As I get to my feet, the world blurs slightly.
Ugh. Too many mimosas. I’m going to need some water or coffee when I get home.
“Okay, I’m going this.” I may be speaking to Amy, but I’m really talking to myself. So what if I need a little courage – liquid or otherwise?
“Sure I can’t talk you out of it?” she asks.
“No, no,” I reply firmly. “This is…what I need.”
“Okay, well, make sure to call me later so I know you’re okay. He doesn’t look like an axe murderer, but you never know with men.”
“You never do, Amy. You never do.”
Truer words were never spoken.
It’s a short walk to my cabin, and I manage to make it in one piece, despite the mimosas. When I get inside, I head to the bathroom to freshen up. I try to deal with my hair that is a wind-spun mess but end up giving in after a minute or two. S*xy beach-hair, right? Besides, Shawn’s going to be here any minute.
This is what I want to do, but for some reason, I’m feeling nervous. My heart isn’t racing, but I’m aware of each beat. It’s almost like my heart itself is quivering. So I head to the kitchen and quickly down a shot of vodka. I’m not a big drinker, and this is the most alcohol I’ve had in years.
I pull up Spotify on my phone and press something random that ends up being my workout mix. Not exactly what most people would choose to have s*x to, but I’m too tipsy to even worry about it. Shawn will be here soon, and if he wants to change it, he can.
Sunlight is streaming in through the windows, so I go to the bedroom and close the blinds. I’d rather Shawn and my first time not be with blinding light pouring down on me. Once I’m more comfortable with him, I’m sure it will be fine.
All this preparation. The complete opposite of how things were with Titus. Everything was out of my hands with him. He knew that was what I wanted, but in the end, all he did was use that against me.
And maybe it’s not what I should want. Maybe I should want to be more in control. Now that I don’t have a business to worry about, I can focus my energies on other things. Like choosing the music and lighting for my upcoming encounter with Mr. Shawn.
“Where the hell is he?” I wonder out loud.
Feeling kind of silly, I do a spin as the music crescendos and sort of head bang as the bass drops. The whole world blurs and lags behind as I move. The effect is dizzying, and I have to brace myself against the wall to keep from falling.
Oh, boy. I’m drunk.
“Well, what did you expect?” I’m laughing at myself when there’s a knock at the door. “Oh, he’s here!”
Yeah. Really drunk.
But so what? I can get drunk if I want to. I can sleep with Shawn if I want to. I can do whatever I want, and no one can stop me. I’m Chanel Greene, damn it!
I tug open the door to find Shawn standing there looking terribly nervous. He comes in so quickly he almost knocks me over as he passes.
“Sorry,” he says. “But if my boss catches me, I’m a dead man.”
“No worries!” I sound like an obnoxious sorority girl. “So you ready to do this?”
Shawn bites his l!p nervously and glances around the cottage like someone’s going to jump out and kill him.
“What’s wrong?” I ask. “I promise there are no hidden cameras.”
“Yeah – no, I just…this has never happened to me before.”
“Really?” I ask. “Handsome young man like you? You don’t get women throwing themselves at you all the time?”
Shawn shakes his head and shrugs. “Not really.”
“Oh, I don’t believe you,” I giggle. I had planned on fake-falling into his arms so he could catch me, but I’m drunker than I realized and actually trip over my own two legs. I fall – and Shawn doesn’t catch me. My knee slams into the floor, and I tumble over onto my back in pain.
“Are you okay!?” Shawn asks, rushing to my side.
“Fine, fine, fine,” I reply, waving him away. “Just carry me into the bedroom.”
“Are you sure?”
Am I sure? The contrast between Shawn and Titus’ behavior is striking. Titus would never ask if I was sure about anything. He would have me in his arms already. As a matter of fact, he would have never let me fall in the first place.
“No,” I reply as I get up on my own. “I was just kidding.”
This is going terribly, but I’m not backing down. Titus is probably sitting in my office right now with a sh!t-eating grin on his face as he goes through the books of my company and marvels at his own brilliance. I bet he has a bunch of girls waiting for him back at his apartment too.
Well, if he’s having fun, I’m going to have fun too!
Taking Shawn by the hand, I lead him into the bedroom. But as I crash down on the bed beneath him, the quivers in my heart increase, and I feel a rush of blood to my head.
“Wow,” Shawn whispers. “You’re beautiful.”
For some reason, his compliment hurts me. I can’t explain why, but it feels wrong to hear another man saying that to me. He shouldn’t be. Someone shouldn’t allow it.
Titus should be here defending my honor, telling him to back off and that I’m his woman and he can’t say things like that to me. He should break down the door and pull this young man off me and tell him that if he ever comes near me again he’ll be in big trouble.
My stomach twists, and my body goes hot, but not in a good way.
The nausea swells within me. I look up and find Shawn’s eyes, not Titus’, looking down at me with excitement, and a terrible realization hits me.
No. I can’t do this. This is all kinds of wrong. What the hell was I thinking?
“It’s okay.” He grins. “You don’t have to say anything.”
He leans in for the k!ss, and I lose it. “I’m going to throw up!”
Somehow, I manage to hold it in and get to the bathroom before vomiting up today’s excess of alcohol. I hear Shawn make a disgusted noise from the bedroom, but I don’t care.
“Are you all right?” he asks, doing his best to show concern. I wave my hand at him.
“Fine,” I croak. “You can go.”
“Yes,” I tell him. “Just go!”
“Okay,” Shawn replies. “Uh, feel better?”
He lets himself out as I slump down on the floor, one arm wrapped miserably around the toilet bowl.
Yeah. Feel better.
Like that’s going to happen.