Authors: Samantha Horne
“Right, Miss Laura, your car will be ready and waiting for you tomorrow.”
I smiled broadly at him, tempted to jump over the bar and give him a quick kiss!
Wow, it really had been too long since I’d gotten any action.
“Thank you so much! Do you know how much it’s going to cost me?”
He gave me a wink, and leaned forward on the bar in a casual pose which screamed confidence.
“No charge. Take it as a ‘thanks for visiting’ and ‘please come again’.”
“Seriously? I really don’t mind paying. I have my purse on me.”
“Your car will be back in your safe hands tomorrow, and that’s all you need to worry about.”
“Well then, thank you. I really appreciate it.”
“No sweat.” Winking again, he moved along the bar to serve two men who had walked in about five minutes ago. Turning around, I looked back at the two brothers, and saw them waiting impatiently for me to join them at the door. As I went to walk out, Logan called my name and I turned quickly to see him smile at me again.
Seriously, if this guy wasn’t twice my age he would be seriously cute!
“Hope to see you again, sometime.”
Hmm, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad here, after all
Honestly, sitting in the back of a car with the two buff brothers, Isaac and Jackson, was probably the most awkward situation I’d ever been in. I could tell they were both annoyed with each other, and they weren’t particularly interested in getting to know me either, so it was silence all round. I tried to watch the scenery as we drove but all I could see were trees, and in the cover of darkness I could barely even see
. I was still getting a weird feeling from the place, but the mystery surrounding it seemed to be calling to me, and a shiver passed through me that I couldn’t explain. We’d been in the car for about five minutes when Isaac cleared his throat, and glanced at me quickly out of the corner of his eye.
“Jackson, you know this is dangerous.”
“Dangerous how? Isaac, she’s going to spend the night in Noah’s B&B and will be leaving tomorrow, what could possibly happen?”
“We don’t know her! She could be any one; she could be helping someone who means us harm.”
I felt confused as to why Isaac was so worried about me being a danger, but then that turned in to anger at being so blatantly talked about, whilst not being included in the conversation.
“It’s one night, Isaac! I get the final say, and she stays.”
I coughed loudly, causing them both to turn around and look as me, as Jackson pulled in next to a building and turned off the engine.
“Can you please not talk about me like I’m invisible? Isaac, I’m sorry but I’ve known you for about five minutes and I’ve got to say, I don’t like you. At all. How dare you judge me so quickly, when all I’ve done is trek to the nearest place for help when I was stranded. Would you rather me have stayed in my car, freezing to death and waiting for a rescue? All I want is a few hours’ sleep, my little car back and then I promise I will be on my way. Now, if you boys don’t mind, I need to get out of these wet jeans and in to a hot bath, so I’ll hopefully not be seeing you again.” Feeling immensely satisfied with the stunned looks on their faces, I hopped out of the car and walked up to the steps of what looked like a cosy, and welcoming hotel. The outside looked like a beautiful cottage, with pink and blue flowers over the entrance and large, welcoming doors with candles to light the way. Smiling to myself as I walked in, I realised that maybe all of my prayers had been answered. I’d wanted something different. I’d wanted an adventure. I’d wanted to get away from it all. Maybe this would be the perfect place to have my fresh start?
As I approached the front desk, I looked around and noticed how homely the quaint cottage was. There was an old fashioned fireplace with a roaring fire, and a few vacant armchairs placed in front of it. A wooden, winding staircase led upstairs and there was a door heading to the back behind where the reception desk was placed. I heard the door open behind me, and rolled my eyes as I spun to see Jackson walking in, with that stern look still on his face.
“Okay, so we deserved that.” He said, walking in with a small smile appearing on his face, which I was oddly proud to have put there. He didn’t seem like the kind of guy who smiled all that often.
Walking up to me, he leaned against the reception desk and hit a bell to announce our arrival. The door heading out to the back opened, and the most beautiful woman I had ever seen stepped through and smiled broadly at the two of us. With long, blonde hair flowing down her back, she was petite but with curves at her hips and brilliant blue eyes. A man was following behind her, and he was very clearly related to both Jackson and Isaac. They each had the same prominent cheek bones, and ruggedly handsome good looks with bodies that men would happily kill for. His hair was slightly longer and dark, and he too had a smile on his face as he saw us waiting at the desk.
“Jackson!” The man said. Standing behind the desk he threw his arm around the woman, whom I presumed to be his wife. “How can I help you this evening?”
“Noah, this is Laura. She needs a place to stay for the night as her car broke down.”
“Yes, thank you Jackson, I am capable of speaking for myself.” I said, slightly annoyed with how much he was treating me like a child. I looked towards the couple and smiled in relief to see no hostile looks being thrown my way, just amused glances between Jackson and me as they tried to figure out what had happened.
“Never said you couldn’t, Laura. My apologies for any offence caused.”
. The beautiful woman laughed, and walked around the desk, holding her hand out for me to shake.
“Hey Laura! My name’s Jasmine, and that’s my husband, Noah. We’d love to have you for the evening and hope you’ll be comfortable here.” Her smile was infectious and I couldn’t help but return it.
“Thank you for having me. You really do have a beautiful place.”
“Well, we love it. Is there anything else you need, Jackson, or can I show Laura upstairs?”
“Of course.” He reached a hand in to his jeans pocket, and pulled out a card which he handed to me. “Just in case you need anything, my numbers on the card. Your car should be waiting outside for you when you wake up. It was a…well, it was interesting to meet you Laura.”
“Yeah, you too.” I said, before shoving the card in my bag without even looking at it. I know it probably seemed quite rude but to be honest, all I was thinking about right then was getting in to a warm cosy bed, and forgetting about the strange night. Jasmine smiled at me again, before leading the way up the winding staircase which definitely had a certain charm to it. As we reached the top of the stairs, I noticed beautiful windows overlooking the large woods surrounding the cottage, and a wooden hallway covered with thick, plush rugs which gave it a cosy feel. Jasmine approached a door on the right, and opened it with a large, old fashioned key. She showed me in to a gorgeous room with cream, luscious rugs on the floor, a large four poster bed, a desk with a large mirror and a door that led in to an en-suite. My heart rejoiced as I glimpsed the size of the bath tub through the door, and I could not wait to get out of my wet clothes and take a long, relaxing soak.
“Wow, this room is beautiful.” I said, as I dropped my handbag on to the bed.
“Thank you. It’s rare we have anyone from out of town, so I’m so excited to be able to help you.”
I grinned, as for the first time since arriving in the strange place, I actually felt welcome. After explaining that breakfast started at 7am, Jasmine gave me a small wave and left the room, closing the door softly behind her. The first thing I did once the door shut, was head towards the bathroom, kicking off my shoes as I went. All I could think about was spending a good hour in that tub, and I left my clothes hanging near the radiator to dry, as they were the only clothes I would have in the morning. As I started to run the bath, I kept thinking about my situation and how I had come to end up in this town. A month ago I’d believed that my life was pretty much over. Just one week after the best day of my life - my wedding day - I’d walked in to my own bedroom to find my new husband in bed with my best friend, who had been maid of honour at the wedding! I’d gone from the happiest woman in the world, to wondering what the hell I was supposed to do now. Oh, he’d tried to grovel and told me it was just one time but I knew that if I forgave him once, he would just do it again. It just proved to me that I didn’t know the man at all, and that scared me. My trust had been broken by not just my husband, but also my best friend, and I knew it would take me a while before I got over it. Hence my desire to get away somewhere else. I didn’t have any family, so the only thing that was tying me to my house was him, and he was no longer an issue anymore. It hurt more than I thought possible, but I knew if I stayed I would just be lying to myself, and I respected myself more than that.
As I sank down in to the hot water, and sighed loudly at finally being able to relax, I thought back to how the evening turned out so oddly. Although most of the people seemed hostile towards me, there was also a sense of mystery about this place, and my heart was telling me to find out more. I clearly had some kind of attraction to Jackson, but then who wouldn’t? Not only was he gorgeous, but he had that whole brooding thing going on, which I never realised I was in to until then. I decided to see how I felt in the morning and choose what I was going to do, but at the moment my heart was definitely swinging towards staying in this unfamiliar place, and discovering why the town was so wary of strangers. I left the tub with a heavy heart as I could have stayed in there forever, no problem, and threw on my underwear before getting in to the bed. Holy shit, it was the most amazing bed I had ever slept on. I pretty much just ended up lost in a mountain of sheets and warm blankets, and I drifted off in to the most comfortable and peaceful night’s sleep I’d had in a long time.
“Fuck, she’s beautiful.”
“Don’t even think about it. She’s a human.” Okay, so I’d like to think I was warning my brother away from the stranger because I thought she was dangerous, or I got a bad feeling about her. The truth of the matter was that
thought she was beautiful too. I’d only met the woman for five minutes and I was already having thoughts of jealousy towards my brother. Of course, Isaac despised humans more than anyone else I know, so I knew that he would never actually go there with her. Well, nothing more than a night in bed together, anyway.
“I know she’s a human.” Isaac curled his lip in disgust as we sat in the car, having just said goodbye to my other brother. “It doesn’t mean she wouldn’t be fun for one night though, right?”
“Urgh, can you think with your head instead of your dick for one minute?”
“Please, like you weren’t thinking the exact same thing!” Isaac laughed, before I pulled away from the curb and started heading towards his place.
“Okay, I’ll admit, she’s beautiful. But where the fuck did she come from?” In a close-knit town like ours, any newcomers stuck out like a sore thumb. It was my job to make sure they never hung around, and disappeared before finding out our secrets.
“Jackson, I do believe I just saw a smile cross your face!”
Shit, I thought I’d hidden that.
“Whatever.” I wasn’t normally such a grumpy guy, but sometimes the responsibilities I had, laid heavily on my shoulders. Thoughts of the pretty new girl kept hitting me, before I remembered that I didn’t have time to think about women, let alone hook up with them. Humans were bad news, and I decided to make it my mission to find out exactly what the beautiful Laura was doing here; wondering why it was I was secretly hoping that she was going to stick around.
“For whatever reason, she managed to find us. I don’t trust her though, so I’m going to help you keep an eye on her.”
I laughed at Isaac’s clear negativity about my capabilities.
“I think I can handle one human woman all by myself.”
“I don’t know, Jackson. She seemed quite fiery.”
“Oh please, if I tell her she needs to leave then she will.”
“If you say so.” Isaac’s smirk pissed me off, but I couldn’t be bothered to argue with him. I let all thoughts of Laura leave my brain when my phone chimed alerting us to trouble in the town centre. Just a normal day, then.
Okay, so when I woke the next morning, I honestly had every intention of making the most of the day and figuring out where I was going to head to next. When I woke however, all my positive energy had deserted me. Totally. Relaxing had - it seemed - allowed my facade to dim, and the brutal emotion of all my ex's betrayal was hitting me full force. Questions circulated endlessly in my mind; "Why me?" "What did I do?" "What do I do now?" And my personal favourite "What else did I miss?” I relived every second of what I had perceived to be a happy relationship and found in hindsight signs of trouble everywhere. I didn't know if the signs really existed, or my memory had altered somehow to put them there - taunting me. Perhaps I could have saved myself a lot of embarrassment and heartache if I'd paid more attention? Perhaps love really was blind, either way I was feeling all kinds of shitty. I tried to shake it off and give myself a hypothetical kick up the ass - but the effort was too great so I decided to indulge myself and allow myself to grieve for all I had lost. I called down to reception and said I was feeling under the weather, before continuing my pity party for one.