A Valentine’s Day Proposal

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Okay, I know I promised a chapter of Mira. I decided to enter the Valentine’s Day contest. So Mira got put off a bit. But it is coming. I promise!

Plus, since this is my entry that means I really need everyone to vote. So if you’ve read and loved my other stuff but didn’t vote on anything else please consider voting for this one… It actually means something this time. Well something more than my ego boost!

I hope you like it… Happy Valentine’s Day!

And now for something completely different.

*********************

Fucking holiday. Fucking Rob, Jack swore in his head. “Literally,” he answered himself out loud. Turning his beat up red caravan around and pulling up in front of the apartment building, Jack groaned loudly and nearly pulled away. The place was rather ritzy and he felt even more the fool, as he reluctantly climbed out of the van. Jack’s long black trench coat shifted, and confusion flooded the valet’s face as he caught a flash of Jack’s long bare leg and golden spangled sandal. Jack handed the keys to the smirking valet. “Shut the fuck up,” he snarled to the kid who hadn’t said anything, as he pulled a black duffel bag out of the van.

The overly tanned, overly paid attendant just shook his head and chuckled as he got into the van and drove away from the entrance. Jack pulled the paper out of his trench coat pocket and double checked the address, praying he had made some kind of mistake. “Nope,” he snarled. “This is just great. Rob is such an asshole.”

Jack trudged up to the main door and it was opened for him by a uniformed man whose idiotic grin was almost enough to make Jack slug him. He stomped past the door attendant and headed for the elevator as quickly as he could. The sooner I get this over with the sooner I get to go back to some semblance of having dignity, his brain growled as he thrust his finger at the button and waited.

When the door opened Jack stood out of the way as a well dressed older couple exited, staring at him. Jack glared back momentarily, before walking into the elevator and hitting the button for the 6th floor. It seemed as though the elevator took an eternity to get to where he was going. The cheesy muzak only added to Jack’s stress level. With each beep that indicated he was passing another floor, Jack’s stomach lurched with the fear that the doors would open and someone would get into the enclosed space with him. The feeling that everyone could see straight through his trench coat was overwhelming and he cussed some more under his breath while he waited.

Finally the doors opened on the 6th floor and Jack stepped out with trepidation, heading down the hall toward apartment number 609. There was loud rock music blaring through the door. Oddly enough that seemed to help Jack calm down a bit. Maybe this chick would be a nice normal girl who would understand and not laugh her ass off at him. Then again this chick was with Rob so being nice and normal was unlikely. Hell, if I were anyone but me I’d be laughing at me! He took a deep breath as he stopped outside the door, dropped the long black duffel bag on the floor, stripped the trench coat off and thrust it into the bag, then fished around for the rest of the outfit.

Finally dressed and with a card, some chocolates, flowers and a small black box with a red ribbon in hand Jack rang the doorbell. He stood nervously waiting for someone to answer, praying that no one would come down the hall and see him like this. There was no immediate answer, so he rang the bell again. Fucking music’s too loud, he thought. Putting everything precariously in one hand and under one arm Jack knocked loudly on the door. Nothing. Knocking again he heard someone behind him clearing her throat. Jack turned around to see a girl in the doorway across the hall leaning on the door frame and smiling luridly at him as she giggled and eyed him up and down.

Steph considered that she might be losing her mind. Ever since their father had put her and her three sisters in this apartment Sue and Stacy were getting out of control. They spent all their time going out with their dad’s credit card, staying up late, and then waking up in the afternoon to start getting ready to do it all over again. Neither of them showed any consideration for the fact that Steph was trying desperately to get a degree. The only reason they were living here at all was because her father didn’t want her moving, alone, to the city.

Knowing full well that Sue wouldn’t turn the stuff down if asked, Steph was trying to remember why she wasn’t in jail for murder. Sue had been playing tons of ridiculous Valentine’s Dayesque music all day and had been trying on costume after costume for the party tonight. She has spent so much money on costumes that their father had called to tell her to pick one and return the rest.

Steph threw her books down and got up with the full intention of destroying the stereo. She knew that Sue would just come home güvenilir bahis with a new one. But in the mean time Steph would get a few hours of quiet. Maybe she’d even get a chance to finish her paper. As she walked through the living room an off-beat pounding caught her attention and she walked uncertainly toward the door.

Steph turned the knob and pulled the door open to find herself looking at the well muscled back of a man in what appeared to be a teeny tiny white cloth skirt tied with gold cords and gold sandals, with wings strapped to his back. The skirt was only barely long enough to hide his butt cheeks. There was a small bow and quiver of arrows with hearts for points. Steph couldn’t help but smile.

Jack started swearing under his breath again. He was knocking loud enough to get the neighbors, but he couldn’t get the stupid chick he had been sent for to open the damn door. He actually started to blush as the girl in the other doorway began to comment on his attire.

Dennise licked her lips as she stared at Jack. She never would have thought she’d see a grown man dressed like Cupid outside of some ignorant joke greeting card or a bad theme night a strip club. But there he was, tanned, ripped, dark and handsome, standing across the hall from her door. “If they don’t want to let you in, I’d be more than happy to let you come over here,” she said, putting way too much emphasis on the word “come.”

When she noticed that Dennise was standing in the doorway across the hall and was tormenting the poor guy, Steph decided that she should at least save him from the clutches of the hell bitch next door. “I do believe that if Dennise weren’t already a slut you’d be enough to turn her into one,” Steph yelled over the blaring music.

Dennise glared at her and then backed into her own apartment, closing the door behind her. Dennise often went out with Steph’s sisters. But Steph wasn’t invited. The women just didn’t get along.

Jack turned around to find himself staring into the bluest eyes he’d ever seen. The woman in the doorway which had been his original target was tall and slim. She had brown hair, pulled up into a pony tail and was wearing a Medical University t-shirt and jeans. She was the type of woman who could make a sweat suit look sexy. For a brief instant he had forgotten his mission and his getup and just stared at her.

Steph raised her eyebrows and gave the mute Cupid and expectant look, hoping to prompt him into telling her why he was here and dressed like this. But when he finally snapped into reality and opened his mouth to talk all she could hear was Meatloaf wailing out, “I’d do anything for love, but I won’t do that…”

“Just a minute,” she yelled at him over the music then turned and vanished back into the recesses of the apartment.

Jack watched the goddess disappeared and then suddenly became acutely aware of himself again. Please, if there is a God, that wasn’t Rob’s chick, he thought. Then immediately he began swearing again. Even if she wasn’t Rob’s girlfriend, there was no way she’d be interested in dating him. First, there was the fact that she had to have money to be living here. Second, she had to have some brains if she was attending MU. Third, and most importantly she’d have to be a loon to consider any guy who showed up at her door dressed like Cupid and carrying chocolates, viable dating material.

Suddenly there was silence followed by horrific crashing and some screaming. Jack had no idea what had happened, but he dropped the stuff he was holding and took off into the apartment to the rescue. Locating the source of the screaming he found the beauty from the doorway standing over a completely devastated stereo system and an older less attractive version of her screaming what a bitch she was. There wasn’t any doubt that the two women were sisters. If the looks didn’t give it away, the way they were fighting would.

The unexpected appearance of Cupid in her bedroom actually managed to stop Sue’s ranting. Her eyes roamed over his body and a smile turned her lips. The shrill screaming became simpering and she straightened her far too tight hot pink top as she faced Jack. “Has Cupid found me at last,” Sue smiled.

Jack didn’t know if he should be more concerned by the look on the older sister’s face or the fact that the younger one had so thoroughly trashed an expensive looking stereo system. He cleared his thought. “Didn’t it have a volume button?”

Steph rolled her eyes. Jack couldn’t help smiling at her. There was something gorgeous about the indignant look she got on her face. “The volume seemed to have this nasty tendency of working its way back up whenever I turned it down. Cupid, is it? What do you want? You weren’t invited in.”

Jack shifted at the acknowledgement of his costume. “Sorry. I heard the crash and the screaming. I thought someone was hurt.”

Sue was already noticing that once again she was being overlooked and türkçe bahis her younger prettier, sister, was getting all the attention of the handsome half-naked man in her bedroom. It was a mystery to their entire family how Sue’s features could be so similar to Steph’s, but just off enough to make her the unattractive one. Sue smiled. “Don’t mind Steph,” she cooed. “She has an undiagnosed ailment. It seems to start at the stick up her butt and travel out her mouth. None of her classes have managed to educate her on what to do about it.”

Fuck, Jack thought. She is Rob’s chick. “Uh, yeah,” he responded to the ungraceful attempt at an insult. “I just need to deliver something.” Realizing that he had dropped everything he walked back the way he’d come.

The door was standing wide open, the flowers were strewn about, and it looked as though he had trampled on the box of chocolates. “Shit,” Jack scowled despondently. There was no way that Rob was going to let this pass as a reasonable payment for his debt now.

The two women watched as Jack bent down and started to clean up the mess. There was no way to not find the site funny. Jack was tall, built, and dressed in a little white skirt with gold cords and wings. What girl wouldn’t laugh at that?

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Jack groaned and started crawling around and looking under the stand and chair, near the door. Then he crawled out into the hallway and started throwing the stuff out of his duffle bag. “There’s no way,” he began to panic.

Sue and Steph were both laughing out loud now. “What is it,” Steph managed to get out.

“Yeah, ha ha,” Jack glared. “Steph is it? Well, Steph, I was sent by Rob. I’m supposed to present you with the shit you’re currently standing on, read a ridiculous poem that he purchased on-line and ask you to marry him and go to some damn costume ball tonight to announce the engagement to the world. In about 10 minutes you’re going to get a phone call and he’s going to ask for your answer. I have currently managed to lose the fucking ring.”

Sue and Steph stood there watching Jack search frantically around the hall and the entrance to the apartment for the small black box he had dropped when he ran to see what was wrong.

Sue was the first one to come to her senses and start to help Jack look for it. “Are you sure you brought it?”

“Yes,” Jack said in annoyed exasperation. “I had it in my hand when you screamed and I ran back to see what had happened.” He stood up and looked around the floor farther into the room, in case it skidded somewhere. “I’m a dead man.”

“Steph what’s wrong with you,” Sue said, wide eyed. “If Rob bought you a ring it’s probably huge! Help look for it.”

Steph glared at her sister. Then, with a fearful expression, she began searching the floor. They looked everywhere. There weren’t that many places that it could have ended up. The chair and side table by the door were checked under repeated, as if one more set of eyes might see it where the others had not. When the phone rang, they all stopped looking for the engagement ring and stared at it. The pause between rings seemed to drag out.

Sue pushed Steph toward the phone. “Answer it!”

Steph shot Jack a confused sympathetic look. She wasn’t sure if she was asking for help or reassuring him. She didn’t know how this guy had gotten mixed up with Rob. But she did know that it was a dangerous place to be. Rob was wealthy, arrogant, and violent. The only reason she knew the guy was because her step mother had introduced them. Rob had been chasing her ever since. He had even followed her to school, enrolled in her classes, and chased off every guy who came anywhere near her. Steph’s step mother had even managed to convince her father that it would be a good idea to encourage Steph to get together with Rob. Steph had yet to figure out what her step mother’s motivation was, but she was positive there had to be something to the entire set up. Hell, for all Steph knew, her step mother had slept with the creep and now he was blackmailing her into talking Steph’s dad into okaying the engagement. That would be about standard for her step mother.

The phone rang again. Steph took a deep breath and walked over to the phone. “Hello?”

Rob’s voice slimed through the receiver and Steph held it away from her ear. Sue rolled her eyes. Jack watched Steph shift uncomfortably and move the phone from one ear to the other as she listened.

“No, Rob,” she said matter-of-factly. “No, it has nothing to do with how that guy did it. He was very romantic. I don’t think he could have found a way to be more romantic. I’m just not interested. I’ve told you that. It wouldn’t matter how you did it. The answer is no.”

Sue squealed, when she heard Steph’s answer. “What are you doing?” Sue glared at Jack as if it was his fault. Then she went over and took the phone. Steph only partially protested. “Rob? Yeah this is Sue. I’ll talk to her. Just güvenilir bahis siteleri call back later.” There was another pause and then Sue hung up the phone, turning on Steph. “Are you insane?”

Steph raised her eyebrows. “No, I’m graduating.”

Sue’s eyes narrowed and the glare she leveled on her sister was dangerous. Jack could feel that he shouldn’t be here, but he still needed that ring to give back to Rob, at the very least. Or he needed to establish if he should be leaving town. That last thought was far too serious for Jack’s comfort.

“Steph,” Sue insisted, glancing at Jack and then taking Steph by the arm and pulling her further into the apartment so that Jack wouldn’t hear the rest. “Dad is cutting us off. You know that. The minute he finds out that you turned Rob down, we’re screwed.”

“You’re screwed. I’ve only got a couple months until graduation,” Steph wrenched her arm away from her sister. “I’ll get a job. I’ll be fine. You’re just going to have to move back home. It’s not the end of the world. You need to grow up Sue. You can’t live off other people your entire life like some kind of remora.”

“A what?”

“You heard me. Go get a dictionary,” Steph hissed. Then she disappeared down a hallway.

Sue glared after her. Then she seemed to realize that Jack was still there and instantly turned on him. “Haven’t you left yet? I’ve never seen such a miserable Cupid.”

“I’m not going anywhere until I have that ring,” Jack returned and then started looking around again. He was grateful that Steph had made it sound like it wasn’t his fault and hadn’t reported that he’d destroyed the flowers, crushed the chocolates, and lost that huge ass diamond. But it wouldn’t matter if he returned to Rob empty handed. He owed the bastard enough money. He’d have to be sworn into indentured servitude for this.

When he looked up again Sue was gone and Steph had reappeared. She had changed into a fitted dark blue sweater that hugged her breasts and made her eyes almost glow. She let her long brown hair down and it fell in soft waves over her shoulders. He could have believed he was staring up at an angel.

“Please tell me you have something else to wear,” she said.

“Huh? Uh, yeah. Why?” Jack was confused.

Steph smiled and eyed him up and down appreciatively. “As much as I’d love to go shopping with a ripped, tanned Cupid, we may draw some attention. I don’t really think either of us want this reported back to Rob.”

“Okay,” Jack stood up from the floor and dropped the wings off his shoulders. “You wanna tell me what you’re thinking. Right now I’m missing something.”

“Well, the ring is gone. It’s not here. You need to give it back to Rob or he’ll think you stole it. My guess is someone stole it,” she indicated the open door. “Maybe Dennise. The bitch has been watching us the entire time. I don’t know. But I want this over as soon as possible. That means sending you and that damn ring back to Rob. Do you know what it looked like?”

Jack nodded. He really didn’t know what to say.

“Alright then. The bathroom’s down the hall,” she said as she pointed. “Go change and let’s get out of here quick. Besides, I need a break from Sue and the books. Hurry up before Stacy gets home.”

Great, there’s a third one too, Jack thought. “Not that I’m not grateful for the effort. But that ring was massive. Can you just replace something like that,” Rob asked skeptically.

Steph smiled. “I can until my dad finds out I turned Rob down. Hurry up.”
Jack grabbed the duffel bag and headed down the hall for the bathroom. He returned shortly in a pair of beat up jeans and a black t-shirt stretched over his chest like a second skin. He had swapped his sandals out for a pair of cheep tennis shoes.

“Much better,” Steph said with approval. Her smile was enough to make him melt. “Let’s go. We’ll have to take your car,” she said as they got into the elevator. “Mine’s always watched.”

“What makes you think mine isn’t,” Jack grumped. He felt like a complete jerk. He didn’t know what was worse; owing Rob or letting this girl save his sorry ass. “Look,” he said. “I don’t think I want you doing this. I’ll go back to Rob and tell him what happened. I’ll take what he decides to do to me and move on. I don’t need to owe anyone else anything.”

Steph noted the tone in his voice. He may not have said much, but it was enough to tell her that he was in some kind of trouble with Rob. “Don’t go thinking this is all about you. Knowing Rob he’ll try using this against me if he doesn’t get the ring back. He’ll tell my dad that I have it and intend to hawk it for the money or something else like that. I don’t need any more hassle right now. It’s in my best interests as well as yours.”

Jack shook his head and gave in. He really didn’t’ have the ability to argue in his position. They headed out of the lobby of the apartment building, got his van from the attendant, and drove into town. “I don’t know where someone goes to shop for a ring like that,” Jack admitted as they came to a red light.

Steph grinned at him. “How can Cupid not know where to get engagement rings?”

“Funny,” he growled. “Jack.”

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