A whirlwind romance neither one was prepared for 📚
As the music changes to a slower beat, the guy moves closer to me. Before I can even move back from him, Phil has moved in between us and I feel Valentine’s hand in mine. I’m pulled away from the group so fast that my head spins, and it takes a moment to focus.
Valentine’s face is ashen. I haven’t seen this look before. ‘Come on, we’re leaving,’ he shouts over the music, pulling me behind him without looking back at me.
‘What? Why?’ I shout at him. He doesn’t answer me.
‘Sam, I’ll call you tomorrow and you can bring me to get the bike?’
‘Yeah, man –for sure! Be good, sis,’ he shouts out over the music with a grin.
I can feel my temper rising. The cold early-morning air makes my head spin, as we step out onto the street.
Valentine leads me to a taxi, opens the door and guides me in. ‘Watch your head,’ he says as he slides in next to me and leans over to put on my seat belt.
‘I can manage my own seatbelt,’ I say, starting to feel really annoyed. He’s dragged me from my friends –and my brother –for what?
‘I want to make sure it’s on properly,’ he says flatly. He’s really annoyed too, but why? He doesn’t sound like Valentine.
‘Where are you going?’ says the taxi driver, looking at Valentine through his rear vision mirror.
‘22 Copper Ave, Lathlain,’ he answers, not taking his eyes from me, doing up my seat belt.
‘What’s wrong with you?’ I say, trying my best to sound compliant. I really don’t like to see him upset. And I hate conflict.
‘That guy was hitting on you,’ he says calmly, as the taxi pulls out onto the road.
The driver flicks on the heater and turns the radio up a little –probably so he doesn’t appear to be listening to our argument.
‘So we leave, because a drunk guy was dancing nearby?’ I keep my own voice low. It’s an honest question.
‘He was dancing very close to you and his eyes were all over you,’ Valentine explains, as though he is explaining why we use an umbrella when it rains.
‘Phil came close to me so the guy would back off. I didn’t need you to pull me away like I’d done something wrong.’
‘You did nothing wrong, Abbie,’ he says.
Now I know I’m in trouble –Abbie –what happened to Princess? He takes a long breath and takes hold of my hand. ‘I’m sorry –I just don’t like it,’ he adds, as though this clarifies everything. ‘It was all under control.’
‘No it wasn’t –what if he’d hurt you?’ ‘He wasn’t even very close –and Phil was there!’ ‘Where I come from, we settle things differently,’ he snaps.
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’
He sighs and speaks lower. ‘In my neighbourhood, if a man mistreated a girl, he’d be dealt with before the police even had a chance to arrest him. I’ve been boxing since I was ten and I’ve been fighting for survival since I could walk. I’m sorry, but instinct sometimes gets the better of me and I try to avoid situations where I may be forced to kill a man—’
‘You’d kill a man, because he dances near me?’ ‘I’d kill a bull for you,’ he says flatly.
I can’t believe he’s being so serious. ‘He was just dancing near me! You can’t go around beating people up for dancing too close to your girlfriend!’ I’m so angry that my voice is getting louder.
‘I’m sorry, Princess,’ he whispers and squeezes my hand. ‘I will not share you, even with another man’s eyes or thoughts.’
Whoa! Now here’s a revelation. Does he want to hide me in a tower somewhere? This doesn’t sound like my Valentine at all. ‘You can’t wrap me up in cotton wool,’ I shout at him, a little too loudly. He flicks his eyes to the front of the car briefly to see if the taxi driver heard but then looks back down at my fingers entwined through his. ‘And I left my rose behind,’ I add, realising I left my rose on the bar with my drink.
‘I can get you another rose—’
‘I don’t want another damn rose, I want you to not behave like a teenager,’ I snap.
‘I want to be the beginning and end of your world –with no exceptions. And I don’t want other men looking at you—’
‘I can’t stop people from looking at me… even though they aren’t anyway –you’re not flattering me with this behaviour,’ I say.
There’s silence for a few minutes; except for the song playing on the radio. Radiohead’s Creep. I love this song. Valentine is my creep, and I love him.
‘I know I can’t stop them from looking –I was being silly. I just don’t know how I’m going to cope with you being so damn beautiful and me feeling this way. This is all very new to me –forgive me, Princess?’ he smiles.
I manage to smile at him, but I’m still mad.
‘Good, now let’s go home and make up,’ he grins at me wolfishly. How can I stay mad?
❤ Infinite Completion ~ Amazon link: