In My Arms

By: Taryn Plendl

Chapter 1



Ava

I should have stayed home, I decided as I watched my best friend Talia dancing like a crazy woman with no rhythm.

This was the first night I’d been out in weeks and I couldn’t believe it was for this. Really. Of all places to go on my first night out in weeks. We couldn’t start slow, maybe coffee, dinner, even a movie? No. Talia had shown up ready to drag me out of my aunt’s house tonight. I was perfectly happy sitting at home going through my I hate you, screw you, hope you get a serious disease and die or hit by a truck, wish I never met you and hope she's worth it kind of mood, but Talia wasn’t taking no for an answer.

I couldn’t blame her for wanting to get me out of the house. That’s what good friends do when they know you are beating yourself up over something beyond your control. Right? I knew I was just bitter and nursing a broken heart, but sometimes you just need to suffer in silence. Yeah, that wasn’t happening tonight.

I’d just broken off a two year relationship with my boyfriend Kyle. I loved him, or at least I thought I did, but I just had a hard time being okay with him screwing other women. Go figure!

It had really shocked me to come home early from work and find him screwing some bimbo in our living room—so much so that I couldn’t even say anything. I just packed a bag and left. Kyle had the audacity to act shocked that I’d left. He seriously can’t expect me to play the part of the happy girlfriend, when he had other girls auditioning for the role.

Things with Kyle had been strained this past year. I could feel myself moving away from him and he had become increasingly mean. Yelling at me over stupid shit, putting me down. I don’t know why I stayed. Who does that? I’m better than that. Women can fake an orgasm. Men on the other hand, can fake an entire relationship.

The club was packed tonight. I knew I shouldn’t have offered to drive Talia tonight. I never was one who liked the club scene anyway, but having to navigate it stone cold sober was killing me.

I gazed across the room to where Talia was currently feeling no pain as she swung her long blonde hair around, twirling and grinding on random men with wild abandon. Every once in awhile she would catch my eye and gesture for me to get out there and dance.

Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t dance. I knew my limitations. Trust me, I had danced plenty in the privacy of my own room, and every time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I was making some ridiculous duck face or doing something awkward with my arms. There is no doubt that my moves weren’t ready for the public arena. Besides, Kyle had always told me how bad I danced. Maybe that was just his excuse so he could dance with random women right under my nose. Bastard!

“You must be proud.” The deep voice caught me off guard and I jumped.

“Pardon me?” I turned to find a tall muscular man propped on the stool next to me. When had he shown up? He was smiling at me with one of those I’m sexy-you can’t resist me-you might as well submit now kind of smiles. Not this girl. No way!

He nodded his chin out to where Talia was still gyrating on people and inanimate objects. Hmmm. Wow. I couldn’t very well not claim her could I? I was like a parent with the kid that was constantly embarrassing them in public. As much as you wanted to leave them there, you knew you still had to take them home. Talia was a little outspoken, exuberant, even animated, but she was still my best friend. Yes damn it! I was as proud as a stage mom!

“Ah, yes…. As a matter of fact, I am.” I took a sip of my diet soda and raised my eyebrows at the breathtaking specimen next to me. I needed to remind myself that he just insulted my friend. No matter how gorgeous he was. He looked away, so I took a moment to discretely admire his deliciously broad shoulders, muscles that rippled and flexed down his arms, his flat stomach and strong legs. Yummy! Come on, a girl can look right? Raising my eyes back up, I landed on his amused face, obviously taking in the fact that I was totally checking him out. Yeah, guess I wasn’t very discrete.

“So, do you always make it a habit of insulting random people’s friends?” I challenged as I stirred my dreadfully non-alcoholic drink with the straw. The man was hot, but his arrogance….yeah, not so much. Maybe I could over look that? Focus Ava!

He threw his head back and let out a low sultry chuckle. Oh my! “No, as a matter a fact I don’t. I just noticed you sitting here watching your friend, and it sure seemed like you weren’t having a good time. Am I right?” He took a long pull from his bottle of beer and continued, “Why would you come with her if you didn’t want to be here?” His green eyes bore straight through me. They were captivating with gold flakes and lashes that were so long it was sinful. He almost seemed genuine, but I was slightly taken aback by his observation. What the hell? Who did this guy think he was? It only infuriated me more that his observation was dead on. I wasn’t having fun, well at least not until now. I was kind of enjoying this banter. Maybe I could take my aggression out on this man. He looked like he could take it.

“Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize you're an expert on my life and how I should live it after sitting next to me for two minutes. Please continue while I take notes.” I quipped and took another sip of my soda, doing my best not to focus on his soft pink lips that were slowly turning up in a sultry half smile. Look away!