile of paperwork and reaches for a notepad before joining me at the cash till. I watch her glance over her shoulder, then eye the phone. She’s a million miles away. She’s overwhelmed, is what she is.
“Are you the cook, too?”
“Pfftt.” She waves and puffs her lips. “God, no.”
“Actually, nevermind.” I set the menu down and slide the glasses toward her. “I’ll be back to get these. I’m going to grab something to eat around the corner instead, here in Belltown.”
“Wait! You don’t have to do that. I’m really not the cook, I swear!”
“I certainly hope not.” My bland expression must affect her, because she retreats right back into her shell, like a scared turtle.
“Well, I’d be happy to recommend some places to eat.” Her voice softens, and I suddenly feel like an asshole. I’m good at that, apparently.
“I know Belltown pretty well. Thanks, though.”
Her shoulders sag a little, but she smiles kindly and wishes me a good night. I head outside into nightfall and sail around the corner, crossing two blocks until I reach my favorite dive bar. I order wings and a salad to go and wait outside while they put my order in.
Asian lovers stroll by, feeding one another gelato. A valet driver whistles at his colleague from the curb, his face lighting up with laughter. So much life, buzzing all around me, but nothing dwells within. Not since he passed away. Not since I’ve dedicated every ounce of energy to my work. My job as a graphic designer fuels me, brings me joy, but not life. Not the kind that existed before.
Now I rely on biking, hiking, and women to dull the ache. We all have vices. I’d like to think mine are healthy. Biking equals exercise and fresh air. Win. Hiking equals more exercise and more fresh air.
Double win. Women equals sex, and we all need that. Triple win.
Still, somewhere, the light faded out. And I don’t even know how to begin getting it back.
Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.com and www.LightsOnOutreach.com, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade.